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10 Relatively Old Things That People Would Pay an Arm and a Leg For

10 Relatively Old Things That People Would Pay an Arm and a Leg For

The general trend is that along with the passage of time, the value of goods undergoes depreciation. The item is not much of use, any potential buyer is hard to come by and there’s not much of resale value. So longstanding possessions are more often than not discarded and sellers are more than happy to get rid of that old junk. Although this is the general trend, the value of certain items rises tremendously after a certain period, significantly more than their original worth, even when adjusted for inflation. This is when they become collectors’ items and are highly sought after because of their uniqueness, historical importance and sometimes even some mistakes.

Below, here are ten of such most valuable collectibles, for which people are ready to break their banks.

1. Action Comics No.1

action-comics

    The first issue of the Action Comics series, the Action Comics #1 is the most valuable comic of all time and among the most valuable collectibles across all genres. It spawned several famous comic heroes, especially Superman. It holds important place in comics history as it led to the emergence of the superhero genre. The comic book, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, was published for the first time in June 1938. The original price of the book was 10 cents, but when it was auctioned on August 24, 2014, the owners of Metropolis Collections paid a massive sum of $3.2 million.

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    2. The Piano from Casablanca

    Casablanca-piano

      Starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, Casablanca is a Michael Curtiz classic from 1942. Two identical pianos were used in this tuneful film. Of those two, one resides at the Warner Bros Studio in California and thus is unavailable for any massive sale at the moment. However, the other one is out on the market and is a highly desired collectible especially amongst film enthusiasts. It was sold for $602,500 in 2012.

      3. The Gutenberg Bible

      gutenberg-bible

        The Gutenberg Bible was written in Latin and printed in the 1950s using the Gutenberg’s printing press. It was a 42-line Bible. It was the first book to be printed in the West using movable type. It was printed in Mainz, Germany by the inventor of the printing press Johannes Gutenberg. The original price is known to be 30 florins, which was about three years’ clerk wages back then. It is estimated that around 48 copies of the book have survived in fragments or totality. They can be expected to cash in between 20,000 and 100,000 dollars.

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        4. 105 Year Old Master of Malt

        master-of-malt

          The only item of its kind, the 105 year old Master of Malt carries a whopping price tag of 1.4 million dollars. It is the oldest and second-most expensive whiskey in the world. The story of the whiskey, since its inception, is as remarkable as its price. Around 105 years ago, a terrible fire destroyed the Aisla T’Orten distillery, which had operated just for a day. Only one ceremonial barrel survived the disaster. After spending most of the time in Aberdeen, the then owner Allie Sisell sold the cask to Master of Malt in 2010. In the March of 2011, the 105 years old spirit amounting to 700 ml was bottled by Master of Malt and set at the enormous price.

          5. The Star Spangled Banner Original Sheet Music

          star-spangled-banner

            Heralded as one of the most tuneful and stirring national anthems across the globe, the US national anthem “The Star Spangled Banner” is the part of a poem written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key. In December, 2010, the only privately owned copy of the famed sheet music was auctioned at Christie’s for the staggering sum of 506,000 dollars. Eleven first-edition copies of this nationalistic tune were created. The remaining ten copies are present under organizational possession. Once, unfamiliar of its identity, the possessor at the time had sold it for just a dollar.

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            6. Treskilling Yellow Stamp

            treskilling-stamp

              The “Treskilling Yellow” holds several records. It isthe world’s most valuable stamp and also the most expensive item per weight. It was issued in 1955, the time when Sweden issued stamps for the first time. The postage stamps were issued in five different values from three Swedish skillings to twenty-four Swedish skillings with different colors for each of them. The three skilling ones were printed in blue-green while eight skilling ones were printed in yellowish orange. For some reason, some of the three skilling stamps were printed in wrong color. Only one copy of the item has been discovered and thus the piece auctioned for whopping $2.3 million is as exclusive as it can get.

              7. William Shakespeare Autograph

              shakespeare-autograph

                William Shakespeare is arguably the greatest writer of not only English language but of them all. His autograph is the most expensive autograph in the world and one of the most valuable collectibles of its kind. Only six copies of Shakespeare’s autograph are known to be in existence now. Three of those are linked to his will while the other three have been linked to the deeds of his house. These autographs are the only available handwritings of Shakespeare as manuscripts written by him have never been known. The autographs are believed to fetch anything between 3 and 5 million U.S. dollars although they’ve never been sold at auction, as of now.

                8. The Golden Giant Necklace

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                golden-giant

                  Antique jewelries are one of the most valuable collectibles, sought after by the collectors. People travel extensively searching for valuable and unique pieces of jewelries. As stated on the site Georgian Jewelry, Lisa Stockhammer traveled all over the world to become a jewelry expert. Even if you become an expert, you still might not find that one-piece of unique jewelry. The person who discovered the diamond piece of world’s largest diamond necklace happened to do it by virtue of supreme luck. The glittering rose gold necklace is valued at $55 million. The staple piece of the magnificent necklace, the ‘Golden Giant’ diamond is comprised of more than 407 carats and was discovered by a young girl in the Democratic Republic of Congo some thirty years ago.

                  9. ‘Lady Blunt’ Stradivarius Violin
                  lady-blunt-violin

                    ‘Lady Blunt’ Stradivarius is the most expensive musical instrument in the world now. This iconic violin was made by Italian craftsman Antonio Stradivari in 1721. It has been named after the first known owner Lady Anne Blunt, who was the daughter of Lady Augusta Ada of Lovelace. It is one of the two Stradivarius violins present now, the other being 1716’s Messiah Stradivarius. It was sold on 20th June, 2011 at online auction by Tarisio Auctions for $15.9 million, with the proceeds going to Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund in Northeastern Japan. It has almost forever been in the collectors’ hands and as such, hasn’t been used of much. So it’s in near original state.

                    10. The Card Players

                    the-card-players

                      250 million dollars shelled out for one of Paul Cezanne’s infamous painting ‘The Card Players’ make it the most expensive work of art ever sold and one of the most valuable collectibles. ‘The Card Players’ was a series of oil paintings by French Post-Impressionist artist Cezanne made in the early 1890s. Five paintings are known to have existed in the series, the paintings varying in size and number of players depicted. One painting of that series is the one holding the record after being bought by Royal Family of Qatar in 2011.

                      Featured photo credit: Columbian Issue via en.wikipedia.org

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                      Nabin Paudyal

                      Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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                      Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                      Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

                      In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

                      5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

                      Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

                      1. Be Clear About the Objectives

                      Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

                      It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

                      Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

                      2. Keep Them Realistic

                      It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

                      It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

                      3. Account for Inflation

                      Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

                      Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

                      For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

                      4. Short Term vs Long Term

                      Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

                      As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

                      More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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                      5. To Each to His Own

                      The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

                      It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

                      By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

                      11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

                      Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

                      • Ensuring healthy savings
                      • Making smart investments

                      You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

                      Ensuring Healthy Savings

                      Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

                      This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

                      1. Track Expenses

                      The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

                      Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

                      2. Pay Yourself First

                      Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

                      Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

                      The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

                      Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

                      3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

                      Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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                      Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

                      At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

                      Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

                      You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

                      4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

                      Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

                      If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

                      Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

                      All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

                      5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

                      In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

                      Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

                      Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

                      If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

                      If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

                      So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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                      6. Talk About It

                      Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

                      Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

                      7. Maintain a Journal

                      For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

                      So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

                      Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

                      When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

                      At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

                      Making Smart Investments

                      Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

                      8. Consult a Financial Advisor

                      Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

                      Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

                      9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

                      Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

                      Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

                      Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

                      It is here where that classification will help.

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                      So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

                      10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

                      Einstein once remarked about compounding,

                      Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

                      So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

                      Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

                      11. Measure, Measure, Measure

                      All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

                      If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

                      If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

                      Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

                      The Bottom Line

                      This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

                      As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

                      More About Personal Finance Management

                      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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