Are you on track to be a self-made super-rich Individual?

There are approximately 2,600 billionaires in the world and over 55.8% of them are self-made.
The Uk has more self-made super-rich than the USA- and we’ve got a few facts here about them.

Schooling

Did you know 59% of the UK’s super-rich didn’t go to University? Yes; over half of the British self-made rich left school straight into business, shunning university. But it’s worth noting they did not leave school to do nothing; they went to work.

Trade

Think they are all bankers or movie stars? No, not at all. One in six of Britains self-made super-rich founded their business in retail. Followed by being in Property  and then by being in entertainment as the top three industries.
Same in the USA – Consumer and retail businesses has more self-made super-rich than any other industries. Followed over there by the Technology industry.

Age

If so far this is sounding like you – how old are you? The average age for British self-made super-rich when they founded their companies was 29. In fact 9% of the top 100 uk self-made entrepreneurs were under 20 when they began. 

The average age the worlds self-made are at now they can claim to be super-rich? 47. This age is dropping – its down 11 years in the last five. 

So what else are they doing that you aren’t? 

They do not play safe with their money.

There is only a certain height to your wealth if you are conservative with your finances. The wealthiest use their money to make money, knowing that both the gains and the losses can be staggering along the way. They pay attention to their money and get smarter at seeing which high risk deals will work. 

They talk about money.

The average Joe sees talking and dealing with money as stressful, and was no doubt brought up to see speaking about it is not in good taste.
The wealthiest people however see money with more logical eyes – its a tool that gives options and opportunities. They don’t use emotions when it comes to their money. 

They don’t save, they invest. 

According to T. Rowe Price {An American investment firm} in a survey of over 1000 adults over 30% said they were not talked to about money by their parents until 15. 82% said all talk was only how to save and be frugal.
Wealthy individuals teach their kids, at a much earlier age, to invest their pennies to make more pennies.

They read.

The super-rich all read often. They do not read to be entertained however – the choice of book is self help and personal development, biographies of successful people and history books.

They exercise. 

Every single day. Not just good for the body but good for the brain. 

They pick who they hang out with.

As in – they associate with likeminded individuals who are goal-orientated, optimistic and positive. 

They avoid the negative situations and people. 

They volunteer.

Over 72% of millionaires, self-made or not, volunteer five hours or more a month. It doesn’t just do good, it surrounds them with good people, and expands their network further. 

They sleep seven hours minimum.

Sleep is optimal to success, it cannot be fixed or made up or added later on. 

However –

They get up early. 

Over 50% of all self made millionaires  said they woke up at least three hours before their workday began.   Its. Strategy to deal with the daily interruptions you cannot help – sick kids home from school, traffic, overlong meetings. You get up at five and deal with three things you want to deal with, before even starting work, giving you a sense of control over your life. 

They seek feedback.

Fear of criticism is stopping most of us seeking feedback, but the super wealthy disagree and say feedback is essential. It shows what’s working and what isn’t, shows you if you are on the right track, and gives you information to go forward. 

They don’t follow the crowd.

We have such a deep seated desire to blend in in, to be part of the herd, that we often do not do anything that would make us stand out. Yet, successful people separate themselves from the crowd and achieve great and favourable outcomes from doing so. They create their own herds and get others to follow them.

So, do you have what it takes?  Have you ticked all the boxes to being one of the self-made super-rich?

Television continues to influence our lives greatly – especially in the times of lockdowns and staying home, and this winter was no different with the greatly acclaimed The Queens Gambit a 2020 American Netflix period drama miniseries based on Walter Tevis’s 1983 novel of the same name.  Sales of chess sets soared with numerous brands out of stock by Christmas – chess was trending and made popular all over again.

The Chess world has seen it all before, and continues to have its very own superstars and über wealthy members. 

Take the current world chess champion Magnus Carlsen. – in May he won the richest online chess tournament in history – taking home the $70,000 winners prize. The Norwegian Grandmaster was born in 1990 and was playing chess by five. He earned a Grandmaster title at a mere 13 years of age, is ranked number one in the world and has a net worth of $8million plus. Carlsen earned $700,000 in prize money alone in 2018.  Sponsored by Norwegian investment Bank, Iskar water, and previously Microsoft.

A famously amazing Russian Master of chess, is Kasparov. Known as the greatest of the greats, he was a Russian politician who had some ‘run in’, shall we say, with Putin and his political campaign. Gary Kasparov left Russia and is now living in Croatia. He retired from Chess in 2005, having completely dominated the chess world for twenty years. Net worth over $5 million.

India’s top pro chess player, Viswanathan Anand has a net worth of $3 million, has been recognised with various honours, including the highest civilian award India can give, the Padma Vibhushan.

Hikaru Nakamura is the japanese/American chess genius. Has set several ‘youngest ever player’ records. Net worth somewhere between $45 and $50 million. 

Chess is traditionally very secretive about its actual worth, its still common practise for fees and prize money to be discreetly handed in an envelope and not disclosed. The experts say this is what stops chess becoming a comparable with Tennis or football, but there’s an awful lot of support for this elite clique of clever thinkers and their money staying private. Without sharing the world a little more however, there’s no new fans,  without the increase in the public fans there’s no sponsorship, without the sponsorship there’s no vast prize money or luxury lifestyle.

Does the wealth of the Grandmasters come from chess or the other sides of their lives – ie, their ‘real jobs’? Actually both, proof is out there that the skills developed to become a chess master are the very ones you need for business. Take Peter Thiel for example, a national level Chess master with not the highest chess winnings but he claims his ‘chess brain’ helped him in his other life – as co-founder of Paypal {his current net worth is over $2.6billion }

When International Chess master Norman Weinstein made a fortune for the the Bankers Trust in the 1990s, the firm decided to hire only strong chess players to replicate Weinstein’s success.One of whom was a David Norwood, who did his job there so well he retired as a multimillionaire at 40…

Same goes for hedge fund manager, author and entrepreneur James Altucher – chess enthusiast, national master and net worth of over $20 million. He goes on record for saying ‘Chess got me into college, into graduate school, it got me my first job, it helped me raise money, and it opened doors across the business world when they seemed closed to everyone around me.’

Closed, discreet world? absolutely. A way of making millions ? Chess champions have often said it’s impossible to earn a living from Chess, but at elite level, it’s no different from other sports.  You just have to be very, very, very good at it. 

 

Taking advantage of opportunities that have arisen due to the Pandemic – wise business decision? Or taking terrible advantage of somebody else’s crisis?

In business you play the long game. You cannot panic.  It does not do to react too fast.  However; as a buyer in the luxury property world you are now holding all the cards. As a seller, as large development firms are finding out, you are at the mercy of those buyers. 

The property market is in the grip of a once in a century pandemic crisis.  Luxury property has changed drastically – people are still fleeing the cities. Buyers checklists have changed – premiums once paid for luxury central city living are now paid for outdoor space, own parking, lack of neighbours. 

Foreign buyers are not willing – or not able to visit- countries they aren’t resident in. The lack of wealthy foreign buyers is making a huge impact on the prices in cities like London and New York.

 Across both cities developers are cutting prices in order to move the properties.  They are throwing in moving fees, adding luxury extras – anything really to tempt the wealthy buyer back to the city. Into properties they were designing and building long before this pandemic hit. 

It’s a golden opportunity to buy now. Yes, the biggest window of discount is closing as the vaccines become more real, but experts say the discounts are still huge. 

Manhattan Brokers just announced to the press luxury property there was down 30% from pre covid prices. 

London is the same as NYC, tho not quite the saving. Prices in prime central London are still down on last year.  A mini bounce after lockdown 1 has slowed and prices are flattened for the next few months at least. The end of Stamp Duty holiday may well see the market quieten even more.

Evidence shows that its no longer the central of London leading the uk market, studies show the rest of the uk show stronger prices in the right more rural areas. Its the same story as before – demand is up for large homes with large gardens, not your high price London luxury apartment.  Working from home needs to be comfortable after all, strong wifi, and outdoor space are at the top of London buyers lists.

 

Smart buyers that firmly believe life will soon return to ‘pre covid normal’ think there is a massive opportunity here. Experts in the luxury market agree – this is a once in a lifetime discount. However the market of buyers are split – is it the right thing to do in a time when hundreds of people are still dying of this virus and no guarantees of a ‘normal’ life are 100% certain?

 

 

 

As you struggle to chose the ideal the gift for your nearest and dearest, spare a thought for the 1% of the population who have more than they can ever need, want or require. What do you buy them? Indeed – what do they buy each other?

Sounds like a great problem right?

Turns out the more money you have the more complicated your shopping becomes. 

Those new to money tend to want to flaunt it. They like, and need, to show to friends, family and neighbours how much money they have – its diamonds, cars, big and flashy in both cases. 

Those however who have had money a long while, or who were born with the privilege, do not feel the same. They find spending money a risk, that showing off is tacky and misplaced. They did not, after all, get to where they are by being frivolous with money. They might give generously to charity, but gift wrapping cars for their teenagers is just not what they do. 

To them it really is the thought that counts. Recalling their childhood desires, their wish list or an experience they have always talked about. Experiences that they can always talk about and recall for years to come. 

Often as they have more time on their hands than those of us who head to daily work they are also far more aware of their health – health is wealth, and you cant buy it. Time runs out and possibly those decadent teen years worry them more now they are older. So Yoga retreats, lifestyle change help and fitness guru experiences are always sort after. 

There is more time to think and to ponder on life and the meaning of it too. They know knowledge is something they can never have ‘all’ of,  and gifts often show this – a simple book, a talk of their hero’s, something with a little more thought. 

So should you find yourself needing to buy someone super wealthy a gift this year, remind yourself there’s no need to splurge your entire wage packet on one designer handbag – in fact they would rather you didn’t. Think a little deeper and with a little more care. Thought definitely takes precedence over label.

Not sure we have that right?

Take a look at these Billionaires and Millionaires that have been quoted in the press recalling their greatest Christmas gifts ever –

Michael Rubin, CEO of Kynetic, an e-commerce holding company.Net worth just over 3.5 billion dollars

“The best gift I ever received was from my father, who passed away in 2003. He was a veterinarian and gave me a beautiful black Labrador puppy. He knew that I also love animals so it was an incredible gift, and kicked off a tradition of ‘dog-gifting.’ I wanted my daughter to have the same experience I had growing up with dogs, so I gave her two labs–one in 2008 and another five years later. The younger one just had a litter of puppies last month, so it has turned into the gift that keeps on giving!”

 

Frank Vandersloot, founder of Melaleuca, health supplements. Net worth 3.5 billion dollars.

‘My folks didn’t have much money, but I was very excited when I was about eight and my dad brought me home a cardboard box with holes in it—so I knew something was alive. There was a pigeon inside! He worked on the railroad, so he had caught it and brought it home. From that point on, I have always had pigeons’.

 

Whitney Wolfe, founder of Bumble the women centric dating app. Net worth over 500million dollars

‘My mother-in-law gave me a bee pendant necklace that once belonged to her mother. Its beautiful, and its family history means it such special thing’ 

 

Mark Cuban, Entrepreneur, Investor, and Owner of the NBA Dallas mavericks. Net worth 4.2 billion dollars

‘A framed picture of the essay my son wrote when he was seven, saying I was his hero and that he wanted to be just like me when he grew up. Greatest gift ever’ 

Sarah Kauss, founder of s’well bottles. Net worth 180 million dollars.

A journal. I keep a daily journal and have found it to be one of my most useful habits to keep me mindful in both my personal life and in business. I love to receive new journals, and to share a ournal with others to encourage them on their own journey.”

 

The Royal Art Collection is one of the largest and most important collections in the world. It’s also one of the biggest privately owned art collections in the world and it’s worth a staggering amount of money. Approx £10 billion market value – with no doubt extra value taking into account it belongs to the Queen. (Technically it is held in trust by the Queen as a sovereign and not owned by her a private individual)

 Comprised of over one million objects, the impressive collection is housed across 15 UK royal residences, both occupied and historic. These include Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Hampton Court, the Tower of London, Osborne House and the Royal Pavilion, Brighton. 


(The Tribuna of the Uffizi 1772-77 JOHAN JOSEPH ZOFFANY (FRANKFURT 1733-LONDON 1810)

There are over 500,000 prints, 30,000 watercolours and drawings, 7,000 paintings, numerous photographs, tapestries, furniture, ceramics, cars, textiles, antique lace, carriages, jewellery, clocks, musical instruments, plants, manuscripts, books, sculptures, and of course, the illustrious Crown Jewels. The fine art includes 6  Rembrandts, over 600 Leonardo Da Vinci drawings and 13 Rubens paintings. And, perhaps surprisingly, recently added content by Andy Warhol and Sir Anish Kapoor. 


(Portrait of a Lady, SIR PETER LELY 1658-1660, Displayed in the White Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace)


(George III, SIR WILLIAM BEECHEY 1799-1800, Displayed at the top of the Grand Staircase, Buckingham Palace)

The history of the collection dates back to post King Henry VIII. And comprises a unique insight into the personal tastes of the kings and queens over the past 500 years. 

Though Queen Elizabeth II herself has added to the collection, the largest contributions to the Royal Collection came from the tastes and interests of Frederick, Prince of Wales; George III; George IV; Queen Victoria; Prince Albert; and Queen Mary.


(The Prince of Wales’s Phaeton Signed and dated 1793, GEORGE STUBBS 1724-1806)


(A Flemish Fair Signed and dated 1600,JAN BRUEGHEL THE ELDER, BRUSSELS 1568-ANTWERP 1625)

 

This below is said to be one of the Queens favourite paintings, thought she is also  fond of anything that combines her love of horses and Fine art, such as work by Stubbs.


(The Shipbuilder and his Wife”: Jan Rijcksen (1560/2-1637) and his Wife, Griet Jans Signed and dated 1633, REMBRANDT VAN RIJN LEIDEN 1606-AMSTERDAM 1669)

The paintings often move around the royal households, and are changed allowing as many as possible to take a turn in the spotlight.  Many leave the collection briefly to be shown and loaned to public places such as museums and historical homes.

 

Luxury Lifestyle and Fine Wine.

Investing in fine wine is seen as a profitable investment alternative. It’s a much less volatile market than gold or property. Just don’t drink it all…

Between the years 2003 and 2011, the value of the most sought-after wines rose by 250%, making a huge return on investment.  This led to a new interest in the Wine market, including numerous, new to this market, Asian investors. Which in turn re-invigorated the USA/European markets.

In the past three years classic cars are no longer the most popular luxury asset of the rich. Instead, these cars are being replaced by collectable bottles of wine. 

But what to collect?

Experts tell you to read and attempt to learn before dabbling in this wine market, however almost all agree that young Bordeaux will almost always give you a better return on investment than the stock market. Within as little as five years you can easily see a 16% increase on your wines value. 

There are collectors for luxury wines and collectable wines – which are not the same thing at all. A luxury bottle of Mouton Rothschild will likely increase in value at a predictable rate every year. In fact, 10 bottles of 1945 Mouton Rothschild recently sold for $343,000 at auction, which is far more than its predicted $120,000 value estimate. Luxury asset wines like this have a long track record of outperforming their previous returns year after year.

In comparison to that a rare collectable wine – highly desirable amongst wine enthusiasts – doesn’t mean a good return on investment. They will be limited in number, incredibly hard to find but never resell for much more than $100 a bottle. People collect these as they are rare, and a joy to drink or have in your collection – but its not the choice if you are investing for profit.
Advice is to study the past 20 years investment value of your choice of wine – in general, wine should be worth 20% more than its original selling price once it reaches maturity. And to keep your wine collection in professional storage – so not your attic/garage or cellar- to increase its market value. 

Fine Wine facts

The most expensive –
The most expensive wine on the market is Domaine de la Romanee-Conti “Romanee-Conti” Already rare with 600 bottling at a time, October 2018 saw the sale of one of these bottles going for  $558,000. Not one to drop on the way out of the auction…

The oldest –
In May 2018 a bottle of a 1774 Vercel “Vin Jaune d’Arbois” sold for $1120,800 at a Christies auction.

The top Collectors –

Hardy Rodenstock, of Germany,(1941-2018) was a prominent wine collector, connoisseur and trader with a special interest in old and rare wines. Famous for his ability to track down very old and incredibly rare wines, he was also infamous for both his extravagant several day long wine tastings and the allegation of wine fraud. The book, and film rights, ‘Billionaire’s Vinegar’ are about his claim to have, and have sold, wine belonging to Thomas Jefferson.   

 

Leslie Rudd, the founder of epicurean US deli Dean & Deluca, is reported to have 10,000 bottles of wine stored at his Napa Valley restaurant Press. Including some of the rarest and oldest Napa Valley wines, from current day to early wine pioneers. He died in 2018 leaving the wines as part of his Rudd Foundation. 

 

Michel-Jack Chasseuil has a collection of some 40,000 wines featuring bottles from some of France’s top estates. He’s considered one of the worlds top Wine collectors, and says his cellar is a vault dedicated to France’s wine heritage. In 2014, the then 72 year old was held hostage for two hours at gun point by intruders attempting to get  into his wine cellar, {they never did} but the key is held at the Bank.
The collection can be found a few feet underground in western France’s La Chapelle-Bâton, through a long tunnel with armoured doors. The cave is kept at a measured 80% humidity, at a temperature between 10 to 15 degrees celsius.

 

Closer to home, former Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, is a well-known collector of wine.  There are thousands of bottles making up his vast collection. He has auctioned some off for various charities over the years, including a London sale of just over £2m.

 

Could this be the next investment venture for you? Experts suggest caution in your start, chose to invest in Classic wine styles from regions like Bordeaux, Burgundy, and northern Italy, as these traditionally perform well over time. And do not spend more than you can afford to lose!  It’s worth noting that seven out of the top ten wine collectors in the world have been at least accused, if not prosecuted, of wine fraud. One can only imagine the depth of wine fraud much further down the investors market.

 

 

Luxury lifestyle  and the country home.

Right up there with the luxury car, high end watch and designer yacht is the country home.  Is it just a status symbol or an actual investment? Is it true that all country homes crumbling in front of their owners eyes?

It’s no great surprise that large homes, mansions and stately houses, are expensive to own and operate. 

Following the second world war the traditional large country home slid into rapid decline. With many demolished, converted into commercial and institutional use such as corporate headquarters, nursing homes, or colleges.  

Some did survive, either by becoming an attraction themselves, or by theme parks and zoos, such as you see today. Some did stay as family homes, but really only if there was another means of income  such as farming and tenanted properties supporting the house. 

Theres a fairly modern trend with some houses being converted back from commercial use into grand family homes once more. Usually there is still a compromise to be made, with shooting parties, occasional weddings or exclusive hire. The idea being that for one or two events a year, there could be 10 or 11 months of relative peace but still an income.

The unfortunate Covid situation has also caused a great new interest in large, more rural houses. People are finally realising that if lockdowns occur its much better with your own outside space than in a town house, however glamorous.  Estate agents report clients with larger single budgets, wanting to purchase one larger permanent residence in the countryside rather than both a smaller second home and a city home.

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Just before covid lockdown hit, country houses were already experiencing their strongest growth rate since before 2018. Combined with the reasoning above and the fact everyone is trying to work from home and wants a pleasant space to do so, it looks like a country house is indeed currently a good investment. Experts claim they will rise steadily in value too.

Agents like Savills have said its not just UK town residents that are searching for a UK rural home but that plenty of overseas buyers are looking here too. Now might be the best time to snap up a country home bargain before they have all gone. 

 

Not all of the greatest Fine Art is exhibited in the great museums and galleries of the world.
A vast amount belong to private collectors – a very exclusive and pricey ‘hobby’ that has experienced a boom in recent years. Seen as a very stable and reliable choice for investing funds, assembling collections is a good way to a steady financial investment.

Present day art collectors are keen to say they represent a ‘good cross-section’ of society. From oil -rich Middle East Royalty, European nobility and high society elite to Multinational corporations. Not really a fairly represented cross-section in our opinion, but with prices in this pastime sky high -world record prices are regular made and broken again- its unlikely the average man on the street would get the opportunity.

So who are these super collectors and what do they own? What is it worth?
Take a look at some of the top collectors in the world…

Ezra and David Nahmad.

The most valuable art collection on the planet is owned by these two brothers. Though they have the largest collection neither describe themselves as great art lovers – this is purely business. Their strategy is simple – make a profit. They buy the ‘right’ art, hold it in large warehouse {just outside Geneva Airport} and then sell for much more than they paid for it. Many passionate art collectors are somewhat mortified by the way they treat art as just a commodity but – business is business and they are doing it better than anyone. The 5,000 piece collection has over 300 Picassos – the most Picassos together anywhere – and valued at over $900 million for just these Picassos alone.

Charles Saatchi.

Co-founder of the advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi is a renown art collector – and art dealer. With a reputation for snubbing the great Auction houses and selling privately online as and when he decides to sell a piece, he is seller as well as a buyer. Specialising in Middle Eastern art, his collection has an unknown value but is estimated to be well into the many millions. 

Bernard Arnault.

Named the richest man in Europe. He is the CEO of the LVMH Group, the worlds largest luxury goods company; better known for brands such as Louis Vuitton and Moet & Chandon. His personal net worth was ranked 5th in the world estimated at $80.2 billion. His art collection houses Picasso, Warhol, and Henry Moore to name a few, and it is said to be worth billions.  

Francois Pinault 

 French Billionaire and founder of brands such as Gucci, and Yves Saint-laurent, Pinault has been an art collector for over 30 years. Passionate about Modern and Contemporary art his collection is over 2,500 pieces including Warhol, Rothko and Koons. Value of collection said to be $1.4 billion, some is available for public viewing in the Palazzo Grassi in Venice. He has immense control in the Art market , as he owns the Christie’s Auction House. 

David Geffen

Founder of numerous companies, including the much loved Dreamworks Animation, Geffen’s art collection is estimated to be worth $2.3 billion. His collection is the largest owned by a single person and he is known for being a super smart and savvy collector in terms of buying and selling. 

 

What defines a classic car collection -and how much can it add in value, to your luxury lifestyle.

Its a bit of an argument between the keen classic car people – are they  a collector or an enthusiast? –

Is the object the owning of the cars, or the enjoyment – and therefore use, of the cars?

The true definition of a collection is anything in excess of four. And the definition of Classic Car, incase you are wondering, is not necessarily being an old car. It’s a label used to describe standout models, certain models, distinct types and yes, certain ages. In fact alongside the ‘Traditional Classic’ there’s a whole category known as the ‘modern classic’. 

Buy it right and they can more than double in value. When Bonhams held a charity auction at Switzerland’s Bonmont Golf and Country Club, the 25 modern supercars there raised a double-estimate total of $23.6m.

The right model and type can actually cost more than the same brand new – take the Ferrari the a Ferrari LaFerrari sold for $2.1m at the previously mentioned show  and a 2011 Aston Martin One-77 fetched $1.6m- considerably more than the cars cost new. 

In 2013, a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 Silver Arrow — the only car of its kind not in a museum — sold at an auction, in England for $29.7 million.

Of course your collector – sorry enthusiast – is not just your average petrolhead. The cars need somewhere just right to be stored – dry, warm not too warm, basically a speciality warehouse.  They need constant attention, and they do like to eat your money too. 

That said there is a wonderful world of Collectors clubs, rallies and races to take part in. A whole host of like minded people, memorabilia sales and great resources for technical advice and discontinued parts.

Becoming an collector takes a pretty significant investment and comes with not-insignifcant carrying cost. High end individuals can indeed use them to diversify their holdings and make money. 

It is agreed however that the worse thing you can do with your collection is just let is sit around, and that you must get behind the wheel and drive!

Luxury lifestyle and luxury items always come with a security risk. Check out our list of some of the most expensive things that have actually been stolen- despite their size, weight or value.

Mona Lisa.

Called ‘The most famous painting in the world’ it needs no introduction. If you’ve ever visited it in person, you’ll know its not very large at all, but it certainly has its ultra high level security.  In 1911 a handyman working at the Louvre took the painting. He hid the painting in a cupboard until the museum closed and then took off with it. It was not recovered until 1913 when he tried to sell it to an art dealer, who funnily enough knew what it was. It is one of the most expensive things ever stolen, with a price tag of well over $2billion.

 

 

The Davidoff-Morini Stradivarius.

A $3.5 million violin was stolen from a famous cancer violinist Erica Morini. Not the only Stradivarius to be stolen but the Davidoff-Morini Stadivarius has still not been recovered. it was stolen from her home whilst Erica  was hospitalised at 91 years old. She had played this violin all her life. Made in 1727 by Stradivarius, it is in the FBI’s Art Crimes most wanted list. 

 

Ruby red slippers.

There’s no place like home. These famous ruby red shoes that Judy garland wore as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz were stolen from the Judy garland Museum in 2005 and have never been seen since. Valued at around $3million.

 

Copper Vietnamese Bell.

In 2005 the Buddhist Monastery in Washington had the largest prayer bell stolen. Looking like the one pictured below and weighing in at over 3,000lbs (!) it was stolen when the Monks were deep in meditation by, the police believe, a thief with a forklift.  He tried to sell it three years later and then it was recovered and returned to the Monks. 

 

Rembrandt’s The Storm on the Sea of Galilee.

The beautiful ‘ship in a storm’ painting – the only seascape by the dutch artist- was stolen in 1990 along with 12 other paintings. Its valued at $100million at least. It has never been recovered.

 

The Empire State Building.

Obviously not actually taken anywhere, but the building deeds were. In 2008 the New York Daily News exposed a loophole in the law of how city building transactions were recorded, and transferred the deeds of ownership to the Empire State Building to the newspaper. The newspaper wrote the story, exposed the loophole and then returned the building to the rightful owners. The loophole was indeed tightened up!