It’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…

Larry Neumann

Mr. Neumann is responsible for all aspects of strategic, corporate, product and vertical marketing. Before Solace, Mr. Neumann held executive marketing positions with TIBCO and Oracle, and co-founded an internet software company called inCommon which was acquired by TIBCO. During his tenure at TIBCO, Mr. Neumann played a key role in planning company strategic direction relating to target markets and candidate acquisitions.