Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Enjoying What You Do

Ever since I was a teenager I've always been looking ahead, planning and thinking about my next steps and whilst I'm sure this has helped my career and assisted me in numerous ways I can't underestimate how exhausting it's been.

It may sound ridiculous but continuously setting yourself goals is a draining experience, but despite this we tend to surround ourselves in this type of environment. At work we often have deadlines to hit or sales targets to achieve and whilst we maybe rewarded temporarily with the odd bonus or tap on the back, the feeling of achievement can often be short lived with the ominous return to the norm a formality.

So why am I rambling on about this?

Well, a recent post on the Betfair Forum gave examples of two typical Betfair users. it then poised the question as to which type would be most likely to give this lark a crack full-time due to their personal circumstances. The types were...

TYPE 1 - 21 Years old, just finished uni but can't get a job (except maybe in a call centre) as every other Tom, Dick & Harry also has a worthless degree these days, no dependants, living at home with mum & dad, not paying rent, laundry done, meals cooked, use of a car (free of charge), not even paying for the internet, gap in CV could be easily explained.

TYPE 2 - 42 years of age, married, 2 children that are approaching university age, mortgage still being paid, very securely employed with 15 years service, currently earning £60k + bonus + car, final salary pension scheme, etc. etc (you get the picture).

The author then goes onto say.....

TYPE 1 would probably be happy to give it a whirl with £500 but the other guy is going to earn over £1m in the next 18 years if he just sits it out until his pension kicks in. Possibly a slightly more difficult decision for him and a different safety net requirement.

I'm not so sure I agree with the conclusion. With little life experience I think I'd be more concerned that the 21 year old would waste his early twenties barking up the wrong tree only to find out too late that he hasn't got anything to go to if the playing field changed quickly. Surely, giving up a 60k job with all the perks is much riskier though? What about all that security? All good points but in my mind the author failed to include that the second guy probably works 60-70 hours per week, travels around the country/world, is bored stupid and never gets to see his kids grow up and spend quality time with his wife.

That's some sacrifice and as someone who's recently taken a sabbatical from the day job I'm happy to say that I feel more relaxed and content than ever. I'm still working hard but as it's on my terms I'm appreciating every day and noticing things that I never did whilst making the daily round trip from 7am to 7pm. I've also started noticing more life opportunities and from a gambling point of view started making many more 'better' decisions.

Surely this is what life's all about? Long may it last :-)

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Unbeatable Patriots?

It's that time again, the NFL play-offs are here and I just love it. Long time readers will know that every year I compile my rankings on the remaining 12 teams and this year is only different for one reason - I've put in more effort!

If all games were being played at a neutral venue, this is how I'd rank the teams (current Betfair odds in brackets):

1. New England Patriots (2.96)
2. Green Bay Packers (18)
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (7.60)
4. New Orleans Saints (12.50)
5. Philadelphia Eagles (14.50)
6. Indianapolis Colts (24)
7. New York Jets (34)
8. Baltimore Ravens (19)
9. Atlanta Falcons (7.60)
10. Kansas City Chiefs (75)
11. Chicago Bears (14)
12. Seattle Seahawks (210)

So, can anyone beat the Patriots? The short answer is I believe they can, but conditions need to be right and the opposition will need to be of a certain make-up. It could be that I'll only oppose them when/if they get to the Superbowl, as with home advantage they tend to dominate more than other teams and that's where they'll be playing in both games prior to the big one if they keep winning.

Is there any value elsewhere? I think so, but for my money it comes in the NFC. Green Bay, New Orleans and Philadelphia all have inflated prices as they have to get past their Wild Card matches, but despite this I've taken positions on each of them with a view of trading out should one of them get to the final match. Unfortunately, Green Bay and Philadelphia play each tomorrow, but as I can't pick a winner I'm happy to have them both on my side.

One last thing, watch out for Kansas City (2.58) to turn over Baltimore (1.61). Remember, you heard it here first ;-)