HOBBY FOOTBALL CLUB
Premiership giant Arsenal could be yours for just £500m or so. Okay, the team hasn't won the league for a few years, but it was recently named second-biggest-earning football side in the world (after Real Madrid), with a turnover topping £200m. The north London club comes with a spanking new stadium, a visionary (but short-sighted) French manager, and possibly a flat in the Emirates complex near celebrity fans like writer Nick Hornby and TV funnyman Clive Anderson. What about about the excessive wage demands and dubious personal habits of English players? Don't worry - you're unlikely to find any in Arsenal's first team. You could be drawn into a bidding war with a US sports magnate and a Russian billionaire, but that's par for the course in the Prem these days. And with endless amounts of TV cash flowing into the game, your investment could yield a big return. David Dein (ex-vice chairman, fronting the Russian bid) bought his shares for £295k and sold them (to his new boss) for £60m. It isn't called 'the beautiful game' for nothing.
AN 'INVESTMENT' HANDBAG
Handbags are prized accessories among women of high net worth - they can cost thousands of pounds. Most desirable and expensive are Hermes bags - brilliant investments because their value, like that of the best classic cars, keeps rising. There are two key styles: the Kelly and the Birkin. Formal and refined, the Kelly is named after Princess Grace (always seen with one); the Birkin (above), after actress Jane Birkin, has a young, bohemian air, with its large, hooped handles. Both come in a plethora of exotic hides (from lizard to crocodile to ostrich) and colours, furnished with gold clasps and tiny padlocks. Prices for bags direct from Hermes range from $7,000 to $130,000, but there's a nine-month wait. Fans are resorting to internet outlets. Top of the list is createursdeluxe.com, a site that promises instant gratification by offering genuine bags overnight. A top-spec Kelly, in rouge crocodile, could be yours tomorrow, for $38,500. But a black crocodile Birkin is on the market for $59,500.
A PRIVATE SUBMARINE
You have a super yacht (with helicopter pad) to take you anywhere you wish - what else could you possibly want on the water? Something that travels under water. Roman Abramovich has just ordered a luxury submarine for his newly commissioned 540ft mega-yacht. Wealthy adventurers are flocking to US Submarines of Portland, Oregon, for their custom-model submarines. There are 100 or so luxury subs now in the water, piloted by unidentified owners. You can get a perfectly decent 10-passenger sub for $15m, but $80m buys a sub with its own bar, gym and luxury staterooms. US Submarines' website says you can view 'unseen regions of the deep ocean in perfect comfort and absolute safety... while relaxing in an interior replete with luxury and warmth'. Most models can dive to about 1,000 feet.