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Surprising Investments that have Brought Great and Terrible Returns

Guess which of these 10 offbeat investments have brought in better returns than (yawn) the Dow—and which have flopped.

Any dope can get a solid return from a 401(k), but some investors would rather park their cash in exotic vehicles that they can brag about over cocktails. There are risks to the sexy approach—drop your vintage Macallan and youíll be crying over a lot more than spilled scotch—but itís also fun to say youíve got a closetful of sneakers that have quadrupled in value. Hereís how a few offbeat investments have floated (or foundered).
Pair of Air Jordan XI sneakers

1996 value: $125

2006 value: $699

gain/loss: +459.2%

risk analysis: Sneakers take up lots of space—youíd need hundreds of pairs of these to make any serious money. And itís an unregulated market, driven by teenagers.
Photo: Courtesy of Air Jordan
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