Stamps are really no better an investment than any other speculation so Mr. Lake, the former advertising manager of Stamp Collecting, hedges his title by reminding you that it's a profitable hobby. However there are some general guidelines to eliminate faddist risks: join a specialist society; diversify; evaluate the country as well as the issue of your choice (Israel's popularity goes up and down with her wars). Mr. Lake is English but his referrals are worldwide -- avoid Tonga and of the U.S. possessions, cultivate Hawaii -- but on the whole he raps the ""self-perpetuating narrowness"" of American philately. He goes over new and old stamps, forgeries and facsimiles, First Day Covers and the more recent maximum cards (not for the purist), quickly runs through the Scott Catalogue country by country, and discusses caring for your collection, pricing and selling (there's only one market price). Generally instructive and cautious incentives and caveats.