Many traditional savings and investment vehicles cannot even keep up with inflation, so people are increasingly turning to alternative ways of storing their money.
This is causing a minboom in memorabilia as unusual as chewing gum discarded by sports stars to pizas bearing perceived religious images, with anything indicating Jesus or the Virgin Mary particularly popular.
But you do not need to risk your money in such extreme and risky items. For example, the number plate on your car might have significant investment value - perhaps a much as 400% appreciation in the short-term. UK vehicle registration numbers have already paid off for many investors, including the Dragons' Den entrepreneurs Duncan Bannatyne and James Caan. But such savvy investors caution buying wisely and not being over optimistic about potential increases in value - more realistic is the around ten per cent typical for shrewd investments in memorabilia and collectibles.
Dateless plates from Northern Ireland
"Shrewd investors are currently showing great interest in Northern Ireland plates," says Des Elton, founder and CEO of Speedyreg.co.uk, the UK's leading dealers in dateless personalised vehicle registrations. "It is expected that the Northern Ireleand registration authorities may end their unique vehicle registration system and fall into line with how registrations in the rest of the UK are issued by year and county. Northern Ireland plates can be used for any vehicle on the mainland and, among other advantages, do not reveal the age of the car, coach or truck."
Des Elton has been investing in Northern Ireland plates for over 20 years and now has a unique fleet of over 6,000 mopedes and other motorcycles MoT'd and kept in warehouses to"store" these dateless local registrations.
"The numbers can be transferred quickly to any UK vehicle - from an old Honda moped to a brand new Lamborghini or Rolls-Royce if you like," says Reg. "Our mopeds have numbers likely to yield attractive investment potential, particularly because each number is unique, timeless and can never be repeated."
Bankers bonuses replaced by small savers
Bankers have, in the past, been major buyers of cherished and personalised number plates, but this year their bonuses have been slashed or eliminated so they do not have as much free cash to splash around.. But that has not impacted on the trade of lower-priced registrations, which can start from under £50. So even small savers have opportunities to speculate in a growing market, with interest in registrations boosted by the high profile sales reaching hundreds of thousands of pounds at the regular auctions staged by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).
Although open to members of the public, these auctions are dominated by licensed dealers like Des Elton's Speedyreg, buying for their own inventories and bidding for investor clients who range from Russian oligarchs and showbiz personalities to small investors building up modest portfolios.
"Valuing a registration is very difficult, so investors and savers inexperienced in this market need to be very cautious or rely on expert advice," warns Des. "It's like buying shares, you can lose as well as win. So it is important to buy wisely at affordable prices to acquire a cherished single number - or a small portfolio of registrations stored on our mopeds if you don't have your own fleet of vehicles to assign them to.
"Of course, value has a different meaning when buying a registration to mark a special life event such as a marriage or passing the driving test or graduating. Such gifts may or may not have an investment value, but they will always be treasured. That's why buying a personalised registration goes along with applying for a place a place at a public school when a child is born."
Premier League surpasses Olympics
Surprisingly, some topical events - like the Queen's Jubilee and the 2012 Olympics - do not spark a big demand for registrations that can be linked to such occasions.
"It is wisest to invest in long-term sustainable activities, such as Premier League football," Des advises. "For example, any registration that can be linked to Manchester United has long been a good bet for appreciation. Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney have been drivers of value for several years, and there is now an opportunity to invest at lower cost in registrations associated with the new generation of young players that Sir Alex Ferguson is introducing this season. In a year or two Shinji Kagawa could have a fan club as big as Giggs - voted United's best-ever player - driving demand for plates reflecting support for the Japanese player."
New service for investors
Responding to the increased interest in registration nunmbers for investment and to store savings, Des Elton's Speedyreg is introducing a unique advisory service on the leading social media networks. Facebook, Linked-in, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest will all carry daily news and advice on the number plates market. Thanks to its free credit service and lowest price guarantee, registrations can be bought and sold instantly through Speedyreg using smartphones, tablets and other Internet-linked devices.
There are full details at www.speedyreg.co.uk, or the team of specialist advisors can be contacted at 0845 346 4343.
This press release was distributed by SourceWire News Distribution on behalf of Speedyreg in the following categories: Media & Marketing, Transport & Logistics, Consumer Technology, Motoring. For more information visit http://www.dwpub.com/sourcewire