As Stocks Sink, New Cash Cows Emerge
Alpacas, coins, comic books; a stampede to alternative investments
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2008 12:26 PM CDT
With the economy uncertain, investors are looking for alternative investments like alpacas to carry their wealth.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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(Newser) – With stocks tanking, 401(k)s plummeting, and the market’s usual safe haven—real estate—at the heart of the current crisis, investors are seeking refuge in unusual investments—everything from parking spaces to comic books to alpacas, the Wall Street Journal reports. A growing number of retirees are taking individual control of their IRAs as Wall Street has failed to safeguard their savings.

The US Mint suspended production of American Buffalo gold coins because it couldn’t keep up with demand, and Alpaca Registry Inc. expects a 7% rise in registrations this year. One Chicago investor is even gambling on urban real-estate; he bought a parking space for $29,000 to rent out. “The stock market is indicative of a lot of uncertainty,” he said. “With a parking space, at least you end up with something.”