Sports Betting as an Investment
by Robert Ferringo - 7/27/2010
I still get a kick out of people’s reaction when I tell them what I do for a living. When I say that I’m a professional sports handicapper the first reaction is either surprise, expressed by raised eyebrows and a lean back, or confusion, expressed by a furrowed brow and pursed lips.
Some ask if my life is, “like that movie” (“Two For The Money”). I usually chuckle and say, “not at all”, but I let them know that my job is generally similar. Others are quick to point out that I have the “greatest job in the world”, to which I respond, “When I win”.
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But whether people know and understand my job, or whether they don’t have a clue, I usually bring it into focus with the same line:
“It’s basically like being a financial advisor, except that instead of investing in the stock market my clients and I invest in the sports betting market.”
That usually gets them, because not a lot of people think of sports betting as an investment strategy. Some think of it as entertainment. Some are still narrow-minded and think of it as some vice or waste of time. But very few people think of sports betting as a legitimate enterprise with the goal of making money.
Why not? I always wonder why it is that real estate speculation, hedge funds, and general stock market trading is accepted as reasonable while sports betting is somehow seen as notorious or untrustworthy. Even today, just a few years after one of the largest economic crisis in recorded human history, Wall Street is still seen as a respectable place to try to make money. This is despite the deceit, dishonesty, and shady business practices of people the world over. Yet if I were to approach someone and explain how they could earn somewhere between 10 and 30 percent annual returns on their money by sports investing they would look at me like I was some huckster or shill.
People have made and lost several fortunes over the past decade, and from the dot-com bubble burst in 2000 to the housing bubble burst in 2007-08 we’ve seen time and time again that speculative markets and even seemingly reliable, traditional investment situations can turn out to be disastrous. While sports betting can be up-and-down it’s a very stable market, in that we don’t have to worry about historic or uncontrollable “crashes”. The fundamentals of investing – finding value, patience, long-term goals and vision, a little bit of daring – hold firm in my field. And over an extended period of time you can make much more money betting, weathering the wins and losses, than you can through several other investment options.
A critical component of any long-term investing strategy is lining yourself up with the right people, people that you can trust, people with proven track records of success, and people with the intelligence and capabilities to make and protect your profits. That is where Doc’s Sports comes in. Just like any Average Joe that tried to get into the stock market has a slim chance of success, the average sports bettor is set up for failure without proper guidance from a trained professional. And that’s a big reason why people are timid about investing in our trade: because they know without us they would lose.
But, again, couldn’t the same thing be said about the stock market? And ask yourself this: do you know more about international currency trading or about the NFL? Do you know the difference between an ETF and a Mutual Fund? Would you rather talk about football, basketball, baseball or a company’s price to earnings ratio, dollar-cost averaging or derivatives?
Whether it is Doc’s mastery of college football picks and NBA landscapes, Allen Eastman’s amazing 411 Football Betting System, my own excellence in college basketball and baseball, or the steady, multifaceted, and exceptional earnings posted by Strike Point Sports, Vegas Sports Informer and Indian Cowboy over the years, any one of our handicappers is set up to provide an enjoyable investing experience with an incredible ceiling for profit and future dividends.
For instance, Doc’s Sports, Strike Point Sports, and I have all produced a profit in college basketball over the last four years. Now, one of us may have a losing season this coming season. But at the end of the day I’m certain that the final profit figures over that five-year period will be substantially more than just about any investment on Wall Street that you could have made over that time.
Sports betting as an investment is a better option than traditional investing methods for a variety of reasons. First, and perhaps most importantly, sports betting is a great investment because of the significant returns that are possible compared to more “established” mechanisms.
Current rates for a $10,000 money market account are in the neighborhood of 0.8 percent annually. A $10,000 cash deposit (CD) will get you a 1.36 percent return over a year or 0.87 percent over six months.
So that means that if you have $10,000 and you want to invest it somewhere you can expect to earn anywhere from $100 to $200 back on it. Compare that to the current baseball season of our own Vegas Sports Informer. Had you been investing with him, at $100 per Unit, which would be the recommended amount with that bankroll, you would be up around $8,600. Now, consider the $795 that you would have paid for his full season’s package and here is what you’re looking at: spending nearly $800 back and earning back 10 times that amount. That makes it around a 1000 percent return on your initial investment.
Or, if you don’t prefer to calculate ROI that way the bottom line is: leave that money in a CD and you pick up a couple hundred bucks, but invest it with one of our handicappers and you could nearly double it. Try finding those opportunities on Wall Street. What do you like better a CD with a 1.36% yield or something more risky but can return you 50% to 1000%?
Eastman’s returns on the 99 System plays last year are another example. Suppose you had started with $5,000 in a betting account. Had you wagered $50-per-Unit on each of his 99 System predictions throughout the season you would have earned around $2,600 for the year. Minus the $695 for an Early Bird season’s package and you would have banked around $2,000 in pure profit for the season. That is a stunning 40 percent return on investment from your starting balance, and a 350 percent return on your expenditure (the season’s package).
Now imagine that you had $50,000 in that account and were investing at $500 per Unit.
And if you think that season was a fluke keep this in mind: going back to 2008 Eastman has turned a profit in six consecutive sports with ROI for that $50 bettor ranging from 10 percent to 40 percent.
Now, I also understand how a lot of people calculate return on investment in sports betting. Generally, they consider how much is wagered and how much is won, with each individual bet considered part of the investment. But I’m a bottom line kind of guy. And in my opinion you look at how much you started with, how much you ended up with at the end of a season or a specific period, take out any expenditures (like paying for the professional advice) and you calculate it from there.
And yes, there is always a chance of taking a loss at some point. Again, no different than the stock market. But the difference is that with one of our pros, over a long enough time frame, you are set to earn dividends. And the value is there because there exists the opportunity – the realistic opportunity – to make an incredible amount more than you would at 0.8 percent. And the bottom line is that any one of our handicappers, in any one of a number of sports ranging from football to basketball to baseball to hockey to horse racing, can help you bank a lot more than $200 in profit on $10,000 over the next year. Heck, I’m pretty certain we could do better than that just this week.
Which brings me to my next point about what makes sports betting as an investment strategy a great idea, which is twofold: you can see more immediate results and you have much more flexibility with your money.
Stocks are a long-term investment and it could take several years to see any type of significant gains. With CD’s and MMA’s, your money is locked in for six months, a year, or whatever determined period of time is established. It is kind of just sitting there. But with sports investing you have full and complete access to your money at all times. You don’t have to worry about withdrawal penalties or limits on access, if something comes up and you need cash your money is right there for you to get at.
Further, let’s say you buy some stock. You’re not going to know how your investment turned out three or four hours later. When investing in the sports market, you make a wager, watch the game, and know at the end whether you made money or not. Done. It’s straightforward, simple and absolute. That may be somewhat of an oversimplification, since any investment needs to be a long-term commitment, but it’s also true.
I like to ask bettors: what is your goal for this season? Most people simply bet and bet and bet. However, if you set a goal that you want to turn $5,000 into $6,000 in a given college basketball season, and you meet that goal within the first month of the season, then you can simply stop betting, get your money, and do with it what you will. You don’t have to keep playing. That, to me, is flexibility.
Also, sports betting as an investment is also an excellent moneymaking strategy because it’s more fun! Let’s be honest, it’s a lot more entertaining to sit back on a September weekend and clean up on college and pro football, cheering on your teams and riding the roller coaster of ups and downs that occur in any given game, than it is to buy some Magnetek, Inc. stock and wait for it to go up a quarter-point after a couple months.
To me, that’s the trifecta right there: I can put my football bets in on a Friday, enjoy a weekend of fun, excitement and action, and Monday morning have my profits in my account. Try doing that in the stock market.
Finally, sports betting is recession proof. Barring some national catastrophe, the sports calendar is continuous and unobstructed. You always have a variety of investing options in terms of different games, sports, and wager possibilities. And your selections aren’t at the whim of the marketplace, federal regulations, economic instability, devious banking practices, or any other social phenomena.
With sports investing, you don’t have to worry about waking up one morning and having your portfolio wiped out due to external market forces that were well beyond your control. That’s what occurred in 1929, 1987 and even in 2008. People saw their life savings wiped out. And in a lot of instances the devaluing wasn’t due to anything that an individual investor had done. That will never happen with sports betting. If you lose money it will be because of plenty of things outside of your control – coaches, players, officials, etc. – but not because of anything past the decisions that you (and your handicapper) make. You can’t just have $10,000 in an online betting account on Tuesday, not make any wagers, and then find out that it’s only worth $7,500 on Thursday.
Although sports betting markets can be a bit more volatile in the short term the sports investing system is exceedingly more stable in the long term. And I feel completely confident recommending sports wagering as a method of investment and making money. And I’ll close with a story from my own experience:
Over Christmas I was talking with a close friend about the weak rates she was getting on her CD’s. She told me that one of her CD’s only produced about $130 in interest over the last year. I looked at her and, completely seriously, told her that she should give me $500 and that I would put it on my top Major League Baseball futures play the following spring. She laughed and rolled her eyes. But I came back to her in March and asked her again, telling her that I was going to be laying even more than that on the Seattle Mariners ‘under’ 85 wins. I explained the math and science behind the pick, and she decided to give it a shot.
Well, I won’t ever forget the giddy sound in her voice when I talked to her in mid-June. The Mariners had just blown a ninth-inning lead the night before, leading to Seattle’s fourth straight loss and dropping them to 23-38. That put them on pace for just 61 wins (they are presently 36-57 and on pace for 63 wins) and she realized that she was going to be up $500. She was so excited and admitted that this was a lot more fun, and a lot more profitable, than just checking her statements. I smiled and told her, “This is my business.”
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