Flickr | Todd Van Hoosear

LEGO Is A Better Investment Than Gold, According To Experts

We've seen a lot of weird investing ideas the last few years, from meme stocks to NFTs. But what's the best investment of all?

Some might say real estate, while others would go for raw materials. But there's a compelling argument to be made that LEGO — yes, LEGO — is the best investment of all.

LEGO is a better investment than gold.

Unsplash | Daniel Cheung

This sounds ludicrous. How could a line of plastic bricks, no matter how well made they are or how fun they are to play with, be a better investment than gold? According to a group of Russian researchers though, this is indeed the case.

The economists who authored the study make a compelling point.

Unsplash | Xavi Cabrera

The authors wrote that LEGO offers a better return on the initial investment than, "bonds, gold, and many collectible items, such as stamps or wines, yield."

I mean, obviously LEGO is cooler than stamps or wine, but how can it be a better investment than gold?

There are a few factors at play.

LEGO is incredibly popular, but popularity in and of itself isn't going to make something valuable. Coca-Cola is very popular, but unless you're talking about a limited edition Coke product, it doesn't tend to hold much value.

Part of it comes down to scarcity.

Unsplash | Markus Spiske

The authors write that because many LEGO sets are produced in limited quantities before being taken out of production forever, this helps them retain their value. When those sets sell for hundreds at retail, it's easy to see how their value can multiply in the years that follow.

There isn't much of a secondary market.

Because LEGO is a product that's bought in pieces and then put together, most collectors will build a set and keep it. There isn't much of a market for secondhand, fully-built LEGO sets, and most people aren't willing to disassemble thousands of pieces.

What other factors are at play?

Unsplash | Alphacolor

The study points out that LEGO is a nostalgic object that's held its popularity over the years, and as such, isn't subject to the same fluctuations as the raw materials bought and sold on the stock market.

The initial cost is also low.

Unsplash | Iker Urteaga

Another factor that sets LEGO apart from other valuable collectible objects, such as classic cars, is the fact that the production cost is so low. LEGO is made of plastic, which is cheap and easy to source.

How can you invest?

YouTube | LEGO

The study found that small sets and big sets appreciate in value quickly, while medium-sized sets take longer. This is because small sets often contain unique pieces, while larger sets are produced in limited quantities.

In other words, it's time to buy that LEGO Titanic before it's sold out.

Is it really a safe investment?

If you stay within the parameters of valuable sets — specializing in big or small sets produced in limited quantities — you'll probably be fine. But the authors do caution that the big returns take a few years, and not all sets appreciate in value so dramatically.

Don't go digging through your old toy bins just yet.

Flickr | Todd Van Hoosear

Everyone has a big box of LEGO in their basement, and unless this box contains rare pieces, it probably isn't worth much. But investing in the fancier LEGO sets is worth considering. After all, it's a better investment than gold.