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Ex-Post: The Investment Performance of Collectible Stamps

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Author Info

  • Dimson, E.
  • Spaenjers, C.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

This paper investigates the returns on British collectible postage stamps over the very long run, based on stamp catalogue prices. Between 1900 and 2008, we find an annualized return on stamps of 6.7% in nominal terms, which is equivalent to an average real return of 2.7% per annum. Prices have increased much faster in the second half of the 1960s, the late 1970s, and the current decade. However, we also record prolonged periods of real depreciation, for example in the 1980s. As a financial investment, stamps have outperformed bonds, but underperformed stocks. After unsmoothing the returns on stamps, we find that the volatility of stamp prices approaches that of equities. There is mixed evidence that stamps are a good hedge against inflation. Once the problem of non-synchronous trading is taken into account, stamp returns seem impacted by movements in the equity market.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2009-64.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:200964

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

Related research

Keywords: Alternative investments; Indexes; Long-term returns; Market model; Stamps;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dimson, Elroy & Rousseau, Peter L. & Spaenjers, Christophe, 2013. "The Price of Wine," Les Cahiers de Recherche 1019, HEC Paris.
  2. Antonio Di Cesare & Philip A. Stork & Casper G. de Vries, 2011. "Risk Measures for Autocorrelated Hedge Fund Returns," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-084/2/DSF 23, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Korteweg, Arthur & Kräussl, Roman & Verwijmeren, Patrick, 2013. "Does it pay to invest in art? A selection-corrected returns perspective," CFS Working Paper Series 2013/18, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  4. Franses, Ph.H.B.F. & Knecht, W., 2012. "The Late 1970's Bubble in Dutch Collectible Postage Stamps," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2013-02, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  5. Arthur Korteweg & Roman Kräussl & Patrick Verwijmeren, . "Does it pay to invest in Art? A Selection-corrected Returns Perspective," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-152/IV/61, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. Antonio Di Cesare & Philip A. Stork & Casper G. de Vries, 2011. "Risk Measures for Autocorrelated Hedge Fund Returns," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-084/2/DSF 23, Tinbergen Institute.
  7. David le Bris & William N. Goetzmann & Sébastien Pouget, 2014. "Testing Asset Pricing Theory on Six Hundred Years of Stock Returns: Prices and Dividends for the Bazacle Company from 1372 to 1946," NBER Working Papers 20199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Xin Chen & Xian Chen, 2012. "Stamp characteristics and long-term return after issuance: evidence from new China stamps," China Finance Review International, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 2(2), pages 351-376, August.
  9. Renneboog, L.D.R., 2013. "The Returns on Investment Grade Diamonds," Discussion Paper 2013-025, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. Renneboog, Luc & Spaenjers, Christophe, 2012. "Hard assets: The returns on rare diamonds and gems," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 220-230.
  11. Turner, John D., 2014. "Financial history and financial economics," QUCEH Working Paper Series 14-03, Queen's University Centre for Economic History, Queen's University Belfast.

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