We 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?
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.
If 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!
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!