Thursday, March 31, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Stamp Investment Tip: People's Republic of China 1980 Exhibitions Miniature Sheets (Scott #1627Note)
Thursday, March 24, 2011
For reasons noted in an earlier article, I am bullish on all scarce Medical topicals. The set makes an interesting and very low-risk speculation based both on its topical appeal, and as a bet on the economic growth of Armenia and the development of a stamp market there. This recommendation is consistent with my belief that one of the best ways to play the new and newly resurrected countries of Europe and Asia is to focus on popular topicals with low printings.
Armenia, a nation of about 3.2 million, has made steady economic progress in the face of a number of obstacles, including its legacy of dependence on the Soviet Union as a centrally planned economy, a catastrophic earthquake, and an unresolved conflict with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Major economic sectors include agriculture, chemicals, electronics, machinery, and mining, and new industries, such as precious stone processing and jewellery making, information and communication technology, and even tourism are beginning to develop. The economy is also bolstered by investment and support from 5.7 million Armenians living abroad. Annual GDP growth has averaged just under 7% over the last 5 years.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
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.
Note that a center inverted error exists of the 1/2c low value (Scott #331a; CV= $ as unused).
While quantities issued of this error are not known, I'd estimate that no more than 200 were produced. I advise purchasing it conditional on obtaining expertization.
I have begun a new blog, "The Stamp Specialist", which will feature wholesale buy prices for stamps which I am interested in purchasing. It includes a buy list for Colombia, which lists the set recommended in this article. Viewing dealers' buy lists every now and then is an excellent
Sunday, March 20, 2011
I view the stamp as an attractive investment because it has multiple market appeal to collectors of New Zealand, Australia, British Commonwealth, and Aviation topicalists. Many of the stamps that were used may be found on Flight covers, which are also desirable.
New Zealand is a modern, prosperous nation of about 4.3 million people, with a GDP of $115 billion. Over the last 10 years, annual GDP growth has averaged about 3%. The economy was hurt by the recent global financial crisis, and is beginning to recover. In 2005, the World Bank praised New Zealand as being the most business-friendly nation in the world.
Stamps of New Zealand are collected both domestically and by British Commonwealth collectors worldwide . The nation has a stamp collecting demographic similar to Great Britain's, and the demand for better material should increase dramatically as population aging accelerates. The percentage of New Zealander's aged 60 and over will rise from 18% in 2009 to 29% in 2050.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Of course, my own bias in this regard is irrelevant when it comes to determining whether a particular stamp is a good investment. Cartoon issues are popular, and if collectors want to include them in their albums alongside stamps that actually mean something, then that's their business, and therefore the business of a stamp investment blog.
In 1997 the U.S. issued a die-cut pane of ten stamps featuring Bugs Bunny. The normal pane (Scott #3137) is common, as 37.8 million were issued. However, there is also a scarce variety pane, in which the die-cutting extends through the backing paper (Scott #3138). Only
118,000 of #3138 were issued, and Scott '11 prices it unused at $160.00 .
Whether one likes the "silly wabbit" stamps or not, tucking away a few of the variety panes might not be silly at all. As the more vulgar aspects of American culture metastasize around the globe, infecting the growing middle-class in developing countries, demand for the scarcer items among the crowd-pleasing cartoon issues is likely to increase.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
In 1933, the Italians issued a set of airmail stamps for their colony of Tripolitania, which later became part of Libya. The set (Scott #C21-26)was intended for use on flight of the Graf Zeppelin. 20,000 sets were issued, and Scott '11 prices the unused set at $48.- ($120.- for NH).
Zeppelin stamps and covers are extremely popular among collectors in Europe and the U.S., and I expect that demand will continue to be strong. The set also has potential dual market appeal to collectors of Italian Colonies/Possessions and collectors of Libya.
Libya has been in the news quite a bit lately, and it is unclear how and when the current crisis will be resolved. A nation of about 6.4 million people, it depends mostly upon oil exports, and has reserves in excess of 44 billion barrels of oil and 54 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. However, the country's not so lovably eccentric authoritarian dictator has siphoned off much of the wealth and distributed it to family members and allies, while keeping his subjects in line by giving free expression to a minimalist conception of human rights. Annual GDP growth has averaged 5% over the last 5 years, and with a little luck, more of that prosperity will be spread among the Libyan people in the future.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
I favor both the set and the souvenir sheet, as they have multiple market appeal among collectors of Panama, Latin America in general, and Religion topicals. As with all Latin American stamps, there are many collectors who focus on the region as a whole, which supplements demand for the stamps of the individual countries.
A nation of 3.4 million people, Panama is the fastest growing economy and the largest per capita consumer in Central America. Panama's economy, because of its key geographic location, is mainly based on a well developed service sector heavily weighted towards banking, commerce, tourism, trading. The handover of the Canal and military installations by the United States has given rise to large construction projects. Tourism has grown rapidly during the past 5 years due to the government offering tax and price discounts to foreign guests and retirees. The country also has valuable copper and gold deposits, which are beginning to be developed. Annual GDP growth has averaged over 7% over the last 5 years.
I have begun a new blog, "The Stamp Specialist", which will feature my buy prices for stamps which I am interested in purchasing. I've just posted a buy list for Panama, including the set and souvenir sheet recommended in this article. Viewing dealers' buy lists every now and then is an excellent way to keep current on the vagaries of the stamp market.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
- the early surcharges and overprints, which include the surcharged King's heads, as well as the overprinted semi-postal issues; being overprints, the most valuable of these require expertization;
- the better sets of the early 20th century, most of which feature the King or Royal themes;
- the modern souvenir sheets with low printings and/or topical appeal, especially those of the 1970s and '80s.
I intend to spotlight stamps from each of these categories in future articles, as the prospects for significant long-term growth of the Thai stamp market are very promising.
A nation of 66 million people, Thailand is the second largest economy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia. Despite this, Thailand ranks midway in the wealth spread in Southeast Asia as it is the 4th richest nation according to GDP per capita, after Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia. Though most of the country's population still works in agriculture, the relative contribution of agriculture to GDP has declined while exports of goods and services have increased. Major industries include automobiles and automotive parts, financial services, electric appliances and components, tourism, cement,, appliances, computers and parts, furniture, plastics, textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, and tobacco. Annual GDP growth has averaged just over 3% over the last 5 years, but this takes into account a 2% contraction in 2010, due to the global financial crisis. Those interested in becoming part of an international community of stamp collectors, dealers, and investors are welcome to join the "Stampselectors" group at Facebook. The group hosts lively discussions concerning stamp investment and practical aspects of collecting, and is also an excellent venue for those who wish to buy, sell, or trade stamps.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
The set makes an interesting and low-risk speculation based on its appeal as an Art topical, and as a bet on the economic growth of Tajikiistan and the development of a stamp market there. This recommendation is consistent with my belief that one of the best ways to play the new and newly resurrected countries of Europe and Asia is to focus on popular topicals with low printings.
Tajikistan, a nation of about 8 million people, is still recovering from a devastating civil war which ended in 1997. Since the end of the war, newly established political stability and foreign aid have allowed the country's economy to grow. Trade in commodities such as cotton, aluminium and Uranium has contributed greatly to this steady improvement. Remittance from Taji migrant workers abroad, mainly in Russia, represents a major source of the country's GDP. The Tajik economy is fragile, largely owing to corruption, uneven economic reforms, and economic mismanagement. Annual GDP growth has averaged 6.5% over the last 5 years.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
With a population of about 40 million, Argentina benefits from rich natural resources, a highly literate population, an export-oriented agricultural sector, and a diversified industrial base. Historically, Argentina's economic performance has been uneven, as periods of high economic growth have alternated with severe downturns. Over the last 5 years, annual GDP growth has averaged a whopping 8.5%. However, over the last 20 years Argentina has weathered several major debt crises and recessions.
I have begun a new blog, "The Stamp Specialist", which will feature my buy prices for stamps which I am interested in purchasing. I've just posted a buy list for Argentina, including the set recommended in this article. Viewing dealers' buy lists every now and then is an excellent