Apfelbaum’s Corner – Volume 124

It isn’t often that I condemn a competitor’s business methods but when I do it is almost always because stamp speculation is being accentuated by the one involved. Lately, I have met several collectors who suppose themselves to be “investing” by the systematic arrangement of sending a fixed sum monthly to a dealer. This fellow claims to be clairvoyant about future values and thus able to select for them stamps that will increase in value within a short time (of course the greatest stamp experts of all time never had such an ability). The “investors” in these schemes are usually poor people, limited in their finances and all too eager to strike it rich with a few dollars skimped from the family budget.

The small print of the promoter’s proposition is overlooked or if read, is not completely understandable to anyone but a lawyer. The victims are totally unaware of real values of the fact that most stamps must advance at least 100% in net market price for the collector to be able to recover his cost in selling to the trade and that a few items he will acquire from the promoter that do advance will be heavily outweighed by the many that don’t increase in value.

Promoters such as these lack the philatelic ability to sell stamps for the pleasure and learning they give the collector. They, in fact, have no personal appreciation of the joys of philately or they wouldn’t attempt to undermine the hobby with harmful schemes.