When I speak to investors who invest in residential property it never surprises me that one of their reasons for doing so is the perceived stability and tangibility of property as an investment.

Perceived (price) stability, because house prices are quoted on a needs basis, perhaps annually for insurance purposes, or maybe when property owners ready themselves for sale and need to know the approximate value of what the property might fetch in the current marketplace. Either way, house prices are quoted irregularly which, by itself, automatically makes property appear ‘less volatile’ when compared to listed shares.

Tangible, because property owners are able to physically walk up to the outside wall of the back bedroom or the side door to the garage, for example. Such an ability to physically approach and inspect the asset/s provides a tactile experience for property investors that perhaps enhances their enjoyment in owning a ‘solid’ investment.

But what about that other investment class … shares?

Quoting a from a blog post I read online earlier this week:

Many Australians are scared off by the sharemarket whereas property is physical/tangible … 

The above comment typifies, perhaps, the perception by some people that investing in the sharemarket is merely a place to ‘do your dough’.

You’re buying genuine assets

If you think that investing in the sharemarket is the trading of three-letter codes on a screen, you couldn’t be more wrong.

There are some amazing assets that you can visit, observe and touch, just like residential property. Here are three physical assets that you can inspect yourself and also own a small piece of via shares in its listed owner:

  • Westfield Bondi Junction, Sydney.

Owned by Scentre Group Ltd  (ASX: SCG), Bondi Junction is one of 40 shopping centres in Scentre’s Australia/New Zealand portfolio, and attracts over $1 billion dollars in total annual retail sales from 499 retailers. It receives over 20 million customer visits every year.

Scentre was created due to a company-wide restructure of the Westfield Group and has provided investors a 56% return since it commenced trading on the ASX on 30 June 2014.

  • Thredbo Alpine Resort, Snowy Mountains

Located in one of Australia’s major snow resorts, Thredbo Alpine Resort is well-located at the base of Mt Kosciuszko and is central to much of the region’s long list of adventure activities, including skiing, snowboarding and mountain-biking.

Being labelled as the “Best Australian Ski Resort” in the Luxury Travel Gold List Awards 2016 the resort has much to offer skiers, adventurers, and families alike.

Go and check it for yourself, and while you’re there, buy yourself some shares in Event Hospitality and Entertainment Ltd  (ASX: EVT) the owner of Thredbo Alpine Resorts and many other hotel and entertainment assets. The shares have performed admirably over the last decade, providing a return of 22.49% pa since May 2006.

  • Warner Bros. Movie World, Gold Coast

Movie World, as it’s commonly known, contains various movie-themed rides and attractions, costumed character performers and a number of active film studios within the complex.

The owner, Village Roadshow Ltd (ASX: VRL), also has interests in Village Cinemas and other theme parks on the Gold Coast. Additionally, Village has a number of proposed theme-park-related investments for the Asian market, especially China, and has recently established an office in Hong Kong. Shareholders have enjoyed a 20.60% pa return in the last decade.

Foolish takeaway

By buying shares in any of the businesses above, you most likely have a better understanding of your potential investment if you can visit it first hand and ‘kick the tyres’ so to speak. Whilst visiting a theme park or a shopping centre is no substitute for detailed research, it is a start if you’re new to investing and will make investing a much more tangible activity for you.

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Motley Fool contributor Edward Vesely has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.