hifi as investment?

Well sort of. I am just starting out in this hobby and having already exchanged a few used components I bought here and later sold- sometimes for the same amount I paid- sometimes for more-

Seeing this has made me consider the idea that one could approach this hobby's acquisitions as a sort of currency. Considering the ease with which many popular components are sold- SCD-1, De Capos, etc. I have begun to realize that it is possible to approach an expensive system with the rational (if art is not enough) that ridiculously expensive components are just another form of money- a temporary resting place for your reserves (of course this considers purchasing used and at a fair price).

I'm looking for nominations. What components are most depreciation proof once they have taken the hit of being used? I want to rationize an absurd purchase and enjoy my monetary reserves while retaining my safety net.

Does anyone else approach it like this? Used Elrods? Don't get me wrong, I'm doing it for the love of music, but a $15000 system requires some consideration of financial prudence right?
While some items retain their used value (usually about 50% of retail) longer than others, as soon as the next generation of that item comes out they will drop in value. Since you can't really preditct when that will happen, I think your plan is flawed. This especially true with digital but happens with all gear. That is unless the company goes out of business, and then it drops because you can't get support.

Buy it because you like it and it is fair value today. Tomorrow it may be worth a lot less and very rarely will it go up unless you got it below market value.

The only thing that really holds it's value is vinyl.
I suspected vinyl. I have no experience there, but the I've seen that the 80s LP12s and the like are still commanding a lot of respect.
IMHO audio would be a terrible investment, or alternate currency, compared to mutual funds, the stock market, real estate, or investing in classes or an advanced degree to further yourself in your chosen profession. Most of us are in this because we like the music, and occasionally (or even frequently) have a jones to improve our systems to approach whatever "the absolute sound" means to us. You have been fortunate to break even or make a profit on your transactions, and I am sure some here are in it for that reason. However, in my experience, when you throw in your time to pack and ship, shipping and insurance charges, the time to deal with sellers and buyers, the time to search the web for the best deals, and the risk (nothing is risk free) of being defrauded or losing on shipping damage, you would likely do better in any number of "businesses." I feel I have been fortunate to do ok at this by buying only components I wanted to upgrade my system, sticking to items in good condition, being patient when both buying or selling, getting to know the sellers I am buying from, and walking if things do not sound right. Even so, I have had 3 deals where I felt the item was not in the condition advertised, and 2 deals with shipping damage. The shipping damage deals turned out alright (after significant time involvement) and one of the disputed condition items turned out alright after I e-mailed pictures to the seller (who had been selling for a relative and had not seen the item). On the other 2 deals, I took a loss on resale since I described the item honestly and accurately. Believe me, you will do better to simply have fun with this, enjoy your successes, take your disappointments with a grain of salt, and find a better way to make money.

as if not outright then by receiving an item which is not in the condition advertised
I learned a valueable lesson from a shrewd business man years ago He told me you don't make money when you sell something you make money when you buy something it took a while but it finally sunk in the profit or loss is determined when you buy it " buy low sell hi-fi" just a thought you should consider the investment in the pleasure that good music brings you anything else is icing on a very sweet cake
Wheeler: As a case in point regarding the Marantz gear, i recently traded my original Marantz 8 ( serial number just above 1000 ) that was in very good shape for some test equipment. While the Marantz 8 is an item that seems to be in less demand than the 8B, an 8 in good shape would draw somewhere between $800 - $1200 on the used market with the 8B drawing several hundred dollars more. Due to the condition of the 8 that i had, a local collector had been interested in this unit ever since seeing it. When all was said and done, he ended trading me some test gear that would sell for over $2000 in current condition. Since i had paid considerably less for this unit, the "investment" that i made in this piece did pay off.

Having said that, this is a rare case of planning ahead and finding a good deal when i initially purchased this unit. As Jdevine stated above, if you can buy low and sell high, you'll do okay. I've been involved in quite a few transactions and never really been "stung" without everything working out okay in the long run. Just take into account that there are bound to be mishaps in shipping, items that are misrepresented, etc... On top of this, you may end up with a less than satisfying system musically as products that may hold their value individually may not work together as a system synergistically. Then again, we all have different priorities and ideas as to what "sounds good", so have at it. So long as it makes you happy ( one way or the other ), that's all that counts. Sean