Welcome to the third report of the 100 Tix 1 Year project!
25% of the time allocated for this project has passed. After a very strong start in January, things have slowed down a bit, as sustaining a 50% growth in the long run is fairly unrealistic.
Nonetheless, the trend is still upward and I finished the month of March with a bankroll more valuable than it was after February.
This week, the next unlocked Insider article of the Nine Months of Portfolio Management series is part four–M14 and Core Set Rares.
This article set the basis for my strategy to speculate on core set rares. It paid off very well with M15 rares, and I expect it to be useful again with Magic Origins this summer and the “100 Tix 1 Year” portfolio.
Before we begin March’s report, be sure to check out the following links (if you haven’t already):
The upward trend continues on, and March was better than February.
As of March 31st, my account is valued at 177.6 Tix, a +9.6% increase this month.
Summary of the Specs
This month I got rid of some Modern specs with a decent profit. I was looking to close them all in March, but the prices definitely didn’t rebound as expected for all of them.
I sold Bonfire of the Damned, Eternal Witness, Pact of Negation and Ethersworn Canonist with a good margin, but failed nicely on Skullcrack. As they are still quite low compared to their peak, I’m still waiting to sell Figure of Destiny, Manamorphose and others. I currently have enough free Tix so I can afford waiting on better prices without missing good spec opportunities.
My Standard specs also saw some movement. I sold Xenagos and cut my losses on that one. More profitable were Temple of Enlightenment and Firedrinker Satyr. I also bought a few playsets of two FRF cards–Temporal Trespass and Ghastly Conscription–hoping to turn these into a quick gain with redemption of FRF sets being available, which haven’t really worked out as anticipated. I also invested in Courser of Kruphix and a new copy of the UW Temple.
I sold my first Pauper spec, Exclude. 80% in less than a month is a very good return.
My other Pauper positions are also doing well, and this format is a greater interest to me since cards are “cheap” but can see big variations.
Right after the end of the Rise of Eldrazi flashback drafts, I acquired several Flame Slashes. This common was recently priced as high as 1 Tix and is playable in Modern and Pauper. Sure, a reprint in Modern Masters 2015 would ruin this spec, but the upside is really big and the risk is minimum, considering my purchase price of 0.06 Tix.
Quickfliping is Not Cheating
Quickflips are a fast, easy and almost a risk free way to grind some Tix. To me, there are two ways to perform Quickflips–arbitrage situations and very short term specs. Usually you are looking at a 10-20% profit in few seconds to few days, max.
I haven’t done as many Quickflips as I wanted to, as I don’t have a lot of free time these days. Nonetheless, I used this speculation strategy 13 times so far for a total of +13.66 Tix (with Ghastly Conscription still pending, and probably losing in the end).
These are virtually risk free and only take few seconds. Someone is buying at a higher price than someone else is selling at? Just be the middle man and cash in the difference.
It does happen way more often that you may think between bots. The trick is that sometimes the difference is too small, like 0.03 Tix, and for only 1 or 2 copies of a card. That, or it’s pretty much impossible to identified unless you spend all your time screening MTGOLibrary Bots, MTGOTraders hotlist and the Classified.
My two favorite bot chains for that exercise are Goatbots and the hotlist of MtgoTraders (HotListBots) or sometimes their regular CardBuyingBots. Goatbots often sell at the cheapest prices, and MtgoTraders sometimes buy at the best price, and sometimes you can cash in the difference since they are not overlapping each other.
I would also give a special mention to AboshanBots. They don’t buy everything all the time, and are actually only looking for a playset of each card per bot, but they probably offer the best buy prices out there.
An alternative strategy I use from time to time is to put all the cards I have up for trade–opening a trade with HotListBots of CardBuyingBots and seeing what they take at what price. Then a quick look at MTGOLibrary bots and Goatbots selling prices will tell me if there some Tix to be made.
Very Short Term Specs
These situations mostly happen during PTs, GPs and sometimes during SCG events. Especially when a new card/deck is on camera, there’s a good chance everybody is going to try and buy it. The PT hype is usually the craziest of all.
If you manage to be among the first to buy the card(s) at their cheapest price for the next 12h, you might be able to sell it the next day with some profit. Painless and easy.
This doesn’t work as great as you would hope all of the time. If not enough people want the card, the buy prices never really increase. The idea is to sell the card quickly enough so you don’t take the risk of losing money as the hype disappears.
With Dragons of Tarkir release events firing, we are entering a set release season. After DTK, Tempest Remastered, Modern Masters 2015 and Magic Origins in July, we have five new sets (or so) in barely four months.
Tempest Remastered may be the opportunity to speculate on Pauper cards from the Tempest block that are expected to hit their lowest point ever. Lotus Petal, Diabolic Edict and Rolling Thunder are on my watchlist. City of Traitors and, more particularly, Wasteland are likely to be great targets.
Modern Master 2015 will hammer a lot of Modern staples. Based on what happened with MMA, these same staples may be great speculative targets. Generating additional Tix between DTK and Magic Origins is what I intend to do here.
Magic Origins, as many core sets before it, should be among the best sets to speculate on. Due to their release during the summer, before a new fall set, rares and mythics from core sets are often underestimated and rise sharply when Standard rotates in the fall.
As the draft structure changes from KKF to FDD, the release of DTK is also likely to coincide with a rise of KTK prices, since the first set of Tarkir won’t be drafted en masse anymore. I expect a similar situation for KTK prices as observed for RTR prices after GTC release. Siege Rhino is my top target here.
Thank you for reading and following!