Saturday, March 10, 2018

"Bond Guru Bill Gross Is About to Rattle Another Market: Stamp Collecting"

We too (along with Professor Dimson) have pondered this facet of Mr. Gross' life and lore a few times.
Usually while thinking of the extraordinary utility of rare stamps should one need make a fast exit with as much wealth as one can carry.
Some links after the jump.

From Bloomberg, March 7:

What happens when $42.2 million worth of rarities return to flood the zone?
Bill Gross gained fame as the bond king. Now he rules the market for collectible stamps. His $42 million collection of U.S. postage is so comprehensive that when the first part of it comes up for auction in September, the entire field of philately will feel the effect.

“There’s never been a collection in private hands of U.S. material like the one Bill Gross put together,” says Cheryl Ganz, curator emerita of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, which got more than $10 million from Gross’s family to build the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery, the world’s largest gallery dedicated to postage. “He went for the best of the best in every case.”

Collecting stamps is a hobby that has cooled in popularity in recent decades—and part of the problem is that so many of the most sought-after specimens are in museums or major private collections. This is particularly true of U.S. stamps, once among the most desirable segments. Gross has amassed so many of the best examples that he’s effectively cornered the market.

“This is a significant moment in the stamp market,” says Charles Shreve, the billionaire’s longtime adviser. “Once a generation a great collection comes up for sale, and it gives new collectors a chance to buy something special. It opens up the material.”

The group will be offered by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries Inc. in New York at a series of special sales over the next two to three years, according to the auction house. The first will feature 150 lots; the tally is expected to surpass $10 million. All proceeds from the auctions will go to charities, Gross said in an email.

Gross has the most complete collection of stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service, with individual stamps, blocks of them, and stamped envelopes. One album has hundreds of examples from the first U.S. federal postage issue in 1847....MUCH MORE
Previously in philately:

March 2012
Stamp Collecting for Fun and Profit (PIMCO's Bill Gross and his $100 Million Collection Swing By)
I've referred to Profs. Dimson, Marsh and Staunton and their work on Equity Risk Premium more than once.
Here's Dimson with another co-auther on a slightly lighter subject.
Via NYU the 2009 draft:

Ex post: The investment performance of collectible stamps
Elroy Dimson and Christophe Spaenjers
April 2013 
Top of the Market? PIMCO's Bill Gross Continues Auctioning Stamp Collection
We last looked at Bill-the-Philatelist in "Stamp Collecting for Fun and Profit (PIMCO's Bill Gross and his $100 Million Collection Swing By)" with an amazing paper by London Business School Emeritus Fellow /Norwegian sovereign fund strategy chair/ Cambridge prof./all-around good guy Elroy Dimson.

The most recent auction, the first to include U.S. issues, went off on April 9, here's Nightly Business Report with the details:...
April 2017 
"Keynes’s Art Collection Shows Why Art Investing Is Like the Lottery"

Sept. 2012 
Scripophily Recapitulates Philately IV
No it doesn't, no more so than "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" but I was stuck for a headline.
I've referred to various stock frauds as a "potentially fine bit of scripophily" and posted old certs but never got around to a post devoted to the hobby....
February 2014 
"The Time PIMCO's Bill Gross Acted Like A Cheap Prick To A Waitress"