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Over the years, stamps have been one of the most consistent investment vehicles, offering many advantages over the traditional alternatives.  International demand for rare stamps is huge; they are saleable throughout the world and have the obvious advantage of being small and transportable.

The secret of course is to invest in the right stamps, certificated items in pristine condition.  It would normally take two or three months to put a substantial wide-ranging portfolio together and items are purchased specifically for the investor.  On the whole, I select classic stamps, predominently from France, my specialist area where the market is particularly strong, but also from Great Britain and the Commonwealth, both robust areas in the market.

Over the course of time values have tended to rise steadily, in much the same way as property does. There is not the excitement of the erratic peaks and troughs you often find in the stock market.  Rare stamps have over the years been a reliable and solid investment and this is even more so now that recent legislation allows stamps to be sheltered within family and discretionary trusts in the U.K.

Australia O30: £2 black and rose with the OS puncture and first watermark.  A very rare item.

France Yvert 257A: 2f Merson overprinted for the 1929 Le Havre philatelic exhibition. Fine unmounted mint.

The Stanley Gibbons SG100 Price index for the end of May 2008 stood at 459.8           

Year          SG100 Index         Change*           Bank Interest*       

31/12/97         246.8                   -                        -
31/12/98         257.2                 4.2                      4.8
31/12/99         271.0                 9.8                      9.2
31/12/00         291.5               18.1                     13.1
31/12/01         299.0               21.2                     17.2
31/12/02         326.8               32.4                     22.2
31/12/03         364.0               47.5                     27.6
31/12/04         389.5               57.8                     33.3
31/12/05         409.8               66.0
31/12/06         428.5               73.6
31/12/07         450.1               82.3
31/12/08         465.09             88.4
31/12/09         468.88             90.0
31/12/10         475.78             92.8
31/07/10         488.29             97.8

* Cumulative change quoted as a percentage