Surprise! Your Aunt Agatha bought the farm and you inherited it. Or you just won the lottery—although I’m sure that you, with your scientific knowledge of probability, never actually buy a lottery ticket; perhaps it was a Christmas gift from your mom? In any eventuality, suddenly you have a lot more money than you know what to do with (although you considered buying that complete limited first edition set of Asimov, but realized that you couldn’t afford that and another house to hold it all). What’s a nerd to do with all that money? I mean, after the trip to Disneyworld and the Harry Potter experience? The correct answer is to invest it!

But you haven’t a clue as to what you should invest in. I’m here to help. I’ve scoured the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Index, the Morningstar Report, and the combined wisdom of at least two cats to come up with the stocks and mutual funds that any self-respecting science fiction and fantasy fan would be proud to own.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not a financial advisor or even someone who understands economics, so anyone who actually follows this information to make investing decisions has only themselves to blame.

The Core

Any good portfolio must be solidly grounded with basic, dependable, mom and apple pie kinds of stocks. They’re a good hedge against you losing your entire stake in the market, at least before you’ve had a chance to put it to use against the local bloodsucking lenders. What you want are stocks or funds that keep their value, year after year, and—if possible—also pay you a little dividend or two.

For the science fiction fan, that means you need to look at the space merchants: businesses that get paid by NASA to actually build the things that help us escape this lonely little planet. Other options might also include businesses that support your fandom.

Boeing (Stock Symbol: BA)

Boeing is an American multinational that makes rockets (in addition to airplanes, telecommunications, weapons, etc.). We all like rockets, right? And you hard SF fans will like the fact they often put weapons on rockets, so double win! Boeing has been around since 1916, is part of the Fortune 500, and generally is just too big to fail. Even a few airplane crashes hardly put a dent in Boeing’s stock. Rating: A (for aerospace)

United Technologies (Stock Symbol: UTX)

Even better than the visible Boeing, United Technologies supplies Boeing and other aerospace companies the parts they need to build those rockets. It started 85 years ago as United Aircraft Corporation, but changed its name to reflect the larger business in 1975. This year, it announced its intent to merge with Raytheon, another major aerospace supplier. Get in before the merger happens. Rating B (for boredom).

Marriott International (Stock Symbol: MAR)

Why a multinational hospitality company? Because that’s where our conventions are held. If it wasn’t for the Marriotts of the world, we wouldn’t have con suites and hall parties, over air-conditioned meeting rooms and the world’s most expensive pizzas. A fairly stable stock, with potential for growth, even in the time of AirBnB, because meeting space is a necessity to have a truly decent masquerade or filk session. Rating: C (for conventional)

SES (Stock Symbol: SESG)

Before YouTube, there was this thing called television, which is like YouTube, but more limited. SES covers 99.99% of the globe with satellites that can stream 7,400 television channels to them, and there’s still nothing good to watch. It lost nearly 40% of its valuation in 2018, but I wouldn’t discount them: television, in some form or another, is unlikely to be replaced soon—especially if Google keeps monetizing YouTube with those Grammerly ads. Rating: D (for download)

The Good

You’re an enlightened SFF reader, and you want to invest in companies that do the right thing in the world while also providing some nerd nirvana. Finding those companies, however, is harder than getting a seat up front for the Hugo awards. Here’s some options for investing that you can feel good about:

Tesla (Stock Symbol: TSLA)

You can’t invest in SpaceX, as it’s a private company, so you’ll have to settle for the next best thing: Elon Musk’s homage to the Jetsons. Starting a new car company, especially one centered around new technology, and actually being successful at it is straight from the pages of science fiction, if not fantasy, but Musk seems to have accomplished the impossible. The stock may be overvalued, so don’t go too far in your investment, but for the sheer joy of invention and funding like-minded people, choosing Tesla seems like a natural fit for a fan. Rating: A (for achievement)

Parnassus Investments (

Mount Parnassus, according to Greek mythology, was sacred to Apollo and the home of the muses. The investment company bearing that name focuses on building funds that select high quality companies that focus on sustainability and address environmental, social, and governance issues. The fund names could use some better branding (hey, when you go with mythology for your overall brand, learn how to leverage it for your funds—who wouldn’t be interested in putting some cash in the Apollo Renewable Energy Index or the Athena Data Mining Fund?), but Parnassus excels at being a market contrarian. Although their funds don’t perform as strongly when the market is going gangbusters, when the tide turns and the bears start making everyone exit stage left, Parnassus funds overperform. A good choice for balance. Rating: A+ (for divine grace)

Netflix (Stock Symbol: NFLX)

The home for many of your favorite SF shows, including Stranger Things, Netflix revolutionized how we watch video, first by sending out physical DVDs, then pioneering the streaming game. Yes, there are others now, but Netflix was the first, and rather than trying to force consumers into its original mold or model (can we talk about Blackberry? No, I’d rather not), it changed with the times. While it may have issues, as long as it continues to innovate, including creating great original shows, Netflix deserves a little bit of love.  Rating: B (for beating broadcast)

The Bad

You might hate yourself in the morning, but some stocks or funds you have to choose simply because they have a direct connection to the world you’d rather live in. You don’t really want to think about their management practices, or even what greater effect they’re having in the world, but you put your money down because they feed your habit, whatever that may be.

Activision Blizzard (Stock Symbol: ATVI)

A video game holding company that produces some of the world’s most played games, including World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, Hearthstone, Destiny, Candy Crush Saga (yes, they acquired King), Overwatch, and many many more. Recently, they’ve come under fire for kowtowing to the Chinese government who wasn’t happy that one of their star players agreed with the Hong Kong protests, but the massive conglomerate had already shown signs that the only leveling up that really mattered was their profits. Still, they make great games, and you want to invest in the stuff you love, right? Right?  Rating: B- (for questionable choices)

Amazon (Stock Symbol: AMZN)

Kind of like cats, you can’t live with Amazon nor can you live without them. The elephant in the room, the 300-pound gorilla, the Monster That Ate Poughkeepsie—call it what you will, but Amazon will not be going away any time soon, so you might as well buy a little part of it so that when it does consume the entire world, you can own a little 4×5 cubicle somewhere. Even stranger, as a science fiction fan, you also wonder if Jeff Bezos might actually be the embodiment of Delos D. Harriman, at least if Elon Musk doesn’t claim the title before him. A recent Atlantic Monthly article posits that Bezos has become the richest man in the world for one reason alone: to fund space colonization. Would we forgive him his book selling sins if he proved to be successful?  Rating: C (for not paying many dividends and just hoarding its wealth)

The Weird

BorgWarner (Stock Symbol: BWA)

With a name like that, you wouldn’t be embarrassed to mistakenly think that Warner had finally merged with Viacom and Fox and Disney and all entertainment companies had been assimilated into one. Come to think of it, that may be a likely scenario for the next decade or two. But, no, BorgWarner is actually a supplier for automotive parts, particularly powertrains. Perhaps it’s building the next Transformer, instead? Rating: C (for cars)

Thor Industries (Stock Symbol: THO)

A merger of the Norse god with Tony Stark? Impossible. Instead, Thor makes recreational vehicles, branding them as Airstream, Heartland, Jayco, and others. Yes, I’m disappointed, too. It really should be a company that specializes in weather forecasting or at least hair extensions. Rating: D (for disappointed)

There’s so much more out there for the fan to discover. Fantasy fans might be interested in Diageo, not simply for its name that conjures up something devilish, but as a purveyor of some of the finest spirits in the land. Horror fans might consider Stihl, as a quality maker of chainsaws, or lobby Jordan Peele to go public with his private company, Monkeypaw Productions.

Of course, all of this is speculative. Few of us have the extra cash to play in the market, so we have to be happy with investing a few dollars in a new book—either by our favorite authors or someone new. The nice thing about that, however, is that the returns can be outstanding.