Allen Rowe: Timing is always key

Many of the columns I have written focus on what to buy, what is hot, and what to steer clear of in the market. I also have written on how to protect yourself when looking to sell. Now we will look at timing your sell.

In any investment or speculation timing is paramount. How many tech stocks were worth more in the late 1990s than the early 2000s? If you sold real estate in 2006 instead of hanging on until today, it was most likely a great move. Every market has its cycles and coins, bullion and collectibles are no different.

When I first started in the market, I spent much time with a man who was in his 80s. Maybe as a coin dealer he was past his prime, but in terms of wisdom he had much to offer. The market was very thin and prices low when I began my business. But, he assured me that I would most likely see several booms in the industry during my career.

"Coins and collectibles will rise first and then bullion will follow," he used to always say. Fast forward 20 years and his wisdom now rings true.

We have experienced a tremendous boom in coins during the last decade and a half. I attribute this boom to the occurrence of two things: First and foremost, the Internet. It brought not only commerce but also gave collectors knowledge. Secondly, the state quarter program instituted by the mint. This program brought revitalized designs to our coinage. In turn, collectors had new coins to seek out. While the quarters themselves were not valuable, inspiration for the hobby was born.

Since then coins have settled in price and bullion has begun its boom. With gold and silver prices on the rise some focus has turned from rare coins to bullion. Where we are in this bullion boom has yet to be seen. One can make the argument that we have a long way to go, or that it has peaked. Either way we have already experienced tremendous growth in values.

Coins still are steady in prices and there is a quiet underlying strength coming back to the numismatic side of the business. Whether we are in for a second round or rising prices has yet to be seen. But for those who have collected for years, now may be a great time to cash in.

If one has had coins for decades, chances are they are worth much more now than ever before. Taking profit at this time could be wise for those of the Baby Boomer generation or older. The market to cash in on still is strong and demand still is there, but it could weaken again. Having started in numismatics during a market lull, I have seen much less liquid markets. Just like all other markets there are cycles. Where the cycle is we will not know until we can look back, but if your collecting future is shorter than longer it might not be a bad idea to look at cashing in during a good strong market.

• Allen Rowe is the owner of Northern Nevada Coin in Carson City.


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