LEGO: The Toy of Smart Investors
We study financial returns on alternative collectible investment assets – toys - using LEGO sets as an example. Such iconic toys with diminishing over time supply and high collectable values appear to yield high returns on the secondary market. We find that LEGO investments outperform large stocks, bonds, gold and other alternative investments, yielding the average return of at least 11% (8% in real terms) in the sample period 1987-2015. LEGO returns are not exposed to market, value, momentum and volatility risk factors, but have an almost unit exposure to the size factor. A positive multifactor alpha of 4-5%, a Sharpe ratio of 0.4, a positive return skewness and a low exposure to standard risk factors make the LEGO toy and other similar collectibles an attractive alternative investment with a good diversification potential.