Gottlieb’s latest book guides collectibles investors to maximize returns

The intention of Craig Gottlieb’s latest book, History’s Jackpot, Investing in Antique Collectibles, is to help collectors maximize the returns on their collections. At the heart of the matter is the question: Are antique collectibles a good investment?

As the economy lags, and the traditional investment genres like real estate and the stock market falter, antique collectibles can offer a more stable opportunity than “traditional” investments. This book is about buying antique collectibles for the long term.

Gottlieb, a professional dealer in the military antique market, has distilled and assembled valuable experiences as both a collector and professional antiquities dealer into one volume, which will aid the antiques collectible enthusiasts both novice and advanced. Paramount to success is the necessity to develop an expertise in the particular field (or fields) in which you’ll be investing. Gottlieb advises where you can begin and just how important sound practices are.

History’s Jackpot is organized into four parts: Tips and Strategies for Smart Buying, The Money Side of Antique Collectibles, Are Antique Collectibles Good Investments, and Case Studies.

Part I of History’s Jackpot discusses antique collectibles acquisition strategy: buying, condition, quality, rarity and authenticity. Early in Part I, Gottlieb introduces the first of his “collecting proverbs”: You make or lose your money when you buy, not when you sell. The easily remembered proverbs throughout the book, as well as the discussions backing them up, give the reader a sense of the proper steps to take when building an antique collectibles portfolio.

This section also includes collectibles to avoid from an investor’s perspective. Falling under this category are manufactured collectibles and fad collectibles. Gottlieb discusses in detail why these items rarely make good investments and gives specific examples, such as commemorative coins and ceramic plates.

Part II of History’s Jackpot discusses facets of business strategy: knowing what to pay, retail pricing and selling for a profit. Here, Gottlieb discusses concepts valuable for those who wish to buy antique collectibles with the intention of maximizing profits as a long-term goal.

Part III of History’s Jackpot is dedicated to discussing why investment-grade antique collectibles make good investments. He first defines an investment: An investment is any outlay of money with the main purpose of moving money from the present to the future with the hope that the spending power of that money will grow in the interim. He follows the definition with discussions that include downside risk, liquidity, maintenance costs and growth potential, as well as antique collectibles as a hedge against inflation and the lack of regulation.

Gottlieb rounds out the book with Part IV, Case Studies. Here, he investigates four specific collectibles genres (sports memorabilia, rare coins, wine and vintage posters) and cites specific investment opportunities in each of them. For example, Gottlieb taps Joe Orlando, president of Profession Sports Authenticator, who shares advice for investor-collectors of sports memorabilia, including information on what makes certain sports collectibles valuable.

Loaded with insider tips and common sense and marketplace know-how, History’s Jackpot gives readers a real sense of “smart” buying and selling in the antiques collectibles business. Complete with endnotes, a glossary and further recommended reading, this book is packed with valuable advice and information for collectors who wish to invest wisely in antique collectibles.

History’s Jackpot, Investing in Antique Collectibles by Craig Gottlieb, 2009, published by Craig Gottlieb, Solana Beach, Calif., hardcover with dust jacket, color, 206 pages, $39.95. ISBN 978-0-615-30310-9.