Even though most of the cards in what’s left of my collection are worthless, it got me thinking about all of the lessons I learned from collecting baseball cards as a youngster.
Collecting cards taught me how to negotiate with friends and vendors at a young age. It also taught me how to make what seemed like tough and sometimes emotional decisions. As silly as it sounds, I used to get very attached to cards in my collection. Last but not least, it helped estimate the future value of an asset.
Even my decision to major in finance was in some ways driven by collecting baseball cards. My mom used to say, “You should be a stockbroker; it’s like trading baseball cards only with stocks!” While this didn’t make much sense at the time, I can see the connection now. Baseball cards are an asset with a present value based on various factors. The goal is to predict the asset’s future value to maximize return.
My preparation for baseball card shows would involve the meticulous process of building my “selling binder.” This binder would include the baseball cards I wanted to sell to baseball card show vendors.
Collecting baseball cards is a lot like managing a stock portfolio. Each card or stock has a perceived value that the asset can sell for in the open market, it can increase or decrease in value, and it can go broke at a moment’s notice.
When you open a pack of cards and stumble upon a valuable card, it can be emotional to trade or sell it to someone else. That experience becomes a part of you. You lose a small amount of that memory by trading away that card. However, when you flip the page on your binder and see that card, it brings back a tiny piece of that joy you had when you got that card.