Looking to help your kids develop STEM skills while also contributing to their college funds? If a new report from Russia's Higher School of Economics is to be believed, Lego sets may actually be a better investment than gold.
Tracking the average return on Lego sets between 1987 and 2015, the study shows that their 11% gain puts them well ahead of traditional savings bonds, and even slightly higher than long-term stock performance.
Part of this has to do with Lego's continued popularity, and the fact that — unlike other types of investments — they are not subject to market volatility and other standard risk factors. According to the study, this means that even standard Lego sets hold and improve upon their value over time. Rare or expensive sets have been known to sell for $10,000 or more.
“Block play” is thought to nurture a wide range of abilities, such as motor and spatial skills, and even problem-solving. Construction toys like Legos can help children gain hands-on experience with the process of building something and then taking it apart — crucial skills for careers in mechanical trades.
But if you decide to invest, be sure to do your research and avoid making hasty decisions. Because they can fetch such high prices and are unmarked, untraceable, and easily sold, there is reportedly a very lucrative black market for Legos.