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?)