Sunday, 4 June 2017

Sharpe Minds

Mike sent me an email asking:
First of all, just a quick thanks for the blog – it’s always an interesting read.

I don’t know if you have written about this subject previously but do you ever use (or have you investigated using) financial type analysis to betting systems that you use? I am thinking of things like measuring volatility, drawdowns or Sharpe ratios etc?
Thanks for the kind words. Last month actually saw the daily hit count average over 1,000 for the first time ever.
I have written about the Sharpe Ratio before, and Sports Picks System published this piece on it as it applied to my NFL Small Road 'Dogs system, (which line was the optimal bet?) but in general I think its relevance to sports betting is extremely limited, at least for most of us. 

The Sharpe Ratio is used in the financial industry where most markets are quite different from betting markets, the exception being the options markets which like most betting markets, are only active for a relatively short period of time.

But as Investopedia explains:
The Sharpe ratio also tends to fail when analyzing portfolios with significant non-linear risks, such as options or warrants.
Along with the Kelly Criterion, I find this kind of thing interesting in theory, but of no practical use. Use 2% for your stakes and save yourself a whole lot of time for little benefit.

The primary concern for sports bettors is in identifying an edge, and riding that edge until it inevitably vanishes. 

The Sharpe Ratio might tell you that , for example, your NFL system is 'better' than your MLB system, but if both are profitable, you'll play both regardless. 

Also a factor is that most sporting systems are seasonal and not year round, so systems often don't overlap, which is a contrast to the year round financial markets where comparisons are more meaningful.

Also worth mentioning is that no system will remain profitable indefinitely. If there's an inefficiency in the markets, it will be identified, and disappear, soon enough. 

Evaluating the Sharpe Ratio or measuring volatility is mildly interesting, but for most of us, it’s not a useful exercise.

For more on the Sharpe Ratio, I'd recommend this post here from Betfair Pro Trader and the book Red-Blooded Risk: The Secret History of Wall Street by Aaron Brown.


Rap said...

Have you ever felt so unproductive at some point in your life? Wherein all you’re doing throughout the day was tapping and swiping the screen of your phone; sugarcoating your miserable life online through filtering apps to make it look awesome; and staying up all night to surf the web without any valid reason behind but for plain vanity purposes.

Your life has become an endless scroll-react-share-comment-tweet since the invention of social media platforms. But without this breakthrough, people cannot converse as easy as a few clicks away. And your crush may message you, “hey!” all of sudden. You’ll then freak out; you’ll be at a loss for words. While your attention is on the seemingly impossible scenario, you didn’t notice that your mom is already inside your room which gives you a mini heart attack. And that’s it. That’s when the trouble starts. You’re doomed to be berated by your mom at the top of her lungs wherein every single sharp word of rampant rant she utters has 0.0001 interval in between. She’ll scold you for not doing the chores but you wouldn’t mind her at all though. However, she figures it out and quips, “your little puffy balls have an undeniable chemistry with your phone; that’s why you got those two bags of Prada under your eyes and you flaunt them shamelessly. Bravo!”

If that’s the situation you’re usually in, you are one of the 58% of the Philippines’ growing population that spends long hours on social media. Today’s generation is gradually turning into a part of technology. They’re more afraid of network connectivity issues and low battery life than what challenges the world has stored for them from which they’ll learn. In fact, they feel pleasure every time they receive reactions and messages, and other things called “instant gratifications.”

Truly, social media has changed the way we live. But don‘t wait until the bridges between your social and personal relationships are burnt.

Every aspect in your life are at risk. There’s no application to solve the problem with which only you can deal. Set a time limit. Prioritize more important agendas and ask yourself, “do I really need social media for this?” before gluing your eyes to the screen. Otherwise, get offline and live every moment of your life. Break free from the addiction.

Jamie said...

@ Rap's comment. With impeccable spelling and grammar like that, is it Cassini in disguise? It may explain the absence.