December 2, 2008

20 Pieces of Silver

When my wife and I got married she was part of a women's investment club. They got together once a month and bought shares of stock, each spending their own allotment of money. Somewhere along the way she quit going. I think it was right after Iomega hit it big and the stocks rose to $50.00 dollars a share after a split (That's when she bought in). Two weeks later they nosed dived and her interest had changed. My interest however had peaked. Looking at her investments I noticed that she had bought 1,000 shares from one company for .05 cents a share. Liking that figure, we bought 2,000 more, but not before it had creeped up to .07 cents a share. Years later those 3,000 shares had climbed to over $3.00 a share, and we eventually sold 1,000 shares, but not before it had dropped back down to $1.43 a share. That investment was and still is one of our most lucrative ones. Over the years that OTC stock has performed.

My interest in the stock market has grown a lot since then. So much so, that on my days off the first thing I do in the mornings is turn on CNBC and then grab my cup of coffee. But I haven't done that in quite a while for obvious reasons. It's just plain depressing.

When my mom died she wanted to leave my daughters something in the way monetary value. Money. Education. Anything that would help. Unfortunately my fathers pension and savings spread out only so far, and the things she wanted did not transpire. Taking what little was left I decided against putting it into a bank account and I gambled on the stock market. At present I regret that decision. But if had I put it in the bank, it is likely I would have tapped into it anyways and it would be gone already.

So...maybe I don't regret that decision.

Regardless, the money my wife and I have invested over the years and the money we added later for the girls, it has slowly dwindled.

While all this was going on, My wife and I found out that we liked older money and we started up a coin collection. It has taken its hits as well. Our 3rd year in we came home to find that our house had been robbed. This had a devastating effect on us. The idea that someone had come into our house and went through all of our things really made us mad. I hope those criminals were caught for doing something really big and are now spending time in a Federal Penitentiary. It took me a long time before I ever bought another coin. In those first years we had started collecting Morgan Silver Dollars. Each coin was hand picked and we bought coins in Fine, Very Fine and Extremely Fine condition. We had rolls of uncirculated American Silver Eagles and a bunch of older proof sets. The list went on. Hundreds and hundreds of Statehood quarters had disappeared as well. We lost most of that. While the robbers emptied out the contents of our bedroom drawers and my wifes jewelry boxes, they also ripped from the walls the T.V. sets and VCR's. They took with them a Sony digital recorder that cost us over a $1,200.00 and it had a tape of my youngest daughters first year of growing up and her first baby steps. It also had the last vacation I would ever take with my mom. That digital tape is the one thing we will never be able to replace. The thought of it breaks my heart. Not long after that we bought a Liberty Safe. It is five foot tall, two and a half wide and two foot deep. It weighs over 500 lbs when empty. It is two stories below my living room and it now weighs 1,000 lbs. That safe's not going anywhere. The contents have changed though. A plethera of pictures and paperwork now fill those shelves, and a couple coins remain.

Our collection has grown again, but now these things we've saved for are once again in jeopardy.

Yesterday they announced that we are in a recession. I'm still not sure who They are, I missed that one. The Feds I'm guessing. As most everyone already knows we are in a lot of trouble. Rising fuel costs hurt us all. The credit crisis and the sub-prime crisis are sweeping the nation and the world. We are feeling its effects everywhere. Our wallets and pocket books have less to offer, even the people who are standing on the side of the streets with their signs are feeling it.

As my hospital bills slowly add up we are definitely feeling the crunch. Just as we start to gain a little ground then something else comes up. The car payment is due, or there is an unplanned visit to the dentist office, or we have to buy groceries. They are little things and they are big things.

I can't say that the little money my mom left us hasn't helped; we haven't spent it, we've just invested it. Maybe someday it will pay off. Right now it's still way too early to tell. But we haven't lost anything either. If we sell anything we're just turning cash back into cash. And we were collecting and saving for a rainy day to begin with. These days it's starting to pour.

In the last several years we have managed to buy a few items that will bring us something more. I am thankful that on ocassion I can take 20 pieces of silver to the coin guy and make a buck or two, and not have it taken away from me by thieves. Or the bank.


Krëg said...

Burglars are horrible people. I can't believe they can "sell" what they steal without being caught.

Lorrie Veasey said...

O Beaux-how horrible that must have been, but good for you for not letting the bastards keep you down.

I could not open whatever you sent me over TXgiving-crashed my aol several times...may be time to upgrade from crappy aol, but hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

zakary said...

I have been robbed twice and it sucked. They got a fancy camera I had. Film on the camera contained pictures of my grandpa. From his funeral. Thieves are the dregs of society.


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