Always the Same Pitch, Regardless of the Count? – February 2024 Commentary

In 1970, baseball great Ted Williams was quoted saying “a good hitter can hit a pitch that is over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a questionable ball in a tough spot.”  And second, “Obviously you don’t just ‘guess’ curve or ‘guess’ fastball – you work with a frame of reference, you learn what you might expect in certain instances, and you go from there.”  Perhaps it’s the coaching of my two sons’ baseball teams, but isn’t it interesting the parallels between sports and investing?  Successful investors strive to identify “fat pitches” to hit instead of chasing bad ones.  If playing basketball, it’s taking the “lay up” instead of shooting for 3-points.  Why take increased risks by hitting pitches out of the strike zone, or shooting for 3-points?  Why not seek the “fat pitch” or “lay-up” areas of the market that appear ripe for accelerating performance?  After many years of repeated leadership, the most expensive areas of the market (mega-cap tech stocks) seem overdue for a break.  They are priced to perfection, and thereby risky.  Should you swing at the risky-to-hit pitch regardless of the count or game situation?

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