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Guns & Money Discussion Re: Pro/Anti 2A Org's 990's & Finances

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  #1  
Old 01-08-2022, 7:59 PM
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Default Diversification unknowingly now includes firearms

Compared to 90% of yaíll, Iím just an average guy who enjoys firearms. I donít have nearly the knowledge (passion) as most of you regarding how they helped form our democracy, or how Mr. Colt, Browning, Smith, Wesson, Mossberg, Winchester, etc. helped form who we are today as a society (or who we were as a society before social media).

With that said, I took inventory of the firearms I have accumulated from 1993 Ė 2019 (didnít buy in 2020-2021), checked online prices from PPTs, and realize, on average, these pistols have appreciated 10%+ annually. Compacts & sub-compacts (I own) seem to have appreciated most (about 15% annually) the past few years then full size/1911s. Iím referring to Colts, Sigs, Berettas, S&W Ė the more affordable brands (sub $1,200). Revolvers have inched up a bit (but not as much as semi-autos) but donít seem to depreciate. I would think that 95% of firearms purchased just five years ago has either retained their value or appreciated (even if 500 rounds went through the barrel, as long as itís well cared for and both the case & documentation exists).

Not until last month did I ever consider a firearm purchase as part of an investment portfolio. For 2022, I hope to buy several pistols (sub $1,200), feeling each will appreciate at least 10% annually. This philosophy may apply more for Californians then most other states.
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Old 01-08-2022, 8:36 PM
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There is a book

It's out of print but a pdf version is online

Unintended consequences by John Ross



Its a history book told 1st person on the American gun

So it has browning building and designing guns

His grand sons fighting is a war with the same guns


It's a fascinating read.
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Old 01-09-2022, 9:28 AM
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Yea, it's a risk like any other investment.

Regulations drives the price. With the stroke of a pen our entire investment in these assets could be made worthless.

As Californians it will always be best to SELL before leaving the state where barriers to transactions are removed, and alternatives are numerous.

There is also a limit even here to what folks will pay for guns. I have a few OFF roster upper tier guns (Les Baer), and I never paid more than MSRP even here in CA. There comes a point where the market for buyers of $2K+ guns is dried up, and a PPT seller has his limits if they want to make a sale.

Now...............
Here's the major problem with guns as investments in CA.

LIQUIDITY.

Can you sell them all RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!! and what price hit does the seller have to take in order to make the sale right now? That is the cost of liquidity.

Oh, but wait, you can sell them in batches totaling no more than five batches, but in order to do that you have to make a break on the prices.

The best outcome of liquidating one's investment is big $$$ first, off roster first, and if simply leaving CA anything roster can be sold in unlimited quantities back to CA once no longer a CA resident.
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Old 01-09-2022, 3:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoopy47 View Post
Yea, it's a risk like any other investment.

Regulations drives the price. With the stroke of a pen our entire investment in these assets could be made worthless.

As Californians it will always be best to SELL before leaving the state where barriers to transactions are removed, and alternatives are numerous.

There is also a limit even here to what folks will pay for guns. I have a few OFF roster upper tier guns (Les Baer), and I never paid more than MSRP even here in CA. There comes a point where the market for buyers of $2K+ guns is dried up, and a PPT seller has his limits if they want to make a sale.

Now...............
Here's the major problem with guns as investments in CA.

LIQUIDITY.

Can you sell them all RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!! and what price hit does the seller have to take in order to make the sale right now? That is the cost of liquidity.

Oh, but wait, you can sell them in batches totaling no more than five batches, but in order to do that you have to make a break on the prices.

The best outcome of liquidating one's investment is big $$$ first, off roster first, and if simply leaving CA anything roster can be sold in unlimited quantities back to CA once no longer a CA resident.
True, I believe a firearm is a wise investment, especially here in California, off roster is what's gonna fetch big money because anything on roster can easily be found and bought pretty much from anywhere. You know many people do that when they move out of state, they liquidate their collections and then buy the same exact firearms in a free state at half the price, it's a good move but it also depends how attached you are to your collection and wether you want to just take them with you when you leave.
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Old 02-04-2022, 1:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoopy47 View Post
Yea, it's a risk like any other investment.

Regulations drives the price. With the stroke of a pen our entire investment in these assets could be made worthless.

As Californians it will always be best to SELL before leaving the state where barriers to transactions are removed, and alternatives are numerous.

There is also a limit even here to what folks will pay for guns. I have a few OFF roster upper tier guns (Les Baer), and I never paid more than MSRP even here in CA. There comes a point where the market for buyers of $2K+ guns is dried up, and a PPT seller has his limits if they want to make a sale.

Now...............
Here's the major problem with guns as investments in CA.

LIQUIDITY.

Can you sell them all RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!! and what price hit does the seller have to take in order to make the sale right now? That is the cost of liquidity.

Oh, but wait, you can sell them in batches totaling no more than five batches, but in order to do that you have to make a break on the prices.

The best outcome of liquidating one's investment is big $$$ first, off roster first, and if simply leaving CA anything roster can be sold in unlimited quantities back to CA once no longer a CA resident.

Very astute perspectives, IMO. I've been involved in liquidating gun accumulations for widows, and it isn't "per the bluebook" by any stretch. Even when the professional collectors have to liquidate large quantities it gets down and dirty. 50 cents on the market dollar is optimistic for immediate sales, in some cases.

When gun, car and sports publisher Robert Peterson died 15 years ago, his gun collection was humungous. I heard it had to be auctioned in several auctions. I got the catalog from Lil John's Auction house and went to one auction. The guns were going for under market "bluebook". If you back up a step and think about what Lil John had to have paid the Peterson family, you'll come to the conclusion that short-mid term large quantity investment in guns is probably not as wise as other traditional investments. Not that Robert Peterson bought guns thinking he was going to get rich on them. They were bought with disposable income.

A few decades or more ago, a similar story played out when the president of Colt died and had a huge collection of guns. I went to a multi day auction and saw factory engraved, gold and silver plated, S/N 0 and S/N 1 Colt SAAs going for what a standard blued SAA was going for. It was just too many collectable guns in one place at one time that needed buyers. Dealers that had the cash snapped up as many as they could afford, but some went unsold. It was crazy. A year or so later, I recall seeing a couple of guns on some web sales sites from that collection that I recognized. They were asking 10 times the auction gavel price. They probably got somewhere near that, but it took years for those dealers to move them at "bluebook" prices.

A couple years ago, I bought a couple high grade shotguns when an opportunity knocked. The guns were unfired NIB and were bluebook valued at about $13k each. I checked around and saw the same guns for "bluebook" on the web. I didn't need them, nor had a particular itch for them, but had the cash, so I didn't want to pay anywhere near retail. My thought was to buy both and maybe keep one. The owner needed to liquidate them. He came down to close enough to my .50/$1.00 rule for guns I don't have a burning need or desire for. I put one up for sale at about 80% of bluebook and got a bunch of nose pickers trying to do what I had done, many of whom I knew. My theory is that there were at least a few of those guns on the market when I tried to sell, and there are only so many buyers of that particular gun that come along in a given timeframe. I see now that one has sold and no others come up in a search. Might be time for me to try again. But, I've kinda warmed up to them and hunted with them. This is why guns aren't good for your wallet.

Look, some guys can find buyers for a few of their guns at market prices and make a little beer money, maybe even enough to help fund the next addiction gun, and that's great. Some FFLs can even make a modest living at it. But the big end is the original sale of new guns by large chain retailers that set the hook in many Joe-bag-o donuts guys like us.

Last edited by spurshooter; 02-04-2022 at 2:28 AM..
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Old 02-10-2022, 3:08 PM
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Does anyone use a 401(a) with collectable firearms?
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Old 02-11-2022, 1:09 PM
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"50 cents on the market dollar is optimistic for immediate sales, in some cases."


I've done the same thing. The last collection from a widow...some really nice English Double Shotguns, plus some Lugers. Offers were about 50-60 percent of "blue book" value. Unfortunately her neighbors and "friends" told her she could retire comfortably on the sale of the guns. I asked her if her neighbors or friends were willing to buy the guns. Of course not.

Good investment? Some maybe. Not so much others. It's usually the buyer who determines the value - what will he pay...in cash?
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Old 03-10-2022, 10:03 AM
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I don't think they've appreciated in value so much as the USD has depreciated from inflation. I would view them more as a savings, not an investment. Did you calculate what you paid back then to adjust for inflation to convert to 2022 dollars?
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Old 03-10-2022, 10:43 AM
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Started buying guns in the late 60s. I held on to most of them and never sold one for a loss. About 8-9 years ago I figured it was time to sell off some. What had cost me $7,600 sold for nearly $25,000. Not big numbers but good return on a hobby. Still have 20+ that would net me at least $4-500 profit each but they're earmarked for the grandson.
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Old 03-10-2022, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushwack44 View Post
For 2022, I hope to buy several pistols (sub $1,200), feeling each will appreciate at least 10% annually.
I think that's wildly optimistic. That means doubled in less than 8 years. I cannot fathom a basic $1200 pistol in 2014, goes for $2400 today. Where are you seeing these prices? Used, it's probably $800. If you are referring to the bizarre, market manipulated, roster scheme valuation within CA, you might be right on price but wrong on the conclusion. A 2012 purchase might be worth more now, if that gun is now off roster. But you can't start that now with new investments, you've missed the boat. Since you can't buy off-roster at msrp, that "increase in value" is not relevant for new investments inside CA. You'll pay that high price to acquire to begin with. So no, I don't think sub $1200 pistols are in any way a good "investment". Nobody will pay double for a used gun, they can buy new for half price. If CA limits the sales (roster) or there happens to be a supply shortage at the time you want to sell, you might get lucky, but that's a high risk gamble for an "investment" to hope there's a market crisis when you need to liquidate, in order to profit. Remember an investment in durable goods is actually worth $0, until you sell it.
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Old 03-10-2022, 1:35 PM
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Except for a small number of guns, I do not consider guns to be an investment. For me they are simply something to enjoy and for certain guns, something to use for HD.
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Old 03-13-2022, 9:46 PM
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I love where your head is at, but as outlined by others, at dollar on dollar liquidable prices, these don’t work out very well as investment devices.

I think it would make a better cash on cash return if you bought books of FOREVER STAMPS then and sold them now.

Can’t shoot em though
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Old 03-18-2022, 7:14 PM
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Originally Posted by sbo80 View Post
I think that's wildly optimistic. That means doubled in less than 8 years. I cannot fathom a basic $1200 pistol in 2014, goes for $2400 today. Where are you seeing these prices? Used, it's probably $800. If you are referring to the bizarre, market manipulated, roster scheme valuation within CA, you might be right on price but wrong on the conclusion. A 2012 purchase might be worth more now, if that gun is now off roster. But you can't start that now with new investments, you've missed the boat.
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I love where your head is at, but as outlined by others, at dollar on dollar liquidable prices, these donít work out very well as investment devices.

I think it would make a better cash on cash return if you bought books of FOREVER STAMPS then and sold them now.

Canít shoot em though
This is only true for high number modern production stuff, made over the last 20 years, which may get a small bump if now off-roster from either once being on the roster or was out of production before year 2000, but plenty can still be had in CA by PPT.

However, like anything else, research, study, comparison, and market attentiveness in the INTENTIONAL pursuit of investment-worthy firearms BEFORE anyone realizes their investment reverence, makes all the difference and will beat most any 401K plan - even with matching contribution ( because all your employer is doing is devaluing your salary by that much.)

Yet that was much easier to do in the past.

But like the stock market, like fine-arts, clasic cars, real-estate - it takes work, real study, pursuit, and wherewithal and most people are too lazy to truly go down that avenue or simply because guns are 'just tools'.

The view that firearms don't make good investments - if not done right of course - is as daft as so many people that call the stock market a sham or Ponzi scheme merely because they won't ALSO invest in the time and self-education it takes to make cultivate lucrative results.

You won't do well investing in the stock market OR firearms, if you spend all your time Keeping Up with the Kardashians and the like.

The only real hurdle starting now though, rather than 40 years ago - of which the same can be said for any collectible/rare item, is that the internet makes everyone an expert on price now, in the time it takes to type a phrase - without having to do the study and retention of knowledge it took 25 years ago and prior, pre-Google, pre-Ebay, pre-Gunbroker.

No longer will you ever walk into a Podunk gun store and pick up the old Model 29 they have for $400 which you know to actually be a 1936 Registered Magnum.

That's a true story, friends - among others.

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Quote:
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What compelling interest has any level of government in knowing what guns are owned by civilians? (Those owned by government should be inventoried and tracked, for exactly the same reasons computers and desks and chairs are tracked: responsible care of public property.)

If some level of government had that information, what would they do with it? How would having that info benefit public safety? How would it benefit law enforcement?

Last edited by The Gleam; 03-18-2022 at 7:29 PM..
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Old 03-24-2022, 1:56 PM
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i would sell all my guns except a few and put it into bitcoin instead. the rate of growth simply doesn't justify all the time and eventual work needed to resell the guns at a later date. when i buy a gun i intend to keep it for self defense. this philosophy extends to most physical things i own. if i'm not going to use something on a regular basis, i'm not going to buy it. save for something like a fire extinguisher or a gun(although a gun can be used on a semi regular basis for training/entertainment)

anything that sees less than one minute of use per year gets sold. all my possessions fit inside a sedan
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Old 03-27-2022, 8:46 PM
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i would sell all my guns except a few and put it into bitcoin instead. the rate of growth simply doesn't justify all the time and eventual work needed to resell the guns at a later date. when i buy a gun i intend to keep it for self defense. this philosophy extends to most physical things i own. if i'm not going to use something on a regular basis, i'm not going to buy it. save for something like a fire extinguisher or a gun(although a gun can be used on a semi regular basis for training/entertainment)

anything that sees less than one minute of use per year gets sold. all my possessions fit inside a sedan
As if people only have their money in one thing.

Can't one also have money in stocks, fine arts, real-estate, and other ventures too? What is the value (income) of my intellectual properties and my capitalizing on that with my time and investment - surely better pay-off than Bitcoin.

Spice of life, the very title of this thread: diversification.

As for Bitcoin... no thanks.

I'm with Warren and Charlie on that one. No interest in Beanie Baby NFTs either. Bored Apes... got that right. People can't even see the irony.

Great for those that have won that game of musical chairs and rode it up, on both baubles, good for them, and I mean that. I saw the value of it in 2008/2009, and then it got out of control in fabricated value. It's pure whimsy. Yes it could go to $100K, as equally as governmental regulation or cyberhacks on mining could knock it down to $10K.

I'll stick to my guns - for the fun, history, expansion of character, conversation, legacy, and education, if nothing else, money aside. Bitcoin leaves one empty and boring by comparison. Like Yahoos and diamonds.

Write a book about guns, the story is endless and marketable, the history rich and the humanistic connections have had impact. Now write a book about Bitcoin; finite, superficial, and flacid. Save for the whitepaper itself and hearing about some of the fun spinsters had with the money they extracted from the shell-game, some tech-talk that's intriguing, it's a dry, short lived eyeroller.

There is great value in many a thing that transcend beyond utilitarian pass through and disposable 'tools'.

And everything is for sale. Always.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
What compelling interest has any level of government in knowing what guns are owned by civilians? (Those owned by government should be inventoried and tracked, for exactly the same reasons computers and desks and chairs are tracked: responsible care of public property.)

If some level of government had that information, what would they do with it? How would having that info benefit public safety? How would it benefit law enforcement?
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