Skip to comments.(Very) Poor Man's Gold [vanity posting]
Posted on 01/07/2009 10:42:14 AM PST by docbnj
(Very) Poor Man's Gold.
The post office sells the new Liberty Bell "Forever" stamps, which have no denomination, but are good each for one first-class letter. These are not only convenient (you don't have to remember the latest first-class rate), but they are like gold. They increase in nominal value as the first-class rates increase, and are a hedge against inflation.
As with gold, you also lose the use of the money invested in them, so you get no interest; but on the other hand, there does not seem to be any way for the tax people to get you for capital gains when you use these stamps, as they can for other anti-inflationary hedges.
Regular stamps are a notably poor investment, because they have denomination tied to the value of the dollar at the time they are issued. Thus, a first-class stamp from my youth was denominated 3 cents. Even a usual mint commemorative from those days is not worth 42 cents (which is would have to be merely to have kept up with the real cost of mailing a first-class letter). So stamp collecting is a poor investment. It may be a nice hobby for low-grade introverts, but it does not pay.
It used to be that kids could earn geography and some history by collecting stamps; but now there are impossible numbers of them issued purely to raise money for loser regimes and to spread propaganda, so one is better off reading quality books.
The Forever stamp is something different. It is not suitable for large investors, but in a very small way it is like gold.
Oh, crud, are we becoming THIS desperate?
I think you have the problem licked...............
It will only retain their value as long as we have a postal system. If technology makes the USPS obsolete, you will have some pretty collector’s items, that’s about it.
Makes it funny that charities are sendng free Return Address labels in exchange for a donation. Very pretty, but I don't need them.
Unlike gold, the forever stamp is only good if the US remains in existence, which is unlikely at the current rate.
Wasn't it in 1913 that congress said they'd never raise payroll taxes higher than 2%.
this will really help stamp out the costs associated with the daily grind.
You know, there must be someone, somewhere, who can appreciate your Ronco Buttoneer:
why not just buy less gold?
I bought 200 stamps. That should last me a couple years and I’m pretty sure the post office will lsat that long. I hope.
I certainly wouldn’t put my whole nest egg into forever stamps. But they seem like a good deal to me, especially if you buy them right before the price goes up. I forget when the next increase will be first first class mail, but I think it’s sometime soon. The last increase was May 12, 2008, and it’s now pretty much an annual event.
Will FDR #2 confiscate them? What contractual obligation does the Post Office have with the Forever stamps? Does the fine print allow them to back out if those stamps become economically a problem for them?
Since around 1971, the increase in stamp prices has pretty well matched the inflation rate. The 8 cents a stamp cost in 1971 is equal to 40.5 cents in 2007 (last year of this inflation calculator's data).
My parents had one of those. I think we used it twice.
I just bought one, stuck it on the top right hand corner of my screen and it works with every email.
Stamps are sooooooo.....90’s.
I use less than one stamp a year.
I thought of this when they were first released. “Wow, a guarantee against inflation by the government.”
Then I realized that it was evidence the government is not planning to be around “forever”. These stamps scared me a bit.
When the “forever” stamps were first advertised I asked for two hundred of them at the local post office and was sold the flag stamps that have no price on them with assurance that they were good “forever”. An acquaintance in another city asked for 500 “forever stamps” and received the same flag stamps. Neither of us mails a lot what with email and all and were quite shocked when our letters started coming back marked “insufficient postage.” I went to the P.O. and simply asked the clerk in as cheerful a tone as I could muster what had happened? She accused me of lying and got her supervisor who ordered me out of the building lest he call the police. I had made no accusation or implied any, only asked why my letters all came back. The clerk showed me the liberty bell stamp and accused me of “disorderly conduct.” I left. I also resolved not to use USPS again except when I simply could not do anything else. I refer to pay more for FedEx and rely more on email than even I did before. The two USPS employees did not even bother to say that I was mistaken and must not have asked for “forever” stamps. They started accusing and threatening immediately. How many other places got this scam? And why would they bother? They didn’t make any money from it, only prevented me from saving a couple of dollars I thought I would save.