Many have repeatedly ask me on First Day Covers over the years. Some believed that FDCs are a great investment. SOrry guys/gals, FDC is definitely not a great investment unless you are talking about rare FDCs like the letter carrying Penny Black sent on the date of issue or any classic materials before the concept of FDC was introduced to the world. However, modern FDCs can be scare but i guess it all boils down to your expectation of the ROI. If you think or dream that modern FDCs can fetch a fortune from the Spinks; I'm sorry to say that you will rather be disapointed.
So, if FDC is not really a great investment, why then people collect them? I think its obvious as FDC has everything; stamp, pictorial cancelation, cover and not forgetting the information brochure itself. However, when it comes to advanced philatelist mattering not traditional or thematic, FDCs tend be a distance away. This is because their postal purpose is questionable. Technically, they are considered CTO. Ooops, I know! I know! Some of you will argue that FDCs are not CTO but rather a 'Favour cancel. I guess this is another area where we can really debate on especially when it comest to CTO (definitely on of the grey areas of philately).
Even worst when FDCs are not allowed in philatelic exhibitiom. This was definitely one of the root cause on why FDC's popularity has drastically went down over the years. However, FDCs can still play an importan part in a exhibition but only if you window the cancellation. As a thematic philatelist, I have to stress that though we can use FDC by windowing the cancellation, a postally used cover with pictorial cancellation is still prefered.
Over the years, FDC collectors has truly revolutionized these particular area of philately. FDC collectors today insist on "REAL POSTED FDC". Real posted FDCs are FDC posted on the same day as date of issue. Please take note that the FDC must include both the pictorial cancellation and CDS cancel. In addition, some very creative collectors have taken more effort by creating their own unique cachet.
Real Posted FDC with signature of the artist
Posted FDC but not Real Posted (Pls check the two dates)
FDC with normal cover
I guess IMHO, FDC's should be accepted for what they are; a collector's item commemorating an event. We have to acknowledge that FDC is the best and most effective way to promote philately among the young. The sad part is when dealers try to manipulate collectors that FDC will gain value over time hence more than not, a great disapointment to many young collectors.
Back to the question everyone tend to ask, should we still collect FDC? My answer is simple, collect them if they make you happy. That's the essence of philately. Please remember, philately is always about having fun and treasuring the little things in life and definitely not about investment only.