Forget gold. This is why you should be investing in autographs

If you can get your hands on a signed photo of James Dean you may well hit the jackpot.

Peter Iantorno November 13, 2014

When it comes to investment, there is no shortage of people trying to tell you where best to spend your hard-earned cash - the amount of calls we all get from so-called "financial advice" companies operating in the UAE are enough to put anyone off investment for life.

But having all your savings just lying around in a current account earning a measly two per cent (if you're lucky!) is certainly not the way to make the most of your money. We may well have found a way to make your hard-earned cash go a long way, and it's scrawled in marker pen on the back of an old photograph...

Yes, it may not seem like a sound investment compared to property or gold, but autographs are extremely hot property in today's fast-moving market. Get the right one (and we're talking James Dean or Princess Diana, rather than Peter Andre or H from Steps) and you could be looking at a year on year growth that leaves other investments in the dust. Peter Andre.

They might essentially be nothing more than scraps of paper, but according to a study from memorabilia dealers Paul Fraser Collectables, the best examples can consistently grow in value by anything up to 25 per cent per annum.

Currently the most valuable single autograph is that of James Dean, with a signed photo of the icon going for more than $28,000. If you think that's impressive, if you manage to get hold of photo of The Beatles that's signed by every member, you're sitting on a tidy investment to the tune of more than $43,000.

But what's most astonishing about these autographs is their spike in value. For example, if you'd have bought a signed photo of George Harrison in the year 2000 it would have cost around $300, but now one is worth anything up to $5,600 - that's a total increase of over 1,000 per cent!George Harrison.Now, this increase in price is far from incidental. As you might expect, when a celebrity passes away - which Mr Harrison sadly did in November, 2001 - the value of the autograph goes through the roof.

Of course, we're not saying you should be following ageing celebrities around wielding your autograph book and a marker pen, but certainly our advice would be to plan ahead which autographs in the future could see a sizeable jump in value, if you catch our drift...