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Hi Horse Racing Fan

It actually amazes me the expectations that people have with the winnings they think they want to achieve, compared to the size of their banks.

I often get emails from people asking me if I think they can make a living from a bank of a £1000, admitably it does seem a lot, but I doubt very much it is going to be enough to retire on!

Lets have a look at some figures so you can see what I am talking about.

I would summarise that most people (most) could probably live on around a £100 a day, there will be some that need less and others that need more, but it gives us something to work with and £36,500 a year (before) tax is actually around an average income.

If you were to go to any financial expert and say to him that you wanted to invest enough, to get an income of a £100 a day, here is what he will probably tell you.

"To be really safe then put about £2,000,000 (2 million) in a building society which after tax will give you close to that.

If you are prepared to be more ambitious then how about an Index Tracker? This tracks the top 100 or 250 shares and on average over a 5 year period earns you around 10%, £400,000 should do it, but remember it's only an average and some years my be better than others and what you invest may be less than you get back!"


Ok I know there are probably riskier investments that earn more but the higher the return the higher the risk!

With that in mind lets look at your bank and horse racing.

I think most people lose at horse racing because they over stretch their banks, especially during a losing run, it's very difficult to stop and have a look at the situation.

From a lay point of view where we get far more winners than losers (but we pay for that in liability), if you want to be ultra careful and keep the pressure off then your stake should be 1% of half of your bank and the maximum at any time should not go above 2% of your total bank.

2% will probably only see you past 2 losers in a row if you are using a lay ladder, where as 1% of 1/2 of your bank will give you a lot more opportunity to recover any loses.

From a win point of view you first need to have a very good idea of how long any losing streak is likely to last, and then again stake a percentage of your bank accordingly, but I would keep to a maximum of 5% although many would argue 10%.

With these figures in mind it is not hard to figure out the size of the bank you will need to make a £100 a day.

If you follow my advice to the letter on the lay side you would need £20,000 ready as a bank, less if you decide to take a larger risk.

You obviously do not need this sitting in Betfair when your only staking £100 a race, but you will need to be able to call on some if you start losing, otherwise it can be earning money in a building society.

If you can get enough wins then you will need less on the win side of things, but I wouldn't be surprised if at the end of the day they are not far apart.

Now I know these figures are still big and look an impossibility for some people, but don't despair over the next few days I will give you some strategies to help you reach them long term.

Also don't forget all our winnings are tax free (at the moment), where as some profits from investments are taxable!

If it wasn’t for losers we would all be very rich, but it is losing that makes betting on horse racing what it is, but it always seems to be the one thing that trips many people up, they don’t expect to lose!

So the first thing you need to get very straight and come to terms with is that you are going to lose, how often is another matter, but you are GOING TO LOSE!

Now we know that, we can start thinking about the possibility and how it will affect the way we bet and what it will do to our bank.

If you win bet only then in some ways the whole thing is a lot simpler, you just have to expect to put up with far more losers than winners (unless you have an amazing system or are very good at picking winners), but you know that your stake is what you lose, so you really only need to come up with a strategy that will allow you to get over the losers without depleting your bank, and that will give you a good chance of recouping your bank when you win.

My suggestion is to look at worst case scenarios and add a couple then you should at least be prepared for the worst and pleasantly surprised for the best.

The amount of times you win or lose will probably be dependant on the odds that you bet at, because the short odds favourites do win far more often than long odd ones, but the pay check is bigger on the higher odds!

Laying is a little more complex, but luckily we tend to have a lot more winners but our Achilles heel is liability, which if not kept in check, can easily wipe out a bank after 2 or 3 losers.

I have several strategies for layers but all of them have to be tied in with the size of your bank, which is something we need to discuss in a bit more detail.

Just about all betting exchanges have a minimum stake of £2.00 which is pretty small but if you want to use my idea of just 1% of your bank or even 0.5% then you will need £200 or £400 to start with, until then you are going to have to be very careful with how you use your bank, because it will be very easy to get a wipe out.

Patience is the key for smaller banks and you will have to accept that it is going to be a little bit of a roller coaster ride before you get enough money to start growing it at a faster rate and until that time you must stick to the minimum £2.00 bet no matter what.

Have a look at this….

Ok I am bragging a bit here as these are the results for V4 of my lay betting system and I am hoping when you look (it is an up to date active system) that even though you could have started with as little as £50 your bank should have increased quite a bit and notice that we are still only staking £2.00 per lay, but using the lay ladder to help us out when we lose.

One word of warning I would not use the lay ladder past 2 losers, if you had a 3rd then revert back to the standard staking plan.

If the lay ladder worries you then these are the same results using level staking only, admittedly a lot slower but still making far much more money than you would anywhere else and the bigger your bank gets the safer your money should be.

Actually the profits from the results I have just shown you could be even better if you simply doubled your stake when your bank doubled, but it shows how even with a small amount of money you can make substantial gains that are far better than any other investment I could think of.

There are probably lots of different strategies you could use for improving increasing the size of your bank and as long as what you use won’t wipe you out after a few losers then it should be fine.

Whatever the size of your bank the real trick is to protect as much as you can, this means that you have to plan your bets based on knowledge and get away from the Saturday afternoon punter” syndrome of betting what takes you fancy or following the tipsters like sheep.

You only have to take one look at the racingpost naps table to see that the majority of “Professional” tipster are normally in minus figures and even the top ones have losing runs of 7 or more tips in between winners, and if you consider these are their best naps of the day, then you should get a feeling for what to expect, if you follow these guys blindly.

While writing this (30/08/2005) the top tipster is RacingPost RP ratings who has a level £1 per tip profit of 43.82 (nearest rival 29.15) which on the face of it is very good, if you had put £10 on every tip you would now be £438.20 in profit, but to get that you would have had to endure a losing run of 12 and an average losing run of 3 (115 losers and 38 winners), and people wonder why I only lay now days!

Actually the above information makes a good point, if I were to come to you and say "I have this great system, normally wins every 3 or 4 bets but you may have to go 12 without a win, but hey your still going to make money at the end of the day", I wonder if you would think “Malcolm’s an ok sort of guy, but if he thinks I am going to take a chance on 12 losers then I actually think he is a bit bonkers”, but there it is in black and white, and shows with the correct strategy and patience you could have turned £1 into £43.82 or £10 into £438.20 of £100 into £4382.00 in a few short months.

And if you got to the bottom of the table you will see (at the time of writing this) that Underhand from The Newcastle Journal has accumulated a debt of -80.25, with their longest losing run being 36!

The point being that if you are jumping from one tipster to another or for that fact one system to another, you have a very good chance of landing on losing tips only, where as if you choose your system/tipsters wisely and stick with them, then in the long run you are likely to come out on top and protect your bank.

As your betting bank is your investment vehicle you may want to consider adding to it from time to time, because like any other investment the more you have in it the more you can earn.

I know that most of us are proud when we start with a small bank and then turn it into something much larger from our winnings, but some help on the way could have made it easier!

That’s why I always suggest that once you have settled down and chosen your betting method and you are winning on a regular basis, then you could consider adding more to your bank as and when you can afford it, even £10 a month can help.

One other question I often get asked is…
“Should I split my bank up for different tips?”

Again this will depend on the size of your bank and so extent your organisations skills.

The first thing to do is run some scenarios to see what will happen if the different tips all lose together, it’s surprising how few people do not do this!

Secondly even if you don’t split your bank I would do it on paper. An example would be if you had a bank of £1000 and you wanted to run 2 different tips, then I would split the bank in two giving you a bank of £500 for each tip.
Your stake will be a % of the £500 not the £1000 and make a note when you lose or win how it has affected each side.

This method does worry me though because it is very easy to make mistakes and dip into the other tips money when one of them is not doing very well, it is far better to have a total split and use a separate bank for each tip.

If you haven’t got a large bank and you are trying to run more than one tip, then be careful because I can tell you from experience that every so often the all have a tendency to lose in harmony!

Well that about wraps it up for the bank article, I will get it up on line in the next day or two so you can read it again in it’s complete form.

Next time I want to discuss recovery staking plans.

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