I remember my first venture into value investing, before I even knew what "value investing" was. I had read somewhere within the depths of the Internet that it was possible to get “free silver” by hording silver (SLV) coins dated 1964 and older. To this day, if you find yourself holding a quarter, dime, or 50 cent piece dated 1964 or older, you probably want to hold onto it. That quarter is worth almost $3 in silver "melt value", the dime is worth about $1.18, and the half-Dollar piece is worth almost $6 in melt at current silver prices. Coinflation.com provides easy-to-use calculators that provide melt values, if you're interested.
Coming back around to my story, after realizing that I wasn’t the first person with this brilliant idea (I was beaten to the punch - I’ve never actually received a real silver coin in my pocket change, ever), I moved on to Plan B. I went to the closest bank branch and asked to exchange cash for rolls of 50 cent pieces. I thought that maybe less people were searching the 50 cent pieces. I was wrong.
After more than a few strange looks from staff (I probably looked and sounded crazy), I went home, hoping to find a bunch of free silver. There wasn’t even one silver coin in there, however, and all I accomplished was a big waste of my time.
Fast forward to now, and there's an easier way to gain excess value risk free - this time with copper (JJC) (CPER). It's probably not worth most people's time, but if you see a copper penny dated 1981 or older - it's worth a touch over $0.02. Keep it, you just doubled the "value" of your money!
This is an easy-to-grasp visualization of value investing - gaining $2.00 of intrinsic value for only $1.00. It could also be an easily teachable concept to introduce your kids to value investing.
Who knows, maybe they're ambitious and find a way to scrounge up $100 face value and sell it later down the road for $200. It's also an (almost) "free" investment in copper, and inflation alone will likely carry the value higher.
Just know that it's currently illegal to melt pennies at the moment (to the best of my knowledge at least) - but that could change down the road also, since the penny is becoming more-and-more irrelevant with each inflationary day that passes.
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Additional disclosure: Articles I write for Seeking Alpha represent my own personal opinion and should not be taken as professional investment advice. I am not a registered financial adviser. Due diligence and/or consultation with your investment adviser should be undertaken before making any financial decisions, as these decisions are an individual's personal responsibility.