Could Comic Books Be the Heroes of Today’s Investment World?

Sick of the waning stock market? Still reeling from the tech bubble burst? Looking for a new way to invest your money?

 Enter Comic Book Collecting.

 I’m not joking!

 Stephen Fishler is the guru of the comic book investment field. As the co-owner of Metropolis Collectibles, one of America’s top vintage comic book dealers, he’s looked at as sort of an investment advisor to serious collectors the world over.

 “Investors are looking at what they once considered blue-chip portfolios drop further and further, and they’re throwing up their hands and changing stream…” he says.

 Think comic books are just for kids? Think again.

 Fishler’s brainchild, the Metropolis Index, makes it very clear why investors are putting their dollars into superheroes rather than stocks. The investment index, inspired by stock indices like the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), represents a diversified portfolio of 30 “blue-chip” comic books. Like any good investor, Fishler looks for investments with a good reputation, sustainable growth, and strong demand.

 In the 10-year period from January 1, 1994 to January 1, 2004, the DJIA gave investors a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.07% with a price appreciation of 241.76%.

 In comparison, the Metropolis Index handed savvy comic book investors a CAGR of 13.90% with a price appreciation of 267.6% for the same period. And, in the time since, comic book valuations have continued to accelerated way ahead of stocks.

 According to “The Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide,” Action Comics #1, in which Superman was born, is priced today at $485,000 in mint condition. Just five years ago, the same comic was worth $200,000. Not a bad return, indeed.

 Here are some other notable comic books that are paying off big- time for investors:

 –Amazing Fantasy #15, in which Spider-Man first appeared, is worth $42,500, up 60% in the past five years.

 –Detective Comics #27, in which Batman was introduced, is valued at $410,000, up 134% in the past five years.

 –X-Men #1, which has recently spawned a successful movie franchise, is currently priced at $13,000, up 110%.

 Ken Brown, founder of the comic book trading web site Downtown Comic Box, explains, “Collectors first started thinking of comics as investments in the late 1960s… Since then, a growing number of collectors and investors have created an insatiable demand, leading to skyrocketing values.”

 For would-be investors, Stephen Fischer’s Metropolis Collectibles partner Vincent Zurzolo recommends, “When investing, people should look for books that have shown slow consistent growth, rather than the books that skyrocket in value in a short time& Now is a great time to get into comic books because collecting is still relatively in its infancy.”

 Should you cash in all of your stocks for comic books? Of course not. However, many financial advisors do recommend that about 10% of your investment portfolio be held in countercyclical investments, such as coins, stamps, and other collectibles like comic books, as these holdings historically rise in value in times of economic uncertainty.

 I may not be a comic book expert, but from what I’ve read about the Metropolis Index and considering the current economic environment, it seems to me that adding some superpowers to your investment portfolio couldn’t hurt.