Looking for a commodity niche no one else has thought of? Check your attic for those boxes of old comic books you wouldnt let your mom throw away.
Theyre great sources of alpha, according to Kevin Hassetts analysis of comic book prices in the March/April issue of The American. A mint-condition copy of the first Fantastic Four comic book by Marvel Comics, which cost 10 cents in November 1961, is valued at $36,000 today, a 32% compound annualized return. Spider-Man has also done well since the 1939 debut of the comic book series, Mr. Hassett reported that Spidey comic books have returned an annualized 26%. For example, a copy of the first in the Amazing Spider-Man series thats in excellent condition is valued at $335,000.
Mr. Hassett compared the long-term returns of comic books to other collectibles such as antique furniture, ceramics, coins and stamps, and reported that comics was the only category to produce a positive return (approximately 11.75% annualized) from 1937 to 1994.
He attributed the allure and long-term value retention of comic books to baby boomer sensibilities. As the U.S. has grown wealthier, an increasing number of people who fondly remember the comic books of their youth have acquired enough money to invest in collectibles with special meaning to them, he wrote.
But those with the most nostalgia about comic books men probably are also the reason for the extreme scarcity of supply, which has kept prices up. Boys tend to be pretty rough on their possessions. Very few comic books survived encounters with their original owners in good enough shape to appeal to collectors.