Question about collecting/investing??
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Are you slumming Torch?

 

lol no , I surf the boards differently than most people. I like to click Active Topics and then 24 hrs to see what's happening on both sides of the boards.

 

It's amazing how similar the two hobbies are some of the coin threads are very interesting.

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I agree with Bill's comments

 

The other thing I would add is that in most fields, most people are not going to make money buying what most others also buy. To make "big money", you need to get into it before most everyone else has done so. Most people have a herd mentality and only do their buying or at least most of their buying after prices have alreadsy increased substantially.

 

I do not know this for a fact but I suspect that those who have posted comments about coins being poor "investments" (I consider them a form of speculation) bought their coins poorly. They overpaid for the grade they bought or their timing was poor as I understand that a large number of US coins have been "dead" money for many years now. Or maybe they bought coins in grades that exist in large or relatively large supply and probably because they preferred a larger collection of lower quality coins over a smaller one with better quality. I suispect that this reason is probably pretty common for US coin collectors because putting together any collection of substance (by my definition) can cost a lot of money. This is the primary reason why I do not buy any US coins.

 

In one of the world coin series I collect, the locals seem to be dominated disproportionately by "investors" who pay more attention to the slab grade while disregarding everything or practically everything else about the coins they buy. They also seem to make inaccurate assumptions about coin "investing" which I know has cost some of them a lot of money from the standpoint of these buyers. They also seem to be mostly uninterested in making the effort to determine what the characteristics of a potentially profitable "investment" might or actually do look like.

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I do not know this for a fact but I suspect that those who have posted comments about coins being poor "investments" (I consider them a form of speculation) bought their coins poorly. They overpaid for the grade they bought or their timing was poor as I understand that a large number of US coins have been "dead" money for many years now. Or maybe they bought coins in grades that exist in large or relatively large supply and probably because they preferred a larger collection of lower quality coins over a smaller one with better quality.

No, that's not true. It's a comforting explanation, though, when one is long on hope, short on experience.

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I do not know this for a fact but I suspect that those who have posted comments about coins being poor "investments" (I consider them a form of speculation) bought their coins poorly. They overpaid for the grade they bought or their timing was poor as I understand that a large number of US coins have been "dead" money for many years now. Or maybe they bought coins in grades that exist in large or relatively large supply and probably because they preferred a larger collection of lower quality coins over a smaller one with better quality.

No, that's not true. It's a comforting explanation, though, when one is long on hope, short on experience.

 

Then what exactly is your explanation since I am not one of the people who has this problem? I have made about enough to basically accumulate my remaining collection at no cost or $50,000 through the world coin series I still collect. Economic conditions are part of it but do not provide the full explanation because many non-US coins of nominal value (by US standards) have increased (and still are increasing) in price.

 

If I need to rephrase what I wrote before, then I will just say that the coins that most US collectors buy are less than optimal economic values. I consider them poor or very poor but then I suspect that most do not want to hear that either.

 

 

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I do not know this for a fact but I suspect that those who have posted comments about coins being poor "investments" (I consider them a form of speculation) bought their coins poorly. They overpaid for the grade they bought or their timing was poor as I understand that a large number of US coins have been "dead" money for many years now. Or maybe they bought coins in grades that exist in large or relatively large supply and probably because they preferred a larger collection of lower quality coins over a smaller one with better quality.

No, that's not true. It's a comforting explanation, though, when one is long on hope, short on experience.

 

Yes I am curious to know what you bought that did so poorly. I have already cited modern U.S. coins that have consistently done badly after you held them for many years. Have you bought other items with similar track records?

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Yes I am curious to know what you bought that did so poorly. I have already cited modern U.S. coins that have consistently done badly after you held them for many years. Have you bought other items with similar track records?

 

 

Interestingly, I have made many hundreds of dollars on moderns.

2006 Silver Eagles Anniverary set $$$

2009 Lincoln Silver Dollar, and Penny/s $$$

2011 Silver Eagle anniversary Set $$$$$$$$$$

2009 High relief Double Eagle $$$$$$$$$

2007 Gold Buffalo $$$$$

 

Of course, I did not hold them for years ;) I continue to hold these coins in my collection

 

OP

 

 

Edited by Old Pueblo
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I do not know this for a fact but I suspect that those who have posted comments about coins being poor "investments" (I consider them a form of speculation) bought their coins poorly. They overpaid for the grade they bought or their timing was poor as I understand that a large number of US coins have been "dead" money for many years now. Or maybe they bought coins in grades that exist in large or relatively large supply and probably because they preferred a larger collection of lower quality coins over a smaller one with better quality.

No, that's not true. It's a comforting explanation, though, when one is long on hope, short on experience.

Yes I am curious to know what you bought that did so poorly. I have already cited modern U.S. coins that have consistently done badly after you held them for many years. Have you bought other items with similar track records?

Well, I don't know about you boys, but I got a 14 pound turkey that's gotta come out of the brine in about 15 minutes, so I'll leave you with this, then I have to shove.

 

Bill, you were a dealer? Are we talking apples and oranges? You let a nitwit buy at wholesale and he's going to make money when he goes to sell at retail. Buy at retail, hold it for 40 years, then cash off, and then tell me you made money. I'm sorry, buddy, it's not gonna happen. Unless, as I suggested, earlier, you're one truly exceptional, and, at one in the same time, one very lucky, collector. Short of that, do you know what you'll be saying? You'll be saying, "I'm hoping to break even, I could really use the money."

 

Again, anything can happen in the short-run. I already said that. I'm talking about a collector calling it quits and cashing off. I'm sorry, you're a loser. I've just seen it too much to not believe it.

 

I'm outta here. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Edited by Kurtdog
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I think that you are making some assumptions about how other buyers actually acquire their coins that are not necessarily true. Additionally, you still have not described what you bought or own and how you went about buying it.

 

When I first started collecting in 1975, the "wholesale" price by selling to a dealer was supposedly 60 cents on the dollar. I was only 10 at the time but that is what the few dealers I knew told me. I actually suspect that buy prices actually varied based upon what you had to sell as it does today.

 

The point I was trying to indirectly make in my prior posts on this topic is that I suspect that the “typical” collector does buy the coins that usually appear in local dealer inventory from a dealer. By usually, I am referring to modern commemoratives and proof sets, “junk” world coins and common date circulated 19th century and up to mid uncirculated 20th century US coins. Obviously, buying most of these coins at “retail” and selling them at “wholesale” as I described is a recipe for losing money.

 

I believe that even collectors of this material can do better through careful purchases but the more important point is that there is no reason to believe that most buyers of these coins do or should be expected to make any money, regardless of whether they limit their “investment” to a few hundred dollars or spend tens of thousands. And today, the combination of a poor economic environment + coins that are hardly “compelling” + the way that many or even most buyers actually buy their coins = the result you describe: losing money.

 

I do not believe that most collectors either buy or even attempt to acquire “compelling” coins; that is coins that dedicated collectors in a particular field really want. And even if they are dedicated, based upon the prices I see for US coins, I do not see how the “typical” or average collector can afford to do it either.

 

The money I have in my entire collection (over 200 NGC and PCGS coins) is less than some of the individual coins in Bill’s type set. At the same time, I believe my collection is worth a lot more than most. If I collected US coins, I could have bought a “nice” collection but one which is vastly inferior to the one I actually have.

 

I would expect that most collectors have less than $10,000 in their collections, maybe a lot less based upon the comments in the other thread on how members budget for their collections. For someone who mostly or exclusively buys US coins, a collection of this value is either going to result in a small or very small number of quality coins or a much larger number that may not be very marketable, certainly a lot less so in a weak economy.

 

To give you an example from my collection, I paid $220 for a Spanish 1729 NGC MS-66 Seville mint 1 Real in 2003. What exactly would $220 have bought in 2003 from US coinage? My answer is mostly the run of the mill coins I am describing which is exactly what most collectors actually bought and still buy.

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Bill, you were a dealer? Are we talking apples and oranges? You let a nitwit buy at wholesale and he's going to make money when he goes to sell at retail. Buy at retail, hold it for 40 years, then cash off, and then tell me you made money. I'm sorry, buddy, it's not gonna happen.

 

I am a retired dealer. I was a collector for over 30 years before I became a dealer. I paid retail for everything I bought when I was in high school. Around 1973 I sold a lot of it and made money on almost every piece. I bought a lot of material at coin shows in the 1970s,'80s and early '90sand not as a dealer. I also bought a lot coins from a very special bid wall that was in Boston usually competing with dealers.

 

Maybe I'm all wrong now because I've completed a U.S. type set from 1792 to let's say 1990. That covers a lot of "rare" and expensive coins. If there is a U.S. type coin in the Red Book, I have it. I don't collect the platinum, First Spouse or huge silver quarter coins. According to my calculations I’d still make money on my collection if I sold it.

 

I'm probably unusual because I've studied U.S. coinage and tokens extensively. Dealers come to me to ask advice on things they have purchased. With most collectors it's the other way around. Most people don't spend enough time in the hobby to do what I do. Some people don't have talent to know which coins are attrative to other collectors and which ones are not. All I'm saying is that I've done well over the years, and I've known a fair number of advanced collectors, like me, who have done the same.

 

You let a nitwit buy at wholesale and he's going to make money when he goes to sell at retail.

 

I strongly disagree with this statement. I've known a number of people who tied to be dealers and failed. First buying "wholesale" is not easy. As a dealer I never had the contacts where dealers "fed" me coins at wholesale levels. I picked coins and tokens from dealers' inventory, asked prices, and determined if I could make money at that price. Sometimes I got to buy collections, but that was not the norm.

 

I also had a strong reputation. Many dealers were more than happy to let me take coins and tokens on consignment to sell for them. I filled want lists for collectors and sometimes even other dealers. I published a monthyly newsletter, which I wrote, on various topics.

 

Dealing in coins is a tough business because the mark-uips and low. Just about every collector gets the Gray Sheet and many of them expect to buy and sell at those prices with no margin for you. The way to succeed was to know more than many of the other guys in the business and work hard at it.

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I have a question concerning collecting and investing. If I were to start building a collection over the next 20 years to have it help fund a retirement for later which is better, buying items that you like or buying items that you have no attachment to and dont really care about.

 

Heres an example: I like currency, love the art of all the different bills. I could put a real nice collection of them and enjoy them over the next 20+ years, but then my goal may not happen. I might be too attached to them or they might not be worth as much as I planned on because in the end, its only paper. OR I could take the same money, and put it into gold/silver coins. Theres no coins that I really like and could care less if its bullion or collectible, more collectible probably because you have collector value on top of the intrinsic value that could rise. At the end of 20+ years, it would be easier to part with, and if something happened, it wont be entirely worthless because of the bullion value.

 

 

I believe you probably have read some of my posts on the 'CGC' forums, so I will spare the details. I will offer some advice (assuming I can't change your mind).

 

Number one, if you are investing versus collecting; have a written plan COMPLETE with a workable 'exit strategy' (much like writing a well executed business plan). So many collectors tell me (and many others) that they are 'investing.' Make sure you are not using the term 'investing' just to convince yourself that spending 'X' amount of dollars on an item is acceptable.

 

Number two, in most cases true investing is void of emotional attachment. Collecting is just the opposite (passion is the primary motivator). That is not to say you cannot be a collector/investor, but just know that the path to financial 'ruin' is crowded with individuals who would not listen to sound logic.

 

Number three, (and those on the CGC forums have heard me state this ad nauseam); the easiest way to financial success in capitalism is to INVEST IN WHAT YOU KNOW. If you have a credit card that you are paying 16% interest on and are thinking of buying a coin that may or may not return 10% over the next year, by all means pay off the credit card. This is why a written plan is so valuable.

 

Number four, work with a dealer (or a few dealers) you trust. Sometimes what looks too good to be true actually is. Better to pay a few dollars more to get what you are sure of then take a gamble and lose.

 

In conclusion I wish you all the best, but speaking as someone who operates part time (which is really full time) in the antiques and collectibles business, I can tell you that I know collectors who made a modest amount of return in the collectibles marketplace and others who lost the 'farm.' Just by seeking knowledge and choosing to 'invest in what you know' you will be ahead of most of them.

 

Kind Regards,

 

'mint'

 

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Kirtdog,

I think I might know the area in coin collecting where you got burned because I burned too - a complete set of coins. When I was in high school I built a circulated set of Indian cents. When I sold that set I got only a third of what I paid for it. The coins were not junk. The set was all Fine or better with number of better pieces. The 1877, 1866 to 1876 and 1878 were in Fine or better. The 1909-S was EF and the 1908-S was AU. Still dealers would not pay me much for that set. So if you own[ed] something like that I know what happened, and I sympathize.

 

I learned my lesson. No more sets that contained a lot common dates that few collectors want. Concentrate on buying "special" coins.

 

P.S. To expand on this a bit, When I was a dealer a bought a collection / accumulation of Indian cents. The keys and semi-keys sold instantly despite the fact that the lone 1877 had been cleaned and could only make it into an ANACS holder. A dealer bought it INSTANTLY.

 

I took me a couple years to sell all of the common dates, which included many pieces from the 1880s that graded from VG to EF. One dealer who bought a large number of them a year or so after they had sat in my inventory, commented about how unusual to it was to see so many original, attractive pieces. Nevertheless it took a long time to sell them.

 

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The only coins that I lost money on were SOME but not all of the poor quality pieces that I foolishly and hastily purchased and later decided that I didn't like them (in less than a year) and then tried to liquidate them. I've made lotsa money on the other better quality pieces that I've held for 5-10 years.

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Here's your plan for ya!

 

Buy a 1913 Liberty Nickel.

 

Pay a Record Price for it!

 

Put it away for 12/14/16 months or so.

 

Promote the living snot out of it! Show it off!

 

Then, put it up on Heritage with a nice fat "investment return" RESERVE.

 

IF it doesn't sell, at least it will have huge publicity and maybe you can sell it privately for another record breaking and retirement making profit!

 

Follow these suggestions, and you'll easily make a million!

 

OF, you could pay a record breaking price for a 55/55 Lincoln in say, 65RD, keep it for 2 years and then sell it for a $10,000 profit!

 

Regardless of what you do, if you're going to invest in coins or a collection, specifically to make a profit for retirement, you're going to have to pay BIG BUCKS for proven, reliable, collectibles. You'll have to be selective as well.

 

It will work, but you're going to have to tie some money up in it!

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I know (or at least assume) that the original question was posed from the standpoint of a US collector and that your reply was partly in jest, but I did not buy any of the type of coins described by your post. I did not and do not expect to make millions either but I have made more than most ever have or ever will, at least at this time.

 

I have only paid more than $1000 twice. Most of the coins I own or owned are of nominal value by US collecting standards. The way I did it is by buying coins that others ignored and I did it one coin at a time.

 

Someone can certainly make a lot of money buying the type of coins you describe, but most cannot afford to do so and I do not believe they provide the best returns either because the competition is too intense to acquire them "cheap". Most of the collectors I know in my specialties also seem to think they have to buy the rarities (whether actual or imaginary) which is why I was able to buy the coins I did right under their noses.

 

In my experience, the more expensive coins I have bought ($500 or more), have provided the WORST returns even when I made money EXCEPT for those which contained some defect since I cannot inspect most of my purchases in person first. On those I obviously lost money or will when I sell them.

 

Today, I still own many exceptional coins in my series but few collect them. Later or many years later, I believe that many more will, especially the Spanish colonial pillar minors (since I own many that are almost certainly among the best still in existence) which are numismatically comporable to US capped bust and earlier designs but at a fraction or miniscule fraction of the price. I do not believe (or care) that they will always be worth less than these coins but I expect the price gap to close considerably because many of them by comparison are dirt cheap.

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In case you have not looked recently the Spanish colonial pillar coinage has gone up a lot in recent years. The Pillar dollars, which used to sell for $200-ish in EF and now $400-ish. The smaller coins are not that cheap any more either. I've small type set of those coins which is reason why I've noticed that.

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In case you have not looked recently the Spanish colonial pillar coinage has gone up a lot in recent years. The Pillar dollars, which used to sell for $200-ish in EF and now $400-ish. The smaller coins are not that cheap any more either. I've small type set of those coins which is reason why I've noticed that.

 

You are absolutely correct. I have not been a buyer of hardly anything for the last few years (more of a seller) but I still track these coins relatively closely.

 

I only own one pillar dollar currently and have never tried to buy many of them because I preferred the minors and do not have the money for both plus the other series I collect. A Mexico EF is now in the $400 to $500 range and AU which used to sell for slightly more are now closer to $1000 or even more if the coin is nice or if it's an earlier (but still not rare) date. MS now seem to sell for $2000 or more except for the 1754 Mexico because it is a hoard coin having over 400 in the census. Some Peru dates are available but sell for more.

 

The minors are much harder to find especially the 4R or any outside of Mexico. I have only seen a few high quality coins from the subsidiary mints in the last five years and have bought a few circulated examples recently for this reason.

 

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I think I might know the area in coin collecting where you got burned because I burned too - a complete set of coins. When I was in high school I built a circulated set of Indian cents. When I sold that set I got only a third of what I paid for it. The coins were not junk. The set was all Fine or better with number of better pieces. The 1877, 1866 to 1876 and 1878 were in Fine or better. The 1909-S was EF and the 1908-S was AU. Still dealers would not pay me much for that set.

That's pretty much it, Bill, yes. That's pretty much where I'm coming from. Although, I wouldn't restrict it to just circulated sets. I know experienced collectors who have sold uncirculated sets (one is a parent in my kid's coin club; another is a close friend from my childhood coin club who just did uncirculated sets, and we all thought he was kind of strange for that), and they didn't get anywhere near what they had invested in the sets. Basically, the key coins will have the best chance at holding their value, while the rest are, if you get what I'm saying, surplusage (i.e., just along for the ride).

 

I learned my lesson. No more sets that contained a lot common dates that few collectors want. Concentrate on buying "special" coins.

There we go. That's the exception. You have me persuaded on that. I just don't have any personal experience or examples to draw from, there. I do think you boys may be right, though. The trouble is, that's not how most collectors collect.

 

One other thing, and I'll have to let you go. Trying to sell off a set coin-by-coin adds a lot of cost, and that's another reason a lot of collectors, when they're ready to call it quits on a set, go to cash off in bulk. The thing is, though, they expect to get better than they have invested in the set; yet, that proves to be a fallacy, as they rarely, if ever, do. And, that's all I'm saying, really. Again, I'll note your exceptions, if for no better reason than I don't have the background to know, either way, while you, on the other hand, do. Have to go.

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Twenty years ago, quality United States Currency would have been the thing to buy vs many classic US Coins. If I were to go back to that time and start over I would have concentrated on quality National Bank Notes and Large Size Currency primarily in high grade plus scarce nationals say XF/AU or higher. I would have also specialized in Modern World Gold and built a considerable bullion stockpile. During that period there were some US Mint products that were real winners and I would have tried to pick up some of these.

 

I would have avoided US Generics or just about any US coins significantly over melt. Many of these are still below their 1989 levels. If you take a look at the graphs in the blue sheet you can see what I mean. The premium over melt on many US Gold type coins like generic Saints has come down. There may be some opportunity if the premiums can hold their own. MS65 Saints would have been a horrible investment in 1990 vs Bullion American Gold Eagles.

 

I do think there are opportunities today in many classic US Coins, especially inexpensive Silver Commems in say MS63-66. A good collection by mint of generic Walkers and Dollars is nice but I am not a fan of buying any graded over MS65. Coin Collecting is a hobby and involves considerable risk and speculation. It is not an investment with a low commission structure like stocks.

 

If I starting out now, I would want to build a good bullion stockpile and buy some classic US issues I enjoyed. I would be skittish on anything over $300 unless it was selling close to gold BV. The thing about high cost numismatics is if you get in a bind and have to sell you can take a beating. If you won some high cost numismatic coin at auction, well you may have paid more than anyone else in the country. If you bought one significantly over wholesale bid then good luck if you have to sell it right away.

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Chris,

Luckly it wont be to completly fund my retirement with the plan I am using, it will more likely be used for those extra spending times. I am retired AF, so I get that check every month, plus 80% disabled, so I get a VA check also. I currently work for the government also, so in 20 years I will have another government retirement. By then, I wont have any bills other than basic living items and utilities, so my monthly income should cover my living expenses. I have money in the stock market, IRA, 401K and 2 houses...

 

Sounds to me like you're going to be fine.

 

Life is short, enjoy it while you can. Build that currency collection for which you have a passion.

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In one of my specialties (South Africa), I believe that a disproportionate number of these "investors" (that is, speculators) came to view their collections as "fail proof investments". They apparently have this mind set because they have never experienced a down cycle since prices until recently had only been increasing since I resumed collecting in 1998 and most of them probably started well after that.

 

The last post in your paragraph I interprept to describe those that I call "weak hands" or someone who has inadequate capital to maintain their position - or in this instance collection - under adverse circumstances. For obvious reasons, I believe that many owners of the "collector" US coinage fit this profile which explains why some of those who are posting here have their experiences. The supply of the coins they own or sold has increased and there is/was insufficient demand for it.

 

I believe that a possibly disproportionate percentage of "investors" in South Africa are over exposed financially. I have tried to warn them about that but I do not think they believe me. Given the small size and illiquid nature of that market, if even a small number of them run into financial difficulty, it could increase the available supply disproportionately and prices with it.

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In one of my specialties (South Africa), I believe that a disproportionate number of these "investors" (that is, speculators) came to view their collections as "fail proof investments". They apparently have this mind set because they have never experienced a down cycle since prices until recently had only been increasing since I resumed collecting in 1998 and most of them probably started well after that.

 

The last post in your paragraph I interprept to describe those that I call "weak hands" or someone who has inadequate capital to maintain their position - or in this instance collection - under adverse circumstances. For obvious reasons, I believe that many owners of the "collector" US coinage fit this profile which explains why some of those who are posting here have their experiences. The supply of the coins they own or sold has increased and there is/was insufficient demand for it.

 

I believe that a possibly disproportionate percentage of "investors" in South Africa are over exposed financially. I have tried to warn them about that but I do not think they believe me. Given the small size and illiquid nature of that market, if even a small number of them run into financial difficulty, it could increase the available supply disproportionately and prices with it.

 

If you (or anyone) collects 'world' coins, I must admire you. The amount of knowledge needed to assess this market must be astounding. The only thing I can honestly compare this to is the antiques market. America has two hundred years of history. This is where most dealers and collectors (in the United States generally start). Then they soon learn that other countries like Great Britain and China have thousands of years worth of history...and antiques. This is where it gets confusing.

 

To anyone that knows the market of world coins; I truly salute you!

 

Respectfully,

 

'mint'

 

PS: Edited due to me being on an iPad and my spelling/grammar being horrid as result!

Edited by mintcollector
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If you plan on using it to fund your retirement, then coins/currency is the last thing you want to buy. Sure, it may be possible for them to increase in value if you live to be 100, but after you've factored in inflation, it still wouldn't be that great a return.

Chris

 

I agree. It is true that you can make a decent profit if you know what you're doing (and with a little luck); however, the coin/paper money market is thinly capitalized (even more so than other markets). I would not recommend investing in them for your retirement.

 

If you still wish to include coins in your retirement portfolio, I would limit it to 5-10%. Diversification is key not only within the individual market (i.e. coins) but across markets as well (i.e. if one market tanks, i.e. the coin market, be sure to have assets in other areas).

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I collect for my enjoyment.

Any financial gains would just be icing on the cake

That makes two of us, except it took me a long time to learn that. You don't have to bet big in this game to have fun. In fact, I have much more enjoyment, now, than when I was spending a lot of money. No question about it.

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I collect for my enjoyment.

Any financial gains would just be icing on the cake

That makes two of us, except it took me a long time to learn that. You don't have to bet big in this game to have fun. In fact, I have much more enjoyment, now, than when I was spending a lot of money. No question about it.

 

I second that. I preferred it when the coins I collect were cheaper. Yes, even though I have made money on them, the increased prices mean that I can buy less than before and will make it either more difficult or impossible to collect what I had set as a goal initially.

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I collect for my enjoyment.

Any financial gains would just be icing on the cake

 

I third that. I make informed purchases but my first collecting priority is enjoyment and research. Of course when I finally sell all my coins I would love to make huge amounts of money. But even if I break even I will be happy. It will be worth the years of enjoyment.

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If you (or anyone) collects 'world' coins, I must admire you. The amount of knowledge needed to assess this market must be astounding. The only thing I can honestly compare this to is the antiques market. America has two hundred years of history. This is where most dealers and collectors (in the United States generally start). Then they soon learn that other countries like Great Britain and China have thousands of years worth of history...and antiques. This is where it gets confusing.

 

To anyone that knows the market of world coins; I truly salute you!

 

Respectfully,

 

'mint'

 

Thanks but I do not see it as that different than coillecting US coins from a financial standpoint. The principles are the same in the sense that you must know your specialty since no one can collect everything. The primary difficulties are these two:

 

I have bought almost all of my coins without inspecting them in person first. The only time this has not been true is for the handful (maybe a dozen or so) I have purchased at the ANA conventions I attended. Otherwise, it is eBay, very occasionally directly from dealers and lastly from public auctions like Heritage.

 

The majority of my coins I have also bought ungraded which increases the risk of buying problem coins substantially. The way I have usually controlled for this risk is simply by using low or very low bids and a few times, by having a dealer represent me at public auctions. And yes, sometimes that means that I "miss out" on a coin I would otherwise like to buy.

 

This is necessary because local dealers and for that matter, practically any dealer, almost never have anything I want to buy. Most of the coins I collect are both in low demand and are almost never available, either at all or in a condition that is worth buying.

 

Second, there is either limited or no reference material available. Its not like US coins (or even British and ancients) where someone has written a book or at least an article.

 

From a financial standpoint, what this means is that there is frequently no way to know how available the coins actually are especially in different grades. Its better now because since prices are higher, more have been sold at venues like Heritage but its still very limited.

 

The only way to really obtain this information is to actually go out and try to buy the coins yourself which is exactly how I leaned what I know. This is how I obtained my (now shrinking) information advantage over others and was able to buy many of the coins I did as cheaply as I did.

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If you (or anyone) collects 'world' coins, I must admire you. The amount of knowledge needed to assess this market must be astounding. The only thing I can honestly compare this to is the antiques market. America has two hundred years of history. This is where most dealers and collectors (in the United States generally start). Then they soon learn that other countries like Great Britain and China have thousands of years worth of history...and antiques. This is where it gets confusing.

 

To anyone that knows the market of world coins; I truly salute you!

 

Respectfully,

 

'mint'

 

Thanks but I do not see it as that different than coillecting US coins from a financial standpoint. The principles are the same in the sense that you must know your specialty since no one can collect everything. The primary difficulties are these two:

 

I have bought almost all of my coins without inspecting them in person first. The only time this has not been true is for the handful (maybe a dozen or so) I have purchased at the ANA conventions I attended. Otherwise, it is eBay, very occasionally directly from dealers and lastly from public auctions like Heritage.

 

The majority of my coins I have also bought ungraded which increases the risk of buying problem coins substantially. The way I have usually controlled for this risk is simply by using low or very low bids and a few times, by having a dealer represent me at public auctions. And yes, sometimes that means that I "miss out" on a coin I would otherwise like to buy.

 

This is necessary because local dealers and for that matter, practically any dealer, almost never have anything I want to buy. Most of the coins I collect are both in low demand and are almost never available, either at all or in a condition that is worth buying.

 

Second, there is either limited or no reference material available. Its not like US coins (or even British and ancients) where someone has written a book or at least an article.

 

From a financial standpoint, what this means is that there is frequently no way to know how available the coins actually are especially in different grades. Its better now because since prices are higher, more have been sold at venues like Heritage but its still very limited.

 

The only way to really obtain this information is to actually go out and try to buy the coins yourself which is exactly how I leaned what I know. This is how I obtained my (now shrinking) information advantage over others and was able to buy many of the coins I did as cheaply as I did.

 

I do agree that the principles are the same. Your whole post can actually apply to the antiques market as well. Certain areas of the market are not covered all that much by reference material and it is within these areas where a lot of money is made (and lost; if you do not know what you are doing).

 

That being said, my initial point was to applaud your efforts by collecting world coins. This is not a market (as you have stated) that has been well ventured...and documented (or should that be the other way around?)

 

Kind Regards,

 

'mint'

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