Stocks or Pokemon cards? An introduction to alternative investing

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Is it possible to invest in Pokemon cards?

Imagine an investor, Barren Wuffett, who decides to buy 20 stocks from Apple. Barren is likely buying these stocks because he expects the value to go up in the future. Some people might disagree with Barren, saying that he should diversify to minimize his risk by also incorporating other stocks, as well as bonds and index funds into his portfolio. Others might even tell him to “go big or go home”, saying he should abandon the stocks altogether and pour all of his capital into Bitcoin and hedge funds.

Base set Charizard (unlimited). The king of the playground will remember
Mewtwo GX from Sun & Moon: Shining Legends
PSA 10 Base set Charizard (unlimited)

What returns can I expect from investing in Pokemon cards?

Unfortunately, I do not have a crystal ball. It’s impossible for me to tell you what kinds of returns you can expect. What I can do, however, is show you what returns our predecessors have made. Keep in mind that, like with any sort of investing, there is risk involved in each purchase and there are always winners and losers.

PSA 9 Pikachu Illustrator
Keldeo EX from Black & White: Boundaries Crossed
Prerelease Raichu

How to invest in Pokemon cards? Should I be doing this?

The number one most important thing when investing in Pokemon cards is to know your market well. Extremely well. As I mentioned before, always ask yourself: how many cards are available? who might want to buy them? And when its time to sell them? These are the simple, yet fundamental questions you need to ask yourself when investing in anything, as they address the laws of scarcity, demand, and supply.

Does this mean I should simply buy any cards that are out of print?

It is important to note that this does NOT mean that you should simply buy any old that you can find at market price. We would know the number of cards that are available and that these cards are in high demand. While this is fantastic news, there is still one critical element missing. When is it time to buy/sell a particular card?

Skyridge booster pack: Vaporeon art
Crystal Charizard holo version from Skyridge

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Adam Rybko

Adam Rybko

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MSc Development Economics @ LSE. I’m a high-achieving graduate student who writes about productivity, university admissions, and financially smart collecting.