I got asked a question this week regarding tipster services, ‘when do you start following, and when do you stop?’ It’s likely I will cover the second question next blog post.
I’ve touched on this in the past but I try and set my foundations based on the financial world of stocks and shares and try to use similar principals and attitude, and both questions above can be answered keeping this in mind.
A discretionary broker will make all the decisions for you if you hold a shares account with them, other brokers may just advise and let the client make the final decision.
As a starting point I recommend a discretionary approach to following a tipster – you pay for the advice and you follow it. As a starting point you must ask a truthful question:
‘Do I trust the advice’
This may be a hunch you have, reputation or best of all, solid, reliable data of past performance. If I gave you £100k to invest with a broker I’d like to think you’d research them with a similar vigour – many do not.
Failure to research will mean you lose confident during less successful spells, you need to commit a bank and 6-12 months of consistent following. Next, create a spreadsheet and log every bet they advise.
When to join? Let’s use a racing tipster as an example. Results not great during the winter, then look to get in over the summer.
A good trick is to calculate the average P/l per month, then calculate where they are at the point you wish to join (current p/l) To avoid joining at the end of a purple patch you can wait until the service settles down.
Say we are in May and yearly p/l reads 100 units, the average over last 4 years is 10u/month. If there is no fluctuation meaning June and July will run hotter, you can assume the monthly average will drop back down. By end of July, we should be at 70 units.
So if June and July drop by 30 units or more (in total), then the system has returned some stability and we are not entering during a downward curve. This is great if you have dipped out of a service and are looking to get back in.
The key to all this is getting know your information source a little better and tweaking what you do, to their strengths. Tipster X’s most appealing facet may be their strike rate. It may average 40%, what’s more valuable is when these hit.
The longest period without a win over 5 years may be 20 selections. The average time between winning tips may be 6 selections. The data tells me the hot period will be that window between 6 and 20 selections without a win.
Of course there may be a reason for this lean spell, a family bereavement, loss of interest in the game, change of focus etc but that’s where write ups and blogs play their part.
You have paid for the advice, done your research so why not use it to creatively stake for you. Create a sheet, log the SP then applying different stakings to past results – these often highlight strength of you chosen tipster.
I often come across those who pay for but don’t follow the advice. That’s fine, but to me, akin to going into a restaurant and cooking the food yourself as you think you can do a better job. Maybe you can, if so then why are you paying for the advice in the first place?
To finish, remember betting is a largely male dominated activity. Ego is king and proving to others that you win often fuels that. It can’t play a part in your long term profits and you don’t need to make all the decisions yourself. Imagine a broker fishing for all the news themselves without the internet, there would be no time to trade!
Good luck in the markets, next time I’ll be addressing the harder topic of when to stop.