Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Finishing Post

Much apologies for not being on recently - I've had a lot of time out to think about how to take things forward.

Thanks for all the comments as well - nice to know I've been missed.

Before I start - Cheltenham went pretty well I think - I haven't totted things up but some tipsters came good and there was definitely an upward spike in the bank. However I haven't added up the figure - let's just say it was nice to end on a high....

read on.....

On the last post a regular poster Baz asked the question "Is it all worth it?". It's funny to think how much that question had an impact on me and for once I took a step back and asked myself that very question.

The conclusion I reached at the end of the first day of Cheltenham as I frantically tried to get al my bets on was that it wasn't worth it and I decided that with pretty much immediate effect that I was stopping. I haven't placed a single bet for a few days and boy does it feel good.

So why did I reach that conclusion? A number of reasons which I will try to articulate below in my usual rambling style;

1) Time. I've been in a new job now for a number of months which involves a lot of time on the road visiting people as well as working from home. While I thought this may work to my advantage the reality is that it's had the opposite effect and more often than not I'm scrabbling around on my iPhone trying to get bets on at every free opportunity that I have. This has meant (as you have seen) that I have missed bets, am late with bets so miss the best prices and end up having to use betfair due to speed and efficiency. Clearly my real job has to take priority and I am spending far too much of my working day checking, placing and getting bets on.

2) Effort. I've been slogging away at this for longer now than I care to mention and am simply not making any progress - I've made a large number of mistakes but which ever way I've cut my back data there's not a huge amount to made from this game and I'm kidding myself that there is. Looking bet I'd have been better sticking my betting banks into an ISA and let the investment do the work while I actually enjoy life.

3) Relentless. The endless, 7 day a week, nature of the business has taken it's toll. Not only does it impede on me doing my real job (see point 1) but it has also impeded on my family life and that has got to stop. I'm constantly stepping out of the room to get those bets on and whenever we go on days out or off to the shops or whatever I've got to be by my phone getting things sorted. There's never a break and I can't be bothered with that anymore - I've got a young daughter and I want to get on with having fun with her when I do have spare time!

4) Enjoyment. When I first started this I absolutely loved it. I thought this is great - it's going to be work - but I can make some money out of it. Over the last 12 months it's been nothing but a hassle and all the joy of the job has slowly sapped out of it for me and there's no fun in what I do and it has just become a relentless slog, a battle against the bookies, against time and against everything else!

5) Love. I used to love horse racing - all things about it - I knew naff all about it but loved it - watching on TV, going to the race course - the smaller the better in my book - watching all the pre race prep, enjoying the flutter and loving the racing (NH in particular). But I've grown to despise it - the constant let down when things don't go to plan and gut wrenching feeling when you see race after race going against you. I stopped watching a long time ago. I'd started this business because I enjoyed racing - and I've lost that and want to get it back.

6) Psychology. It's pretty clear (as you can tell from the above and probably all my posts) that I haven't got the psyche to deal with long losing runs or bad days when they come fast and frequent. I can't detach myself, I don't enjoy the positives enough to deal with the negatives and it's better that I stop as what's the point if that's how i feel?

7) Money. You've got to have a lot of money down and tied up to make this work, you've got to bet decent sized stakes to make even the lower cost services work and you've got to be prepared to lose money (and large amounts of it) if you make the wrong choices (I have with some services) and to be honest I've got better things I can be doing with my money (other than sticking it in an ISA) than put it through this merry go round.

So there you have it. I've had enough - the betting portfolio way isn't worth it for me. Whichever way you look at it I just can't face making the decision and putting the effort in to make a portfolio of services work. Admittedly I overstretched myself towards the end in terms of number of tipsters but I did that on purpose to make a decision - I just didn't realise I'd end up where I've ended up.

I've been pretty dedicated to this over the years and determined to make it work but I think you need to know when to draw a line under it and I've reached that point and that's it.

So what now? Well I am continuing to follow one tipster (4PA). Why 4PA - well simply as it's easy to follow and ROI is excellent and it's very very light effort. I hope to make a few quid over the year from the service to spend on good stuff! I'll do more research (horses to follow for example) on my own to make personal bets as well but in my own time and in a way that will be enjoyable.

As for the blog... well I'm going to keep going and posting to let you know how things go and I'm also going to use my freed up time to do some analysis of services that I always meant to do but never having the time - will hopefully be of use to you guys.

Thanks for reading up to now. Comments / questions / thoughts welcome!


Anonymous said...

Hi, would like to say i totally understand your decision. I my self follow only a football and a racing service and try to enjoy the betting as if i did not i to would stop. Enjoyment must be key and if making a few bob even better. Keep us posted and good luck.H.

Anonymous said...

I was disappointed to read your post but I could see it coming. You mention the time contraints and the personal disruption that managing your portfolio has caused and you're right - your portfolio is too big and unwieldy for anyone to manage comfortably. You are following way too many services and your stakes are too small because of that. If you really want to make betting work, you have to be disciplined and follow a small selection of tipsters (around 3). The fewer tipsters you follow, the easier it will be to keep up with the phone calls, the emails and the bets themselves. In this business you also need to be ruthless: if a tipster has performed badly for 3-6 months, then ditch them. You cannot just plough on in the hope that they will come good at some point in the future. It seems like you have a soft spot for Steve Lewis Hamilton but the service has been treading water for a year and has had a catalogue of losing bets over the last few months. We all remember the glory days of L'Eau de Nil winning at 33/1, but that was in early 2009 (3 years ago!) Times change and the tipsters in your portfolio need to be changed too. The same can be said of Equine Investments - the main service has really tailed off over the last year and, for what they charge, it is not worth it. Because you have so many tipsters in your portfolio, you are spreading your staking too thinly. You were following Football Elite with too small stakes and ditched them. That is the kind of service which you have to use big stakes to follow so it was right that you dropped it because it was underperforming and you were betting peanuts on the matches. You need to be ruthless with the rest of your portfolio. Thin it right down to three tipsters immediately, carry on and see where you are in three months. Don't stress. Betting is to be enjoyed. Follow three tipsters and leave it at that. You'll notice a big difference. Good luck for the future!

Anonymous said...

Sorry if I put a look of doom and gloom on it mate but a think from my experience it is about what I wanted to take out of following services.as you are with a gd no. I know you are in it to get positive returns financially,so from my experience I recommend following the most profitable service systematic if you took Subs etc from slh,felite&many others think about it you could have bigger betting bank/less under performing services/much less subs,less time getting on,,I've came to the conclusion that there are a lot good people trying but at the end of the day it's about results and many fall short and that's why I would go down that road

The Market Examiner said...

Very sorry to hear this MRH, but it certainly sounds the right move if you're not enjoying it.

I hope our ups and downs since you've been with us haven't been too much of a contributing factor! It's been a pretty frustrating time, mainly because of the under-performance of our bigger priced selections (which ironically have always been our best selections in terms of ROI historically). It'll come around soon enough, we're sure of that, but it sounds like it'll come too late for you to see the best of us, and that's a shame from our point of view.

Will certainly miss your blog updates, and hope you keep us in the picture with how things are going for you.

All the very best,

TPI said...

For purely personal reasons I'm really sorry to read this post. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading the blog. Please do keep us posted on how things go for you with the plans that you now have.

I can empathise completely. It is a treadmill, and there are times when it just grinds you down. If you've reached the point when far from being fun at all, it is all proving to be a chore that you could do without, well...it's time to do what you've done.

Best of luck and like I say, keep us posted. :)


Anonymous said...

I am with some of the services you have market examiner etc .. I am sick to my front teeth with the whole lot of them day after day the same rubbish .. This is what they do for a liveing but yet not one of them can make any decent worthwhile profit from it all we hear is excuses ...
Best of luck with whatever you have planned your better off out of it.

Anonymous said...

I can totally relate to all your comments.I took a year or so out of work to run a portfolio and did okay winning around the same amount as I'd been earning from full time work.
After a year or so bookie restrictions coupled with the solitude and the seven days a week got to me,not to mention the strain on family life,so I went back to work.I now have a life back, enjoy racing again and bet in fivers and tenners when I fancy it(yes,like a mug punter!) and grin like a cheshire cat.Best of luck for the future

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for you and most other punters out their i was in a similar situation following all these services in the hope of making money it didnt happen the people running these services make a these great claims about what they can do but when it comes down to it they dont produce the goods .. To be hones i found it all to be a con and i lost a lot of money from listening to their advice ... I started from following sbc they tell you you will make al this money with the services they have not true their is always someone with something to gain in this game by telling you lies i couldent take it anymore i wish you well..

Anonymous said...

Hi sorry to see your blog go really enjoyed it.. You will be happy to know you have not missed any profits since you stopped in fact you saved yourself some cash.. market examiner and northen monkey have continued on their woeful form they cant seem to pick a winner between them useless .. somehow i think your better off out of it a lot of effort for no reward..

Anonymous said...

Hi all these services you are with are high on the list of sbc who tell you how great these services are and how much money you will make if you join. Sbc have a lot to answer for in my view these porfolios do not work simple as i have yet to see an example of a portfolio that works and makes a profit over a decent period good luck..

mrh-beats said...

H - you are totally right that you need to enjoy it!

Anon 2 - definitely was too unwieldy to manage and I think I made a serious mistake following too many services at too high a cost. I'm going to do a final review of services and mention why I think things went wrong. You are also right about ploughing on but it's dangerous ditching too soon. SLH and Equine - totally agree. I really made a mistake resubscribing to Equine for 2011/12. SLH - well long treading water has always been the nature of that service but too long this time! Agree with all the rest of what you are saying - but am not continuing with three - just the one at the moment!

Baz - it wasn't you don't worry - you just hit the nail on the head and helped me make the decision and conclusion I was rapidly heading towards.

Sam - thanks for your comment - it wasn't your service although it's been a tough time - just a combination of everything!

Rowan - many thanks and will let you know how things pan out!

Anon(s) - many thanks for all your comments. I think it looks too easy to make money sometimes. ROI of x and ROC of y - but the reality is very different - bookie restrictions, odds available, time, effort etc. I don't think SBC hide the difficulty of it but headline rates are not the only thing to think about - we learn from experience and make our own decisions