The Bigs

Big Papi, Aaron Judge and JD Martinez.

Stock picking in 2020 was like tball— if you had money to invest, you got a chance to bat— and in tball everyone hits, and everyone gets to touch home (with a few exceptions).

While Tball progresses to coach pitch and then eventually the minors and so on— In 2022 Mr. Market has jumped straight to The Bigs—

2020/21 was, “pretty much everything is down and we are pretty sure everything is going back up” 2022’s opening pitch is macro economic headwinds, stifling inflation, Fed interest rate hikes, debilitating supply chain woes, and an already realized 10% correction to major indexes. Wow. I don’t know if it’s the ballpark Franks or my -30% YTD returns giving me heartburn—

I’m only slightly more than a casual fan of Abner Doubleday’s creation, so excuse my inevitable statistical errors.

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My fandom for “The Bigs” started in the heartbreak of 2003 when the Red Sox were beat out by the Yankees for the ALCS. Since that fateful year, the Red Sox have taken the World Series 4 times to the Yankees 1– and it couldn’t have been done without the Big Bats. When the time comes— you have to trust the big bats. Believe in the numbers; trust the execution; give history an opportunity to repeat itself.

It was a rude awakening when Aaron Judge realized he wasn’t playing Tball anymore— after entering The Bigs he kept a note on his phone wallpaper that read “.179” — that was his batting average the previous season.

My YTD return is kind of like The Judge’s 2016 batting average right now.

But Guess What? Halfway through the 2017 season Judge was leading all of baseball in home runs and had the third highest batting average at .330. He’s continued to be one of the most feared and dangerous men to stand in the batter’s box.

The game is the same, but there’s a lot more going on in the Diamond when we move on from Tball— I understand we are all in different stages of our investing journey—- but I for one am thankful my .179 season is happening now— because just maybe I can go look at some tape and figure out where my swing was off— because when we learn to do that— to adjust— to adapt— to analyze and overcome— That’s when we become truly great.

To apply this outside the batter’s box— I’m invested in a very concentrated (8-11 stocks) portfolio — so I’m checking the numbers— quality companies, high growth (30-100%+ YoY), gross margins over 70%, no or very low debt, lots of cash, sectors I believe in with strong tailwinds over the next 3-5+ years. The slumps will come— for every company and player— but trust history. There are higher highs ahead— a cleaner swing and better returns on the other side of this opportunity.

For further reference— in 2014 JD Martinez was dropped from the Astros when he was told he did not have a swing that would be impactful in the majors— he is now a 4 time all star with 3 silver slugger awards and holds a career .290 average with a World Series to boot. Oh, and he’s a (DH) designated hitter— go figure.

This didn’t happen to JD on accident— he took the criticism and believed it— but he also believed he could find the right swing. He studied, and continues to study, the mechanics and art of the swing to the nth degree. He researches his opposition— he knows all the numbers— their fast ball, the break on their curve, where they like to put their change-up. There are no excuses in the age of information. Be a JD. A Judge. A Big Papi (Hall of Fame recipient this week)— step back up to the plate and take a swing— a really beautiful swing— sharp, and sure.


Good Health, Happiness, and Peace to you in 2022.



Great post MFalcon!

All the Best,