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  • Writer's pictureAri Goldfarb

Book Collectors: the forgotten traders

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

Why do we invest? The idea is straight forward. Investing money in a security gives ownership in that company, which will either appreciate, depreciate, or remain stagnant over time. Investors hope their capital grows in the market and when one speaks of investing it’s usually assumed they mean the markets, unless otherwise specified.

But investing can refer to any number of properties. Popular makeup guru Jeffree Starr collects one of a kind handbags, some worth over a quarter million dollars.[1] In 2018 a Micky Mantle baseball card sold for $2.88 million.[2]

And in December 2018 a 1688 publication titled Confusion of Confusions was valued around $300,000.[3]Book collecting has long followed a buy and hold philosophy on speculative property. The lucrative hobby had mainstream attention drawn to it in the popular Dark Tower series written by Stephen King when book collector Calvin Tower joined the Gunslinger on his quest to catch the man in black and defeat the Crimson King.

In the book the reader is treated to a thorough education on the attention to detail that book collectors search for in order to eye potential growth. The primary example given is a typo on a limited edition print of a short work by Stephen King, which Calvin Tower owned. He is the expert. A figure of authority the audience is persuaded to trust based on his knowledge in the subject.

Why is this important? Because as technology and the internet has connected the world, the idea of uniformed solutions for investments have become less and less necessary. Each interest, sector, and hobby has an enthusiastic audience and an equal number of experts to trade with.

The same can be said in finance. While one is able to enter the realm of investing with limited means the highest returns, the knowledge of the industry landscape, and the research to find intrinsic values isn’t impossible for casual observers to discover but working with experts can get an investor to their goals faster.

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