Zimbabwe Currency: Best Investment going in the last 5 years?

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by Wheels, May 16, 2016.

  1. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I bought a couple hundred of the 100 Trillion Dollar notes to give away to family and friends. I probably paid $20 to $50 for all of them. Don't remember exactly. Wish I had bought and kept 1,000 of the notes. Then I would have 20,000+ pounds. Oh, what am I thinking. I wish I had bought 10,000 of the notes.:D

    http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/ne...s-paper-to-hot-investment-money-the-guardian/


    Zimbabwe’s trillion-dollar note: from worthless paper to hot investment
    By ZimSitRep_M | May 15, 2016
    1 Comment
    Source: Zimbabwe’s trillion-dollar note: from worthless paper to hot investment | Money | The Guardian 14 May 2016

    What’s been one of the best-performing investments of the past seven years? Shares in Facebook? London property? Bitcoin? Up there with the best, believe it or not, are Zimbabwean 100 trillion dollar notes.

    A trillion, by the way, is a million million. There are 12 zeros in a trillion. Add another two to reach the total on the Zimbabwean 100 trillion dollar bill, the note with the most zeroes of any legal tender in all recorded history. The bills circulated for a few months in 2009 at the zenith – or, more precisely, the nadir – of one of the most terrible instances of hyperinflation in history, before Harare finally abandoned the Zimbabwean dollar in favour of the South African rand, the US dollar and several other foreign currencies.

    At one stage a hundred trillion dollar note would not even cover a bus fare. You needed a bale of notes just to buy a few household essentials. However, it’s thought that only a few million of them were ever printed.

    I remember buying one on eBay. It is on the wall in my office. John Wolstencroft, a private investor, bought a batch of them to give away. “I always found they were a good conversation starter,” he says.

    In 2010-11, Wolstencroft was living in New Zealand where he joined an investment club, made up mostly of locals and US expats. At the time, the great central banking experiment of quantitative easing and a 0% interest rate policy was making a lot of people nervous. He brought a handful of the Zimbabwean notes along to his first meeting to give out as a way of saying thank you for letting him join the club, but there were more people there than he was expecting.

    “I didn’t have enough notes to go round,” he says. “People started offering me money for them. I tried to explain they were just a gift, but they just upped their offer. I realised then these notes were going to become a collector’s item.”

    Wolstencroft went away and bought several hundred more notes. The price had already risen since his first purchase; they were £1.50 each. He gave some out to members of the club, as promised, and kept the rest. When he returned to Britain he gave some to a financial company he works with. “One of the independent financial advisers used to give the notes out to prospective clients to show why they should invest away from cash in a diverse range of assets, such as real estate, gold, stocks and shares,” he says. “Over the long term, cash loses its value.”

    Wolstencroft wasn’t alone in seeing the potential of trillion dollar notes. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2011 that David Laties, owner of the Educational Coin Company in New York, had speculated about $150,000 (£104,000) importing the notes from Zimbabwe, sensing they would become “the best notes ever”. Frank Templeton, a retired Wall Street equities trader, bought “quintillions of Zimbabwe dollars” (that’s thousands of trillions) for between $1 and $2 each, via a broker from the Zimbabwe central bank. He would then sell them on for several times the price.

    Vishal Wolstencroft, John’s 12-year-old son, noticed late last year that these same 100 trillion dollar notes were now changing hands on eBay for as much as £40 each. He talked his father into a joint venture. Vishal is responsible for the listing, photographs, posting, packing and advertising, while father John supplies the goods. Their profits are shared 50:50. Business is good. According to Vishal, it’s quite a step up from his previous venture selling old toys at a local market stall. Most 100 trillion dollar notes fetch close to £20-£25 on eBay, but set against the £1.50 paid by Wolstencroft in 2011 it is a striking return. In percentage terms, it is – close to 1,500%, compared with the miserable 5% rise in the FTSE 100 over the same period.

    In an extraordinary irony, the 100 trillion dollar note – a symbol of financial mismanagement on a colossal scale – has turned into one of the best-performing asset classes of recent years.

    The disappearing currency
    When the Zimbabwean dollar first came into existence in 1980 it had a similar value to the US dollar, writes Patrick Collinson. But by 2009, $1 was worth Z$2,621,984,228, 675,650,147,435,579,309,984,228. The Bank of England worries if inflation in the UK goes over 2% a year; in Zimbabwe it hit 79.6 billion per cent.

    The country’s central bank could not even afford the paper on which to print its worthless trillion-dollar notes. President Mugabe issued edicts to ban price rises, of comedic value were it not for the devastation that hyperinflation wrought upon the people. The miserably low savings and incomes of the impoverished population were wiped out; shopkeepers would frequently double prices between the morning and afternoon, leaving workers’ pay almost valueless by the end of the day.

    In 2009 the government scrapped the currency, leaving US dollars and South African rand as the main notes and coins in circulation. To this day, Zimbabwe still has no currency of its own, although the government last year offered to swap old deposit accounts into US dollars, giving savers $5 for each 175 quadrillion (175,000,000,000,000,000) Zimbabwean dollars.

    In an extraordinary irony, Zimbabwe now suffers among the world’s worst deflation, currently at -2.3%.
     

  2. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    It's an interesting story for sure! A sad state of affairs, I remember when Zimbabwe was at is best agriculturally and safari wise (great value for the price).
     

  3. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    I saw one of these notes framed on the bar wall at my Kalahari lion hunt. I wasn't sure what it was until the farm owner told me the story. He told me it would take a bag full of them to buy bread.
     
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  4. andrewgrant

    andrewgrant New Member

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    The first bitcoins I bought in 2011 only cost $3, so this turned out to be my best investment ever. But personally I wouldn't recommend to invest everything in bitcoin only. There are more than 1000 different coins, altcoin seems a decent alternative to Bitcoin
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2019

  5. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    @Wheels, that article is three years old. How much are they worth now?
     

  6. jeanes

    jeanes AH Veteran

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    My internet search indicates approx. $120 each. I'm almost tempted to buy one , frame it and caption it "The results of socialism".
     
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  7. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    That's because I posted it three years ago.:D


    Quick glance on ebay looks like they are $70-90 each. Now if I had bought 10,000 back in the day, I might be posting this from a hunting camp in the southern hemisphere.

    https://www.ebay.com/bhp/100-trillion-zimbabwe-currency
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2019
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  8. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    So does this make the Courteney shoes I paid $30 for in '96 worth a few hundred thousand now??o_O:rolleyes::eek::D:(:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
     
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  9. cbvanb

    cbvanb AH Veteran

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    I bought a pair while living in Zimbabwe in 2001. They were a little too big so about two weeks later when I got back to town I tried to exchange them. The price had gone up about $30K Zim in that two weeks, and they wanted me to pay the difference along with the exchange. You just can't win!!
     
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  10. BWH

    BWH AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I know people that went long on the Dinar..... pretty sure them only people that made a dime were the money/exchange brokers.

    When a currency gets soooo depressed, they typically scrap & start over.
     

  11. Graham Hunter

    Graham Hunter AH Fanatic

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    In 2008 I gave all my Guides and Cook a million dollar bonus. Zimbabwe!
     
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  12. Daniel222

    Daniel222 New Member

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    Though I'm not a big expert in cryptocurrency, I agree with you. It is better to invest not only in Bitcoin, but of course, more and more people start using exactly this currency because of the increase of its price. On the other hand, the experienced crypto users use several currencies and invest in new coins. As I look through cryptocurrency forums from time to time, I noticed that Ethereum and Altcoin have become popular.
     
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  13. thriller

    thriller AH Fanatic

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    damn i wish i had more than the one that i have framed on the wall
     

  14. blacks

    blacks AH Enthusiast

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    In Vic Falls last year (2018) they were selling on the street for $10 for a set of 3.
     
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  15. Foxi

    Foxi AH Elite

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    Inflationsspiel.jpg
    French Africa can count itself lucky ,that France is taking control with the "CAF" currency, otherwise they would no longer have their own money and the misery would be even greater.

    We had that, too.
    Many people have literally starved to death or died of debilitation in that times.
    My grandmother told me, the women came to the factories with wheelbarrows to collect the wages of their husbands.
    The EU and the USA print money like toilet paper.
    I wonder when it will be 1923 for us.
    Foxi
     
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  16. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Thanks for sharing.
     

  17. thriller

    thriller AH Fanatic

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    haha so what is the exchange rate at because google is claiming that the next 3 generations of my family will never have to work again and i make bill gates look like a pauper from one of these. ( I am pretty sure that is is not correct)
     

  18. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Fantastic photo. Never seen it before. Appreciate your posting it.
     

  19. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Whatever happened to real money?o_O:(
     

  20. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    It is currently about $1,540/ounce!
     
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