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Ready or not, the stock market intrudes

What perfect timing.

I have a dental appointment today.

The stock market is gyrating in ways this month that people think is worse than pulling a tooth.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down over 600 points yesterday.

Where will it go today?

Normally in discussions of stock market fluctuations, attention turns to gold and silver.

Stocks down, bullion up is the usually cited connection.

Less often commented upon is what happens to coin collectors pursuing their hobby.

As you might guess, they freeze.

If you are spending money on building a collection and a major source of your financial support looks iffy, you are not likely to make a discretionary coin purchase.

Retired "Coin Market" price guide editor Bob Wilhite called this the “money in the jeans” effect.

It is a basic principle.

If you have a job, you are more likely to buy the coins you want than if you are unemployed.

If your retirement account is going on a tear, you are more likely to spend a few extra bucks on the coin you want than if it isn’t.

If the account is heading south in a hurry, you might even wonder about dumping some coins to shore up your financial position.

That is why bullion often sinks in tandem with a sharp stock downturn.

Burned stock investors sell anything that can be easily sold.

Gold and silver are easily sold.

Shares of an exotic new business venture might not find anyone interested in them at all.

They can’t be turned into immediate cash under present conditions.

The holder is stuck.

If your financial position is sound today, look around now for market distress sales and jump in.

They might not happen, but then again, they might.

Some coin dealers have made a handsome living buying inventory at distress prices because the owners needed cash right away.

Long term, we know the sun comes out again just as I know I will leave the dentist’s office eventually.

When I was covering auction results in the spring of 2008, things looked rosy.

After the financial crash in the autumn of that year, results turned lower.

In the past 10 years, numismatic conditions have improved.

With five more days of trading in October, we are simply trapped where we are.

If you are in fine shape despite market fluctuations, be on the lookout for potential bargains.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017. He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."