Insider: Before you act….

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This week has been one of those weeks. Before I knew it, Wednesday was upon me. When we last left our hero: Modern was getting shaken & stirred, Standard was getting thrown on the barbie, and that new card smell was finally hitting our nostrils. The thing about crazy weeks like this is, what information can I pass onto you that's going to benefit you for the next 168 hours?

In this column, I want to consistently bring the subject matter that you need to know each and every week. This week, we're going to take a step back. Making sure your head is in the right place is the key to success. The most important space, is that space between your ears.

So, what do you need?

The number one issue I talk about constantly with other "Financiers"  is: _____________________?

If you had to answer that question, what would you fill the blank in with?  It took me a long time to really come around to how "head & shoulders" above everything else, one thing is:

Having A Plan

I've talked more on this subject than I care to admit, and this last week is no exception. Tapped Out Magic officially has it's business plan down. It's no longer thoughts floating in my head on what I think I should do if a scenario arises. This is generally just a good practice because the hardest thing to come by is remembering to treat this like a business.

It's true. This is a hobby you enjoy. You probably started off as a player and the slow dawning of what this business could offer came to life across your face. That dawn of recognition. That "My mind just got blown" look of satisfaction. I've been there. It's okay. You're not alone.

Best practices though? No matter the level you are on - you need to have a plan of action. Let's open the floor, in the comments discuss what your game is. Why are you a part of the finance market and what is your corner of the market? 

It's easy to understand the ebbs & flows of formats. The cyclical deck narrative is a relatively simple progression of acting when markets are cool and benefiting when hot. Still, it's a pretty simple concept.  Hell, even making sure you have the correct positioning on singles is not hard. What IS hard, is having that master plan.

In conjunction with this, this is one of the few industries where the tide raises all ships. The more players that play, the better everyone does. For 20 years, this game has primarily spread through word of mouth. This lesson is hard for a lot of learn, least of all to remember. Too many times have I seen that cagey look of fear in someone's eyes.

"What does he know that I don't"

Have you ever just tried to stop and ask? "Hey, what DO you know that I don't?"

What's one thing that you would share with any other person involved with MTG: Finance? 

If they had to know ONE thing. Only one thing. What would it be?

So this week, I'm going to open this column up to discussion. Why are you involved in MTG Finance? What is ONE thing someone either involved or getting into MTG: Finance - what ONE THING should they know, above all else?

My answers:
1) I want to build. Build the community, build the support structure, and give the tools to people who want to live their dream so they too can build.

2) One COMMON misconception about vending, and the reason it's so rare to see outside vendor's at closed events:  It's not about selling. That's nice but it's all just a bonus. Vendor's care more about BUYING your cards than selling you theirs.

- Till Next Week

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Dylan Beckham

Dylan has been involved in Magic: The Gathering since the heyday of The Dark. Continually invested in the community, he's been a Pro Tour Player, Trader, Judge, Tournament Organizer, Volunteer, and Vendor. Currently involved with the day to day operations of selling online, Dylan has brought his experience to Quiet Speculation to make you a better investor. Hailing from the Atlanta area, and now part of the Dallas scene - he's often at big events sourcing cards or discussing Life, the Universe, and Everything. Have a question? Feel free to comment, message, or email anytime.

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5 thoughts on “Insider: Before you act….

  1. Why are you a part of the finance market and what is your corner of the market?

    I am because I like the human interaction when trading and because I like keeping my expenses on Magic within limits while improving my collection. I have 2 areas of the market I specialize in, for my personal collection and specs I tend to focus on formats that never (well, rarely) have cards removed from them, like Casual/EDH, Modern and Legacy, while I make my best margins on trading for bulk rares, a market I’ve pretty much cornered on the main Dutch trading website. I’m looking for ways to make even more bulk rares move through my hands.

    What’s one thing that you would share with any other person involved with MTG: Finance?

    There will be other opportunities.

    Whether it’s about specs or trading for that hard to find card, it’s extremely rare for there not to be another opportunity to spec or another opportunity to trade for the same card. Yes, something can be so rare you’re not likely to come across another anywhere, but then we’re talking Summer Edition, miscuts and misprints, cards you’re highly unlikely to come across anyway.

  2. Hmmmm… I would say that my goals as a financier (am I allowed to use that term??) haven’t changed much over the years I have been at it. I have made a significant step upwards by opening a brick and mortar store, but my goals are the same.

    I want to eventually own one of all (non-unique) cards available. I want to have a complete collection. I understand that this won’t be achieved in a small amount of time, and may never happen. I don’t keep cards in binders, tracking which ones I still need. I do however make sure my collection is always on the rise, by both the volume and dollar. If I invest in a bunch of Deathrite Shaman before the ban, I don’t cry that I lost out on some money. I just look for the way to out those for more specs.

    So far my goal has been getting closer, one inch at a time. Opening a b&m is more challenging than I had ever thought. But it offers me an opportunity to sell for full retail and buy/trade at less than. It also gives me a constant information stream of what my customers are saying, buying habits and the latest news. While I have a small shop in a small town, I am constantly reminded of how informed the public is.

    All in all, I have made enough profit from opening my store to keep me alive, while my collection continues to grow. I gave up the notion that a certain card is un-tradeable years ago. When I realized that trading cards you have profited on for cards which may show a gain, I started to make money. If only a small percentage of the cards you acquire make a gain, you will do well. When I got here and saw people saying things like “diversified portfolio” and “return on investment” it made me happy. This site helps put all the intuitions I have had into actuated phrases.

    The one thing I would suggest is to trade anything and everything, so long as you are getting more volume of cards which (may) show profit. Evaluation is the most challenging aspect, but if you get that right, you will always profit.

  3. I liked this a lot.

    My goals in this are to build my own collection of 40 duals through trading (at least it used to be, when I started and Legacy was cool, it guided me).

    Now, my goal is simply to turn some extra money for my family. I use that cash to fund my retirement plan at the end of every year. When I have a kid, I’m sure it will turn to building them a college fund.

    My goals in Magic in general? Push coverage to the next level, where it is on par with the rising tide of Esports, led by League of Legends. I believe I can help do that, and it’s why I do what I do.

  4. I am interested in teaching my son through Magic.He is eight, and home schooled. He just started playing last month, and I haven’t played regularly since Weatherlight was new, so we have lots to learn. I find Magic a great way to teach close reading, to teach math concepts like percents and probability, and general logic and strategy. My interest in the financier side is to get my son interested in economics. I want him to learn about investing and about being an entrepreneur. I have a Ph.D. in economics, so I know (a bit) about investing. MtG gives me a format for teaching my son. Quiet Speculation gives me the specific knowledge about THIS market that I need. In terms of product, What cards are we interested in? Apart from liquidating some of my older cards that we are unlikely to ever play, we will be concentrating on current product and on turning over our cards relatively quickly. I may also be squirreling away a little sealed product for college or his first car.

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