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Are Comic Books a Good Investment?

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There’s a new breed of investors that have sprung up in the last couple decades. No, not real estate investors, or online future traders. I’m talking about comic book investors. But is it a good idea? Can a well-managed comic book portfolio really pay for your retirement or college?

There’s Incredible Investment Growth

The right comic will give you investment returns that would make any Wall Street investor stand up and take notice. Take a look at the near-mint condition Amazing Fantasy #15 that sold in 2011 for $1.1 million. Featuring the first appearance of Spider-Man, the comic originally sold for 12¢ in 1962. It undoubtedly changed a lot of hands since then, but that’s still a lot of value created split between relatively few investors.

There’s a Variety of Price Points

Investing in high value issues, such as Amazing Fantasy #15, can take a lot of capital, with each issue costing thousands. That doesn’t mean comic investing is only for those with a good nest egg. Price points exist up and down the scale that make investing approachable for every investor.
Lower levels especially benefit from buying on a large scale. Buying a comic today for $20 that you sell for $200 in five years gives you a handsome $180. But doing that with fifty comics turns $1,000 into $9,000.

But Not Everything Is Gold

There are plenty of comic collectors who carefully keeping their collection of hundreds of comics in mint condition and carted them with them after every move. But when the time came to sell them, they walked away with only a few hundred dollars, less than the original comic price.
Sadly, this does happen with collectors, and happens surprisingly often. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t invest in comics, you should just remember that, like all investments, there’s a risk involved.

Do Your Research

If you were going to invest heavily in the stock market, you’d do your research and carefully plan your investments, right? The same holds true with comic books. Buying the first edition of new series is a long shot that may never pay off, while spending a lot on a valuable title might not increase enough to make it worthwhile. Good research can help you avoid these pitfalls.

So Is It a Good Investment?

In the end, comics are like any other possible investment. What you get out of them largely depends on what you put into it and how well you can read the market. For many, the subject matter is what makes the difference. A lot of comic investors and collectors couldn’t care less about following CEOs, quarterly reports, and stock prices. But they will happily spend their free time researching up and coming releases or tracking the value of classic comics. In that case, the investment is much more likely to pay off in the end, and you’ll probably have a lot of fun along the way.

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