Play Ball! – The Prospects for Baseball as a Hot New Trading Asset Class

iStock_000003652779XSmall-300x199It’s opening day 2013, and former Wall Street trader Joe Peta is in the news with a new book proposing baseball as the next great trading asset class. It’s just a matter of time before financial planners all over the US are suggesting a mix of stocks, bonds, currency hedges and batting averages as part of retirement planning.

In his book Trading Bases: A Story About Wall Street, Gambling, and Baseball, Peta tells the story of how he’s successfully applied the fact-based analytical approach of a hedge fund to the game of baseball. Using what amounts to proprietary sabermetrics, he claims he was able to beat the odds and return 40% on his capital over a year of betting in Las Vegas. He concludes that the Vegas baseball gambling market doesn’t have enough liquidity to do this on a large scale yet, but it’s an interesting idea with real potential.

Baseball games are a new spin, but lots of companies are finding opportunity in the trading of innovative new asset classes. Here are a few Solace customers that trade or make a market in non-standard assets:

  • Brand.net/Valassis – a marketplace that matches ad buyers with ad inventory in real time, based on contextual targeting.
  • Bet365 – sports betting, including in-game betting. Want to bet with some of the information already revealed? No problem, Bet365 continuously changes the odds as the events of the match and time remaining change.
  • eBay – a marketplace where hundreds of thousands of buyers and sellers meet to exchange goods and services of every imaginable type.
  • Mercuria – trading commodities related to energy to balance excess with need worldwide.

I’ll be thinking of Mr. Peta when I settle in to watch the San Francisco Giants begin defense of their crown later today. If I leave now, I can catch the game in Vegas and do a little first-hand research on this exciting new market opportunity…