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WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
"You can count on Metropolis for great selection and reliable grading."
- Greg B., Virginia The Metropolis Survey
INVESTING IN COMICS 101
Over the past thirty years, comic book collecting and investing has proven itself to be both entertaining and profitable. The keys to being a successful collector/investor are:
1. Buy comics that feature characters, creators or stories you enjoy.
2. Get a good feel for valuation. Work with a reputable dealer whose grading you trust to help build your collection.
3. Don’t get caught up in trends. Keep focused on your interests.
4. Preserve your comics in acid free backing boards and bags. Keep your collection stored in a dark, cool place and in an acid free box. Make sure to change your bags at least once every two years.
5. Making sure you stay on top of the market. Look for opportunities to sell when interest in your books is high.
THE METROPOLIS INDEX
In early 2002, Metropolis Collectibles noticed customers increasingly soliciting help from partners Vincent Zurzolo and Stephen Fishler in creating financial strategies for comic book investment. While Metropolis advises any enthusiast to collect out of love for the art form first, and monetary returns second, they were nevertheless interested to see comics become an en vogue "counter-cyclical" investment option. With many collectors redirecting funds from their stock portfolios to comic books, comics became nationally recognized in news and media as a "safe equity" alternative in today's unpredictable economy. Encouraged by this new attention to the hobby, Metropolis decided to conduct a formal comparative analysis of comic book valuations to the returns of the stock market. In so doing, they found comics weren't simply an overnight phenomenon during times of a depressed economy. A well-balanced portfolio of vintage comics can consistently outpace the market in the long-term.
On June 10th, 2003, Stephen Fishler and Ben Smith (Metropolis' Vice President) conducted a seminar on comic book investment at Bloomberg headquarters in Manhattan. Inspired by the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), Fishler & Smith presented "The Metropolis Index," a portfolio of 30 "blue-chip" vintage comics. Comics are selected for the Index based upon good-standing reputation, sustainable growth and collector-driven demand. Additionally, the index is diversified across a large number of comic industry market sectors, including superhero, humor, crime, horror and funny animal. Research is compiled using publicly available stock market data, and current and historical comic valuations as compiled by Gemstone Publishing.
On January 1, 2004, the DJIA stood at 10453.92. Ten years prior in 1994, the DJIA was 3754.09. If dividends paid are considered to have been reinvested into the index, over the 10 year period, an investor' Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) is 13.07% with a price appreciation of 241.76%. Comparatively, the Metropolis Index total value in 1994 was $704,185, and is $2,588,750 in 2004. The CAGR of the Metropolis Index is 13.90% with a price appreciation of 267.6%*. Given Overstreet's recent decision to lower top-of-guide price listings from 9.4 values to 9.2 values, it is important to note that in the Metropolis Index, the starting 1994 figures are based on 9.4 values, whereas the closing 2004 prices are based upon 9.2 values. Had the 9.4 values been issued at the time of the 2004 Overstreet Guide's publication and employed for use in the Metropolis Index, the price appreciation and CAGR of the Index would have been even higher still.
Although numerous factors make an apples-to-apples comparison of comic books and stocks a difficult proposition, evidence lends itself to the long-term stability of the comic book market, and the security of comic book investments. Additional information can be found in the Press Section of our home page. Serious investors interested in consultation should contact Vincent Zurzolo of Metropolis Collectibles at (212) 260-4147 or email [email protected].
*Sources: Bloomberg; Factset; Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide "top of guide" prices 1994, 2004.