I'm working on the second draft of my next book at the moment, I'm intending it to be something of a master class introduction to trading rare coins and notes. The first section deals with just why seemingly normal people collect coins, and also what the benefits are of doing so.
I believe that one of the benefits that the experience of collecting coins imparts on the collector over time is the idea of personal responsibility - the idea that the best way to make something happen in life is to personally cause it. An article in today's Sydney Morning Herald newspaper confirmed for me the benefits of taking control of one's personal finances - it deals with some of the characteristics of the financial planning industry that the author asserts mean that the dice are stacked against the average joe when it comes to getting value for money from the fees they pay for financial advice.
The author talks about how at least some financial planners are managed by revenue targets, and no matter what their corporate training regarding the provision of impartial advice may suggest that they do, human nature sees the revenue targets driving behaviour towards revenue being increased rather than impartial advice being given. Is this a fair cop or not? I believe that in a lot of cases it is - that's the way the capitalist world works!
Now, I'm not one to say that there isn't a place for financial planners, nor am I saying that there isn't a place in managed funds or that it's inappropriate for someone to charge a fair fee for their expertise and time. But I am saying that average joes like you and I can gain a great deal by increasing our financial literacy, and that the experience of collecting coins is a great experiential way of doing that.
So - how does one get started in this rather odd past-time called numismatics (ie coin collecting for the rest of us that speak English)? Best thing to do is to start taking in information - there are a number of great books out there, as well as magazines, and no shortage of information online. Of course, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the forthcoming book as well.