3 Investment Lessons we Learned From Fantasy Football

By James Conole, CFP®, MBA

It was early Sep and a anticipation football breeze was about to begin. Last year’s opening was wiped away, and there was zero interlude me from drafting a new group to win a desired anticipation football championship. Four months later, a anticipation football unchanging deteriorate is over: looking back, it didn’t spin out accurately a approach we had hoped. However, anticipation football taught me 3 really critical lessons about how to invest: past formula do not equal destiny success, diversification is pivotal as an investor and behavioral biases can negatively impact your investment decisions.

Past Performance Doesn’t Guarantee Future Results

David Johnson came into a 2017 deteriorate widely rated as a series one anticipation football breeze pick. In 2016 he rushed for 1,239 yards, hold 80 passes for 879 yards and scored a sum of 20 touchdowns. He was staid to have an extraordinary 2017 season, and with a series one collect in my draft, we knew he was going to assistance me win a championship. Until he didn’t. He dislocated his wrist in a initial diversion of a year and hasn’t played a diversion since. How can that be? With his implausible opening final year, it seemed certain he would perform good again in 2017!

The same thing can occur in investing. Remember BlackBerry? Formerly a many distinguished phone association in a world? Going into 2007 BlackBerry was a hottest smartphone on a market. BlackBerry’s batch price rose from usually over $60/share in Jun of 2006 to over $140/share usually 13 months later. BlackBerry was a David Johnson of a phone market. It was on a rip until a tiny thing called a iPhone came along.

Currently, BlackBerry’s stock is trading around $10/share, and has nowhere nearby a marketplace share of a competitors. But it’s not usually BlackBerry that suffered this fate.

JC Penny, Chesapeake Energy, Enron, Kodak. These are all companies that were once giants in their industries. For one reason or another, zero of these companies humour a same prevalence that they once had. Whether it’s anticipation football or owning batch – David Johnson or BlackBerry smartphones – past formula are no pledge of destiny performance. (For associated reading, see: Misconceptions About Past Performance and Future Returns.)

Diversify as an Investor

My plan going into a deteriorate was flawless. we was going to breeze a using behind with my initial breeze collect and afterwards my subsequent dual picks were going to be far-reaching receivers. In my 14-person league, that meant drafting David Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins and Keenan Allen. A plain initial 3 breeze picks, we thought. But a far-reaching receiver preference didn’t stop there. we went on to name Jarvis Landry and Danny Amendola with dual of my subsequent few breeze picks.

Nothing is wrong with these receivers. But here’s a thing: I didn’t breeze any other high-quality running back besides David Johnson. And we had to learn doctrine series one the tough way, by losing Johnson in a initial week of a season! So what happened? we wasn’t diversified. we owned too many far-reaching receivers and not adequate using backs. So when my usually clever using behind went down around injury, we didn’t have a viable using behind to constraint a points we indispensable for that position. What happens when you’re not diversified as an investor? You also suffer.

If we started investing in 2000 and we usually hold large U.S. investments, we would have indeed mislaid income over a subsequent 10 years. The SP 500 index was during 1,469.25 on Jan 1, 2000, and it forsaken to 1,115.10 by Dec 31, 2009. Now, this doesn’t comment for a impact of dividends over this time, though it does uncover us a risk of not being diversified.

If on a other hand, we also owned general investments, tiny companies or holds between 2000 and 2009, afterwards your opening would have been aloft (assuming of march that we hold your investments a whole time). While U.S. holds struggled mightily between 2000 and 2010, general stocks, emerging marketplace stocks, tiny association stocks and holds all fared many better.1Going into a final decade though being diversified was like me going into my anticipation football deteriorate though any good using backs. Don’t make a same mistake we did! (For associated reading, see: Introduction to Investment Diversification.)

Don’t Let Behavioral Biases Impact Your Investments

In my second anticipation football league, we used my fifth-round collect to breeze Danny Woodhead. Like David Johnson, Danny Woodhead was harmed during a initial week of a season. He was set to skip during slightest a subsequent 8 weeks of a 13-week anticipation football season. And with register spots being a changed commodity, it was tough to confirm either or not we should keep him. So what did we do? we kept him. The finish result: Woodhead sat on my dais for a subsequent 10 weeks, holding adult a mark that could have been filled by a actor who would have contributed to my performance. Was this a good decision? No. Did we do it for receptive reasons? we hatred to acknowledge it, though no.

I did it for dual reasons. Reason series one: Woodhead played for a Chargers for 4 years. He was constant to my Chargers, so of march we had to uncover faithfulness to him. How could we cut a actor who was so tighten to a group we hearten for? Reason series two: I chose him. He wasn’t given to my anticipation football team. He wasn’t selected by someone else. I chose him. There are a lot of parallels that can be drawn to function people ordinarily uncover with their investments. (For associated reading, see: Understanding Investor Behavior.)

I’ve met with many people who own their possess company’s stock. There’s zero inherently wrong with this, though a faithfulness they have for their association can impede their ability to make receptive investment decisions. we have seen many cases when offered association batch was a many receptive thing to do, though many of these people’s faithfulness to their association prevented them emotionally from being means to sell it. we know a feeling! The faithfulness that kept me from slicing Danny Woodhead is a same as a faithfulness people feel when it comes to offered their company’s stock.

Research shows us that when we select something, it can automatically become over twice as valuable to us in a minds. This means we value something we possess by choice over 100% aloft than an apathetic celebration would be peaceful to buy it for.

But that’s accurately because it can be so formidable to sell losing stocks. We know a batch is passed in a water. We know it’s substantially not a good thought to keep it. But we do it anyway. Why? Because we were a ones that chose it. we chose Danny Woodhead, so we kept him even when anticipation would have suggested a opposite strategy. The same behavioral biases that led to me gripping Danny Woodhead can also means investors to keep investments that aren’t good for them.

Fantasy Football Helped Me Become a Better Investor

I finished a anticipation football deteriorate 3-10 (I’d like to consider that I’m improved during investing than we am in anticipation football). But if there’s any china backing in my deteriorate it’s this: Hopefully a beliefs we schooled about building a successful anticipation football group will assistance me to turn a improved investor. (For associated reading, see: 10 Tips for a Successful Long-Term Investor.)


1. Dimensional Fund Advisors, Matrix Book 2017, Historical Returns Data- US Dollars

This essay was creatively published on Investopedia.

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