The term "Amateur Coin Collector" is a particularly difficult one to define. As I see it, it refers to those of us who collect coins but neither make a business out of it nor take it too seriously - again not defined but at least a concept!
To me there are two large subgroups of Amateur Coin Collectors. Namely the Investors and the Hobbyists.
The investor is, I'm quite sure, going to be disappointed as often as he is rewarded. The Hobbyist collects purely based on the enjoyment and interest they gain from coins.
Investing in coins is a very respectable activity and has some merits. It is however far too complex for me to write about in depth. The point of this post is to offer some support to the Hobbyist. The Hobbyist is constantly being told by fellow collectors, 'experts', textbooks and catalogues that the only coins they should be collecting are those in certain minimum grades. I disagree with this fervently - if a coin interests you and you want to collect it then it is no business of ANYONE else no matter how experience or condescending they may be whether you collect it or not! It may not fetch much if anything should you wish to sell it, but that's not the point is it!
My advice - collect what you like!
Where do I fit in? Truthfully, I do hope that one day my hard work and expenditure will at least break even should I wish to sell my collection, but I am first and foremost a proud Hobbyist!