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Lego sets appreciate better than gold, stocks, analysis shows
Who needs stocks or gold when you have Legos? A recent Telegraph analysis revealed the Danish building blocks yielded better returns on investment over the past 15 years than stocks, bank accounts and gold. - photo by Jessica Ivins
Who needs stocks or gold when you have Lego?

A recent Telegraph analysis revealed the Danish building blocks yielded better returns on investment over the past 15 years than stocks, bank accounts and gold.

Yep, you read that right.

The average value of a Lego set has consistently increased since 2000, with the most valuable sets those kept in the box and in pristine condition appreciating 12 percent, according to the Telegraph. Modern sets are selling on sites like eBay for up to 36 percent more than their original shelf price within a year of being discontinued

In contrast, the S&P 500 has produced returns of just over 4 percent over the same time period, while gold returned 9.6 percent. Savings accounts generated about 2.8 percent each year, the Telegraph reports.

The neat thing is that all sets are retired at some point, and several hundred are retired each year a movie run ends, a license expires or the Lego company wants to refresh its range, Ed Maciorowski, founder of Lego investment site, told the Telegraph. That means anyone with a set at home large or small, it doesnt matter could have quite an investment on their hands if its in good condition.

So which sets are the most valuable? Star Wars fever has carried over to the Lego world, with 10 of the 20 most expensive sets being Star Wars themed. The title for most expensive set is currently held by the Ultimate Collectors Millenial Falcon, which sold for $510 in 2007 but is worth $4,041 today, according to Time magazine.

But its not just the movie-themed Lego sets that bring in a pretty penny. Maciorowski says the everyday sets can also make an investor some serious change. In fact, the highest appreciation of any Lego set has been on a 2007 model of a hotel called Caf Corner. The 2,056-piece set originally sold for $134, but fetches $3,123 on the secondary market today, according to the Telegraph.

Thats a whopping return of 2,230 percent.

While the numbers are pretty impressive, analysts urge caution before dumping all your stocks to head to the toy store.

The returns from Lego look pretty awesome, but investors need to beware than the value of collectables can be vulnerable to fads, Hargreaves Landsdown analyst Laith Khalaf told the Telegraph. Theres absolutely no harm in buying some pieces as a hobby but as a main building block for your retirement I would suggest sticking to more traditional shares and bonds.

If you decide to add Lego to your investment portfolio, keep in mind that it can be a lot of work to buy and resell. Additionally, you must keep the Lego sets in the box and in perfect condition to bring in the top dollar on the secondary market, Maciorowski said.

Look for sets released after 1999, as they often bring in more money. Limited-edition sets always do well on the secondary market, Maciorowski says, so snatch those up if you can. And if theres a set youd have a hard time not playing with, buy two of them and put one away for later.

Because while theyre lucrative, Lego sets are really just mean to be built, right?
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