2016 Annual Review

Another year in the bag, and from a betting perspective, it was shocking. But betting only takes up a small percentage of my time and the rest of the year was fantastic (mostly). These reviews usually start with my year in betting and then move onto everything else I have done over the year. You can also read the two previous yearly reviews I had written in 2015 and 2013. 2015 was a breakeven year betting for me and 2016 was by far the worst ever year of betting.

First a recap of my goals: This blog started 6 and a half years ago. My goal was to make $10,000.00 per year ($25/day) from betting. That is why this blog is called daily25. This was one smaller goal in a much larger goal to retire early and travel the world. I quickly realised my new betting goal should be to make $100k a year. It seems I was a bit optimistic with the $100k goal and now it looks like $50,000.00 per year seems more likely.

Over the past 6 and a half years, goals change and with a new family to look after, that has become the major goal, part of that goal is to retire early. What that means is I need enough money invested that returns more than I spend each year. Our families dream life requires $80,000.00 a year. This includes travelling for at least 3 months every year. There are a heap of great retire early blogs and calculators, but in short, I am using the 25x rule (or the 4% withdrawal rate). All you need to do is take what you will spend each year and times it by 25, this will give you the number you need in investments to be financially secure for the rest of your life.

$80,000.00 x 25 = $2,000,000.00

So I need $2 million in investments (stocks, bonds, property, betting, startups, so on) to be able to stop working (if I choose). These investments should return 7% on average and I can withdraw 4% ($80,000.00) each year and the other 3% covers inflation. There’s a heap of complexities to it, but that is the general idea.

My goal date to hit this number is in 10 years, when I turn 47. I already live what is my dream life, I travel whenever I want, I work on projects I find interesting and I get to spend time with my family. So even when I can “officially” retire, I doubt I will be doing anything different.

I’ll break down where I am now and how I plan to reach that goal in another post. But all things going to plan (when do they ever do that?), I should be able to reach my goal earlier than expected.

Let’s begin the review with the pure betting.

2016 Profit and Loss:

In 2016 I bet a total of $3,893,630.00 and lost $168,620.00 at a -4.33% ROI. This turnover was almost half of what it was in 2015. The main reason for that was because I stopped betting on Soccer. My hope was to follow the historically profitable models, reducing the amount bet, but doubling my ROI and time saved. I was successful in 2 of those 3 things. I did reduce the amount bet and I did save a heap of time (getting back my Saturday nights/Sunday mornings was amazing), but sadly it came at a huge cost. I did not double my ROI. Instead, it went well into the negative.

The year started really well (thanks largely to the NFL), before heading into the negative by the end of February. But another great week in early March had me feeling pretty good. I gave all of that back over the course of March and April and as I left for my 2-month trip, I was back into the low negatives. This period saw me just betting on the AFL and you can see some up and down weeks until I got back home in mid-June. I was down about $12,000 at this stage, nothing to really worry about. But thanks to the worst ever AFL season, just a few months later I was sitting on a $100,000 loss for the year. It stayed around this mark for a few months and a few times I thought I was past the worst of it. But as these things tend to do, the other historically good model (the NFL) started to go horribly as well. Taking me well over the $150,000 mark and on new years eve I was sitting on my eventual massive loss of $168,620.00.

The second half of the year has not been easy to deal with. After a breakeven year in 2015, and now a gigantic loss in 2016, I head into 2017 with not a lot of faith left in the models I am following. If we remove the soccer bets, I placed a total of 1,618 bets over the year, which is nothing compared to the 10,000 I used to place each year. So yes, variance has played its roll and yes my staking has also played its part, but the question needs to be asked whether the models are no longer better than the market? I believe 2017 will be able to answer that once and for all.

We can now have a look at each individual model and how it performed.

Sport/TipsterWagered2016 Profit/LossROI
Total$3,893,630.00
-$168,620.00-4.33%
AFL H2H$249,900.00-$34,220.00
-13.69%
AFL Line$618,800.00-$109,580.00-17.70%
NRL H2H$191,020.00$16,130.008.44%
Super Rugby$35,390.00-$9,640.00-27.23%
NBL Totals$28,080.00-$6,510.00-23.2%
NBL Line$61,260.00$3,450.005.63%
MLB Totals$74,800.00-$14,570.00-19.5%
NFL Line$293,690.00$9,200.003.13%
NFL Totals$322,660.00$3,500.001.08%
NBA Totals$500,120.00$17,030.003.40%
NBA H2H$144,350.00-$20,610.00-14.27%
Mistakes$6,200.00-$1,930.00-31.12%
NHL Totals$244,100.00-$660.00-0.27%
Soccer Combo$887,970.00-$12,620.00-1.42%
E1-E6$122,290.00$7,980.006.52%
D1-D6$112,500.00-$16,090.00-14.30%
Odds pushed out$500.00$520.00104.00%

It’s pretty easy to see what happened this year. AFL was the culprit with a loss of $143,800.00. The 2016/17 NFL season has been horrible, but that has been more than made up for by the stellar performance at the start of the year from the 2015/16 season. The NRL H2H bets were a standout and I missed even more winners while away on holiday and staked way too low compared to my AFL and NFL betting. Soccer was also poor at the end of the 15/16 season and cost me $20,730.00. The NBA totals did well, but the H2H bets took all that profit and some back. MLB totals also started poorly before Jonno pulled the model.

2016 P/L conclusion

The AFL model, which I believed was the best model in the world really cost me in 2016. For the 6 years I have followed it, it has never performed this poorly. I had increased my bank and kelly to new highs at the start of the season and that made the losses even larger. Take away the Soccer losses (which I no longer follow) and everything else was break even. I know that my profit or loss each season is based on how well the AFL model does, and will need to rectify that in 2017.

In 2017, I’ll be lowering my AFL and NFL banks to be more in line with the other sports. I expect total turnover to be close to $2 million and a 3% return should net me $60,000.00 profit. With the new Australian laws coming in, it might be an impossible task to bet close to that amount, so I will have to wait and see what happens there. I’m also going to look further into Horse racing, as the minimum bet laws mean I can have bets matched without having to worry.

Other revenue streams

A few of 2015’s revenue streams dried up in 2016. Credit card reward points ended in February and I managed to make $12,000.00 before ANZ stopped giving points. I also did not concentrate much on taking advantage of aussie bookies promos as my time was better spent elsewhere. I still netted just over $6,000 from promos in 2016. In 2015 I won two massive prizes valued at $39,000.00. This year I was invited to the Melbourne Cup thanks to Betfair ($1,500 value) and to the Superbowl party thanks to Madbookie ($2,000 value).

So 2016’s other betting profit amounted to just $18,000.00, plus $3,500.00 worth of experiences.

Investment portfolio

While betting was terrible, my other investments went nuts in 2016. I will detail these more in an upcoming post. But my stock portfolio outdid every single managed fund in the world (after fees). This is down to pure luck and nothing more. I had invested in small cap and mining stocks and for the past few years they barely broke even. This year they went on an absolute killer run and I made a 30% return (compared to 8% for the entire market).

I know I should just buy index funds, and that is about half my portfolio, but I also feel my betting has helped me better understand the psychology behind the market, and I happily invest when the market tanks (Brexit & Trump) and pick individual stocks every now and again. It’s stupid for me to think I can beat the market, and I know it will cost me a few percentage points over the long term, but I do enjoy it.

Bitcoin

I’m a big fan of Bitcoin and plan to write about it more in 2017. I’m surprised more sportsbooks have yet to add it as a deposit method. Near the end of 2015 I decided to cash out some winnings from my 5dimes account, at the time, 1 BTC was worth about $300 USD. Over the course of 2016 the price rose all the way to $1,150USD before retreating and now sits at $900 USD per coin. I plan to keep my Bitcoins as an investment and see them heading back into the 4 figure range and onwards over the next 10 years. This is probably my highest risk investment. There is a chance they could go all the way to 0, or on the upside, each coin could be worth $10,000 (I’ve even seen estimates of $40,000).

Angel Investments

As you know, I’m a huge fan of startups and creating your own businesses. Over the years I have invested in a few angel startup funds. This year saw the first returns as some companies either went bust, sold the business or got acquired. Sadly I am yet to invest in an uber or airbnb, but do have a few great startups in my portfolio. This year’s dividend from the fund was $8,000.00. These investments are still very early stage and most of the companies will go bust, but in the next 5-7 years a few of them will either be acquired for huge sums or float on the stock market. The overall goal with my angel investing was to return 10% per year over a 10-year horizon.

Affiliates

I’ve talked about my goal in 2017 to earn $4,000 per month in affiliate payments by the end of the year. This site had a few affiliate links on it in 2016 and over the year I made about $7,000.00. Affiliate marketing can be very lucrative, and I expect to keep growing this side of the business.

Dailyprofit

Dailyprofit.com.au continues to grow each year with zero advertising. All new members either come from word of mouth from other happy members, or people visiting this site. The growth has slowed down this year, as the results for the SP service have not been great, but they will improve and the site will continue to grow stronger each year. I’ve previously talked about how much the service makes, and we have increased profits in 2016. It just shows how sick people are of all the dodgy tipster services out there and are happy to pay for one of the few honest ones.

I’m very proud of what we (Josh, Jonno and I) have achieved with Dailyprofit, and it now almost covers my living expenses each year. It has also given me the freedom to work on other projects which will help punters in 2017.

As you can see, a diversified portfolio is key to generating revenue each year. Some will underperform (betting) and some will over-perform (Stocks and bitcoin). Sadly 2016 was a net loss for us, Our family spent $80,000.00 this year and with the $168,620.00 betting loss, that means we spent a total of $248,620.00. Income came to just over $220,000.00, so we ended up -$28,620.00 in 2016.

In 2017, I doubt my stock portfolio will perform better than a 7% return, but do see 50% growth for bitcoin. I also expect to see a higher return from my angel investing and a much bigger gain from affiliates. With new projects to be released in 2017, that should add some more profits, and as long as I can make a profit with my betting, 2017 should be a fantastic year and get us closer to early retirement.

Projects

2016 has been a year of preparation and 2017 will be the year of launching. I’ve been dedicated to just one main project all of 2016. It has been frustrating at times as I had hoped to release it in 2016, but anything good takes time and I can’t wait to get it in your hands in a few months time. I’m really excited about it and it is what I will be working on for the next 10 years before I retire.

There is one other smaller project I have been collaborating on and that is now in Beta testing stage. I’ve been working with some very talented people and will be bringing a great product to the Australian market (more info in the next few weeks). I’ll also be breaking down how we structure the business, our expenses, how we plan to market it and what our profits are over the year.

Travel

Once again it was another fun year of travel for me. I flew down to Melbourne to catch a superbowl party (no match for the year before when I was at the actual Superbowl, but still a lot of fun) early in the year and back in November for the Melbourne cup. The Melbourne Cup was a bucket list item, so now that has been ticked off. I’ll try and get a few more aussie events ticked off this year as I have no plans to travel overseas in 2017.

We also took a 2 month family trip around Europe. O yeah, I also got engaged on that trip :). That was an amazing trip and as we travelled with relos, we made some amazing memories.

Once the new business is set up, I will likely be required to attend a lot of conferences in Europe, which is perfect for me, as I love travelling to Europe. So while 2017 will be slow on the travel front, the year after will be non-stop (I also have plans to travel for 6 months).

Health & Fitness

Another failure for my health in 2016. Last year I said my health was the most important thing for 2016. But I did nothing to improve my health the past year. I sit in front of the computer at least 12 hours a day and only play sport for 30 minutes a week. I did make an effort after hitting 102 kilos half way through the year and managed to lose 9 kilos at one stage before the Christmas period put some of that back on.

The 80-85 range is still the goal (so a 10 kilo loss), but that should take care of itself if I set myself up to eat healthier and get into the gym more. I’ll also be turning the Granny flat into an office this year and plan on moving to a sit/stand desk which should also help.

What a year

The betting did suck this year, and my confidence in it going forward is at an all time low, but I had a very fun 2016. Once again I managed to visit some new places, catch up with old friends and make some great memories. One of my biggest flaws is I get excited by new ideas and projects but never see them through. But I know this new project is what I’ll be working on for many years and am really proud I have dedicated so much time to it and not taken on too many new things.

I hope your 2016 was better them mine when it comes to betting, and at least as good as mine with everything else. Let me know how you did in the comments below.

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  • 2016 was the first year I really looked properly at sports betting as an investment and followed a few tipsters.

    I still have a lot of soft books at my disposal so I had a pretty good year with the best odds guaranteed and bonuses still being chucked my way.

    Hopefully this continues in 2017 and I maintain a few soft bookmakers alongside trading on Betfair. Pinnacle are apparently returning to the UK this year also which is another positive.

    Have a good 2017 always enjoy your articles keep up the good work.

  • Thanks,

    I think starting fresh each year is needed. I started over 6 years ago now and have never really changed my approach.. which could be a reason I have lost over the last two years.

    The game is always changing and it takes a lot of effort to keep at the forefront of it (time i sadly don’t have these days).

    Best of luck in 2017

  • asanque

    Thanks Steve for the detailed update.

    I have always enjoyed reading your blog and have been following your journey with great interest over the last few years.

    I also appreciate all the steps you are taking on behalf of punters everywhere (and have signed the petition).

    Unfortunately, even the best system in the world won’t always win. Don’t let that get you down!

    The only sure things are that bookmakers and tipsters usually make a profit 🙂

    Are you also planning to update the all time stats and the graph? I’d be interested in seeing the latest figures.

    It’s getting more and more difficult to make a positive return sportsbetting (with sharper lines and limits).

    I always find it amazing that despite the large margins made by bookmakers (and the ability to balance their own books and manage risk), that they feel the need to limit punters. It is a rare breed of punter that always wins and chances are that over the long-term, most bookies will get it all back and then some in the end.

    I enjoy reading about the diversification of your business interests as you always seem to be on the cutting edge of new opportunities.

    More frequent updates would be great 🙂

    Best of luck for 2017!

  • Gregory Conroy

    Terrific read Steve, as ‘asanque’ says – diversification is great (and you have the opportunity).

    Being in this industry for 30 years, it is tough to find the edges, and tougher with increased technology – but the one area that’s beatable is “bad habits”.

    Most punters have them and they never seem to change. I’ve noticed that recently via RewardBet.com where 14% of our punters bet on things they don’t know anything about just because they find the interface “fun to use”.

    So that’s an edge they are creating right there …

    PS: How do you keep track of household expenditure? Everything on the card and you just tally it up monthly?

  • Thanks mate,
    Yes, the all time stats are updated, just need to get the new chart up there as well.

    I’ll try and do a few shorter articles with updates each month. I’ll have one each month on affiliate income, business income, the same old P/L and a few other things.

  • There isn’t much out there for tracking in Australia, American has some great products (Personal Capital and Mint). Pocketbook still has a long way to go.

    We used the “track my spend” app by Moneysmart. Very basic but gets the job done. You can sync details so you and the wife can both use it. We tracked all spending for an entire year. Was a good experiment.