CHICAGO, Dec. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On the heels of the Chicago Cubs' first World Series Championship since 1908, Origin Investments advises investors to take heed from lessons first learned by the team's President of baseball operations, Theo Epstein. Those lessons, taught to him by Billy Beane, the GM of the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox, were chronicled in Moneyball, written by renowned financial author Michael Lewis.
Origin Investments' (www.origininvestments.com) cofounder David Scherer says Moneyball is the definitive book on baseball and finance as it discloses the philosophies of Beane, who signed players the way a value-oriented portfolio manager plots investment strategies. Lewis sees the Cubs' first championship in 108 years much the same way he sees investing: it's neither a random effort nor a grand slam, but instead a matter of using data and process to make better long-term decisions.
This Fall, at an event hosted by Origin Investments, as the Cubs were in the midst of their championship run, Lewis shared the basic concepts of this lesson plan. According to Scherer, the essence of Lewis' comments are that "investment strategies and portfolio analysis are as important in baseball as in personal finance."
The guidelines for investors looking to achieve the greatest return for their investment—similar to methods developed by Billy Beane and his protégé Theo Epstein—are:
- Don't follow the herd. Moneyball shows investors that information alone doesn't make a market efficient; it's what you do with it. Beane and Epstein used statistics widely available to fellow general managers, who instead trusted traditional scouting reports. The same can be true of investment strategies: Profitable choices often are ignored in popular vehicles such as index funds. Investors can't beat the market if they mirror the market. Investors can diversify a portfolio with alternative investments such as commercial real estate, which is not correlated to pubic equities.
- Don't trade at the deadline. The best deals made by championship teams are those made throughout the year, not just at the trading deadline when bidding was fiercest. Beane once told ESPN, "I don't want to make decisions based on micro-events" or "the small sample size." In investing, the price swings of stocks and bonds show that markets constantly overreact to new information. Smart investors anticipate market changes rather than reacting to them. Choosing less volatile alternatives, such as commercial real estate, will give a portfolio added protection compared to frequently traded REITs.
- Be ready to change your lineup. While baseball players often enjoy long-term contracts based on past performance, championship caliber teams are buoyed by veterans who showed immediate productivity even when inked to short-term deals. Likewise, investors should remember not to fall in love with specific assets in their portfolios. A property may show its fastest appreciation in just a few years' time. While it may continue to bring in steady rents, its timetable for maximum appreciation might be much shorter. Strategic private equity real estate managers know how to minimize risk and maximize investment value.
- Don't be scared off by shortcomings. As a GM, Beane, and now Epstein, were successful with players other teams had discarded because of age, injury, lack of speed or awkward mechanics. But those players had talents that were needed, or that could be improved. Similarly, value investors look for companies with fixable problems, or properties that have been overlooked due to age, management or marketing issues. In real estate, this is known as value-added investing. Thoughtful and strategic business plans can turn around undervalued assets.
- Look for a track record. Like Beane did years before, Epstein drafted out of college rather than high school, looking for experience that could translate more closely to the big leagues. It's best not to choose investments based on a single top-rated performance—it's unlikely to repeat, compared to one that has rated near the top for several years. Similarly, in real estate we don't judge an investment's projected internal rate of return without comparing projected and actual internal rates of return (IRR) for a manager's past choices.
- Measure the right things. The Moneyball approach picked players based not only on their batting average but their on-base percentage, since walks proved as useful as singles. Real estate investors looking to build wealth might want to focus not on IRR alone as much as types of risk and multiple on equity, the degree to which property values are expected to rise.
"At the end of the day, investors can build dynamic, profitable portfolios—just as executives build championship contending sports organizations when they follow these basic concepts, and align themselves with like-minded investment firms," Scherer said.
Contact: Michael Millar, Open Slate, 847-863-1037, firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE Origin Investments