Three Things I Have Learned From Losing At Fantasy Baseball

by Hank Coleman

It is sad week in my household. It is the end of another baseball season, and it is especially heartbreaking because it is another losing season in my fantasy baseball league and like my beloved Atlanta Braves, I have gone down in flames at the end of the season. It is the end to the Personal Finance Blogger’s Fantasy Baseball League. This is the second year that twelve of us, personal finance bloggers, have played in a league together. And, of course, this is my second year of going down in flames.

The Final League Standings and (Recent Article)

Three Things I’ve Learned From Fantasy Baseball

You Must Invest In The Best Of Breeds

This year, I had some very good players. Of course, they got hurt throughout the season and sat out most of the year. I mean, who jumps on top of home plate after a walk off homerun and breaks their ankle? You just cannot make up that storyline. You can never go wrong investing in the best of breed as Jim Cramer calls the best stock in an industry. For example, if I am buying a soda bottle company or manufacturer, I am personally buying stock in Coca-Cola.

Good Research Pays You Dividends

One of the biggest differences between my fantasy baseball team this year and last year, even though it might not look like it in the standings, is the amount of research that went into selecting the players during my draft. I had a great draft because I took the time to ensure that I was picking the best players. Of course, the same thing can be said about investing. You will be more successful when you put more research you into finding the best stocks or mutual funds to invest in.

Investors and Fantasy Baseball Players Get Better Each Time

Like all things, we get better each time we do it. I think that I had a much better draft this year. I was more prepared. I learned from my mistakes last year. The same is true in everything we do, and the same is true with investing. You should be constantly learning from your mistakes. Or, better yet, you should learn from other people’s mistakes. That’s one great reason that I love to read blogs.

Like the Atlanta Braves, I did great in the middle of the season but then started fading fast. Like investing for retirement, baseball is a long term season. But, also like a bad season and a bad year in the stock markets, there is always another one right around the corner. I am already looking forward to next April.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Craig October 6, 2010 at 8:27 am

I’m sad the season is ending too! Thanks for the mention and for playing.

One thing I’ve discovered in fantasy baseball is sometimes it’s luck that gets you ahead or behind no matter what you do. Research can help the blow.

Rob Bennett October 6, 2010 at 8:40 am

I don’t agree about the “Best of Breed” thing. You often overpay for Best of Breed, both with stocks and with baseball players. I say use the research to form an independent assessment as to who is truly best and won by virtue of the edge you gain by knowing more than “the market.”

I do agree that you learn the more you play. That’s one of the tricky things with investing. You cannot learn it entirely through books! So you must be willing to get in there and make mistake and learn from them. It’s a hard way to learn. But it is the only way when it comes to investing. There’s too much emotion involved to learn solely from reading words in a book.

What I learned from playing fantasy baseball as a boy is that steals and sacrifice bunts are overrated. It’s a game of outs. It’s rarely a good idea to take a chance of getting an extra out. It’s usually better to up your odds of enjoying a home run (by not giving away any outs). The investing parallel is that you MUST avoid big losses. Invest too heavily in stocks when they are overpriced and it can take you decades just to get back to even. That’s giving up too many outs.

Rob

Hank Coleman October 6, 2010 at 9:27 am

Rob,

You make some interesting points. I can see what you mean. You mentioned avoiding big losses in investing. I actually think that the opposite is true when you are young. A young investor has the long time horizon to catch up from a mistake or two if he or she swings from the fences early. I don’t mind bunting, but I want to do it when I’m old and grey. When I’m young, I’m swinging for the fences for home runs with stocks.

Tim Manni October 6, 2010 at 9:40 am

Hank,

Don’t be too down on your Bravos, they made it to the playoffs. You gotta think they’re giving it all they got for Bobby. I guess my consolation will lose some cred, however, when I tell you that I’m a die-hard Phillies fan…

Despite being National League East rivals, I love the blog Hank, have for quite some time. Now let’s go Phils!

Thanks,
Tim

Ryan October 6, 2010 at 11:07 am

Great tips Hank! And there was no way anyone could have predicted Kendry Morales breaking his leg like that! I think you had a solid team, but made a few trades that looked good at the time, but ended up not so good in retrospect – definitely something investors can learn from. Of course, we can never predict the future, so you do what you can (research, diversification, etc.) and hope for the best. Good playing again, and hope to see you in the league again next year! :)

Jeremy October 6, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Good post! Even though I was one of the bottom feeders in the league this year the league was still a lot of fun. A lot like investing, no matter how much research you put into creating your team before the draft there is still an element of surprise you cannot plan for during the season.

However, I’m at a loss on what to do in the post season. As a diehard Reds fan I haven’t seen or been to a playoff game in 15 years. I was at the game when they clinched the division and have tickets for game 3 and hopefully game 4. It will be a good match-up between the two teams…more than what people expect.
Go Reds!
Jeremy

Tim Manni October 6, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Jeremy,

I was emailing with some friends this morning, Reds are a tough team! Getting out of the first round won’t be easy for either squad.

-Tim

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