Surprising Investments that have Brought Great and Terrible Returns\u000AGuess which of these 10 offbeat investments have brought in better returns than (yawn) the Dow—and which have flopped.\u000AGuess which of these 10 offbeat investments have brought in better returns than (yawn) the Dow—and which have flopped.\u000ABottle of 60-year-old 1926 Macallan\u000A\u000A 1996 value: $26,200\u000A\u000A 2006 value: $66,500\u000A\u000A gain/loss: +153.8%\u000A\u000A risk analysis: Scotch is a much less volatile product than other perishables, like wine. But once you decide to bust it open, drink it fast. It oxidizes quickly.\u000APair of Air Jordan XI sneakers\u000A\u000A 1996 value: $125\u000A\u000A 2006 value: $699\u000A\u000A gain/loss: +459.2%\u000A\u000A risk analysis: Sneakers take up lots of space—you\u0027d need hundreds of pairs of these to make any serious money. And it\u0027s an unregulated market, driven by teenagers.\u000APhotography, American, 20th Century\u000A\u000A 1996 value: $3,432\u000A\u000A 2006 value: $8,119\u000A\u000A gain/loss: +136.6%\u000A\u000A risk analysis: Works by Bernice Abbott, Cindy Sherman, and Man Ray have appreciated fast, but experts are saying that the market is waning.\u000APeanut the Elephant Beanie Baby\u000A\u000A 1996 value: $3,000\u000A\u000A 2006 value: $1,200\u000A\u000A gain/loss: -60%\u000A\u000A risk analysis: Contrary to the hopes of desperate housewives all across America, these plush toys didn\u0027t end up making anybody immeasurably rich.\u000AArt Nouveau, Art Deco, and Mid-20th-Century Furniture\u000A\u000A 1996 value: $2,815\u000A\u000A 2005 value*: $5,154\u000A\u000A gain/loss: +83.1%\u000A\u000A *2006 not yet available\u000A\u000A risk analysis: Mid-century modern design has been hot for a few years, so beware of knockoffs. A faux Barcelona chair is not going to earn you big bucks.\u000ARolex watches\u000A\u000A 1996 value: $4,222\u000A\u000A 2005 value*: $5,400\u000A\u000A gain/loss: +27.9%\u000A\u000A *2006 not yet available\u000A\u000A risk analysis: The value of the ultimate wrist statement has roughly followed the growth of the overall economy through the years, though it hasn\u0027t measurably outperformed it.\u000A1986 Donruss Jose Canseco rookie card\u000A\u000A 1996 value: $20\u000A\u000A 2006 value: $10\u000A\u000A gain/loss: -50%\u000A\u000A risk analysis: Sorry, the standard rookie card doesn\u0027t carry much weight these days when 9-year-olds are trading signed holographic cards. Oh, and steroids don\u0027t help the value either.\u000AApple Macintosh 128K\u000A\u000A 1996 value: $10\u000A\u000A 2006 value: $500\u000A\u000A gain/loss: +4,900%\u000A\u000A risk analysis: Over the past 10 years, this old-school design-forward computer has gone from being a plastic heap in your garage to a bona fide collectible.\u000AVisionaire 18: Fashion Special\u000A\u000A 1996 value: $75\u000A\u000A 2006 value: $5,000\u000A\u000A gain/loss: +6,566.7%\u000A\u000A risk analysis: Thanks to surprising contributions from art and fashion\u0027s top names (like Louis Vuitton), \u0022issues\u0022 of Visionaire bring home big returns. Although all editions are limited, the really small runs, like this 2,500-copy 1996 installment, command the highest prices.\u000A1967 Shelby GT500\u000A\u000A 1996 value: $30,000\u000A\u000A 2006 value: $289,100\u000A\u000A gain/loss: +863.7%\u000A\u000A risk analysis: Vintage rides—especially those from the muscle-car-mad sixties—are fetching incredible sums these days. A price-killer can be road use, which takes a disproportionate toll on classic cars.