5 Surprising Investments that Justify Being a Shopaholic

Bernard Maybeck. The famed late architect best known for designing the Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District of San Francisco. The son of a German immigrant, he studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris before moving to Berkeley, California. His style was an eclectic blend of Mission style, Gothic revivial and Beaux-Arts classicism.

 Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Designed by architect, Bernard Maybeck.

Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Designed by architect, Bernard Maybeck.

I had the distinct pleasure of being invited to a private lunch to one of the residential homes Maybeck designed in the Oakland Hills, known as the Guy Hyde Chick House. The owner, an art collector affectionately described as a raconteur by the Mercury News, graciously invited me over after we met a party hosted by our mutual tech publicist friend. The design of the home is known as “First Bay Tradition” style, where the structure is designed to merge with the natural surroundings. Perhaps laying the foundation for today’s green movement.

Everything about the home was breathtaking, but what stood out to me the most was the incredible art collection. It was almost as if the rooms decorated the art, not the other way around.

 "Time is fleeting" by Fong Fai. Originally from Hong Kong, he now resides in San Francisco.

"Time is fleeting" by Fong Fai. Originally from Hong Kong, he now resides in San Francisco.

As someone who is new to the art collector’s world, I was in for a treat and some major education about fine art pieces embodying 5,000 years of cultural expression- Chinese. I also learned a little bit about the business of fine art and the opportunities it presents for investors.

Inspired, immediately after lunch, I did some research on luxury items as investments. How is that art can be a place to store and build wealth? Are there other luxury items that can do the same?

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Apparently, yes! So, the next time someone judges you for shopping for the finer things in life. First, tell them that you are making a practical investment and expect to see a decent ROI on your purchase. Then say, bye. Because you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

  1. Fine Art. According to the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index, the fine art category is making a comeback as a passion investment. After a depressed 2016 market, the value of art at auctions has grown by 21 percent with the headliner, Salvator Mundi by Leonardo di Vinci selling for $450 million.

  2. Jewelry. Prices for jewelry grew four percent last year and 138 percent over the last decade. The record price was set by ‘Apollo & Artemis’ diamond earrings, which were sold for $57.4 million. And the record for a diamond? $71 million was the selling price for a rare diamond known as the “Pink Star”.

  3. Fine wines. After being the leader in the passion investment class in 2016, fine wines are going through a slight contraction in pricing. After a 24% price growth in 2016, last year it slipped to 11%.  However, with a double digit growth increase, the category remains a strong contender.

  4. Vintage Cars. Who would have thought that cars could be an investment vehicle. Maybe it’s not a surprise to you, but the amount that these cars sell for is mindblowing to me. Last week, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold for $48.4 million at RM Sotheby’s annual Monterey collector car sale. The value of the car is expected to increase to $100 million within the next two to three years.

  5. Furniture. Yes, you love for fabulous for home decor is 100% justified. A rare set of four Chinese huanghuali folding chairs sold for over $5 million. Sounds like your interior decorating haul is a retirement plan.

See, your love for shopping is totally a legit investment strategy. With that said, be sure to do it responsibly and have an ample amount of savings to support any unexpected (welcomed or otherwise) needs. I recommend a high-yield savings account because the return is much higher than traditional accounts. Click the link to check out the Radius High-Yield Savings account* - they have one of the highest interest rates.

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This post is in partnership with Radius Bank.