Hello friends, and Happy New Year! 2020 is finally over and if we work hard I'm sure we can make 2021 a much better year. A lot of things happened for me this year - some awful, some amazing (like getting the chance to work at Quiet Speculation) and I'm heading into 2021 cautiously optimistic. I, like many people, have been thinking about goals to set for the coming year in all areas of my life, from personal life goals to growing as a content creator.
As I was tidying up my house on New Year's Eve day before some safe, quarantined, Discord-celebrating with my friends, I happened to come across stacks of random MTG speculations and stuff for my collection and realized that I better set some MTG Finance resolutions for the new year as well. There's plenty that needs doing, but let's take a look at three of my big resolutions for the coming year.
1. Get Organized
This is the big one. 2020 has been an overwhelming year for everyone, and my unorganized chaos of a Magic collection has grown even crazier during the Pandemic. I feel like some level of disorganization is common for many Magic players and collectors, but it doesn't make thriving in the MTG Finance world easy.
If you want to speculate on cards and be prepared to sell them when they spike, you'll need to have some sort of system in place. My overflowing spec box probably isn't the best bet on that for 2021, given how full it has become. If I don't know where my stacks of Maul of the Skyclaves I impulse bought got off to, how will I sell them if they ever go up?
I found a giant stack of them in my kitchen - they never even made it much farther than getting out of the envelopes they came in. If I hadn't found them while I was cleaning, there's a good chance I would have just forgotten I'd ordered them at all. (Sidenote, I still think these were a good buy, especially with the Mono-White Aggro decks making great appearances in Standard leagues and the likelihood that we'll see some cool equipment matters stuff in Kaldheim.)
Normally, in years past, I've been really good at keeping my collection cataloged and all of my specs organized, but something about 2020 sapped that out of me and I'm afraid I'm going to have to start all over - but that's okay. I'll be cataloging my collection, reorganizing my speculation box, making spreadsheets, and ideally becoming more organized than ever.
2. Track Everything
Along with my organizing, I realize I need to do a much better job keeping track of my speculations and MTG Finance purchases. My ever-growing boxes of Magic cards could be broken up into four categories:
- My Personal Collection - these are cards I want to be able to have on hand at all times for paper play (when it returns, which is hopefully some time this year!) or just cards I like collecting (like goblins). Unfortunately, 2020 necessitated selling off a lot of my a good chunk of my Reserved List collection, but I'm hoping to build that back up this year.
- My small TCGplayer Store Inventory - I run a small TCGplayer store and have a dedicated section in my MTG stuff for this to be organized in. This is filled from buying local collections, cards obtained as prizes from paper events I don't need, speculations I'm no longer sitting on, and that sort of thing. Previously, this was the most organized part of my MTG life, but I'm hoping to grow it in 2021!
- The Spec Box - this is where all the cards I've speculated on end up. It both grew significantly during 2020 and became incredibly unorganized (we'll talk about why in the next section of the article.) I couldn't even tell you half of the stuff that's in here without pawing through it - and that's not a good way to run a spec box.
- The Secret Lairs - I uh, I keep impulse buying these and not opening them. I definitely need to re-organize these and find a good way to track them.
As you can see, my MTG life has become kind of a mess, and one of the big things I need to work on this year is cataloging everything I have and finding a good way to track the price movements. Lucky for me, Quiet Speculation's Trader Tools are going to save me a lot of headaches here and help me both organize and track everything! I need to be watching more price graphs than just my favorite new card, Skyclave Apparition...
On the subject of Secret Lairs, these seem a little more nebulous to track and I've been brainstorming how I want to do these. I'll likely custom make a spreadsheet for my own use, but if anyone out there has a process they really like for tracking their Secret Lair value, I'm all ears and would love to see it! I'll likely share what I end up coming up with (in a future article) this year.
3. Work Smarter (and with less impulse speculating)
Okay, I know I've already painted a pretty messy picture of 2020 Joe, but one thing I'm for sure going to try to work on this year is less impulse speculating and trying to plan my investments smarter.
Many times this year I've been guilty of seeing a Twitter post or getting a message from a friend about a card doing well in a tournament late at night, and impulsively running to TCGplayer to order as many copies as I feel like gambling on. Like when I woke up in the middle of the night, saw a message I missed from Chroberry about Yasharn, Implacable Earth doing well in a tournament, and bought 50 copies without doing any research and then falling back asleep and forgetting I'd even done it.
Editor's Note: I did not tell him to buy 50 copies of Yasharn because of one tournament showing.
Twitter isn't a the worst place to get ideas on what is performing well if you follow the right accounts, but you should definitely be playing it smarter than me and doing a bit of research. I've gotten super lucky on my impulse specs this year (well, so far) but there's no way that holds up as a long-term strategy, so I'm going to try to play it smarter. As a player first, I stand by the strategy of analyzing tournament results on MTGO and Arena and identifying cards that are performing well consistently and moving towards picking those up.
With paper play possibly returning towards the end of the year, I think now is one of the best times you could be studying online results and getting ready for the paper boom that will likely happen when large tournaments start back up. Just make sure you're taking the time to ensure you're not buying into random hype. If it's not from a format you're already familiar with, reach out to friends who play that format and ask their opinion; get the information you need to feel comfortable taking a risk.
4. Play Paper Magic Again
This is less of an MTG Finance related goal and more of a convenient way to label my closing paragraph. Thank you for sticking with me through this - I know I likely painted a pretty embarrassing picture of myself, but hopefully, my resolutions to get back on track can help motivate the rest of you out there who let themselves slip in the chaos of 2020 (which is understandable, this was a traumatic year and there's no reason to beat yourself up).
The thing I'm looking forward to most this year is the likelihood of returning to paper MTG play. If that happens, and there's a large event in the US, I hope I get to sit down across from as many of you as possible and jam some cards. Congratulations on making it through 2020, and thank you for reading all of my articles. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter, in the QS Discord, on Twitch, or on my YouTube. I'm wishing you all the best, safest new year possible. Take care of yourselves, and I'll see you next week!