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At serious risk of being flames sprained... Does anyone here collect anything of significant value? There are always better uses for money, but wondering if anyone from this financially saavy group has a hobby (or business, I suppose) collecting stuff (antiques, coins, stamps, cars, etc). Seems better than drinking.

Budget advice? Collecting interests?

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Cars
Gold
Guns
Ammo

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I collect spores, molds and fungus

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scrouds said:   I collect spores, molds and fungus
We had part of a slinky but I straightened it.

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Does collecting notches on my bedpost count?

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When I see a thing of beauty, I must have it.

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surferb said:   At serious risk of being flames sprained... Does anyone here collect anything of significant value? There are always better uses for money, but wondering if anyone from this financially saavy group has a hobby (or business, I suppose) collecting stuff (antiques, coins, stamps, cars, etc). Seems better than drinking.

Budget advice? Collecting interests?

  Dollars

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surferb said:    Collecting interests?
Interests, dividends, capital appreciations -- I like collecting all of those.

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scrouds said:   I collect spores, molds and fungus
  Well, if you were Alexander Fleming you'd be famous.

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surferb said:   At serious risk of being flames sprained... Does anyone here collect anything of significant value? There are always better uses for money, but wondering if anyone from this financially saavy group has a hobby (or business, I suppose) collecting stuff (antiques, coins, stamps, cars, etc). Seems better than drinking.

Budget advice? Collecting interests?
 

  Actually, I collect whiskey.

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So I can sell it to Mike and Frank at a loss later? No thanks.

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I collect pokeman cards and the beanie babies. One day they are going to be worth a TON OF MONEY!!!

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I collect houses.

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fw9999 said:   
scrouds said:   I collect spores, molds and fungus
  Well, if you were Alexander Fleming you'd be famous.

  I'd argue that Egon Spangler is famouser

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surferb said:   1. Does anyone here collect anything of significant value?
2. There are always better uses for money, but wondering if anyone from this financially saavy group has a hobby (or business, I suppose) collecting stuff (antiques, coins, stamps, cars, etc). Seems better than drinking.
3. Budget advice? 

  
1. On and off, coins/precious metals/pets. Some for financial purposes, some for sentimental values.
2. If you are replacing your drinking budget with investing of any sort, yes it will be better. 
3. Don't divert funds from your "real" investments for investing in collectibles. If by some minor miracle you hit it rich, try to diversify and keep <10% of your assets in them.

Here are a few things to consider, and why I would generally advise against doing what you are thinking of:

  • If you don't know the hobby you are looking into, you will lose money for quite awhile. There are people who have been at it far longer than you, that information gap will cost time/money to close
  • If gold triples in 3 years, when I sell the ETF I pay the 15% capital gains tax rate. If I sell a gold coin, I have to pay 28%. If I don't have a receipt from when I purchased it, I owe 28% of the total
  • Most collectibles (some PMs/coins excluded) have no intrinsic value, they are only worth what everyone else is willing to pay for it. If the fad passes, they can literally be worth nothing overnight
  • Many collectibles have a very illiquid market. You might have items that are worth $5000, but if you need money today you'll be lucky to get $3000 for them.

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DH collected Magic:TG cards. By luck got in mid 1993, got a ton of OOP cards now worth $100s-$1000s each. Stopped collecting in 1996 and just stored the cards for 20 years. Dug them out to play with kids and found out by accident how much they have appreciated in 20 years (should have seen the face on friend who saw our kids playing with decks worth more than their new SUV). So we had to get them certified and insured, something in retrospect we should have done years ago.

From my standpoint, I would not recommend it. Seems like sheer luck to get in on that fad. Plus publisher could re-issue some cards worth $2-10k at any time and you'd be hosed. And there's no value in recent cards due to print run sizes. That's a good thing for your budget if you want to start collecting but very bad as an investment. As an investment going forward, some cards seem to keep getting pricier but it's hard to speculate on potential future value. Seems on par with roulette odds to me.

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Precious metals
(Lead and brass)

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Dust

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coins.

Buy some bitcoin! don't look at it for another 10 years (bad advice)

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Houses, 'L' lenses and Rolexes.

(First one pays for the other 2).

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Shandril said:   DH collected Magic:TG cards. By luck got in mid 1993, got a ton of OOP cards now worth $100s-$1000s each. Stopped collecting in 1996 and just stored the cards for 20 years. Dug them out to play with kids and found out by accident how much they have appreciated in 20 years (should have seen the face on friend who saw our kids playing with decks worth more than their new SUV). So we had to get them certified and insured, something in retrospect we should have done years ago.

From my standpoint, I would not recommend it. Seems like sheer luck to get in on that fad. Plus publisher could re-issue some cards worth $2-10k at any time and you'd be hosed. And there's no value in recent cards due to print run sizes. That's a good thing for your budget if you want to start collecting but very bad as an investment. As an investment going forward, some cards seem to keep getting pricier but it's hard to speculate on potential future value. Seems on par with roulette odds to me.

How many cards have you actually sold, at what values? That is the only true determinant of their "worth."

Reminds me of collecting baseball cards 30 years ago... reading magazines saying such-and-such card was "worth" $100, then going to a card convention and being offered 50 cents for it.  

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I collect records - meaning recorded music on vinyl. Got maybe 1,500 items total. I don't collect them with the goal of making money, but clearly some things I own are worth $20-$200 or so.

Later this year, I will start to unload the collection gradually. I'm looking for suggestions from FWF on how to price them (discogs,com or popsike.com, maybe?) and where to sell them (etsy, eBay, discogs). Thx

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I've collected stamps, coins and some other specific memorabilia. I am not active now.

I've done it really primarily as a hobby for fun. I specifically kept my purchases low in the $1-10 range primarily and not expected to make money at it.

I have a lot of stamps I bought at face value. I don't know if they've really grown in value but I can still put them on a letter so I haven't lost money. I have even kept pace with inflation with the more recent forever stamps.

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AlwaysWrite said:   
Shandril said:   DH collected Magic:TG cards. By luck got in mid 1993, got a ton of OOP cards now worth $100s-$1000s each. Stopped collecting in 1996 and just stored the cards for 20 years. Dug them out to play with kids and found out by accident how much they have appreciated in 20 years (should have seen the face on friend who saw our kids playing with decks worth more than their new SUV). So we had to get them certified and insured, something in retrospect we should have done years ago.

From my standpoint, I would not recommend it. Seems like sheer luck to get in on that fad. Plus publisher could re-issue some cards worth $2-10k at any time and you'd be hosed. And there's no value in recent cards due to print run sizes. That's a good thing for your budget if you want to start collecting but very bad as an investment. As an investment going forward, some cards seem to keep getting pricier but it's hard to speculate on potential future value. Seems on par with roulette odds to me.

How many cards have you actually sold, at what values? That is the only true determinant of their "worth."

Reminds me of collecting baseball cards 30 years ago... reading magazines saying such-and-such card was "worth" $100, then going to a card convention and being offered 50 cents for it.  

These values are real, with eBay sold prices and willing vendor buyers to prove it.

I collected around the same era but was young so sold my cards as I went along to buy more, and eventually sold almost everything when I stopped playing. Looking at the prices recently, I was astonished.

 

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Czechmeout said:   Most collectibles (some PMs/coins excluded) have no intrinsic value, they are only worth what everyone else is willing to pay for it. If the fad passes, they can literally be worth nothing overnightUsually it's more of a "when" than an "if".

I have a huge collection of unique and historical items safely stashed in my Megaton house. I have virtually satisfied my natural instinct for hoarding. It's definitely cheaper and better than drinking, although it has no other value.

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AlwaysWrite said:   
Shandril said:   DH collected Magic:TG cards. By luck got in mid 1993, got a ton of OOP cards now worth $100s-$1000s each. Stopped collecting in 1996 and just stored the cards for 20 years. Dug them out to play with kids and found out by accident how much they have appreciated in 20 years (should have seen the face on friend who saw our kids playing with decks worth more than their new SUV). So we had to get them certified and insured, something in retrospect we should have done years ago.

From my standpoint, I would not recommend it. Seems like sheer luck to get in on that fad. Plus publisher could re-issue some cards worth $2-10k at any time and you'd be hosed. And there's no value in recent cards due to print run sizes. That's a good thing for your budget if you want to start collecting but very bad as an investment. As an investment going forward, some cards seem to keep getting pricier but it's hard to speculate on potential future value. Seems on par with roulette odds to me.

How many cards have you actually sold, at what values? That is the only true determinant of their "worth."

Reminds me of collecting baseball cards 30 years ago... reading magazines saying such-and-such card was "worth" $100, then going to a card convention and being offered 50 cents for it.  

  
BrianGa has it right in his reply to this.

MTG card buying/selling has very little similarity, at all, to baseball cards (at least, compared to the era of cards you're referring to).

The card market for MTG is much more akin to video game collecting, where people who are into it have reasonably good knowledge of market values that are actually supported by buying and selling activity on sites like eBay


I try not to put too much thought into how much my collection would have been worth, today, had I not sold it and traded it off for other things in the late 90's...

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pogs

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I have some things I collected as a kid for the expressed purpose of value appreciation - I was convinced they'd be worth something, some day. A few comic book lines that ended up dying due to lack of interest (worth zip), a few sets of Upper Deck baseball cards, still wrapped and mint (worth barely what I paid for them).

Other stuff I've held onto from my childhood for pure intrinsic value is now worth a lot. I have just about every Transformers toy in a few boxes in the basement. One day, maybe, I'll sell 'em.

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Arcade games, musical equipment, soon to be pinball machines. And cats! I think the latter will really pick up some steam with the whole internet thing and all.

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I have a huge AMZN ebook library

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Vanilla10 said:   
surferb said:   At serious risk of being flames sprained... Does anyone here collect anything of significant value? There are always better uses for money, but wondering if anyone from this financially saavy group has a hobby (or business, I suppose) collecting stuff (antiques, coins, stamps, cars, etc). Seems better than drinking.

Budget advice? Collecting interests?

  Actually, I collect whiskey.

  Same here.  Although I don't know if it's really a collection for me as the plan is to consume it eventually.  Reddit has some nice subs on whisky/bourbon.  Even a sample swap sub, which allows you to try a lot of stuff without having to buy a whole bottle. 

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I collected camera lenses quite actively up until about eighteen months to two years ago.  I still collect whenever possible, but the prices have just gone NUTS recently as mirrorless camera bodies have become more and more popular.  For example, a beautiful lens I bought circa 2005 for ten bucks today cannot be touched for south of $100.  I'm afraid as the FF (full frame) mirrorless camera bodies become more and more affordable I will be driven out of the hobby completely and for good.

If only I had a time machine!

Never have sold a lens.  I don't collect to make money.  I just enjoy old lenses, but it was much easier back when they were inexpensive.

rated:
  
1. On and off, coins/precious metals/pets. Some for financial purposes, some for sentimental values.
2. If you are replacing your drinking budget with investing of any sort, yes it will be better. 
3. Don't divert funds from your "real" investments for investing in collectibles. If by some minor miracle you hit it rich, try to diversify and keep <10% of your assets in them.

Here are a few things to consider, and why I would generally advise against doing what you are thinking of:

  • If you don't know the hobby you are looking into, you will lose money for quite awhile. There are people who have been at it far longer than you, that information gap will cost time/money to close
  • If gold triples in 3 years, when I sell the ETF I pay the 15% capital gains tax rate. If I sell a gold coin, I have to pay 28%. If I don't have a receipt from when I purchased it, I owe 28% of the total
  • Most collectibles (some PMs/coins excluded) have no intrinsic value, they are only worth what everyone else is willing to pay for it. If the fad passes, they can literally be worth nothing overnight
  • Many collectibles have a very illiquid market. You might have items that are worth $5000, but if you need money today you'll be lucky to get $3000 for them.

surferb;19878822 said:1. Does anyone here collect anything of significant value?
2. There are always better uses for money, but wondering if anyone from this financially saavy group has a hobby (or business, I suppose) collecting stuff (antiques, coins, stamps, cars, etc). Seems better than drinking.
3. Budget advice? 

    Thank you!!! I'm enjoying all the feedback. I used to collect coins and many other things growing up. I've been collecting old casino chips that can be used for poker for about 6 years now. I did have a few "learning moments", but I have a pretty good idea how the market works in the price range I can participate in. There have been quite a few times when the small market over-reacts in either direction, but I'm usually not in a position willing to commit. My collection could easily be sold for a decent amount more than I paid. Unfortunately, I find myself pretty attached. It is very possible that several large casinos go under in a scenario where the state gaming commission doesn't force them to destroy their chips then the market floods. This has happened a few times since I've been collecting. True - a volatile and not particularly liquid market. However, a few of my rare sets could be sold very quickly "under market", but a bit more than I paid. Those don't pop up much and collectors go crazy when they do. (there is also a ton of crap on eBay at any given time that most people wouldn't distinguish). 

Anyway, I've spent more than I'd care to admit on poker chips. I'm now on a kick to pay off my condo ASAP. With about $65k left (embarrassingly @6%), I'm shooting to pay every dime until it's fully paid off (est 12-18 months). At that point my cash flow will be quite favorable (clearing ~$5500/mo after basic living expenses and taxes, not counting income from the wife, who recently graduated and will start good paying (medical) part time work next month) and I can "pay back" our savings (recently committed $60k) and aggressively contribute to retirement funds (I nearly stopped contributions until I pay the condo off - no employer matching, but will hit ROTH limitations in future years). I'm 35 with ~$180k, which I'll work on, and have a great defined benefits plan. Near zero job security risk. 

I'm sure my smartest course of action would be selling the chips to pay for the condo - that would take a significant chunk out of the $65k balance. So then I get to a great cash flow in <6 months and want the chips again... :-P

Question - is it too crazy to single mindedly work toward such a goal? I could just as easily progressively pay down the condo (e.g. an extra $2k/mo against principal), put retirement money toward a ROTH account, keep increasing savings accounts, etc. I'm not proud to admit, but my behavior is much better in this scenario. It becomes fun to never eat out, account for each dime, etc as I watch the condo balance drop. Also worth noting, work dictates that I will live here for exactly 3 years then move. This time I want to sell, not rent. 

BTW, my condo balance was at $125k@6% a few months ago...I was renting it out, recently moved in. I started re-finance process on a 3/1 ARM in the 2.x%, but the transaction was going to be >$4k. That's when I decided to put much of my savings toward it and pay it off in under 2 years. My cars are paid off and I have about $20k liquid + plenty of good credit + income stream to weather foreseeable expensive issues. I have ~$180k in retirement accounts that I would like to aggressively work on. Still planning on a few short vacations this year, but we've been pretty frugal with them (cook our food, flights/hotels either cheap or from work earned points) and good about low cost weekends (hikes, runs, etc). 

I might also mention that I'm a long time FW lurker. I have a pretty good idea how I should behave. However, the wife and I were in a phase of blowing too much $$$. After reviewing CC spending around Feb, we agreed to save $$ and have been making a sport out of penny pinching for the last 3 months. I know you all live the lifestyle. I'm curious to see if we can enjoy ourselves sustaining it. So far we've been feeling pretty smug bringing our own food/drink to outdoor events and watching people "get ripped off". My wife has a 10 year old Toyota SUV that she'd be happy driving to the ground like my 15 year old Honda...both have been fully paid for quite some time and hopefully have a lot of life left. You get the idea...we're enjoying embracing the frugal lifestyle.  

Curious if I should have re-fi'd and invested the money elsewhere. That ship has pretty much sailed for me. My wife and I like the plan I know, I've mixed lots of different ideas...

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There has got to be a broker that can get a zero cost refi for better than 6%

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PRDGX shares.

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diffeldoof said:   There has got to be a broker that can get a zero cost refi for better than 6%
Truly near zero cost? Because there were tons of fees associated with what I was looking at, even with zero points. My credit is 830-850 range. My preferred lender wouldn't touch FL condos regardless of equity. 

It would be a bigger deal to me if the loan amount was more. It's good motivation for me to get it paid off in the 12-18 month range. 

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I had a nice NES collection back in the 90s. Many games in mint condition, complete with boxes and manuals. Never thought they'd be worth anything. I think I sold the whole thing for around $300 in '98 after I got an N64. I'm amazed how much people pay for some games now when you can just download them.

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surferb said:   
diffeldoof said:   There has got to be a broker that can get a zero cost refi for better than 6%
Truly near zero cost? Because there were tons of fees associated with what I was looking at, even with zero points. My credit is 830-850 range. My preferred lender wouldn't touch FL condos regardless of equity. 

It would be a bigger deal to me if the loan amount was more. It's good motivation for me to get it paid off in the 12-18 month range. 


Sent you a PM.

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AlwaysWrite said:   
Shandril said:   DH collected Magic:TG cards. By luck got in mid 1993, got a ton of OOP cards now worth $100s-$1000s each. Stopped collecting in 1996 and just stored the cards for 20 years. Dug them out to play with kids and found out by accident how much they have appreciated in 20 years (should have seen the face on friend who saw our kids playing with decks worth more than their new SUV). So we had to get them certified and insured, something in retrospect we should have done years ago.

From my standpoint, I would not recommend it. Seems like sheer luck to get in on that fad. Plus publisher could re-issue some cards worth $2-10k at any time and you'd be hosed. And there's no value in recent cards due to print run sizes. That's a good thing for your budget if you want to start collecting but very bad as an investment. As an investment going forward, some cards seem to keep getting pricier but it's hard to speculate on potential future value. Seems on par with roulette odds to me.

How many cards have you actually sold, at what values? That is the only true determinant of their "worth."

Reminds me of collecting baseball cards 30 years ago... reading magazines saying such-and-such card was "worth" $100, then going to a card convention and being offered 50 cents for it.  

You're right that prices are what somebody is ready to pay for. And unless you actually sell them, just like any investment, you do not realize their value. But the values were surprisingly stable to me for those OOP cards.

Ours are generally alpha-visions 8-9 BGS range, all complete sets except alpha and beta which are missing a few rares. Just looking at the beta-unlimited power 9 cards, most of those are selling on eBay for $1000-6000 depending on how good the cards are. You'll get about the same at conventions especially if they host an official vintage tournament (no proxies). Trust me, as an outsider to this stuff, I've looked at those eBay listing prices and asked a few times what was the rational for not selling them and getting proxies instead... Even at a 10th of the price, we could get a fair amount of proxies for $20+k  

Skipping 39 Messages...
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kenblakely said:   
Dus10 said:   I have sports cards and comic books from when I was a kid. I stopped collecting that kind of stuff significantly when I was about 12-13 years old. From what I have checked, I have some gems that have appreciated by 800x.
  800x on 25 cents, huh?  Awesome. :-/

  No, one particular item cost me the pay from one mowing of a neighbors lawn (I mowed it weekly for two summers, it was just over an acre).  It was a rookie card that I paid about 50% of its value at the time.  I have only thought about selling it twice and even then it wasn't serious... it has a lot of sentimental value to me, something that I would give to a descendant that is into baseball.

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