“Bares for Rares” dealer: David Suppes in an interview: “Gold will still be suitable as an inflation-proof store of value in 100 years” | message
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Forex-news.com.net: In the ZDF program “Bares für Rares” you appear as a dealer and are offered numerous supposedly valuable cellar finds. Are there any finds that owners often value significantly more valuable than they actually are?
David Suppes: Yes, it is quite common indeed. When valuables are passed on over generations, an emotional value quickly develops, which many customers mistakenly mix in their heads with the actual market value. In addition, many items were once worth a fortune (e.g. Grandma’s Hutschenreuther porcelain figure, which used to cost as much as a Bentley), but are now difficult to sell. This is sometimes difficult to teach customers, because it often contradicts the information their parents gave them on the way.
What was your biggest bad buy?
I’ve definitely messed up a lot over the past 12 years. From counterfeit gold bars, stolen works of art to worthless holiday souvenirs that smart customers have sold me as rarities, everything was included. However, I wouldn’t call any of them a bad buy. Learning from mistakes, abstracting and drawing conclusions is a brilliant concept of evolution and helps me a lot in my personal development. Apprenticeship hurts, no question about it, but in the end it usually pays off.
Many people have treasures dormant in their cellars. What was the most valuable thing that you as a retailer had on the counter in recent years?
Are we now talking about emotional value, or market value? A few months ago I bought a letter from a customer for 300 euros that the great Thomas Mann had written to the customer’s grandfather, he was a literary critic, and complained in the letter in a terribly funny, cynical way about the criticism of his book Has. The letter is unique, actually priceless and will of course no longer be sold on. Why the customer wanted to sell it is still a mystery to me today.
When it comes to the pure market value, it is certainly the collection of gold coins and bars that an heir put on my counter unannounced a few years ago and which at that time had a market value of over 2 million euros.
As an antique dealer, have you noticed anything from the gold rally of the past few months?
Many customers who had waited a long time to sell their precious metals have now struck and taken the high prices with them. The combination of corona fears, financial bottlenecks, high gold prices and the resulting free time through short-time work and lockdown led to increases in sales for us in Q2 and Q3.
Hand on heart: Should owners of gold and silver jewelry use the current market prices to sell their jewelry, or is it worth waiting for higher gold and silver prices on the market?
Basically, I don’t think much of jewelry as an investment – common bullionware should always be preferred here. If gold jewelry is available, it could be sold, for example, and converted into investment gold and silver, either into more gold or more silver, depending on the time horizon and risk aversion.
Over a 10-year perspective, I see more potential in gold; over a 20-year perspective, silver could outperform significantly. Nevertheless, gold will still be suitable as an inflation-proof store of value 100 years from now.
The current precious metal prices are good for selling if you are dependent on fiat money right now. We are still scratching close to the all-time high and there is a good chance that there will be stronger consolidations in the short term.
What do investors have to look out for if they want to sell old hereditary jewelry?
First and foremost, ensure that they do not sell their treasures below their value. It is important to first find out what type of jewelry you actually own: old gold? Broken jewelry? Diamond jewelry? Pieces with a historical background? If in doubt, a reputable and neutral expert should be consulted. In the second step it is of course important to find the right buyer. A gold buyer will usually only offer the customer the value of the material, minus a dealer’s margin. It often makes more sense to look for a dealer who values the jewelry as it is, and does not just throw it into the melt.
Keyword: watches. Which brands are particularly valuable and with which watches is there no money to be made?
Patek Philippe and Rolex have dominated the market for many years and are increasingly setting themselves apart from the competition – also through ingenious marketing. I find the prospect that the European market will no longer play a role in the value development of luxury watches in the future is interesting. Hundreds of millions of people in China will rise to the middle class in the coming decades. What do you think will happen to the already huge demand for Rolex in China?
From an investor’s point of view, I advise against short-term hypes and fads such as Richard Mille or Hublot a few years ago.
My investment tip: buy countercyclically here too. For example, many gold models from Rolex are currently very cheap – sometimes even close to the material price. The current trend is clearly towards steel models. But why shouldn’t that change again in 10-20 years? As an investor, I find this particularly exciting because I am well protected from the downside due to the rising gold price.
If you would have to advise investors looking for alternative investments beyond the stock exchange & Co. to invest their money: Coins, comics, jewelry, watches, furniture & Co. – Which investment objects do you think have the greatest potential for value growth?
Coins are experiencing an upswing precisely because of the increased interest in precious metals. Both investment and collector coins. Trendy topics are currently Asian items as well as old advertising figures and enamel signs. Since Corona at the latest, we have noticed that combination systems are becoming increasingly popular, i.e. objects with which one invests in several trends at the same time: Examples would be the above-mentioned Rolex watch made of gold or Art Nouveau jewelry made of silver.
Interested investors can orientate themselves on TV programs like Bares für Rares: How do experts and retailers react to certain product categories? For which articles do the dealers argue particularly vigorously over an object? In this way, trends can often be read off easily, because as retailers we fight “at the front” and know what is going well and what is not.
Investing in precious and industrial metals such as gold and silver has always been a big topic among investors. In which systems do you invest privately?
Most of all, I invest in assets that I understand and where I can gauge market developments, or at least think I will. I like buying Chinese ceramics, both as an investor and a collector. My investment portfolio also includes stocks from the technology and medical sectors, ETFs, watches, precious metals, crypto currencies, fiat money and home ownership. I diversify a lot and feel very safe, even in difficult times like these.
What recommendation would you give when it comes to gold investments? Physical precious metals or gold stocks like ETCs or gold stocks?
I would recommend physical precious metals. In addition to the tax advantages, the idea of security also plays a role here. You can expect a long holding period.
Not only gold and silver were in increased demand during the Corona crisis, crypto currencies such as Bitcoin have also enjoyed great popularity. As a trader in real assets, what points of contact do you have with digital currencies?
In 2017, during the hype, we briefly considered offering customers payment for their treasures in crypto currencies, but we ultimately decided against it due to the complicated handling at the time. Otherwise, I can’t really think of many points of contact with my industry.
Thank you for the nice conversation.
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Image sources: Carolin Auer