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10 Reasonably Safe Alternative Investments


9
Wine
Wine should be stored between 55 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit and at 60 to 75 percent relative humidity.
Wine should be stored between 55 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit and at 60 to 75 percent relative humidity.
©iStockphoto.com/Alexandr Tovstenko

Investors in fine wines can expect to make a steady return between 6 and 15 percent annually over the long term [source: Reiss]. Prices of certain vintages, and of fine wines in general, fluctuate from year to year. But prices of wines from the most sought-after vineyards and vintages tend to increase eventually as the supply becomes scarce [source: Opdyke]. Wine connoisseurs and collectors are notoriously picky, so investors need to stay on top of things like which vintages will make good investments. Wines from the Bordeaux region and other parts of France provide more reliable returns, since they are prized among collectors, but many Burgundies, Italy's Super Tuscans, Spanish reds and California's cult cabernets also make good investments [source: Opdyke]. There are also services, like Wineprices.com, that track wine prices both individually and as aggregates.

Even with some of the most expensive wines, you'll have to invest in large quantities to make a sizable return. And the wine must be stored in a temperature-controlled environment to keep it in optimal condition. Auction buyers can tell if wine has been stored improperly [source: Gobel]. The bottles should be stored at temperatures between 55 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit (12.7 and 14.4 degrees Celsius) and at 60 to 75 percent relative humidity [source: Opdyke]. Wine coolers can be purchased commercially for several thousand dollars, but there are also companies that will store wine for you. Finally, investors should insure their collections, and keep careful purchase records to satisfy finicky auction buyers [source: Opdyke].

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