Good day sirs and madams!
I do trade in blue chips like shock lands, because it's a low-risk way to store money with reasonable return and attract buyers to my store (a point that makes mtg finance quite distinct in flavor- no one needs to bundle stocks together for shipping purposes).
But, I prefer a penny-stocks-stuffed-into-sawed-off-shotgun approach. My best buys that I can consistently find in mtg finance are original foil versions of out-of-print and previously overlooked cards (i.e. cards that have never made a big splash before), especially niche or weird commons and uncommons, especially those with one or few foil printings. Essentially, if there's a casual demand for the card, and a shot at tournament success with the right components (like a simple and powerful combo), foils are a good bet for the simple reason that casual plays often don't give a crap if the card's foil. That is, strictly casual demand on a card causes the non-foil price of a card to move without changing the foil price very much at all - I've even seen this happen such that the FOILS were LESS EXPENSIVE than the NON-FOILS, it happened with Coat of Arms.
It's a bit like the prices of gold and silver. They have an historic ratio to each other, and if one jumps in price it puts a pressure on the other to do the same. It's just psychological, yes, but nobody ever said the prices mean anything besides the minimum people want to pay for something, and people... hardly anyone really understands people, even themselves, let alone lots of people interacting.
Today I will outline a few of these speculation targets that are quite ripe at this time, as a service to my readers. Barring any unforeseen market force (like a reprint), these look to me like a 4:1 return in a few months:
Sage of Fables (Morningtide)
Oona's Blackguard (Morningtide)
It is important not to buy into a single card too heavily like this, and I am aware of the nature of the spike (namely that it settles lower than it's maximum), but I can't pass up a $9.00 bet on what seems like a two-week-steady price of $40 for this Tiny Leader. My pickup here was NOT the penny stocks method, but rather the be-fast-about-it-and-buy-them-all-up method. I got 15 of these Sygg, River Guides from ABU for a very low price, and I expected them to be all "Oh crap! Jeeze!" But instead they relisted another 4 foil copies for $1.00 more apiece! I had spent the morning buying cards so I decided to not throw another chunk of change at ABU, but boy I wish I had.
Speaking of, I am effectively "banned" from ToyWiz.com. Everytime I place an order, the money is held for a few days and then refunded to me. Of course, I am always buying their lowliers... I got one big order through (like $150) several months ago, but I've been stonewalled since. I just stopped trying (though I'm sure that's illegal).
I try to stay on top of the prices of the cards I'm invested into, mostly to keep from them tripling in price overnight and being bought out. But this happens to me all the time. I shipped 4x Congregation at Dawn for $1.00 apiece few weeks ago; it hurts, but it's all part of the game.
Anyway, happy hunting. I encourage you to comment on these entries!