Investments you can live with

Prices for art, antiques, and fine wine are still down significantly. They probably won't beat stocks long term - but they're a whole lot more fun to own.

2 of 4
BACKNEXT
Antique furniture
Antique furniture
What: 19th-century Regency chairs (like this one)
Sold for: $10,625 for a set of eight in November
Antiques market: down 18%
Minimum investment: $1,000

The scoop: The value of English antiques has fallen nearly 18% since the peak way back in 2002, according to Antique Collecting magazine's Antique Furniture Price Index (there's no comparable index for American pieces). Blame this wicked slump on '00s trendsetters who embraced mid-century modern furniture rather than traditional styles, says John Andrews, managing editor of Antique Collecting. But the taste pendulum is beginning to swing away from modernism, which bodes well for older pieces.

What to look for: English and American furniture made in the early-18th to early-19th centuries, such as Georgian, Regency, and Federal. Because they're not super-ornate, these styles work well in modern interiors. "There's a universality to them that should stand the test of time," says James Goodwin, author of "The International Art Markets." With formal dining on the wane, you can find particularly good deals on dining tables and chairs. A set of eight mahogany Regency chairs from 1810 recently sold for $10,635 at Christie's. Look for pieces in good condition, with the original finish.

How to buy: Try local auctioneers such as Bonhams & Butterfields in San Francisco, plus the more affordable sales at Christie's and Sotheby's - such as Christie's Interiors auctions, held nine times a year in New York City. Winning bids there generally range from $500 to $10,000. As with prints and photographs, you can check out the goods on their sites and bid remotely.

NEXT: Paintings and drawings
Last updated January 13 2010: 8:16 AM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
Our biggest money highs and lows How much money do you need to feel rich? What are your biggest money mistakes? Money magazine surveyed 1,000 Americans for the answers to these and other questions. See how your answers stack up. More
How we feel about our finances Participants in an exclusive Money magazine survey reveal how they feel about their finances. Although the Great Recession may be over, they're not all that confident about their prospects for the long run. More
8 ways to cut your tax bill To keep your tax bill as low as possible this filing season, you need to stay on top of all the ways the rules have changed. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.