I Hate Losing

“The idea that I [should] trust my eyes more than the stats, I don’t buy that because I’ve seen magicians pull rabbits out of hats and I know that the rabbit’s not in there.

— Billy Beane, World Series winning coach of the Athletics


Addison WigginDear Reader,

The market is a lot like sports. You have to deal with the facts: win or lose. Today we take a look at losing… and winning big.

Overseas: The English football team Everton won, saving them from “relegation.” Liverpool, their crosstown rival won also, but lost their chance to win the Barclays league… by a single point. Winners and losers.

If you’re a fan of soccer, it was quite a weekend. If not, you missed a special season.

On this side of the pond, in Baltimore, thousands of people in funny hats descended upon my neighborhood. Tailgaters took up all the parking spots on my street. Showgoers donned in white linen and puffing cigars flocked to the Pimlico Race Course down the street to witness the 2022 Preakness, the “middle shelf of the Triple Crown”.

Baltimore is a strange place. It has the Star Bangled Banner to its name. It was home to H.L Menckin, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thurgood Marshall. It was even home to some famous people. The city is like the fourth leg of the mid-Atlantic behind Newark, Delaware and Richmond, Virginia.

My middle son, August, took part in the Preakness festivities, “moshing” in the 97 degree heat to musicians like Megan Thee Stallion, Moneybagg Yo and the Chainsmokers.

From the outside, watching the traffic, seeing the folks with their goodie bags, you wouldn’t think we’re about to enter a recession. And, in fact, according to Andrew Zatlin, our Wiggin Sessions guest this week, the “Vice Index” shows that people are spending discretionary income on liquor, drugs, prostitution and other unmentionables at an astounding rate.

A couple weeks ago the Kentucky Derby – the “greatest 2 minutes in sports.” This week: Baltimore’s turn. And if I know one thing about my city, it’s that we are grimier, sweatier, and more hard-working than any other in the Mid-Atlantic.

Preakness is Baltimore’s horse race. And it did not disappoint.

When the winning horse crossed the finish line, I could hear people cheering.

Seth Klarman owns the winning horse. Seriously, yes, Seth Klarman. The fact will only mean something to you if you’re from around here. He’s a mellow guy from Baltimore, worth like $1.5 billion dollars. He’s probably lost money on his stables. But Saturday, a stroke of mercurial luck. And boom. Seth was equally calm in his post winning interviews.

Nothing like some good old fashioned hometown pride.

From the Paulick Report, a newsletter dedicated to the horse industry:

“Winning once was like the dream of a lifetime and winning twice is beyond belief,” Klarman said during the Preakness trophy presentation. “It’s an extraordinary experience. I give all the credit to Chad Brown for getting the horse here and ready to run a big race and, of course, Jose Ortiz did a masterful ride. It’s just great to be back in Baltimore today.

“We thought he needed a little more seasoning, the extra rest would help him,” Klarman said of the decision to bypass the Derby even though Early Voting had enough qualifying points to make the field. “He’s pretty lightly raced, only three races before today. And as it turned out, that was the right call because the pace in the Derby was kind of suicidal, so he probably would not have done that well. We wanted to do right by the horse and we’re so glad we waited.”

The lesson learned from The Premiership & Preakness: stats matter.

This week on TWS: Andrew Zatlin of Moneyball Economics lives by this creed.

He modeled his business after the iconic baseball legend Billy Beane. Billy was the coach of the Athletics. He’s known for his statistics-based philosophy of coaching that brought the lowly A’s all the way to win the World Series.

Beane: “The idea that I should trust my eyes more than the stats, I don’t buy that because I’ve seen magicians pull rabbits out of hats and I know that the rabbit’s not in there.”

Again, stats matter.

Click here to learn more

Andrew Zatlin, echoing Beane:My best ideas are based on the data coming from the jobs market.”

The markets, however, don’t always shape up to be like sports. There’s a lot more on the line. We have horses in the race.

Time to take a page from Beane and Klarman…

Click here to look at Bear Market data with Andrew Zatlin, and make smart decisions with our money.

After all, I hate losing more than I love winning.

Follow your bliss,

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin
Founder, The Financial Reserve

P.S. Make sure you look at Andrew’s hiring data, here. It’s a good tool to gage market volatility.

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin is founder and executive publisher of Agora Financial LLC, an independent economic forecasting and financial research firm. He and Bill Bonner began writing the firm’s flagship Daily Reckoning in the midst of the tech boom and bust. It was one of the first widely distributed email newsletters on the Internet. The publication’s critical eye on finance and economics continues today. He’s also creator and editorial director of Agora Financial’s daily missive The 5 Min. Forecast.

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