Markets

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

In this week's episode of Rule Breaker Investing, David Gardner shares something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Some of the many topics covered:

  • Middle Ages map-making and how to approach the unknown.
  • Board game, book, app, and show recommendations for the holidays.
  • Why the Twins should and shouldn't have lost to the Yankees this year.
  • David's favorite stock pick of 2019 so far.
  • The etymology of the word "hodgepodge."
  • Why you should double your holding period for stocks.
  • What the NFL and Major Leagues can teach us about the nature of long-term winning streaks.

And much more. To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool's free podcasts, check out our podcast center. To get started investing, check out our quick-start guide to investing in stocks. A full transcript follows the video.

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This video was recorded on Nov. 6, 2019.

David Gardner: Every once in a blue moon, or a new moon, or an old moon, or a borrowed moon, I queue up a hodgepodge of points that I want to share, and they're not really related to each other. A hodgepodge. And so, as I've done before in the show, I call it "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, and Something Blue." And each of the four main points fits well, even if I have to shoehorn them into that simple format. You probably know the expression. It's what brides traditionally are supposed to wear on their wedding day for good luck. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. And while I won't be providing this this podcast, you're also supposed to have a silver sixpence in your shoes. If you want to locate a dime or a quarter and slip it into your shoe for this month's podcast, I think you might have even better luck. Only on this week's Rule Breaker Investing.

Welcome back to Rule Breaker Investing!

Hi, I'm David Gardner. I'm the host and I'm delighted that you're joining me with this new month the start of a new month for our world at large. And for this podcast, it is the first week of November. I want to mention before we get started that next week, I'll be picking my next five-stock sampler. So, five stock picks coming on next week's show. The week following, we'll do a Reviewapalooza and look back at three past five-stock samplers, update our numbers and our learnings. So, a very stock-centered November for Rule Breaker Investing. While this particular week, we'll kind of glide around different places, we will definitely talk some stocks, too.

I do want to mention that the final week of this month always kind of times up with the Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States, so I typically tape that one ahead of time. Now, you're going to know as a regular listener, that's our mailbag episode. So I'm already accepting your mailbag submissions even right now. So if you'd like to be featured, maybe, the final week of the show, just email us, rbi@fool.com. Thoughts, questions, suggestions, we share them all. Stories poems, we share them all on Rule Breaker Investing the mailbag episode the final Wednesday of every month. rbi@fool.com is the email address. Of course, you can always tweet us @RBIPodcast to participate in the rigorous selection process for who gets to be on the mailbag each month.

I have mentioned this in the past, by the way, but if you do have some ambition, as Shakespeare once said, if you're ambitious for a motley coat, if you have some ambition to be featured on the mailbag, tip -- tend to tell a story, ask a question, share a suggestion, of great, broad relevance. Questions that are very focused just on your situation -- like, let's say, a tax question about your situation -- very unlikely to be featured on Rule Breaker Investing. Those are very important, by the way, and we try to solve those problems through a lot of things that we do at fool.com and The Motley Fool. I hope that you can find solutions to almost anything business and financial through The Motley Fool. But this particular podcast, I'm always looking for things that speak to as many people worldwide as possible. So there's a hot tip if you're ambitious for a motley coat to be featured on this month's mailbag.

All right, so it's a hodgepodge show. And because I love etymologies, I love the history of words, you might be wondering -- I was wondering the same thing, if you were -- where does the word hodgepodge come from? So, before we get into it, let's just briefly cover where hodgepodge came from. So, it was initially a kind of stew, especially -- and I read this in quotes. This is from Etymonline, basically the online etymology dictionary, etymonline.com, they said, late 14th century, it was a stew "one made with goose, herbs, spices, wine and other ingredients." Earlier before that, in the 13th century, it was an Anglo-French legal term that meant collection of property in a common pot before dividing it equally. So there's a little bit of background. I always love to know where words come from, just like I love to know where people come from and ideas come from and great companies, where they come from, too. So there's hodgepodge. 

So it's kind of a stew of a show this week. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. This is one of 18 separate series that I've counted in the four-plus years that Rick Engdahl, my producer, and I have been doing, bringing Rule Breaker Investing to you. I love to organize, often, around a certain theme and then update it with more episodes. And I know any regular listener knows that about Rule Breaker Investing. So, the first time we ever did "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue," it was April of 2017. 17 other separate series are part of the fabric of Rule Breaker Investing. It's been fun to go back to them, like five-stock samplers, which I'll be doing next week, Reviewapaloozas. Those are both among the 18 separate series. So, if you can identify any of the other 15 series, perhaps, as a regular listener, you can think of some of the others, yeah, feel free to tweet us @RBIPodcast. What do you get? You get a virtual feather in your cap! Well, that's just a way of saying we have fun on social media. That's about all it's worth.

All right, something old. So, what is one of my favorite kind of stories that I like to go back to and reset with? And for people who've heard it before, I hope you'll be reminded of one of those things that you like to be reminded from time to time. It'll add some value. And for people who haven't heard this before, I hope it will open your eyes a little bit.

So, one of the things that's always interested me about human nature is how we tend to make fearful the things we don't understand. I think back to looking at some old maps, like, back in the Middle Ages, when they hadn't actually been to Ultima Thule, or they hadn't been to that corner of the map, but the cartographer was tracing things out. And what would they write in the corner of the map about the place that no one had yet been to? They would write, "there be dragons." There be dragons. Now, as it turns out, unless you know something I don't, dragons have never existed, even though I love fantasy. I love the idea that there would have been dragons at some point. Maybe there still are dragons somewhere. But I'm pretty sure there aren't dragons. Back then they didn't know for sure, we now know there aren't dragons. But this isn't a point about dragons. This is a point about how human nature tends, when we don't understand or know something, we kind of get scared of it.

And so I've asked myself, you know, do I want to walk around, do you want to walk around in a world that you're afraid of? And I think a lot of people do, because a lot of us kind of find our place in life and we tend to silo a little bit. We know our community. Some people make this point about echo chambers on social media. I'm not headed there, but some people say you're only hearing from people who already agree with you. I think it's a little overstated personally, but that's not my point. It's very natural as humans, we're only going to connect with so many people and only travel so many places. And especially as we age, sometimes we slow down a little bit, and we're just less likely to take risks or try things. At the age of 53, I'm kind of in the middle of that. And sometimes I notice that about myself. But do you want to walk around in a world that you're afraid of? I don't.

So I think the best thing we can do, of course, is to constantly grow. My favorite people are learning machines. It doesn't matter what they studied in college or high school. It doesn't matter what their job is. They're reading widely. They're having experiences that they learn from and they share those out with everybody else, like traveling to a new place, or trying a new food, or trying on a new idea for size. They're constantly intellectually curious. And I think intellectual curiosity is at the heart of many of the most successful people in the world across all disciplines. So if you're intellectually curious, you are growing your circle of competence, that phrase that Warren Buffett has popularized, has made famous, certainly a lot of us around Fool HQ use that phrase and know it. Your circle of competence, all the things inside that circle that you trace around yourself, all the things inside that circle are what you know. You're competent with those things. And as Buffett has suggested, over the years, your money should also be inside that circle, too, if you are investing, or trading, or gambling with money well outside your circle of competence -- well, maybe from time to time, that's kind of fun, especially if it's not a big amount of money. But if you're consistently investing outside your circle of competence, I think you're making a big mistake. I think you're failing to recognize the benefits of playing for the home team and what the home team knows, doubling down on things that you really get. So, the circle of competence is a good guiding light for all of us as we think about how to spend our time in life, and how to invest our money.

But here's a secret. I don't think your circle of competence is fixed. I don't think the perimeter is a round number that never changes over the course of your adult life. In fact, I challenge you -- I bet you're already doing this, but if not -- I challenge you to constantly look to grow your circle of competence. I used to think this next line came from Archbishop William temple, the Archbishop of Canterbury, about a century ago. But it turns out, I think it's ascribed instead to an American talk show radio host way back in the day. But here's the line, regardless of who said it. "The greater the island of knowledge, the longer the coastline of mystery." It's a beautiful and true statement. The more that we learn, the more we know that we don't know other things. So, the more you grow your circle of competence, not only will you be less fearful of the world at large knowing more about it, but you'll also be in a place of humility, reminding you that there is still so much more to learn. And isn't that kind of The Fool's position? The position of The Fool throughout history? A place of humility that you and I try to come from as we recognize there are much bigger forces out there in the world. Bigger causes, bigger opportunities, than just little old me or you or our portfolios.

So I guess in conclusion, I'm suggesting with something old this week that you remember that you should never settle with your mind, anyway, I like people who are restless. Robert Frost on his gravestone, it reads, "I had a lover's quarrel with the world." It's a beautiful sentiment. It comes from one of his own poems. But that's the approach that I take as well, I hope you do, too, always trying to improve things, but always trying to learn more. And if you do, you're not going to walk through life with blind spots, saying, "There be dragons. I'm scared of the things and people and places that I've never been to." Instead, you're leaning into them. You're constantly growing your circle of competence and your island of knowledge.

So there it is. Something old.

All right, something new. And I thought, what to do with this one? I am one of those people who's part of the cult of the new. I love new things. Squirrel! Anything that's shiny and flashy, I'm probably chasing after, especially along some of my favorite areas of entertainment and content of the kind that we consume in many different forms on a daily, sometimes weekly or monthly basis in life. For me, things like, what games am I playing? What shows are we watching? What apps are you using? I thought, I'm just going to share out some of my favorite recent stuff across each of these categories. So here we go. Five minutes or less for this group.

Let's start with books. So I read two really good books in the last couple months. One of them I haven't finished yet, but I know it's a great book. So here are a couple book ideas for you. The first is a book called Influenza by Jeremy Brown. Now, this is the history especially of the horrific 1918 influenza epidemic that sadly killed tens of millions of people worldwide. Brown, the author, motivated to make sure we retell that story so we remember how something like that could happen again. It's an active question. A lot of people have so much more knowledge today about the flu. But, an amazing history, not just of 1918, but of flu epidemics up over the last century, and then looking forward, how do we eradicate it if we ever could? So, Jeremy Brown, Influenza. It's a wonderful study of the flu, which is timely because it's flu season here in the U.S. And then the second book is The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy by economist Pietra Rivoli. And this is the book I haven't finished yet. But it's amazing to think all of the things, all of the inputs that go into what it takes to just have a T-shirt on your back these days. All of the people, all the history that have made that possible. So the economist starts with certain assumptions that she makes at the start of the book, but by asking and asking again and traveling and finding out, what is the labor that this took? Where's the cotton coming from? It's a wonderful exploration, beautifully written, of the travels of a T-shirt in the global economy. So, those are two great recent books.

What's my favorite recent show? Inside Bill's Brain on Netflix. Highly recommend it. It's just three one-hour episodes. Gates is a genius. And what he's done in this world is amazing. The company that he created, Microsoft, has been a world-beater. Some people really don't like Microsoft. I admire Microsoft. Most people use their products and that's generally a good thing. But think about what he did. He then went and created the world's largest not-for-profit trying to solve things like hunger and healing the planet, so, global health. Inside Bill's Brain, a really fun look into what he's like these days, and looking back in his youth, where he came from. So, really enjoyed that.

Favorite video game these days? Well, the one that I'm playing most frequently, trying to finish, I'm at about 72% completion, is Spider-Man, which is just for the PlayStation 4. It's so beautifully done by Insomniac Games, which Sony has subsequently bought. So, Sony now owns Insomniac Games. But, anyway, Spider-Man, you really get to be Spider-Man. The backstory is great, the graphics, the writing, very comic and funny. Two recent games just out this season -- because Spider-Man is from two years ago; yep, I always have a backlog when I'm playing games, but two recent games this fall -- Borderlands 3 and The Outer Worlds. Now, some of you already know those games. Some of you have no interest in video games, so I'm not going to go into them. But I certainly give my David Gardner stamp of approval on both of those games. They're well-reviewed and I've played several hours into both, and I can see they're really good.

How about board games, apps, and stocks? So we'll close something new with board games, apps, and stocks. Board games. I think that the game of the year 2019 has already been named that way, we've talked about on this podcast, is Wingspan. So take a look into the kind of economic game built around bird watching and building an aviary and trying to bring in birds, and every single card in the game is a unique picture of a bird that has special abilities. It's a wonderful, very accessible game. More a gamer's game. And then, two others that come to mind, both really gamer's games. One is Nations, which is a Civilization-like board game that I bought years ago and just replayed, I think it came out six years ago, I just replayed it last week. That's such a great game. So Nations if you're looking for a deep, long Civilization card game. And then, Undaunted: Normandy, which is a deck builder, for those who know what that is. If you don't, I'll be, quick because we don't need to go that deep into games. But it's a deck builder, enabling you to run a platoon in World War II against your opponent. It's very well done. So Wingspan, Nations, and Undaunted: Normandy. If that's under somebody's tree in two months, that person probably will not be displeased, although I'm very likely to do maybe a short games list in a few weeks on this show, as we approach the holiday season. And those three that I just mentioned are very much gamer's games. So if you or your family or your best friend that you're thinking of giving this game to, if their favorite game is Yahtzee, don't give them Nations, Undaunted: Normandy, or Wingspan.

All right, favorite recent app? Well, it's not exactly new. This is the something new section. But I really appreciate following the news in a very minimalistic way on a daily basis through the Economist's Espresso app. Now, if you're an Economist subscriber to the digital or print mainly the digital edition, I think you get this for free. But if you don't want to, I think it's like a $4.99 monthly charge, which is fairly stiff for just a check-in-with-the-news-every-day-app. But I like it because it gives me a quick look at the globe and what's happening. There's not the kind of negativity or salacious headlines that you see in so much news. There's no real clickbait out there. So I just appreciate each morning kind of waking up with the Economist's Espresso. That's a relatively new app that I like.

And then to close, what's a stock, what's a new stock that I like? Well, how can I not think looking back now in 2019, probably our stock of the year in my services -- and of course, I still like it going forward -- is Roku, ticker symbol ROKU. In a world in which everybody has their new streaming service, even Apple these days, and there are questions, how many different streaming services do people really want to keep up with, I think that Roku as a platform is an enabler, an aggregator, and kind of a simplifier. Yes, you could subscribe to Disney+, for example, through Roku. Roku gets paid for that. So it's been a spectacular performer. Heck, we recommended it for the first time on March 14th of this year. Roku was at $61.82 for Rule Breaker members. Today, it's $140. So that's a pretty good eight-month-or-so return, not bad at all, so how could it not be one of my favorites? But at the same time, the stock just in two weeks in September dropped from $180 down to $100. So it's a very volatile stock. If you've been riding and all the way through, you know that already. It's kind of like a bucking bronco. But that's often how true Rule Breakers look and feel. So yeah, it didn't feel great when the stock dropped from $180 to $100 in two weeks, and yet, there it is back at $140 as we speak. If course, we're not in it for last month, or the last six months. We're looking forward five to 10 years. So as I identify something new, and I think about stocks and some of my favorites, both for its performance in 2019, and for its positioning going forward, Roku. And that's something new.

All right, and now for something borrowed. And I remember when I did the first episode of this series in April of 2017, I said something along these lines. I said something like, "Almost everything I do is borrowed." So many things that you do are borrowed, whether we're looking at the etymology of words from history, or we're quoting somebody else, or we're hearing about a stock idea. It never originates with you or me, it's usually been kicked over by lots of people before we find it and even before that, somebody actually started that company. So we're just kind of borrowing their company from them when we take part ownership through the miracle of the stock market. So many things are borrowed. We're raised in a culture -- at least I was -- where you're taught not to look over Johnny's shoulder at Johnny's paper when you're taking a test. And I certainly agree with that sentiment, and I try to do my best that way. And Johnny, yeah, you kept getting better grades than I did. But anyway, the irony in business, it seems, in life, is that ever afterward, there's a lot of copying going on. It certainly happens in business. People look at other people's websites, or what color T-shirts seems to be selling best this season, or we're using other people's recipes, best practice sharing. There's just tons of copying going on. And it's generally not unethical. And often, it's one of the smartest things you can do. Certainly, The Motley Fool culture, which has been lauded nationwide for some years now, is just a hodgepodge -- to go back to the word of the week -- of great ideas that have been tried in other places that we've just tried to make our own at Fool HQ. So, it's a big stew. Our whole life, our society, your life and our culture. There's tons of things borrowed. It all goes back to the Greeks in the Western world, doesn't it? Always seems to.

So with that said, I'm constantly borrowing. This podcast, I wanted to borrow a line from my brother. My brother, Tom Gardner, our CEO at The Motley Fool. I'm paraphrasing, but I think I've mostly got this one nailed. I've always loved this. It's such a good thought for you and me as investors. Tom says, "Whatever your standard holding period, double it. You'll do better as an investor." So, if you typically hold stocks for one year, Tom suggests, try holding them two. If you hold stocks for two weeks -- I sure hope not -- go for a month. And if you hold stocks for six years, try for 12. And I think he's right. And he's been practicing that for a long time. And I've been practicing that for a long time.

And here are three quick reasons why I think that works. First of all, you see farther, and you're playing for more gains when you're looking over more time. The best way to get a 10-bagger, a stock that rises 10 times in value, is to allow enough time for that stock to go up 10 times in value. And the biggest and best returns that we get happen over time. So if you're doubling your standard holding period, you are seeing farther and you are playing for more gains, you're playing a bigger game. And when you win, you're going to win big. A second thing I really like about this sentiment is, you're more tax efficient. The less trading you do, the more holding, the less you're going to pay in taxes. As I think most investors who are listening to this podcast today know, if you sell a stock inside of one year, you'll be taxed at your income level, which is typically quite a bit higher than your capital gains rate, where if you wait for one year and one day, all of a sudden, you now have the long-term capital gains rate tax. Much more tax efficient. But I wouldn't even suggest holding for just a year and day, right? Tom would say hold for two years and two days, because, in addition to it being more tax efficient, you're also going to have a better life. You're going to be less focused on the constant trade in and out and falling market news. So you're going to see farther, you're going to play for more gains, more tax efficient, better life. Sounds good to me. Thank you for letting me borrow your great line, Tom Gardner!

All right, so, something old. There be dragons. Something new, all the shows and games and stocks. Something borrowed, thank you to my brother. And something blue. Now, when I initiated this series a couple of years ago, I made it about sports. And in that case, I was talking about, well, my alma mater is the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. And so, for a lot of us, we know that the Tar Heels wear blue. We have T-shirts down around Chapel Hill that say, "If God's not a Tar Heel, why is the sky of Carolina blue?" and those kinds of things. So I talked some, as I recall -- I haven't gone back and listened, but I'm pretty sure I talked about how college basketball can teach us something about investing. It seems like the brands that we all know, like Kentucky, and Duke, and North Carolina, just keep on winning. And that's a great exemplar for us. My experience of capitalism and excellence in life is, the winners generally keep on winning. That's why last year, my theme was winners win on this podcast. So, blue makes me start thinking sports.

But I'm not going to go back and talk about college basketball, or the UNC Tar Heels, as excited as I am that college basketball is restarting this week. Nope. I'm going to go backwards and look at a sad chapter in my life and try to make it relevant for us all. So, when I think of blue this year, it makes me blue to think back on the baseball playoffs. I know I'm speaking to some baseball fans, and a lot of people who may not care that much about baseball. Now, we're certainly excited in the Washington, D.C., area that the team that won it all at the end of it, you probably know, is the Washington Nationals. So, for the first time in decades, the Washington baseball team won the World Series. Really exciting for our city. And yet, I think a lot of you know, I'm a Twins fan. I've always been a Minnesota Twins fan. So, fun to see our home city win, but my heart is really with a team wearing blue that was playing another team wearing blue -- to our point, something blue -- because we're playing Yankee blue. So the Twins wear blue, and the Yankees wear blue, and every time the Twins meet the Yankees in the playoffs, Twins fans walk away blue, and it happened again this year. It was only a best-of-five series. That's how it works for the divisional series in baseball. The first team to win three games wins the series. I hate to say it for Twins fans, but once again, the Yankees simply won the first three games outright and swept the Twins.

Why am I talking about this on an investing podcast? Well, I love to look for lessons in sports, and then apply them to investing, business and life. And even if it's not always incredibly clear how the sport matches up to investing, I still like to talk about it anyway, because sports has been a part of my life all the way through. I was raised a baseball fan. And the way I've described how we started The Motley Fool is that I was saying, back in the day, I cared deeply about baseball statistics, but there wasn't a big market for that. I wrote some freelance pieces after college, got a couple published, but that didn't look like a big future. So I started to focus instead on the stock market, an even playing field where you and I can all compete against the Twins and Yankees of the Major Leagues in the investment world, because you can have a portfolio, I can, too, we can score it, and see how we did against the Fidelity Magellan fund or against Berkshire Hathaway, or whoever we're competing against. It's democratizing. Everybody can play on the field of the stock market. And that's ultimately how we started The Motley Fool. So, baseball has always meant a lot to me, but especially as a Twins fan, I walked away with a few lessons that I want to share here because they are pertinent to investing and business.

So let me first say what happened. So the Yankees played the Twins. And this matchup has happened before in recent years. And every single time, the Yankees win, and it happened again. So they met Game 1. New York 10, Minnesota 4. Game 2. New York 8, Minnesota 2. Back to Minnesota for Game 3. New York 5, Minnesota 1. It's over. The Yankees advanced. They ultimately lost to the Houston Astros, who ultimately lost to the Washington Nationals. But I want to focus back on that Twins-Yankees series.

So, for the regular season, which in Major League Baseball is 162 games -- I don't think there's a major sport worldwide that has more games in its regular season. That is an amazing six-month slog where teams are playing about 25 games a month. So you have an incredible sample size as a baseball fan every year to look at statistics and make judgments that are usually pretty accurate about teams. So after 162 games, as the smoke cleared, the Yankees had won 103, which won their division, and the Twins won 101, which was one of the best Twins teams of all time, and won their division. So on the face of it, these two teams are just two games different. Very similar, amazing records. Both teams at 100 or more wins. And then we hit postseason. And here's one of my pet peeves. I didn't share it on our "Pet Peeves Episode" in recent weeks. I was parking it until "Something Old, New, Borrowed, Blue." One of my pet peeves is that we over-focus on postseason results. It's usually just a few games. It's a very limited size. In football, they'll play one game to see who advances the next week, and the Super Bowl is just one game, so, incredibly limited sample size. But in baseball, they'll play five or seven games at the end to see who's going to advance to the playoffs. Now, as an investor, this has always perturbed me a little bit, and maybe you, too, because we're looking at 162 games to see who's really good or not, and then we're going to play a few at the end of the season, and everyone's going to just remember those games years later. And sometimes, the better team doesn't even win, but that limited sample size becomes our institutional memory and what we value.

Here's an investment analogy. It's kind of like, pretend we were having a contest where you and I are picking stocks or a portfolio. We'll call one the Yankees and one the Twins. And we're going to hold those stocks for 16 years. And let's see which portfolio is better. And so we play 162 games, 16 years' worth of investing. And then we arbitrarily decide after this amazing investing contest that we had over 16 years, your portfolio against mine, that we're going to kind of forget that, and it's just going to be the next six months. That's going to be who wins the contest for world champion portfolio. Just six months. And years later, all anybody will remember is not the 16 years of performance, but just which portfolio or stock was better just that final six-month period. So that's my analogy for the postseason across all major sports. We as fans enable it. We allow it. We say those last six months for that stock contest, that's what really counts. And so we bring our attention, we pay huge money for tickets, we're all there for just those games at the end. So yeah, it's like in baseball, especially, you've got 16 years of competition, and then you just look at the extra six months afterwards, and that's where we have all of our memories and value judgments. You know, the twins Yankees were almost identical. Just two games separated them across the 162 games this season. But when the Twins started losing, which they always do in the postseason, then media coverage was all about how it's David versus Goliath, when each team had more than 100 wins, and they were almost identical. The Twins had the most home runs of all time for any team that had ever played a full season of the Major Leagues. The Twins had the third-best road record ever compiled by a Major League Baseball team in over 100 years. And yet they went on the road into Yankee Stadium, lost 10-4 and 8-2, then came back in Minnesota, lost one final one, and the whole thing was over.

At the close of this podcast, then, I want to say why it shouldn't have happened, and why it should have happened. So it shouldn't have happened. I mean, again, the Twins were the third-best road record in the history of baseball, and hit more home runs than any team had ever hit in the Major Leagues in one season. And by the way, Minnesota, for those who know and love baseball, you'll know, the Twins play in a pitcher-friendly park. It's hard to hit home runs in Minnesota relative to Yankee Stadium, which is a band box, which is a stadium that it's pretty easy to hit home runs in. So, it was even more remarkable what the Twins did. So it shouldn't have happened. Game 1 -- for those who watched the series -- the Twins led off the first inning with a home run. That was a perfect branding moment for the biggest group of boppers the game had ever seen. And then in third inning, the Twins hit another, and they were up 2-0 in the Yankee Stadium. I was thinking as a Twins fan -- maybe you were, too -- a lot of people like to cheer against the Yankees, thinking maybe the Twins will actually win. And yet the Yankees came back, took the lead, and they would never relinquish the lead for the entire rest of the series. It shouldn't have happened, and we shouldn't not remember the incredible season that the Twins have, even though we don't even remember the Yankees at this point, most of us, let alone the Astros. Many will just be left remembering the Washington Nationals, which was a wild card team. The Nationals did not even win their division this year, even though I was cheering them on in the World Series. So it shouldn't have happened.

But out the other side of my mouth, it should have happened. In August on this podcast, I had Ed Glaeser, Authors in August, his book The Triumph of the City, the Harvard economist. And he reminds us that cities win in this world. More and more of us are moving to cities. And there's so many advantages, everything from the amount of income you get paid for a job to the longevity that you experience for being part of a city. And the bigger the city, the more likely in baseball that city is to win. So, this is why it should have happened, and why, as a Twins fan, I repeatedly see the Twins lose to the Yankees on a regular basis. Because if you remember that powerful lesson from The Triumph of the City, and then you remember that baseball -- in contrast to the NFL, I know there are a lot of football fans listening right now -- baseball rewards its franchises differently. You kind of get to keep your television money. So if you're New York City, and you're the Yankees, you have a huge amount of television money that allows you to have a much bigger budget than a smaller market like Minnesota, which will always -- unless the Twin Cities ever get to be bigger than Manhattan, which seems unlikely in my lifetime -- you will almost always have New York beating Minnesota.

It is interesting to note, in closing, that in the NFL, it's a different model. All the teams put all the TV money in a big pot and split it evenly, which makes it more likely that the Minnesota Vikings will beat the New York Giants than that the Twins will ever overcome the Yankees. So this is why I wanted to close with -- if you're still with me, you're a sports fan -- why it should have happened. Because you have to remember the lessons of The Triumph of the City and understand that baseball has organized itself economically differently than the way the NFL works. I'm not here to say one model is better than the other. There's a really good argument that the big cities should have the best teams. The leagues presumably will do best with a ton of money being spent by the biggest cities, and that helps the business of baseball. On the other hand, the NFL can be a little bit more fun because the smaller markets have more of a shot at building a great team. Pittsburgh is certainly a smaller city than most of the others represented in the NFL, and even the Steelers aren't particularly good this year; the Steelers have won a ton of Super Bowls, punching well above their weight class because of the economic model of the NFL.

So I hope I've turned my something blue point into a recognition and realization, both culturally, the power of cities, and then economically, how sports decides to reward and run itself from one year to the next. Baseball and football are very different models. And yet I'm still going to cheer the Twins on every time. And one day, the Twins might even beat the Yankees in a playoff series.

So there you have it. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. It's fun being able to share points from a number of different areas of business, investing, and culture. And thanks for being with me this week.

Well, next week, as I mentioned, the newest five-stock sampler. It's going to be "Five Stocks for Conscious Capitalism" on next week's podcast. And then the week after, Reviewapalooza. And you heard at the top of the show, mailbag closing this month. And we're already accepting your mailbag entries at rbi@fool.com

All right, well, you can now remove that silver sixpence from your shoe. I hope we brought you extra good luck this week from Rule Breakerville. Stock picks coming next week. Fool on!

Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. David Gardner owns shares of Apple, Netflix, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), Microsoft, Netflix, Roku, and Walt Disney and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short January 2021 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney, long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft, short January 2020 $220 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and short January 2020 $130 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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