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Take a bow after making the right choice

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Poll questions on Page 4 and in our e-newsletter have become a weekly rite.

 Readers love to respond to them. Some just put ?Yes? or ?No? in the information line of their e-mail form and hit send.

Others respondents begin to think. Some explanations are offered for why they think the way they do. They often touch chords in my own mind. At the very least, they share the logic of their thoughts with other readers.
Some of these thoughtful presentations are better than others. Because of last week?s snafu with our e-mail server, I decided to promote one of the poll question responses to the rank of Viewpoint.

The piece appears opposite this column on Page 7. I have often written that coin collections are valuable assets and should be included in retirement planning. This has always been an abstract exercise for me because I have been fortunate enough to have been seated at this desk for many years.
However, as has been said, life is what happens when you are busy making plans. Read what Mr. Gillespie has to say. How would someone in his circumstances feel without the knowledge that he owns some fine gold pieces put away years ago at lower prices?

I think we can all shudder at such a prospect. Real estate is down. Stocks are down. Interest rates are down. How does one make ends meet? That is everybody?s daily challenge. Having a collection of gold coins or a stash of bullion American Eagles is a strong fallback position.

Banks have always promoted saving for a rainy day. Well, that savings doesn?t necessarily always come in the form of a certificate of deposit.
Coin collecting is what you make of it. A dabbler in circulated Lincoln cents, Jefferson nickels and Anthony dollars can achieve as much satisfaction with the hobby as the buyer of an 1804 silver dollar.

The psychological benefits as well as the recreational benefits of coin collecting can be achieved with any coins at any level of value.

However, when the economic wolf is at the door, Lincoln cents, Jefferson nickels and Anthony dollars will not go as far as a nice set of gold coins. Gold coins are more easily sold at less of a discount from retail, especially in the current hot market. It pays to diversify into precious metals, whether they be silver coins, gold coins or platinum coins. I have seen at least four precious metal peaks in my hobby career. They were 1968, 1974 and 1980 and the current one. The last one was so huge that it took a generation to regain the previous summit, but the summit was eventually regained.

The present market will eventually cool off to some new normal level. That is the time to once again consider the wide field of bullion-related options. Today is the time to evaluate the wisdom and pleasures of past hobby decisions.

It is always a plus to be a coin collector, but having bought gold at much lower levels when there was less popular interest in it adds extra value. Being right is a good thing, but having the sense of security that owning a little precious metal can provide at this time is as the credit card commercial says: priceless.

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