Any experienced stock market investor will advise you not to time the market. Instead, it is better to invest on a consistent basis. That being said, we should look for indicators that we may have hit bottom in the current market. A hockey stick effect is one example of a leading indicator.
Hockey Sticks Have Started to Appear
As I analyzed sales data for my “Buyer’s Market” blog series, I noticed that most comics, especially Marvel keys, looked like “falling knives.” But I have started to see a few “hockey sticks” appear on a comic-by-comic basis. Hockey sticks exist when sudden and dramatic shifts occur in the direction of data points. When we see a hockey stick, we should ask if the shift represents a fundamental change or is just an anomaly.
As a case study, I’ve seen early evidence of a hockey stick in the sales data for Raphael #1.
Unlike other TMNT key issues, the value of a CGC 9.0 copy of a Raphael #1 displayed a boom and then bust pattern until May of 2022. A 9.0 is the most common grade of this book. After reaching an all-time high of $1,218 in December 2020, its value fell for 18 straight months, reaching a low of $310 in May 2022.
Interestingly, since that low point, we observe short-term evidence of a hockey stick. Although we have limited sales data since then, the value of this book has steadily climbed, reaching a six-month high of nearly $600 in October 2022. I didn’t review every grade for this book, but I observed similar hockey sticks in the 8.5, 9.2, and 9.4 grades.
I didn’t see similar hockey stick effects for Leonardo #1, Michaelangelo #1, or Donatello #1. That may not be a big surprise, since Raphael is generally considered to be the most popular character among the four. In the months ahead, we should look to see if this bump in Raphael’s value predicts a similar bump for the other turtles.
As for other TMNT key issues, I did see evidence of a sideways drift, in some (but not all) grades, such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 and #3. For example, a CGC 9.4 copy of TMNT #2 has displayed a sideways drift for approximately a year.
It has held steady at around $750 since November of 2021. TMNT #2 has displayed a sideways drift in the 9.0, 9.2, and 9.4 grades.
Could the hockey stick effect we see with Raphael #1 predict a turnaround for the larger comic book market? If so, we may have hit the bottom or near the bottom of the current market crash. We’ll likely need at least another six months of data to know for sure.