My Comic Book Investments are outperforming stocks

aquaman-5-graded-comic

It’s been a good bit since I checked to see how my graded comic books have been doing. I use the word “investment” lightly here, because I buy comic books as a hobby. Although most of these I bought because I like the characters and books, some of them I did buy as investments. The majority of these comic books are silver age or older books, only a few from the modern era.

My methods for this Comic book vs. Stock market Comparison

For my stock market standard I chose the total market ETF ITOT. I’m doing this because that is what I own and I think it’s a good representation of market returns. The goal is to see how my comic books stacked up against the performance of the stock market in the exact time duration from when I purchased the book until now.

First off, getting an objective PRICE on a graded comic book is difficult for a number of reasons

  1. Lack of volume-not many of an exactly graded book exchange hands every day. Certainly not as many as a stock or bond
  2. A comic book labeled 9.8 may vary slightly from another one with the same grade. They are not exactly matched. Some books bring more because of a different flaw.

Please note, that any prices I give are taking into account fees I paid. Shipping costs are passed on to the consumer, so those are NOT included.

I’m going to bring these forth in the order I purchased them

  1. Silver Surfer #2
  2. Daredevil #168
  3. Aquaman #5
  4. Umbrella Academy #1
  5. Fantastic Four #72
  6. Vengeance #1
  7. Agents of Atlas #1
  8. Fantastic Four #39
  9. Fantastic Four #55


Silver Surfer #2 graded 7.0

ItemPurchase PriceCurrent PriceReturn on InvestmentBegin Time
Silver Surfer #2 CGC 7.011116548.65%8/16/2020
ITOT74.1986.6216.75%
Surfer Surfer #2

As you can see, Silver Surfer has SURFED on by the stock market and returned over 30% more. Silver Surfer is a fan favor character and his books continue to increase in value.

Daredevil #168 CGC 9.2 Newstand edition

Daredevil graded comic Book
ItemPurchase PriceCurrent PriceReturn on InvestmentBegin Time
Daredevil #168 CGC 9.2257.8041060%8/16/2020
ITOT74.1986.6216.75%
Daredevil #168

Daredevil #168 outperformed the stock market even more, by a whopping 54%. Daredevil is my favorite character; I will never sell this and monetary value isn’t a major concern. However, it’s interesting to see how well this performed over time. This is the first appearance of Elektra. First appearance comic books have a history of increasing in value more.

Aquaman #5 CGC 8.0

Aquaman comic #5

I will preface this data by saying there isn’t enough volume or data to give accurate numbers on this book. I can tell you I got a HECK of a deal on this book because it had some small swirls in the plastic on the protective case (no on the book itself). The best I can guesstimate is the market is putting a $275 price tag on this book. That is from a sell that happened three months ago.

ItemPurchase PriceCurrent PriceReturn on InvestmentBegin Time
Aquaman #5 CGC 8.0141.2227594.72%8/16/2020
ITOT74.1986.6216.75%
Aquaman #5

Aquaman is a DC book which are known for being worth less in most cases; It has seriously outperformed. Once again, Aquaman is my second favorite character so I bought the book because of the character and I LOVE the cover. I one day want to put it on my wall.


Umbrella Academy Free Comic Book Day #1 CGC 9.8

ItemPurchase PriceCurrent PriceReturn on InvestmentBegin Time
Umbrella Academy #1212179-15.57%8/30/2020
ITOT76.4886.6213.38%
Umbrella Academy #1

I have my first loser. I bought this book after watching the TV show and really enjoying it. I’m down in this if I ever wanted to sell it (out about $30-40). I can’t see myself selling it but maybe one day if I get desperate for some TAX LOSS HARVESTING. During this same time, the stock market is up over 13%.

Fantastic Four #72 CGC 7.5

I must tell you this is one of my favorite books, I absolutely love it and got a great deal on it. It features the Silver Surfer on the cover.

ItemPurchase PriceCurrent PriceReturn on InvestmentBegin Time
Fantastic Four #72 CGC 7.5185.34425129.3%3/3/2021
ITOT88.3786.62-1.98%
Fantastic Four #72

This is the best performing comic book in my graded collection; it’s up an incredible 129%. During that same time period the stock market is down almost 2%. I felt like I got an incredible deal on this book. It’s barely been over a year since I bought it and it’s went on to be a highly desired book.

Vengeance #1 CGC 9.6

This book has been on a roller coaster ride. I can remember when it got up all the way to $700. It was the most expensive book in my collection. Not so today.

ItemPurchase PriceCurrent PriceReturn on InvestmentBegin Time
Vengeance #1 CGC 9.630240534%8/30/2021
ITOT85.7586.621.01%
Vengeance #1

Even though this book has fallen considerably from its high, it has still outperformed the stock market during this same time. This IS a book I bought as a comic book investment. I did research on the print run, which is highly limited. You won’t see a lot of these out in the wild and I plan on holding until the number available become less and less. It was one of the first appearances of character America Chavez whom I’m a big fan of. I think this book was speculated on a lot, they though America would be in a movie soon and it didn’t happen, so the book fell back down to earth.

Agent of Atlas #1 CGC 9.8

Here’s another book that went on a ROLLER COASTER ride. It’ s been up over $200.

ItemPurchase PriceCurrent PriceReturn on InvestmentBegin Time
Agents of Atlas #1 CGC 9.8185.50110-41%3/23/2021
ITOT88.7586.62-2.4%
Agents of Atlas #1

Yet another one of my losers. Agents of Atlas is my BIGGEST loser. It lost a whopping 40% of its value since I bought it. This was bought up as a speculation by collectors. Once again, they thought the characters were going to be in a movie and when that didn’t happen the price came back down. At the same time, I have no plans to sell it. The print run was pretty limited on this book and I still believe the characters will be further developed by Marvel in the future.


Fantastic Four #39 CGC 6.5

This book is one of my Pride and Joys. I wanted it longer than any other book I have. I didn’t get as high of a grade as I want (people have them priced too high!), but I love the cover.

ItemPurchase PriceCurrent PriceReturn on InvestmentBegin Time
Fantastic Four #39 CGC 6.522532544.4%10/11/2021
ITOT98.6186.62-12.16%
Fantastic Four #39

I guess Fantastic Four Silver age comics are all WINNERS. This one has delivered a crushing 44% return in less than a year, while the market is down over 12% during that time. To be honest, I was leary of this one. I got tired of waiting around on the perfect copy to show up so I went ahead and bought. I felt like I had almost paid too much, but it looks like I didn’t.

Fantastic Four #55 CGC 5.5

ItemPurchase PriceCurrent PriceReturn on InvestmentBegin Time
Fantastic Four #55 CGC 5.5206.725021%2/21/2022
ITOT95.6086.62-9.4%
Fantastic Four #55

This is another book I always wanted and I just kept waiting and waiting. I wanted a bit higher grade but the combination of price and timing was just there so I jumped on it. I didn’t get as good of a deal on it as I have my other books but it has done quite well. In five months, it’s appreciated 21% in value while the stock market has fallen over 9%.

Summary about comic book investments

There you have my results up to this point. 8 out of 10 comic books has outperformed the stock market so far. It will be interesting to see if these books hold up if we have a recession. Prices of collectibles are highly volatile, especially when there isn’t much volume.

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