Thursday, October 13, 2011

To Diversify or Not To Diversify

One of the things that often gets commented on or observed about my portfolio is that I follow too many tipsters. This doesn't surprise me and it's something that constantly troubles me - do I indeed follow too many tipsters?

My reason for doing this is diversification! But does it work?

When I first started this game I started out with The Mathematician, followed by Steve Lewis Hamilton, followed by God knows how many tipsters - truth was at that time I wasn't really thinking about diversification I was thinking about making as much cash as possible in as short a time possible!

But more recently the main reason for following the number of tipsters I do is to diversify. Clearly we all know what this means - when one tipster runs poorly, one does well and it smooths out the profit curve. It's an age old principle of investing.

Of course diversification does work - but I suspect the problem with my portfolio is that diversification isn't just about racking up the number of tipsters its about making sure that those tipsters focus on different areas of business just as you should spread your investments across the four main asset classes. Additionally though my staking is incorrect and not appropriate for some services - in other words staking is too low to ever make some services profitable.

So what do my tipsters cover and how do they operate;

Steve Lewis Hamilton - Racing - mainly National Hunt - opinion
Equine Investments - Racing - flat / aw - opinion
Equine Turnover - Racing - flat / aw - opinion
Northern Monkey - Racing - flat / aw - opinion
Football Elite - Football (European major leagues) - opinion
4PA - Racing - mainly big races / tv fodder - system / opinion
Systematic - Racing - All - system
Mr Gekko - Football (UK football) - system
Piecost - Racing - All (handicaps?) - system
Market Examiner - Racing - All - opinion

Clearly as betting portfolios go it's one that is heavily focused on racing, more focused on opinion than system and more focused on flat than national hunt. So while I think I have diversified the reality is that I haven't enough. Which doesn't mean that I am going to sign up to more tipsters - so don't worry!!

What probably needs done is some re-balancing and re-adjusting. This all needs supported by realistic staking which ensures that the portfolio is balanced in terms of funding and the weighting isn't to heavy on one service. I want to also add a few things to increase the opportunity for making money out of this business.

So what am I doing?

Well a few things;

1) While I'm still getting the emails from 4PA I will continue to follow the basic system bets. Once subs come up for renewal I'm likely to drop the service and not follow the basic bets at all. Think there is profit there in the long term but time to move on.

2) Dependent on the outcome of Mr Gekko Bets review I am likely to finish following this service - I won't be paying to re-subscribe.

3) Once my subscription of Equine Main is complete I won't renew. This isn't a criticism of the service - but a reality in so much that I can't make the service work for me on the stakes I can afford to play with. It's hard to get prices as well and the combination of the two make it the wrong service for me to follow.

4) I will use some of the stakes saved from stopping following services to increase my staking in remaining services.

5) I am going to look at some of the racing stats support services - and see if I can use these to create my own betting systems

6) I want to start trading and I've spent some money on the services of just before the doors closed on subscribers. In the short term will only be able to dip in and out of this but I am quite excited at trying to work at this. Have got a few hours on a train on Sunday going to the football so will review all the info and strategies then.

A number of things therefore that will help improve diversification - it won't make things perfect but should help spread risk and improve profitability.

So a long post which has helped me get some things in my head down and has rambled along a winding route, ending where I hadn't expected when I started.

Of course, comments welcome.


Anonymous said...

I agree with most of what you have decided to do increasing staking on the services you have left. I left a post about how mine is not working either not sure if reducing the number of services is the right thing to do in general if you can afford to stake high enough for each service.

what i think is you have to look at each service and ask yourself are you fairly happy with them. In my case i have hope for most of my services maybe i shouldent but anyway 4pa is a diasater but the fact that the system bets are doing okay is making me hold on for another while.

mrh-beats said...

Anon - thanks for your thoughts. I think I have hope for most of my services too! Although something like Equine Investments I just can't keep following as I can't stake enough!

Agree with your thoughts re 4PA but are you going to work the system bets out yourself when subs come up or are you going to re-subscribe?