Ross Stripling is surrounded by millionaires. He might not be the richest guy in the Dodgers clubhouse, but he is the only one who is a licensed stock broker. He can pitch a fastball and pitch a stock, making him the go-to guy when teammates want to ask about a possible investment.
“Last year, it was bitcoin,” Stripling said Thursday. “This year, it’s marijuana stocks.”
Marijuana is banned under baseball’s drug policy. But, as the legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana spreads across the United States, a player can cash in on a substance he cannot use.
Stripling said the marijuana market has exploded so quickly that he would be hesitant to recommend a particular stock.
“There’s opportunities there,” he said, “but I don’t have any specific names — for one, I can’t tell you even if I did, and two, and it’s so saturated right now there’s no telling.”
When Stripling returned to his Texas home after the World Series, he spent mornings working out and afternoons working at a brokerage.
“October, November and December were just brutal months for the market,” he said. “It was a good time to learn, and see how clients react when stuff hits the fan.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit record highs in late September, prompting President Trump to crow on Twitter. The average fell 15% in the final three months of the year. And, while economists generally agree that the impact of presidential policy on the stock market tends to be overstated, Stripling isn’t quite sure what to make of Trump.
“Historically, politics doesn’t play big into the market,” Stripling said. “But we’ve never had a president as active on social media as Trump. Just a 140-character tweet can affect the market, unlike anything we’ve ever seen. He has to obviously be extremely careful what he says.”