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Is Hobby Discipline a Virtue or a Vice?

CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,603 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited February 12, 2023 11:57AM in U.S. Coin Forum

I was reflecting on collecting discipline and want to see if you agree with these assumptions:

Self Discipline Advantages:

  • conserves money to meet narrow collecting goals
  • enhances learning about a series and type
  • better avoids buyer's regret
  • encourages goal progress and satisfaction of completion milestones
  • collection quality may be enhanced waiting on the "right" coin

Self Discipline Vices:

  • closes one off from exploring new collecting avenues and associated joy
  • diversification appears disjointed
  • money spread with little strategy, can detract from accomplishing series or type set goals
  • money possibly unavailable when great coin comes along
  • may lead to quantity over quality acquisitions.
  • Duplicates more likely

There may be other factors that I did not consider.

As I think about my collection, I thought about how I recently enjoyed deviating from a specific path. For example, as a type collector I realized that there were certain types that I have no interest in collecting and so I've been looking at new collecting avenues. I've also stayed away from proof coins, but then I bought a proof Walker, which. then led to a new goal of building the associated proof set.

PR65 Gold CAC

PR66+ Gold CAC

PR66RD Cameo Green CAC

So, I think that being flexible can lead to new passions while also not leaving self-discipline advantages aside. I imagine the series collector finds this more challenging than the type collector, but maybe not.

What are your thoughts on collecting self-discipline? How has your collecting journey been impacted by this very important trait?

"Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,863 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 12, 2023 11:58AM

    @Catbert said:
    I was reflecting on collecting discipline and want to see if you agree with these assumptions:

    Self Discipline Advantages:

    • conserves money to meet narrow collecting goals
    • enhances learning about a series and type
    • better avoids buyer's regret
    • encourages goal progress and satisfaction of completion milestones
    • collection quality may be enhanced waiting on the "right" coin

    Self Discipline Vices:

    • closes one off from exploring new collecting avenues and associated joy
    • diversification appears disjointed
    • money spread with little strategy, can detract from accomplishing series or type set goals
    • money possibly unavailable when great coin comes along
    • may lead to quantity over quality acquisitions.
    • Duplicates more likely

    There may be other factors that I did not consider.
    [...]
    What are your thoughts on collecting self-discipline? How has your collecting journey been impacted by this very important trait?

    This is a good discussion which I think is useful to discuss in the context of achieving one's goals.

    For example, some goals can be:

    1. enjoyment
    2. profit
    3. legacy
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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,876 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not to be a critic, but aren't most of your vices from LACK of self-discipline?

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,863 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 12, 2023 4:31PM

    @jmlanzaf said:
    Not to be a critic, but aren't most of your vices from LACK of self-discipline?

    There also seems to be a bit of a bias towards discipline since it's listed as Advantages vs Vices ;)

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    mcarney1173mcarney1173 Posts: 900 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In this market where pricing is elevated and bidding goes higher than expected, I am trying especially hard to avoid the vices and stick to quality and patience

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    Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 11,147 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I quit going to the local monthly show.
    I was always dragging home something new that caught my eye for a few minutes.
    Not bad to learn about new things I guess, but it ties up cash and space!

    Successful BST transactions with 170 members. Recent: Tonedeaf, Shane6596, Piano1, Ikenefic, RG, PCGSPhoto, stman, Don'tTelltheWife, Boosibri, Ron1968, snowequities, VTchaser, jrt103, SurfinxHI, 78saen, bp777, FHC, RYK, JTHawaii, Opportunity, Kliao, bigtime36, skanderbeg, split37, thebigeng, acloco, Toninginthblood, OKCC, braddick, Coinflip, robcool, fastfreddie, tightbudget, DBSTrader2, nickelsciolist, relaxn, Eagle eye, soldi, silverman68, ElKevvo, sawyerjosh, Schmitz7, talkingwalnut2, konsole, sharkman987, sniocsu, comma, jesbroken, David1234, biosolar, Sullykerry, Moldnut, erwindoc, MichaelDixon, GotTheBug
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    DelawareDoonsDelawareDoons Posts: 3,241 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'll tell you after I sell everything and see how I did. Got a feeling it's gonna be more virtue than vice though!

    Professional Numismatist. "It's like God, Family, Country, except Sticker, Plastic, Coin."

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    PillarDollarCollectorPillarDollarCollector Posts: 4,746 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When I was younger under 40 I had almost no discipline now I have a lot and am happy I am were I am now versus back then. I buy much less per year but every single purchase will stay in my collection long term and that is a good feeling.

    Collecting interests: Coins from Latin American (2020-present)

    Sports: NFL & NHL

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    Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 4,436 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think disciplined focus collecting is important, but that you need to take occasional breaks and test things out on potential new or future directions to keep things fresh

    Mr_Spud

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    ElcontadorElcontador Posts: 7,416 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The discipline is important. I recently saw an amazing coin that had no place at all in my collection. I could have actually bought it, but passed. I couldn't build a set with it, I have no other coins of the series of that quality, and it would have been an exercise in futility to try to find them. And it would have cost an obscene amount of money assuming I could actually find coins of other dates of this quality.

    "Vou invadir o Nordeste,
    "Seu cabra da peste,
    "Sou Mangueira......."
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    Project NumismaticsProject Numismatics Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭✭✭

    How do you define discipline?

    Is discipline as simple as setting specific collecting goals and sticking to them?

    Can those goals be as diverse as buying high quality coins that catch your interest?

    I think there are collectors who assemble amazing collections that derive cohesion from the quality, theme or eye appeal of the material - but not necessarily from being part of a defined series or set (see @lordmarcovan).

    I bought my first CWT last year and spent a significant amount of my 2022 budget in the process. I don't regret it for a second.

    If I make a mistake or am no longer enjoying a particular piece, I try to sell it quickly to free up capital for other acquisitions - even if I have to take a loss.

    Great discussion topic - look forward to hearing more perspectives.

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    FrazFraz Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Lack of discipline never affected my career. That was enough discipline.

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    1madman1madman Posts: 1,288 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Coins that are available to buy for my personal collection come along so infrequently that I buy many other coins to fill the hobby gap. Might take 1-2 years before a coin I want is available, so buying/selling others is a must.

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    ShaunBC5ShaunBC5 Posts: 1,632 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am pretty disciplined in buying coins I want to buy. They don’t all hold up to the test of time, but that’s OK.
    I haven’t found another set I really want to complete, so I’m just trying to buy what I like (and often what is available that I can see in person).
    I don’t like it when “discipline” forces me to stay in a lane I don’t want to be in any longer. I can always return and complete that later.

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    Jzyskowski1Jzyskowski1 Posts: 6,651 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I buy what I like ( at the moment). Not the best plan 😂
    JM and others whom I respect also, seem to return regularly to their theme “ cash is king “
    Recently tried stacking cash, just to see what these formites are talking about. I am purchasing less “impulse buys “ and don’t appear to be worse for wear. I must say that my tastes are changing as the larger the stack gets I’m seeing more possibilities and at the same time, more consideration is going into each purchase.
    Great topic. Thanks

    🎶 shout shout, let it all out 🎶

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    keyman64keyman64 Posts: 15,455 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Both. There’s a few coins I wouldn’t own if I had better discipline. In some cases, that’s a great thing. In other cases, I can sell them at any time. ;)

    "If it's not fun, it's not worth it." - KeyMan64
    Looking for Top Pop Mercury Dime Varieties & High Grade Mercury Dime Toners. :smile:
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    Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,670 ✭✭✭✭✭

    And this is why I use my Magic 8 ball for critical coin decisions... Oh, and my Spidey sense. Kick off is moments away. Peace Roy

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister, mirabela, JJM, RichURich, Bullsitter, jmski52, LukeMarshall

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,615 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My RCI biz disciplined vs budget and plan inventory slabs. Because PM lighter have more of it lol.

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There's a thread on impulse purchases in the darkside forum right now. As I said there, I don't do sets, so pretty much everything is an impulse purchase- how do you plan to buy coins you don't even know you want until you see them?

    Most recently, I bought a Lithuanian crown from the local coin shop. I wasn't looking for one but it had such great toning that I couldn't pass it up. Could I get my money back if I decided to sell it? I don't know and I don't care.

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    SapyxSapyx Posts: 2,001 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As an extreme generalist with absolutely no need or desire to specialize, I would take issue with the notion that "self-discipline" in coin collecting is linked to "specialization".

    My "self-discipline" is different to the OP's. Not better, not worse, just different. It includes things like:
    - Never keep duplicates. Ever.
    - Never sell or give away any coin that isn't a duplicate. Ever.
    - Never spend over $1000 on a single coin.
    - Maintain the database for all coins in the collection.

    Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.
    Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, "Meditations"

    Apparently I have been awarded one DPOTD. B)
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    Tom147Tom147 Posts: 1,431 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As a collector only with a focus on two denominations, I have self discipline to focus on only those which I collect. Unfortunately, as a " set " collector and having started at a lower grade ( ms65 ) completing that collection, then moved up to 66 and having just completed the same in 67 I still have the 65's & 66's. ( 68's not available ) Someone mentioned " running out of room ". Yup, that's where I'm at. I should get some kind of discipline to sell off the lower grades. NAAAA !!!!! I'll just keep em.

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    johnny010johnny010 Posts: 1,085 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Sapyx said:
    As an extreme generalist with absolutely no need or desire to specialize, I would take issue with the notion that "self-discipline" in coin collecting is linked to "specialization".

    My "self-discipline" is different to the OP's. Not better, not worse, just different. It includes things like:
    - Never keep duplicates. Ever.
    - Never sell or give away any coin that isn't a duplicate. Ever.
    - Never spend over $1000 on a single coin.
    - Maintain the database for all coins in the collection.

    Logic on not keeping duplicates and never exceeding $1k?

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    Eric_BabulaEric_Babula Posts: 413 ✭✭✭✭

    Discipline....pffft. I have shiny object syndrome!

    Rocking my "shiny-object-syndrome"!!!

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    daltexdaltex Posts: 3,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The moat is wide enough that a lack of discipline can be costly. Buying coins you don't like just to buy something, or even to fill a hole you can upgrade later can easily cost you 20%, and much more if you're not careful or lucky.

    If, on the other hand, you stretch to buy something that is outside the price range you're most comfortable with, or not in your usual "lane" but you find it amazing and you can't put it down, well, that's the kind of discipline that can be harmful.

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,876 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @johnny010 said:

    @Sapyx said:
    As an extreme generalist with absolutely no need or desire to specialize, I would take issue with the notion that "self-discipline" in coin collecting is linked to "specialization".

    My "self-discipline" is different to the OP's. Not better, not worse, just different. It includes things like:
    - Never keep duplicates. Ever.
    - Never sell or give away any coin that isn't a duplicate. Ever.
    - Never spend over $1000 on a single coin.
    - Maintain the database for all coins in the collection.

    Logic on not keeping duplicates and never exceeding $1k?

    Allocation of limited resources seems the likely reason. Why do you ask? Does it not seem like a reasonable criteria?

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For me, coin collecting is a hobby.... Discipline, vices etc. are terms that I do not even consider. I like coins, I buy what I like and keep them. It is my opinion, that when restrictions and controls are applied (other than common sense, i.e. food, home etc.), it is no longer enjoyable. I will continue as long as I can and still enjoy the hobby. Cheers, RickO

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    rec78rec78 Posts: 5,685 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have no idea what you are talking about. :)
    I have money that I haven't borrowed yet. :)
    Me? Coins? Discipline? Impossible!

    image
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    NeophyteNumismatistNeophyteNumismatist Posts: 878 ✭✭✭✭✭

    2023 is going to be all about discipline for me.

    "If the coin don't fit, you must forget it."

    • Johnnie Cochran

    I am a newer collector (started April 2020), and I primarily focus on U.S. Half Cents and Type Coins. Early copper is my favorite.

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    BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,729 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 13, 2023 3:16PM

    As long as coins aren't your livelihood, the goal is to have fun (I think). As long as you're getting plenty of that and not too much regret, it probably doesn't matter if you're strictly disciplined or not. Happy accidents do sometimes occur and can lead us down roads previously unexplored.

    I have a thing about not collecting stuff that is "made for collectors." I was really principled on that until I found out the Pilgrim commem was designed by a fairly close relative. I bought one of those, and it was a gateway drug into other commems. I've had a ton of fun collecting them, even if I did go against my previous discipline. :)

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    lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,821 ✭✭✭✭✭

    2021 and 22 were collecting catch-up years for me. I still think I was fairly disciplined even though I was making more purchases. The purchases I made were mainly for my Type Set and I made really good headway. The bulk of the other purchases were Large Cents.

    The only "vice" I started that didn't fit into my main collecting interests was a Box-of-20. That said, the "Box" coins give me great satisfaction and at least part of it is an extension of my Type set so there is a tangential connection. For instance, I've always loved the 8-Reales piece, Colonial Copper, and Hard Times tokens...

    2023 will be a much more disciplined year in terms of collecting. I'll be going to the Baltimore Show probably twice, but that'll be it.

    Collecting: Dansco 7070; Middle Date Large Cents (VF-AU); Box of 20;

    Successful BST transactions with: SilverEagles92; Ahrensdad; Smitty; GregHansen; Lablade; Mercury10c; copperflopper; whatsup; KISHU1; scrapman1077, crispy, canadanz, smallchange, robkool, Mission16, ranshdow, ibzman350, Fallguy, Collectorcoins, SurfinxHI, jwitten, Walkerguy21D, dsessom.
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    bigmarty58bigmarty58 Posts: 1,998 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I collect for the fun and enjoyment along with learning as I go along. :)

    Enthusiastic collector of British pre-decimal and Canadian decimal circulation coins.
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    WalkerfanWalkerfan Posts: 8,971 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 13, 2023 4:10PM

    Coins are like sports, imho....To excel, in a certain series or area, you must pick just one and focus on it.

    I had no problem doing this with Walkers, for YEARS, until my set was almost finished.

    Waiting for that certain key date to fill that hole took TIME AND MONEY. Other series would REALLY tempt and beckon me. So, once in a while, I'd buy that common date or semi-key Morgan or that SLQ.

    NOW, that my Walker set is complete; I work ACROSS three different series--Seated Dollars, Standing Liberty Quarters and Morgans....In that order. It gives me a lot of variety. I also do One Per Date sets, so I still have a sense of fulfillment by completing or nearly completing sets.

    Coins can be addicting, so you must watch your spending habits. If you buy SENSIBLY, coins are a VIRTUE but, if you buy with reckless abandon, it can be a financial VICE, no matter how deep your pockets are. It can become an obsession.

    Myself, I have reached a cessation point where I am HAPPY with my accomplishments. I still have GOALS but my pace has slowed to a comfortable, even level.

    These are just my personal thoughts and observations. .

    “I may not believe in myself but I believe in what I’m doing” ~Jimmy Page~

    My Full Walker Registry Set (1916-1947)

    https://www.ngccoin.com/registry/competitive-sets/16292/

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