Are comics gaining more respect as a valid investment outside of the comic collecting community?
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3 hours ago, justafan said:

comics as an investment should be measured not only by the potential value realized when you sell but also the opportunity cost of the investment in other areas

This. 

Comics today are worth more than they were before, and will likely be worth more in the future, but the opportunity cost of not having that money tied up in more traditional investments is potentially high. Comics are not a better investment than index funds or real estate. Full stop. 

For this reason alone, I limit my comics and collectibles exposure to a small, single-digit percentage of my portfolio. Because I love comics and collecting them is fun :)

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35 minutes ago, FSF said:

Comics are just not of ANY interest to people outside of those who collect or have collected in the past.  That pretty much encompasses the entire market for who will buy collectible comics.  And that pool will eventually decrease over time to the point where it is virtually non-existent.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that it will become virtually non-existent.  In fact, I would argue that over time as digital media gains popularity and printed comics begin to dwindle, you might actually see an increase in value to major keys.

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4 minutes ago, ExNihilo said:

I wouldn't go so far as to say that it will become virtually non-existent.  In fact, I would argue that over time as digital media gains popularity and printed comics begin to dwindle, you might actually see an increase in value to major keys.

I would buy that notion if I thought that there were a lot of young folks subscribing.  Maybe there are and I'm just not aware.  They certainly aren't buying at the brick and mortars.

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If you bought say 1-20 of ASM, FF, DD, Thor etc in 1980 in VF would it outperform the stock market?  

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It should be pointed out that in 2009, AAPL was trading between 11-30.  It's now at ~189.  And that's excluding the dividends and the ridiculous 7:1 split.  GOOG was anywhere between 140 and 310 and is now trading ~1,150.  I made 3x on banks between 2009 and 2013 alone.  Don't like individual stocks?  The S&P500 was trading at 735 in early 2009.  It's now at 2,780.

Yes, it's probably been one of the greatest bull markets of all time, but the gains from the same period as when OP purchased can't be denied.  Additionally, it's far easier (in my opinion) to research a company and estimate a future market value for them than it is for comics.  If you're investing in comics, there are a few "safe" bets and those would be Action #1, AF #15, 'Tec #27.  I agree Hulk #181 is one of the newer comics that should be a safe bet to hold long term.  But to answer OP's question, no, I don't think comic books (as a whole) are becoming more widely accepted as an "investment".  

@kav, I think my earlier post got buried, but at least from 2009 (which is when OP first purchased IH181), the market has outperformed.  I reckon the same is true of most books purchased second hand.  Unless you paid $0.15 (or whatever it was back then for one of the three big keys), I'm guessing the market has outperformed the comics.

Edited by ExNihilo

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On ‎6‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 12:36 PM, eddly said:

Back in 2009 I purchased an Incredible Hulk 181 CGC 9.4 for ~$2850. I mentioned it to a few people where I worked at the time (as part of a conversation of investments we were having) and they were clearly bewildered. As time progressed they really couldn't get over it and it continued as a joke for them.

Unfortunately I sold it long ago, but I'm just curious, do you think graded comics are becoming more respected as an investment over the past 15 years outside of the comic collecting community? Especially interested in hearing feedback from dealers, have your customers changed much over time?

If you meet with a financial advisor I'm guessing they are still not recommending you to have 10% of your portfolio in graded comics...

 

I think a lot of people are giving thoughtful and nuanced answers on both sides.  I think I would read the original question more literally and simply.  Do I think graded comics are becoming more respected as an investment over the past 15 years outside of the comic collecting community? YES, I DEFINITELY THINK THAT.  Now is the new number significant in any way statistically relevant in the world of investments at large or even to any individual person? I have no idea.  But are there MORE (in terms of absolute numbers or percentage terms) people who think comics are investable than 15 years ago before all the movies?  There would have to be more people who think that, at least on a vague, surface level. 

The increasing number of on craigslist trying to sell drek for thousands should tell you more people think (hope?) comics are a worthy investment.  I guess this assumes the number of is fairly consistent, although I guess evidence suggests that number might be on the rise too.

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Collectibles are not what I would consider an investment. Sure, they meet the criteria per the definition of the word, but you're playing a pure speculation game in a highly volatile market. Not a wise investment from any perspective.

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10 minutes ago, revat said:

The increasing number of on craigslist trying to sell drek for thousands should tell you more people think (hope?) comics are a worthy investment.  I guess this assumes the number of is fairly consistent, although I guess evidence suggests that number might be on the rise too.

I think there's a difference between someone who is buying something with the intention of turning around and selling it for a higher price (a la the stock market) versus someone on Craigslist who is cleaning out the garage or their parents attic.  I'm guessing most people selling on Craigslist happened across some books or need to clear space for one reason or another and the books were never an investment to begin with.  It's like someone selling a car on Craigslist.  It wasn't an investment and the only reason they're selling is because they're clearing space for something else.

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1 minute ago, ExNihilo said:
17 minutes ago, revat said:

The increasing number of on craigslist trying to sell drek for thousands should tell you more people think (hope?) comics are a worthy investment.  I guess this assumes the number of is fairly consistent, although I guess evidence suggests that number might be on the rise too.

I think there's a difference between someone who is buying something with the intention of turning around and selling it for a higher price (a la the stock market) versus someone on Craigslist who is cleaning out the garage or their parents attic.  I'm guessing most people selling on Craigslist happened across some books or need to clear space for one reason or another and the books were never an investment to begin with.  It's like someone selling a car on Craigslist.  It wasn't an investment and the only reason they're selling is because they're clearing space for something else.

I agree with you... sort of.  Yes they previously never thought of those comics as investment.  But because of the popularity of the movies and other news/social media/etc, they now think (or hope) THIS MIGHT BE AN INVESTMENT FOR SOMEONE ELSE, and they didn't that 15 years ago.  I would argue that sentiment has increased, and falls into the criteria of someone who now thinks of comics an investment who didn't think that before.  Which doesn't mean they want to invest necessarily, but does mean they NOW recognize the possibility of comics as an investment.  I would say the same could be said of countless who get Stan Lee CGC SS on their random books hoping to flip them for easy profits.  Those people were not really into comics, and saw what they thought was investment opportunities (even if they were wrong about the specifics).  Again, the numbers are not staggering in the grand scheme of things, but the number was definitely smaller before.

I would even count myself among those.  15 years ago I was out of comics mostly.  I got back in just before the movies went big, and I do a lot of buying and selling, though more for fun than any type of super investment, though I do make some nice extra cash most years.  And I think there's more like me.

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38 minutes ago, kav said:

If you bought say 1-20 of ASM, FF, DD, Thor etc in 1980 in VF would it outperform the stock market?  

Good question. Are a run of Spider-Man 1-20 in VF in 2018 worth 29 times more than in 1980. Someone crunch the numbers? I would think so without factoring, but not by much, I'd guess 30 to 40 times more in 2018 than in 1980, it could even be more.

Edited by James J Johnson

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I don't have a 1980 guide so I'm going to guess that AS 1 was significantly under $1000 in 1980, putting VF at about $500, if that. Now if that is right, #2 would have to be no more than $150 in VF, 3 and 4 in the $120 range, and then 5-10 probably $75 books. So let's deal with just 1-10 in VF. That's a total of about $1300 for 1-10 VF by 1980 pricing. The stock market was a $900 entity through 1980 and is now at $25K, up 27 times or so.

Now current GP VF of AS 1-10 is about $53,000, up 40X from 1980 vs the stock market, up 27 times since 1980, so yes, the comic market is outperforming the stock market by about 30% over the past 38 years, going by at least that title and range of issues.

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40 minutes ago, James J Johnson said:

I don't have a 1980 guide so I'm going to guess that AS 1 was significantly under $1000 in 1980, putting VF at about $500, if that. Now if that is right, #2 would have to be no more than $150 in VF, 3 and 4 in the $120 range, and then 5-10 probably $75 books. So let's deal with just 1-10 in VF. That's a total of about $1300 for 1-10 VF by 1980 pricing. The stock market was a $900 entity through 1980 and is now at $25K, up 27 times or so.

Now current GP VF of AS 1-10 is about $53,000, up 40X from 1980 vs the stock market, up 27 times since 1980, so yes, the comic market is outperforming the stock market by about 30% over the past 38 years, going by at least that title and range of issues.

A comic might outperform the stock market, but its hard for a comic to have gains comparable to real estate for the simple reason you can borrow against real estate.  

Over the last five year the value of my house has doubled.   There are lots of 'nerdy investments' I might have that have more than doubled, but the sheer magnitude of the amount invested in the house means that its gone up more than anything else.    And it was done with 10c on the dollar down as a down payment - a 10x bigger 'bet' than I had the money to lay down.

If I had taken that down payment money and bought comics with it... even if the comics had quadrupled instead of only doubling, I'd be way behind financially, plus I'd be living in a van down by the river.   :ohnoez:

(You can make 'leveraged' bets like this in the stock market too, but just to keep things simple let's consider it more typically a feature of investing in real estate).

Of course, real estate can drop too, but when you win, you win big on a scale that's difficult for comics to replicate.

Edited by Bronty

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2 minutes ago, Bronty said:

A comic might outperform the stock market, but its hard for a comic to have gains comparable to real estate for the simple reason you can borrow against real estate.  

Over the last five year the value of my house has doubled.   There are lots of 'nerdy investments' I might have that have more than doubled, but the sheer magnitude of the amount invested in the house means that its gone up more than anything else.    And it was done with 10c on the dollar down as a down payment - a 10x bigger 'bet' than I had the money to lay down.

If I had taken that down payment money and bought comics with it... even if the comics had quadrupled instead of only doubling, I'd be way behind financially, plus I'd be living in a van down by the river.   :ohnoez:

BUT, when you buy a comic you pay for it you dont have to keep pumping money into it over the years to pay off the comic mortgage.

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2 minutes ago, kav said:

BUT, when you buy a comic you pay for it you dont have to keep pumping money into it over the years to pay off the comic mortgage.

That's a benefit and not a drawback kav.    You get to lay a way bigger bet than you have the upfront money to finance.

If I want to bet on a 6.0 action 1, I have to come up with all of that money, now.   Meaning I can only buy a 6.0 powerpuff girls 1, instead.   And when that doubles in value, I can buy a coffee :eek:

 

Edited by Bronty

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Just now, Bronty said:

That's a benefit and not a drawback kav.    You get to lay a way bigger bet than you have the upfront money to finance.

If I want to bet on a 6.0 action 1, I have to come up with all of that money, now.   

 

There has to be a flaw in this argument, but I cant see what it is. :cry:

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1 minute ago, kav said:

There has to be a flaw in this argument, but I cant see what it is. :cry:

The bigger the risk the bigger the reward. But also the bigger the risk.

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I can't take credit for it Kav.   Similar arguments have been kicked around here before.   

Edited by Bronty

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1 minute ago, Ryan. said:

The bigger the risk the bigger the reward. But also the bigger the risk.

BUT-the bigger the REWARD!!

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4 minutes ago, Ryan. said:

The bigger the risk the bigger the reward. But also the bigger the risk.

To make

 

7 minutes ago, Bronty said:

That's a benefit and not a drawback kav.    You get to lay a way bigger bet than you have the upfront money to finance.

If I want to bet on a 6.0 action 1, I have to come up with all of that money, now.   Meaning I can only buy a 6.0 powerpuff girls 1, instead.   And when that doubles in value, I can buy a coffee :eek:

 

no you don't. You can finance that Action 1. There's also other options to finance a great collection, as we've seen testimony of. If an attorney, you could always dip into escrow accounts, unbeknownst to your clients!  :whistle: 

^^

Edited by James J Johnson

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If I go to a bank and ask for a loan, they are going to ask about my assets. 

I will tell them (and this is all just an example, not what I own)

A) $150,000 equity in real estate

B) $20,000 in checking and savings 

C) $5,000 in Mutual funds

D) a paid off 2012 SUV

E) $8,000 in comic books

Which one of the above do you think will not factor into their decision about getting me a loan? 

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