Sunday, 2 January 2022

Goodbye 2021

A New Year, and an exciting one for those of us who love numbers as 2022 is not only a harshad number but also a sphenic number

The enormity of this moment can be measured by the fact that this is only the second time this has occurred in my lifetime, the first being 2001, a year which marked the start of the current century and millennium despite most people celebrating the event a year prematurely. 

It will also be the last occasion my lifetime that the year is both a harshad and a sphenic number, as the next occurrence isn't until 2085. 

Harshad is a Sanskrit word which means 'joy-giver' and hopefully the year will live up to its categorisation and do just that.

As for the year just gone, much of what I wrote in my review of 2020 a year ago remains true. 
My job isn't really work these days. It's all meetings and management and if I can do it full-time from home, and by full-time I often mean for two to three hours a day, then I might as well hang in there until the next bonus and stock options are doled out at least, which is next month. Were my job hacking away at a coal face, my attitude to retirement might be a little different.
I am still working, with retirement ever closer, but motivation to pull the trigger very much tempered by the fact that I do very little actual work, most of the work I do is from home, and with the pandemic still with us, travel isn't yet the pleasurable experience it should be. 

In contrast to 2020 which saw a holiday to South Africa, two promotions in the space of three months, the death of a parent and the start of a pandemic, 2021 was much less dramatic. No new countries visited, no promotions, no deaths of anyone close to me, and the pandemic still impacting, not daily life so much, but certainly impacting making definite plans.

I did break my leg in three places in January though, and despite missing two months of the year as it healed, was still able to reach my goal of 1,000 miles on foot for the year. Clearly the goal was too easy, and I've bumped it up to 1,200 miles for this go round. 

As has probably been evident from the content of my blog, the importance of sports betting has continued to decline. I still enjoy the challenge of beating the markets, but the financial impact to the bottom line is now miniscule compared to that from my financial investments.

While it is somewhat vulgar to talk in real terms, my net worth increased last year by 32.9%, the second highest since I began tracking such things, though of course in real terms by far the best year ever. 

The S&P 500 Index I may have mentioned a few times had its third consecutive year of double digit gains (26.9%), and again outperformed the FTSE although at least this index was up this year by 14.3%.

The main driver for me was the success of my employer, with the RSUs and Stock Options in my company becoming more valuable as the share price increased by 45%, as well as the shares I already own. Whether or not it is wise to have 17% of my net worth tied up in one company is debatable, but their record since 2008 (right) is impressive. I'll re-assess after the next round of bonuses, stock options and RSUs next month which may be followed by a discussion about a severance agreement, but we'll see. 

Tesla climbed another 49.8% last year after being flat up until August and property valuations were up 41%. My venture into Bitcoin hasn't been a success so far, and Boeing lost a little last year, but overall a bumper year, and one unlikely to repeat itself though these are unusual times. 

Of course the stock market will crash at some point, but predictions have been out there for at least eleven years now, and if you'd moved to cash at that time, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be too happy. Here are some headlines over the years, and the actual numbers since 2009:
As for sports, the EPL Draw results for calendar year 2021 were ROIs of 31% for Toss-Ups with another small loss for Close selections, -0.02%. I'm not sure it makes much sense to look at calendar year results for a seasonal sport such as football, but I did it last year though will not repeat this moving forward. 

The strategy of backing the Draw in major International tournament elimination matches was again profitable in this year's Euro 2020 and Copa America tournaments, with ROIs of 91% and 32% respectively, though from a small number of matches. 

2022 sees the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations hosted by Cameroon which kicks off in just a few days with 24 teams which means 15 elimination matches with the first on January 23rd. (The Third place play-off isn't an elimination match). 

With prices going back to 2008 and encompassing seven tournaments, the ROI for all matches is 10%, but for those matches with no team having a greater than 50% win probability (after removing the overround), the ROI increases to 19%

These numbers may not be as strong as those for the Euros, Copas and World Cups, but it is still well worth the small amount of time required to participate.

Later in the year of course, we have the 2022 World Cup, though we have to wait until December for the elimination games at this event. The two-leg qualification play-offs may offer an edge, with the Draw profitable over the eight European matches last time around, and up 7% overall on the 27 matches since 2005 for which I have prices. Arguably this number might well be higher given that in 2009 only one of eight games saw more than one goal scored, but only one finished 0:0. Only seven of the 27 games resulted in wins for Over 2.5 goals. 

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