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Super-Rich Investing More In Treasure, Report Finds

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The super-rich have taken a cue from pirates.

The share of wealthy investors buying up treasure has increased over the past five years, according to a recent report from Barclays. Wealthy investors all over the world hold nearly 10 percent of their total net worth in treasure, which includes assets like art and collectible cars and coins. In some countries, rich investors hold an average of 18 percent of their wealth in treasure.

There are a variety of reasons why the super-rich choose to devote a portion of their income to treasure, instead of more traditional investments like stocks, bonds and real estate. The primary driver is enjoyment, according to the report, but a volatile global economy has also pushed the wealthy towards investments “they feel they understand.”

“A desire for tangibility and familiarity, coupled with concerns about broader markets, is encouraging more investors to increase the proportion of their wealth that is allocated to treasure,” according to the report.

Investors with limited resources may want to take caution before taking a metaphorical dive into the bottom of the ocean. Investing in art can be much more expensive than the initial cost of purchase, according to the Wall Street Journal. That’s because the pieces require constant care and upkeep.

But with a global economy reeling from a variety of crises in recent years, a flight away from stocks and bonds may be tempting. Over the course of last decade, gold and silver saw a six-fold and ten-fold increase in value respectively, according to CNBC. That’s compared to a 10 percent increase in the S&P 500 during the same period. The value of vintage cars also shot up during the financial crisis, soaring 22 percent between 2006 and 2011.

Following the dismal May jobs report earlier this month, the price of oil and the Dow Jones Industrial Average both saw a big drop, while the price of gold shot up.

X marks the spot, ay?

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