Thursday, 1 April 2021

March Wrap and a Year to Remember

MLB isn't the only sport in the USA making changes with the NFL announcing today that the regular season will be increased from 16 games to 17, the first increase in scheduled games since 1978 when the league added two more to make the current 16.  

The plan for at least some of the future game 17s to be played at international sites is reminiscent of the FA's much discussed 'Game 39' plans which, at least so far, have come to naught. Whether these would be officially Neutral games or would nominally have a Home and Away team remains to be seen, but if the latter, in a sport with a short season such as NFL that extra Home game could prove crucial. It will be interesting to see how this bonus Home game is awarded. 

The next NFL season is a long way off however, and more pressing is the 2021 MLB Season which, as mentioned here previously, starts today with every club in action in the first of a planned 162 match regular season. 

For Opening Day games, one winning system over the years has been to back teams that are both the favourite and won fewer games last season than their opponent. Since last season was so very short at just 60 games, this metric may not be so reliable as that across a full season, so invest at your own risk. 
All-time (which for MLB means since 2005) the ROI on the Money Line is 22.7% while on the Run Line it is 53% but the sample size of 60 games is too small to draw any conclusions.

There is currently just the one qualifier for today, but odds can change and it looks like a few matches are missing probably due to doubts over the starting pitcher, e.g. the Boston Red Sox. There is also at least one game looking likely to be postponed for COVID reasons, something that doesn't augur well for the long season ahead.

The NHL System hasn't ended the month in the best of runs with a season high losing streak of six games before last night, which saw one win, one postponed due to COVID and one loss but at least it wasn't as bad a month or losing run as that of the Buffalo Sabres who lost 18 games straight (including two in overtime and one by shootout) to tie the record held by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2003-04 which was prior to the shootout being introduced.

The ROI for March was a still respectable 5%, despite just the one win in the last eight. 

For the NBA Totals System, March's ROI from just 30 selections (due to the All-Star break) was 7.4%, or 2.23 units. 
The 24.4% ROI for the season is by some way the highest since the point totals started climbing a few years ago.

While making money from sports is fun, it's also relatively insignificant in monetary terms compared to the money to be made from more traditional investments. I mentioned the March 2020 dramas in the financial markets recently, and some year-on-year comparisons at the end of Q1 are interesting:
Unfortunately I was late to the Bitcoin ($BTC) party, but if you are not long Bitcoin then you are essentially short Bitcoin, and I'd rather be long and wrong than miss out as Bitcoin becomes more mainstream and broader adoption and acceptance  drives up the price. Tesla I have written about for a while now, but even the returns from some of the main indexes were excellent, although as readers will know, investing in the UK hasn't been recommended for a while now, continually falling short of the US markets. While 24% YOY might look great at first sight, in comparison with other choices, it's actually very disappointing with a high opportunity cost.
Small differences in return make a big difference over time, for example 100 units invested in the FTSE at the start of this century would now be worth just 96.88 units. Contrast this with the same investment in the S&P 500 which would now be worth 270.04 units.  Not that these differences are necessarily 'small', but even a fraction of a percent as in fees for managed funds versus index funds can make a difference. 

The S&P 500 broke the 4,000 level today for the first time, which is encouraging for the future.
It's also now been 50 trading days since Biden took office, and while he's 
fortunately nothing like his predecessor who would take credit for up days and stay silent on bad days, the S&P 500 increased by 4.6% during this time for Biden which is a better performance that Trump with 'his' 4.4%.

Good luck in April and Q2. 

1 comment:

Marty said...

You might consider adjusting your S&P return to GBP, or at least ensuring they are in the same currency, for comparability.