Month: May 2017

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Time provides perspective.

In my last post which reviewed the undoubtedly disappointing performance of the portfolio through April, I said that there are times when you just have to suck up losing and accept it for what it is.  What I meant by this was that instead of looking for reasons why the tipsters aren’t producing the goods, there are times when you must acknowledge that losing is a fundamental part of betting.  It cannot be avoided.

Often the passing of time provides you with a much greater sense of perspective.  You can look back at how the services are performing and see that the disappointing spells are nothing more than blips.  It’s the same when you look at your betting portfolio as a whole as it is when you are analyzing the performance graphs of a successful individual tipster.  You gain confidence from seeing a strong upward movement on the graph, demonstrating strong profits and tend to ignore the downward ‘bumps’, dismissing them as irrelevant.  However, when actually living through one of those irrelevant bumps, believe me, you feel it.  And the drawdown certainly doesn’t feel ‘irrelevant’ when you’re in the midst of it!

If we were to plot on a graph the performance of my own portfolio since the start of the year, plus those of the individual services within it, we would see a nice upward trend, a downward slant representing April, and now the beginnings of the next upswing.  Psychologically, January to March felt good, April was a pain in the ‘arris, and now confidence is returning as a number of the tipsters I follow have enjoyed good days and seem to be getting some form back.  Had I not actually lived through this however, and were coming to the graphs ‘cold’ and dispassionately, then I would think that the figures represented a good, strong set of tipping services that I’d gladly sign up to.  And that, of course, is because the time covered by the graphs has allowed me a sense of perspective.

What I’m trying to say, in a roundabout get-to-the-point-Rowan kind of way, is that you shouldn’t let the blips drag you down.  Try to stand back and give things time before judging anything too harshly (or too favourably).

Betting figures from Monday 1st May to Friday 12th May

Chasemaster: Staked 8.5pts, +9.05pts.

Jason James: Staked 38pts, -7.3pts.

Morning Value Service (Lite): Staked 31pts, -2.875pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 40.625pts, +10.542pts.

Racing Service B: Staked 34pts, +12.725pts.

Pinpoint Golf: Staked 75.5pts, -11.47pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 2pts, +2.45pts.

Total figures: ROI 12.63%, ROC 3.03%.



April Portfolio Review

My opening sentence of the March review went like this:

“Without a doubt the last couple of months have proven to be tricky ones for the racing tipsters in the portfolio.”

Well, April was not so much “tricky” for the racing services, as “blooming disastrous”.  Of the six racing tipsters, only one was profitable – Racing Service A.  Mind you, this month was also a barren one for the two sports services too and Racing Service A was in fact the only service in the entire portfolio to turn a profit.

April has simply been one of those months that we get from time to time.  Just as we occasionally get the joyous bumper months, we have to accept we’re going to get the odd crappy one too.  We have just to man-up and deal with them when they hit.  The overall ROC downside for the month is perfectly manageable and although there is certainly room for considerable improvement in terms of 2017 form from the racing tipsters in particular, there is no need to worry just yet.

April’s Figures

The total figures for April’s betting are: ROI -8.15%, ROC -4.53%.

Let’s start on the positive – Racing Service A rounded off their 2016/17 season with a good Aintree.  Although not a part of the service’s official figures, I always include the results from the Aintree Festival in mine.  I see no reason why not to.

Tipster A experimented with a new staking system over the three days’ racing, designed to provide more flexibility in the way he can recommend his tips.  I know too that he has been disappointed in the season’s balance sheet as a whole, and is looking at ways he can improve again next year.  A tweaked staking system is one of these ways.  ROI 81.25%, ROC 6.5%.

And rather more quickly than I would prefer, on to the losing services!…

To be fair to Football Service 1, it was essentially a break even month.  I know some football bettors prefer to take it very easy during April and May, either decreasing the size of their stakes or not placing any bets at all in the belief that with motivation for some teams being questionable in the latter stages of the season, the form can’t be relied upon.  Personally, I have always continued betting as normal, and it has been no different this season. ROI -0.5%, ROC -0.16%.

There was a wonderful Monday for Racing Service B back on the 24th, with three winners advised from three bets at 7s (x2) and 4s.  This rather rescued what had been threatening to be a pretty poor month.  It was a shame that Tipster B couldn’t kick on from that and into profit over the course of the week in April that remained.  ROI -5.95%, ROC -2.97%.

The theme of looking straight into the eyes of a disastrous month before pulling things around and ending with at least an air of respectability was also in evidence when we turn to look at Northern Monkey’s month.  A series of good winners spread over the last week or so meant that what had looked like a mountain of losses ended up as not being too serious at all.  We’re about to enter the period of the year – late-spring/midsummer – when Wayne has been traditionally at his best, so here’s hoping May will be a good’un.  ROI -5.12%, ROC -5.85%.

I had an enquiry from a Jason James follower recently, concerned at the service’s current losing run.  I think that with a relatively high turnover service such as this one, the losing runs can feel worse than if enduring a drawdown from a low action tipster.  It’s all psychological of course, but the nature of this particular type of beast means that when a losing run hits, it feels like you’re losing money at a rapid rate.  When we look at JJ’s April figures, they don’t make for great reading, but they are hardly disastrous.  We need to remember too that although it might feel as if we’re losing money at a rapid rate when we lose with a service like Jason James, we also win money quickly when the winners kick back in.  ROI -12.32%, ROC -7.24%.

Pinpoint Golf is currently doing a thorough examination of their figures – Liam, the tipster, is disappointed that the official numbers do not accurately reflect how the model he utilizes has been performing in general.  Reluctant to sit down and examine the data before he has a sizeable sample to analyze (sensible fellow), Liam is now comfortable to be more forensic about his figures and has been sending out some fascinating emails outlining his findings.  Fingers crossed he gets the official figures somewhere near where he wants them to be in the year ahead.  ROI -10.25%, ROC 7.25%.

It’s not been a great month for Morning Value LITE but not a lot needs to be said.  It will continue chugging away and I’m sure the results will follow.  ROI -10.64%, ROC -7.66%.

And finally Chasemaster, which has found the going riding soft, heavy in places recently.  They don’t seem to be getting much luck at present, and let’s hope the boys turn it around soon.  They don’t appear to be panicking, and nor am I.  ROI -36.98%, ROC -11.65%.

So there we have it.  It’s not rained for a while it seems, which means the ground will be drying out and hopefully the form will settle down too.  If so, May I’m sure, will be a lot better than April has been.

The dangers of losing and how to deal with them.

One of the tipsters in my portfolio is having rather a tough time of things at the moment.  All will become clear as to who when I post up my review of last month’s betting, which I plan to do this coming weekend.  I thought in the meantime though that I’d write a little on how losing affects us and the way we approach our betting.

Common mistakes to watch out for.

What I have found over the years is that a spell that sees us consistently lose, very often leads us to making mistakes with our betting.  I remember reading somewhere that our brains are wired up in such a way that the effect of a losing bet has a far bigger impact on our psyche than does a winning bet.  Put another way, we are likely to find it harder to maintain a mental equilibrium when we are losing money than when we are winning money.

So what are the common mistakes that we must be so aware of avoiding when we are enduring a slump in our betting?

From personal experience, the biggest temptation is to lower stakes.  We’re losing money, perhaps at a frightening pace, so our subconscious instructs us to slow down the rate of loss…and we can do that by not betting as much.  The trouble with this of course, is that when the tipster you’re following regains their form – or, more likely if they have a proven long term edge, they come out of a period of what is simply natural variance having an effect – you’re rate of recovery is much slower than your rate of loss.  To use a mathematical illustration, if your losing service loses 50 points and your stake per point is £10, then obviously your drawdown is £500.  If when you’re £500 down you reduce your stake/point to £5, then when the tipster regains those 50 points, you’ll only have made £250.  You’re still £250 down when you should be level.

Personally speaking, I would now rather give up following a tipster completely than reduce stakes.  But of course, that is another very common mistake made by those who are going through a tough time.  It is so, so easy to convince yourself that your tipster has lost his edge when in reality he has done no such thing.  During a prolonged losing spell, it is inevitable that doubts creep into our heads about what we see as the cause of our pain – ie. the tipster we’re following who seemingly has lost the ability to back a winner.

I’ve done it myself, and more than once…say enough is enough with a tipster, and then check up on that tipster’s performance a few months later to see that he has regained all the losses I suffered and had kicked on to start making good profit again.  It’s enough to make you seriously question whether or not betting is for you.  And to be quite honest, if this is something you do on a repetitive basis, then perhaps betting isn’t for you.

The importance of preparation

So how do you prevent yourself from falling into these traps?

The simple answer is prior preparation.  Set your betting off on the correct footing and you will better prepare yourself for the tough times.  Here is a quick checklist of things you should and shouldn’t do:

  • THE most important thing is not to bet with money you can’t afford to lose.
  • Separate your betting funds from your day to day living expenses.
  • Don’t chase big profit right from the start – far better to start slowly with your betting and by reinvesting profit, build up your betting steadily as you go along.
  • Don’t set your expectations too high – better to aim for 25% ROC and be pleased with 50% than set your target at 100% and be disappointed/frustrated with 50%.
  • Be conservative with your betting banks for each tipster, particularly in the beginning – if the recommended bank is 80 points, there’s no harm is assigning 100 points to a service.  Doing so will give you an extra cushion during a rough patch,
  • Research any service you are considering before you join – see what their historical drawdown figures are and how long they took to recover from.  It will provide your betting with a relevant context.

Of course, there does come a point when it is right to stop following a service.  Deciding when is a very difficult thing to do and can be the subject of a different blog post.

I hope you’ve found this post useful.  Back over the weekend with a round-up of a not-too-pretty April…