Category Archives: Coin
Diversification is a core investment principal. The old saw that there are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old bold pilots can be applied to traders. Other than stocks, what are other effective ways of making money? Bonds, commodities, cash? These instruments do not seem to be much appetizing at the moment.
Alternative investments can be the best and worst of investments. This is the zone where an offer of a piece of Brazilian jungle, carbon credits or funky real estate can lead investors astray.
One of the best classes of alternative investment is numismatic coins. They have the following benefits:
Low correlation to other assets: Numismatic coins have kept up a 7% annual compound rate of growth for as long as you care to look back. A coin that was $100 in the past during depression is now $20000. There is no asset that is free of correlation but the main correlation for numismatics is general money supply with an underlying link with fear. During the credit crunch when people were pulling their cash from British banks, coin dealers were as busy as the vendors of safes.
Inflation hedge: Coins are very helpful in beating inflation. A Triple Unite from 1646 that was about $10000 to its original owner is now worth anywhere between $80000 to $150000. This is about 3% above the rate of inflation over the last 368 years. Inflation is an increasingly mysterious number. Many people believe that their grocery bills and the constant rise in price do not match the stated inflation numbers. The prices of the hard assets are always going up. This is counterbalanced by a mixture of “soft assets” deflation, questionable statistics and agricultural subsidies.
High portability: Unlike dollar bills, many are not trained to sniff out collectible coins. You can put a multimillion dollar collection in your pocket and go away. Some people believe that bullets are a great alternative investment.
A global market with auctions: Alternative investments tend to be illiquid, just like coins. You can sell the items quickly to a dealer, but the bid/offer on that isn’t too great. Coins are for the investors who are patient and an auction is a solid venue for them.
Coins have a great history of being valuable assets: Coins have a good track record of being desirable assets. They have been collected by popes and emperors, and have been a pastime of the rich for centuries. They provide a good demand in the resale market.
Numismatics is not the only collectible with good investment and diversification attributes. You will find them in the form of stamps, banknotes and many other obscure and/or fascinating genres like film posters, toys, china and other art virtue. Almost everyone has the same reasons to collect coins. If you put all your financial eggs in one investment basket, your probability of loss is concentrated. Collecting is a fine way of spreading your investment risk.