I realize I am going out on a limb with this question, but it's been on my mind for a while so here it goes. When engaging in a particular type of investment activity, be it stocks, bonds, mutual funds or other securities, analysis typically focuses on comparing rates of return and historic performance of items within a given category (e.g. which mutual fund outperforms other mutual funds).
Other analyses take it to the next level and compare different forms of securities, such as stocks vs. bonds, etc.
I wonder if anyone has taken this to the next level, and is aware of, or has done research comparing historic average returns from entirely different types of endeavors, which may be broadly thought of as 'investment behaviors', where one acquires assets or invests time/resources now in anticipation of future returns. For example: As a novice investor with many years of working life and other pursuits left until retirement, I am facing decisions on where in general to focus my energies.
Examples of possible types of investment behaviors would be investment in:
- financial securities (in the broadest sense);
- antiques (various trinkets, baseball cards, automobiles, guns);
- fine art (contemporary or classical, in whatever medium);
- real estate (buying and renting out actual properties);
- starting a small business/startup, in order to sell it later (regardless of type of business);
Obviously this is thinking in very broad strokes and will depend in investment time horizon, and answer is probably 'it depends.' But on what?
Has anyone come across books or methodologies which take a similar broad perspective and compare various rather distinct types of endeavors from the standpoint of likely ROI, say, over a lifetime?
Or is this question so ridiculously broad that it's not even productive to think in such terms, and instead one must narrow down to a given type of activity and focus analysis within the one single area?