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Cane Cohen

Kent Life – Autographs and Stamps

Can’t Always Get What You Want, But Jagger’s Autograph Helps

Sir Mick Jagger, Sir Winston Churchill and the Duke of Wellington have more in common than Kentish roots: their autographs are making people a fortune.

The price of a signed photo of Sir Winston has almost doubled in 10 years to £4,950, the same as a signed Rolling Stones album collects. They are among rare autographs that on average soared 204% in value in the last eight years.

“Autograph sales and memorabilia are thriving markets,” says Nicholas Cane, director of independent financial adviser for Cane Cohen Ltd. in Blean, Canterbury, which specialises in alternative investments from autographs to wine. “There’s huge demand to own a piece of these iconic figures – particularly from Chinese and Russian buyers.”

Kent is a good place to hunt down autographs and memorabilia. Churchill lived near Westerham from 1922 until he died in 1965. Jagger was a local lad at Dartford Grammar School for Boys, and has returns to see his former masters. The Duke of Wellington at Walmer Castle and Vita Sackville-West in Sissingurst are among a host of other county figures that make fortunes for autograph hunters.

Younger, or should we say more speculative investors, might fancy trying for the likes of Whitstable’s X- Factor finalist Ben Mills, Canterbury-rooted Coldplay or Hollywood heartthrob Orlando Bloom, also from Canterbury.

Those too long in the tooth to hunt down memorabilia or queue in the rain proffering pens and autograph books can instead defer to a professional.

For £5,000 specialists will build a full portfolio on a theme chosen by the investor. Collectors can view their portfolios in person and are guaranteed to make at least 12 percent over three years. The items can be kept at home or secure in a vault away from oxygen and light, so your Rolling Stones LP won’t fade away!

“My clients certainly have more fun looking over their autographs than their stocks and shares,” says Cane, who sets up portfolios for clients with Stanley Gibbons, the collectors and archivists. “It’s a particularly good way of saving for children because they really get involved in the investment.”

Stamp Collecting for Grown Ups

Nicholas Cane, director of independent financial advisers Cane Cohen Ltd. in Blean, Canterbury, advises clients on stamps as well as autograph collecting.

“Stamp collecting may seem a childlike pursuit, bringing back memories of that stamp album still up in the loft, gathering dust — but you can make real money out of it.

“Prices have been recorded since the release of the first stamp way back in 1840, and there is a stability in the market caused by the millions of collectors worldwide that is unlike any other investment.

“The stamps in the Stanley Gibbons GB30 index have never dropped their value during any five year period between 1970 and 2005.

“Stamps are the third most popular item for sale on EBay, and the pursuit is growing phenomenally in Brazil, Russia, India and China. There are 18 million collectors in China alone and 48 million worldwide. By weight, stamps are the most valuable commodity on earth.”

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