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Ex post: The investment performance of collectible stamps

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  • Dimson, Elroy
  • Spaenjers, Christophe

Abstract

This paper uses stamp catalogue prices to investigate the returns on British collectible postage stamps over the period 1900-2008. We find an annualized return on stamps of 7.0% in nominal terms, or 2.9% in real terms. These returns are higher than those on bonds but below those on equities. The volatility of stamp prices approaches that of equities. Stamp returns are impacted by movements in the equity market, but the systematic risk of stamps remains low. Stamps partially hedge against unanticipated inflation. Estimates of average after-cost returns for individual investors show that stamps may rival equities in terms of realized performance.

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  • Dimson, Elroy & Spaenjers, Christophe, 2011. "Ex post: The investment performance of collectible stamps," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 443-458, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:100:y:2011:i:2:p:443-458
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    Cited by:

    1. Dimson, Elroy & Rousseau, Peter L. & Spaenjers, Christophe, 2015. "The price of wine," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 431-449.
    2. Renneboog, Luc & Spaenjers, Christophe, 2012. "Hard assets: The returns on rare diamonds and gems," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 220-230.
    3. Antonio Di Cesare & Philip A. Stork & Casper G. de Vries, 2015. "Risk Measures for Autocorrelated Hedge Fund Returns," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 13(4), pages 868-895.
    4. Matteo Bonato and Luca Taschini, 2016. "Comovement and the Financialization of Commodities," Working Papers 587, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    5. Goetzmann, Will & Le Bris, David & Pouget, Sébastien, 2017. "The Present Value Relation Over Six Centuries: The Case of the Bazacle Company," TSE Working Papers 17-794, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    6. Arthur Korteweg & Roman Kräussl & Patrick Verwijmeren, 2016. "Does it Pay to Invest in Art? A Selection-Corrected Returns Perspective," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 29(4), pages 1007-1038.
    7. Philip Hans Franses & Wouter Knecht, 2016. "The late 1970s bubble in Dutch collectible postage stamps," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(4), pages 1215-1228, June.
    8. Renneboog, L.D.R., 2013. "The Returns on Investment Grade Diamonds," Discussion Paper 2013-025, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    9. Luc Renneboog & Christophe Spaenjers, 2013. "Buying Beauty: On Prices and Returns in the Art Market," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(1), pages 36-53, February.
    10. Seth C. Anderson & Robert B. Ekelund & John D. Jackson & Robert D. Tollison, 2016. "Investment in early American art: the impact of transaction costs and no-sales on returns," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 40(3), pages 335-357, August.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. John E. Grable & Kimberly Watkins, 2016. "Quantifying the Value of Collecting: Implications for Financial Advisers," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 639-648, December.
    14. Lucey, Brian M. & Devine, Liam, 2015. "Was wine a premier cru investment?," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 33-51.
    15. Turner, John D., 2014. "Financial history and financial economics," QUCEH Working Paper Series 14-03, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Alternative investments Indexes Long-term returns Philately Stamps;

    JEL classification:

    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature

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