Klein’s Korner: The Many Levels Of Investing In The Hobby – I saw this tweet flash by yesterday and sorry, it was not the traditional tweet about is it too early for flapjacks. Instead it was from Adam Schefter of ESPN with this goodie: “During the Giants’ 32-31 win at Tampa Bay, Daniel Jones became the first NFL rookie QB with at least 300 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in a single game since 1970.” Well, how about that, in his very first game as a starter he not only became the 1st NFL rookie QB since the merger to have that feat but also he led his team to an amazing comeback. Pretty good, and if you picked up his cards last week when he became the starting quarterback I would think you are feeling pretty good about your purchase about now. Some people might say this is peak of his market and let’s sell right now. Others may say “I’ll wait” and others may even say now that he is established as the New York Giants starting quarterback, “I’ll buy his cards as a fan.”
Thinking about this brought me to realize that even, and I use this term loosely, investing in players in this hobby has many levels. Yes there were some people who purchased Mason Rudolph and Daniel Jones last week when they became starting quarterbacks either for what they hoped would be a quick flip or because they are fans who wanted to get cards of these people before the prices got too high. Yes, they might not have wanted the cards on Monday but they sure wanted those cards the rest of the week. Now with that great game from Mr. Jones, you went 50 percent if you went after both players and cashing in just might let you take a chance on sitting on those Rudolph cards until he has a great game or two. There is nothing wrong with this type of purchasing and for some people it might actually bring them closer to the game to have tangible items of those players. That is the “quick flip“ investing. I know on the blowout forums many people were complaining that they were trying to purchase Luke Falk cards and got shut out on those. Why were they looking for him? Well, they all thought they could flip the cards on COMC for a quick profit. What is wrong with that? That’s called capitalism. I don’t know anyone, well maybe one exception, who begrudges people a chance to make a profit.
There is at least one iconoclast whose motto is “If you didn’t want it yesterday, why do you want it today.” Hard as it to explain, players do well (or not so well) on the field and you might want their cards now where you did not want them earlier. People here in DFW were writing off Willie Calhoun after last year but he now has 20 homers in slightly less than 80 games. If he were going to the post-season he’d be a buy and the reason is… He flopped last season and came back strong this season. So yes, one’s interest in players can evolve on a dime and if you really believe that stuff about yesterday and today you are doing your customers a disservice.
The second type of investment is ‘buying on the come” so to speak. As we enter baseball post-season one may be chasing cards of young players such as Alex Bregman who still has an MVP shot and also might break out even more in the playoffs. Gleyber Torres and Cody Bellinger are other examples. Any of these players are still very young and if they explode on the national stage with a wider audience there is a chance for a steady price rise not only during the post-season but all the way through the off-season. Just think of Christian Yelich last year. He never stopped going up in price until his recent injury and all accounts say his rehab is progressing very well. This is a second type of investment.
Klein’s Korner: The Many Levels Of Investing In The Hobby
There a third type of investment, which is playing the long game. Players who should make the Hall of Fame either during their voting time or pretty soon after they hit the veterans committee include Fred McGriff and Scott Rolen. Unlike Derek Jeter who is already priced as a HOFer, these people have room to move up in pricing and will get an extra bump when they are enshrined. 1993 Bowman Andy Pettitte reminds me of this type of player/card as well. If you are willing to do a little studying and wait a few years the rewards can be huge and frankly there is little downside since they will be always be priced as a star on a retail level.
Finally the fourth type of investment is your own collection. If you believe in your collection then in many cases this is your best investment. That can be sold as a unit when the time comes. If you collect Oakland A’s, Minnesota Twins or Kansas City Royals cards as your team than the collection might be great to move as one lot when the time comes to sell. Building a collection gives you hours of fun and lets you do some living vibrant work.
One of our jobs as a retailer is to stay away from those Debbie Downers and work on selling our customers what they want for their collections or for their investments either short or long-term. We want to try to sell our collectors what is good for their interests. As long as we follow these type of guidelines we can make almost everyone happy in this world. I’ll repeat, if you don’t want to get involved in what you want yesterday and today, there is always the vintage part of the card world where everyone’s career is completed and you know what you want and other than filling holes on your checklist nothing much changes in terms of pricing. Or you can enjoy the peaceful world of postcard shows.
On the other hand, look at the people and their approximate age at a recent NSCC show.
For more from Rich Klein, follow him on Twitter @sabrgeek.
Klein’s Korner: The Many Levels Of Investing In The Hobby
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