Your Questions About How To Invest In Silver

Linda asks…

Where can I buy some silver @ wholesale price?

I want to invest in silver. Not interested in ETFs… Is there a company that sells AND stores your silver in some bank vault?

John answers:

You’re asking for best of both worlds (nearly impossible), you don’t want to hold it, yet you don’t want ETF convenience.

Nobody will hold it for you for free, so the storage fees are probably not worth it. Make your decision, either store it yourself, or buy and trade ETF. I believe there’s a company called Bullion Desk that does it.

Sandra asks…

Are my childhood comic books a good financial investment?

I’ve been reading alot about investing in gold, silver, business ventures, and shares of stock. I know that comic books, like baseball cards, can change (usually increase) in monetary value. I have over 2,000 comic books from my childhood and most are in mint or close to mint condition. Are these comic books a worthy investment?

John answers:

If you’re studying investments, the very first thing you should learn is that collectibles such as comics and cards and what not are NOT the same as investing in silver and gold or stocks or properties. I believe they are called “soft investments”, and trying to treat them the same way as you would investing in stocks and the like is fool hardy.

Some of the people answering have no idea what they’re talking about. People think that just because some comics have gone up in value, all comics will, and that’s simply not the case.

The exact value of your comics will require you to research what exactly it is you have. As a rule of thumb, comics from the 80s and 90s are virtually worthless, and almost certainly worth significantly less than you probably paid for them originally. If the comics are from the 1960s and earlier, you’ll almost certainly be looking at a decent sum of money. Most comics from the 70s are also worth a fair amount, but significantly less than most of the ones from the 60s, depending on which specific comics you’re dealing with.

If you’re dealing with a collection from the 80s and 90s, find someone who knows a thing or two about comics just to check to see if you have one of the 2 dozen or so comics from that time period that gained value (Amazing Spider-Man #298-300 is the most likely). The best thing to do with the rest, which will more or less be worthless, is simply call a local comic store and see what they think. Most likely, you’ll only be seeing a couple of cents apiece if this is an 80s/90s collection.

In the 1940s, 50s and 60s, comics were seen as disposable pieces of entertainment. Kids would read them, maybe pass them around amongst their friends, handle them roughly, fold the pages, cut out pictures they liked, and eventually throw them away (or their mothers would). They were the same as a newspaper or a magazine, they were not collectors items. Well, in the 1970s, the first comic book conventions started up, as the comic book readers had grown from kids into adults and hadn’t given up the hobby. At these comic conventions, people began to sell their old collections, and seek out comics they’d heard of but never read, or read when they were younger but had been thrown out. All of a sudden, there began to be a demand for comics which had been printed 10, 20, 30 years before, and very few copies were left. Hundreds of thousands of issues might have been originally printed, but since they were seen as disposable, only a few hundred copies were left, with thousands of collectors looking for them. (Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman, has only 75 remaining copies left known to exist, for example, and most of them are beat up).

Well, you know what happens next, basic supply and demand. Someone was a Fantastic Four fan and wanted issue #1, which had a ten cent price stamp. They found a dealer selling a copy for a dollar. Then someone else offers to pay $5, then someone buys it from them for $20, and so on and so forth, until the rarity and desirability has been established and today that comic sells for tens of thousands of dollars. Because there are only a handful of remain copies and thousands of fans who’d like to have it.

Then people started to get into the mentality of “Hey, if those older comics are worth a lot of money now, maybe today’s comics will be worth a lot some day too!” They began holding onto their comics, keeping them in good shape. More and more people started doing this. Some people started buying multiple copies of the same comic. This whole situation peaked in the early 90s, when comics like Spawn #1 and X-Men #1 sold MILLIONS of copies, even though only a few thousand people were actually buying them. They were treating comics like stocks, which they are not. They completely eliminated the possibility of those comics ever being rare.

Comics from the 80s and 90s are extremely common and far outnumber the number of people who actually read comics these days. Therefore, they will never be worth money. Not in 10 years, not in 20 or 30. Comic readership declined, and hundreds of stores across the country went out of business. The only ones who stayed in business were the ones who were well managed and didn’t buy into this whole process. My local store has done very well for itself because the owner was a business major and knew to avoid these traps. Over the years, as other stores in the region have gone out of business, their stocks have come to my store. I’ve been in their basement, and have seen the close to a million comics they have down there – all virtually worthless. The best they can do is put in the discount bin for a few cents and hope that some of them will sell so at least some money is made off of them.

Also, your books are not in mint condition. “Mint” refers to an impossibly high and rare standard that you have to have years of experience grading comics to assess. I’ve been collecting comics for 20 years and I wouldn’t call a single one I own “mint”. At most, many mat be in “Near Mint” condition, but many are probably in the next tier down “Very Fine.” It’s usually a pretty tell tale sign that someone doesn’t know what they’re talking about when they call their comics “mint”. It’d almost be like a bowler bragging about the time he scored 310. Just FYI.

Mary asks…

Should I sell my silver or keep it longer?

I just inherited a little more than 3000oz of physical silver from my grandfather. Before than I had been investing in silver but only had 90 oz. Do you think it would be worth my while to hold onto it for a couple more years?

John answers:

For me keep it maybe time will come for higher value for it one of this day.

David asks…

In todays economy does a college education still give you an advantage?

someone drew a picture for me that if the money put towards college was invested in silver, one could buy a house outright in 4 years as opposed to coming out of college in 4 years ‘with a mortgage’ but no house .. and no job ..

John answers:

A college degree will affect your earnings potential far beyond a four-year mark though. It’s a career-long investment, not a get-rich-quick scheme.

You are far more advantaged in the job market when you have a degree.

@Busywork: Incorrect. I have a literature degree and very easily spun that into a business writing career – policy/procedure documentation, etc. The research and writing skills developed in a lit. Program are highly valuable.

William asks…

What do you think about investing in Silver?

Hello,

I would like to know your view on Silver as an investment. Thanks a lot!

John answers:

All investments have some level of risk involved.
That being said As well as being a precious metal Silver has many industrial uses with new uses arriving every day. Silver demand has increased every year for the past ten years and is not expected to slow. Just like any natural resource there is a limited supply. Because many industrial uses of Silver are in such small amounts the cost of recycling is not cost effective and those small amounts are often discarded after use ending up in landfills. The end result as the demand continues to increase and the supply decreases the price goes up.

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