The Power of a Penny

I think we all dream of it… walking through a yard sale and discovering a rare Picasso that the owner was sure was a fake.

Or maybe it’s a personal letter from George Washington tucked away in the attic of a house you just purchased.

Personally, I was always hoping to uncover buried pirate treasure – though highly unlikely, considering that I grew up in Kentucky rather than near the coast.

Earlier this year, one man uncovered a rare penny buried in a parsnip field in Nottinghamshire that is expected to sell for £15,000 (approximately $18,280) at auction on March 15. The penny was minted during the time of Viking king Sihtric Caoch roughly 1,100 years ago. And despite being buried in the ground for more than a millennium, the coin is in extremely fine condition.

But you don’t need to head to the rolling hills of the U.K. with a metal detector to make a nice profit in rare and ancient coins. There’s actually a much easier way to grow your wealth…

To properly introduce you to the world of investing in rare and ancient coins, I’ve gone in search of an expert.

Geoff Anandappa is an investment portfolio manager for Stanley Gibbons Ltd., the world’s leading brand name in collectibles, based in England but with offices in London, the Channel Islands, Hong Kong and Singapore. The Stanley Gibbons Group includes the world’s oldest rare-stamp merchant (established in 1856) and philatelist to British royalty since 1914; and the U.K.’s largest coin dealer, A. H. Baldwin & Sons (established 1872).

Jocelynn: I think most Americans are aware of the impressive size of the American coin market, particularly with regular stories hitting the newswires about rare American coins selling for over a million dollars. But are there other markets that investors should be paying attention to because of their growth?

Geoff: Rare and early coins from increasingly prosperous areas around the world are rising in demand from collectors in search of a piece of history. Coins from Eastern Europe, such as Russia, Poland and Hungary, have seen some prices increase tenfold in the past decade. Coins from India and the Middle East, long ignored by Western collectors, are now of intense interest. Even traditional collecting areas – such as ancient Greek and Roman, as well as Western European and British coins – have increased over fivefold in the past decade.

Jocelynn: Where is this price growth coming from?

Geoff: Some of this demand has been stimulated by the rise in the price of gold and silver – but the bullion value of rare coins is far surpassed by their numismatic value. Far more importantly, collectors have recognized the rarity of coins in exceptional condition, and so the premium for such coins has escalated accordingly.

Jocelynn: If many of these areas are seeing such growth, should investors be worried about these rare coins being overvalued?

Geoff: Despite the strong demand and price rises, these rare world coins are still very much undervalued when compared to their U.S. counterparts. The size and prosperity of the American collector base, coupled with the relatively small number of rare coins, means that U.S. rarities go for 10 or 20 times the price of equivalent coins from England or ancient Greece and Rome – and perhaps 100 times the price of their Asian or Middle Eastern equivalents.

This discrepancy offers a unique opportunity for U.S. investors to diversify their collection with rare world coins that are seeing substantial and steady growth in value.

Jocelynn: When it comes to American coins, I know that the grade is very important in understanding the quality of the coin, and hence, its value. Does the same grading system apply to significantly older world coins?

Geoff: Most coins sold in North America are graded on a scale from 1 to 70 by independent grading services such as Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) or Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC). This may be possible for more modern, mass-produced coins. However, grading is much more difficult and becomes more subjective with older coins – especially hammered coins where the quality of the strike makes each coin unique, even before any wear due to circulation is taken into consideration.

In England and Europe, there are essentially four grades of condition: Fine, Very Fine, Extremely Fine and Uncirculated (“Fleur de Coin” if exceptional). The terms “Good” and “About” can qualify these grades. Thus, Good Very Fine (GVF) is better than Very Fine (VF), which is, in turn, better than About Very Fine (AVF).

Jocelynn: Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start adding rare world coins to their collection? Where do you begin?

Geoff: Unless you wish to start collecting coins rather than investing in them, it is not advisable to try to put together “sets.” Often, a set will include less rare coins that are not of investment quality, and therefore less likely to increase in price. Additionally, a set of similar coins will tend to rise (and fall) in value at the same rate. Instead, concentrate on finding rare coins, in the finest condition, from a range of different collecting areas. All of the coins should, in time, show a good return – with a few showing exceptional returns as new areas become more popular.

Wealth Solutions in Uncertain Times

We’ve only just scratched the surface when it comes to using collectibles to increase and diversify your investments. Collectibles, or what we often refer to as “quiet wealth,” are a way of protecting your assets not only from upheaval in the market, but also from the uncertainty we are facing with a government that has accumulated more than $19 trillion in debt and is militarizing our police force.

Proper planning now will not only work to protect your assets as America struggles to find its footing again, but it will also help you sleep well at night knowing that you chose to diversify your investments outside the volatility of the market.

The Weird Reality About Homes in Australia

They are now priced out of reach of the majority of home owners who are trying to get a foot into the market. While thousands remain empty there are also a huge number of investors are holding onto many of these houses and rather than rent them out they are only interested in capital gains.

Successive governments are to blame although they repeatedly ‘pass the buck’ to their former colleagues rather than face up to the crisis that is now in their court. It is my guess that many politicians are also multi-home owners themselves which is why the crisis continues.’

In 1999 the then Liberal government under John Howard brought in a scheme called ‘negative gearing’ to minimise the tax paid on properties by investors. While this had a huge impact on locals buying up the Real Estate and paying off mortgages through the rents charged it has drained the country of sustainable economic benefits.

While it was once the great Australian dream to own one’s own home the unfortunate fact is that it is now a nightmare. Overseas and multi-home investors have shrunk the number of available properties to the point where prices have soared out of reach. Houses are rising so far in value that even tiny bits of land between then are selling for astronomical sums.

Now the government is in a bind. Again it is the Liberal Part, under Malcolm Turnbull, that has the weight of this nightmare to deal with. While he is a multi-millionaire who lives in a prime harbour side mansion it is a thorn in the side of those who live on the streets or struggle to pay rents to greedy landlords.

So the question remains: how many politicians are multi-home owners and is this the reason they are refusing to allow negative gearing to overturned? Their argument against that action centres around suggestions that the property market would collapse and greatly affect the economy. The reality is that this is what most people want to happen.

John Howard was one of only two Prime Ministers who lost his seat while in office. His approach to the economy and certainly his introduction of negative gearing has now cost this country dearly. With the next budget only 5 weeks away the current treasurer is scratching his head to figure out a way around the anger that is brewing about home ownership.

Young people and old folk are unhappy and looking for alternatives in the political arena as the polices of both Labor and Liberal have let them down. The opposition Labor Party is now campaigning hard to get negative gearing overturned but many are asking why they never did it when they were in office over an 8 year period that ended just 3 years ago. This is not a new problem.

It is, however, another case of humans living through hell under the auspices of a World Order that is ruled by the laws implemented by Constantine some 1700 years ago. While man has endeavoured to create his own heaven on earth he has achieved the opposite especially when it comes to wealth creation and looking after those who struggle to acquire a home of their own.

Reduce Your Stake

To begin with, your risk appetite depends on certain factors which are your age, personality, financial and past experience. You need to understand that younger people tend to have a higher risk appetite. This is attributed to the fact that they have a lower relative inexperience. Older folks may have experienced losses in the past due to bad judgment and decisions. As a result, they are more careful as they trod and progress in life. There are hard times indeed, and as such, you must be averse to risk. If you desire better results and big profits, it is essential you allocate your resources efficiently and avoid the risk of losing your entire invested assets.

First and foremost, you need to identify what are your asset invested assets. It may be financial, physical or spiritual. Financial advantages are cash, stocks and equities. Physical plus point are liquid assets such as buildings. Spiritual assets include your character, prayer and obligation to GOD. Given these points, your investment when done with a long-term focus can produce amazing high returns, which would support your future plans. How nervous do you get when you lose? The rule of the game is not to put all your eggs in one basket. It is important to diversify in order to reduce your stake. For instance, if you pull together all your money into a business venture, definitely, the chances of getting back your hard-earned money is hard because you have raised your risk appetite. The truth of the matter is if you do not want volatility, you better minimize the menace of instability and protect your investments.

Tips on how to manage a high risk appetite

It is important to take time to study your risk appetite. Keeping an eye on it can prevent minor mistakes from plunging you into big problems. Always make sure you learn the basics and set concrete and meaningful goals. Diversify and review your risk assets regularly in order to get a profitable venture. As you walk along the line, you need to learn how to reward yourself. Pay yourself by either selling a small part of your profitable venture or investing more in other projects. Did your goals meet up with planned objectives? Remember that there are many fraudsters waiting for the opportunity to steal your profits and eat the fruits of your labor. Avoid anything that is free it is usually a trap that may explode your risk appetite.