So here we are, on the other side. Carols sung, pressies opened, too much food eaten and too much drink drunk. Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, Morecambe and Wise Christmas Specials and The Great Escape watched for the umpteenth time. And it's back to work tomorrow. Ho hum.
But let's not get too depressed. Happy New Year, folks! Let's hope that 2013 is a vastly profitable one. An annus horribilis for the bookies, an annus victorius for us punters who as we all know have the causes of justice and righteousness on our side. Oh, yes. And may Fred Done, Victor Chandler, William Hill, Paddy Power and Chris Kamara get what's coming to them. Even that half arse Ronnie Corbett is in my sights. If you dance with the devil, Ronnie... (And let's face it, we all know that Barker was the funny one anyway!)
On to the serious business.
Before I talk about what this new year will bring for the blog, a quick word on December. It was a month which unfortunately produced a small loss to go with the bigger loss suffered during a nightmare November. It means that over 2012 as a whole, the portfolio roi was dragged down to a figure just north of 5%, which is very disappointing. It was a tough, tough year all round. The racing boys found the first few months of 2012 particularly tricky, and the big hitters of the football specialists have struggled since season 2012/13 started.
This underperformance has meant that I have taken a really hard look at the portfolio, the result of which is just a couple of minor tinkerings. I'll explain what these are in a couple of subsequent posts within which I will talk separately about the racing tipsters and the sports tipsters. I stress though the use of the word, "minor". There is no need, I don't believe, for revolution. Being frank about things, I have had to adjust the portfolio slightly due to a need to take some money out of the betting bank for personal use (nothing to worry about - I'm not going bankrupt!) to deal with the sort of expense that can and does arise out of the blue. I considered simply leaving the portfolio as it was and increasing the level of leverage applied, but ultimately decided against doing so. I am leveraged, but to only to what I consider a very conservative level - I have 80% of actual funds to cover 100% of "paper" funds. It is with this level that I feel comfortable. Knowing myself as I do, if I started to leverage to levels any higher than this, then I think the losing runs that we all know happen from time to time would have the potential to prove too much for me to handle, and of course this would never do.
I do though want to adopt a slight change in philosophy to the way I run the portfolio. I hinted before Christmas that I felt I should have a slightly more dynamic approach and to react to changing circumstances a little quicker than I have been doing. The seed of this desire is sown in the knowledge that I'm not always the most decisive when it comes to determining when to drop a service due to ongoing substandard performance. There have been occasions in the past when the good relationship I have established with a tipster has led to me giving a service that has been performing badly for too long the benefit of the doubt. I'm not suggesting for one moment that a long-term view towards gambling isn't a prerequisite for success. It is. But I do think that sometimes it is preferable to counterbalance long-termism a little by keeping an eye on the here and now too.
So with this in mind, I am going to allow myself to be guided more by the Secret Betting Club. I have not always agreed with some of the things they have done in the past - and on occasion have let it be known in their forum - but when I said in the interview I did with them last year that they have provided me with a huge amount of guidance and expertise from which I have not only benefited but also relied upon, it wasn't a case of sycophancy. I meant it.
I'm not saying that it will be as simple and straightforward as when the SBC downgrade a service, then I will end my membership to it. I absolutely reserve the right to exercise my own judgment too; I was bitten a couple of years ago in such circumstances by not exercising my own discretion sufficiently. But, if I am having doubts about a service, and subsequently the SBC express similar reservations about that service, then I shall see it as a sign that perhaps it is time to cut the strings of attachment. The way I am looking at this, it is an approach akin to delegating a responsibility to an expert advisor to whom I will listen intently before making a final decision - and accepting full responsibility for it - myself. It is a subtle change in policy that I hope will lead ultimately to making more money, and it is on that that I feel the need to concentrate this year!
As for the blog, I intend to write three times each week. I will do a weekly results post/commentary on the Monday (which feels like the natural time to do this, following what are usually busy betting weekends) and then write biting comment/inane crap on the Tuesday and Thursday. I have to confess, like an overpaid and underworked Premiership footballer moaning about how playing three games in a week is too much (bless!), I was finding attempting to blog most nights too much for me. That is of course where the similarities end - what with me not being overpaid and generally crap at football.
So there we have it. Plans for the year ahead. Let's hope it's a good one, eh?
Just one last question before I go...Was it wrong of me to feel jealous of my ten year old boy when his Auntie bought him Arsenal pyjamas for Christmas?
See you soon.