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Forecasts not an investment lesson


The very first response to my annual forecast column of last week has arrived. The writer disagrees with my forecast that gold will be down for the year. I expect that he isn’t alone in that opinion. I hope to receive other reactions. Send yours to me in an email at david.harper@fwmedia.com.

Don’t let my choice of topics limit your own forecasts. If you have a forecast that you want to make, take the plunge and send it in. I am sure readers will be interested in what you are thinking and why.

I was also asked to make other investment forecasts. I emailed back and politely declined. I explained that Numismatic News is a collector paper that believes the best way to do well financially over the long run in coins is to assemble sets logically and then sell them when the time is right. You might overpay for one coin in a set or another, but for others you might buy at a market low. On average, you will achieve your best results over your lifetime this way.

To make frequent investment forecasts is a loser’s game for you as well as me. Making choices is the heart of collecting.


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Let’s say I give you a series of five great investment tips, as an example. My reputation would grow. People would be hanging on every word I write. Then when my sixth forecast goes badly wrong, if you had purchased it, I would suddenly go from star to the man who cost you some serious money. That’s not a way to build circulation.

Besides, there are a few investment advisory letters to be found in numismatics. If that is what you want, subscribe to one. I subscribed to The Forecaster when I was 14. I learned a lot. I let it drop only when my high school budget made me face the fact that I had to decide whether I was primarily a collector or investor. I chose collector, but in those days I could hardly scrape up the price of a proof set and a mint set, or find the time to do justice to the term “collector” at all.

Now let’s look at forecasts from the other side. As harmful as being wrong might be, it can be worse to be right.

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What if I tagged Morgan dollars or some other series to drop this year instead of rise? Then they did so. I would not be remembered as the person who called it right, I would be remembered as the person who somehow cost all good and loyal Morgan dollar collectors some money.

Investors have to not get attached to what they own. That is certainly the opposite of what I am. I am a collector. I get very attached to what I am collecting. How could I not? I think Morgan dollars are neat no matter where they are in their price cycle. I have almost 30 years of attendance at National Silver Dollar Roundtable events under my belt.

My forecasts are just a bit of fun. Some might offer informed insight. Their whole purpose is to get a discussion going and to serve as a reminder not to get too focused on any particular hot item or problem, because time marches on, the hot item cools and the problem goes away.

Only collecting goes on and on. That’s where I want to be. I hope you’ll join me.

More Coin Collecting Resources:

State Quarters Deluxe Folder By Warmans

• Subscribe to our Coin Price Guide, buy Coin Books Coin Folders and join the NumisMaster VIP Program

Strike It Rich with Pocket Change, 2nd Edition

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