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For years, my dad has trained me in the literacy of the stock market by crafting “mock drafts” with newly released IPOs, using Monopoly money to understand what different companies do, and how they interact with each other in the market. It was a fun opportunity to learn while also spending time with my dad when he wasn’t busy. And in the back of my mind, even though I knew I was wasn’t making real money, even the fantasy of picking successfully excited me.
The mass hysteria that accompanies the fantasy football season seems eerily similar. I have d?j? vu in the fall watching friends constantly refresh for new stat-lines, fret about every point, and wallow in a temporary euphoria before the next week starts up.
While you might think obsessing over the performance of others might be foolish, and determining who to draft and how high isn’t useful, ]I can tell you that you aren’t looking hard enough.
Although fantasy and finance may appear to be polar opposites, they mirror each other more than one would think. ESPN is Mad Money, Matthew Berry is Jim Cramer, and the data analytic skills that go into selection methodology are almost one and the same.
For starters, the site your league is based in has major indications on how your season plays out, as each has different facets that must be understood to even fathom the idea of victory. Similarly with stocks, whether you chose to trust your money with Schwab, Fidelity or any other brokerage comes with a unique set of research tools and rating systems that influence which platform is best for you.
The analogy doesn’t stop there. Diversification the cardinal rule for investing is a lot like drafting a balanced team. In fantasy football, this is a somehow forgotten factor during the draft that could make or break a season. For example, some NFL offenses feature many fantasy weapons, and while drafting multiple teammates (especially at similar positions) may work out, a bye week or poor team performance could leave you with a loss, and a key injury could derail the season·
Using diversity to offset potential loses translates into investing through allocating your wealth across multiple categories, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, just as you play fantasy with a two running back, three wide receiver, one quarterback format. Additionally, putting all your money in one subset of a category will only lead to a higher chance of loss, like depending on only housing stocks during 2008, or Rams skill players before Sean McVay.
I could go on and on about the parallels between ADP and P/E ratios, or league dues and initial investment capital, but let me leave you with some advice instead: next time you’ve got some spare change and are looking to invest in a stock, make sure you don’t have too many wide receivers on roster, check RotoBaller’s rankings, and pick up whatever defense is playing the Cardinals this week.
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