Monday Market Memories...OK, it's Wednesday
Coming in a minute...wait
OK, it's Wednesday...but Monday was Christmas Eve.
Let's talk about bull and bear markets.
Everyone has some bull market stories...how about a few bear market stories. I remember 67/68...74/75...but the worst was 1981-1982.
Coins were incredible during the "Jimmy Carter bull market" of 1976-1980. Many coins went up 1000% or more. in 1976, Pr65 Three Cent Nickels were about $110. I saw a deal change hands in early 1980 at $3000 per coin. I sold Matte proof twenties in 1976 for $8500...and saw them sell at auction in 1980 for over $100,000 per coin.
After such a big run-up in it's logical that the correction would be severe...and the 1981-82 bear market was beyond brutal. There was about a 12 month period when it was almost impossible to get dealers to even look at coins. I remember one month in 1981 when the revenue at my coin company was less than my expenses...that is, not only was my profit margin less than my expenses, my entire revenue for the month was less than expenses...and this was before anyone had heard of dot com business plans!
The was a coin show in early 1982...I think it was the Feb Long Beach show...and the place was a morgue. I was standing next to Bob Leece's table and a retail customer walked up to his table...maybe the only retail customer at the show. He bent over the cases to look at the coins and then he suddenly sneezed. Bobby Leece exclaimed, "Great, the first retail customer of the day and he's allergic to coins."
At the same show I saw a dealer show another dealer a group of very nice coins. The dealer who owned the coins asked the other dealer to look at them and give him an offer. The dealer looked at the coins and then said, "What are you trying to get out of this group?" The dealer who owned the coins said, "I'm trying to get 10% over nothing."
It was brutal...but the market picked up suddenly at the ANA show in Boston in August, 1982. It literally started to get good during the show. I sold a lot of coins at that show and so did everyone else. Prices were cheap, but coins were selling again. In a few months the Eliasberg gold coins were sold at auction in New York by Dave Bowers and it was an incredible sale. Coins started to get hot again...and they stayed hot thru the launch of PCGS in 1986 and thru 1989.
Our market has been hot...really hot...for four or five years. And each year seems to be better than the last year. I feel the market has tremendous momentum and can run another four or five. But eventually, we'll have another bear market.
What are your thoughts?
What are your bear market memories? And which bear markets do you remember???