If you stand on a street corner proclaiming the end is near, people will laugh.
If you do the same online, you will have a career as a financial blogger.
Why is that?
Psychological studies have shown that the pain of loss is felt more strongly by people than the pleasure of gain.
Could that be it?
I am an optimist. Where does that leave me?
Deep down, at root, every coin collector has to be an optimist, don’t they?
I mean why would you begin to assemble a set of coins if doomsday was just around the corner?
Being an optimist does not mean being oblivious to world events and financial conditions. But it does mean a belief that individual actions can lead to rewards, or at the very least, mitigate undesirable outcomes.
For coin collectors, life lessons have been taught by the many coins that pass through our hands over the years.
Looking for a 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent might have been one of your first goals as a coin collector as it was mine back in the 1960s.
But failure to find one probably pushed you into other things.
A set of all common date Lincolns is basically worth face value – not much reward for all the effort.
But if you had gone on to try dimes, quarters and half dollars, even if the sets remained unfinished, you soon discovered that their silver value tended to grow over time.
This realization probably inspired an ongoing interest in precious metals markets and all things related to them.
That interest combines the optimism of a coin collector with a sensible approach to a financial life.
That 1909-S VDB might come your way eventually. Financial doomsday could arrive.
But building coin collections and investing in precious metals lead to the best of all possible outcomes.
Sooner or later you will be able to buy that first numismatic love of your life, the 1909-S VDB, with the profits from your bullion investments.
A coin collector's optimism will then prove justified.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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