stamps-slide-1There is a massive global market for rare stamps with an estimate in 2013 of 60 million market participants worldwide, spending an aggregate of more than $20 billion (£13 billion) every year.

Rare stamps have appreciated well over recent years. The GB30 Rarities Index, which is quoted on Bloomberg Professional and tracks prices of the 30 most expensive British stamps available and traded on the open market, shows an average annual compound return for the past 40 years of 10.8 per cent., while the GB250 Rare Stamp Index has shown an average compound annual growth rate of 13.9 per cent. since it was first compiled in 2003.

stamps-slide-2Stamps can be bought from dealers (online or in their shops), or at auctions. Fees and commission vary depending on the dealer or source. Dealers often charge commission on stamps bought and sold but may sometimes offer free storage and insurance in return for the fee or commission they charge.

The supply of rare stamps is virtually fixed – if not declining as stamps are damaged or lost – and demand is growing, which may be a recipe for strong returns. The number of stamp collectors is increasing globally.