Rare Coin Frequently Asked Questions
The Rare Coin Program is part of an overall strategy for your portfolio. It would be impossible for you to learn everything about the rare coin market to make informed decisions without amassing years of experience first. The strength of this program is your ability to team up with ASI and Doug Winter, an industry expert who has developed the knowledge and the experience for you.
Let us help you. This non-correlated asset is the perfect strategy in today’s economy for wealth preservation and profit potential over the long term.
While precious metals bullion products acquired as wealth insurance should be included in your portfolio - many advisors suggest 5-10% of net worth for wealth insurance - they are only part of your portfolio. Rare coins contain precious metal (usually gold and silver), but their values are virtually independent of bullion market prices.
Truly rare coins are a non-correlated asset. This gives your portfolio an extra layer of diversification. You will be diversifying into a market generally immune from the ebbs and flows of other more traditional assets, as well as providing you great long-term potential for appreciation. This non-correlation to markets and other assets is extremely attractive in this current environment.
Another advantage of acquiring truly rare coins through the RCP program is these are some of the most highly sought after rare coins in the collectibles world. When you deal with coins that are one of only a handful known in the world, the demand in the rare collectibles market for your coins should be easy to come by no matter your time frame.
The PCGS Key Dates and Rarities Index chart we referenced earlier depicts the appreciation for rare coin demand over the last 40 years and has shown no signs of slowing down. After all, these coins are only becoming rarer as time goes on.
Using Doug Winter and ASI is imperative to help you make non-emotional, informed decisions about purchasing the right coin at the right price. It is our experience and expertise which allows you to acquire the RIGHT coins for your long-term success.
Of course, you can go to a coin auction and spend a large sum on a really great coin but…
- Do you know what the outlook on that coin is?
- Do you know how many of the same coin exist in better or similar condition?
- Do you know which dealers are out there to go to for the best deal?
- Do you know the auction history of that coin and other similar coins?
The answer is probably ‘no’ to all or most of the above - at least not as well as Doug and ASI. With our connections throughout the rare coin community and Doug’s 30 years of hands-on experience as one of the world’s foremost experts on rare pre-1933 U.S. gold coins, you already have the expert working for you.
While many of our clients prefer to handle the safe-keeping of these historic coins themselves, we know many of our clients are looking for storage options for their valuables. ASI uses Diamond State Depository for all of our precious metals. This is a well-known, highly-rated, reasonably priced and secure private storage facility in Delaware. We would be happy to send you the required paperwork to arrange for your RCP coins to be stored at Diamond State Depository, fully insured against loss, theft or damage.
Rare Stamp Frequently Asked Questions
Stanley Gibbons monitors the performance of the best stamps, and their value, constantly. The top 250 Great Britain stamps over the last 10 years make up the GB250 Index as listed on Bloomberg (STGIGB25 Index). Since 1991, this index has shown a compound annual growth rate of 13.4% and has not dipped in that time. With a steadily growing number of prestige collectors and investors both in the UK, the US and unsurprisingly in the BRIC economies, and a limited supply of investment-grade stamps, prices have risen consistently.
The value of any stamp is determined the same way as the value of everything else in your portfolio: by what it sells for. Stanley Gibbons consistently monitors what investment grade stamps sell for in auction sales around the world. Also, as the world's premier rare stamp merchant, they take into account their own trade and closely monitor price movements through a worldwide network. All this knowledge feeds into key catalogues which they publish annually to give the market and collectors a guide.
With their reputation and stringent quality standards, they set prices based on stamps in 'fine' condition or better. Stamps of poorer quality trade constantly at lower levels around the world, which occasionally brings about the accusation that Stanley Gibbons are 'expensive'. When you're talking investment grade stamps, however, the old adage, "you get what you pay for" has never been truer. All of their catalogues are based on third party auction prices and actual traded values. They therefore report the values, they do not determine them.
No purchase will survive a collapse of every market but some are more closely linked to the broad economy than others. They are 'correlated' to other institutions, assets or investments and we probably all saw this in 2008/09 when “safe” asset allocation went down when the rest of the markets crashed. We are connected to the point that events in China affect what happens in the U.S., which affects what happens in Europe. It always has. But not within minutes or even split seconds as is now the case with computerized trading. This is just one of the reasons behind the current worldwide financial chaos. All the banks are linked to each other, and to the governments, which in turn are linked to each other.
But stamps are not related to anything. They are an investment on their own. Prices are not governed by the rest of the economy, but by affluent and committed collectors competing for the best items.
Governments can print more money. Miners can mine more diamonds. But nobody can print more Penny Blacks. They steadily rise in value - because they are rare, historical and still sought after. They say the internet and the rise of social media will kill off stamps, but it actually makes the argument for holding a basket of heritage, rare stamps even stronger - they become even more of a rarity.
The good news about fees is - there are none. Unlike many other 'regular' investment products, there are no management or transaction fees and there are no annual charges for you to pay.
As a further benefit, Stanley Gibbons even fully insures and stores your stamps for you in secure vaults in Guernsey free of charge (keeping these prestige, heritage assets in optimum condition is in our long term interests).
So, how do we make our money? We simply charge you a performance-related commission on exit, typically a 80/20 split of any profit (you get 80% of any profit, Stanley Gibbons gets 20%), depending on the product you choose. So we rely on picking the right portfolio for you and the continued strength of the market. When you win, we win.
In a word, no. Philatelists buy stamps for the pleasure of collecting. Our investors are primarily interested in money, though many are pleased to be owning something tangible and historical rather than a virtual unit. Many of our clients - perhaps most - have no fundamental interest in stamps. They are interested in securing their capital and in their returns. Stanley Gibbons has a department of investment stamp experts who can help you select the stamps with the potential for the highest returns. You can be as hands-off or hands on as you like. We can build and manage your investment stamp portfolio for you or you can select your own investment stamps from those our experts believe will deliver the best returns.
Stanley Gibbons vaults are based offshore in the Channel Islands. Your portfolio will be insured and stored free of charge, in climate controlled vaults specially designed to preserve your collection. You also have the option to open and store your rare stamp portfolio in Stanley Gibbons’ Hong Kong vaults. Your collection is available for viewing at any time, by giving Stanley Gibbons a few days’ notice.
Swiss Metal (SMI) assists in the acquisition, shipping, and storage of rare and strategic metals. We give our clients the opportunity to convert their devaluing cash into the physical ownership of 15 of the most globally sought after rare strategic metals. The metals are stored privately in ultra-secure vaults in the tax-free zones outside Zurich, Switzerland and Panama City, Panama.
We focus on offering twelve commonly used but scarce, rare and strategic metals packaged in four distinct 'baskets,' and industrial gold and silver granulates. The gold and silver granulates are sold separately as an add-on option to the baskets.
You can track our basket prices daily on our webpage. The prices are primarily determined by supply and demand factors and works costs such as packing, shipping, insurance, handling and tariffs from the mines to the vaults in Panama and Switzerland.
To find they types of baskets we offer and current pricing, visit our Products page.
We charge a 5% surcharge to cover operational costs and commissions. Our third party storage company in Switzerland & Panama charges 1.5% of the total value of the metals being stored, annually. This includes insurance, based on the original value of your metals, and is not increased if the metals go up in value.
Swiss Metal is a conglomerate of registered companies (Swissmetal Inc. and Schweizerische Metallhandel, A.G.) that have a joint and verifiable total of over 60 years in business. They have physical offices in Zurich, Frankfurt and Panama City, Panama. Additionally, the respective customs authorities check movement of the metals to and from either bonded storage facility.
They have been reviewed and approved by a number of reputable investment groups, including The Sovereign Society and Agora Financial. Representatives from these companies have visited the vaults where our client metals are stored. We have also been the subject of scrutiny from well-respected investment newsletter writers, including Mark Nestmann and The Q Wealth Report.
There are four fundamental reasons you should own these metals:
1. Rare, Critical, and Strategic metals are VALUABLE. They are finite each year and are under increasing demand from manufacturing whose products are trying to meet the needs of almost a billion new consumers emerging from poverty around the world. This has caused exponential increases in the value of the metals used in over 95% of all products. Today, owning these valuable metals instead of currency is a great hedge against inflation.
2. They're DEFENSIVE. By owning baskets of these rare strategic metals, you can insulate your liquid assets from inflation and Economic volatility. Hard assets that have intrinsic value or are in short supply, coupled with increasing demand, offer people protection that they cannot get from paper currency or paper promises.
3. Rare, Critical, and Strategic metals are SAFE. With some of your cash in rare and strategic metals you can sleep better knowing your savings are protected. You will keep cash out of currency and in hard assets with real value. Additionally, you will own hard assets that are very safely stored offshore in a secure vault in Switzerland or Panama. If a catastrophic event happens in your home environment, or you want to "get out of dodge" your assets are outside the country and available. Also, all of your assets are insured.
4. Finally, they can be an OFFENSIVE play. By nature, holding strategic metals is a defensive posture, and if by holding these metals you defeat inflation, you have won the battle. But there's the bonus that these metals will exceed this expectation and give you a nice capital gain. The Chinese, who control the export of 97% of the refined end product, are looking at this resource in the same way OPEC looked at their oil in the 1970´s. Combined with a limited and diminishing supply, these 'scarce' strategic metals are expected to continue to gain in value over the next 3-7 years. The average increase in market value of our baskets since launch has been about 12%.
For many reasons, the value of rare and strategic metals are expected to continue to increase over time.
Industrial buyers are trying to gain control of the supply chain as prices increase and supplies decline. Governments are also involved in this 'control of supply' issue. Korea, in June 2011, placed Indium, a metal in our A and B baskets, on their critical substances list to protect Samsung and LG, two very large electronics manufacturers. The USA, through Congressman Mike Coffman, has recently passed the RESTART ACT 2011 to stockpile rare metals to protect US industry and the military from shortages. China, of course, restricted supply of these metals in late 2010 and intends to continue decreasing its exports of these metals in 2011 and 2012. They're hoarding them for their own use and using their monopoly on these metals as a political and economic weapon internationally.
Given that strategic metals are used across 80% of industries worldwide, the demand is constant and increasing. There may be fewer homes being built in the USA. But if you watch the sales of Apple and the millions of technological devices being produced worldwide, all using these metals, you quickly realize the huge upside profit potential over time.
Yes, you can visit at any time upon making prior arrangements with the vault. You will need picture identification and your original Deed of Ownership. Your visit will also require supervision by up to three authorized personnel from the vault.
Before Swiss Metal pioneered this program 5 years ago, even if you knew about rare strategic metals, and thought owning them was a good idea, you would have had to start with 100’s of thousands of dollars (at least) to buy in. You would need to find a reputable and reliable broker, deal with shipping, storage, assay values, customs fees, import and export duties and taxes, paying all the expenses at each stage of your acquisition process – additionally tens of thousands of dollars. Not only is ‘going it alone’ very expensive and well above the cost of raw metals, it’s also beyond the skills and abilities of most individuals with no experience in this marketplace.