Friday, 17 June 2011

Record keeping's what you need. If you want to be an all-star gamb-l-er, yeah!

Sadly, the title doesn't relate to groundbreaking profits being hit over the course of Royal Ascot. More of how that has been going down below.

No. The title is a reference to a comment left by Matthew after the last post...

I am a fellow portfolio investor with an interest in computer software design. The thing I find most difficult about portfolio investing is the large amount of time that it takes to accurately record and analyse results....obv very important. I was just wondering if you think there is a need for specific software to make this easier and quicker?

Mmm. Good question. I'm not sure if I find keeping records up to speed the most difficult aspect of running a portfolio, I must admit. In fact, when things are going well I find myself smiling as I bring the figures up to date. Not so keen on it when losing, mind.

Being serious though, record keeping is obviously a vital part of "investment" gambling. In fact I would go as far as to say that it is impossible to turn a profit in the long term without keeping accurate details on what is happening. And Matthew is right. Maintaining those records can be extremely time consuming.

So. Do I think there is a need for bespoke software to help ease the burden of this task? I think the answer to that question depends on what you aim to get from the figures. Purely on a personal level, no I don't need software. I'll explain why not.

My approach to gambling is, as we know, to hire the services of the experts. My skill, if we can call it that, is to select the right experts to follow and to methodically place the bets advised. It is to ensure I get the recommended odds as often as possible, to not miss any bets, to ensure my staking is correct, to make certain my bank sizes are sufficient, and to not allow the inevitable bad times to put me off and in the face of psychological adversity, to stay on the path of righteousness (Praise the Lord!). Easier said than done. What I don't ask of myself is to detect, from the stats, where an extra edge might be attained. Or what tinkering I can do to squeeze a little more profit out of all the advice I am given by the services I follow. No. I see that as part of what I am paying for when I pay my subs.

Now please don't get me wrong. I am not saying that conducting regular analysis of bets and performance is not the right thing to do. Far from it and in fact, if I thought that any of the people that run any of the services I use didn't do this on a regular basis, I would drop them quicker than Manual Almunia can drop a cross. This after all, was one of the reasons behind my decision a year or so ago to drop Punter Profits NH from my portfolio as it became apparent that a full review of system performance had not been carried out for too long a period of time.

I am also a big admirer of the work that Kodagira carries out when analysing the services he uses, and of Mat Hare (The Secret Diary blog) when he breaks down the performance of his income generators. I am fascinated by analysis they each do into their own systems and services. Graeme Dand of The Footaball Analyst dazzles me with the analytical research he has put into the development of his football systems and indeed, of his racing picks when he was running The Form Analyst. But the thing is, you see, I don't have their sort of brain. My brain just doesn't function in that way, but I am good at following orders. If I had some guts, I'd have made a great soldier! And I have to play to my strengths, so I place myself in the hands of the tipsters and pay heed to their instructions.

That is why all I need is a running total of how things are going with my portfolio - on an individual tipster basis and as a collective. And I don't need software to help me do that. If Graeme is reading this, I imagine he will have his head in his hands whilst cursing me under his breath and writing me off as a hopeless case. Some time ago he very kindly produced an Excel spreadsheet for recording my bets (which I use), but I don't utilise it as much as I could/should, for the reasons I explained above. (Sorry, Graeme.)

Having said all that, for anyone who is serious about developing their own methods or who would like to drill down further into the stats of the services they follow to see if they can eke out a higher roi, then yes, I'm sure specific software is a basic necessity.

I hope this answers the question, Matthew. By the way, if you'd like to share more in terms of how you utilise software and the benefits it can bring, please do leave another comment. I'd be more than happy posting it up here. All I've given here is my own personal viewpoint. I'm certain there are many portfolio gamblers who would really benefit from some decent software.

Recent performance

Well it's still a decent month so far; currently running at an roi of 17.5% so I mustn't complain. The last three days have been a little too up-and-down for my liking though. Wednesday showed a loss of £108, Thursday a profit of £445, and today a loss of £323!

Five of the six racing services have actually produced a loss over the last three days, although ProBandit (-0.487pts), Winning Racing Tips (-0.4pts) and Chasemaster (-0.25pts - I gave up doing the lays at the beginning of the month as it just doesn't fit with my psyche - sorry, Peter!) losses have been negligible.

Northern Monkey (-5.5pts) has struggled a little but is still running at a very nice 27% roi for the month overall, and On The Nose (-2.625pts) had a lovely Ascot winner on Wednesday (Strong Suit - 11/1) but has found it difficult since.

It has been the profits 4PA pulled in yesterday that has kept it all afloat. They really produced the goods on Thursday tipping Slumber each way (3rd at 15/1), Brigantin each way (3rd at 20/1), and Brown Panther each way (Won at 7/1).

All in all, a three day profit of £12.70. Better than losing, I guess.

Right, I'm off.

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