Author Topic: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.  (Read 7504 times)

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Offline Birdman

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This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« on: April 10, 2016, 12:10:33 PM »
I just looked at my old files, and I saw a trade that I did many years ago.  Fortunately, I didn't do many deals like THAT.  But, I was inexperienced.  I'm sure we all have some hard-earned knowledge that could benefit each other.  Perhaps we could share some advice in this thread, so it could be a resource that is useful for new collectors to read.

Who has something to share?

Offline r3globe

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2016, 12:23:09 PM »
Worst purchases I made were the ones I did following HYPE: The 2011 Medal and Historical Series SUPER DOPER HYPE! Most of you know what I am talking about. Do your own research and learn as much as possible before buying.

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2016, 12:49:23 PM »
Worst purchases I made were the ones I did following HYPE: The 2011 Medal and Historical Series SUPER DOPER HYPE! Most of you know what I am talking about. Do your own research and learn as much as possible before buying.

Same tailwind hit me as I came on board MCC collecting years later. Bought relatively too many medals based on what I read (and non PMs too). Luckily I am more perceptive now (I hope). Silver is still good and I am not knocking it as I still collect it, but not at the rate I did then. I wish I collected more gold coins than I did then. Trying to redress it now but I regret it now!  N24

Newbies really need to immerse themselves in study before they start buying but the drive that brings them into MCC collection is not likely to allow them pause before they start gobbling up the stuff!
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Offline pandaccumulator

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2016, 01:40:13 PM »
Most of my bad purchases were made in 2011, 2012 period, when market had peaked, and I had very limited knowledge on MCC and overpaid on some coins, and saw my investment became worth less and less in the following years. Luckily, I started on silver, the less expensive staffs. For example, I paid $2k on a 2000 1 oz silver mirror panda ms 69 on ebay. In today's market, it is probably worth less than half of that.

Later on, I learnt to be "smart", got some good deals, even in a declining market.

Offline BubbaJones

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2016, 02:03:22 PM »
This is a great thread. 

I agree with KOT.  I started out 'chomping on' as much silver as I could get my hands on. 

I didn't have much of a focus on gold, sadly!!  After all, it is sooooo expensive compared to silver.  But the lessons I've learned lately is stop the focus on 'all' silver, and start buying gold. 

I've been hearing about James Rickards book on the 'New Case for Gold.'  I think I need to pick that one up. 

Everything I've been hearing is that gold is the place to be, so I'm limiting my silver purchases, and going in the direction of gold. 

Even if it is fractional 1/10 or 1/20 that I can afford. 


Offline Grip

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2016, 04:42:16 PM »
Aside from doing a lot of research, the toughest thing to do is focus on what direction you want go (like Panda Halves did), patiently stick with it, and don't get suckered into chasing a hot trend. I got the MCC bug in 2009 and started with silver Pandas. Unfortunately I tried to go cheap and got burnt on some fakes out of china-about 250.00 worth. I also made the error of using a "shotgun" approach and started buying 5-12 oz silver coins without understanding these appeal to a narrow field of collectors.The same is true of medals, and thankfully I avoided that trap- except 875.00 for a 1 oz 87 PF68 God of Longevity that reminded me of Yoda-too cool. I also top ticked the Unicorn craze buying a 95 1 oz PF 69 for 1010.00 (with a lot of fanfare from some former forum members). I also recommend sticking with the 1oz and fractional gold, silver, and Platinum Panda coins before venturing into other MCC coins.

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2016, 05:04:49 PM »
Aside from doing a lot of research, the toughest thing to do is focus on what direction you want go (like Panda Halves did), patiently stick with it, and don't get suckered into chasing a hot trend. I got the MCC bug in 2009 and started with silver Pandas. Unfortunately I tried to go cheap and got burnt on some fakes out of china-about 250.00 worth. I also made the error of using a "shotgun" approach and started buying 5-12 oz silver coins without understanding these appeal to a narrow field of collectors.The same is true of medals, and thankfully I avoided that trap- except 875.00 for a 1 oz 87 PF68 God of Longevity that reminded me of Yoda-too cool. I also top ticked the Unicorn craze buying a 95 1 oz PF 69 for 1010.00 (with a lot of fanfare from some former forum members).

Just like everything else in life some have the gift (of clear thought and wisdom) while others have to learn by experience.  :001_unsure:

Fool me once:  :cursing:

Fool me twice:  :blush:

Tomorrow is always a fresh day and presents opportunities for correction, rectification and learning of new ways.  N48

That's why we just have to keep on trying!  :thumbup1:
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Offline NBM

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2016, 05:10:58 PM »
Just like everything else in life some have the gift (of clear thought and wisdom) while others have to learn by experience.  :001_unsure:

Fool me once:  :cursing:

Fool me twice:  :blush:

Tomorrow is always a fresh day and presents opportunities for correction, rectification and learning of new ways.  N48

That's why we have to keep on trying!  :thumbup1:

This, so much this...  N23 N24 N26 :thumbup:

Offline Grip

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2016, 05:35:56 PM »
Aside from doing a lot of research, the toughest thing to do is focus on what direction you want go (like Panda Halves did), patiently stick with it, and don't get suckered into chasing a hot trend. I got the MCC bug in 2009 and started with silver Pandas. Unfortunately I tried to go cheap and got burnt on some fakes out of china-about 250.00 worth. I also made the error of using a "shotgun" approach and started buying 5-12 oz silver coins without understanding these appeal to a narrow field of collectors.The same is true of medals, and thankfully I avoided that trap- except 875.00 for a 1 oz 87 PF68 God of Longevity that reminded me of Yoda-too cool. I also top ticked the Unicorn craze buying a 95 1 oz PF 69 for 1010.00 (with a lot of fanfare from some former forum members). I also recommend sticking with the 1oz and fractional gold, silver, and Platinum Panda coins before venturing into other MCC coins.
I would also add that if you own a coin that gets "hot" like the current 95 1/2 oz gold Pandas, don't be too quick to sell unless you need the money for something else. I sold one for 16,000 only to see prices go more parabolic...

Offline pandaccumulator

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2016, 06:19:53 PM »
I would also add that if you own a coin that gets "hot" like the current 95 1/2 oz gold Pandas, don't be too quick to sell unless you need the money for something else. I sold one for 16,000 only to see prices go more parabolic...

It is hard to call a market peak or a bottom. Looking back, some of the old "hot" 1/2 oz gold panda have dropped 40-60% from their peak price. 98 LD was selling for $20k,  serif was selling for over $6k, 96 was selling for over $5k? If you owned multiple of these "hot" coins back then and didn't sell, you must be scratching your head now. Just like a stock, nothing will go up or in one direction forever. Almost all collectibles, including coins, go through cycles.

Offline Birdman

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2016, 09:54:50 PM »
I first got into Chinese coins in early 2011 when the market was getting extremely hot.  I got lucky early on and found a 2000 Lunar Dragon set (5 oz silver rectangle and 1/2oz scallop) in a local coin shop for a small percentage above spot price.  I got them graded and they earned PF69.  Those coins were so hot then.  Dealers were tripping over themselves and paying strong prices to buy them for the Chinese market.  I sold the gold scallop to a dealer for many times more than my initial investment.  That's good.  My gut told me to sell the silver rectangle too, since the market seemed crazy, and it wasn't a series I was collecting.  I was about to sell, but a relative of mine who doesn't know much about coins, convinced me to hold it, saying it was "rare".  Mistake.  That coin has come down several thousand dollars since then.  I missed out on a very big return.  My lesson learned is, "listen to your gut."  If you are the one who spends countless hours studying the market, don't take the advice of someone else who hasn't done his research.  When there are supply squeezes and spikes in popularity, there can be very big increases in price.  Overshoots.  Don't get greedy.  Take some money off the table.

It is hard to call a market peak or a bottom. Looking back, some of the old "hot" 1/2 oz gold panda have dropped 40-60% from their peak price. 98 LD was selling for $20k,  serif was selling for over $6k, 96 was selling for over $5k? If you owned multiple of these "hot" coins back then and didn't sell, you must be scratching your head now. Just like a stock, nothing will go up or in one direction forever. Almost all collectibles, including coins, go through cycles.

Having said the above, I haven't taken my own advice with my 1995 G1/2.  Part of me says cash it out, as the price has run up so much that the probability of additional dramatic rise might be limited.  I have a nearly complete collection of G1/2, however, and I've just finalized a trade for the last major piece of the puzzle, so I'm having trouble giving up my single 1995 G1/2.  The collector in me is overruling the investor.  There is certainly a risk of it dropping many thousands of dollars in price if there is a mini-hoard found somewhere.  I'm torn.  I rationalize that since gold pandas are such a flagship, popular series, it has a better chance of holding its value.

Most of my bad purchases were made in 2011, 2012 period, when market had peaked, and I had very limited knowledge on MCC and overpaid on some coins, and saw my investment became worth less and less in the following years. Luckily, I started on silver, the less expensive staffs. For example, I paid $2k on a 2000 1 oz silver mirror panda ms 69 on ebay. In today's market, it is probably worth less than half of that.
Worst purchases I made were the ones I did following HYPE: The 2011 Medal and Historical Series SUPER DOPER HYPE! Most of you know what I am talking about. Do your own research and learn as much as possible before buying.

When I was fairly new to the forum, someone who is no longer a member here offered to do a trade.  Perhaps my antennae should have gone up when he pointed out in his first PM that he has "high character and integrity".   I ended up doing a trade with him and making a separate purchase that was influenced by his hype.  I traded some MS70 pandas to him that I had bought as OMP near spot price and graded myself, so my cost wasn't too high, but I still gave up some good coins for a coin that now sells for more than 30% below what it did back then.  That person is no longer welcome on this forum, owing to his unethical practices (no not THAT person), but you definitely need to look out for the hype.  There are some people who are skilled at using slick arguments to prey on inexperienced people.

I'll echo what others have said.  Do your own research to determine what is currently undervalued and/or has fundamentals that make it likely to increase in price in the future.  The bulk of my purchases over the past 5 years were to buy semi-key gold 1/2 oz (I largely avoided the sexy key and popular G1/2).  I tried to get the overlooked semi-keys for a reasonable percentage above spot price.  I watch with interest now as some of those coins have recently started to increase in price.  I just used some of these to trade for a 1998LD G1/2 NGC MS69.

Try to buy the overlooked coin with lots of potential, not the coin that everyone is saying is so wonderful.  It is out there.  Is it now a semi-key G1/4? a condition rarity gold panda? a gold proof panda?  or something else?  I don't know, but someone who does his own research and thinks independently will have a prize in future years.

Offline KeyDate1/2ozPandas

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2016, 12:36:49 AM »
My gut told me to sell the silver rectangle too, since the market seemed crazy, and it wasn't a series I was collecting.  I was about to sell, but a relative of mine who doesn't know much about coins, convinced me to hold it, saying it was "rare".  Mistake.  That coin has come down several thousand dollars since then.  I missed out on a very big return.  

I too still have 2000 5oz rectangle dragon NGC PF69, I had it when the pop was only 2 for PF69, now it is 19.  I got offered $8000 for that coin as a pop 2 and refused to sell because every 2000 rectangle I saw had filed edges, literally a mint employee took a nail file and smoothed out the edges, which is why it was so difficult to get PF69.  Today the coin is $2000, which is still a couple hundred over what I paid so I will continue to hold it for another 5-20 years.  At one time I had over 70x 5oz silver lunars, today I have just 4x 5oz silver lunars, 1995 pig (pristine omp), 1995 dragon boat PF69, 1996 rat PF69 and 2000 dragon PF69 - don't plan to sell them for a long time.

The 1995 1/2 price spike is due to dealer demand, not speculator demand so I wouldn't worry as much about prices falling very much, because dealers holding a large position can't afford the price to drop (I believe I told Grip not to sell his 1995s).  By the same token, coins dealers are not holding large positions in (everything except 1995s, 1998s, 2002 1/10, 2006) should easily out perform when dealers realize there are other coins they need to hoard to complete sets.  As Birdman points out, that is where he likes to position himself.

I don't worry much about selling too cheap or paying too much, it is part of the game when you are investing in anything.  I have sold over 10x 1995 sets for under $13K, doesn't bother me because they were purchase for under $4K, if hadn't sold those, then I probably wouldn't have sold 1998 LD sets for $42K or bunch of cultural coins near the market peak. 

Offline Grip

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2016, 08:04:01 AM »
The 1995 1/2 price spike is due to dealer demand, not speculator demand so I wouldn't worry as much about prices falling very much, because dealers holding a large position can't afford the price to drop (I believe I told Grip not to sell his 1995s).

  

Used the 16,000 to pay off my mortgage. Now debt free so it was a good trade...

Offline Birdman

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2016, 09:00:47 AM »
I Used the 16,000 to pay off my mortgage. Now debt free so it was a good trade...

Nice!  N47

Offline sasushi

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2016, 02:18:15 PM »
I started in early 2012, mostly in rare mcc silver coins (mostly 69 UC)all non panda, somehow I never got attracted by them - except the 1982. I managed to complete the first lunar silver series in 69, before I realized that even NCS and putting them into sealed bags with a vacum, didn't prevent them from getting spots or toned. So I quickly changed them all into rare mcc goldcoins (non panda) with some losses. This was my mistake.

I am somehow a collector - I only like coins where I like the design - and somehow I am an investor since I only get UC 69.

And then I started buying old chinese silver - there I started to like the old craftsmanship&design. Somehow I am having the idea if the silver was ok the last hundred years and if the grades are somewhere between 45 and 63 - the risk of loosing money due to toning or spots is much lower - my second mistake ?- or did I turn into a collector - what are your thoughts?

KR,
sasushi

Offline Birdman

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2016, 03:47:16 PM »
And then I started buying old chinese silver - there I started to like the old craftsmanship&design. Somehow I am having the idea if the silver was ok the last hundred years and if the grades are somewhere between 45 and 63 - the risk of loosing money due to toning or spots is much lower - my second mistake ?- or did I turn into a collector - what are your thoughts?

KR,
sasushi

I have a collection of silver crowns of the world (mostly Latin American and some Asian).  That was the bulk of my collection before I got into gold pandas because of some of the gold pandas' compelling characteristics for investing.  I am more of a collector in this sense.  I have paid a lot of money for certain old silver coins simply because they appealed to me and filled a hole in my collection.  I'm not sure I'll be able to sell a few of them for more in the future, but it gave me pleasure. 

Part of the reason I justified a few purchases is for several years I was buying up OMP pandas for near spot price in coins shops that didn't appreciate their value, getting the coins graded, and then selling them for market value.  With some of the extra money I'd buy more pandas and with some, I bought big old silver coins.  Here is one http://china-mint.info/forum/index.php?topic=5024.msg30379#msg30379  In some ways this could be classified as my worst investment!  I paid a lot, and if I had to sell it today I probably couldn't get the same value.  But, it gives me pleasure to have it in my collection.  Also, it is like your winnings at a casino; if you've had a good day at the tables, you'll splurge with a nice purchase.  For this coin I had gotten a few OMP pandas graded as low pop MS70s and sold them for nice prices.  So I had play money  :001_rolleyes:

I think the old silver coins can be great collectibles and, depending on when you buy them they can be good investments.  The prices can be cyclical.  Buy them when they are out of favor.

Offline r3globe

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2016, 04:35:39 PM »
Birdman, thank you for this thread. It has been very informative and interesting. Also, thanks to all the members who are sharing their experiences.

I am not sure if this is the right place for it in this thread, but I have been trying to connect the dots of the macro view of Chinese economy and coins. I would greatly appreciate your views.

Here is my attempt at explaining what is happening:

It seems that Chinese economy survived the 2008 crisis because they had a lot of reserves for a "rainy" day. The rainy day came in 2008, and they used the reserves to push through it [quoting Jim Rogers more or less]. Now, they have little reserves and the next crisis (which we are due for one) should be much worse. PBOC is supporting the Yuan for now, but they can not do that for much longer. Could it be that the new momentum in buying MCC is anticipating a lower Yuan? So, get in something physical that could weather the next currency storm? If there is truth to this, watch out. There will be a SHOCK to the MCC market once Yuan devalues because collectors' purchase power in yuan is weaker! I witnessed that with the Russian coin market. IF & WHEN that happens it could be a great buying opportunity.


Offline pandaccumulator

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2016, 08:10:38 PM »

It seems that Chinese economy survived the 2008 crisis because they had a lot of reserves for a "rainy" day. The rainy day came in 2008, and they used the reserves to push through it [quoting Jim Rogers more or less]. Now, they have little reserves and the next crisis (which we are due for one) should be much worse. PBOC is supporting the Yuan for now, but they can not do that for much longer. Could it be that the new momentum in buying MCC is anticipating a lower Yuan? So, get in something physical that could weather the next currency storm? If there is truth to this, watch out. There will be a SHOCK to the MCC market once Yuan devalues because collectors' purchase power in yuan is weaker! I witnessed that with the Russian coin market. IF & WHEN that happens it could be a great buying opportunity.


I share your view in this regard. IMO, Chinese yuan is till over-valued, it is holding there b/c of the support by Chinese government. When Chinese yuan devalues, MCC will be worth less in USD basis.

Offline pandamonium

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2016, 10:32:13 PM »
Some say the Yuan will devalue, others say China will tie the Yuan to gold and accelerate in value.    Google to "gold backed yuan April 2016".   Several articles worth reading there and i have read this in the past.    Not sure what to think of it.    Any opinions?..........

Offline KeyDate1/2ozPandas

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2016, 10:57:43 PM »
No major currency will ever be tied to gold or any other precious metal, anyone tries to sell you on that concept doesn't understand economics or is slick gold salesman.  If you are a government and you can either have unlimited rights to print money or limited right to print money, every time the government will choose unlimited right.  Second, having unlimited rights to print money provides the economy cushion to ride out cycles, so if a country ever does go to the gold standard, short that country, because once they experience any hiccup they will enter a financial crisis and the government will have no power to save the economy and eventually the will have to liquidate all their gold. 

Offline Birdman

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2016, 04:37:47 AM »
No major currency will ever be tied to gold or any other precious metal, anyone tries to sell you on that concept doesn't understand economics or is slick gold salesman.  If you are a government and you can either have unlimited rights to print money or limited right to print money, every time the government will choose unlimited right.  Second, having unlimited rights to print money provides the economy cushion to ride out cycles, so if a country ever does go to the gold standard, short that country, because once they experience any hiccup they will enter a financial crisis and the government will have no power to save the economy and eventually the will have to liquidate all their gold. 
A concise and convincing analysis, Arif.

Offline BubbaJones

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2016, 06:20:43 AM »
My only suggestion? 

Read Jim Rickards new book: 'The New Case for Gold' and see the opposite view.

Let us know what you think after you read it. 

Oh, and he's not a slick gold salesman.  No skin in the game, if you will. 


Offline pandamonium

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2016, 07:44:37 AM »
Jim Rickards last article says that the Swiss biggest gold refinery cannot find gold supply to meet huge demand.......

Offline Grip

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2016, 08:13:13 AM »
Off topic but very interesting article on how the SGE fix will affect LBMA synthetic paper PM pricing. Well worth a read...

http://www.safehaven.com/article/41072/moving-to-the-post-lbma-era-gold-price-reset-watch-out

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2016, 09:38:27 AM »
Yes, HYPE, misinformation and creation of an alternate reality. These are all buffeting winds that have pushed individuals into making bad trades and purchases. It is still alive and pulsing!
KeepOnTrying and Never Give Up!
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Offline BubbaJones

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2016, 06:45:26 PM »
All I know is gold and silver have been used as money from time immemorial. 

If it was good enough for Abraham, Solomon, David and the other greats of old...It is good enough for me. 

I don't need articles and books to tell tell me what is 'God's money.'  I know value when I see it, and thems rocks are valuable. 

That's how I see it, and I'm stick'n to it!!

Offline Birdman

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2016, 08:25:40 PM »
No major currency will ever be tied to gold or any other precious metal, anyone tries to sell you on that concept doesn't understand economics or is slick gold salesman.  If you are a government and you can either have unlimited rights to print money or limited right to print money, every time the government will choose unlimited right.  Second, having unlimited rights to print money provides the economy cushion to ride out cycles, so if a country ever does go to the gold standard, short that country, because once they experience any hiccup they will enter a financial crisis and the government will have no power to save the economy and eventually the will have to liquidate all their gold. 

All I know is gold and silver have been used as money from time immemorial. 

If it was good enough for Abraham, Solomon, David and the other greats of old...It is good enough for me. 

I don't need articles and books to tell tell me what is 'God's money.'  I know value when I see it, and thems rocks are valuable. 

That's how I see it, and I'm stick'n to it!!

I don't think anyone here is arguing that gold does not have value. Most of us on this forum are quite convinced of the opposite, which is why we invest in gold coins.   I think the point being made was that gold does have value, so if a government wants to spend money that it doesn't have, it will want to retain the power to print that money from worthless paper.  While the government will want to avoid the constraints associated with backing its currency with gold, the private citizen may be quite interested in holding gold.  They have different motivations.  But, we've strayed from the original topic of this thread  :001_smile:

My only suggestion? 

Read Jim Rickards new book: 'The New Case for Gold' and see the opposite view.

Let us know what you think after you read it. 

Oh, and he's not a slick gold salesman.  No skin in the game, if you will. 


Although I have not read this latest book, I have enjoyed some of Jim Rickards' previous comments.  He can tell a good story, and he has a satisfying and clear way of explaining things (although he does speak fast!).  It is true that he is not a gold salesman, but as one of his detractors points out, he is in the business of selling books, so he is not an entirely neutral observer to the discussion.  Having said that, I'm sure that I would agree with many things he says in the book. 

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2016, 11:03:08 PM »
All I know is gold and silver have been used as money from time immemorial.  

If it was good enough for Abraham, Solomon, David and the other greats of old...It is good enough for me.  

I don't need articles and books to tell tell me what is 'God's money.'  I know value when I see it, and thems rocks are valuable.  

That's how I see it, and I'm stick'n to it!!

I know this forum eschews politics etc so I won't use specifics but in one of the debates of some years ago a presidential candidate remarked to the other that the US's war capability was not calculated in how many bows and arrows and horses they owned or something to that effect. Life moves on. I am sure that when the "Gold Standard" was removed by Nixon many people thought that it was the end of the World. Well, the erudite KeyDate' has spoken. Maybe he has to speak more. For me, ADAPTABILITY, has always been the key. This is a SUCCESS secret I am sharing, gratis  N40.
KeepOnTrying and Never Give Up!
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Offline polldav

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Re: This is what I learned from my worst trade or purchase.
« Reply #28 on: May 06, 2016, 01:00:14 PM »
When I first started buying pandas I bought an ungraded coin from a reputable seller on eBay for about $500. It turned out to be fake and luckily I was able to return it (maybe the seller really didn't know, maybe it was just basic business practice for him to refund anyone who complained because he made enough money off people who didn't, who knows).

After that I decided that I would never be expert enough to identify fake coins, so now if I buy anything I only buy NGC coins, and I use the NGC photos on the website to compare very closely with what I purchase both before and after I receive it. That way I can compare the coin, the holder, the way it's stored in there, and a lot of other things to make sure what I get is the same thing NGC thinks it graded.