Advantages of Investing In Stamps

Rare stamps are truly rare: On an average day, 250,000 shares of Boeing are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, which represents about $10 million changing hands on a single day’s trade of a single stock. Ten million dollars placed in the stock or bond markets means very little, but in the rare stamp market, $10 million is a huge amount of money. To buy nearly every United States tamp issued to 1890 (not one of each, but every one!) would cost but a few hundred million dollars (at 1980 prices), just 10 percent of the dollar amounts purchased on the New York Stock Exchange in a single day. Of course, as the buyer of the stamps came closer and closer to this goal, price rises would push the attainment beyond his reach. But even so, rare stamps are incredibly rare. Items of which only a few thousand exist often sell for a few hundred dollars and seldom for more than a few thousand. The stamp market, despite phenomenal rises over the last decade, is looked at by some investment people as a fantastic new field where prices have only just begun to rise.


A work of art: Philately is one of the few investments where the buyer can reap aesthetic as well as financial rewards. Many people have turned to rare stamp investing for strictly pragmatic, financially remunerative reasons, and have ended up becoming hardened philatelists for whom the investment potential of stamps became secondary. The irrational love of stamps is one of philately’s greatest investment strengths. For it means that when short-term market fluctuations push down the price of a certain stamp, or when a stamp reaches a price plateau at which it appears it will remain for a few years, there is no rush of sellers to further depress prices because the holders of these stamps are keeping them for more than pure investment reasons.


Some investors love philately’s tiny size: The large pension funds, mutual funds, and trust funds are in virtual control of the stock and bond markets today. Philately remains one of the few areas in which an investor with as little as $50 per month to spend can assemble, over the course of years, a significant holding of great value.

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