Elthamboy wrote: ↑
18 Sep 2020 13:59
It is quite clear that collecting stamps should be treated as simply a hobby and not an investment.
I think that's a good mindset to approach collecting stamps, perfins... whatever.
Arthur Gray had passion for his topic, and was foremost a collector, not an investor. As the specialisation grew, his knowledge and ability to spot mispricing would also have been honed, and he may well have swept up bargains others had not seen "on the day".
But Arthur Gray is an exception, effectively "a lottery ticket winner, where thousands of others have lost money (cash to cash)".
I would imagine (and I never met the guy, but the Sheriff did), that "even if" his collection only realised a million dollars, he would still have maintained every bit of pride in his joy of ownership / custodianship of (some of) "the rarest pieces of Australian Philatelic History".
To a collector, "Joy of ownership" is the driver.
To an investor "Hope of returns" is the driver (and over 20 years that can be a very miserable journey, as all these items have huge peaks and troughs).
To be an investor, you need to be ruthless, and follow a handful of rules, to stand any chance of making cash to cash returns.
Global Administrator wrote: ↑
18 Sep 2020 10:27
Learn your field first. Buy from reputable sources. Steer totally clear of eBay.
Two of those bits of advice would be "a bit different" from me.
Learn your field first
There are few shortcuts to experience, and you will pay for your mistakes along the way, so don't make the same mistake twice.
Buy from reputable sources
This is a great way to start out, but as your knowledge of your specialist area increases, you will end up knowing more than many of the reputable dealers "about your specialism".
In my world, this one would morph to "Authenticate", and its an important step in your development "when you trust your own resources, to have an opinion on that".
(Famously, a lot of "investors" bought from SG, "A most trusted reputable source", only to find their investments decimated to around 10% over a 20 year period).
Steer totally clear of eBay
Initially, maybe, but we see the eBay excesses "at both ends of the spectrum" (here on SB).
Just as there are clueless buyers, there are also clueless sellers, and many people (I would say at least 100:1, with no tangible backup whatsoever) end up "slightly ahead" when they buy on eBay.
If you are greedy and impetuous, you will lose your shirt, but if you are knowledgeable and patient, there are great items, sold by the clueless, that you can use your knowledge to "pick up, for a song".
My advice on eBay would be "don't seriously dabble, until you have mastered the topic" (unless its for very trivial amounts - a tenner lost, but a lesson learned, is "cheap education" in the scheme of things).
"Be the knowledgeable buyer" (and don't be frightened to get your money back, when required).
Most of all - Try to have fun - Its actually quite hard to do that when "money doubts" and "fear of loss" eat into your enjoyment of the hobby.