Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2010/12/27

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Subject: [Leica] Leica investment economics - was Financial people in Lug
From: lrzeitlin at (Lawrence Zeitlin)
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2010 19:05:18 -0500

Considering the "end of the world" social and or economic collapse predicted
in 2012, just how good is the investment value of Leica cameras. At today's
Leica prices there are only two reasons for buying a new Leica camera
primarily as an investment, both of them irrational.

First, if you are a camera collector and/or a camera speculator you will buy
the camera and keep it unused in its original box, expecting that its price
will increase at some future date. This is a distinct possibility. A new
unsold 1954 M3 with its original carton and shipping documents which sold
for about $250 new in a tax free airport shop would probably sell at a
collector's auction for the price of a small car, an unused urLeica would go
for the price of a new house.

The price appreciation of most Leicas, however, is a bit less than the
equivalent amount of money deposited in bank CDs and considerably less than
funds invested in the stock market. That $250 cost of the Leica in 1954,
invested in CDs at the average rate of return would have grown to about
$3250, about the price of a late model used Leica kit. If the Leica purchase
funds were invested in the stock market at the average annual rate of return
since 1954, it would have grown to almost $40,000, enough to buy a new
camera and a BMW to drive it around in. Buying Leicas soley for appreciation
is simply a variation of the "Greater Fool" theory beloved of stock
speculators. You may be a fool for paying so much but you hope there is
always a greater fool who will buy it from you for more.

Second, if you are one of those who have a "best quality" addiction you will
buy the camera to fondle and possess, secure in the feeling that no one has
or appreciates quality equipment better than you. For a definition of
"quality" see Robert Pirsig's "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance."
Take plenty of pictures with the camera. But don't get annoyed by the fact
that the resulting pictures are almost indistinguishable from those taken
with lesser cameras like Nikons or Canons. If digital cameras, all will be
obsolete in a few years anyway and their value will decline precipitously.

So unless you are a camera speculator or a quality addict don't buy a Leica
for appreciation. Buy a Canon or Nikon. You will get state of the art
engineering and manufacturing, fine lenses, autofocus and autoexposure at a
considerable saving over the cost of an equivalent Leica system. Invest the
money you save to provide a real legacy for your children. Or in a
collection of fine Scotch potables. Remember that if the Indians who sold
Niew Amsterdam to the Dutch had invested their $24 properly they could not
only buy back Manhattan but every bit of developed property from Boston to
Washington, DC.

Larry Z

Replies: Reply from jayanand at (Jayanand Govindaraj) ([Leica] Leica investment economics - was Financial people in Lug)
Reply from robertmeier at (Robert Meier) ([Leica] Leica investment economics - was Financial people in Lug)