When it comes to investing, most people think about stocks, real estate, or precious metals. But what if comic books are a viable option? (Hint: It’s not as outlandish as you might think.)
The Appeal of Comic Books as an Investment
Comic books have been around for decades. Many adults have fond memories of reading comic books in their childhood bedrooms, trading issues with friends, or spending time at a comic book store. But comic books aren’t necessarily child’s play. They can be a viable investment with the potential for lucrative returns. Here’s why:
- Where else can something originally purchased for 10 cents sell for millions? (That’s exactly what happened to a comic book that Nicholas Cage owned. He actually bought it for $150,000 in 1997 and sold it 15 years later for a cool $2.1 million.)
- Comic books are essentially recession-proof. Even when the economy slows down, comic books tend to perform well. (They’re seen as alternative investments that fluctuate independently from the stock or real estate markets.) Comic books also do well in growing economies where people have more discretionary income at their disposal.
- There are comic books for every budget. Whether you have $100 to invest, $1,000, or $10,000-plus, there’s a way to break into the game and get a hold of something that could appreciate dramatically in the years to come.
- If you own real estate, stocks, or bonds, it can take a lot of work to cash out. Comic book investments, on the other hand, are extremely liquid. This can give an investment portfolio an added degree of diversity.
- They’re always printing more money. But nobody is printing more vintage comic books. This means you rarely have to worry about getting caught in a bubble.
Every comic book investor has his or her own reasons for investing. It’s up to you whether it makes sense for you.
How to Be Successful With Comic Book Investing
Like any investment class, you’ll be most successful if you take the time to research the industry and develop a comprehensive understanding of valuations, supply, demand, and other relevant factors.
Here are a few noteworthy thoughts, tips, and suggestions for comic book investing:
1. Know Your Stuff
There’s no replacement for knowledge. This is a highly specialized investment niche. Any gaps in understanding will make you susceptible to poor investments.
It’s especially important to be aware of the difference in different eras, characters, issue numbers. etc.
“Books from the Golden, Silver, and Bronze eras can come with high price tags due to their age and rarity,” Quality Comix notes. “Age, however, isn’t the only factor that contributes to the sale price. Market demand creates value, and a newer book could yield higher demand than an older one. In short, age and value factor in on a case-by-case basis.”
Accurately valuing your comic books is part science and part feel. The more intimately acquainted you are with the industry, the more likely that you’ll make smart investing decisions (both in terms of buying and selling).
2. Take Care of Your Investments
A comic book is only as valuable as its condition. You could have one of the rarest comic books in the world, but if it’s torn and tattered, you aren’t going to get nearly what it’s worth.
Take care of your investments by storing all comic books in the appropriate-sized bag. For extremely valuable books, use Mylar bags. (They’re expensive, but they have more rigidity and actively keep moisture out.)
It’s also a smart practice to keep your comic books in a cool, dry place where they’re less susceptible to extreme conditions that could compromise the condition of the paper.
3. Build an Audience
Comic book investing requires extensive networking. Not only do you need sources to buy from, but you also need an audience that’s ready to buy when it comes time to sell. Your social media profiles are a great place to start. You may also consider building an email list that you can nurture over time.
Win With Comic Books
Lots of people try to invest in comic books, but only some are successful. The key is to do your research, be patient, and play the long game. While it’s possible to get lucky a time or two, comic book investing isn’t about short gains or “flipping.”
By adopting the right mindset, you’ll find it much easier to be successful.