It’s clear that access to the right resources, expertise and advisors who understand the space is critical to effective collectibles ownership and management.
To this point, Howard Epstein—a lifelong sports memorabilia collector, consultant, expert, and financial advisor—represents all of the above.
You may already be familiar with Howard’s white paper, The Sports Memorabilia Market & Wealth Management, in which he estimates the sports memorabilia market at a whopping $15 billion (and growing). Last week, we sat down to discuss a little bit about the paper, the collectibles market overall, and how to maximize value as collectors navigate this exploding asset class.
According to Howard, every collector should create a detailed inventory of his or her collection, with each item’s condition, approximate value and date entered (either on paper or via a website such as MAGPIE). Inventories not only reveal exactly what a collector owns, but they can also empower the next owner—particularly heirs, who may know little about the collection. In the worst case scenarios, families may earn no more than 10 or 20 cents on the dollar from a local dealer lacking deep expertise in the trade.
“Even if you don’t have a big collection…Maybe it’s valuable…And that’s why you have to have an inventory of it which would be helpful to pass it down.”
Of course, compiling an accurate inventory is easier said than done. Card grading is expensive and subjective, photo matching sometimes misses the mark, and the sports collectible space overall—especially when it comes to autographs—is rife with counterfeits.
After all of that effort, it becomes especially important that collectors (or their next-of-kin) receive fair prices upon sale.
Howard believes that in-house, collectibles-focused financial advisors can achieve this to the benefit of both the organization and its clients. Collectors will receive better advice on which items to purchase to both yield phenomenal returns, and to fit in with their other items. Additionally, collectors will receive much more money if and when they decide to liquidate their collections while advisors will receive a percent of the assets under management.
What’s not to like?
Learn more about Howard on LinkedIn and read his paper here.