Thursday, April 28, 2011
From the perspective of philatelic history, the Philippines is interesting because it has issued stamps under Spanish dominion, U.S. Administration, Japanese Occupation, and as an independent nation. It is also compelling as an area of research for the philatelic investor, because of its rapid economic growth, and because it has issued a number of scarce yet overlooked issues, including some modern popular topical sets, such as the Flora/Fauna topical issue featured in this article.
As a newly democratic and newly industrialized country of 92 million which is moving away from from its centuries-old complete dependence on agriculture, the Philippines could turn out to be one of the most successful emerging markets in the Pacific Region. The government tends toward fiscal conservatism coupled with long-term economic planning, and annual GDP growth has been around 6%-7%. Barring extreme political instability, it is likely that the Philippines will be one of the fastest growing economies over the next decades.
I have begun a new blog, "The Stamp Specialist", which will feature wholesale buy prices for stamps which I am interested in purchasing. I've just posted a buy list for the Philippines, and it includes 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.
Those interested in joining a community of stamp investors, dealers, and collectors are welcome to join the "Stampselectors" Page at Facebook. The group provides a useful venue for those who wish to buy, sell, and trade stamps, and discuss philatelic investing and practical aspects of stamp collecting.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
With a population of about 31 million, Canada is one of the world's wealthiest countries, and is one of the world's top ten trading nations. GDP growth has averaged 2.2% over the past five years, which takes into account the 0% growth of 2009 due to the global financial crisis. Canada's population is expected to age significantly over the next decades. Canadians over 60 are projected to increase from 16.7% of the population in 2000 to 27.9% in 2025, and 30.5% in 2050. Consequently, in the future, many more Canadians will be spending time working on their stamp collections on cold winter days.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
In 1946, Egypt celebrated the 80th Anniversary of its first postage stamp, by issuing a set of four stamps (Scott #B3-6) and two souvenir sheets, in perf. and imperf. form (Scott #B6a-6b). While the basic set is common, only 7,196 of the two souvenir sheets were issued, and Scott '11 prices them unused at $70.00.
I recommend purchase of all better stamps from Egypt, as the country is likely to experience rapid economic growth over the coming decades. Aside from these sheets' low printing, the 1m + 1m value pictures Egypt's first stamp, and is therefore of interest as a Stamps-on-Stamps topical.
With an estimated 76 million people, Egypt possesses one of the most developed economies in the Mid-East, with a GDP growth rate of 5%-7%. Hopefully, its new government will continue the policy of undertaking major economic reforms to further spur development, including massive investments in infrastructure and liberalizing economic and tax policies to encourage foreign investment. Egypt's main challenge in the years to come will be one of social and political democratization - how to assure that enough of the new wealth trickles down to the majority of the population to lessen the problems of poverty and political instability.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
In all likelihood, 85%-95% of these stamps were used as postage and discarded, which explains why one doesn't run across them very frequently. They're probably several times scarcer than the U.S. Graf Zeppelin set, and with far better prospects of climbing much higher than their current levels. While it may take some time for a significant stamp collecting population to develop among Dominicans, the upside to investing in Latin American stamps is that there is a tendency among collectors to focus on the region as a whole.
With a population of about 10 million people, the Dominican Republic is considerably better off than its neighbor Haiti, with which it shares the island of Hispaniola. Though long known for sugar production, its economy is now dominated by the service sector. The country has become the Caribbean's largest tourist destination. Over a million Dominicans now live in the U.S., and they send billions in remittances home to their families, amounting to a tenth of the GDP. Annual GDP growth has averaged around 6.5% over the last 6 years, although it has been uneven from year to year, and unevenly distributed. As in much of Latin America , reforms will be necessary to address governmental corruption and the gulf between rich and poor.
I have begun a new blog, " The Stamp Specialist ", featuring my buy lists for stamps which I wish to purchase, including some Dominican stamps. Periodically viewing dealers' buy lists is an excellent way to remained informed about the state of the stamp market.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
After a difficult transition from a centrally-controlled economy to capitalism, Hungary has experienced moderate economic growth until it was impacted by the 2008-09 financial crisis. As a result of the global financial mess, GDP growth has been almost flat over the past five years. As the newest member of the European Union, this nation of 10 million receives nearly a third of all direct investment flowing into Eastern Europe. Agriculture, metallurgy and mining, and tourism are major components of the economy.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
In 1955, the United Nations celebrated its 10th Anniversary, and many nations issued stamps and souvenir sheets commemorating the event. South Korea issued a set of two stamps (Scott #221-22), which are relatively common, but it also issued a set of two presentation sheets (Scott #222Note), of which only 1,000 were issued. Many stamps of South Korea from the '50s were issued along with these accompanying presentation sheets, which were given to dignitaries. Scott does not recognize most of them, but they are listed in Michel and in the Korean Postage Stamp Catalog, which prices them at 960,000 won, or about $850.-.
Because they are usually not listed by Scott, Korean presentation sheets, of which a 300 to 1,000 were produced, can often be bought at U.S. auctions for 25% - 35% of their Michel or KPSC values. Whether or not they remain at low levels will depend upon whether they are widely accepted by Korean collectors. In the meantime, I believe that the most prudent strategy for speculating on them would be to focus on those feature popular topics, such as the U.N..
I continue to like the U.N. as a topic, long-term. The market for U.N.-related topicals should grow over the very long haul as institutions of world government develop in order to take on serious (and possibly existential) problems which can only be coped with globally. Despite the present inadequacy, corruption, and ineffectiveness of the U.N., I view its reform and gradual strengthening as a gradual but irresistible trend.
South Korea, a nation of about 50 million people, is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Currently, it is the world's 13th largest economy and eighth largest exporter. It's export-fueled economic growth has led to a miraculous explosion in its GDP, from almost nothing 50 years ago to about $1 trillion today. Annual GDP growth has averaged 4.2% over the last 5 years, reflecting a slowdown in 2009 due to the global financial crisis. Furthermore, South Korea may be the most rapidly aging nation on earth, as its 65+ population is expected to more than quadruple from 9% in 2005 to 38% in 2050. Obviously, this could pose economic challenges for the country, but it will almost certainly add to its stamp collecting population.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
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. 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 Zealanders aged 60 and over will rise from 18% in 2009 to 29% in 2050.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Based purely on the growth of demand from British Commonwealth collectors, the set represents a conservative investment with little downside risk. Should even a relatively modest base of collectors develop in Nigeria, the set will soar.