Have you SEEN the market this year? Holy cow. Practically all markets have been plummeting this year. The S&P. The NASDAQ. The Shanghai Composite. European futures. Oil. Gold (it’s up in 2016 but sharply down in recent years). Real estate even has the bubble warning sounding. Guess what investment vehicle is up this year, last year, and every year since 1978. Go on, guess! You’ll never guess. Ready? Star Wars figures. Ok. Stop laughing. Stay with me. You may think collecting action figures is child’s play. Think again. Original Star Wars figures sold for $1.49 in 1978 and, in mint packaging, are valued today in the neighborhood of $2,000. That’s a 134,200% gain! Take that, Buffet. Now, don’t worry, there’s still plenty of money to be made if you missed the last 40 years of Star Wars collecting. My parents threw my original figures away, so I started all over in 2006. At that time, I paid prices that I thought were astronomic… from $75 to $300 for the best condition figures I could find. I was 30 years late to the game, but I’ve still made 1,000-2,000% on everything I’ve bought. Even the figures from Episode I, a movie that is often scorned by true Star Wars fans, have appreciated 500-1,000% since their release in 1999. That’s an average of 46.87% per year! Better than any professionally managed fund you have. Warp ahead to the present. With the recent release of Episode VII came a barrage of new figures. I decided not to buy any. Two rooms of my house and 1/3 of my garage are full of Star Wars figures already. I also questioned whether the new figures would have any investment value. Well, I shouldn’t have doubted The Force. The figures that sold out are already selling for double on eBay. After almost 40 years of figure releases, the brand new ones have appreciated by 100% in just 4 months. Amazing. I don’t expect that many (any) of you will convert any part of your investment portfolio to Star Wars figures but, quite seriously, maybe you should. They’re a more dependable investment vehicle than stocks or commodities and they’re a lot more fun to look at. *In the interest of full disclosure, I own a hell of a lot of Star Wars figures.