Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Bold Ambition

James is back, once again in agreement with me, this time on the topic of what differentiates a bet from a trade. I opined that a bet only becomes a trade when it is not allowed to run its course without an off-setting bet or bets, and James says:
That follows my definition too. A bet is a single leg of a trade allowed to go to expiry. A trade has a return leg in the opposite direction to the entry to realise a profit before expiry.
Far more eloquently stated than my effort. James adds - and if you haven't read this post of his on the subject of "reality versus fantasy", you should, that:
Sports and financial trading is littered with people of bold ambition. Survivorship bias means we only hear from those who succeed. It is, after all, a zero sum game.
Nothing wrong with bold ambition of course, but the ambition needs to be grounded in reality:
While it is all very well to be optimistic, it’s probably more important to be realistic, and the logical conclusion is that with all the resources at the bookmaker’s disposal, any success by an individual is likely to be very short-lived
In James' opening paragraph, he writes:
I never discuss the details of my trades because winning strategies are hard to come by. Share a winner and it becomes a loser because the market will arbitrage the edge out of it.
I'm not actually convinced that most readers recognise a good thing when they see it, or at least lack the patience or discipline to follow through. I've given away a few secrets here over the years, but unless the selections have a 100% strike rate (ideally more) and an ROI somewhere north of 25%, the information appears to mostly be immediately forgotten.
The forums regularly have posters starting new challenges - 2% a day for a year and the like. 2% a day? 2% a day is massive. Actually, it's more than massive. 2% a day on a starting bank of £100 would make the bank over £137,740 by the end of the year. Is this realistic?
That was a rhetorical question.
The BLUnders this season had an ROI% of 2.46% from 142 selections. (There could yet be more picks, but as we move deeper into the play-offs, it becomes less likely).

This was actually the third worst season of the past ten, and the worst since 2010-11, but a 2.46% ROI for a system that takes maybe five minutes a day is, by my reckoning, great. The time spent is key - as Webbo wrote four years ago:
It's interesting that you say punting profits are more value when you factor in the hourly rate as it's for this reason I'm trying to turn my attentions more to these. It's obviously much harder but if I'm honest I am starting to resent the amount of my free time I spend betting inplay and I do fear each time another blog opens of a young person who aims to make a living from inplay trading. Their lives will consist of staring at a screen 24-7 and if I had to price it up, I'd say it's 1.01 that they don't make anything close to a living out of it.
The Bundeslayga is several seasons old now, and for the first time since I revealed it, in danger of a losing season:
Only one selection this weekend currently, which would at least guarantee another season in profit.

And then there's a baseball system that is also historically efficient - it takes about five minutes a day, and over the last ten seasons its record isn't perfect, but it's pretty darn good with a double digit ROI% in nine of those ten seasons:
But it's 'only' 50 to 60 bets, the ROI% is 'only' 12%...

I think I'll pass - I'll go for the bank job on tonight's Romanian Third Division game - much more exciting.

And in the unlikely event that I lose, I'll open another bank. Brilliant.

1 comment:

Baz said...

But isn't a trade just a bet on which way the market will move ? Get it wrong and you lose like any other bet.
Perhaps we are kidding ourselves by trying to differentiate between bets and trades.