Investing in Pokémon cards - No, Really

As the highest-grossing franchise to date, everyone knows about Pokémon. As such, there is a great deal of merchandise available. This of course also includes trading cards, which have immensely risen in popularity throughout recent years and 2020 in particular. For some (including myself) it has become an investment even.

The logical consequence of the high demand for older Pokémon cards that are no longer printed is rising prices. One of the first-ever English Charizard cards printed that is in perfect condition raised a price of $350.000! A similar card sold for $300.000 a month earlier. The website Pikastocks tracks the prices of various Pokémon cards.

With price trajectories like that, I was very inclined to buy some Pokémon cards for myself. And after discovering a Subreddit related to Pokémon card investing, I went for it. I preordered sealed Pokémon products (Hidden Fates and Shining Fates Elite Trainer Boxes) back in November 2020.

That sounds good — too good actually

This is of course does not come without any risks involved. By buying Pokémon cards with the intention to sell them for a profit later on, you assume multiple things:

  • the Pokémon franchise is still popular in the future
  • the product you bought is still sought after
  • the product you bought is not being produced anymore (meaning the demand is higher than the supply)

Additionally, trading cards have no inherent value. In contrast to stocks, they do not produce anything. A trading card is only worth what another person is willing to pay for it.

Then why invest in Pokémon cards at all?

For me, it really just comes down to playing around with a relatively overlooked asset class — collectibles. As such, I only invested amounts that I am willing to lose (as you should always do when trying out new investments). Collectibles are not a new thing though. The art market has been going strong for years but is not really accessible.

Instead of some old painting, future generations will buy things they spent their youth on out of nostalgia. This obviously includes Pokémon cards for a lot of people.

The result of my purchase

The value of the products I bought back in November has pretty much doubled since. I do plan on holding on to them and actually ordered additional products including other Elite Trainer Boxes and even exclusive Japanese cards.
An update on my investment will follow sometime in the future.

Future Entrepreneur. Interested in tech, finance and becoming 1% better every day.