If you're a new investor to Splinterlands it can be a little confusing. I think @mattclarke did a great article on how to invest $200 into Splinterlands that is a great place to start, but in this article, I want to cover the top 5 strategies.
Investing in Single Cards - Completion Collectors
If you're starting out with not much money, I think investing in single cards is a great place to start. It doesn't matter if it's Alpha or Untamed, Common or Legendary, or Plain or Gold cards everyone will need single cards for one reason or another.
The target audience is pretty much anyone who buys Splinterland cards. It could be a collector who is looking to get the last card for his Alpha Gold collection or a player that needs a single card to bring his card to that next level, there will always be a demand for singled uncombined cards.
Single cards will eventualy become more and rarer as people combine the single cards to level up the card and not everyone is going to want to buy a maxed or even a partially maxed card in the future.
The downside - Investing in single cards will more than likely mean dealing with a high volume of cards. That means tracking buy prices, tracking sell prices, and keeping track of inventory
The upside - I think single cards will carry a premium on a per-card basis as they will be "cheaper" then their maxed-out card counterpart. This market will also be pretty high volume so it should be easy to buy and sell inventory.
Maxed Out Cards - Renters and Competitors
This is taking the same approach, but in the opposite direction as above. It doesn't matter what cards you want to invest in, but you're now focusing on maxed-out cards at the highest level.
The target audience for this investment is those that are looking to be competitive or high-end collectors looking to collect only maxed out cards. Another customer not to forget is those who are looking to build their rental income.
I think the targets are going to be focusing mostly on the same cards, but a good way to tell which cards to buy is to go through the match history of some of the top players and see what cards they're using. You can also look at the look at what cards are continously being rented on the PeakMonsters.
The downside - with this you'll need to know your customer base. If you max out a legendary to rent that none of the top players are using then it's going to be harder to sell. These cards will probably sell for less on a per card basis as they'll cost more so you may have to wait longer until the price appreciates enough to sell.
The upside - if you can't find buyers you can always rent the cards yourself and when they do sell it will usually be for a larger per transaction profit-making it more manageable to track the card sales and making sure you keep some listed.
Sealed Product - Gamblers
The sealed product will always carry a small premium after the sales ends for those who are chasing those Legendary cards that are now selling for a few hundred dollars.
I know this video is kind of long, but think Rudy has more experience and does a better job at explaining why the value of sealed product, at least in Magic, has historically gone up more in value than most individual cards.
The disadvantage - You're stuck with sealed products that have no use as they are and may just sit for a couple of years and not go up or down in price.
The advantage - at this point you're only dealing with 3 packs Alpha, Beta, and Untamed which makes it easy to watch really only 2 (Alpha and Beta) markets to see if and when you want to sell. It gives you more of a diversified holding and you don't have to worry which individual cards will be good.
I will have to say Legendaries have treated me very well as I was able to invest in Lord Arianthus cards for under a dollar and just sold an individual card for $9. Considering how much the price of Steem has dropped this has been a very good investment from a Steem perspective.
However, some legendaries have performed ok with ok rises in price while others have remained relatively flat. At $2 - $5 a card when the packs aren't sold out yet they are a reasonable price and as long as you don't bet everything on one card and invest in a "portfolio" of legendaries it should be a good performing investment.
The disadvantages - if a legendary is weak it may never appreciate in value or do so very slowly. With a little research, you should be able to identify which cards or weak or which cards or strong, but the strong cards could always be nerfed in the future. If the price goes too high it limits your customer base.
The advantage - if you make the right call you could quickly sell for 2, 3, or even 10x the original buy price of the card as people realize how powerful and useful the card actually is or renters like the card because they're renting well.
Gold Cards - Premium Investors
I'm still on the fence on investing in Gold Cards. Now I know there are gold only tournaments, they require fewer cards to level, and they are rarer, but I think the market for these cards is much less.
Foil cards are beautiful to look at, on the other hand, gold cards are just gold. I'm sure those who are investing in gold cards really like the gold look, but I would much rather a foil card then a gold card. Now a gold foil card and we would be talking.
The disadvantages - definitely a niche market with smaller percent returns, smallest customer base, higher prices, with long sales times, and high risk
The advantage - pick the right card and you might not make the highest percentage returns, but you could take a $1000 card and sell it for $2000 and make a $1000 profit. Potentially lowest volume of all the categories, but effort required for each sale will also be lowest because you can just list it and forget.
What Markets am I In?
I'm slowly moving out of the "competitive" scene as I haven't made it much higher than diamond and moving my investment into rentals a sealed product. I'm slowly accumulating some sealed products on a weekly basis and will eventually move to accumulate some cards to max and put on the rental market.
In the comments below would love to hear your thoughts on what you're investment strategy is and if you agree or disagree with the thoughts above.