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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Stamp Investment Tip: Colombia 1935 National Olympics Issue (Scott #421-36)

In 1935, Colombia issued a set of stamps honoring its National Olympics (Scott #421-36). Only 3,000 were issued, and Scott '12 prices the unused set at $1,350.00. As is often the case, the key stamp in the set is the 10p High Value (#436; CV = $550.00), which is worth purchasing alone if one can't locate an entire set.

The set has worldwide appeal to Sports Topicalists, and should also benefit from the long-term stealth bull market for better Latin American stamps.

A nation of 45 million people, Colombia has been plagued by decades of serious internal armed conflict, drug trafficking, corruption, and gross inequities of income, but has nevertheless racked up impressive annual GDP growth averaging 5.5% over the last 5 years. Moreover, until the global financial fiasco cut its GDP growth to 3% in 2009, it had been steadily accelerating, from 2% in 2003 to 8% in 2008. Recently, the government, armed to the teeth by the U.S., has applied a dual policy of combining military pressure with negotiations to cope with the various guerrilla factions within the country. This seems to have worked to some extent, as the number of insurgents has been halved, and the number of homicides and kidnappings drastically reduced. While some argue that the Colombian government is still utterly corrupt, and has violated human rights and supported paramilitary death squads in order to achieve relative peace, it may be that this is par for the course, given the nation's history. The main challenge that the country faces will be that of sharing more of the wealth with the majority of the population so as to develop more of a middle class and political center. Otherwise, it will devolve into an unstable mess.

Those interested in becoming part of an international community of stamp collectors, dealers, and investors are welcome to join the "Stampselectors" group and organization pages at Facebook. These host lively discussions concerning stamp investment and practical aspects of collecting, and are excellent venues for those who wish to buy, sell, or trade stamps.

Also, those interested in learning more about investing in stamps may wish to view my new book, A Guide to Philatelic Investing (available on Kindle, but easily accessed w/any pc; digital list price = $5).

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