Which asset class will dominate this matchup? Can GM beat this Todd McFarlane Incredible Hulk #340 in relative returns and profit?
I have been a small-time investor for the last 30 years. In all that time I have diversified my assets across a multitude of micro-investments. However, I have enjoyed investing in two asset classes in particular. This does not include real estate which is a whole other beast. Personally, I find collectibles and stocks fun to invest in. However, in a head-to-head matchup which one of these asset classes is king? To put it simply, which is better a particular stock or a solid comic book investment?
After all, this is what most investors are looking for, right? We examine and explore investing in comic books very similar to the analysis used investing in the stock market. Let us take an honest approach; after all, we track trends, pricing, even inventory or volume numbers. We watch for media events and news cycles for upticks. Further, there is a speculative and investment side of comic books much like the speculative and investment side of equities (stocks).
But which stock to pick for this contest? After the pandemic collapse of 2020; what would seem reasonable? I like General Motors ticker symbol GM. Yes, I know it isn’t a tech stock but it impacts the economy with steel, parts, rubber, glass, and most especially semiconductors. I believe this is a traditional stock that probably mirrors the overall market, at least over the last three years. GM has been diving into EVs (electrical vehicles) which is the future.
For the comic book asset, I like Incredible Hulk #340. It is a minor key, with a good cover appeal. It has Wolverine on the cover and he was “the man” back in the day. By this I mean, he was everywhere. Much like GM in the auto world, he is kind of ubiquitous in comics.
General Motors Corp. was started by “William C. Durant-Dort Carriage Company. It was the leading manufacturer of horse-drawn vehicles in the United States by 1900.” Durant went onto purchase the Buick Motor Company from Flint Wagon Works in 1904. “By 1908 Durant had formed the General Motors Company” and the rest is history.
“General Motors Company designs builds and sells trucks, crossovers, cars, and automobile parts worldwide. The Company provides automotive financing services through General Motors Financial Company, Inc. (GM Financial). GM North America (GMNA) and GM International (GMI) are its automotive segments.
GMNA and GMI meet the demands of customers in North America with vehicles developed, manufactured, and marketed under the Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, and Holden brands. The Company’s segments include GMNA, GMI, Cruise, and GM Financial. The Company’s subsidiaries and business units include OnStar LLC, which provides vehicle connectivity services; Cruise LLC, which is in the development and commercialization of self-driving technology.” (Source: TD Ameritrade)
Additionally, it should be noted that GM was in bankruptcy due to the 2007-2009 financial collapse. Then the government bailed them out, certainly, that will never happen with a comic book.
This book is only a minor key, if that. Further, it sports the cover of Todd McFarlane, possibly the most popular Modern Age artist. The iconic cover is real eye candy as you can see the Hulk reflected in Wolverine’s claws; cool stuff to be sure.
This book was created in 1988 by Peter David with Todd McFarlane art and has the Wolverine vs. Hulk.
|Item||Price Purchased 2018 (5-19-18)||Price Sold 2021 (4-16-21)||Return or Trend (2-Year)|
|Incredible Hulk #340 (Grade 9.8)||$340||$1929||+278%|
|GM common stock||$3800 (100 shares at $38 per share)||$5808 ($2008 profit at $58 share with 100 shares)||+52%|
GM Liquidity vs. IH #340 Low Risk
The main difference between these two asset classes is the liquidity is much stronger with the GM stock. Thousands of shares trade hands daily. The ability to unload a GM position is far easier than the ability to turn the comic book into cash. Score one point for GM it is more liquid.
However, Incredible Hulk #340 is very low risk with potentially high reward. In order to make GM payoff, you can’t buy one share and make much money, you have to buy around 100 shares or more to adequately profit from the risk. In contrast, the comic book required one purchase of $340 to buy one CGC 9.8 graded book. Very low entry fee for a large return, therefore, lower risk than GM stock but less liquidity. How can that be?
Comics are very Profitable
Incredible Hulk #340 produced $1589 of profit after three years, though my calculation of trend return is based off roughly two years. Hence, the difference in the actual total return for that time period. The return trend is even higher when you go out further. With one investment in a tangible asset, i.e. a collectible comic book; an investor would have made a killing on this book with a positive +278% return. The risk was very minimal.
By comparison, the single share of GM stock returned $20.07 of profit. Now most of us buy 100 shares of stock which means greater risk and better return. In this scenario, the GM stock would have cost you $3801 and made you $2,007 over three years. Not bad but the risk is way higher with stocks for a smaller return. Is this starting to make sense?
I think you are getting the big picture here. Basically, stocks are very liquid and easily tradable. However, the more profitable asset class was clearly comic books in this matchup. Also, a shockingly lower risk with comic books than with GM stock. This is hard to quantify but so many variables play into the stock market and produce swings that might be hard for some investors to stomach.
The worst the comic book will experience is a decline in interest. Perhaps even a bad movie about the superhero in question. Some decline in value but depending on rarity the book might still prosper even in a bad public perception situation.
In my humble experience, diversity is the way to go. Diversify your portfolio, own a variety, and learn about them all. The more diversity the better with stocks, bonds, and collectibles, but remember comics are king!
*Note: This is for informational purposes only, I am not a financial adviser.