Small changes, small losses
On the whole, I would sooner be a backer than a layer in IGâ€™s Politiciansâ€™ Popularity market. We can pick and choose our targets, time our buys and sells, or just keep our money in the pocket if we donâ€™t fancy the odds.
Our amiable adversary, Anthony Wells, has to put up prices whether he wants to or not. He canâ€™t just shrug his shoulders and say, for example, â€˜Gordon Brown? Dunno. Too difficult this week.â€™ The more difficult and volatile the market, the greater are our opportunities.
The one thing he has in his favour is the spread, which IG sets at a modest half point. It is this small margin that we try to beat each week. When the market is quiet and stable, this becomes more difficult and if it didnâ€™t move at all, we could never win.
This week, there was little movement and it is therefore not surprising we recorded a small loss, only our second in the ten weeks since we started. In fact, we were on the right side in four of the six punts but only in the case of Tony Blair was the shift big enough to beat the spread and make a profit.
Strawâ€™s result was a disappointment. Maybe it takes a bit of time for â€˜good newsâ€™ to be reflected in the poll, or maybe the news wasnâ€™t as good as we thought. Blairâ€™s run of good results seems to have petered out and Brown now seems set on a downward curve. Cameron too seems to be losing some of his gloss and we missed out by deciding, after some discussion, not to propose a sell. Weâ€™ll be thinking harder about that one tomorrow when we hope to bring your next weekâ€™s suggestions.
I was pleased to learn that a number of PBers improved on our score this week by taking an independent line. This comes as a relief to me as it relieves the burden of responsibility somewhat. It also helps the market. Iâ€™m sure IG would prefer to have a range of bets, rather than a uniform plunge.
Weâ€™re always open to your ideas and suggestions and if you want to join in the selection process, let us know. Please send any messages to firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck and best wishes
Peter Smith (Peter the Punter)