Fraser's 100 Index of Rare Autograph Prices: Do the Numbers Add Up?

Autograph Magazine Live! member Chris "Mak" was gloating on Facebook this morning about what a great investment his autographs have been:

"For all of you who think I am crazy for collecting memorabilia and autographs. They have the best return as of late, second only to gold!"

Chris shared the latest Frazer's 100 Index, which has tracked the value of a stable of 100 autographs since 1997. The numbers are pretty impressive. According to the index, autographs that were worth a total of £80,720 in 1997 would be worth £337,650 today...over $553,000. That's almost 420% over 13 years.

So here's what I'd like to know:

  • Are the index's prices reasonable indications of market value?
  • What about the percentage increases in value from 1997 to 2010?
  • What are your feelings of autographs as investments?

Here's the index:

Investment Indices

The ability to track long-term historic prices is invaluable to any investor. That is why we launched our  indices. They are such a useful investing tool that Bloomberg started listing them on their Bloomberg Professional service at the start of 2008.

 

Personality
Type
1997
2010
Inc%
Abba sp £325 £1,250
284.6%
Al Pacino sp £50 £295
490.0%
Ali, Muhammad sp £175 £1,750
900.0%
Apollo 11 sp £1,750 £11,000
528.6%
Armstrong, Neil sp £475 £5,500
1057.9%
Astaire & Rogers sp £575 £1,950
239.1%
Beach Boys sp £775 £1,750
125.8%
Beatles - album page aps £2,750 £9,500
245.5%
Beatles, The sp £4,950 £24,500
394.9%
Bolan, Marc aps £275 £1,250
354.5%
Brando, Marlon sp £875 £3,000
242.9%
Cagney, James sp £175 £750
328.6%
Callas, Maria sp £500 £1,750
250.0%
Carpenters sp £275 £1,950
609.1%
Caruso, Enrico sp £500 £1,750
250.0%
Casablanca aps £1,400 £3,950
182.1%
Castro, Fidel sp £300 £3,950
1216.7%
Chagall, Marc sp £375 £975
160.0%
Chaplin, Charlie sp £1,200 £3,750
212.5%
Churchill, Winston sp £2,500 £6,950
178.0%
Clapton, Eric sp £85 £750
782.4%
Clarke, Jim aps £750 £1,950
160.0%
Clint Eastwood aps £50 £350
600.0%
Dad's Army aps £250 £1,600
540.0%
Dali, Salvador sp £300 £1,500
400.0%
Dickens, Charles aps £750 £3,950
426.7%
Disney, Walt sp £395 £5,500
1292.4%
Dylan, Bob sp £875 £1,950
122.9%
Edward & Wallis Windsor aps £750 £1,200
60.0%
Einstein, Albert aps £1,700 £9,500
458.8%
England 1966 sp £1,200 £4,500
275.0%
Fleetwood Mac sp £675 £1,500
122.2%
Flynn, Errol aps £450 £1,250
177.8%
Gagarin, Yuri sp £375 £1,750
366.7%
Garland, Judy sp £1,500 £2,500
66.7%
Grace, W G sp £1,200 £2,950
145.8%
Grant, Cary sp £400 £1,950
387.5%
Hanna Barbara sp £250 £600
140.0%
Harrison, George sp £175 £2,250
1185.7%
Hendrix, Jimi aps £975 £4,500
361.5%
Hepburn, Audrey sp £850 £1,750
105.9%
Hepburn, Katharine sp £325 £1,500
361.5%
Hitchcock, Alfred sp £775 £2,950
280.6%
Hitler, Adolf sp £3,950 £6,950
75.9%
Holly, Buddy aps £375 £2,750
633.3%
Houdini, Harry sp £1,000 £4,950
395.0%
James Dean sp £1,500 £14,000
833.3%
Johnny Depp sp £50 £295
490.0%
Joplin, Janis aps £950 £1,950
105.3%
Kelly, Grace sp £850 £1,750
105.9%
Kennedy, Jacqueline aps £475 £1,950
310.5%
Kennedy, John F aps £1,750 £4,750
171.4%
Laurel & Hardy sp £400 £3,500
775.0%
Lee, Bruce aps £1,500 £15,000
900.0%
Leigh, Vivien sp £575 £1,950
239.1%
Lennon, John aps £675 £5,950
781.5%
Lugosi, Bela sp £400 £2,500
525.0%
Madonna sp £350 £895
155.7%
Marley, Bob sp £850 £3,250
282.4%
Martin Luther King Jnr sp £750 £4,250
466.7%
Marvin Gaye sp £325 £1,300
300.0%
MASH sp £675 £1,750
159.3%
McCartney, Paul sp £125 £1,500
1100.0%
Monroe, Marilyn aps £2,750 £6,750
145.5%
Monty Python sp £225 £1,950
766.7%
Moon Walkers aps £1,800 £11,000
511.1%
Morrison, Jim aps £1,500 £3,500
133.3%
Mother Teresa sp £475 £1,250
163.2%
Napoleon Bonaparte aps £750 £4,500
500.0%
Nelson aps £1,500 £9,500
533.3%
Newman, Paul sp £175 £1,750
900.0%
Pele sp £100 £950
850.0%
Phoenix, River sp £250 £950
280.0%
Picasso, Pablo sp £1,250 £8,500
580.0%
Presley, Elvis sp £600 £3,750
525.0%
Princess Diana sp £1,200 £9,500
691.7%
Queen Elizabeth II sp £1,200 £2,250
87.5%
Queen sp £650 £1,750
169.2%
Queen Mother aps £275 £1,500
445.5%
Queen Victoria aps £325 £995
206.2%
Robert De Niro sp £50 £295
490.0%
Rolling Stones sp £900 £5,500
511.1%
Rowling, J K  book £330 £1,750
430.3%
Schulz, Charles sp £775 £1,950
151.6%
Schumacher, Michael sp £100 £450
350.0%
Senna, Ayrton sp £600 £1,600
166.7%
Sex pistols - incl Sid aps £1,750 £3,500
100.0%
Shackleton, Ernest aps £750 £1,500
100.0%
Sherlock Holmes - Rathbone & Bruce aps £575 £950
65.2%
Sinatra, Frank sp £775 £1,750
125.8%
Star Trek sp £1,250 £1,950
56.0%
Star Wars sp £675 £1,950
188.9%
Starr, Ringo sp £175 £850
385.7%
Taylor, Elizabeth sp £185 £950
413.5%
Warhol, Andy sp £175 £1,950
1014.3%
Wayne, John sp £1,500 £1,950
30.0%
Who, The sp £475 £3,950
731.6%
Wilde, Oscar aps £850 £5,500
547.1%
Williams, Robbie sp £75 £350
366.7%
Woods, Tiger sp £950 £1,750
84.2%
       
 
    £80,720 £337,650
318.3%

 

 

Fraser's 100 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Total £80,720 £95,905 £114,535 £136,625 £161,960 £192,745 £197,570
Increase   £15,185 £18,630 £22,090 £25,335 £30,785 £4,825
Cumulative Increase %   18.8% 41.9% 69.3% 100.6% 138.8% 144.8%
Annual Increase %   18.8% 19.4% 19.3% 18.5% 19.0% 2.5%
               
Fraser's 100 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Total £218,465 £245,610 £264,760 £287,855 £306,500 £314,965 £337,650
Increase £20,895 £27,145 £19,150 £23,095 £18,645 £8,465 £22,685
Cumulative Increase % 170.6% 204.3% 228.0% 256.6% 279.9% 290.2% 318.3%
Annual Increase % 10.6% 12.4% 7.8% 8.7% 6.5% 2.8% 7.2%

 

Average compound increase of 11.64% over the 13 year period

About The Frasers 100 Autograph Price Index

The Frasers 100 Autograph Price Index was designed to provide the definite measure of overall market performance and a yardstick against which to measure individual increases within the market for autographs and memorabilia. It serves to highlight the real price increases being achieved, especially amongst the rarer and more desirable items.

The index covers the full range of collecting themes and provides an objective measure of the current state of the market. All prices quoted are for outstanding examples in superb condition for 100 of the world's most sought after and frequently traded autographs and includes selected items from all major collecting areas.


Key: sp = Undedicated signed photograph
aps = Undedicated album page signature

Remember – you can contact us for advice at any time on 0845 126 7170 or email investment@stanleygibbons.com

View Frasier's index plus investment advice on their Web site:

http://www.frasersautographs.com/frasers/view/content/fr_page_frase...

Views: 1845

Tags: 100, autograph, autographs, frasier, index, investments, prices, rare

Comment by Richard S. Simon on April 21, 2011 at 4:57am

Are they kidding with those prices?

 

Comment by roger epperson on April 21, 2011 at 5:09am
Richard, my thought exactly.  Those prices are just plain ridiculous.  Did they just write high prices on sheets of paper, throw them in a hat and draw them out?  Yes prices have gone up on lots of items but not like that.  Are autographs good investment; my customers seem to think so and have gotten a nice return on many of their items.
Comment by Lou reves on April 21, 2011 at 5:37am
those wacky fereners! they got us again! But its not april fools day!
Comment by Steve Cyrkin, Community Manager on April 21, 2011 at 7:35am
What about the percentage increases, based on their 1997 prices listed? Even though their prices seem high in most cases, what if we looked at their prices like Scott's Stamp Catalog prices...or the prices in other price catalogs, where the listings may be at high retail? Where are the percentage increases in line, low or high on this list?
Comment by Brandon Mysinger on April 21, 2011 at 10:13am

As always, no matter what the price that is listed, a collectible is only worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

 

People price many autographs based on the "book value" mostly, these items sit unsold which brings in 0% in revenu much less profit.

Comment by BallroomDays67 on April 21, 2011 at 4:48pm
The prices listed for Jim Morrison's autograph are high, but the percentage increase may actually be quite low. Based on what I've seen, the price of an endorsed check has gone up at least 200% over that period of time.
Comment by Rich on April 22, 2011 at 3:19pm
Fraser's numbers are worthless for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that their own prices are inflated up to wazoo for absolutely no good reason.
Comment by Steve Zarelli on April 22, 2011 at 4:53pm
YES! My MASH cast photo is worth almost $3,000!!!!

;-)
Comment by DP on April 23, 2011 at 3:38pm
Maybe I should contact them and start offering them some pieces and see if they are buyers at those levels.
Comment by Steve Cyrkin, Community Manager on April 23, 2011 at 4:12pm
David, allow a discount for normal dealer markup.

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