Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Comics Outperform Stocks

I just found this article on Outside the Beltway. In it, it says that if you bought a golden age comic book for $.10 back 45+ years ago and sold it today, in most cases you would outperform stocks. Comic books are the only collectible that would do this, the writer says. He uses an example of a $.10 Fantastic Four that sold for $36,000 - giving the person who bought it for $.10 and kept it all of those years a 32% return on investment. Of course many of those that have these older comic books were not the original buyers - they have bought them more recently and for much more than $.10. Still he says that even at $250 that Fantastic Four comic book would have yielded a good return.

He does say that the golden age is over - that new comics just don't have the same supply and demand issues that make the old comic books valuable. I am glad he brought this part up. While Golden Age comics do go up in value, especially those still in good shape, it is highly unlikely that modern comics will see that same kind of appreciation in value over the same 45-year period. Today many people save their comics, and store them in bags made for comics, where back in the 1930's and 40's comics were considered kids magazines and often thrown out or recycled, or shared amongst many kids until they were in tatters. In addition, today's comics are printed on different, less acidic paper. The comics of the golden age were printed on news print, which is very acidic and caused comics that were saved to yellow and crumble over time. People can save whatever they want, and maybe one day they will get lucky and see that item grow in value. However, with modern comics, you can't count on that and they should be purchased for enjoyment, not for collectible value.


James Meeley said...

Yeah, I'm glad he made the distinction between Golden and Silver Age comic and Modern Age comics, as well.

You have no idea how many times, in the past, I'd have to burst someone's bubble, because they brought in a comic that was 10-15 years old, that they bought at cover price, and hit them with the reality that it's still not worth much more than that, or that it not something the shop would be interested in buying. The look was usually either utter shock or angry disdain.

Gladly, though, those types seem to slowly be getting fewer and fewer as the years go on. Give me the days when the only reason a person wants anything to do with comics, is because they enjoy them for the entertainment value, not the monetary value.

Elayne said...

Meh. He's using exceptional comics to prove his point and try to make them sound like the rule. Why don't more money people invest in comics? Because most comics AREN'T worth a whole heck of a lot, Price Guide or no Price Guide.

Lisa said...

Good point, Elayne. He doesn't mention those other comic books that no one wants and have seen little appreciation in value when compared to the Superman and Fantastic Four type of popular super hero titles.