The price of a New York City cab medallion has increased over a thousand percent since 1980, outpacing inflation, oil, home prices, and — everyone's current favorite — gold. Individual licenses, which cost $2,500 in 1947, currently go for about $678,000; corporate ones have recently sold for over $1 million. And, unlike practically everything else, the tightly controlled medallion market has proven itself to be largely recession-proof.
As an added bonus, license holders get an inspiring tale to tell their grandchildren. Per Medallion Financial Corp. President Andrew Murstein:
“A guy comes to this country, drives a cab six days a week, 12 hours a day, after three years, takes his whole life savings and puts it down to buy a medallion ... This is a way for him to get a piece of the American dream.”
A feel-good story, unless you're more into the other American dream: Get rich quick. In which case, it's probably not too late to buy (or sell?) some gold!