How to Invest in Baseball Cards Like an All-Star

As Major League Baseball’s greatest players prepare to descend upon our nation’s capital for the 2018 edition of the All-Star Game, the baseball card market continues to solidify itself as a destination for discerning investment dollars. Even Wall Street’s most astute money managers would likely be stunned to learn that the high-end vintage baseball card market has outperformed the S&P 500 over the last 10 years – it’s not even close!!. If you have an interest in investing in these cardboard treasures, here are five tips to help you get into the game.

1. Buy Only PSA Graded Cards

With the emergence of a generally accepted third party grading service at the turn of the century (Professional Sports Authenticators – PSA), trading cards have become more commoditized and liquid as investments. In fact, PSA maintains real-time, accessible inventories of the grade populations for each card ever graded that enable more sophisticated supply and demand analysis. Accordingly, more and more “professional” money has entered the vintage trading card arena and contributed to the consistent, escalating prices.

2. Scarce/Elite Cards Get Top Dollar.

Investors have consistently shown the desire to pay top dollar for the scarcest and elite sports trading cards. With so many of these rare, high-grade housed in personal collections and not on the sales block any time soon, the opportunities to bid on many of these elite cardboard classics can be extremely limited and lead to auction bidding frenzies when one finally comes to market. Accordingly, the top-graded iconic cards that have a grade population of less than fifteen total cards in circulation are your best bet. In a bull market, this strategy likely mandates sometimes paying well above previous sale records for a like-graded card.

3. Avoid post-1970s Cards.

In general, new trading card investors should use caution if allocating money toward any post 1970-cards, as the market is saturated with these cards in elite condition. As collectors began to learn the potential monetary value of their cards, more and more cards were transferred straight from packs and into protective cases and sheets – rather than in the spokes of bicycle wheels. The end result is that the newer the card, the more likely it was immediately preserved for resale purposes. As far as new cards being released today, the trading card companies have tried to artificially create some level of scarcity with serial numbering, autographs, uniform patches, etc.  While these limiting elements can have a positive effect on supply, the challenge is that there are so many issues and variations for each player out there, that the demand for any specific card is greatly reduced.

4. Invest in Sports Pioneers.

Iconic sports pioneers represent the greatest upside in the long-term. Pioneers like Jackie Robinson, Jim Thorpe, Hank Greenberg, Roberto Clemente and Satchell Paige will only increase in prominence over time and fuel record card prices. Records will always be broken and there will always be another home run crushing phenom or unstoppable running back. Pioneers, however, will always remain the first to do something and there legend will only climb to seemingly mythical proportions in years to come.

5. Baseball cards rule, but other sports have potential and offer lower entry price points.

Relative to baseball, which has always been the gold standard in sports cards, football and basketball cards sell at a much lower multiple to their baseball counterparts. As younger fans age into the sweet spot of trading card investing, over time we should see the shift in fandom from baseball to football and basketball begin to be reflected in the appreciation of trading cards. Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Jim Brown, Johnny Unitas and Bart Starr rookie cards represent significantly lower investment entry points than comparably elite baseballs legends from the same era.


Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

How Smaller Businesses Can Battle Tariffs
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Valero Energy CEO Joseph Gorder
How Katy Perry Achieved a Net Worth of $280 Million
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat
20 Important Tips for Selling on Craigslist
10 Benefits of Having a Pottery Barn Credit Card
How to Buy a Bargain Used Car for Under $5,000
10 Benefits of Having a Williams Sonoma Credit Card
Five Companies Leading the Way in Facial Recognition Technology
Data, Data Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink
Protect Your Castle: Securing Operational Technology Against Today’s Threats
Why 5G Will Be Way More Important than you Think
The Five Best Mexican Restaurants in Phoenix
The Five Best 5-Star Hotels in Beverly Hills
10 Things to Do in Milwaukee for First Time Visitors
The Five Best Mexican Restaurants in Austin, TX
The History and Story Behind the Bentley Logo
Why You Should Consider Gotham Dream Cars for a Supercar Rental
The 10 Best Muscle Cars of the 1970s
The History and Evolution of the Rolls Royce Ghost
The Five Best Rockwell Watches on the Market Today
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Alpina Watches
The Five Best Reactor Watches on the Market Today
The Five Most Expensive Pocket Watches Ever Made