2018 Annual Review
Each year I like to look over the past 12 months. The years seem to be flying by at the moment. This review will look at all the major parts of my life. Family, health, travel, business, betting, investing and everything else.
The major goal
When I started this blog in 2010, my goal was to try to make a profit from betting which would allow me to retire early. At the time there was no word/description for someone retiring in their 30’s. Over the past 9 years, the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement has started and just last year I noticed a massive number of articles about it. I’ll copy what I wrote last year about our major goal.
Our families dream life requires $80,000.00 a year. This includes travelling for at least 3-6 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 2027 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.
To achieve this goal, I try and make money via numerous means. These are (in no particular order)
- This blog (affiliate income)
- Dailyprofit (membership site)
- Investments (stocks, property, angel investing, cryptocurrencies)
- My own projects
Let’s get started with the least important one. How did I do financially this year?
2018 Betting profits
In 2018 I turned over $1,556,850.00 and made a profit of $95,920.00 at a 6.16% ROI. This is by far my lowest turnover year since I started betting 8 years ago. This was also because during my trip to the World Cup and around Europe I did not bet at all. I spent the first 6 years testing hundreds of different tipsters before I saw that only one of them actually made me a long term profit (I learn very slowly). Over the past 2 years, I have only followed the Sportpunter models and that has resulted in much lower turnover and a much higher profit and ROI.
I placed 1063 bets and won 564 of them, lost 486 and 13 were refunded.
The total time I spent betting (the most important metric to me) was 88 hours combined. During the NRL and AFL season, I would spend about an hour a day 3 days a week. During the NBA/NFL season, it takes me about a minute per day to place my bets. That works out to an hourly rate of $1,090.00.
The year didn’t start great and it wasn’t until mid-March when the AFL and NRL seasons started that I saw any profit. After an amazing start, the AFL model did not perform at all and in mid-May, I was back to breakeven for the year. But as with all betting, a massive winning or losing day is just around the corner and the final week in May saw nearly all my bets win and resulted in me hitting an ATH of just over $40,000.00 for the year, the next week was the exact opposite and I lost a heap to end with just over $20,000.00 in profit as I took off for Russia (World Cup).
I was fortunate to not bet during this period, as the AFL continued it’s poor run and had I bet, I would have been back to breakeven for the year. It took me a while to get back into the swing but with the return of the NFL and NBA season and the minimum time investment, I was back in the game. Both sports did amazing in the second half of 2018, resulting in a graph that goes straight up. I reached a high of $101,470.00 in mid-December, before ending the year at $95,920.00.
I blogged a lot less in 2018 but did keep up with my results (for the most part). Here is a list of the monthly reviews
- January -$3,710.00
- February -$150.00
- March +$13,620.00
- April +$4,020.00
- May +$18,950.00
- June to October +$41,170.00
- November +14,510.00
- December +$7,510.00
We can now have a look at each individual model and how it performed.
It’s clear that the American sports (NBA and NFL) were the profitable ones in 2018. The NBA Totals made $55,500.00 at an incredible 9.3% over 602 bets. The NFL Totals made $22,460 at an even more incredible 13.1% over 137 bets. The NFL Line also did amazing with much less turnover. The NBA H2H bets were from the start of the year and I did not follow them for the current NBA season.
The NRL did ok, with $5,410.00 profit on the H2H bets and $3,230.00 profit on the Totals. The AFL H2H also made a profit of $3,760.00 and the Line bets lost $3,030.00. But as mentioned early, this would have been a lot worse had I bet during the June to September period.
The current Australian gambling market is seeing a lot of change now with new state-based taxes and because of this, we are seeing a lot of books merging. Add in the fact that the Australian model is to ban or limit winning punters and it is near on impossible to get a decent bet on the AFL or NRL. In 2019 I will be betting a lot less on these sports simply because I can’t get on.
My goal each year is to make between $50-$100k and this year performed perfectly. In 2019 I’d like to once again turnover about $2mil and make between 3-5% ROI.
Other betting income
In prior years I would do promo bets, look for loopholes and enter competitions. This year I did none of that.
Investment portfolio (stocks)
The good times had to end eventually for the stock market. The two previous years I had made a 30% return and a 15.32% return. My stock portfolio is 100% passive. I bought stocks in 2012 and have just left them alone (apart from a few small purchases here and there). I reinvest dividends if I can.
In 2018, Australian shares lost about 7%. My own portfolio did a little worse, losing 9.4%. If there is to be a further crash in 2019, I’ll be looking to invest in the market again.
I have a signed copy of the book “What I Learned Losing A Million Dollars” by Jim Paul. Thanks to the Bitcoin correction of 2018, I can now write an updated version of that but tack on “in a month” to the end of his title. Just like my stocks, my crypto portfolio is passive. My coins are locked up and even if I wanted to I can’t touch them for a few more years, and I’ll likely lock them up again for the same period when they open up again.
Let’s have a look at what I wrote in my 2016 and 2017 reviews about Bitcoin.
In 2016 I wrote
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).
In 2017 I wrote
Bitcoin ended 2017 valued at $14,000 USD. The $10,000 figure I mentioned last year was what I felt it could be worth many many years in the future. At the start of 2017, I had $2,000 as my dream return for Bitcoin. I assumed it could (if I was extremely lucky), double in value each year over the next 5 years and be worth $30-$40k in 2021. I did not anticipate what happened in 2017.
My warning to you is that we are all experts in a bull market. The valuations for 99% of alt coins are 10-100x what they would be if they were traditional startups. Eventually, they will be valued correctly.
We all know what happened to the crypto market in 2018. Bitcoin ended the year at $3,800 USD. A 73% drop in value over the year. Most of the altcoins lost at least 90% of their value. It is now very close to what I feel it’s value should be ($4,000) and I’m looking for it to double again this year to end at $8,000. I had multiple buy orders ready at $3,000 and will happily buy a few more coins if we hit that number again.
Last year I had mentioned that Bitcoin had allowed me to reach my major goal early, thanks to having my coins locked up that is no longer the case. So it’s back to work for me :).
I think we will see a lot more products coming to market in 2019 and the user experience improving which will lead to more use. But I still think we are 5 years off from Bitcoin being used in the way I envision it will eventually be used.
In 2017, I thought that Bitcoin had been the investment with the biggest % gain. But in fact, it was one of the startups I had invested in a few years earlier. The problem with angel investing (investing in new startups) is that you never really know their value until they raise a new round. I’ve invested in close to 100 startups over the years, at an average of $1,000 per investment. 30% of these startups have already failed, another 5-10% have been acquired or bought out. The others are quietly building and growing their companies.
One of these lottery tickets managed a 60x gain in 2017 and what looks like another doubling in 2018. There are a few others that have done well in 2018 and raised more funding at very high valuation. These investments are very long term investments as I can not sell my tiny shares in these companies until they either raise new rounds or IPO. That means these investments are forced holdings for at least another 5 years and likely much longer.
A long term affiliate that I had made a decent income from closed my account as I had stopped advertising on this blog and did not send any new customers. Another affiliate that I had sent hundreds of players and helped them build the business simply didn’t pay me what was owed. The affiliate business is geared towards much larger sites or dodgy call-centres in the industry. Luckily for me, I’ll be creating a much larger site in 2019. Even with these hassles, I did manage to make a decent profit of about $30,000 from affiliates in 2018.
Dailyprofit.com.au is my stable source of income. It just about covers my yearly expenses and does not take too long to update each day. Customer service takes up much more of my time with this site. Apart from this blog and my twitter feed, I do not advertise the site. All new members are via word of mouth, as I created the service to be the best possible tipster service in the world. The results speak for themselves year after year. I could go big on marketing and double the number of subscribers, but it is in that sweet spot of earning me a nice income and making sure members can get set. Most of the members are long term ones and I feel their loyalty means I should be thinking about them first at all times.
2018 Investment conclusion
Last year I said
2017, on the other hand, was the most profitable year of my life. I can say with absolute certainty that I will never have a percentage gain like I did this year.
Because of the crypto market losing such a massive amount, I can say with some certainty that I will never have a percentage loss like I did this year. I lost more money this year then I imagined I would ever have in my entire life. But they are all paper losses (as they were paper gains the year before). I never actually had the money and more importantly never actually spent the money in my head.
As always, the year ahead will offer a lot of opportunities. I feel I am fairly diversified and whatever happens with the economy and the world at large, I’ll do ok. Thanks to this year’s betting profits, I have a small amount to add to whichever investments crash first.
I had no pressure to work on my major project in 2018. But near the end of the year, I found a few great programmers and have been working on Punt101. This is my big project which I hope to build into a world-class business over the next 10 years. Expect to see me release a very basic version in 2019 and continue to grow it over the next decade. I’ll be trying a lot of new things with this site and I hope it will help bring your punting to the next level. The first product is the bet history tool that I talked about over 4 years ago on this blog. A few other companies have tried to build products in this space, but I feel they have gone about it all wrong. Punt101 will make it a no brainer to track your bets as once set up it will take zero effort on the users part. Stay tuned for big things in 2019.
According to Google (who track every step I take), I visited 55 cities over 9 countries in 2018. I wrote about my trip to the World Cup and also my family trip to Japan. 8 of those countries were brand new places for me. I travelled for about 3 months of the year, which seems like the perfect amount of time. 2019 will be a quiet year as I plan to work on the new site, but I hope to travel to a few places around Australia, and have contemplated moving to Asia for a few months to get even more work done.
Health and Fitness
It took me until September to actually make a change. I wrote about how fat/unhealthy I had become and talked about what I was going to do about it. Since that time I have been intermittent fasting and following a keto diet. In 2018 I hit a high of 101 kilos in April and a low of 89.9 in December. The end of December sees so many birthdays and events, that I knew in advance I would put on a heap of weight. For the first time in years, I feel super confident about getting my weight and fitness under control. I’m actually looking forward to losing another 10 kilos over the course of 2019.
What a year
I say it every year, but looking back shows me what an incredible life I get to lead. I honestly feel like I am pretty lazy, but when I look back over the year I seem to do a fair bit. I hope you had a great 2018 and I hope your 2019 is filled with amazing experiences. Thanks again for reading the blog over the past year.
Let me know how your 2018 was in the comments below.