Sunday, 16 May 2010

No Comparison

A comment from Anonymous on my last post regarding comparing yourself with others.

Considering plenty of blogs out there are willing to post up pnl statements on a regular basis I'm sure you've already compared yourself but happy to keep that to yourself :)
There actually aren't that many blogs that list exact profits / losses. There are some, but several talk about "points" which is always a little "pointless" it seems. Blogs also have a habit of disappearing once the going gets tough. It's human nature to find it easy to post up wins, but not the losses.

Besides, some of the claims on blogs have to be taken with a pinch of salt - a timely example, who really believes The Gambler's claims?
Last weekend was awful. Let us leave it that. Last weekend's golf. I won 4K on Tim Clark but it was only a cover bet, covering part of my stake. Lee Westwood would have won me 4.8K, and Robert Allenby who fininshed a very unlucky second one shot behind Tim Clark would have won me 15K.
Anyone who has followed his blog for a while, and is aware of some of John's past problems, could be excused a little scepticism over those numbers.

Anyway, as I have written before, the problem is that P&L statements by themselves are meaningless, and not just because the profit or loss could be down to an arb. It only becomes meaningful if you know more about the bettor - their net worth, age, income, years on the exchanges, hours spent etc. I don't get excited about my P&L being better or worse than anyone else's for that reason, but the websites in the article I linked to allow you to compare your net worth with others by age, location, education etc. which is rather more meaningful.

If someone posts on the forum or in a blog that they won £50, what does that really tell you? Nothing, unless you know more about the person.

It's why athletic events have individual age / sex groups. A 50 year old runner is unlikely to beat a 23 year old runner, but both can compare themselves with others in their age group to get a more meaningful idea of how good their performance is.

The financial world is the same - share funds are compared with other similarly structured share funds. Small company funds are listed together for example so that prospective investors can compare like with like.

The problem with sites like is that they are more likely to attract successful people than less-successful people, so it's not a reliable indicator of how you are faring, but when you see others not too far ahead of you, it does give you the target of trying to surpass them.

I stayed away from the Cup Final earlier today. Last year my balance took a big loss on this game, £1,758.18 for those who like numbers, and this year, the bet I liked and nearly took was Over 3.5 goals, but in the end decided to stay away. It was a good call. When May 30th rolls around, at least my year average will move up!


Anonymous said...

Again you try and cloud the issues by talking about runners and ages etc. That has no relevance whatsoever to gambling.

If you don't want to compare yourself to other traders/gamblers you certainly aren't going to learn anything by comparing yourself to anonymous posters on networth type sites on the net. The only real comparison you can make are against you peers that you know socially

Anonymous said...

At least the typo, will give you something to pick up on :)

Anonymous said...

Basically you are saying I'm not going to post any evidence that I make a profit. Wonder why that is?