I think today that it's always going to be abit of a gamble. 5 years ago, for example, you could buy a chained SS dagger for under 5K and now the same will be selling for 7.5K. So there is your dilemma-do you Pay the 7.5K and gamble that in another, say, 5 or 10 years that it will be selling for 10K? Or have prices peaked and will come back down soon? I remember seeing Model 33 SS daggers selling for $40 a Pair. Did I Ever believe that the same pair would be over 10K today? Never. $2 dollar German Model 42 helmets....today at $800? Unthinkable.
The moral of the story here is, I think, to never bank on prices being stable or continuously rising. If you want investments, perhaps playing the stock market or buying Gold and Silver would be more conventional. Very few collectors that Do buy cheap ever really end up Selling high. Sure,they Could, but how often Do they? Collectors like DougB and his legendary Helmet collection, just for an example. Of Course it's risen hugely in value over the years, but it may as well be made of wood if you never intend to "cash it in" and reap the vast rewards. 99% of collectors cannot Ever imagine selling their treasured collections off. And if crisis Did force them to sell them off, it would nearly kill them and bother them for years and years to come. They've worked too hard and spent too much time to acquire the things that fascinate them so, only to sell them off because they doubled in value? In many cases, the collector finally grows old and passes away and their collections are scattered to the 4 winds again by their uninterested descendants. Some collectables actually Lose value as they get older. Take Model T cars. The people that collect and spend big money for such cars are the ones who have cherished memories of them. But now, none still Live. So the Model T's languish-no one really wants them anymore. The next generations interest is in 60's Muscle cars. A 1970 Hemicuda convertible with a 426 Hemi? Uh huh....big money. Give it another 30 years? Not so much. Does this concept apply to All hobbies? Well..yes and no. But it's impossible to predict such trends. Myself, I always collected for the enjoyment it brought. I didn't really care what it cost back then or even today. And that's the way it really Should be, I think. What price do you put on enjoying something you really like? As long as Militaria stays a Hobby and not an Investment, people will still enjoy collecting it. When it becomes too serious, the enjoyment fades.