Before I start to pontificate again, I thought I'd just outline my thoughts as to where I want to take this blog.
One of the reasons I wanted to start this blog was because there have been times over the last year or so when I have wished that there were people who were doing a similar thing to myself that I could share my thoughts and experiences with. There are a couple of forums that I frequent that are extremely helpful, populated as they are by likeminded folk with whom losses can be whinged about and successes celebrated. But since JP finished with his blog, there hasn't been somewhere you could go each night to read about how someone who was doing what you were doing (perhaps on a different scale, admittedly) were getting on and what issues they were wrestling with. I, like many others I'm sure, became very attached to JP's blog - it was like a gambler's comfort blanket at times.
In light of the above, I have been delighted to see people posting comments. I have said it before (and I'm about to say it again!) that I would like this blog to develop a strong interactive theme to it. If two heads are better than one, then how effective can many heads become? We're all trying to achieve the same thing and that is to make some money through gambling efficiently and effectively. If someone who is following a couple of services or has a portfolio of many tipsters and wants an opinion on something, then ask away. I can give my opinion and perhaps analyse situations more, go into more depth with high-brow (ahem!) philosophical thoughts that may provide food for thought or provide a different perspective. But so can others - I'm no know-it-all, as I hope you have realised by now. I also have a couple of ideas which hopefully will allow those reading to gain a real insight into some of the services they may be using, perhaps in a way that ordinarily they may not do. Watch this space. More on that in a few weeks.
Jon left a comment on yesterday's post that is worth reading if you haven't done so already. It relates to a recent theme we explored of sharing the workload to ease the pressure of placing a lot of bets on a day to day basis. What he proposes is an interesting idea and if anyone wants to discuss his idea further with John, post a comment and I can put you in touch with him. I don't know John personally and there is no "agreement" between us, but if what he suggests has potential as far as you are concerned, what harm can it do to talk? I don't have to publicly publish any comment either, so if you'd rather not post publically, just say, and I'll keep it confidential.
Right then, to the main theme for today...
A couple of nights ago, in the context of Sports Investor, I outlined a couple of factors I thought were relevant to making a decision about dropping a service from the portfolio. One of these was to consider what pressures tipsters themselves may come under, and how potentially that could affect their performance levels.
Try and place yourself, if you will, into the mind of a tipster. Let's track your history and trace your story up to the present day.
You possibly started following the horses or football betting a few years ago and were able to use your skill to generate a high level of profit for yourself at the bookies. After you had shown to yourself that you could turn a profit over an extended period of time, you thought that selling your advice could provide a bit of extra dosh for your betting banks. A blog seems a good idea; you could use it to post your selections publically, let people see how good you are and then after word has spread and you have generated a decent following, you could start to charge for your tips. This all goes swimmingly, and you start proofing your selections to bodies such as the SBC or ProGambler. You're riding a wave of confidence, your service is making a name for itself, perhaps even a limit to member levels will have to be imposed. Goodness me, you're in the SBC Hall of Fame! You have a waiting list of people waiting to pay you a lot of money, just to get your tips! In essence, you have created a full on income stream - all you need to be financially comfortable is a Paypal account...
...and winners. After a couple of years of unremitting success, your 8/1 shot (advised win only at 16s in the morning), is beaten by a short head, or your 5/2 football team lets slip a lead in the 94th minute to lose the bet. And the problem is, this bad luck is just the start of a downturn and it keeps happening. And you develop a losing run. Which grows. And becomes a monster. You're reading comments about your service in forums - these bitter people seem to have forgotten the profits you have previously made for them. New members are well peed off because they joined just as your last really good winning run came to an end and all they have done is make a significant loss. They're not happy bunnies, and they let you know in no uncertain terms. Your inbox is filled with emails declaring people's disgust at what you are doing and how you are under-performing.. Long-term members are no longer renewing their subs. The income upon which you have come to depend is decreasing, sharpish. The review bodies are no longer recommending your service and this leads to fewer and fewer new memberships. What are you going to do?
Now I know that this is a fictitious scenario, but I bet with some it's not a million miles from the truth. These people are human and they probably work long and hard to make the right selections and to provide their members with a service strong on customer focus. When things aren't going well, I'm sure many put even more hours in in a concerted effort to turn their poor form around. But under this sort of pressure, how likely is it that they can stay completely focused and remain unaffected? I tell you something - I don't think I could.
Here's the thing though. As an investor, you've surely got to look for signs of a service being adversly affected and then act. It may be subtle changes in staking (that can't really be justified), more selections at far shorter prices than the ones that previously produced all the profit, irate and irritable excuse-making emails bemoaning the previous day's ill fortune, etc. And when this happens, personally, I think it is a long way back for that service. And it needs to be dropped.
On the flip side, if a tipster has been through all this turmoil, and come out the other side winning, well, you have a real weapon in your armoury. And that, is how I feel about Football Elite. During his recent losing run Matt, to me anyway, didn't seem to blink. There were no excuses. Selection criteria remained consistent. The strategy remained steadfast. Food for thought.
The first weeks of this year are proving to be tough. It's like wading through treacle at the moment.
Winning Racing Tips seem to have found a little of the form they had waylaid for a while. Following Tuesday's strong performance, they found another nice winner today (Bogside - Kelso - 8/1) and also selected Hollins later on the Kelso card, a horse that finished third at 33/1. You would think that this would set me up nicely for a profitable day on the horses. Oh, no! Think again. Northern Monkey Punter and Probandit continued their recent run of poor form, and Chasemaster too failed to register anything in the profit column. Balls.
Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 1.5pts, -1.5pts.
ProBandit: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.9pts, +1.8pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Financial loss on the racing of £32.
More frustration this evening. The Sportsman gave two bets on the Premier League Darts; one winner one loser for a small loss.
The Sportsman: Staked 0.3pts, -0.03pts.
Financial loss on the darts of £6.
Thursday 17th February: Staked £254, -£38.
Week to date: Staked £1,497, -£229.51.
Month to date: Staked £10,160.50, -£503.22, roi -4.95%.
Roll on the weekend.