Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Not for investment purposes

We started taking about the stock market in my business class today.

I still can't believe people buy and sell stocks for a living. How do they get any sleep at night, knowing that one major slip-up could potentially ruin them?

Anyways, as we started to delve further into the topic in class, I began to think about the "investment" side of baseball cards.

I can't believe that there are still "investors" out there when it comes to baseball cards (or any sports cards, for that matter). Everyone should know by now that baseball cards are probably among the worst investments you can make right now.

I've always been against collecting for investment purposes. If you've got the money to do it, then go right ahead, but don't be surprised when you come back empty-handed.

I'm happy to say that 99.9 percent of the people in this hobby are great. But the few jerks I've come across at card shows or wherever are the people who are in this hobby solely for the money. They're also probably the middle-aged guys you might see searching packs at your local Target or Wal-Mart.

"Flipping" a card every once in a while is fine by me, though. When I was collecting hockey cards, I managed to pull two Upper Deck Sidney Crosby rookie cards. At the time, they were worth two-hundred and fifty dollars a piece. I sold one for a decent chunk of change, and I eventually wound up trading the other one for some baseball cards.

But I must admit, I am guilty of having bought a card for investment purposes. Just once. At the flea market a few years ago, I picked up the Rich Hill rookie card you see at the top of the post for two bucks.

I'd heard that Hill had decent stuff and might be a good pitcher. At the time, I thought I got a steal on it. Surely this card would net me a decent return when Hill becomes the ace in the Cubs' rotation.

Shows what I know.

Hill didn't do much in his time in Chicago. He's had short stints with the Orioles and the Red Sox since.

The Hill debacle showed me that baseball cards are always a whole lot better if you're just in the hobby for fun. Don't take it too seriously, and don't expect to make any money.

I still have Hill's rookie card in my collection. It's a great reminder of the reason I got into collecting cards in the first place, and why I'm still doing it today.

For fun.


hiflew said...

The one thing about investing in baseball cards that most people fail to remember. The reason vintage cards are worth so much is because almost no one collected them. They played with them and then threw them out. It's the same with comic books, once most people stopped throwing the majority away the value dropped. It's basic supply and demand economics.

moremonkeys138 said...

^^^Exactly what he said. If there were a million 1952 Mantles, they'd be in dime boxes right now. Scarcity has pretty much everything to do with older stuff being worth what it is. No one saved the stuff, it was seen as a throwaway when you got the gum. Some kids saved them due to probably being baseball fans but even my father recalls putting them in his bike spokes and such like every other kid of the time.

Nick said...

Very true. From what I've read, no one thought cards would be worth anything in the future. Picking up a baseball card off the ground then was kind of like picking a bottle cap up off the ground today.

Josh D. said...

Good investors properly diversify so that one slip up does not ruin them. :-)

Nick said...

I know, I guess I meant to say that they could lose thousands of dollars in mere seconds, although that wouldn't ruin them altogether. We learned about diversification yesterday too. :)