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6 Unusual Investments That Are Beating The Stock Market (PHOTOS)

Huffington Post     First Posted: 08/30/10 03:53 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 06:30 PM ET

Irregular times call for irregular investment strategies.

Jeff Middleswart might be a poster boy for outside-the-box investing during the current downturn. In February, Middleswart took over as manager of a mutual fund that explicitly invests in "sin stocks" like cigarettes, alcohol, gambling and defense. Aptly named the Vice Fund, Middleswart's impious portfolio is up 4.5 percent on the year, compared to the S&P 500's 1.9 percent loss over the same period.

Sin stocks are not the only unusual investments achieving above-average performance in the markets, while the traditional 401(k) has underperformed. Other alternative investments beating the recession include a couple luxurious goods and a foreign market that soared 53 percent in the first half of 2010.

And while we're not advocating for these investments outright, for the sake of comparison, here are six alternative investments that have outperformed the larger U.S. stock market either in the last year or the last few years:

Collectible Cars
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In the past four years, collectible cars have outperformed the S&P 500, according to an index that contains the estimated values of 25 of the most popular collectible autos (Hat tip to Bloomberg.)

Though collector cars were down slightly more than the S&P this year, the index has increased more than 61 percent since September 2006, compared with a 16 percent loss in the S&P over the same time period. The 1958 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder LWB, for instance, gained 131 percent in that period to an estimated value of $3.3 million, according to the index.

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