On Dec. 6th, 2020 (less than one week ago) Robert Edward Auctions sold a 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie card, graded a Gem Mint 10 by PSA, for $150,000 inclusive of all fees.

Exactly 1 year earlier, Dec. 5th, 2019, Heritage Auctions (HA.com) sold a 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie card, graded a Gem Mint 10 by PSA, for $36,000, inclusive of all fees.

What happened, in the past year, to cause this collectible to nearly 5X?
Read to find out:

First, the COVID shutdown, stock market drop and $3Trillion economic stimulus package in early 2020 ramped up a new phenomenon: Small time investors started seeking safe havens for their cash and larger investors started seeking yield anywhere they could find it. Investors of all sizes started seeing collectibles as a part of a diversified investment portfolio as well as a truly scarce asset that would protect wealth.

It’s no mystery why our main March index looks like this for the past 12 months (sports memorabilia market, overall)

While it’s unknown how many 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan cards were made, we do know that PSA — the company that grades collectibles — has graded right around 20,000 of these cards (add the 3 numbers in the far right column). We also know that only 317 of these cards were found to be in Gem Mint condition, worthy of a perfect 10 grade. 317 cards miraculously escaped the last 34 years without a ding, dent or scratch. This documented scarcity is becoming attractive to investors.

Secondly, Michael Jordan captured the minds of an entire generation. This generation is now flush with cash and looking for investments. It’s wise to invest in collectibles that defined a generation. MJ is no exception. The 10 year old kids who coveted and collected this card back in the late 80s are now in their 40s — with well-paying jobs. They are now flocking back to the interests of their childhood whether it be vintage video games, sports cars of the 80s and 90s or (yes) baseball and basketball cards of their youth.

This sure looks like heavy investment money flocking back to Michael Jordan:

Thirdly, previous sales of a card are a great predictor of future prices. Goldin Auctions sold one of these cards for $125,000 two months ago. Two more sold in the same price range on eBay in September and October. Prior to that, in August, Heritage Auctions sold one for $111,000. Goldin auctions sold one, just a few days earlier, for $93,480. See a pattern here? Unless something changes in the underlying economy, previous price is a great predictor of future price.
In fact, when we produced our predictive models, previous pricing trends explained a lot of a future sales price. Again, when the underlying conditions didn’t change. If the stock market didn’t tank, unemployment didn’t skyrocket, the price of Gold didn’t double, Michael Jordan wasn’t in the news in a negative light… etc. etc. — pricing was easy to predict. People follow trends, and price seems to take care of itself.

Remember our most recent index we created with predictive modeling? It’s linked on our START HERE page, pinned at the top of March.com

This is an interactive chart – you can move it. Give it a try.
You can see from this, predictability isn’t tough, when all else stays equal. You can also see, no doubt about it, sports memorabilia and collectibles are on an upward trajectory.

We’d love to hear from you.

Are these prices insane?
Or is supply and demand finally making sense when you consider there are millions of fans of Michael Jordan, millions of investors looking for a safe haven for their cash, and only 317 of these ‘Perfect 10’ cards to go around.

Do you see the trend continuing?
Did you see it coming?

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