Ross Farmer is 51 and is investing via alternative investments to build a cash sum to provide extra income in retirement. He says: "I use my specialist knowledge to purchase articles mainly made of precious metals or numismatic value that are often overlooked by people in the mainstream of antiques and collectables. It is like stock-picking underperforming segments of the market - in truth, value investing.
"These objects don't pay any income, but they can show steady yearly returns. Unlike stocks, you can purchase under value if you know enough and where to find them. Today, a Vodafone share will cost you about £1.68 whichever broker or share dealer you go to. Yet I can buy the same collectable for £180 or anything up to £500. One is value, one is obviously not.
"Here is my portfolio of items I bought during the year 2009 and which are stored cheaply and safely in a safe deposit box.. Most were bought at under value, sometimes greatly so. I have benefited from the rise in commodity prices, especially gold and silver, but perhaps more so from my knowledge and love of the objects."
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