Friday, 22 April 2011


My wife and I stayed up late last night (over that extra bottle of wine I was telling you about) talking things over in great depth. The consequences of that conversation are going to have fundamental repercussions on my betting, I believe in a very positive way.

This past month has not been an easy one to contend with, in many respects. It has thrown a few things into sharp focus, and as anyone who has read the blog over the last couple of weeks will know, I had drawn the conclusion that a small downsizing of the portfolio was necessary to give me a little more time away from betting and more with family.

Although I could see this adjustment as being necessary, I have never felt comfortable with it. It is a cliche I know, but I see this betting 'operation' (which is a fancy word for it, I think) as a business. Certainly I have always treated it extremely seriously and have been aware of what needs to be done to give the 'business' every possible chance of succeeding. So taking a step backwards didn't sit well, and my wife knew it.

Not long after I started to write this blog, I told readers that on Sundays, Helen would take over the placing of the bets. Designed to give me a bit of a break, she learnt what was necessary very quickly. Are you beginning to see where this is all going now?

If the principle of collective responsibility is good enough for the Cabinet, then it appears that it is soon going to be good enough for this household. A full sharing of betting responsibilities shall be the order of the day. The only thing that won't be split is the writing of the blog. I'm afraid that as far as that is concerned, you're going to have to continue with me.

So what does this mean to the actual portfolio itself? First and foremost, it means that I don't need to downsize. But there were other things that came to light during last night's chat. In a nutshell, Helen believes that I am guilty of overanalysis. That I don't go with the flow enough (something I've admitted to in here in the past) and that the in depth stuff isn't necessarily my strong point. Thing is, I know she's right. What I believe I am good at is following orders. I'd have made a good soldier if not imbued with a built in fear of dying some horrible death on foreign fields, but as far as betting is concerned, I can still play to this strength.

What I propose to do is to simplify everything. To follow orders for a while and like a good legionnaire, not ever question those orders. In other words, I'm going to do what I'm told and go with the flow!

There is a current thread on the SBC forum within which some chap who uses the moniker "Floppyboy", raised a very good point. It was an observation that I had made myself a while ago. It relates to the seemingly everchanging nature of the make up of the Hall of Fame. The thread prompted me to do a bit of digging, to go back over the last two years and essentially re-enact the betting activity over that period of time. I set up my imaginary portfolio in December 2008, including the services that fit my criteria now, ie. relatively cheap! I would add and remove services at the recommendation of the SBC, and see where it took me performance-wise. To be honest, I had feared it wouldn't make for pleasant reading, but I was surprised. Performance was good; put it this way, it made a lot more over the two and a bit years than it lost. I admit that it wasn't a particulary scientific piece of research, as it relied simply on each month's SBC spreadsheet of returns which I believe make use of advised prices, which of course are not always obtainable. But even if I reduced the profit levels by 10-15% (in terms of cash profit, not roi, you understand), it still provided a healthy return. Certainly healthy enough.

I accept entirely that this does not generally mean that results will continue in this vein. For instance, I included the Premium Services that the SBC run and that meant that the good profits generated by the Each Way Value service were included. Of course, that particular service went bump recently and is no more. But such is the way of things when running a portfolio. I think we have to accept transition - services will come and go. We have to deal with that.

The other big consequence of my plans is that there may be one or two different services introduced and therefore the make up of the portfolio changed slightly. I'm not talking about big changes being made, after all the majority of services I follow are already SBC recommended. I also want to continue with The Football Analyst and On The Nose, neither of which are in the HoF (yet!).

Finally, we made some immediate plans last night too. If Alan is reading, he'll be pleased with this! I am going to take the rest of the month off. It will allow me to recharge the batteries. It's Easter weekend, the weather seems set fair, and it is an ideal time just to chill out with the kids. There is very little football action over the weekend - Football Elite and Skeeve have made no picks, there were only four FI tips for the first half of the weekend and no Strike Zone, so it seems a good time to stop for a while. Sure it means writing off April as a very bad month as there will be no chance to recoup those losses, but even so, I'm "only" £755 down on the year (performance wise). No doubt many services will rediscover their zest over the next eight days and I will miss out on that recovery, but the way I see it, it's the cost I'm prepared to pay for a wee holiday.

On the 1st May, I shall be back (or should that now be "we"!?!), refreshed and ready to go. I'm looking forward to it.

(Happy now, Alan?)


  1. I think it would be very interesting to have Helen write an occasional 'guest post' with free-rein to be open about life as the wife of a portfolio investor. What is her take on the time you spend on this? How does she feel about your big days - both up and down. Does she have ideas that she's reluctant to tell you? Things like that. I've written on my blog before about the importance of having a solid support team as it were and it would be good to read a viewpoint from the horse's mouth. No, wait, that didn't come out quite right... Keep blogging - I enjoy this one.

  2. Hi Rowan,

    I like the teamwork in your family - it's great. After all the things happening of late it is good to have a breater, re-charge those batteries (if they are solar powered you wil be positively bursting with energy by the start of May) and good luck for the future. Everything will fall into place.


  3. You seem to be coming round to the 'putting on' scenario I mentioned a month or two back? My god it makes life easier. Have a good break.


  4. Hi Rowan

    I think you have come up with a very workable plan and I think that by simplifying your approach there will be numerous benefits.

    I think that the break will do you the world of good and I will just jot my ever growing list of questions down on a text file so they will be waiting for when your break is over ;-)


  5. Can I suggest just placing the bets and not worrying for a week. I'm not sure how long it takes to place all the bets, but if you were quick I doubt it would take more then an hour a night. I think my problem and most others problems is after we place the bets. We want to watch each race even though we have no impact on the result. There is no need to do anything once the bet is placed other then find out the result the next day and update your spreadsheet. I had this problem and at times still do, but since I have decided to not watch anything I bet on, I have gotten rid of all the stress that comes with following tipsters and betting in general. I only check and update my results the next day when I need to bet, all I see is a final daily figure, either up or down, and in the larger scheme of things a single day, or week, or even month should have no impact on us. We are in this for the long term profits and worrying about a single race is pointless.

    So if you have the time, place the bets and live your life. I do the majority of my betting on my ipad now, (an iphone would also work but be a minor hassle). Whenever a tipster sends out his tips, gmail sends me an sms. I then log on wherever I am and place the bets and put them in my spreadsheet. Never takes more then a few minutes to find the best price and place the bet.

    I do know how disheartening it can be when your on a losing run, early this year my portfolio suffered a massive loss of $40,000 in a little over a month, I kept betting but seriously thought about giving it all up.

    I have been posting my weekly summaries at for the last 9 months if you would like to see my totals and a few thoughts I have had along the way.

    Good Luck

  6. you saved yourself more money today. Loser after loser from so called experts running the services we are with the usual saturday horror show.

  7. Hi Cassini,

    I'm afraid my more intelligent half rather looks at blogging with a great deal of disdain - "I grew out of keeping my diary when I was 13".

    I'm not too sure either that she would post on a public blog any thoughts that she might have a reluctance to tell me. At least I would hope that was the case.

    Don't worry, the blog will continue...reports elsewhere of my death are greatly exaggerated.


  8. Jason, Jon, Mark...

    Many thanks. It's been a tough month, but much tougher away from the betting. That's the reason for the break. Chill out time now and a holiday booked for the beginning of June. Loads to look forward to between now and then.

    Hi Steve,

    I did consider doing that but we decided it was preferable just to have a complete break. To be honest, I very rarely watch what I've bet on as I'm at work when the afternoon racing is on.

    I agree with your thoughts on avoiding following the action 100%.

    I don't think I'm disheartened. Disappointed, yes, but only in the same way as I'm disappointed that Arsenal have buggered up their chance of winning the league. The losing run had to come; I'd had six/seven decent months, two more or less break even...and now this. Now if I was relying on an income from betting? Well, that would be a different story.

    All the best,


  9. you know it makes sense pal. Enjoy

  10. i feel that sbc has got away with a lot through all this. Before i joined i seen all these wild claims that you could make up to 30,000 a year. The reality is much different they come up with nice looking numbers to gain customers we should not forget they are a business.
    It is not in their interests to speak badly about a service and it shows.

    they are my thoughts you could argue it is because of the awful form of the tipsters that i am posting this but that doesent mean i am wrong. closer to 30,000 loss at the end of the year than 30,000 profit if things dont change fast,..