As we’ve covered previously, our indices cover the entire sports memorabilia collectibles market. This includes cards, rings, trophies, awards and game-used memorabilia.
Below we want to explore creating a simple price index for a basket of 20 recommended items.

We are creating this index with 20 unique items, as shown below. We made sure each item had more than 250 publicly reported sales. Here are the items:

##  1 1960 Topps 350 Mickey Mantle-4                         1
##  2 1960 Topps 350 Mickey Mantle-5                         1
##  3 1961 Topps 300 Mickey Mantle-5                         1
##  4 1961 Topps 300 Mickey Mantle-6                         1
##  5 1964 Topps 50 Mickey Mantle-4                          1
##  6 1964 Topps 50 Mickey Mantle-6                          1
##  7 1966 Topps 50 Mickey Mantle-4                          1
##  8 1966 Topps 50 Mickey Mantle-5                          1
##  9 1966 Topps 50 Mickey Mantle-6                          1
## 10 1969 Topps 500 Mickey Mantle Last Name in Yellow-4     1
## 11 1969 Topps 500 Mickey Mantle Last Name in Yellow-6     1
## 12 1969 Topps 533 Nolan Ryan-6                            1
## 13 1984 Topps 63 John Elway-7                             1
## 14 1984 Topps 63 John Elway-8                             1
## 15 1984 Topps 63 John Elway-9                             1
## 16 1986 Fleer 7 Charles Barkley-8                         1
## 17 1986 Fleer 7 Charles Barkley-9                         1
## 18 1986 Fleer Sticker 8 Michael Jordan-7                  1
## 19 1986 Fleer Sticker 8 Michael Jordan-8                  1
## 20 1986 Fleer Sticker 8 Michael Jordan-9                  1

This covers a sample in MLB, NBA and NFL. Mickey Mantle, Nolan Ryan, John Elway, Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan. Card grades are also shown. We normalized prices and created an index, seen below:

So this is a Fisher Ideal Price type of Index for a basket of sports cards, from 2016 through 2020. With this type of index, we can track the market at a quick glance. Let’s compare the performance of this index to the S&P 500 over the same time period.

It’s easy to see that our index (and these select cards) outperformed the S&P 500 by a wide margin over 4 years. In fact, if one were to time the market correctly, he/she could generate huge returns. Of course, perfect timing likely isn’t possible, but this volatility sure is exciting. You can see that in mid-2020 we started to see the sports card market go parabolic. Will that trend continue? We’ll see.

The problem with generating returns that match this chart isn’t solely a matter of timing. Major problems include liquidity and fees when selling. We’ll discuss this more, later.

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