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« FMF March Money Madness, Round 2, Posts 29-32 | Main | Reader Profile: JB »

April 04, 2013


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My most valuable asset are my skills, career and survival. Then followed closely by my two boys who, by the grace of God, are both healthy and intelligent. Besides shelter that is all I need to thrive.

I would not classify this as a “collection in the example” but it is the means to produce items made out of wood. Power tools can be rather expensive and I have production grade tools.I purchased most before we had kids and now that in September they both will be gone away at college I am planning to get back into my woodworking as a side business.

I also collect old tools that people selling know nothing about. One item I found at an estate sale were 3 carving chisels that looked professional quality and when I got home with my $5 purchase for the 3, I found out that they were made in England and would cost $35 to $40 for each chisel. I sold them on ebay for $85.

My most valuable non career assets are my residence and bank accounts.

Collection-wise, I have many musical instruments that I play and also a nice collection of semiprecious stone buddhas.


I'm not really a collecting sort, but you can make great money under certain circumstances if you are.

1) You have to be collecting something that will stand the test of time if you're not turning things over for a quick profit. PEZ and metal lunchboxes are cool now, sure, but in 40 years, will people care, or will they be the next Beanie Babies?

2) Art, guns, coins, stamps--these things have retained value over a long time, but even they are prone to wide swings in value depending on the market at that time. If you want to make money, you should only buy items that you consider to be grossly undervalued in terms not only of the current market but of the market over the past 50 years or more. 19th century European romantic masters took a HUGE beating throughout much of the 20th century and are only now rebounding. At the same time, do you really think that avaunt-guard piece that consists of a drain in the middle of a piece of linoleum is going to be worth anything at all in 40 more years? Or should that be something to sell quickly?

3) It really only makes sense if it really is your hobby, too. You're not likely to make a great return on your investment in collectibles of any time if you take the value of your time into account. If you're doing it for fun, that doesn't matter. But if your primary motive is profit, there are probably better ways to make money.

I've bought and sold guitars throughout my life. Not as a money making hobby, but more of just buying ones I liked and selling them when I needed money or just thought I should get rid of. A few of those I wish I hadn't sold. Even though on one I doubled my money. Today I have six acoustic guitars. I don't think I will ever sell any of them.

My real estate is far and away my best non-career asset....that or my brain. ;)

I collect houses.

Real estate started as a hobby -- checking out open houses for fun in 2009 with a friend who was looking to buy. Then I started looking on my own. I realized that if I bought half what I could afford (based on my salary), then I could buy more than one, and leverage the rental income of each previous house to keep buying more. I bought my first, second, and third investment houses all in 2010, and my fourth at the end of last year. Along the way I took online college classes in property management, real estate, and even got my real estate license, just for fun! This hobby has been extremely lucrative -- I got a good deal on every house (I have a great agent), and I bought most at the bottom of the market in 2010.

I once heard an auctioneer say, "Boys, remember, always buy land, guns and coins." Since Dr. Stanley points out that auctioneers tend to produce more millionaires than other careers there is probably some weight to that remark.

I prefer to collect and sell old woodworking tools myself.

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