Personal finance has three important arms; savings, insurance and investment. Today we will talk about the latter but not quite in the way you think. Alternative investments offer not so conventional opportunities for people to put their money to work for it to grow in value for future use. For the most part, we will look at these alternative investments for the long term, 10 years at the very least. These investments offer opportunities for both diversification and speculation of investments.

Before we talk about these alternative investments I just want to discuss the risk factor. These investments are incredibly risky for more than one reason and you will find the best suited to people who are well on their journey. So a savings and insurance must be complete and a primary investment plan already in motion. They say high risk, high return but what they leave out is it’s the ability to withstand the risk that makes it worth it. Without further ado some alternative investments.

Alcohol

No, your pub and beer hall visits are not an investment. This is for collectors not drinkers and a story about this inspired this article. Wine and Whiskey age very well and buying a good quality one and holding it will bring you great rewards. The hard part is that these beverages do not come cheap, to begin with. This also requires a lot of knowledge about the industry. This is not knowledge that takes a few months to build up, it will take years of study and experimenting.

Art

Art makes a great investment if you can figure out what is an art in the first place. In all seriousness art is a wonderful alternative investment that has brought many people great returns. Winning in the art game is not that simple. You need deep research and competent advisory to make any sense of the game. If anything signifies high-risk alternative investment it is art. Paintings, sculptures and other artwork can appreciate rapidly in value but the key to winning here is buying the right stuff, to begin with, and it takes a lot to know what the right stuff is.

Collectables

Collectables are a very wide range of ordinary things that will eventually become valuable as memorabilia. An example you’re probably familiar with is old coins. The upside of collectables as an alternative investment is that you can easily buy them at regular prices when they are on sale then it’s about the ability to wait. And you may have to pass these things on to future generations. What qualifies as collectables? Postage stamps (remember these?), books, notes & coins, dolls, toys, dinnerware I mean the list is truly endless. Even the original iPhone now 13 years old already fetches a pretty penny.

Cryptocurrency

You have to be careful when you speak about Cryptocurrency these days. One wrong step and you will have swarm to deal with. Let’s just get this straight, this is about buying and holding Cryptocurrency and selling to extract value. So crypto clubs are out. Binaries are out. Options are out. Weird offers that start to pay you wild returns after 2 weeks are out! Cryptocurrency is criticised for its lack of intrinsic value, in this regard it is similar to art. You don’t require a boatload of knowledge to buy and hold crypto, just money and good risk management. It’s done very well for investors and should be considered. However, it’s long term remains murky so don’t bet your future on it.

Precious metals

Precious metals are all the things that Cryptocurrency claims to be, with intrinsic value. As compared to crypto the precious metals markets are very mature. Gold as the main example has a huge market the world over that is very fluid and organised. Fluctuations are present but the market is not as volatile as others. You can buy very small amounts and accumulate over time. For the long run, nothing beats precious metals. They probably have the lowest upside of any of the investments on this list but also have the smallest downside risk.

These are some alternative investments that are available to Zimbabweans in varying degrees. As said before these are not recommended as first investment opportunities but as additional investments. Know any others that are available in Zimbabwe?