World Colonial

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  1. Not here to please you. I never said anyone's collection isn't worth collecting.
  2. Wasn't dumping on anything. It's only US collectors and US culture that would ever think that completing a collection which can be bought in one day and which has no practical difference from numerous others is anything else.
  3. I was using the series as an example. What you write makes sense since I presume that NGC or PCGS assign the points by formula. Not that I care, since winning one of these awards isn't even an accomplishment. It's the coin collecting equivalent of receiving a participation trophy just for showing up.
  4. For generic type low premium gold and silver, yes. For other US coinage, no.
  5. I am aware of this. The expanding premium is due to a temporary physical metal supply-demand imbalance. Or, the higher volatility. Gold has never been more relatively overpriced in modern times, going back several centuries. I'm not saying it won't become more overpriced. I am saying that anyone who is holding a noticeable percentage of their net worth in it will have an above average risk of losing a noticeable proportion of their purchasing power, at some point I just don't know when. It certainly isn't "cheap" even now. Usually, an asset runs up in anticipation of the event due to psychology. In this instance, I can see gold running up due to fear fr default (or "printing" as it did earlier). If defaults, there are going to be many forced sellers among "metal bugs" and holders of the "paper" metal. Look at the US Census Bureau forecasts. The last one I saw goes out to 2060 though I didn't see interim detail. Most US collectors are overwhelmingly Caucasian men. There is no growth in this demographic (non-Hispanic white) but depending upon how anyone interprets this data, it may or will shrink. The groups where it will increase don't collect anywhere near to the same proportion and it isn't because of a lack of money either. They just don't want to. Where they do and will, they have much less affinity (if any at all) for the coins most US collectors buy now. This doesn't mean the price level has to drop but there is no rationalizing this away.
  6. I am aware of this. The expanding premium is due to a temporary physical metal supply-demand imbalance. Or, the higher volatility. Gold has never been more relatively overpriced in modern times, going back several centuries. I'm not saying it won't become more overpriced. I am saying that anyone who is holding a noticeable percentage of their net worth in it will have an above average risk of losing a noticeable proportion of their purchasing power, at some point I just don't know when. It certainly isn't "cheap" even now. Usually, an asset runs up in anticipation of the event due to psychology. In this instance, I can see gold running up due to fear fr default (or "printing" as it did earlier). If defaults, there are going to be many forced sellers among "metal bugs" and holders of the "paper" metal. Look at the US Census Bureau forecasts. The last one I saw goes out to 2060 though I didn't see interim detail. Most US collectors are overwhelmingly Caucasian men. There is no growth in this demographic (non-Hispanic white) but depending upon how anyone interprets this data, it may or will shrink. The groups where it will increase don't collect anywhere near to the same proportion and it isn't because of a lack of money either. They just don't want to. Where they do and will, they have much less affinity (if any at all) for the coins most US collectors buy now. This doesn't mean the price level has to drop but there is no rationalizing this away.
  7. Depends upon how far out anyone wants to project and what coins they have in mind. To my knowledge, the current run up in gold has done virtually nothing for US coins prices in the aggregate and has never had much (if any) correlation with coinage from elsewhere. Silver has run up noticeably since March but is only about 20% higher than May 2008. Not sure either has had much impact even on generics with higher premiums either. I don't believe this metals move is going to be that big now. I see major asset deflation first. Decades from now, it's also my opinion that any run up will be more than offset by most US collectors becoming poorer or much poorer and demographic trends where a noticeably lower proportion will collect US coinage. The collector base may or may not shrink but even if it doesn't, they mostly won't be paying current prices in "real money", much less far more.
  8. At some point, huge bull market in gold and silver. If anything is going to bring bigger money in, it's that.
  9. Page 5 in this presentation uses the forward P/E. As weak as historical earnings are as a valuation measure, this one is even worse. The other two don't tell me whether US stocks are relatively cheap or expensive. I agree "value" is cheap compared to "growth" but that's substantially due to the latter including so many bubble stocks and cash burn machines selling at insane valuations. The reason current conditions don't seem insane to hardly anyone now is because it's lasted so long and we're living through it. The behavior even in the worst prior manias is tame compared to the insanity since the late 90's. As one example, Kindlerberg's book claims that during the South Sea Bubble (1718-1720) someone raised 5,000 GBP with an IPO titled "An undertaking of great advantage but no one to know what it is". That's not even close to what should be worthless companies (mostly in the US) that collectively will never make a dime "worth" at least hundreds of billions if not up to several trillion right now.
  10. Earnings is not a good measure of value and the only reason P/E has any correlation is because the "P" is the market. It's a very poor one since it is more of an accounting number than anything tangible. You can't spend earnings and it changes based upon arbitrary accounting standards which are liberally applied in many instances. Many "earnings" reported in the press are just made up based upon some alternative measure. The point I was making is that the US stock market is an outlier, on an island in deep outer space all by itself. It's a mistake to believe the performance in practically every other stock market since 1999 or 2007 can't or won't be replicated here. Forget about losing money, most people's finances are so marginal, there future living standards will decline just by a repeat of 2000-2011 where the return over this period was about zero. Going by other measures such as dividend yield, price to sales, and market cap to GDP, US stocks are either near peak value or above it. The primary difference between the US stock market and all others isn't fundamental, it's inflated psychology. The fake economy here also exists elsewhere for the same or similar reasons with less "success" but this doesn't explain the difference.
  11. The actual explanation for your description is the current financial mania. What you are describing is applicable to only a few asset classes. US stocks are in an unprecedented mania, the same mania which was in place at the 2000 dot.com and 2007 pre-GFC peaks. Most debt is also still in the same mania. Some real estate remains in the same mania still inflated by artificially cheap debt and lax credit standards. Most everything else? It peaked years or even decades ago. Remember Japanese stocks? This is hardly a minor asset class. It's huge. Yen denominated buyers have made little if any money in 31 years and probably lost money adjusted for purchasing power. USD buyers might have made money due to the FX rate change (about 160 to 100) but still lost purchasing power. I summarized this in a prior post. Most Americans don't know it because they are only aware of the primary US stock indices or the big name large caps. They also don't want to believe it's a mania because of the implications it has on their future living standards. US coins as measured by the PCGS 3000 peaked around 1990 and to my knowledge, most have been losing value since 2008. I regularly hear different claims for other coinage but don't believe it's more than a minority. I agree with you in one key aspect though. At least if you buy financially sound companies with good cash flows and decent business prospects, you get "paid to wait" with a dividend. With some expensive coin in TPG holder with a high number label, it can crash and never recover, easily. Most of these coins certainly aren't interesting enough to be bought as collectibles at anywhere near current or recent value based upon its' credentials which is why collectors will only buy it with the expectation of getting most of their money back.
  12. I have concluded that people use the term "investment" to rationalize financial decisions they would unlikely otherwise never make. It's much easier to convince yourself to buy something (anything) when you tell yourself it's an "investment" instead of speculation or expensive consumption. Think of the supposed "investments" most people usually make and then assess the practical difference to either speculation or consumption. There almost never is any. With coins specifically, if you are a collector, any coin purchase is a combination consumption expense and financial speculation. If you are a dealer buying it for inventory, it's no different than any other business outlay and it's more of an investment. To anticipate any potential disagreement (since I know many or most do), practically anything will "appreciate" if the currency is debased enough. Back in the early 1990's when I visited Brazil, inflation was running 30% to 40% per month. Anyone there could have "made" money by buying practically anything.
  13. Under the most widely used definition of investment, there is no difference with speculation. Even the dictionary definition is arbitrary and does not clearly distinguish between the two. Under the commonly used definition, coins are lousy investments for the reasons you state.
  14. Many Latin America but I cannot say how many. I don't follow Brazil but I see a lot of high quality coinage from there without even trying. Hard to say though whether a specific date denomination combination is common over a 400+ year period. Guatemalan colonial coinage is usually scarcer than those I primarily buy, but that's presumably mostly due to the much lower mintages. For pillar minors, we are talking as much as 50 -100:1. For later coinage (maybe after 1850), much of it doesn't seem to be scarce but I don't know about many individual dates. The most widely collected earlier series though are at minimum hard to buy in any decent grades and many dates rare or scarce: most cobs outside the 8s, many pillars, portraits, Mexico Cap & Ray, Lion & Castle quarter real, Chile Volcano. In some instances, I suspect there is noticeable supply locally for the republic coinage but it's mostly in low or very low quality. As an example, Chile and Peru seem to be a lot more common than Bolivia. Otherwise, though US and European collectors probably bought most of the better stuff decades ago.
  15. Yes, you can call it humorous. I call it ridiculous. I didn't remember the specific verbiage you extracted but to make this statement after US "collecting" has been substantially financialized decades earlier is ironic to say the least. I started collecting in 1975 which was at most a few years after it started. There are no "incredible opportunities" for "growth". Not unless collecting turns into "widget" trading. What this letter and anyone who agrees with it totally misses isn't just the practical impossibility of perpetually buying coins as "widgets", but that the current price level only exists because of the much bigger and broader financial asset and credit mania. I have seen almost zero acknowledgment of this simple fact in any coin discussion. When this mania finally ends and it will "eventually", not only will there be no "growth", the price level is heading for a crash landing, if not in nominal prices then when measured by purchasing power.