Many people ask, “How much money can I make betting on horse races?” While many people struggle to make a profit from horse racing handicapping and betting on horse races, few people have a realistic idea of what can be expected and how much profit can really be achieved. Horse players often talk about R.O.I. or return on investment (ROI). Simply put, it is the percentage of return above your initial investment. So if you spend $100 on a win bet and get back $125 your ROI is 25%.
So how do you know what a good ROI is and what you can expect? First of all, when comparing investments, you must look at competing investments and also take into account the amount of risk and work involved. Handicapping horse races is time consuming and therefore, you must pay yourself for the time you spend handicapping. You can pay a professional such as myself, to do some of the handicapping, which means you’ll have to spend less of your own time, but in the end, you’ll still have to spend some time researching and putting some thought into how you bet.
If you buy stocks or make any other investment, you have to do some research as well. You may have a broker who makes recommendations or a financial planner or analyst, but in the end, just as with the people who pay me to handicap races for them, the ultimate decision will rest with the investor. Many stock investors now consider 10% as a reasonable return on their portfolio.
How much you can make on horses will vary from week to week, but your yearly average may be better than the stock return, but also much riskier. When it comes to horse handicappers, even the pros have their ups and downs and you have to look at the long haul to get an accurate idea of what is reasonable. For instance, the weekend of June 11th (I work in three day weekend blocks and send a newsletter with the information for each three day block) my key horses made a profit of over 80% ROI. That is very high, but the next week the profit on the same kinds of bets was way down.
In the most recent weekend, June 25th 2010 to June 27th, 2010, my top picks made a flat bet profit on win bets for thoroughbred bettors of 22% ROI, while bettors who played my top picks in harness races on half mile and 5/8’s mile tracks received 11% ROI. There are no guarantees in betting on horse races and it would be reckless of me to guarantee a profit or to try to predict how much profit to expect because of the volatility of the market.
Overall, however, it is safe to say that at times horse racing bettors may see a higher rate of return than bettors in other markets, but they pay for that possibility with a much higher risk.