Lessons from the New York Mets

by | Aug 23, 2018 | Financial Planning

As some of you may know, we here at Mullooly Asset Management are BIG TIME Mets fans.

Please don’t hold that against us. 

Year in and year out there is always a handful of things to complain about with the Mets.

We’re constantly talking in the office here about the number of different things the Mets do that infuriate fans, and seemingly guarantee under-performance with no real long-term plan in place.

It finally hit me that so many of the things the Mets do wrong, are lessons people can learn from and apply to their own financial behaviors and investment portfolios.

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  1. The Mets don’t know how to admit when a season is over.
  • This year is a PERFECT example. The Mets are currently 56-70 and 15 games back in the National League East.  Now, nobody expects them to make the playoffs and yet they still trot out old, washed up players like Jose Reyes and Jose Bautista everyday instead of letting young players get a chance to develop in low-pressure situations.
  • Financial lesson: Know when to admit that something is not working. If a particular savings rate or spending habit is not working with your financial plan, CHANGE IT.  If a particular investment isn’t working towards your long-term goals, CHANGE IT.  Being able to admit when you’ve made a mistake is crucial.  It’s okay to BE WRONG.  It’s not okay to STAY WRONG.
  1. The Mets shop at the dollar store instead of Target. Let me explain.
  • Every year we are told as a fan base the Mets plan to compete this year and that if a few pieces fall into place, they could make the playoffs! But instead of going out and signing TOP LEVEL free agents, they go bargain-hunting and sign second-level players.  An example:  Instead of signing free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas this offseason, they signed veteran past-his-prime third baseman Todd Frazier for a cheap two-year contract.  Naturally, this seemed like taking the easy way out instead of ponying up the cash for a big time player, and naturally it yielded sub-par results.
  • Financial lesson: Garbage in, garbage out. If you take shortcuts when constructing your financial plan, your financial plan will most likely fall short.  While it’s easier to spend less money on a player like Todd Frazier, or try and focus on solely investment performance to make up for the fact that you don’t save enough money, the odds of having a successful season or financial plan drop significantly.  There’s a BIG difference between quick fixes and temporary patches versus building long-term success and permanent positive results.
  1. The Mets are fixated on short-term results.
  • Instead of letting young talent develop, the Mets are constantly fixated on winning THIS YEAR. They go out and sign veteran players, for cheap, at the end of their career hoping they can salvage one more good season.  Examples?  Surely!  Signing Adrian Gonzalez to play first base this offseason instead of letting Dom Smith develop.  The aforementioned Todd Frazier yet again, instead of letting young Wilmer Flores get comfortable at third base.  Benching Amed Rosario to play Jose Reyes.  Taking at bats away from Brandon Nimmo to for guys like Jay Bruce and Jose Bautista.
  • Financial lesson: This one should be pretty obvious. If you’re a long-term investor with a financial plan meant to get you through retirement, don’t fixate on the short-term results at the expense of your long term plan.  Although for the Mets that’s difficult because to the public eye, they don’t have a long-term plan.  Which brings up another quick lesson: HAVE A LONG-TERM PLAN.

There are a PLENTY of other wrongdoings the Mets organization has made over the last few decades, but to save you time I’ll cut it off at those three for now.

Moral of the story:

  • It pays to have a long-term financial plan.
  • It pays to stick with that long-term plan, even when short-term fluctuations might make it painful.
  • It pays to make the difficult decisions, and take the hard route sometimes.
  • It pays to know when something isn’t working, and it most certainly pays to be able to change to something that will work.

Please don’t be like the New York Mets.  Be BETTER than the New York Mets.  It won’t be that hard.

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