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Making Cents: Old Books or Stocks?

May 12, 1996

Collecting for profit has been overshadowed by years of bull markets, but using your expertise in any area is a good way to diversify your portfolio. Several rare books have handily beaten the Dow Jones industrial average. First editions of Ernest Hemingway's "In Our Time" in fine conditionmight sell fot $17,500, up from $2,000 in 1978. Bernard Malamud's "The Natural" in fine condition is worth $1,250, after trading for $75 in 1978. (The Dow went from 800 to 5,400 in the same period.) The basic tenents of money-wise collecting are patience, a penchant for estate and garage sales, and a shrewd sense of which new artists, knickknacks or authors could someday become hot.

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