Friday 10 June 2011

Accounting For My Taste

Young Curly is back for another blogging effort over at Part-Time Gambling, and while his first few posts are a good read, (not quite as good a read as this blog of course), only time will tell if he can stay the course or fall by the wayside, a fate that seems to befall so many blogs about betting. I think a lot of enthusiastic wannabe professional gamblers stumble across the exchanges, think all they need to do is open an account and make a steady income, and want to brog / blag about their success. When it doesn't turn out to be quite that easy, the enthusiasm for both bloging and betting quickly dies. It's hard to be enthusiastic about losing money!

I've made a change to my accounting procedures, whereby I now deduct the Premium Charge from the previous week's most profitable day. That saves me from starting a new month with a hit on the PC which really belongs to the previous month, and it stops me from highlighting record highs only to have the spreadsheet take what appears to be a drop a few days later. I maintain moving averages too, and it messes these up if it is entered after the fact. Perhaps a little pointless, but it's one of the annoyances of the Premium Charge that it can be almost a week and a half after a win before you know how much you really won and I feel better applying it retro-actively to the best day. If I were really anal about it, I would pro-rate it across the charged week's profitable days, but even I am not that sad. Well, maybe I am, but I just don't have the time for it.

The 100% record of teams winning the third game in a tied 2-3-2 series in the NBA Finals is on the line after the Dallas Mavericks won another thriller against the Miami Heat to take a 3-2 lead to Miami, just one win away from the title. I layed Dallas at what I thought was a value 1.69 early in the third quarter, but it all went pear shaped as the price dropped to the low 1.3s. I considered bailing out for a £1.5k loss, but finally Miami rallied, went odds-on, and with my nerves shot, I saw value in greening up at that price, and came away with a modest win as Dallas pulled away.

To end with Curly again, he had some words on the ROI and trading subject:

If only you could have won and then lost a little more.

Whilst I agree that ROI is in some ways irrelevant that is mainly because the 'investment' part is hard to put a value to. If you back £100 at 2.0, lay £100 at 1.9 and repeat 3 times and your selection goes onto win your profit minus commission is £30. So your ROI could be determined as 30% or 10%. The problem with saying its only 10% is you never actually risked £300.

However to completely ignore the £300 is perhaps just as wrong. An example for this, scenario A you back £100 at 2.0 lay £100 at 1.9 back £100 at 1.6 and lay again at 1.5 for a profit of £20. Scenario B you have 20 backs of £100 at an avg of 1.9 and 20 £100 lays at 1.89 for a profit of £20. If you calculate ROI as a % of risk then they are both 20% if you look at total investment you come up with 10% and 1%. I believe a long time ago you discussed something similar to this and possibly broached the topic of ROCE as a measure (I may be wrong).
He is actually wrong, ROCE (Return On Capital Employed) has never been the subject of a post by me. It probably won't be any time soon either. It seems to be the consensus that ROI / ROCE or whatever, are all rather meaningless for in-play trading, and nigh on impossible to work out after a busy trading game. I'd need a qualified accountant, and my son still has another year to go!

So this accountant dies, and he reaches the pearly gates and is amazed to see a happy crowd all waving banners and chanting his name.

After a few minutes, St. Peter comes running across and says, "I'm sorry I wasn't here to greet you personally. God is looking forward to meeting such a remarkable man as yourself."

The accountant is perplexed. "I've tried to lead a good life, but I am overwhelmed by your welcome," he tells St. Peter.

"It's the least we can do for someone as special as you are. Imagine, living to the age of 123 and still looking so young," says St. Peter.

The man looks even more dumbfounded and replies, "123 years old? I don't know what you mean. I'm only 40."

St. Peter replies, "But that can't be right - we've seen your time sheets!"


Curly said...

You're right and a simple google search of your site only shows one mention of ROCE and that is this post. Perhaps its flattering that I attribute these good discussions I've had with your blog. I'm guessing it must have been on the Betfair forum.

Anyway, I started replying here and decided that instead of writing an essay here I'd do so on my blog. So please find my response at

Fingers crossed I will still be blogging a year or two down the line but I doubt I will be able to manage atleast a post a day like yourself. That must take some effort. For what its worth I'm not here to brag about my success, I'm humble enough to realise that I'm a reasonably small fish and it won't be too much longer before some corporate shark swallows me up. I can only try and increase efficiency to stave it off as long as possible. Hopefully I'll be able to provide some insight (for longer than I did last time) and that people will find it interesting. If not well then I can also give up again.

Average Guy said...

Hello, respect your thoughts but referring the basketball trade that nearly went very wrong. Are you really trading if you only get out when it suits you with a profit but do not accept a substantial loss ? Not questioning your logic as you are obviously successful but whats the difference between a blind put and what you did ? I need to rationalize this as I do it constantly and feel like crap as I want the losses double or treble because of an inability to cut and run ?