Comic Book Collecting vs. Investing; What You Need to Know Before You Get Started

by Jestin Davis

042921E_SQUARE-300x300 Comic Book Collecting vs. Investing; What You Need to Know Before You Get StartedWe all know that the comic book market has been on fire the past year, if not longer, but what about new collectors and investors that are getting into the market? You’re in luck, because this article is for you! Let’s talk about Collecting vs Investing.

With many comic book prices at all-time highs, you need to ask yourself this before you get started; am I a comic book collector or comic book investor? To start off, it might be best to understand the differences between a collector versus an investor.

What is a Comic Book Collector?

A comic book collector is someone who chooses to amass and preserve comic books as they see fit. Many collectors choose to focus on building collections that cater to a certain character, genre, or even publishing company. There is no end to the possibilities when it comes to building your comic book collection. You just need some interest and, of course, some funds to put towards your new hobby. 

What is a Comic Book Investor?132201833_420076222366346_7858358217212236698_n_530x@2x-300x289 Comic Book Collecting vs. Investing; What You Need to Know Before You Get Started

A comic book investor, or any investor for that matter, is someone who purchases a particular asset with the intention of selling that asset for a higher price at a later date, ultimately generating a profit for themselves.

Some comic book investors actually fit into the category of speculator if they are strictly purchasing the book to sell within 12 months or less. For the sake of this article, we will focus on investors who are purchasing comic books to hold for at least a couple years before they consider selling. 

What do You Need to Know Before You Get Started?

This is where it helps to know whether you are a collector or an investor. Not to say that they are mutually exclusive, however. For example, I consider myself a collector and secondarily an investor. I collect comic books that I enjoy and want to hold on to. Still, I will also purchase comic books that I believe have a good chance of increasing in value over time. There is freedom in knowing that you don’t have to narrow your focus completely. However, it is also important that you consider why you are purchasing a particular book or set of books prior to making the purchase. 

detective-comics-245-cgc-slabbed_1_6ffdc015807dcca2c66c2a2bb96e8f5b-e1619650387124-300x191 Comic Book Collecting vs. Investing; What You Need to Know Before You Get StartedIf you are just starting out as a collector, I would recommend that you focus your collection on something you wholeheartedly enjoy. You don’t want to put money and time into a hobby that doesn’t bring you joy.

This is especially true in today’s comic book market. Here, it will cost you a good amount of money to purchase a first appearance of nearly any popular character. You don’t want to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a comic book that you don’t really enjoy. Particularly if you could lose money in the long run. For collectors, I say buy what you like and plan to hold it for the long term! 

Bottom Line

Are you just starting out as an investor? You truly need to familiarize yourself with a tool (or multiple tools) that helps track the sale prices of comic books today and retroactively. While past performance is no indication of future performance, we can get a pretty good idea of where something will go based on how it’s done in the past, over years not months. (If you are interested in how to best structure your comic book portfolio, check out my article on treating your collection like an investment portfolio.)

While you don’t have to invest in comics you like, I would highly recommend it. You should at least enjoy the genre you invest in because when you enjoy something you actively want to learn more about it and the more you learn about it, the better investor you will be! 

That’s it for Collecting vs Investing, but stay tuned for more Comic Collecting 101 posts! 

Think of all the things a Premium Membership can do for you!

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5 comments

David Batty May 2, 2021 - 4:05 pm

I have always been a collector first. The money spent was only ever worth the story written and a bigger value to me personally was the art.

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Kenloi May 3, 2021 - 4:48 am

Started reading comics as a nipper. Used to go to a local junk shop where there were piles of worn coverless and ripped DC comics at a few cents. Detective Batman, Supergirl, Shade, Challengers of the Unknown, Metamorpho, Horror, Plastic man and still my favourite all these years later Superboy and the legion of superheroes. All early to late 1970s. I shared these stories and comics with one friend who i found out was also into comics. Amazing times. Today i read, collect and spec all kinds of comics because of this junk shop and the old man proprietor. One day i will have a full run of nm 1970s Superboy/ Legion.

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Jestin Davis May 12, 2021 - 4:31 pm

Awesome, thanks for sharing!

Reply
Patrick May 3, 2021 - 1:47 pm

Excellent article – GoCollect has upped their game with good columnists. As I’ve written before, collecting is passion and all investing is speculative – doesn’t mean you can’t be a little both, but I’d you think an ‘asset’ will be worth X in 20 years, let me introduce you to Betamax. Anyway, always collect and over time, it will rise and ALWAYS have fun – hails!

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Jestin Davis May 12, 2021 - 4:31 pm

Agreed!

Reply

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