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Traderous Instinct – Thinking Long Term

Let me tell you about the worst trade I ever made.

My Waterloo

It was at the Scourge prerelease in the spring of 2003, and I was a junior in high school.

I had just lost my fourth round of the day to a player with triple Rock Jockey, so my spirits were low. (Admittedly, though, Rock Jockey isn’t the worst creature in the world when your opponent is seventeen years old and his entire deck is based around trying to accelerate into his Dragon Mage with, uh, no actual acceleration.)

Anyway, I was wandering around the convention room floor when I spotted a guy in the corner holding a battered cardboard box. After asking him if he wanted to trade, I discovered that the box contained his entire collection, which was mostly made up of cards from Legends, Arabian Nights, and Antiquities.

It wasn’t long before one card in particular caught my eye:

Falling Star

This was easily the funniest card I had ever seen! Yeah, Chaos Orb was probably cooler, but that was a bit more of a known quantity. It was also like a hundred bucks, so I knew the chances of me trading for one were pretty slim.

Falling Star, on the other hand, was trading at a much more reasonable $15. I had instant visions of becoming so good at flipping the card that I could take out one, two, even three goblins in a single bound. In the months that followed, I became so attached to the card that I took a sharpie and wrote “FALLING STAR FALLINATES YOU” on three copies of Disciple of Malice so that I could put a proxied playset in any deck I wanted.

Needless to say, I had to have the card.

The price I paid?

 

Underground Sea 

Of course, the trade wasn’t so bad at the time. A Revised Underground Sea was only worth $20, so my value lost that day was right around $5. Heck, I probably made a worse trade than that last weekend!

What really stings, of course, is the value of those two cards now. A NM Revised Underground Sea sells for over $90 now, while Falling Star can be had on this very site for a mere $4.49.

I’m sure most of you have made similar deals in the past. Even if you haven’t, you’ve probably experienced the pain of losing value on cards that you decided to hold on to even if you weren’t running them in a deck at the moment.

Today we are going to think about Magic cards as a long term investment. After all, if you’re reading this the chances are good that you’ve already played Magic longer than you thought you were going to and spent WAY more money than you planned to. Why not have your collection pay for itself one day?

“Magic is a GAME, Not an Investment!”

How many times have you heard THAT line before?

This was an especially popular line during the kerfuffle over the banned & restricted list where some folks wanted dual lands to drop from the sky like candy while others wanted their Tundras to hit the $1,000 mark. Since part of the fun of a collectable card came is the collecting bit, it stands to reason that a small percentage of people will begin to, y’know, collect a whole lot of cards.

Think about your collection. What do you suppose it’s worth?

Then think about the amount of cash you currently have in your bank account.

How close are those two numbers?

Game or investment? Can’t it be both?

A Brief History Lesson

If you bought one share of Wal-Mart (WMT) stock on Jan 1, 2006, you’d have been able to get it for close to $46. You could sell it today for around $54 – a modest and respectable 15% gain. (Not accounting for inflation, fees, etc.)

If you bought one share of Tundra (TND) on Jan 1, 2006, you’d probably have paid around $20 for the card. Today, it is worth about $70 – a 350% gain.

Of course, this is a little bit of comparing apples to oranges. We can certainly find stocks that gained 350% or more over the past five years. You could have bought Apple stock for $50 in 2006, and sold it this morning for $300 – that’s a 600% gain in a company that was a fairly stable investment back then.

In fact, Apple stock reminds me a lot of Wasteland. You could have gotten the card for $5 in 2006 and sold it for $30 today.

Magic has actually been one of the best investments of the past 15 years and has weathered the recession absurdly well. While some bubbles did burst back in the Chronicles days, almost all the Eternal staples have either gone up or stabilized over time.

But does that mean that you should cash out your 401K and buy into Moxen and Loti? Let’s find out.

Back to the Future

In order to think about the value of Magic cards over the long term, it is important to start looking at the evolution of the game over a larger time period than we normally would.

While it is easy for time lords to shift their temporal frame of reference at will, we humans are much better equipped to appreciate the day-to-day minutia of things than the big picture.

In order to snap you out of your present-centric viewpoint, allow me to escort you on a brief journey to the future.

Your Magic Portfolio – December, 2011 (One Year Out)

By late 2011, Standard will consist of Scars block, Magic 2012, and the first set of Shake block. Zendikar, Worldwake, Rise of the Eldrazi, and M11 will all be gone.

That means no more Titans (probably), no more Eldrazi Green, Valakut Ramp, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Fauna Shaman, Lotus Cobra, or fetchlands.

Since Scars will have long since stopped being drafted, many of the cards that are currently sinking in value will be scorching hot. Koth, Mimic Vat, Ratchet Bomb, Venser, Lux Cannon, Hand of the Praetors…some of these cards will be close to worthless, while some will have doubled or tripled in price.

Think about Malakir Bloodwitch vs. Goblin Guide. Both cards were $5 rares from Zendikar this time last year. Today, though, it will cost you $9 to buy a Guide whereas Bloodwitches are nearly bulk rares.

Barring some weird reprints, the cards that were defining Standard but are too slow for Extended will have taken a massive hit. Meanwhile, cheap, efficient, and format-defining cards that rotated in September will just be starting to heat up again.

People will be telling you to sell your Lotus Cobras and Abyssal Persecutors in April and May, and by December it’ll be too late to pick them up again for Extended at the significantly cheaper rate they’ll be selling for in the dog days of summer.

Extended will have lost Lorwyn and Shadowmoor, pushing the Jund staples into the limelight as they will now be a year older and have gotten that much harder to acquire.

If you are mostly a Standard player and you stopped playing Magic today, your collection will be worth about half of what it’s worth now – maybe less.

Unless Wizards releases a new format (over-Extended?) designed to supersede Legacy, Eternal staples will have risen in value even more. Sensei’s Divining Top will probably be a $10 card. Aether Vial will be at $15. Force of Will might hit $50.

The release of the new commander decks will have also helped some of better-but-not-completely-broken casual cards gain value as well. Bribery, for example, is still selling for $4.99 here on ChannelFireball, but it’s out of stock. It’s been slowly gaining value for years, and I suspect the days of seeing it available for less than $8 are nearly over.

Your Magic Portfolio – December, 2012 (Two Years Out)

The landscape of Standard will be entirely unknown by December of 2012. We will be playing with the entirety of Shake block, M13, and the first set of Hook block. Shards of Alara will have rotated out of Extended, leaving us with Zendikar as the oldest set in the format.

Will SCG still be running Opens in late 2012? Will our own ChannelFireball have entered the fray with a tournament series as well?

This is largely what will determine the value of Eternal cards, as Wizards as has always treated Legacy as a much less important format than sealed, draft, Standard, and Extended. If Legacy is as widely played in two years as it is today, expect increases from the usual suspects as well as Eternal staples that are getting further and further away from having seen print. (Think Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Tarmogoyf, and Goblin Guide.)

Your Magic Portfolio – December, 2015 (Five Years Out)

Five years from now, both Standard and Extended will be made up of entirely unknown sets. Wizards doesn’t even have code names that far out.

After five more years, how will power and price creep affect Legacy? Will any of tomorrow’s decks be recognizable today?

To put it in perspective, five years ago we were cracking Ravnica packs and beating in for five with Meloku tokens. There was no EDH – casual play was either 60 card constructed or 250-card 5-color behemoths.

So yeah, that was a while ago, but it was certainly not forever ago. Some of you weren’t playing back then, but I bet a ton of you were.

The Last Five Years

Let’s take a break from the future for a moment to look at what trading was like in late 2005. This might help us understand what our collection might be worth in 2015.

First of all, Standard rares didn’t go for more than about $20 tops in 2005. This doesn’t mean there wasn’t rampant speculation, though!

When Ravnica was spoiled, the EV of the set was through the roof. The shocklands were up near $20 each, and they stayed there for their entire run through Standard. Glimpse the Unthinkable started as a $15 card before falling into the single digits for years and then settling into the $13 price tag it has now. Doubling Season began its life as a bulk rare and could have been had for a buck or two in trade for years.

Of course, everything felt powerful after Kamigawa block, which had a few very high-impact cards mixed in with the chaff. Umezawa’s Jitte was the most format warping card at the time, and it was omnipresent in all aggro strategies. Jittes traded very well, and you couldn’t find them for under $18 anywhere.

The other expensive cards from Kamigawa block were Kokusho, Cranial Extraction, and Pithing Needle, all of which traded for $15 or more. Kokusho never saw much constructed play, but he was a must-have in all black based casual decks. The other two were very widely played in constructed.

Nearly all the other constructed staples were closer to $5, like Meloku, Keiga, Heartbeat of Spring, Glare of Subdual, Damping Matrix, and Kodama of the North Tree.

Some casual favorites like Traumatize had broken the $5 after years of slow inflation, and Wrath of God and Birds of Paradise were still trading between $10 and $15 as they had for years.

Sensei’s Divining Top could be had for $1.

So what does this all mean?

For starters, if you invested in the most expensive Standard tournament staples back then, there’s a good chance that some of your cards will have still held value. Umezawa’s Jitte isn’t worth too much less today than it was then. Nor is Chrome Mox from Mirrodin. The Ravnica duals have held half their value despite not being playable in any format right now.

Of course, that was when the top cards were near $20 – not the $50 they regularly reach now. Mythics have changed the game, and we are still a few years away from knowing what will happen to in demand yet out of print Legacy mythics.

Reprints have also had a massive affect on the value of many cards.

Kokusho got one in From the Vault: Dragons. Traumatize got one in M10 and M11. Pithing Needle got one in Tenth Edition and M10. In all cases, the value of those cards collapsed.

The value of a card has everything to do with supply vs. demand. If the supply goes up and the demand does not, the card’s price will tank. That’s why Scars cards are all going down right now – the supply grows each time anyone cracks a pack to draft.

In the case of casual cards, it doesn’t take much.

Darksteel Colossus got a reprint as a mythic in M10, and it went from a $10 casual card to a $2 casual card in a matter of weeks.

So what did go up?

Between 2005 and 2010, it would have been correct to invest in Legacy cards. Dual Lands, City of Traitors, Force of Will, Aether Vial, Sensei’s Divining Top, Show and Tell, and all the rest were Magic’s big gainers.

Armed with this knowledge, let’s pay another visit to 2015 and see what we can discover what Magic will be like in five years.

The Dark and Scary Future

There’s another thing you have to think about when you think about the future – something we haven’t brought up yet:

The rest of your life.

In December 2005, I had just turned 20. I was going to college in Boston and I played Standard at Your Move Games every Friday night. My obligations mostly involved making sure I did my homework, (not hard), kept my grades up (also not hard), and having a good time.

In December 2010, I am 25. I live in the San Fernando Valley and work at CBS. I live in an apartment with my girlfriend of nearly four years that we rent together. I still play Magic every Friday night, but it is draft instead of Standard. My obligations now involve making sure that I make enough money to sustain my entire life.

In December 2015, I will have just turned 30. So much of my life then is unknown to me now. Will I have made it onto a television writing staff? If not, will I still be trying? Will I still be living in LA? Will I be married? Will I own a house? Will I be thinking about starting a family? Will I still be playing Magic on Friday nights?

While I no longer see a future entirely without Magic, I do expect that the game will have a smaller role in my life in five years. When you are thinking about putting real money into cards for the long term, it is important to think critically about what your future relationship with the game is going to be.

What’s Next for Magic?

Five years from now, I think that the Magic scene will be more fractured than ever. The rest of our culture has begun moving into smaller social circles, and I expect Magic to follow the trend. I imagine the gulf between ‘competitive’ and ‘casual’ will widen, and fewer people will be stuck in between.

A new generation of tournament grinders will probably still be PTQing and shooting for the brass ring because as long as the game is active it will attract many of the most competitive people on earth. Beyond that, though, I see a gradual decline of people who are “casually competitive” and more people who are “coolly casual.”

Magic’s wave of original adopters – those who either played Revised and Ice Age in elementary and middle school or were taught later by peers who had – will be in their early thirties in five years instead of their mid to late twenties. While some of those guys will either quit or keep grinding, I expect that there will be a large influx of people who will want to keep playing Magic…just not every week.

Thus, I see a large influx in the popularity of formats like EDH and cube draft. These are formats where you don’t have to keep up with the latest tech. Instead, you can put all of your favorite cards in a pile and pretty much play them forever. If you build a good enough EDH deck or a good enough cube, it shouldn’t ever be obsolete.

We’re seeing this phenomenon start now in the Eternal formats. I would guess the age of an average Legacy player is at least five years older than that of an average Standard player. While some of this has to do with the price and limited access of the format, I believe a lot of it also has to do with the culture that the Eternal players have adopted.

I also suspect there will be an influx of collectors. These will be people who played Magic when they were younger, but soon stopped having time for the game because their career got in the way. Armed with a well paying job, they will now decide to collect sets (or playsets) of all the Magic cards they can.

My Long Term Predictions

Were I to invest in Magic over the next five years, this is what I would buy:

The staple cards for Commander

Cards like Solemn Simulacrum, Mind’s Eye, Sol Ring, Nevinyrral’s Disk, Woodfall Primus, Eternal Witness, Austere Command, Teferi, and Gilded Lotus will always be in demand.

Set foils of popular cube cards

Especially for older sets. Think foil Ravnica shocklands, Karmic Guide, Mystic Snake, Sword of Fire and Ice, and Bloodbraid Elf.

The Power Nine

The power nine are the Magic equivalent of blue chip stocks.

Unlike Legacy, Vintage hasn’t had a huge jump in popularity so these cards have been remarkably stable in value for years. A piece of power now won’t cost you too much more than it did five years ago.

Wizards doesn’t and probably won’t ever support too many Vintage events since the bar of entry is so high. Beyond that, most independent tournament organizers run non-sanctioned proxy Vintage events when the format does get played. This allows for a lower bar of entry, but it also means that it is possible to play this format competitively without power.

Of course, these cards do have something going for them that no other cards do: mystique and aura. Owning the a Black Lotus is like owning a piece of history, and as long as the game has fans these cards should hold a very respectable value.

I do expect the gap between black-bordered and white-bordered power to increase over time as collectors seek the best possible copy of these iconic cards.

Sealed booster boxes of popular sets

Ravnica booster boxes sell for $120. Urza’s Saga boxes go for more than $300. While it’s true that boxes from most newer sets still don’t break $80 or $90, I expect that to change in the future as more and more people will be interested in drafting their favorite nostalgic formats.

Sealed boxes are also the best investment for the day Magic actually does die. Expect these to double or triple in value overnight if Wizards ever announces that they are done printing cards.

You can still get at least $70 for a sealed box of Spellfire – a card game that wasn’t even all that popular. A box of Reflections II, the most popular set from Decipher’s old Star Wars CCG, sold on eBay last week for over $200.

Those games didn’t even have a draft format!

Strong buy: Rise of the Eldrazi. Perhaps the best contained, one-set draft format ever. Boxes of the set are going for $60-$70 on eBay right now, and they should be worth twice that in five years.

Reserved list rares that are playable but not too expensive right now

Wizards has said they will never print another dual land ever again.

Of course, that doesn’t mean duals are going to keep going up in price forever. They’re expensive now because they’re must-have cards in a very popular format. If Wizards either bans them in Legacy as degenerate mana fixing or usurps the format, they will go down in price. I cannot see Wizards continuing to support Legacy as-is if Underground Sea hits $200 – they will do something about it.

But if, say, Illusionary Mask hits $200? I think they’ll be ok with that. After all, Moat and Tabernacle didn’t break the format.

Reserve list cards to keep an eye on:

 

I’m not saying all of these cards will go up in value, and some (like Moat, Survival, and Tabernacle) will probably go down in value over the next year or so.

But it’s important to know that none of the above cards will ever be printed again. So if one of them starts breaking a format, it has the potential to double or triple in value.

Pick of the Week 12/13: Goblin Guide – Zendikar

Since I am writing this article just hours before the start of Worlds and the dawn of a new tournament season, I figured I’d spend the week talking about a good long term investment: Goblin Guide.

I’ve already mentioned Goblin Guide twice in this article, and that’s because I’m really enamored with him right now. He’s just so good at what he does! Red mages know what I mean when I say that RDW in Standard usually plays out one of two ways: the Goblin Guide way or the no Goblin Guide way.

Not only is he excellent in Standard, but he sees regular play in both Extended and Legacy. He is probably the best aggressive one-drop creature of all time.

Just about a week or two ago, dealers began pricing him closer to $10 than $5 – you can find him on this site for $9. And while I don’t recommend picking him up for that price, I do want to clue you in on the fact that he recently went up in value. So don’t trade yours away at $5, and if you can pick up a few copies near the old price point, do so. I don’t see him going down in value for years to come.

Until next week –

– Chas Andres

31 thoughts on “Traderous Instinct – Thinking Long Term”

  1. Great, accessible article that both was interesting to read and contained solid info.

    Wait, Ravnica was 5 years ago!? I suddenly feel old.

  2. Goblin guide is one of those creatures that will be playable pretty much forever. I mean, a 2/2 haste for R with no “real” drawback (when I talk about “real” drawbacks on beatdown creatures, think phyrexian negator)? Totally broken. By the time the possible card advantage your opponent gets off guide is relevant, they’re usually dead. If there were an eternal format RDW (that was good), this would almost certainly be a part of it. I agree with this assessment.

    On the whole, I liked this whole article. I like the way CFB kind of slipped this guy in without coming out and saying he’s Saito’s replacement (I mean, come on LSV and Zaiem, we play magic, we aren’t stupid. We noticed.), but he more than fills the role. He and Grewe compliment each other well. Good choice.

  3. I’m really impressed with this article, and glad you joined the crew. I’ve been following your blog on my RSS for a while, and consider it one of the better of its type being updated these days. This article said a lot of very important things, and it’s a good feeling to know my investments over the last few years have been the right ones.

    Something you didn’t hit on so much, but is worth noting, is the difference between a revised Underground Sea and a Beta, or even FBB Sea (Seas being a substitute for any staple, and Beta subbing for Foil). Getting “pimp” versions of cards is more of an initial cost, but the dividends really do pay most of the time – especially in cross format heavy hitters like duals and Tops, etc.

  4. I’m really sad you’ve fallen victim to one of my pet peeves, so I’ll have to point it out. I love numbers, so it pains me to hear you say:

    “If you bought one share of Tundra (TND) on Jan 1, 2006, you’d probably have paid around $20 for the card. Today, it is worth about $70 – a 350% gain.”

    and:

    “You could have bought Apple stock for $50 in 2006, and sold it this morning for $300 – that’s a 600% gain”

    LIES!

    we have here a 250% GAIN and a 500% GAIN, since the values are 350% and 600% of what they were. It sounds nitpicky, but the way you have it is simply wrong. Don’t overrepresent your gains!

  5. Subjet: potentially very boring
    Execution: fantastic and keeps the attention quite well.

    Relevant article and gets some thoughts forming. Good stuff.

  6. person_man:

    You are 100% right, and you just described exactly why I am a writer instead of a financier or something. I get trends and values and all that, but actual, factual math has always given me fits.

  7. Oh yeah… I traded a Revised Tundra for a Revised Personal Incarnation once. I still feel pretty stupid about that sometimes. But then there’s stuff like the 4x Natural Order that I just seemed to have for no good reason… I guess I opened them back in the day and they just sat around.

  8. Great article! I am always glad when I took a break from Magic for a few years that I kept my ‘good old stuff’ binder. It’s a big binder that easily doubled in value just by sitting on the shelf.

  9. Nice article, it seems like you put a lot of thought into writing it, and it was actually very holistically thought out

  10. @Matth Ward
    I just read your article.. It wasn’t very interesting :[ And I don’t think any sentences were copied at all. You two both had the same topic, Chas executed it better than you did.

  11. @Matth Ward

    There isn’t a ton of original territory in Magic writing to begin with, and much less when dealing with the financial aspect of the game. The topics just happened to overlap. How many people do you think wrote about U/B control this week?

    I was actually going to write this article for QS before I left, and I think we both got our inspiration from the same place: more people over there wanted content about long-term speculation! I did read your article, I did like it, and to be honest I forgot about it entirely before writing this one. I read or skim thirty Magic articles a day. If any of your points made it into this article, it is because I liked them so much that I internalized them.

    I take your plagiarism accusation extremely seriously and can tell you with absolute certainty that I did not steal anything from you. As someone who is trying to make a living as a writer, I would never, ever, EVER plagiarize from ANYONE.

    It would be a breach of my deepest personal ethics.

  12. As I said, I’m going to pull out the pitchforks. But I do think it startlingly coincidental that your thesis sentence is almost exactly the same as mine, and that you chose to discuss the Magic market using stock market terms like “blue chip” and “bubble burst.” To put this in perspective, let’s consider two such areas.

    “What global economy has ever experienced seventeen years of economic prosperity without a single recession, widespread market downturn, or “market-sized” bubble bursting? I’m not talking about the microbubble that popped when your Chameleon Colossi’s value evaporated. When has the Legacy market crashed? Never, not when it was “type 1.5,” not when it became Legacy, and never since.” -Matth on 11/5/10

    to which you responded (in comments section):
    I came to post what ‘thehordling’ said: there was actually a huge crash in Magic when Chronicles came out. Cards like Carrion Ants went from $25 cards down to nothing in a matter of days. The Elder Dragons, previously the most valuable cards in the game outside of power, saw their value dip by over 1000%. -Chas on 11/5/10

    You then took my sentence and your critique, and came up with this (1+1=?):
    “Magic has actually been one of the best investments of the past 15
    years and has weathered the recession absurdly well. While some
    bubbles did burst back in the Chronicles days, almost all the Eternal
    staples have either gone up or stabilized over time. ” -Chas on 12/15/10

    I’m sorry man, maybe that’s not plagiarism in your books, but it’s too damn soon to be rewriting that article already. I don’t care if you chose different stories, examples, or specific cards to link; these are irrelevancies. When you strip your article and mine down to their thesis, their inspiration, and many of the key concepts presented in the article, you find only one inspiration at their genesis. And that inspiration is mine. You wrote for QS. You read my article. You commented upon it. And then you brought it over to CF. Intentions be damned.

    Again, I’m not trying to crucify you. And imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The real kicker here is, I wrote mine for free.

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  14. No, Matt, that’s NOT plagiarism.

    Your ‘thesis’ that magic has been a good investment over the past several years when other things have failed is something grindingly obvious that I had been thinking about for the past two years. Why else do you think I was buying and selling magic cards for months on end when I couldn’t get a job interview to save my life? This is a topic that has been near and dear to my heart for a long time now. It is pure arrogance on your part to think that your article was the only inspiration for mine. It did not consciously cross my mind once in the weeks since I skimmed it, commented, and moved on with my life.

    You don’t have a monopoly on the concept that Magic cards went up in price, nor do you have a monopoly on the concept that investing in Magic cards and investing in the stock market are both things you can invest in!

    In terms of ‘rewriting the same article’, I feel like over 90% of this article expands far beyond what you attempted in yours. Comparing Magic to the stock market was simply my way in to the world of thinking of Magic as an investment. It was a jumping off point to explore both the past and future of Magic finances. The part of this article that really matters, IMO, is the stuff looking five years back and five years hence.

    I am not going go get into this any further with you. This feels like sour grapes at my move from Quiet Speculation to Channel Fireball. I’m sorry you don’t like the fact that I write here now.

    My next article is about how to speculate, and it will cover some of the things that Kelly Reid and many others covered last August. Then I am going to write about the values of Commander staples, which is also something a ton of people have written about before.

    Guess what? It’s Magic finance! The well doesn’t exactly run deep.

  15. So wait.
    The allegation is that Chas thought about a concept from Matt’s article, thought about his critique of it, and then wrote, in his article that partially explores a similar topic, his viewpoint on the concept?

    Well, crap. Looks like I’m getting sued by Eli Shiffrin for writing rules articles.

  16. All I was looking for was an apology, even for accidentally stirring up something. What I was hoping for was the realization that the evolution of ideas is a wonderful and valid thing, but that it needs to be cited when the overlaps are extremely significant. The sentences above wouldn’t be quite so important if they were not the thesis sentences of each of our essays. Yours is a bit harder to find because you like to start with the whole anecdote thing, which is effective, but unless there’s a different thesis hiding there, that’s it (if it’s not, please illuminate).

    It doesn’t matter if 90% of our papers are different. If 10% of them are exactly the same, that’s called plagiarism. In 10+ years of reading Magic articles, I have never once found one that disseminates the Magic market into stock market terms and discusses investing in a card in Magic as one invests in a share of stock. I have never once found an article that talks about the lack of recessions or economic bubbles that occur in most markets, and how Magic has uniquely managed to avoid most (but not all, as you pointed out), of them. I have never seen one article talk about the A.P.R yield of Wasteland relative to any stock on any market in history. Yet within a month of mine being published, here is yours.

    And 90% is a bit generous. Excepting the anecdotal beginning and the moderately self-explanatory list at the end, it follows the exact progression of my first and second article (the thesis of the second being mentioned at the end of the first), and shares a virtually identical thesis as we’ve already discussed. The “a brief history lesson” section in particular is very nearly copied and pasted from my first article.

    Again, none of this is actually inherently wrong. I am really flattered that the concept resonated, and that within a few articles I already hear echoes of a principled thought process that I am attempting to foster. The fact that you chose a similar format is also really cool; as far as I can tell you read what I said and said, “Hey, this is kind of cool, but I think I can do better, so I’m going to.” That’s AWESOME! You should! That’s how great ideas happen; it’s seldom done just right the first time. The ONLY part that I felt should have been executed properly was crediting. Crediting is groovy;; for one thing, writing is not a zero-sum game. Your success is not my failure, and my success is not yours. Quite the opposite; by crediting other people (I prefer to call them “shout outs”), especially in a community as small as Magic’s, you will find yourself networking and building friends within the community without even trying. If the section titled “a brief history lesson” had just started with a single sentence that you’d liked a thought process you found (link to article) here, so you wanted to re-explore it. Boom. I would have loved you like a brother, having never met you (to my knowledge).

    The only way the evolution of ideas happens legitimately is if the chain of ideas is left intact. When you rewrite an article without crediting it in any way, you deprive your readers of the knowledge that this is a chain of ideas. That makes it a betrayal of all parties, yourself included.

    I fear that I came on far too strongly in my first two posts, and for that I apologize; life has been rather unkind to me lately. Had it not been, I probably wouldn’t have had the stones to made all of this trouble to begin with. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t consider this fundamentally unjust at some level. I don’t think you thought about what you were doing; I don’t think this was a premeditated attempt to steal ideas or anything like that (really, I don’t). Rather, I think you’re just getting into this, and made a small mis-step in writing an otherwise fantastically digestible article. To that end, all I want from you is to consider, not even whether I’m right or wrong, but that some people could see things in this way (as does the legal system when concerning intellectual property, for the record), and for next time, to just throw in that little shout out. I don’t want the publicity; Magic celebrity is special-olympics celebrity. But I do want to know that my ideas are growing, thriving, and being shared (not merely smothered) by others.

    I wish you all the best of luck in your Magic future.

  17. @Chas, nice article. I really did enjoy the looking forward portions and evaluating that against where everything was 5 years ago.

    @Matth – you said this, “In 10+ years of reading Magic articles, I have never once found one that disseminates the Magic market into stock market terms and discusses investing in a card in Magic as one invests in a share of stock.”

    You wrote yours on November 5, 2010.

    Looking at the site you write for (which I very much enjoy) I feel that others have beaten you to the punch.

    May 20, 2010
    Alexander Shearer – Building Your Long-Term Portfolio
    http://www.quietspeculation.com/2010/05/alexander-shearer-building-your-long-term-portfolio/

    October 1, 2010
    Douglass Linn – Speculation Risk Thresholds and Portfolio Theory,
    http://www.quietspeculation.com/2010/10/dream-cache-speculation-risk-thresholds-and-portfolio-theory/

    I’m pretty sure David Heilker had a series he was writing about investing in a trade portfolio, just like you would big a stock portfolio but I can’t find that in the qs archives.

    October 13, 2010
    Kelly Reid
    Quiet Speculation: Wall St. Wizardry
    http://www.mtgoacademy.com/quiet-speculation-wall-st-wizardry/

  18. Really enjoy your writing style. You know how to tell a story and suck the reader in. I first started reading your blog after you commented in one of the CFB articles and am really glad you will be given a chance to write weekly for this site.

  19. Chas, I followed you over from QS and you made a very good switch. CF is great, I had no idea.

    Talking about time and transitions is huge, especially as we get older and cannot stay on top of the rotations.

    I got burned by the Lorwyn rotation pretty bad. Decided to “get older” and traded that block away for some power and other leg staples. Now I have some time and trying to get those cards back is a pain, and since they aren’t being opened, ugh. Not to mention no one wants a NM Time Walk and I don’t want to trade my duals.

    Decisions.
    Thanks for the article!

  20. 5 years from now I think you can be working for wizards (if you want to). You seem like the kind of person they want to hire!

  21. Pingback: Traderous Instinct – A Trip Back in Time, Part One : ChannelFireball – Magic: The Gathering Strategy, Singles, Cards, Decks

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