Shamus, founder of the comic book industry magazine Wizard, has been well-served by the advice heeded by many collectors-turned-investors: Buy what you like and do your homework.
In Shamus' case, he so desperately wanted a Spider-Man cover drawn by artist Todd McFarlane featuring Marvel Entertainment's
"I bought it because I enjoyed it, I was a McFarlane art collector and I was a Spider-Man fan," he says. "I couldn't go wrong with it."
Whether it's a 2005 Bordeaux, a Damien Hirst painting or an Incredible Hulk No. 181 featuring the first appearance by Wolverine, some collectibles make Wall Street's blue chips look like a house of cards. However, the markets for wine, art and comic books can prove just as volatile as the Dow Industrials, with consequences just as severe.Lisa Ryan has owned cases of Dom Perignon that she says could have put her kids through grad school. The third-generation owner of
BLM Wine & Spirits in Boston has seen the value of a 1975 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac rise from double digits to $825 a bottle and a 2000 Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes mature to $650, only to see new vintages fall to earth this year thanks to the economic crisis and fluctuations in the euro.