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Don't Just Stand There
August 24, 2010



Do you feel an intense pressure to buy gold after reading the latest online stories? Has that sense of pressure increased over time?

More importantly, have you given in to it, or is there something or someone who keeps you on an even keel where you don’t sell every asset you own and buy gold with the proceeds?

I was thinking about these questions this morning because last night there was a meeting of the Lake Iola Lake district. I am a board member and have been so for 20 years.

This summer has been very hot and very sunny, creating ideal conditions for the rapid growth of weeds. Naturally, lake property owners are not happy.

The district is following a long-term strategy of cutting weeds and spraying invasive species of weeds that shouldn’t be in the lake.

This all sounds very good, especially in normal years. However, this year has been a “don’t just stand there, do something year.” The long-term plan is not reassuring when looking at the lake today.

In July, feeling the pressure, the board voted to pursue one course. Last night, that course was reversed and the long-term plan was adhered to.

Collecting is like that. The systematic acquisition of coins over time is very rewarding mentally. Financially it can be even more rewarding if done right.

However, the urge to buy the current hot coin if indulged too often will derail the long-term plan of forming a collection. The result will be a hodgepodge of holdings and less long-term success.

Buying the latest hot coin increases rather than decreases that urge to chase and perhaps counterintuitively it increases the sense of dissatisfaction because the popular coins are always changing. Gold coins have been the “it” numismatic objects for several years. Those who bought them at the beginning of the decade have done very well.

But you know what? Those gold coin buyers were buying something that was absolutely cold and out of the spotlight at the time. They did what they thought was good for the long term and have been rewarded.

Stick to your long-term collecting plan and your experience will be much more rewarding mentally and financially than never knowing which way you might jump tomorrow.





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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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