By Ashutosh Vajpeyi
Philately or collecting postal stamps in a simple sense is primarily a hobby in itself. Millions across the globe are pursuing philately as a hobby. Some of these hobbyists are active philatelists while others could be passive.
Every year thousands of postal stamps and other philatelic products like First Day Covers (FDC), Special Covers, Post Cards, Maxim Cards, etc. are issued across the world. Some of these philatelic products are quite expensive in their value while others are quite cheap. It largely depends on the issuing authority determining its value. The basis of this value determination is a mystery in itself.
Ideally it is almost impossible for a philatelist to have every philatelic product in its collection. This would require huge monetary investments and hell of the efforts that are practically not possible for an individual philatelist. Moreover, this is not needed as well. There is no reason to panic about it as there would be no end to the collection process. Preferably, a philatelist should avoid his/her transformation in to a collection-maniac.
At some point it would be the quality of philatelic collection that would matter over and above the quantity.
What should be the extent of expenses that a philatelist could think of putting in to create a wholesome collection? There are no thumb-rules as there cannot be a fixed and universally applicable financial recipe for determining levels of investments for a hobby like philately. It largely depends on the individual’s own financial elasticity.
However, the general financial intelligence if applied to such a question there would come out a commonly accepted range of investments that can be suitable for every individual philatelist.
Prior to that, one has to determine the quantum of passion for collecting stamps and philatelic products. Based on the extent of desire the financial elasticity could be determined on individual basis.
By and large, a range of 2%to 8% of the total financial capacity of an individual would be a sufficient and satisfactory range of investments for the philately as a hobby. Within this range an average earner would also be in a position to create a good philatelic collection of its own.
It is important that a philatelist should understand the financial aspects in true spirit. Over-spending could be dangerous and harmful to one’s financial health. The returns expected could vary and may not materialize as projected though the growth is always probable. There are forces actively engaged in trading but the profit motives should be judged with much caution.