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(Chicago Sun-Times)   Area man discovers that when investing in the Franklin Mint 401(k), past performance is not indicative of future results   (heraldnews.suntimes.com) divider line 224
    More: Fail, Franklin Mint, Benz, Princess of Wales  
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18252 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Apr 2012 at 8:40 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-29 09:59:13 PM

I'm That Guy: ouch!

My mother-in-law decided it as time to cash in on her 100+ collection of Mint condition Beanie Babies (with tags and tag protectors). Turns out that 99.9% of them are currently valued at less than a dollar. I did a lot of research before selling them (giving them away) at a garage sale to make sure that she didn't have a rare Jerry Garcia or a Spot without spots and now I know more about these worthless things than any grown man should. I advised her to hold on to her Princess Diana in glass case and the "Original 9" because someday they might be worth what she paid for them.


Beanie Babies will be great investments someday, just like baseball cards, comics, and pretty much anything else that people get sick of and throw away after a decade or two. The trick is bequeathing them to your (great-) grandkids to have the small fortune, and hoping they don't die in a fire. That sort of insane multigenerational dedication is the only thing that squeezes a tiny bit of real value from any hot commodity after the initial crazy dies down.
 
2012-04-29 10:08:25 PM
His trust was earned because the word "mint" implies the government. So this guy is now penniless because, being dumb, he loved and trusted his country. Patriotism will get you that far in America. What a touching tribute to capitalism his penniless death will be.
 
2012-04-29 10:21:27 PM
I'm hoping my kidneys continue to increase in value. They're my retirement. Currently, I am entertaining an offer of a trip to New Orleans, a light dinner, drinks with a hot woman and waking up in a bathtub full of ice.

Tempting.
 
2012-04-29 11:58:00 PM
If you go to E-bay and search on Franklin Mint, and sort on highest price to lowest, the the first 100 results start at about $70,000 and go down to about $1500. Not a single item has a single bid. The first item with a bid is a Silver Coin collection with 58.2 oz of silver in it.

Bid = $1500 . Spot price of silver about $31.25/oz X 58.2 oz = $1818.75

There you go kids, The power of Franklin Mint "collect-ability" = negative $318
 
2012-04-30 12:31:25 AM

xebeche_tzu: His trust was earned because the word "mint" implies the government. So this guy is now penniless because, being dumb, he loved and trusted his country. Patriotism will get you that far in America. What a touching tribute to capitalism his penniless death will be.


Oh sure. We Mint Memories sounds exactly like a government motto.

I have a hard time blaming the Franklin Mint, someone this stupid was going to lose his money somehow - the Franklin Mint just happened to have the shiniest trinkets.
 
2012-04-30 01:15:51 AM

Corporate Self: We need to get away from the whole adherence to the "letter of the law" and get back to the "spirit" of it.

Outfits like the Franklin Mint prey on the ignorant and less intelligent with deceptive claims and advertising. It is not unreasonable to force them to disclose exactly what buyers are purchasing instead of making vague claims. If you have ever seen one of their commercials, you know what I am talking about.


The thing is, they do, and if you're too stupid to follow along, it's your own fault. At what point do you place the "acceptable" level of stupid? Do you explain things at a third-grade level, knowing that a bunch of adult second-graders are gonna blow their car payments on collector plates and a keychain that plays La Marseillaise?

My grandfather bought a Statue of Liberty clock from them, not because he wanted to make money on it but because he liked it. I asked him who would inherit it when he died and he told me to stop being such an idiot.
 
2012-04-30 01:23:14 AM

Turbo Cojones: lenfromak: PsiChi: Speaking of results and performance, Drew, you might want to reconsider having American Apparel ads on your site. The guy in the jeans is not doing you any favors.

What guy in jeans? I'm getting two barely-legal girls in swimwear who alternate from time to time. Must be your cookies working.

Ugly biatches too. BRING BACK SNORG!


Mine's Effen vodka ads, does that mean I much too drink?
 
2012-04-30 01:53:28 AM

leevis: I save any coin I find from before 1960, I needed a hobby. I probably have more than 1,000 bucks in face-value but I doubt I'll ever be retiring off of them. An early Jefferson nickel probably wouldn't go for much more than 25 or 30 cents unless it's an error coin.


So what do you do with the coins from 1961,62,63,64? Put them back in circulation? Dimes, Quarters and Halves from those years are 90% silver. I still rarely come across one in my change.


/CSB

My best circulation find is a ~1864 One Cent Token, found in my change at the local supermarket. Back during the civil war, there was a shortage of coinage, and many private organizations minted there own "coinage" with Union slogans on them. Its a pretty cool penny size coin, not mint condition, but still probably worth 25$ Of course, its worth more than that to me as a piece of history.
 
2012-04-30 02:03:56 AM

The DBS: His investment in worthless coins is only slightly dumber than the money we all put stolen from us and put into Social Security.


FTFY
 
2012-04-30 04:59:13 AM

aerojockey: One time I got a roll containing got one of those "Obama Commemorative Colorized Dollars". The colorized part was already chipping. I had fun scraping it off.


If you don't scrape off the coloring, the vending machine only counts it as 3/5ths of a buck.
 
2012-04-30 08:07:48 AM

painless42: If you go to E-bay and search on Franklin Mint, and sort on highest price to lowest, the the first 100 results start at about $70,000 and go down to about $1500. Not a single item has a single bid. The first item with a bid is a Silver Coin collection with 58.2 oz of silver in it.

Bid = $1500 . Spot price of silver about $31.25/oz X 58.2 oz = $1818.75

There you go kids, The power of Franklin Mint "collect-ability" = negative $318


The sad part about that, it lost less value then the real estate market.
 
2012-04-30 08:25:42 AM

foxyshadis: I'm That Guy: ouch!

My mother-in-law decided it as time to cash in on her 100+ collection of Mint condition Beanie Babies (with tags and tag protectors). Turns out that 99.9% of them are currently valued at less than a dollar. I did a lot of research before selling them (giving them away) at a garage sale to make sure that she didn't have a rare Jerry Garcia or a Spot without spots and now I know more about these worthless things than any grown man should. I advised her to hold on to her Princess Diana in glass case and the "Original 9" because someday they might be worth what she paid for them.

Beanie Babies will be great investments someday, just like baseball cards, comics, and pretty much anything else that people get sick of and throw away after a decade or two. The trick is bequeathing them to your (great-) grandkids to have the small fortune, and hoping they don't die in a fire. That sort of insane multigenerational dedication is the only thing that squeezes a tiny bit of real value from any hot commodity after the initial crazy dies down.


Calvin in "Calvin and Hobbes" explained that with reference to comic books: hoping everyone else's mom tosses their collections.
 
2012-04-30 11:00:13 AM

Bit'O'Gristle: No shiat? There's a news flash. "Clad in 4mm of .9999 gold" should have tipped you off, as well as the statement "not affiliated with the US Mint or US government". It's like buying a crappy tv from rent-to-own, you end up paying 10 times what it's worth, and are getting farked, and they are getting rich. These items don't have ANY worth except for collectors, and their silver/gold, which is usually at 4mm, which is almost nothing. They will not appreciate in value, and nobody wants them. You got screwed with your pants on.


Do you know how I know you don't understand what a millimeter is?
 
2012-04-30 11:16:18 AM

painless42: If you go to E-bay and search on Franklin Mint, and sort on highest price to lowest, the the first 100 results start at about $70,000 and go down to about $1500. Not a single item has a single bid. The first item with a bid is a Silver Coin collection with 58.2 oz of silver in it.

Bid = $1500 . Spot price of silver about $31.25/oz X 58.2 oz = $1818.75

There you go kids, The power of Franklin Mint "collect-ability" = negative $318


If you then search the completed listing you'll find the highest actual sale was This, Someone actually paid $6,500 for it. And I wonder how much they got stiffed on postage since the seller said they would calculate that after the auction....

Searching the completed listings brings up a lot of items with no bids. That's the thing to show anyone who thinks these are a good investment.
 
2012-04-30 11:23:32 AM

pla: John Buck 41 : It's wheat pennies for me. Some of those little farkers are worth 3 or 4 cents.

Technically, you can say that all of them have a value of 3 or 4 cents - Because they contain 3x their face value just in copper. :)


SkunkWorx : I collected something I love that for years was worthless to most everyone else. Now, old video games are anything but worthless

Heh, same here, except I only cared about the functional part, the game cartridge itself - Which gives me yet another beatdown from the icy hand of reality, since collectors of classic games mostly want the box and random packaging, not the games themselves.


Also, I believe that there's a massive bubble in the market right now. Once all of the nostalgia freaks snatch up all the old stuff, it'll just be them trading between each other until they get too old and the generation behind them comes of age and doesn't give a crap about the cartridge based gaming systems of their parents and the value plummets back down to earth.

Really, though, the value of the rare/sought after games have simply kept their original value when you adjust for inflation. A lot of people forget that games were incredibly expensive back in the day.

/has a lot of old cartridge games CIB
//wish I had kept more
 
2012-04-30 12:30:26 PM
Next article:

Area Man discovers that when investing in Time Shares, you will ALWAYS get screwed.
 
2012-04-30 02:16:26 PM

dr.zaeus: pla: John Buck 41 : It's wheat pennies for me. Some of those little farkers are worth 3 or 4 cents.

Technically, you can say that all of them have a value of 3 or 4 cents - Because they contain 3x their face value just in copper. :)


SkunkWorx : I collected something I love that for years was worthless to most everyone else. Now, old video games are anything but worthless

Heh, same here, except I only cared about the functional part, the game cartridge itself - Which gives me yet another beatdown from the icy hand of reality, since collectors of classic games mostly want the box and random packaging, not the games themselves.

Also, I believe that there's a massive bubble in the market right now. Once all of the nostalgia freaks snatch up all the old stuff, it'll just be them trading between each other until they get too old and the generation behind them comes of age and doesn't give a crap about the cartridge based gaming systems of their parents and the value plummets back down to earth.

Really, though, the value of the rare/sought after games have simply kept their original value when you adjust for inflation. A lot of people forget that games were incredibly expensive back in the day.

/has a lot of old cartridge games CIB
//wish I had kept more


Once the advent of ROM's came about, I decided it was worth my time to sell off all my games. I had a lot of desirable ones, tons of squaresoft games for SNES,NES,PS1. I made a couple hundred off the collection, which included 3 consoles. There was simply no need to hold onto that stuff anymore. probably 60 NES games, 25 SNES games, and a smattering of PS titles. Kind of selling of my youth, but the stuff collected dust for a looooong time.
 
2012-04-30 05:18:41 PM
I'm here for my (late) but obligatory performance.

Just this morning, I was writing up a spreadsheet for a poor bastard who over the course of 2 years spend $1.48 million dollars on coins from a similar company ... actual value? About $550,000.

The worst offender on the list (and I swear this is true) by far was this: a "2000 $1 Sacagawea PCGS69 w/letter" (the letter is bogus, from the shady company not the government). His cost? $9,995. It's value? $10.

It's unbelievable what these companies can get away with.
 
2012-04-30 05:20:10 PM

Louisiana_Sitar_Club:

That's hilari-sad to me because my wife's cousin has a stack of plastic tubs full of Beanie Babies in her garage as her retirement plan. (I'm probably gonna end up supporting her wacky ass in a few years)

My wife has bins full of them in our garage (does your wife's cousin live in Seattle?). The best use of them I can think of is charitable donations (if we can find a charity that will take them...an orphanage, maybe?). Then we'd get the tax deduction, which would be more than we could sell them for.
 
2012-04-30 06:14:23 PM
Here is my special dime.
farm5.staticflickr.com
 
2012-04-30 07:25:17 PM

Mana: Sacagawea


Did he get the Sacagawea off of TV?
 
2012-04-30 08:43:33 PM
That's why I invest all my money in houses and lots:

Houses of ill repute------------and LOTS of whiskey!
 
2012-05-01 02:19:12 AM

Graveworks: ambassador_ahab: You know, former Rep. Anthony Weiner was part of a committee investigating one of these scam "gold" coin things (where it's gold-plated and not struck my the US Mint). I think the company was "goldline," and the hearings were hilarious with Weiner destroying the CEO with the companies own ads.

Those were actual gold coins, just greatly overpriced, but even then Weiners investigation showed pretty good returns after a few years.


That was only because the price of gold was skyrocketing. Sure, if you bought when gold was $50 an oz and now it's $160, it's easy to see the investment potential, but if you bought when it was $140 a year and a half ago you probably come out behind, and at $180 a year ago you definitely came out behind. Gold hasn't collapsed the way I expected, fear is a strong driver, but it's retreated and stagnated enough that returns on any retail coins will be negative for the foreseeable future.
 
2012-05-01 02:56:12 AM

davetaflin: My wife has bins full of them in our garage (does your wife's cousin live in Seattle?). The best use of them I can think of is charitable donations (if we can find a charity that will take them...an orphanage, maybe?). Then we'd get the tax deduction, which would be more than we could sell them for.


Yeah, you might as well get something out of them.

Really, as people have said, nothing 'collectible' is actually worth any money.
For things that are still useful, they retain their value due to the usefulness: See guns, cars, and houses. Heck, paintings that people like because of the art style, as opposed to simply obtaining due to the artist.
For things that contain things of value, they retain value for that: Coins containing significant amounts of gold, silver, etc...

Other than that, things really only 'gain' value due to nostalgia. There's always a limit on how many items people can be nostalgic for, and how much they're willing to pay for said nostalgia. Of course, these markets are distorted by those who collect for 'investment'. Some are simply fooling themselves, and are still collecting because they like it, but then you get people like in this article.

It's my understanding that the stamp market has collapsed. The newest generation has grown up with various postal agencies trying to market stamps as collectibles(collapsing the value of said stamps) in addition to people not really using stamps anymore. Thus even with the increase in world population, the number of stamp collectors and the aggregate wealth they control has dropped. This has resulted in the value of all but the rarest stamps declining dramatically in value.

In the long run the investors are competing with the true collectors who are being forced to dispose of their collection due to other reasons, or their estates. The list of items that retain their value generation after generation is extremely limited(as a percentage of all items). For that matter, such items generally end up in museums eventually.

You can only highly value so many antiques, from clay pots to classic cars. I'd imagine that if we transitioned to a largely careless society, that the number of classic cars preserved would drop much like the value of old stamps - without younger generations to grow up using the vehicles, who don't gain an appreciation for the old models, you'll have fewer collectors. Still, it's a market that's mostly reached equilibrium. It's an rare 'investor' who isn't a gear head who invests far more into his collection in maintenance and refurbishment than what the collection could sell for. The motive for 99% of them isn't profit.
 
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