October 24, 2008

Check out BullMarketGifts.com

I thought I would let all of you know of a site for vintage and one-of-a-kind Wall Street memorabilia, objects d'art, and collectibles - BullMarketGifts.com. You will find bull and bear theme office, wall and desk accessories as well as a good selection of Wall Street-related art work and collectibles. There is also a selection of framed certificates involving some of the big-name brokerages and companies as well as a selection of collectible Wall Street books. Check out BullMarketGifts.com.

October 21, 2008

Spink Smythe Autumn Stock & Bond Sale

Spink Smythe's latest sale catalog #289 (mislabeled #288 in tiny numbers on the spine) arrived yesterday. This catalog presents a departure from previous stock and bond sales in that it is now in FULL color. I know that increases production costs, but I think the effort will be most welcomed by collectors around the globe.

The Autumn Stock & Bond Sale will take place at the company's New York offices at 10:00 am, November 7, 2008. The sale features 617 lots with 161 lots involving North American railroads. The buyer's premium is 20% of the hammer price per lot on the first $2000, and 15% thereafter.

Unlike European competitors, Spink Smythe's sales have always offered fair minimum bids. I cannot overstate the importance of this approach for the hobby. By setting reasonable minimum bids, collectors can "feel" the direction of prices, and therefore the direction of the hobby. Astute bidders can get a feeling for how to bid in future auctions and recognize fair versus unfair buying opportunities in fixed price settings.

Reasonable opening prices allow sales of items to develop "momentum" on their way to ultimate sales prices. This is especially important in down markets. Professional auctioneers always seek price momentum. When collectibles have price momentum, they usually achieve higher prices. One of the tricks is to start sales at fair opening bids and thereby allow bidders to generate emotion and enthusiasm, otherwise known as "auction fever." High opening minimums always stifle "auction fever."

I really don't know what kinds of prices we'll see in today's freaked out financial climate. I doubt we'll see any record breaking. However, I can testify that there are some great and rarely-seen certificates in this sale. In situations such as today, moneyed buyers can really clean up. I am NOT predicting, but ... I will not be terribly surprised to see a medium to high percentage of lots sold. (European auctions with high minimum starting bids always have low percentages of lots sold.)

Because of the turbulent financial news, last week's Las Vegas automobile auction was unenthusiastic and disappointing for sellers. However, those advanced collectors with money made some absolutely great buys! Those were the few people that recognize that buying collectibles in times like these can pay off very handsomely indeed.

I think this Spink Smythe sale represents a similar buying opportunity for stock and bond collectors with vision. The pros know that the best time to buy is when everyone else is running scared.

Be sure to contact Spink Smythe immediately for this handsome catalog. Thankfully, the catalog is already online and available for viewing. 147 of the 161 railroad-related lots are illustrated online.

October 15, 2008

HWPH Auction 11

I just received the latest offering from Matthias Schmitt's company HWPH Historisches Wertpapierhaus. Auction 11 will be held at Schloss Montabaur (Castle of Montabaur) in Montabaur, Germany November 8 and 9, 2008.

As usual, the huge HWPH catalog is a full-color work of art. Essentially all of the 2207 lots are illustrated in color with over 100 lots from U.S. and North American companies. In addition to the catalog, you may examine all lots online. From the home page, click on the "auktionen" link at the left to see the entire catalog.

Herr Schmitt has been a long-time contributor to my project and I always look forward to his offerings. HWPH charges the typical 15% commission rate plus the unavoidable European value added tax (on the commission only). Counting commission and VAT, plan on paying 19.85% on top of your bid amount. Fortunately, the U.S. dollar has risen substantially relative to the Euro in the last couple months, so the penalty to American buyers is decreasing. HWPH takes PayPal, so international payment is now extremely easy. (Feel free to communicate with HWPH in English with any questions you may have.)

Please contact the HWPH Historisches Wertpapierhau AG for a catalog or bidding instructions.

H.J.W. Daugherty, Auction 150

The lastest offering from Duagherty came only yesterday and the auction will be held Sunday. You will need to move quickly if you want to get any bids in on the 13 lots of railroad stocks and bonds.

Daugherty has been a regular philatelic auctioneer (stamps) for a long, long time. This particular auction will be held at the Walpex Show in Lexington, MA, October 19, 2008. Duagherty always accepts mail and fax bids, so this means you will need to order a catalog quickly.

Daugherty has resisted the steady climb in auction commissions and still charges only 10%.

While the vast proportion of Duagherty's auctions are, of course, stamp-related, he ALWAYS offers a few railroad stock and bond lots. And because most of his bidders are more interested in stamps, it is fairly easy to win lots.

Daugherty has a listing of the catalog online at hjwdonline. You may also get in line for future catalogs from his web site.

October 06, 2008

Clinton Hollins catalogs received

For those not already familiar, Clinton Hollins is a long-time dealer in stocks and bonds. Clinton is a no-frills kind of guy who simply goes about his business selling certificates. Clinton has a huge web site that shows much of his vast inventory. Some of us have privately wondered where he gets all his certificates, month in month out.

Because Clinton goes about his business so quietly, it is easy for newcomers to under-estimate both the depth of his inventory and the frugality of his prices. When I frequently mention that "some dealers routinely offer certificates at prices below eBay," this is the guy I'm talking about.

Several times a year, Clinton sends out no-frills, unillustrated price lists. Each one is around 36 pages. He usually prices most items as single and multiples, depending on how many he has in stock.

If you don't already receive Clinton's lists, contact him and be sure to tell him what your specialty might be. The easiest way to contact him is at:

Clinton Hollins
PO Box 2711
Springfield, VA 22152-2711