When do collectibles actually pay off?


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Collecting is a popular hobby. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of artwork and other forms of media have received heaps of publicity for lofty sale prices, but traditional collectibles like coins are still more common.

Collectors accumulate their favorite items — from sneakers and baseball cards to art and jewelry — for various reasons. So MagnifyMoney surveyed more than 1,500 Americans to find out who’s collecting items and learn more about why they do.

Mainly, consumers say they love the product they collect, but potential profit — aka money in the bank — is another strong motivator. Many collectors think their items will be worth something someday, and plenty have made decent money selling some of their things.


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Regardless of why people collect, it’s a behavior that drives economic activity, creates robust communities and helps people gather things that help bring some happiness.

Key findings

  • 61% of Americans are self-proclaimed collectors, with coins (collected by 17%), toys or dolls (12%), trading cards (12%) and jewelry (12%) the most-collected items. Younger generations are more likely to be collectors than older ones.
  • 83% of collectors believe their collection will be worth something one day. While nearly a third of collectors (32%) are motivated by hopes of making money, even more (59%) say they genuinely love the product they collect.
  • Collectors spent an average of $6,131 on their collections. Meanwhile, sellers spend more on their collections than average, at $9,121. On the flip side, 37% have sold some of their collection, making $5,838 on average.
  • Speaking of unique ventures, far more people have never heard of NFTs (43%) than those who have tried to invest in them (15%, according to a previous MagnifyMoney survey). Per our new findings, younger generations know more about NFTs and are more likely to invest in them, with 30% of Gen Zers and 26% of millennials considering buying an NFT this year.
  • Americans don’t think collectibles and NFTs are a good investment, with less than half (44%) saying collectibles are — and 30% believing the same about NFTs. Gen Zers are most likely to believe NFTs pay off, at 47%.

More than 6 in 10 Americans are collectors

Across all respondents, 61% say they consider themselves to be collectors. Collecting is most popular among Gen Zers ages 18 to 25 (76%) and millennials ages 26 to 41 (72%). Meanwhile, men tend to collect more than women (70% versus 51%).

Collectors are drawn to various items, but coins are the most popular.

Most common things collected by Americans

The most popular item varies by demographic:

  • 23% of men collect coins
  • 14% of women collect jewelry
  • 27% of Gen Zers collect jewelry
  • 20% of millennials collect coins
  • 16% of Gen Xers collect coins
  • 16% of baby boomers collect coins

Other highlights include:

  • 20% of Gen Zers collect art
  • 18% of millennials collect trading cards
  • 16% of Gen Zers collect music
  • 14% of men collect comics
  • 6% of those who earn $75,000 to $99,999 a year collect antique cars

A newer type of collection: NFTs

Even though NFTs have made headlines as a trendy way to collect unique digital tokens, they still aren’t very common. Just 15% of Americans have ever placed a bid on an NFT, according to a March 2021 MagnifyMoney survey. And our new data shows the same percentage of Americans — 15% — are considering buying an NFT in 2022 (more on this later).

(That previous MagnifyMoney survey found that cryptocurrency, another blockchain-supported technology, is more popular than NFTs.)

An NFT is “non-fungible,” meaning it’s a unique item, and its digital ownership is established through blockchain-supported technology. Ethereum, a popular cryptocurrency, often backs those tokens.

There’s enthusiasm surrounding NFTs, as evidenced by the six-figure price tag on many items. But traditional items are more broadly popular, and collectors are still passionate about them.

“Collecting seems to fill an emotional need, whether it’s the thrill of hunting down an object to complete your collection or just a pleasant way to indulge one’s interests,” says Ismat Mangla, MagnifyMoney executive editor.

Collectors generally believe their items will be worth something, but they also genuinely love the products

Even if a potential profit isn’t the main reason people collect, most collectors believe their items will be worth something someday, with 51% saying they’ll be worth a little and 32% saying they’ll be worth a lot — a total of 83%.

Again, men are more bullish on the potential value of what they collect, with 39% saying they think their collections will be worth a lot, compared with 24% of women.

But Mangla warns collectors to be careful about assigning monetary value to their collections.

“Sure, some collections end up being worth a lot,” Mangla says. “But more often, they aren’t worth much in monetary terms. It’s so hard to predict what’s going to appreciate in value.”

She suggests collectors should focus on items that bring them joy, rather than things that serve solely as financial investments.

Despite this expectation of their collections being worth something, the most common reason collectors accumulate the items they do is that they genuinely love the products (59%) — a percentage that’s consistent across gender, age and household income.

Men are far more likely than women to hope their collections grow in value so they can eventually sell them (40% versus 22%). Meanwhile, younger generations tend to enjoy collecting a complete set of something more than older generations.

Why people collect what they do

Collectors have spent more than $6,000 on average

While that old box of baseball cards in the attic may not seem like it’s worth much, people have still invested quite a bit of money into their collections. Among all respondents, the average amount of money spent on collectible items in their lifetime is $3,964.

That number is even higher among people who consider themselves collectors ($6,131) and higher yet among collectors who have sold items in the past ($9,121).

Of course, certain collectibles are likely to cost more than others — an antique car, for example, is probably more expensive than all but the rarest comic books.

Unsurprisingly, people with more money tend to spend more on their collections. Here’s the lifetime cost of collecting across different household income brackets:

  • Less than $35,000: $2,646
  • $35,000 to $49,999: $2,364
  • $50,000 to $74,999: $5,743
  • $75,000 to $99,999: $4,219
  • $100,000 or more: $6,625

Gender is an even bigger differentiator, as men have spent substantially more on average than women on collector’s items ($6,560 versus $1,660).

There can be negative spending, too, as 30% of collectors say they’ve lost money by investing in a collectible.

So what happens when collectors finally make a move to sell? More than a third of collectors (37%) say they’ve sold off some of their collections. Those who have sold items have netted an average value of $5,838 on collectible sales.

Younger generations are more interested in NFTs

Back to NFTs more closely, 43% of respondents say they’ve never heard of this type of collectible — and there’s a significant generational divide. Most baby boomers ages 57 to 76 have never heard of them (65%) — and many Gen Xers ages 42 to 56 (48%) haven’t either.

On the other hand, the percentage of Gen Zers and millennials who haven’t heard of NFTs are much lower (23% and 31%, respectively).

These older generations don’t plan on investing in NFTs either, especially relative to younger generations:

Generations who plan on buying NFTs

So it’s not surprising that younger generations tend to view NFTs as good investments more than older generations: 47% of Gen Zers, 40% of millennials, 26% of Gen Xers and 13% of baby boomers responded that they view NFTs as good investments.

“Because it’s one of a kind, ostensibly, that’s what makes it valuable,” Mangla says. “The value of NFTs is really bestowed by the people who are willing to pay for it.”

Some people have gone into debt to secure assets they find valuable, with 5% of respondents saying they had gone into debt for an NFT and 6% saying they went into debt for another collectible. The same percentages of respondents say they’d consider going into debt for an NFT (5%) or a collectible (6%).

More than half of Americans don’t think collectibles are good investments

So where do Americans stand overall on collectibles? Most consumers don’t think collectibles are a good investment (56%) — a percentage that’s even higher for NFTs (70%).

Americans who think collecting is a good investment

There’s a substantial difference in opinion among collectors and non-collectors, though. Self-identified collectors think that collectibles are good investments (58%) and are more bullish on NFTs (38%). In comparison, people who don’t collect anything are much less likely to believe collectibles (23%) or NFTs (18%) are good investments.

Ultimately, a majority of collectors accumulate items because they love what they collect. The value of collections varies widely, depending on the product’s type or quality. Collecting can be a passion project for people, though, and sometimes they can turn a profit by buying and selling items.


MagnifyMoney commissioned Qualtrics to conduct an online survey of 1,537 U.S. consumers, conducted March 10-15, 2022. The survey was administered using a nonprobability-based sample, and quotas were used to ensure the sample base represented the overall population. All responses were reviewed by researchers for quality control.

We defined generations as the following ages in 2022:

  • Generation Z: 18 to 25
  • Millennial: 26 to 41
  • Generation X: 42 to 56
  • Baby boomer: 57 to 76

While the survey also included consumers from the silent generation (those 77 and older), the sample size was too small to include findings related to that group in the generational breakdowns.

This article originally appeared on MagnifyMoney.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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38 ways to earn passive income

38 ways to earn passive income

Having more than one source of income is pretty common these days. For some people, it’s a way to make ends meet. For others, it’s a way to grow their wealth. It can also be a way to feel more financially secure. If one source of income dries up, there is another that can fill in the gap. While a common source of income is the type earned from a regular job, there is also passive income.

Creating and managing passive income streams isn’t a passive activity. It requires upfront work and sometimes investment to build up a source of passive income. Depending on what your passive income source is, such as a blog or podcast, it may require you to put in time each week to keep it earning you cash.

Related: 25 things to know when renting out an Airbnb

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Passive income is money that you earn without active involvement. In other words, it is income that isn’t attached to an hourly wage or annual salary. Passive income streams could include things like cash flow from rental properties, dividend-yielding stocks, sales of a product (that requires little or no effort), royalties and more.

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In addition to passive income streams, there are other types of income you can earn:

  • Earned income: This is the most common type of income
  • — money you make from a job. With earned income, you are trading your time for money.
  • Profit income: Profit income comes from the sale of a product after expenses have been deducted.
  • Interest income: This can be money earned from one entity lending to another entity, such as a person, company or bank. This can also be referred to as interest from accounts such as savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs) in which you receive a 1099-INT at the end of the year.
  • Dividend income: Most dividend income is earned by the distribution of income from companies to shareholders owning stocks that pay dividends.
  • Rental income: Rental income is earned when you rent or lease a house, car, or other property you own to someone else.
  • Capital gains: This generally refers to profit (or gain) that is subject to taxation when you sell an asset such as stock or real estate. There are both long- and short-term capital-gains tax rates depending upon how long you held the asset before sale.
  • Royalty income: Royalty income is generated when you own the rights to a piece of art, music, literature or another asset licensed for other people to use, or from the extraction of oil, gas, or minerals.

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There are only 24 hours in a day. If you go to a job each day that pays you a set amount of money, that is the maximum amount that you’ll ever make in a 24-hour period. That is called earned income.

By investing some of that earned income and creating sources of passive income, you may be able to increase your earnings. Diversifying your income stream may also improve your financial security


  • More free time: By earning money through passive income sources, you might be able to free time in your schedule. You may choose to spend more time with your family, pursue a creative project or new business idea, or travel the world.
  • Financial security: Even if you still plan to keep your 9-to-5 job, having multiple sources of income could help increase your financial security. If you lose your job, become sick or get injured, you may still have money coming in to cover expenses. This is especially important if you are supporting a family.
  • Tax benefits: You may want certain legal protections for your personal assets or to qualify for tax breaks. Consulting with an attorney and/or tax advisor to explore setting up a formal business structure like a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation might help you decide if this is a good route for your particular situation.
  • Location flexibility: If you don’t have to go into an office each day, you’ll be free to move around and, possibly, live anywhere in the world. Many passive income streams can be managed from your phone or laptop.
  • Achieve financial independence: The definition of financial independence is having enough income to cover your expenses without having to actively work in order to cover living expenses. This could allow you to retire early and have more freedom to live your life the way you choose. Whether you’re interested in retiring early or not, passive income can be one way to help you reach financial independence.
  • Pay off debt: Passive income may help you to supplement your income so that you will have the opportunity to pay off any debts more quickly.


Although it might sound like a dream come true to quit your job and travel the world, earning through passive income is not quite that simple.

  • Earning passive income is not a passive activity: Whether you earn passive income through a rental property, running a blog or in another way, you will still need to put in some time and effort. It takes time to get these income sources up and running, and they don’t always work out as planned. If, for example, you run an Airbnb, you have to maintain the property, ensure a high-quality experience for guests, and address any issues or concerns guests may have to secure positive reviews.
  • Passive income requires diversity: In order to earn enough passive income to quit your job and cover all your expenses, you would most likely need more than one source of income. Although you may no longer need to clock into a 9-to-5 job, you will likely still need to spend time managing multiple income streams.
  • It’s lonely at the top: It might sound great to never have to go to the office again and to have the freedom to travel, but earning money through passive income can become lonely. Not having anyone to talk to during the day might make you feel lonely, and if you aren’t self-motivated, you may find it difficult to stay on task if you need to manage your passive income streams.
  • Getting started may require investment: Depending on how you plan to earn passive income, it may require an initial financial investment. You may need money for a down payment on a rental property, the development of a product you plan to sell or for investment into dividend-yielding stocks.


There are a number of ways to earn passive income. Some options, like the following, take relatively little active supervision.

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By simply putting your money in the bank, you may be able to start to earn passive income on it. If you invest in an FDIC-insured account, the first $250,000 of your money is protected. There are both banks and online platforms that offer high-yield savings accounts.


Although this may take an up-front investment, buying into a business and becoming a silent partner can be another passive income source.


Using a peer-to-peer or crowd-lending website, you can be matched to an individual seeking a loan and lend your money as an installment-type loan, earning interest on it. You might earn even more than from a bank, depending on the loan.


Another popular passive income source is rental property. You might want to purchase a home to rent out to an ongoing tenant or list a property on a short-term rental site like Airbnb. Hiring a property management company lessens your day-to-day involvement, thereby making this venture more passive than active.


If you don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on a piece of property, you can always check out your options on crowdfunded real estate sites like Fundrise and CrowdStreet. For Fundrise, you only need $500 to start.


There is no guarantee that investing in dividend-paying stocks will continue to earn you passive income, but some investors may enjoy the thrill of the ups and downs of the stock market. Dividend-paying stocks typically pay investors quarterly or annually and often allow investors to reinvest the dividends.


If you’re just getting started with investing, you may want to use automated investing tools to help you choose the appropriate allocation of assets for your goals. 

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When you open your retirement account, you can choose to invest it however you want. One way to earn passive income on a retirement account is through mutual funds. You can choose the level of risk you want to take with your money by finding a mutual fund that is higher or lower risk.

Flickr: American Advisors Group

When you join a company’s affiliate program, you earn a commission from every product that someone purchases from that company. All you have to do is post the link on your blog, website or social media pages. Amazon Associates is a great place to start.

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Another one of the best passive income opportunities is renting out your car on a site like Turo. It’s basically the Airbnb of cars, and, according to Turo, the average annual income for one car on the site is $10,516.


If you have a clean driving record and a newer car, consider getting in touch with a car advertising agency. You simply drive around town with ads on your car and easily earn passive income.


Do you have space in your driveway that you aren’t using? Then rent it out on platforms like Stow It, where you can find people who will pay to rent out the space.


If you have extra space in your garage, shed or storage unit, then you could earn passive income by using a peer-to-peer storage site like Stashii to find people who need your space.

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You may not have space to store other people’s things, but you might consider investing in a real estate investment trust (REIT) that focuses on storage units. For example, one option is Public Storage, which has ownership or interest in 2,548 properties located in 38 states.


Perhaps you don’t have a car, but you do have a bike that’s just sitting around. Your bike could be a lucrative passive income source, especially if you live in a high-traffic area. List your bike on Spinlister to get started.


Even if you don’t own a rental property, with your landlord’s permission, you may be able to rent out a room in your apartment or list it on Airbnb and start adding to your passive income streams.


If you love pets, you can earn passive income by welcoming pets into your home while their owners are on vacation. For instance, you could charge $30 to $80 per day just for running a doggy daycare. You can gain clients through word of mouth or use a site like Rover to find customers.


When your friends go out of town, they may need someone to stay in their home and do simple things like water their plants and collect their mail. You can easily make money and have somewhere new to stay for a little bit. Along with making yourself available to friends, you can sign up to be a house sitter on HouseSitter.com.

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Some domain names are cheap, while others cost a lot of money because they are in high demand. One thing you could do to start another passive income stream is to purchase domain names you think will be popular. Purchase low for around $10 to $100 and then sell them for a much higher price later on.


Have you ever done a home improvement project that required you to purchase tools? You may never need to use those tools again. Thankfully, now you can rent tools, and rent out your tools, on peer-to-peer platforms such as Sparetoolz to earn passive income.

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Let’s say you don’t have any songwriting ability, but you would like to make money on other artists’ work. You can invest in royalties through Royalty Exchange and earn passive income on the intellectual property.

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You can make thousands of dollars per month if you own a billboard where companies can advertise their products and services. Do your research and make sure you get the right permits before committing to a billboard.


If you don’t have the time or energy to create content for your own blog, then look into ones that are already successful and see if the owners are willing to sell. You could also hire someone to manage your blog so that you’re truly earning in a passive way.


If you have a special skill or knowledge about a certain topic, you may be able to create a video course where you teach people about that topic and charge them to take the course.

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You may want to research online platforms where you can sell everything from digital art to e-books. Whether you’re an artist, graphic designer or writer, you can create digital products to sell online.

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Many companies, bloggers and individuals use stock photos on a regular basis. You may be able to upload your best photos to stock photo sites and earn passive income on them.


If you’ve been dreaming about an amazing phone app that you think a lot of other people would use, you may want to look into hiring a development team to create it.


You may be able to earn passive income through sales of a product that you create. This could be a book that you write or a physical product that you design and make. You might also list items you already own on sites like eBay and earn extra income through those sales.

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Do you love to write songs? Then you could license your music and start to earn passive income. You’ll just have to team up with a music licensing company to get started.


Through platforms like Amazon’s KDP, you can self-publish a book and earn a royalty on it every time someone makes a purchase. You will be able to set the price of your book and be in full control of your book’s Amazon page, where you can list pictures of the book, reviews and videos promoting it.


You can start selling books online without having to write anything. How? By focusing on blank books, such as journals, sketchbooks and planners. Simply find a design you believe will appeal to people and begin collecting royalties when people buy your books.


Another artistic endeavor that could be a good passive income stream is creating greeting cards that you sell to a wholesale or retail stationery company that accepts independent artist submissions.

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If you want to sell products online but don’t want to store any of the goods, you could always look into dropshipping to earn passive income. With dropshipping, you don’t have to have much money to start since you don’t need inventory to fulfill orders for customers.


If you like to write and are passionate about a certain topic, you might want to start a blog and earn money through ads and affiliate links.


If you enjoy creating videos more than writing, then consider starting your own YouTube channel. Once you get enough viewers, you can earn passive income through YouTube advertising.


Podcasts are all the rage, and they can generate some passive income streams for you. If you start a podcast that resonates with people, then you can grow your audience and monetize your show by sponsoring with ad partners. If you get enough listeners, you may be able to sign up for podcast advertising networks.

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When people are out at a bar or nightclub or they’re frequenting a cash-only business, they may need cash right away. If you own an ATM business and you place your ATM in high-traffic locations, you could start to earn passive income through surcharge fees. Typically, you could earn around $3 per withdrawal.


Similar to an ATM business, a vending machine business allows you to use your creativity and determine high-traffic areas where you could make a lot of money. If you buy in bulk, you’ll be able to save on the snacks and drinks you purchase for your machines.


No matter which type of passive income you choose to pursue, it’s important to keep track of your finances and both your short-term and long-term financial goals.

Tracking multiple sources of income in a monthly budget can be a complex task. To be profitable, it’s important to pay attention to how much money you put into the maintenance of your passive income stream(s), such as property upkeep or monthly online services.


Establishing passive income streams is one way to diversify your income and can help you build wealth and achieve financial freedom in the long term. There are a variety of ways to earn passive income, such as through investing, rental properties and earning royalties. Some passive income sources require a financial commitment upfront, such as purchasing a rental property, and others may require a time commitment.

Learn more:

This article originally appeared on SoFi.comand was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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