How Much Should You Invest Annually In Sports Card

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sports card investing

How Much Should You Invest Annually In Sports Card?

It’s no secret that sports cards investing can be incredibly lucrative. 

It allows you to diversify your investments and might even result in life-changing profits if you pick the right cards.

But, nothing in life comes without risk. 

So it’s important to consider how much you should ideally invest in sports cards.


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Shohei Ohtani - Trae Young - Luka Doncic - Justin Herbert - Mike Trout - Zion Williamson - Michael Jordan - Alex Ovechkin - Tom Brady - Ja Morant


Since we get this question a lot from our dedicated readers… 

Let’s take a look at the main factors you need to keep in mind when you’re setting an investment budget.

Factors To Consider

  • Annual Salary
  • Age
  • Risk Appetite
  • Time Horizon
  • Relationship Status

Your Annual Salary

How much money you make a year is the most important factor in determining how much money you can toss at your favorite Mike Trout rookie card.

Someone who makes a million dollars a year can spend a whole heck of a lot more money than someone who makes $50,000.

As a rule of thumb, though, we generally suggest you stick to investing 10% of your income into sports cards. 

This will give you enough money to play around, but it’s not big enough to be considered unnecessarily risky. 

So, for example:

  • If you earn $1,000,000: Invest $100,000
  • $500,000: $50,000
  • $250,000: $25,000
  • $100,000: $10,000
  • $50,000: $5,000

All you need to do is multiply your annual income by 0.10. 

That’s your sweet spot.

Your Age

Young investors have a lot more time to recover from bad investments. And can afford to mess up because chances are they’ll still recover.

If you’re 22 and your cards suddenly lose a ton of value, you can simply ride it out and wait until the market recovers.

Or if you made a bad decision and sell at a $20,000 loss, you’ve got whole decades in front of you to make it up.

But if you’re nearing 60, you can’t afford near as much as your younger counterpart.

The general rule of thumb is to invest more when you’re young and then dial it back slowly as you age.

Risk Appetite

This is a factor that only you can determine. 

Risk appetite talks about how much risk you’re willing to take on to get your dream results.

For some, investing a ton of money in a risky card can lead to a lot of stress and sleepless nights.

Others have more tolerance and are happy to take huge risks in hopes of a huge profit.

This depends on you personally – and I’d suggest taking some time to think about how much risk you want to take on. 

The more your risk appetite, the more you’re free to invest in sports cards.

Time Horizon

Do you have debts you’re trying to pay off, or do you foresee a major expenditure in the near future?

Then it might not be the best idea to invest a large chunk into sports cards.

Another factor you should consider is the time you have before turning your investment into cash.

If you urgently need to sell your sports cards, you might have to do this at a loss. 

The longer you have before you need cash right away, the more chances you have of getting the highest possible price for your cards.

And trust me, it’s always worth the wait.

Relationship Status

The single man has the freedom to spend much more of his/her annual salary on a high-end rookie card than the married man/woman with 3 kids, a dog, and a cat.

If you are a “family man” knock anywhere between 2% to 3% off your investment amount you can spend.

If you are a single man/woman feel free to add 2% to 3% (woot woot!)

On the other hand, if you’re married to someone who enjoys sports card investing just as much as you do… 

You’re a lucky man and can definitely increase your combined investments in sports cards!

Bottom Line

Just like any other investment, investing in sports cards has risks and you should not go blindly into buying PSA 10 cards.

The younger single individual can take a lot more risk and invest a lot more of their annual income vs a 48-year-old who has a wife, 3 kids, and a dog.

However, after reading this article you should have a good idea of how much money you can invest in high-end sports cards like Mike Trout rookie cards or Derek Jeter rookie cards.

Now that you’ve got a clear idea of how much money you’re about to stick into sports cards… 

Your next question is… 

What cards should buy?

Remember 99% of cards are not worth your time.

You should usually look for high end graded cards by PSA or BGS (although sometimes we break that rule with Bowman Chrome cards).

Luckily, we spend a huge chunk of our time studying the cards that have the most potential so you can have an easier time investing.

I’m going to point you to three of the best investment options that should only increase dramatically over time.

We feel these cards will beat the stock market and will make a great addition to your high-end sports card investing portfolio.

  1. Derek Jeter SP 1993 Rookie Card (BGS or PSA)
  2. Ty Cobb T206 Cards (Green, Red, Polar Bear, etc.)
  3. Mike Trout 2009 Bowman Chrome (Auto, Refractor, Xfractor)

You can also check out “Best Sports Cards To Buy Right Now (Best Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey Cards to Buy)” for a more extensive list of cards we are adding to our portfolio.

We also regularly write cool reports on baseball, basketball and football cards – so keep an eye out on this space!

If you have any questions, or just want to chat with a fellow investor, feel free to email us at info@goldcardauctions.com.

Sports Card Investor - Trusted, sports card investor who is dedicated to helping his loyal readers maximize sports card portfolio profits.

12 COMMENTS

  1. love love this write up… what if you also invest in stocks? would you do 5% cards 5% stocks… I have followed your advice and have a 35% ROI currently… thank you sir!

    • yes! if your investing in stocks be sure to max out your employer 401k and then invest the rest in sports cards. so if your investing in stocks a 7% stocks 3% sports cards would be ideal… in fact, everyone should be invested in stocks… we prefer ETFs

      • The 401k is tied to the stock markets. Regardless of risk level investment holdings the markets are crashing year over year quicker than ever.
        Fact: My 401k should be over $500k since 1999. The fact is the handful of major banking institutions are capable of controlling & manipulating the greater markets movements.
        This is not guessing or presumptuous on my part! Instead, we are looking @ under $200k.

        401k’s are not by far what they use to be! I would strongly consider pulling funds out @ a certain $ amount & yes I’m quite aware of the taxes & penalty rates. But 60% of good money in hand is better than surviving thru 60%-70% losses coupled w/15%-20% corrections on a more frequent basis. Silver/Gold @ reasonable prices (bars/ounces 1-10-100), gives u easy no penalty options to sell & increase your holdings.

        I decided to post this reply simply because the world of safer investments w/companies assisting regarding 401k money has changed considerably with big money financial institutions & the stock markets, not everyone should be invested in stocks. Today independent money managers make over 90% of there money off investment guiding yet, u can lose money because of the need/greed of mankind & money. Its your money don’t except anyone in the care of your investments w/out u doing your homework & measure your risk & what u have in hand in still worth more than 2 in the bush.
        Be blessed.

  2. Omg I was reading this article and I saw 48 wife 3 kids and a dog lol That’s me but 46. Great article. I feel you should invest in what you feel comfortable with. Take some risk but stick to HOF’ers and no doubt Hof’ers. Scope out deals and of course try to buy as low as you can and sell high. I do this for the hobby and sake of collecting with the mindset to try to make money as well. I got back into this in 2014-2015. I bought a Michael Jordan rookie 8.5 for 2000 in 2015 and the return on this today beats my 457b return in 5 years by a landslide. Picking the right card is the TRUTH. Flash back to the year 2000 knowing what we know now forget it. Stock up on a bunch of psa 10 and 9 2000 contenders auto Brady’s and your good. Seriously though you cant go wrong with Jordan/Jeter/Trout/Lebron/Mantle/ Tom Brady/ Mahomes plus so many more. Just don’t forget the upside on the soon to be hall of famers as well. Final note, this boom was mainly caused by Covid 19 and so many of us sitting around bored. When things kick back to normal be wary that most card wont be flying off ebay and may not be easy to sell as they are now, but the desired cards will be ok.. Just my opinion (hoping I’m wrong).

    • Hey Jesse… “Picking the right card is the TRUTH”… exactly… you can’t go around buying a bunch of prospects and think you’re going to have a good ROI… buy mostly GOATS sprinkled in with some 2nd-year studs and a FEW risky prospects/phenoms (i.e. Jasson Dominguez).

  3. I agree with you for sure. I visit your site religiously every day because I learn a lot from you guys. You have helped me for sure. The one thing I can say is reading all the articles helps you make better decisions while avoiding the impulse buys because a rookie had a good night on the field lol
    I am a die hard Yankees fan so its surprising to me that I don’t own one of his cards yet. I was waiting for the hype to fizzle down a bit. It seems that the prices have somewhat dropped but if he doesn’t make an appearance for a while I feel people will get impatient and dump and that’s when you can take advantage. Selling a card for 120K on a kid that hasn’t even played 1 game in the MLB yet is insanely stupid. HE could be the next Trout OR he can be the next Stanton or Sanchez with tons of talent up front and even proven years and results then fizzles out. You can buy a Stanton rookie PSA 10 Bowman Chrome for 576 from
    The Springer Mountain Sports Cards was founded by two hiking buddies (lol) right now on ebay. ( which may not be a bad play lol). I guess its obvious I was watching that card but Stanton scares me with being injury prone and shorten Covid seasons he may not reach the magic Homerun number and no HOF lol ok my rant is done

    • “impulse buys because a rookie had a good night on the field lol” haha! that made me laugh out loud cuz of the number of time I have been there (especially after a few adult beverages haha)

  4. Glad you got a chuckle out of that. Anyway I would love a good review on Wade Boggs and why you can still get his rookie cards psa 10’s so cheap. I think he’s a good buy- sleeper cell.

  5. Boggs Led all of baseball in times safely on base for seven straight seasons from 1983 to 1989. He was tied for 171st in strikeouts during that same span. During his Red Sox career from 1982 to 1992, he ranked first in times safely on base with 3,124 — 381 more than future Hall of Famer Tim Raines, who was second — first in hits with 2,098, and 158th in strikeouts with 470. He ranked first in times on base (2,971), hits (1,980), doubles (408), walks (969), intentional walks (146), and 155th in strikeouts (449) during the ten year-span from 1983 to 1992.
    Wade Boggs batted .369 during his career at Boston’s Fenway Park, the highest batting average in the park’s storied history and eight points higher than second place Ted Williams. Boggs, a notorious singles hitter, had a career OPS of .991 at Fenway Park, roughtly the same as Boston’s most prolific power hitter since Ted Williams, David Ortiz.

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