Billy Beane for those who don’t know is the General Manager of the Oakland A’s. He is maybe most famous for being the focus of Michael Lewis’ book Moneyball: The Art of Winning the Unfair Game and the subsequent hit movie. Benjamin Morris at FiveThirtyEight took a crack at estimating the (very high) value of Beane to the A’s who are perennially among the lowest spending teams in baseball.
Tony Manfred at Business Insider picked up on part of an interview with Beane on the Men in Blazers podcast where he talked about why he did not watch the A’s actually play their games. Beane says:
When I watch a game, I get a visceral reaction to something that happens — which is probably not a good idea when you’re the boss, when you can actually pick up the phone and do something. That probably isn’t logical and rational based on some temporary experience you just felt in a game. So a lot of times it’s to remove myself from what is happening and ultimately make better decisions when the game is over and you’ve got the results in front of you.
It is not for nothing that Moneyball was a huge hit amongst the Wall Street crowd. The above quote is a near perfect explanation why investors shouldn’t watch the market on a minute-by-minute let alone day-by-day basis. You are in a very real sense the general manager of your portfolio. You have the ability to make decisions about it at any time. The problem that Beane identifies, and tries to offset, is that emotions will always get in the way of making sound decisions. Managing money is difficult enough. Don’t let the daily noise cause you to make errors along the way.