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Dave Says: Are vintage watches a good investment?

Dear Dave,

My wife and I are completely debt-free, and we have a full emergency fund in place. We bring home around $110,000 a year combined, and we are both maxing out 401(k)s at work. We each just opened additional IRAs, as well. At this point, we want to start setting aside $30,000 a year for a few years as savings to help buy a home. With all this in mind, what do you think about the idea of vintage watches as an investment? I work with a high-end retail company, and I’ve noticed certain sports watches have been doubling or even tripling in value over time. Would it be okay to spend around $5,000 on a vintage watch now, or should I wait until we’re in even better financial shape?


Dear Mike,

Yeah, you could do that. Just make sure you look at it the right way. It would be a hobby, not a real investment.

I have a friend who has collected a few thousand bottles of wine over the years. The value of most of them has gone up since he bought them, but it’s not part of his investment strategy. So, if you buy a $5,000 watch in your situation, that’s okay. Just don’t go nuts and buy 10 of them, you know?

What we’re talking about here are collectibles. It could be the first step in building a collection of fine watches over the years. You could do the same thing with cars, but don’t make them part of your investment strategy. Treat them like consumption items, things you can afford to spend money on and enjoy.

Then, if they happen to go up in value, it’s icing on the cake!


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