As Paul writes in his Paul says... column, this week: "When investors ask me about putting their money into collectibles, I advise them that it's ideal to invest with a long term view. Why? Well, with collectible investments the effects of compounding can be exceptional..."
The two factors that Paul highlights are rarity and demand. In other words, from an investor's point of view, you should go for autographs which are in limited or finite supply and will be met with growing demand in future years. This pushes up their value.
It's for these reasons that autographs of celebrities who are either deceased or who rarely sign are most coveted among collectors, and are likely to perform better as investments.
Generous George is the Top
Apollo 11 crewmates Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin - Aldrin loves autographs and is a generous signer, while Armstrong has refused to sign autographs since the early-'90s. As a result, Armstrong is the world's rarest living signature.
Meanwhile, this new list of the Top 10 Celebrity Signers in 2010, compiled by Autograph Collectors Daily, shows the other side of the coin. As long as these celebrities are alive and kicking and prolifically signing autographs, their signatures might not be the best buys from an investment perspective.
On the other hand, if the celebrity has a legacy that is almost certain to interest future generations of collectors - like Tom Cruise or Johnny Depp for example - then their signature could still be worth a look.
The below list could also be great news if you're looking to expand your portfolio. Let's say you're collecting the autographs of every actor who's ever played Batman (like George Clooney). And of course it's also great news if you're a fan of any of the below celebrities...
According to Autograph Collectors Daily, its research was based entirely on information provided by collectors and dealers worldwide.
Celebrities from all entertainment genres were considered (movies, TV, sports, theatre, etc.). Also, the personality and attitude of the signer was taken into consideration. Signing locations were not limited to specific areas, according to the researchers. Here's the list...
#1 George Clooney - He has been a fan favourite for many years and his popularity doesn't seem like it will fade anytime soon. Always receptive to autograph requests at events and appearances and always makes everyone's 'best' list. He is the Top Celebrity Signer in 2010.
#2 Zac Efron - 2010 was a big year for Zac Efron. He was a very close 2nd and was a favourite of many of the researched in-person collectors.
#3 Angelina Jolie - Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are joined at the hip at premieres and charity functions. Many times Pitt will sign as well... But it's rare when Angelina avoids autograph seekers. Jolie does interact with her fans, occasionally conversing and greeting.
#4 Matt Damon - He has been a regular on everybody's list for several years. Nothing has changed: "he still strives to keep his fans satisfied on and off screen," says Autograph Collectors Daily's research.
#5 Tom Cruise - The veteran actor always signs for fans and collectors wherever he goes. He may become an automatic inclusion to most lists.
#6 Betty White - What else can be said about Betty White, most famous for her role in US TV sitcom Golden Girls? Her new found popularity on screen and TV, as well as sincere devotion to her charities makes her a huge fan favourite.
Singer Taylor Swift is another of
#7 Selena Gomez - Mostly known in the US, 18-year-old child star Selena has blossomed into a mega celebrity who regularly signs for her fans. Not the best looking signature, according to the research - but she's apparently "working on it."
#8 Anna Paquin - Her blockbuster TV show 'True Blood' has helped skyrocket her popularity with a new group of devoted fans. Apparently very personable with autograph seekers - and her signature was undoubtedly featured in this recent charity sale of signed True Blood memorabilia.
#9 Johnny Depp - He's back on Autograph Collectors Daily's list again. Depp was a staple for many years but seemed to taper back in 2009. He is once again making himself available to his vast fan base.
Depp might be a popular signature, but his strong body of work ensures that his career will leave a strong legacy. His collectibles could be worth owning decades from now. Depp autographs can be bought for around £175.
#10 Taylor Swift - According to the research, "she has an amazing, sweet personality and loves her fans. I sincerely hope that Taylor continues to make herself available to autograph seekers." You can read our full report on Taylor Swift here.
And finally, some honorary mentions who didn't make the list: Megan Fox, Sandra Bullock, Kylie Minogue, Shah Rukh Khan, Will Smith, Zachary Quinto, Elisabeth Moss, Gerard Butler, Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Dakota Fanning and Jonah Hill.
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