5 HUGE Mistakes I Made When I Started Investing In MTG

Brian Cooper  By Brian Cooper | Updated on December 19, 2023

5 Huge Mistakes I Made Investing in MTG

If you’re just starting out in investing in MTG, you’re not alone. More and more people are finding out every day that the stock market is not the only place for your hard earned money.

Diversifying your investments is super important these days and I think everyone should be investing some portion of their money into something not in the stock market. For me I wanted to invest in things I love and enjoy and that became Trading Cards….Sports cards, Magic cards, MetaZoo, you name it!

Many people have entered this market with the hopes of making a profit, only to find themselves making costly mistakes. That’s what I wanted to focus on today.

I can definitely sympathize with you if you’ve made mistakes. Over the years I’ve made countless mistakes and either paid too much for a Magic card or simply passed on a good deal that I should have bought. It happens.

Mistakes when buying Magic Cards

That being said, let’s explore the top 5 mistakes I made when I first started investing in Magic cards. I’m sure there are well more than five, but these are a few you should try to avoid if at all possible.

Mistake #1: Not Doing Enough Research

One of the biggest mistakes I made when I started investing in MTG was not doing enough research. I would see a card that looked cool or had a high price tag, and I would buy it without doing my homework.

This led to me overpaying for cards that weren’t worth as much as I thought they were. Or even worse, sometimes the values of those cards would plummet soon after buying. Wrong place at the wrong time!

When it comes to any investment, research is SUPER important. I’ve spent countless hours online searching auctions, eBay listings, Reddit boards and Facebook groups trying to get an edge when it comes to information. But I didn’t do that in the beginning and that probably cost me a lot of money.

To avoid this mistake, make sure you do your research before making any purchases.

How would I do that?

Look up the card’s price history, its popularity in the game, and any upcoming events or changes that could affect its value. Reddit boards and YouTube are two great places to find this information and it doesn’t take long to search for things on either platform.

And remember, don’t just rely 100% on the opinions of others as they may not have the same investment goals or strategies as you. Make sure you read and watch content from many different people before making a decision.

Mistake #2: Not Setting a Budget

Another mistake I made was not setting a budget for my Magic card investments. I would buy cards without really thinking about how much money I was spending, and this led to me overspending and not having enough money for other cards I wanted to purchase.

There were many times I ended up buying the right cards, but also wrecking my budget at the same time. Remember this post when I spent $2,000 on MTG cards?  Yeah. that put a hurt on my wallet that month for sure.

To avoid this mistake, set a budget for your Magic card investments and stick to it. Decide on a maximum amount of money you’re willing to spend, and don’t go over that amount. This will help you make more strategic investment decisions and avoid overspending like I did that month.

Mistake #3: Not Diversifying My Investments

When I first started investing in MTG cards, I would only buy cards from one set or one type of card. At times I would become really focused on one set and just start buying up all sorts of cards from that particular set. This led to me having a portfolio that was not diversified, and I was at risk of losing a lot of money if that particular set or card type became less popular.

I think I’ve mentioned many times here that I really like The Dark set from 1994. There were times I would almost binge buy cards from this set and not even look at other cards. So I really like City of Shadows! SUE ME! (haha)

In the end it was still a mistake to just focus on one thing and not diversify early on.

Avoiding mistakes when buying Magic cards

To avoid this mistake, spread your investment dollars across many different cards, booster boxes and sets. Invest in cards from different years and even throw in as many PSA graded Magic cards into the mix as well. This will help you spread out your risk and minimize losses if one area of the trading card market experiences a downturn. 

And while we’re on the topic of diversification, just don’t focus 100% on Magic: The Gathering. Like I’ve mentioned many times, I’m a huge fan of MetaZoo so I also have quite a bit invested in that game too. But if you like Pokemon, Flesh and Blood or even the upcoming Disney Lorcana game, knock yourself out and invest in those too. Stick with what you like and you enjoy collecting.

Mistake #4: Not Keeping Track of My Investments

Another mistake I made was not keeping track of my Magic card investments. I would buy cards and then forget about them, not knowing whether they had gone up or down in value. This made it difficult for me to make informed decisions about buying or selling cards.

Nowadays I rely on Google sheets and Microsoft Excel to keep track of my purchases. A simple sheet with columns showing the date of purchase, exactly what you bought, who you bought it from and what you paid should be a good start.

Are you a paper and pencil guy? Yep, there are still collectors who track everything on paper and there’s totally nothing wrong with that. As long as you keep track of it in some way, that’s fine. Unless you have a ridiculous brain that can memorize the purchase prices, dates and values of every card in your collection, at the very least write it down.

There are also many tools (like the LUDEX Trading Card Scanner app that just hit the market) that can help track your collection and individual card values. This will help you make more informed decisions about when to buy or sell cards, and it will also help you identify which cards are performing well and which ones are not.

Mistake #5: Not Being Patient

When I first started investing in Magic cards, I expected to make a quick profit. I would buy cards and then get frustrated when they didn’t immediately increase in value. This led to me making impulsive decisions and selling cards too soon, often losing money in the process.

I don’t often think cards will double overnight (although it does happen), but you have to be more patient these days and plan to keep your cards well more than a few weeks or months.

Magic card investing is a long-term game for sure and it can take years for some cards to dramatically change value. Don’t get discouraged if a card doesn’t immediately increase in price or it takes a few years. Instead, hold onto it and wait for the right opportunity to sell.

My entire collection is basically a LONG TERM hold and I sell very few of my cards unless I need capital to make bigger purchases. So my recommendation is to get out of the short term flipping mindset (at least for the most part) and look to build a collection that could be worth much more 5-10 years from now.

Wrap It Up

Investing in Magic cards can be a rewarding and profitable venture, but it’s important to avoid the mistakes I made when starting out.

Do your research, set a budget, diversify your investments, keep track of your investments, and be patient. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to making smarter investment decisions and building a successful Magic card investment portfolio.

I hope my tips here helped you out. If you have any other questions about mistakes you’ve made or what actions to take when it comes to investing in Magic cards, let me know by clicking the contact link at the bottom of the page. Thanks again for coming by and keep investing in Magic cards!!

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Brian Cooper has been a part of the trading card scene since the 1980s and is the driving force behind MAGIC CARD INVESTOR. His mission is to help bring back the fun and nostalgia of collecting Magic: The Gathering cards and other Trading Card games to everyone young and old.