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Know Your Purpose With Silver
June 01, 2011

Coin collectors tend to root for silver like football fans root for the home team. Up is always better. Winning is always good.

Yet it is impossible for football teams no matter how good to avoid some losses and for silver no matter how compelling the case for it seems to be to avoid declines in value.

Successful investors know when to get out.

How can you know?

One way is to have a goal for your invested funds. Is it for a retirement home in a favored sunny state? Perhaps you have the goal of financing a child’s college education.

Obviously, in both cases, the need arises according to the calendar. You can fix the date.

Now investments don’t jump to individual needs. Quite the contrary. However, if you have enjoyed some significant profits from silver’s 10-year run, and have a specific need, now isn’t a bad time to cash some out.

I will refer to John again from yesterday’s blog. Naturally, he wanted to know what I did for a living and I told him about my job as a coin editor. I also told him about Krause Publications and our other collectible titles.

His extended family had a comic book collector and a baseball card collector in it. He himself had inherited some coins that he recently sold, but rather than tell me the details of his sale, he told me what he had observed in a coin shop.

Another fellow was there selling a large amount of coins. It took 2-1/2 hours to tally up the inventory and prices. All the while, the seller made it known that the proceeds would be used to send a child to law school.

What a great trade – coin and precious metals profits for a law degree. Someone will be given a substantial career because a parent put away coins and precious metals.

Will this recent sale prove to be smart? If silver shoots to $100 an ounce, some will say it wasn’t. However, taking real profits today to fund a real career choice is a far better decision than waiting for something that might never happen.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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