Collectables during a dollar collapse

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TD's picture
TD
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2009
Posts: 51
Collectables during a dollar collapse

Any thoughts with regard to collectables when the SHTF?

Imagine inflation kicks in and there is a flight to get out of dollars, gold skyrockets and is not only expensive but hard to get. What would happen to the value of a baseball signed by Babe Ruth? or a letter written by Abe Lincoln? or a flag that was flown to the Moon?

TD

rhare's picture
rhare
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 30 2009
Posts: 1323
Re: Collectables during a dollar collapse

My guess is collectables may go up nominally, but values will go down.  After all, when faced with food/fuel or a baseball card, I suspect the necessity will become much more valuable.  So if you happen to have inflation protected assets (PM,food,energy,tradable goods) I think art and other luxuries will be picked up at bargain prices.   Perhaps very high end art bought buy the ultra rich might do well if they are looking for places to toss money that may soon be worthless, but I think most folks will be worried about basic survival goods over memorabilia.

Another way to look at it, the only time an object takes on a value is when it is sold or traded for another asset.   If you have fewer people able to buy that asset due to economic conditions and it's not a necessity, the value will go down.

Tim_P's picture
Tim_P
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 23 2009
Posts: 298
Re: Collectables during a dollar collapse

It depends on the collectible.  My wife has a couple of things she's collected over the years, such as Lord of the Rings memoribilia.  That stuff will be worthless to just about everyone.  I believe that when the collapse comes, it will not be felt by all and the folks at the top economically, will be flush with cash.  If a Babe Ruth baseball tickles their fancy, they might pay big dollars for one.

A friend of mine runs a business that sells very high end cars for collectors.  These are the brass era things that run upwards of $100k.  That business is not falling off much, as the folks that tend to buy them are getting richer, not poorer.  When the dollar is strong, the cars flow from European collections to US collections and when the dollar is weak, they flow from US collections to European collections.  Either way, he makes a commission on the sale.

Items that are truely rare and historic might continue to do well as wealthy collectors try to figure out how to spend that 3 million dollar bonus, but the collectible Hot Wheels, lunch boxes and other stuff like that will probably drop to zero value.

Tim

sofistek's picture
sofistek
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 2 2008
Posts: 818
Re: Collectables during a dollar collapse

The value of collectables is in what people are prepared to pay for the emotional satisfaction of owning that thing, which has, perhaps, been touched by someone who belonged to that fleeting group called "celebrities". The intrinsic value is simply the materials or utility of the item. It depends on what is meant by the shit hitting the fan but, further out, I doubt such baubles will have much value at all.

Tony

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