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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Back From Vacation, Family, First Investor Funds Received, Sales Approach $2,000 and on to The Jubilee Issue

I returned from my vacation to Vancouver on Saturday, so I am a little late in writing this post. I sold a lot of stamps from the Large Queens and Small Queens while I was away, so it took me all day yesterday to fill the orders and send them out. After yesterday's orders, my sales total for the month period from July 23 to August 23 was just under $1,900, which is very encouraging indeed. In fact, it is about double the sales I had projected in my business plan. I have to be careful not to get too excited lest I jinx myself. It is difficult to tell if the sales are due to the fact that the Large and Small Queens are just more popular, or whether I will see this kind of sales activity across the other issues as well.

What is interesting is to see what has been selling: it is generally the stamps in the $2-$25 range. For this period, that generally includes a lot of stamps with faults, such as creases, tears or thins, since the sound examples are much more expensive. The reason why this interesting is that historically, these have been the most difficult stamps to sell. Dealers have usually found the scarcer, high catalogue value stamps easier to sell. But on e-bay that seems not to be the case. I am wondering if there has been a shift in collector preferences, or whether e-bay simply reaches a larger base of collectors, many of whom are less concerned about condition that traditional collectors have been.

The purpose of my trip was twofold: to meet with my primary investor to collect payment from him for his shares and to re-connect with my family on the occasion of my birthday and my mother's birthday (both on August 19). I was reconnecting with two families as well: my adoptive family and my birth family (my birthmother Pat and her daughter Gillian and partner Tyson). In addition to family, I had my friend Nicole and her children to see as well as former co-workers from my early days in accounting. So many connections and so little time to make them. But I felt very blessed on this trip because this was the first time in almost 20 years that my brother, sister, mother and myself had attended a family event together, and we were all getting along. We had been estranged for so many years that it seemed many times as if that day would never come. But it did: I will never forget the look on my mother's face when I introduced her to my son, who was now almost 21, that she had not seen since he was 6. She looked so incredibly happy to see him. I also finally met my youngest nephew Aran, who is the cutest boy I think I have ever seen - walking around with a permanent grin pasted on his face. It was all a reminder of one of the reasons why I am on this journey in the first place: the preciousness of family and creating memories with it.

I had a very successful meeting with my investor and collected a cheque for just under $42,000, which will cover most of the purchases made with my own funds over the last several months. So the clock is now officially ticking as of August 31. That is when the interest clock on the investment starts. But with sales being what they are this first month, I am fairly confident that making the annual interest payments and the share redemption in 5 years will not be a problem. However, I am reminded that I need to establish a sinking fund to ensure that those payments will be made on time.

I did purchase a few select used Small Queens while I was away, so I will list those first today before I move on to the Diamond Jubilee Issue of 1897, that was issued to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria's reign.

Finally, I came back to a thriving garden. I post pictures pof what it looked like 6 weeks ago when I planted it versus now:


The upper bed 6 weeks ago

The upper bed now


The lower bed 6 weeks ago

The lower bed now

Nature really is amazing. It is so easy in today's busy, attention-challenged world to remember that. Tomorrow I will share some of my thoughts on a topic that has been on my mind quite a bit of late: the prognosis for humanity. I hear many pessimistic predictions for the future of our planet, but I want to offer another, more uplifting perspective. 

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