There’s a popular old idiom that says, “What’s old is new again.”
I think the saying should be updated to read, “What’s old just might be very valuable.” I’m amazed how the prices of some collectibles have skyrocketed over the past few years.
I’m not suggesting everything old is valuable and I don’t mean to encourage people to start hoarding. But clearly, collectors who know what they’re doing are buying and selling at a record pace. It’s estimated that the collectibles market in 2020 was a $370 billion and it’s growing at a rapid pace.
Comic books and sports cards seem to be the hottest items at the moment. Last month an auction house that sold just comics took in a record $22.4 million.
This fad isn’t just about a youngster buying a comic book to read. Or a pack of baseball cards to get some bubble gum or keep up with the batting averages of their favorite players. This has become big business worth a lot of money. Hence, it isn’t a fad at all.
And it isn’t just about the old stuff. Because of near fisticuffs over inventory in its store, one large retailer moved all of its card sales online. Now, much of the inventory is being scooped up over the Internet and re-sold to the public after huge markups. Much like what’s going on with concert tickets.
People are buying these new releases in hopes of getting a rookie card of the next Tom Brady or Michael Jordan. Rookie cards of players who go on to have successful careers can bring in sizeable sums.
Collectors are buying old comic books that are in pristine condition for big dollars. Earlier this year, a rare Superman comic set a record when it sold for $3.25 million. It’s not uncommon for rare issues of Spiderman, Batman, X-Men and other popular Marvel and DC comics to sell for thousands of dollars. Who could’ve ever imagined?
The fast growing market of collectibles has caught the eye of some well-known companies, including Disney. Which means, as the marketplace grows, expect other prominent companies to join the fray.
Over my career, I’ve met people that collect all kinds of things. Stamps, coins, cars, autographs, artwork and wine just to name a few. One friend even collects pulp fiction form the 30s and 40s. I’m occasionally asked if such collecting is a good idea. Remember, as a financial advisor I come from a highly regulated world. Maybe even over regulated.
My industry has all kinds of prospectuses, disclosures and ongoing communications. Whereas, the world of collectibles is essentially unregulated. There are firms that rate and appraise conditions of cards, coins and comics and I strongly suggest they’re utilized for big-ticket purchases.
It’s important to know if the autograph is authentic. Or if a rare basketball or baseball card is really an original. You might think a card is in great condition, but a trained eye might tell you otherwise. I recently saw an episode of American Greed in which a rare wine wasn’t rare, but simply had fake labels.
My advice to those that wade into the world of collectibles is to be cautious. If you jump in, do it because you enjoy it, not because you expect to make mega bucks.
Do you know someone who would like to meet with a financial advisor?
Ken Morris 248.952.1744
E-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ken is a registered representative of LPL Financial. Securities and financial planning offered through LPL, a Registered Investment Advisor, member FINRA/SIPC. Ken is Vice-President of the Society for Lifetime Planning in Troy. All opinions expressed are those of Ken Morris. LPL and Society for Lifetime Planning are independent companies. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.