I had my draft for my fantasy baseball league I’m in last week.
I’ve been in the league with these particular guys now for over ten years. It’s not a money league, but we’re real competitive nonetheless (we’ve been playing against each other for over a decade now).
I gotta say I’m stoked! Real baseball starts soon (go Mets!!) and I love following baseball alongside my fantasy league.
As I was going through all of my work for the draft I realized that fantasy baseball is a lot like personal finance. We could probably learn a thing or two about personal finance from fantasy baseball.
Without further ado, here are five ways fantasy baseball is like personal finance:
1. Putting in the Research
No successful fantasy baseball can survive without good research.
There are 30 baseball teams and each has a 40 man roster. In my league, we draft 23 players. You have to go through a lot of information ranking players, doing research on who will be playing and who will be good. There’s injuries, position battles, prospects…if you don’t keep up and do your research you won’t rise to the top!
***Personal Finance*** – With PF research is also integral to success.
You need to know where your money is going and keep up with funds and companies you may be invested in. What is your credit score? What is the interest rate? Are there expense fees?
These are just a few questions we try to answer when doing research for our personal finances.
2. There are Tons of Experts Out There
There are so many sites out there that have “experts” telling you who to draft and who will be the next big thing. Who do you listen to?
Brandon Funston? Mathew Berry? Pete Becker? Brendan Roberts?
Truth is none of them can tell you for sure what will happen in the baseball season.
They work with the same statistics and basically give you their opinion on what will happen and what would be the best players to pick. A player can get injured or be great and then flop. Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason behind a player’s performance.
Best thing to do?
Find a few of these experts who tend to have the same ideas as you. Listen to them but follow your gut with their advice and come up with an approach that’s best for you.
***Personal Finance*** – Please, who can count the number of experts in the personal finance realm?
Do I listen to Jean Chatzky? Dave Ramsey
Again, they all work with known information but each has their own spin on things.
Find the people whose approach you can relate to and use that to create your own approach to personal finance. And remember, just because you see someone on TV it doesn’t mean they are an expert and really know more than you.
3. Look for Value
There are those in baseball that everyone knows are great. Jacob DeGromm will miss bats. Mike Trout will make pitchers regret their pitches.
But the way to get ahead in fantasy baseball is to find the real values, guys who aren’t superstars yet but whose stats show they might be. Or those players who were great but got injured so people don’t value them as much.
I drafted Preston Wilson his first year in Colorado somewhere in round ten in my league years ago. He ended up being first round value and helped me to first place (something like 150 RBI’s). It’s about finding those fundamentally sound players who are about to take their game to the next level.
***Personal Finance*** – Value is important in personal finance as well. In stocks, you may be interested in those companies that have been consistently growing and they are about to take that next leap. In being frugal, it’s about getting the most value you can for your dollar.
You don’t want to pay for hype. It’s about finding value.
4. It’s Easier When You’re Around Like Minded People
I mention fantasy baseball to some people and they look at me like I have three heads. Or they just roll their eyes like my wife (luv you hon).
But when I get around other people who are as psyched about fantasy as I am…we can have a long in-depth discussion on why certain players are bound to do well or why we hate certain players because they cost us a championship. Friends who play fantasy baseball keep me excited about it. I try to share any new research or info I have with them and they do the same in return.
***Personal Finance*** – It can be tough keeping a reign on your personal finances when your friends, family, and neighbors are the “Joneses.”
Who can keep up with the new cars, big houses, and name-brand items?
When your friends have the same ideas about PF as you do it’s easier to keep things in check. You have people you can talk to and discuss issues and ideas with. In the blogging world, we have places like PT Money, Cash Money Life, Moolanomy, Good Financial Cents, WiseBread, and so many others where we can go to share ideas about personal finance.
5. There’s No One Approach to Winning
Do I draft for speed? Do I draft more hitting? Pitching? Do I go with steady, consistent players or try to draft the hot prospects? Do I draft Mike Trout or Kershaw first?
Just as there are many experts there are many ways to win a league. In fact, you may start off with one strategy and end up following another. Your strategy may change based on the other people in your league. If everyone values hitting more then maybe it’s worth it to value pitchers higher.
***Personal Finance*** – Stocks, bonds, savings, earning more, mutual funds, ETF’s, real estate, 401(k)‘s, IRA (traditional and Roth)…
There’s no one way to get ahead.
Your approach may combine all of these or maybe only include a few. Everyone’s idea of personal finance is a little different. There’s so many ways and ideas and you have to find what works best for you. Odds are the strategy you have now will change over time.
I could keep going, but I need to go research some guys in AAA that have a shot at getting called up this year…
But you can easily see how fantasy baseball and personal finance are very similar!
Can you think of any more?
–The Only Way To Win Is By Playing The Game–
You’ll never win a fantasy baseball championship if you never sign up, enter a league, and keep your roster updated. In same regard you will never begin to win with your finances unless you get actively engaged in making wise choices with your money, make investments, and keep your portfolio updated.
I’m in a long-term, keeper league for fantasy football. All for fun, but we have mythical salary cap and everything. You’re essentially like a general manager. Some players are like overhyped investments, others can be true value investments. One thing that I’ve learned is that unless you have a few stars, you are very unlikely to win big. In that way, much like with personal finance, unless one has high income or high rate of return on investments, it’s going to be tougher to reach great heights.
Of course, I’m not playing for a championship in terms of personal finances, as I’m not competing in that arena 🙂
One winner, in either fantasy sports or investing, can carry everything else!
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Great post, love the analogies. I don’t like baseball enough to really follow it, in a given summer I may get to 2-3 games at either Wrigley, Cellular Field (the Sox), or Miller Park in Milwaukee which is my favorite venue of the three. I have done fantasy football in the past and its easy to get caught up in it.
Man, I think you get to more games than I do! It is real easy to get all caught up in it. During the season I find myself checking my team before anything else to start the day.
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On a financial note, we shouldn’t try to keep up with the joneses, because all of those material goods make us go into debt. According to finances in respect to baseball, most of the time you can pull a moneyball, and turn out well off by just following the statistics.
I loved the post. Great analogies.
I can really relate to the last two points.
Thanks for the great reminders.
Nice analogy! Like Tai&Tarins’s comment, I personally think that one should start seeing the world differently – and slowly get rid of old habits. I look forward to what is coming in the future! I’ll leave this quote here as well. “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old” ? Peter F. Drucker.
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