Captain Fi Podcast | Matched Betting as a Side Hustle

Warning: This podcast contains content on matched betting and gambling which some might find sensitive. Matched betting is a form of online gambling designed to extract promotional bonuses with little risk when done mathematically correctly. This entails signing up to and using online bookmakers and there is a risk of becoming addicted to gambling and losing everything. If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, it is best to skip this content.

For free and confidential support 24/7, call the Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858

On board today is Nico, a continent-hopping, matched betting veteran, entrepreneur, geo-arbitrager and online business owner. We talk about his experience using online matched betting as a lucrative side hustle, and discover how he used it to support himself during his travels abroad – particularly in his younger days.

“In its purest form, matched betting is a type of arbitrage. It exists because bookmakers give away free bets in order to encourage punters to bet with them. As matched bettors, we collect these free bets – which cost us nothing – and then go to a betting exchange where we can sell them for 70-80% of their face value.”

Nico, on matched betting
matched betting

Introduction to matched betting

Have you ever heard of matched betting? It keeps coming up in the FIRE community, and I wanted to get to the bottom of it.

Matched betting is basically a technique that allows you to profit from bookies’ loss-leading promotions – bookmakers give away free bets in order to encourage punters to bet with them. Matched bettors collect these free bets, and then go to a betting exchange where they can sell them for 70-80% of their face value. Although it’s actually a little more complex than that and there are a few more steps, that’s the general gist of it.

It is not a get rich quick scheme, it is certainly not passive income, and most people can expect to make around $10 to $50 per hour once they get good at it (but you might lose money over the first few weeks as you learn the ropes). Experienced matched bettors using advanced techniques such as horse racing promotions may be able to get past the magical $100 per hour.

However, there are a few catches you need to be aware of:

  • This side hustle can be incredibly dangerous for anyone who has an addictive personality – problem gambling can destroy lives and families
  • If you deviate from the calculators and scripts by using your own ‘hunches’ you can lose your money
  • If you rush into it, you will probably stuff it up, lose money and waste your time. Patience, young grasshopper!
  • Matched betting will realistically take months to learn and get good at
  • It requires an ongoing time commitment, often at peak recreational times (Friday evenings and weekends), interfering with your family and social life
  • You will need a few thousand dollars or so to get started hedging your bets efficiently
  • If you are ‘too successful‘ you will get gubbed – banned from promotions (bonus bets or increased odds) or even blacklisted from the bookies*
  • If you open multiple betting accounts in different names (called ‘gnoming’ ) you can be legally prosecuted for fraud
  • Having multiple transfers from your bank account to online gambling sites WILL be flagged during applications for mortgages, police checks and security clearances^
  • For the best results, you will want to pay for an ongoing membership to one of Australia’s matched betting communities (usually around $40 per month)

*There are techniques experienced matched bettors use such as placing ‘mug bets’ where you deliberately place a normal bet to disguise your account from being flagged by their automatic matched betting screening software.

^This isn’t necessarily always a negative thing. Online betting is not illegal and you just need to be able to explain the activity. This came up in my aviation security check AND was questioned by my mortgage broker – but was not a deal breaker for either.

That being said, is matched betting worth your time? In order to make a bit more sense of all this, Nico from BonusBank has jumped on board to share his experiences with matched betting.

Matched Betting with Nico

Australian Gambling Support lines

Show Notes

  • Captain FI’s Review of BonusBank, Nico’s online matched betting education, training and software (matched betting calculator) provider

Nico’s top matched betting tips

  • Patience, patience, patience! Don’t rush into it.
  • Ask questions – don’t be afraid to ask experienced people in the matched betting community. There is no need to guess or shoot from the hip when you can reach out for help.

Nico’s top finance tips

  1. Start young if you can (although it’s never too late). Compound interest is your friend.

    CaptainFI says: The best time to invest was 50 years ago, the second-best time was yesterday!
  2. Find a way to take advantage of geo-arbitrage. I earn money in Australia but live mostly in Nicaragua, so I’m able to save a high percentage of my income. It doesn’t need to be that extreme though. Just moving out of the city can make a huge difference. In these times of work-from-home, geo-arbitrage is easier than ever.

    CaptainFI says: Check out how geo-arbitrage can skyrocket your savings rate in ‘Why your Savings Rate Matters
  3. Find a side hustle and use the profits to invest. You can invest in shares, invest in growing your side hustle, or invest in your own education. Turn today’s profits into even more tomorrow.

    CaptainFI says:Check out some of Captain FI’s Side Hustle Ideas which might be right for you:

    Side Hustles and Passive Income
    Online Investments in Australia
    How to Make Money Online

Nico’s top books

Nico has clearly lead a life inspired by these authors, specifically The 4-hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss where he has implemented many of Tim’s recommendations. Nico’s top books for inspiration are:

Gambling support services in Australia by state


Captain FI 0:07
Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome aboard Captain FI the Financial Independence Podcast.

Good day, welcome to an episode of Captain FI, the Financial Independence Podcast where I open the copy to some of the best and brightest in personal finance, as well as those who have reached or are on their way to financial independence.

Before we get started today, remember anything on the show is provided for general information only, and should not be taken as constituting a professional advice, you should always do your own research when making any financial decision.

Online gambling is an industry with 10s of billions of dollars in Australia every year. Australians are actually the biggest gamblers in the world. And per capita, our annual bill exceeds 1300 dollars per person. It is also a huge problem in Australia, destroying 10s of thousands of Australian lives every year. And I’ve unfortunately witnessed this firsthand.

It is estimated that 1% of all adult Australians will develop significant gambling problems, and up to 2% of Australians will experience moderate risks that make them more vulnerable to problem gambling. However, the real risk is with younger Australians where rates of addiction skyrocket up to 7%. And for every problem Gambler, there is estimated to be six to 10 Australians that experience negative effects because so many Australians are literally throwing their money away on gambling.

Bookies are scrambling over each other to try and get the most number of people hooked on their sites. One way they do this is by offering huge signup bonuses and ongoing bonus bets to keep you hooked. Although there are now some regulations on signup, bonuses and advertising, they very much still exist and bookies will offer huge incentives to sign up and gamble with them. After all, it is a drop in the ocean compared to what they’ll make back off only just a few problem gamblers.

Now this leads itself to an opportunity. These bonus signup offers can be exploited. Similar to how you might do so with credit card chain or bank account signup offers. It only works if you’re incredibly disciplined and do it exactly right. in its purest form. Match betting is just a type of arbitrary edge or dealing. It exists primarily because bookkeepers giving away free bets in order to encourage their punters matched bettors will collect these free bets and then go to a betting exchange where they can essentially sell them for 70 to 80% of their face value.

So essentially, match betting is a technique that allows you to profit from these bookies loss leading promotions. However, it is a little more complicated than that. It’s not just selling the bonus bits, and there are a few more steps involved. Bear with me here. If you place your bit with your free bonus money, that is called the back bit. You then match that back bit with a lay bit on a betting exchange. Lay bit is a bit that means you win if the outcome on the back bit doesn’t happen, often referred to as hedging your bets. This matched bet means that no matter what outcome happens in the game, you either win at the bookmaker or you win on the betting exchange. As you’ve only paid for one side of the bet, the other being the free bonus bet you are guaranteed to make a profit. A very simplified version of this could simply be using two different bookies to place opposing bonus bits on a two outcome game like the 40 Grand Final, using of course the respective bonus bits. This cuts out the need for a betting exchange but realistically means you will get a much lower extraction rate as you are guaranteed to lose All of one of your bonus bids, in this case a 50% extraction, that right would be your best possible outcome. And of course, this will be dragged down by fees and other transactional costs.

By using a betting exchange for lay or matched bets allows you to improve your bonus signup offer extraction rate, up to about 70 to 80%. Of course, you will never get 100% due to the fees and transactional costs. I even managed to track down someone from a digital marketing agency that had one of Australia’s biggest online bookies as their client. They explained that not only were they aware of match bettors, they actively factored them into their marketing budgets, if bookies cottoned on to you doing this, you can get garbed This means either they won’t send you any more bonus offers, or you can actually get kicked off the platform entirely, and be added to the bookies secret blacklist database. Now, there are also risks if you rush in and don’t get this done exactly right. If you stuff up the match bit, you can basically lose all of your money and waste all of your time. I honestly can’t do this justice and explain it properly. Because ultimately, I’m still learning how to do it myself. Basically, the best I found is that you can make somewhere between 20 to $50 an hour online, mostly on weekends, it is definitely not a get rich quick scheme. However, there are certainly a few catches you need to be aware of. And also, realistically, you will need $1,000 or so to get started. So is it worth your time? Well, ultimately, that depends on how much you value your free time, especially weekends when this is the most profitable in order to make a bit more sense of match betting Nico from bonus bank has jumped on board to share some of his experiences with match betting all right this evening or should that be morning we’ve got Nico from bonus bank to talk a little bit about match betting. So Nico, it’s it’s morning for you isn’t it?

Nico 7:42
Is I am in sunny Scotland right now, in the winter weather and making the most of it I guess.

Captain FI 7:52
You’re feeling at home there with that accent?

Nico 7:55
Yes, I am is the first time I’ve actually been here. For quite some time. I generally always abroad but COVID has brought me back here.

Captain FI 8:02
Well, it’s the opposite of where I’m at. in Australia. It’s starting to get bloody hot, and the sun is beating down. I’ve been doing some DIY Reno’s around the family home. And I’m a little bit sunburned at the moment,

Nico 8:17
I can imagine.

Captain FI 8:20
So look, I want to ask you a little bit more about your travels later. But of course, the first thing on the menu here is matched betting. So the first question I want to ask is, how did you actually discover magic thing? How would you explain it to someone like me?

Nico 8:41
Okay, how I first discovered that was purely by chance, I consider myself very lucky. I was working at the time for a charity, we did financial education, or it was a financial advice, charity. And my role was financial education. So I would go out to schools and talk to school kids, and old folks homes and the presentations. And I did a lot of one on one work with people who are having money troubles. Basically, I would sit down with them, we did budgets, and we look for ways that they could reduce their expenditure or maybe cut money on their bills, that kind of thing. And in the UK, there’s a website called money saving expert, calm. It’s this great website, it’s got a lot of, I guess you would call it consumer advice, but always a really useful information and resources about the best deals that are available, how you can get them and so on. So that was kind of my go to place for content. So I would read all that stuff away on all about how it all worked. And then I would pass that on to the people that I was working with. And with on MySpace. I started the money saving expert website, the inner forum and one of the sub forums was called gambling introductory offers and reports and you know, I was on there. And in one afternoon, I was bored just killing time. And I thought Take a look at this, this soft foam and see what it’s all about. And they had this basically to one really long thread that explained the basic principles that much better. And that’s how I kind of stumbled across it. And I will be honest with you. And my first instinct was, yeah, that’s probably a scam. There’s a catch here somewhere that I’m not seeing. Yeah, because, you know, it sounds pretty scammy. I’m the first one to admit it.

Captain FI 10:33
Well, it took me a while to come around to it as

Nico 10:35
well. Okay. I mean, that’s great. I’m glad you were willing to give it a shot, because a lot of people do put their guard up and aren’t willing to put their toe in the water, so to speak. And for me, it took a couple of months. So like I said, I was doing this on work time. And basically, whenever I get bored and work, and I don’t have anything else to do, I would go into these forums and just look for something interesting. And I always gravitate back to this, this one post, they explained that I must have read it dozen times. before eventually, I kind of got the nerve and thought, right, I’m going to try this. I think I know. I’ve wrapped my head around a little bit. So I’m going to try. And I’m very glad I did. Because it’s one of those things that you can read about it as much as you want. But actually going through the process of doing it. Things can just fall into place. And that makes sense. So yeah, that’s how I get started. I guess the other part of your question is, what is it exactly, and it can be hard to explain, like I said, you, you can read about it, you can hear about it doing it makes a difference. I’ll give you I’ll give a sharp explain in it. So my span is basically a way that you can make money from the promotions that bookmakers offer. And you see these promotions all the time. Gambling in Australia is a huge business. I think Australians bit more per capita than any other country in the world. So the bookies are all competing to try and win new customers. And they do that by offering promotions, which you can think of I offer enhanced storage, which is the equivalent of like a discount in the supermarket. They also do bonus space where we say if you deposit $100, we will get you an extra hundred dollar day. So that’s kind of like a buy one get one free type offer that they’re given you and I depended on the type of offer is we’ve got a lot of different strategies that we use to turn that into risk free cash. While all that is based around the existence of a thing exchange, which is a little bit different from a bookmaker is kind of like buying the stock exchange where you’ve got people buy and people sailing, it’s like a peer to peer betting market. So what you can do is you can place your bet at the bookie, which is kind of the equivalent of buying it there at the bookie and then you can go to the exchange, and you can sell that to someone else at the exchange. And if you imagine with those offers that are suppose 100 and we’ll give you $100 bonus bet that’s kind of like your buy one get one free, so you’re buying one at the bookie, but you then have to sell at the exchange. And that’s how you make your profit.

Captain FI 13:18
So it’s really about it’s very similar to the credit card signups

Nico 13:24
Yeah, is quite similar to that, you know, you’re basically just working for these offers, I guess what they call them is awesome leaders, you know, whether we’re the company, whether it’s a credit card company, a supermarket, buki whatever, they’re using this deal to try and entice people in with the hope that those people take the deal, but then go on and spend a bunch more money, and they end up in profit overall. But if you’re smart, you just take the deal, and you don’t spend any more money after you do whatever the minimum requirements are. And you end up walking away with a profit.

Captain FI 14:02
What kind of dollars can people make from match betting? And what kind of dollar rates per hour Have you been able to make?

Nico 14:09
Well, it really depends how much time you want to enter. So there’s definitely diminishing returns after a certain point. So if you’re just working to try and maximize your, your, your doors array, then with a little bit of experience when you once you learn the basics of like horse race and proportions, you can come in on a Saturday afternoon and do for hours and you may walk away with you can walk away with $500 pretty easily with if you’ve got a bit of experience, maybe more realistic for someone starting those two $300 and not four hour period. So you know, there’s a pretty high error rate there.

Captain FI 14:49
It’s pretty attractive, like, you know, a lot of people talking about side hustles and this can be quite a viable alternative then.

Nico 14:57
Yeah, for sure. I mean, I Like I said, I discovered my statement 2008. And it was the first side hustle, I really tried, or at least that I can remember, I think I might have did some of that survey stuff at one point as well. And you were talking about Paley’s fulfill it in the surveys, you know, your hourly rate would be way, way, way below minimum wage. Whereas with most betting, you’re making probably more money per hour than you make in your full time job in general, unless you’re a lawyer, I don’t know, maybe a pilot, you’re going to be making a lot more than you can make anywhere else. And certainly more than you would make in most other side. hustles are part time jobs, that kind of thing.

Captain FI 15:44
One of the bonuses about gambling income in Australia, is that it’s actually tax free.

Nico 15:51
Yeah, yes, it’s tax free pretty much anywhere in the world, because it’s viewed as being generally said to walk. And there’s just as much chance that you can always money as you can win money. And obviously the bookies themselves are taxed. But it’s very uncommon these days for the punter to be taxed. And the heat you’re interested if you’re actually hedging your bets via a betting exchange or whatever, they just look at the fact that it’s money that’s coming into your account from a bookmaker. So therefore, it’s tax free. So I said that’s, that’s one of the other benefits over

Captain FI 16:27
my hourly rate was probably a little bit lower than I’d hoped

Nico 16:31
that I guess the thing that you have to take into consideration is yes, it can be 50 or 60 bucks an hour for sure. You maybe not quite get that midweek by you get a decent General 3040 bucks an hour, mid week, but the thing is that you there’s maybe only one hour worth of work. So on a Thursday, for example, you may have one NRL game in the evening, there may be some promotions on horse racing in the afternoon. So you may be able to make 50 to 100 bucks on a Thursday. But that that early, really your game is great, but your overall number of hours work, there’s going to be pretty minimal, which you know, as a side hustle that’s ideal.

Captain FI 17:08
The all of the big events and matches are usually going to be on the weekend when when most people have their downtime.

Nico 17:15
Yes, Saturdays can get very, very busy, depending on the time of the year, so March, April, when the new NRL NFL seasons are starting up, and you’ve got the autumn Carnival horse racing going on, things get very busy, which Joe for us is great, because it means it’s very profitable. But then you’ve got other times of the year of tour right now with metal in November, there’s not really much Australian sport happening at the moment, we’re kind of waiting on the big bash league to start in a couple of weeks for some horse racing on a Saturday. But middle of the weeks pretty quiet. So it’s seasonal in the same way that sport is seasonal. There’s always different things that we can be doing. But there’s definitely days of the week and months of the year, which are busier than others.

Captain FI 18:03
how detailed do you need to know the sport that you’re bidding on?

Nico 18:07
That’s the beauty of is that you really don’t need to know anything at all. Obviously, it helps if you’ve got a basic understanding of the markets or the teams. But that’s stuff that can be owned pretty easily by anyone, you don’t have to know, the individual players within a team, or the history of certain teams and whether they play better in the first half of the second half. That stuff’s all irrelevant. Because what we’re looking at is numbers, essentially, it’s more of a mathematical process than it is a sports thing. You know. And for the maths, we’ve got calculators that take all the heavy lifting over as well. There’s actually an argument to be made that having no knowledge of the sport is actually beneficial. Because people who do think they understand the sport get more tempted to put their own opinion into the base of the place rather than just following the process of match betting. And being quite robotic about it. Yeah,

Captain FI 19:10
I actually read I’m pretty sure I read an article on your site about exactly that topic, when people start deviating from the calculator and the script and that ends up undermining their performance.

Nico 19:25
Yeah, you can do that and I’ve been guilty of it myself in the past you know, I follow football, soccer for Australians and and I have opinions on games I have ideas in my head of things I think are gonna happen and I’m Why have done in the past I still do to this day is I maybe wait my bets a little bit differently. So I make I make a profit no matter what happens by make more if the thing I think’s gonna happen, actually happens. And, you know, obviously I’m not an expert. If I was not good that I wouldn’t leave my Spanner, which is pleased to base myself, and that would be the end of it. And so I don’t know what kind of effect that had on my overall risk returns over the years, but it also scratches my gambling edge. So I, I have no risk at all. Bob’s I’m scratching Ah, I’ve got a little bit of interest when I’m working at the results. But my profits still going up no matter what happens. Oh, it’s

Captain FI 20:28
a slippery slope, Nick.

Nico 20:29
Yeah, I mean, I don’t know if I would recommend in a official sense, is what I did. I know a lot of people to buy your writing, there can be a slippery slope, you definitely don’t want to put too much of yourself into and we definitely recommend that anyone starting over just sticks with the the tried and true, equal profit across the board. But if you do a component, then you know, here’s something that you can do. And it’s definitely better than just going down to the TV on a Saturday and handing over your paycheck.

Captain FI 21:01
That’s actually a really great segue because I wanted to ask you a little bit about you know, the opportunities financially that match betting has opened up to you?

Nico 21:12
Well, as I said, I discovered my spam in 2008. And I’ve always liked to travel. My first stint in Australia was 2003, I think 2004 I came back. I did the whole Working Holiday thing before I did. I, I did an exchange program at university. So I was in Canada for a year. So traveling has always been kind of a big part of my life. But by 2008, when I discovered my spare thing I was I’d been home for sort of four or five years. I had a good job, I had a mortgage job. I was kind of on track for the the kind of traditional lifestyle, I guess. But I was bored. I was that was miserable. I was desperate to kind of go away somewhere or do something a bit more interesting. wrote about that time I read the four hour workweek by Tim Ferriss. And I don’t know if you’ve read that. But it kind of talks about designing your own lifestyle. And you do that later through things like generating passive income through whether it’s a business or wherever. And also, the big thing that he talks about is taking many retirement. So I guess this is kind of his media, predecessor of fire. So it wasn’t talking about retiring early, it was talking about taking many retirement No. And then you can go back to work. And then you take another mini retirement and so on. And it really appealed to me. My main problem at the time was that I didn’t have this passive income that he talked about the finance that. But I had just discovered my spare thing. And although it’s not passive, it was something that I can do from anywhere in the world. So although I wasn’t going to be able to just disappear and go traveling and wake up every morning and just check my bank account and see what had came in by could spend a couple hours much better thing and it would cover the cost of my wedding expenses wherever I was. So yeah, shortly after reading that book, I basically quit my job and bought a one way ticket to Argentina. And I didn’t have much of a plan at the time. The idea was that I had enough money in the bank, I can generate enough income way I was over there the I could always survive for six months to a year. And yeah, I kind of went and just never really came back.

Unknown Speaker 23:49
That’s awesome.

Nico 23:51
Yeah, it definitely wasn’t planned. I just kind of stumbled from one place to the other. And I was always looking to see, you know, how does the bank balance work? And first of all, how much longer can I keep doing this? And I kind of expected it was going to run out at some point. But somehow I managed to keep stumbling along and I’m paying for whatever I had to pay for. I kind of went from Argentina to Colombia based on a recommendation from a guy that I met in my Spanish class. And then I went from there to Panama did a boat trip based on a recommendation from someone I met in a backpacker hostel. And I ended up working in Panama for a year and a half. And then from there, I kind of ended up in Nicaragua by turn. So basically, that’s been my home for the bulk of the last decade. But yeah, all of this was made possible by the fact that much better thing was just topping up my savings wherever I went. And during the whole time I was always looking for other opportunities other business ideas, trying to find Something that would make a payment and I guess, because mostly I was paying the bills, but I wasn’t really saving much in general, during this time, I kind of crept past the age of theory and was like, Okay, I need to find something a bit more sustainable. So I had a bunch of different businesses and business ideas through that period. But my thing was the one consistent income stream that I had throughout, so really, it definitely changed my life and opened up that opportunity to me to go and see all these places and do all these things. I’m not engaged to a Nicaraguan girl. So that’s obviously a major thing in my life that happened as a result of much better.

Captain FI 25:45
Oh, well, congratulations, mate. So all I have to do to find a wife is just get on get on match bidding a.

Nico 25:53
Well, I mean, it took me about four or five years after discovering my spin. So

Captain FI 25:58
Alright, great. So I’m on track 2024.

Nico 26:01
All right, I’ll pick my calendar for you.

Captain FI 26:07
So look, um, we’ve talked a bit about, I guess, the positive sides of match betting how much you can make, probably the biggest drawback I can see is, as you mentioned, it’s a pretty active side hustle, you know, you need to continually give time to it, other than the fact that it is an active income earner. What are some of the risks or other downsides of match betting that you found?

Nico 26:35
I the big one that we always point out, and we kind of touched on our earlier but if you are, if you’re someone that’s got a history of gambling problems, or any kind of addiction, really, you definitely you don’t want to be spending time on bookmaker websites. Even if you’re following the match betting strategy to a tee. The bookie websites have fluid, these flashy images trying to encourage you to bet more and so on. And it could be a slippery slope for some people, we Yeah, we definitely don’t recommend that to anyone with any history of addiction. Because, you know, although much betting itself is risk free, if you follow these processes, once you veer away from that kind of defined strategy, then it can be a slippery slope for people.

Captain FI 27:26
I’ve seen firsthand the some of the damage that gambling addiction can have.

Nico 27:32
Yeah, I mean, it is definitely something that’s a very real problem in Australia. As I mentioned, it’s more per capita than anywhere else in the world. And, and we’re fully on board with anything that can help reduce that, that problem. I know all of our members like to see themselves as kind of a robin hood is a robin hood thing that they’re doing, where they’re going after these big betting companies that prey on people with addiction problems and so on. And we are going in and kind of sticking it to them and taking some of that money back. But we would never recommend that anyone who’s actually had a gambling problem in the past, try and do that because the duties are set up to try and exploit these things, nor will have their gambling, Responsible Gambling images, and they’ll have a link to gambling airplanes and so on. But that’s just the tip of the box with the regulators. Everything else about the site is designed to draw you in and make a bit more because you know, that’s their business model.

Captain FI 28:35
Now something else that’s really interesting, if you’re too good at match betting, you get kicked off of these sites now

Nico 28:41
I would rephrase now a little bit differently because if you’re good at match betting you’ll know how to disguise the fact that you’re match betting but a lot of people the bookies lawyers, there’s just a fight we have the airborne wind, so they’re always gonna work for people who who are might be a thing. And what they do is they just ban you from proportions. And because we make 90% of our profits from promotions, that’s usually the end of it for most people. There are strategies that you can use to try and disguise now a little bit to try and blend in with the regular gamblers. But it is a problem that you will hit and you’ll hit it with some bookies or faster than others. And like I said, you can do that process by taking certain approaches. But it’s something that happens Yeah, there’s there’s no denying that.

Captain FI 29:36
What’s the there’s a father’s a funny name for What’s the name?

Nico 29:40
And we call God again. God. Yeah. God, yeah, that

Captain FI 29:45
made me laugh when I first heard that. Yeah, no, look, I actually managed to speak I tracked down someone who had actually previously worked for one of these betting companies and I actually asked her a little bit about it. Match betting. And just like you say she said they hated it. But they actually budgeted in their marketing and promotional budget for a certain percentage to actually be sort of siphoned away from match betting. So I found that very interesting.

Nico 30:17
That is interesting. I’ve never heard that before, but I can completely believe it. Because the thing is the only way the bookies can 100% stop match betting and attract is to start offering promotions. As I said, the problem gamblers are worth so much to them, that they have to use these proportions to compete with the other band company. So they’re never going to do that job. No one is going to unilaterally say it. You know what, we’re just going to stop offering promotions. So the bookies always offer promotions, we always find ways to exploit them. It’s a bit of a cat and mouse game. And you just have to stay one step ahead.

Captain FI 30:55
A great yeah, I can’t math. And I guess probably the final drawback, and we alluded to it earlier was that typically the best profits for match betting? are, you know, weekends when there’s the most games?

Nico 31:11
Yeah, yeah. So it can take over your Saturday afternoon. If you either to buy the big profit, the real high income per hour is on a Saturday afternoon. So if you can even spend two or three hours on a Saturday is going to make a big difference.

Captain FI 31:28
If I could just ask for your top tips for match betting, what would your top three be.

Nico 31:34
And probably all the top three would be Be patient, I always, people really rush into things. Because obviously, we’re talking about big sums of money. And as it usually happens, there’s two stages, there’s the really tip tool stage where people don’t trust anything, and they’re very reluctant to even get started. And then they get started and all of a sudden, they see that it works. And then you want to go 100 miles an hour. And if you go 100 miles an hour, there’s going to be a couple of things that happen. One is that you’re going to make mistakes, or you’re going to try a strategy that is a bit too advanced for you, or you’re going to miss type a number somewhere, then there’s lots of mistakes that you can make. If you don’t just take your time, make sure you’ve got the fundamentals down and double check and just have a bit of patience generally. So that can happen. But the other thing that happens is what we already talked about with the bookies coming here. So if you just try and go 100 miles an hour, and you’re heading to every available borders, and so on, it’s going to find out very quickly to the bookie, what you’re doing. So it’s important to kind of go so many mechs in some camouflage bits that are going to disguise what you’re doing. And just trust in the fact that by having this kind of more sustainable approach, you’re going to meet that money in the long term. You don’t need to be what you want is this constant, week after week, month after month, site income coming into your bank account and how you do that is just been by being a little bit patient. So that would definitely be my number one tip. Yeah, and I guess I mean, the other tip I would have is just ask questions. I it kind of falls into the same category but don’t be afraid to ask questions from people who have been doing it for a while we’ve got a great community at borders bank. We recently moved our chat room to discord which I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but it’s been a great move for us and there’s always any time of day there’s people in there they’re always happy to answer questions or you know you want to make sure don’t don’t get to things when there’s there’s that communities available to you you know we’re always happy to answer emails and questions for beginners so the yeah that’s that’s definitely important as well. Yeah, well

Captain FI 34:16
team works important and you know learning from experienced people is certainly the way to go I mean, I’ve personally been guilty in the past like I do tend to dive in probably something I need to listen to you and just slightly

Nico 34:31
assuming human nature as well. You know, you just want to go for it if you get excited about something as well which is very easy to do so it’s definitely human nature but people we regularly see posts going oh if only I noon then why No, no, no, I would have made much more in my I would have I would have done so much better. So you can know what people no no if you just ask.

Captain FI 34:58
So just on that. Why did you start teaching people about match betting.

Nico 35:02
Um, so as I said, I went Argentina went to Nicaragua may a girl, and she actually got a scholarship to go into her master’s degree, University of Queensland. So, yeah. You know, we’d been together for maybe about a year at the time, and it was kind of a big deal. It was like, Okay, how are we going to do this, and I went, you know what, I’ll come to Australia with you. And, you know, that’s what we did. And I kind of I was aware that Australia had bookies at that time I was working with the UK bookies. But I really didn’t know much about the season in Australia and I went in the first thing I noticed was that there was so much more money available in Australia than there was in the UK. And in part, that’s probably due to match betting, because at that point, the UK was already saturated with my faith. And I discovered in in 2008, this was no 2014 2015. So there was just 10s, or hundreds of thousands of people doing and when that happens, that lane in the marketing budget, and has the bigger become a bit bigger. And as a result, he started offering smaller and smaller promotions. So it was harder and harder to make money in the UK, but and in Australia, no one was doing it. So they were so generous with the promotions, that, you know, I when I basically doubled my income, I think overnight by moving to Australia, which was handy because the cost is a little bit more expensive there than as Nicaragua. But you know, it was a kind of eye opening to me when I saw that the size of the bonuses and so on. And the other thing that I became aware of was that there wasn’t really much of a much better community service anywhere. You know, in the UK, there was all these different websites that provided tools, and software and so on. And no one was doing that in the Australian market. So yeah, I guess that was kind of the lightbulb moment, I was like, well, we can provide this. And I started speaking with my business partner who I actually know from high school, but he’s opened Sydney for, I don’t know, it must be about 12 years by No thank. And so I started speaking with him, as I started speaking with some web developers to help with the technical side of it, and we just took it from there.

Captain FI 37:34
So what kind of things? What kind of tools do you offer on online?

Nico 37:41
Well, I guess the first thing is tutorials. So we’ve got kind of Step by Step Tutorials. Compared to that big, long post, I read on money saving expert 12 years ago, I think they’re much more digestible. We’ve tried to make it as simple as possible for people will get well quizzes along the way, they’ll test your knowledge and make sure that you’re on the right track. And then we provide calculators to do the mathematical side of things. And we’ve got software, which actually scans the bookmaker websites, and looks for the best opportunities that are available to make sure that you’re maximizing the returns that you get from your bonus payouts and so on. So we really try and take all of the waiver intense of say, you know, over and just make it as easy for anyone to get started as possible.

Captain FI 38:38
Well, it’s pretty Gucci. So you sort of covering the whole, the whole life cycle there. Yeah. And

Nico 38:45
you know, the website for us is always a work in progress. You know, we started though, with kind of one calculator and one piece of software, and we are constantly adding to working for different strategies and how we can simplify them for our more advanced members. And so we’ve built a whole suite of calculators and different software that we have available at this point. And then the community is really our most valuable feature. You know, when once you’ve learned the basics, the community is where you’ll get most of your value. Because there’s so much good information and content that gets shared out there and advice. That’s the thing that you want more than as a general, we can get people started. But it’s having the community around them that kind of keeps them motivated, keeps them going and aware of new things.

Captain FI 39:42
Having that online community I can Yeah, I can definitely see how important that would be.

Nico 39:46
Yeah, I think it makes a big difference. Match betting.

Captain FI 39:49
Yeah, it’s something I’m still learning the ropes getting a bit better at. Like I said, My returns weren’t as high as I’d hoped for. But you know, I’m getting better at And hopefully, you know I can, I can reach that, you know, 50 plus dollars an hour,

Nico 40:05
it’s definitely worth it know that you’re not going to hit $50 an hour on week one, you know, you have to get those core skills down. And the horse racing, which is where you’re going to get those bigger returns and is actually an intermediate to advanced skill. So you have to be a little bit of work in at the start, but it’s definitely worth it in the end.

Captain FI 40:27
So look, I’m Nick, it’s been awesome to chat about match betting fight. I’d like to ask you a few more questions on I guess, financial independence now. That’s okay.

Nico 40:38
Yeah, sure.

Captain FI 40:40
So you mentioned earlier that you were, you know, you sort of adopted this side hustle. And you know, you’re a bit of a digital nomad. And as you got older, you sort of wanted, you know, you wanted that traditional financial independence and that passive income. So how have your financial journey evolved? And how do you choose to, you know, invest your money at the moment.

Nico 41:05
So, I’ve always been a saver, Joe, since the since I was a kid. And before I mentioned, I did financial education. I worked in a bank before that. So I’ve always kind of been around money in that sense. And when I came back from Australia, the first time, I just had been away for a year was coming back to work with my parents, which obviously was an ID also, I soon as I go job, my first thought was, okay, I need to buy a flower, I need buy somewhere to live. So I bought my first property when I was 22. And did I always been at myself for about five years. But I know have it as a rental property. And for a long time, really, the only kind of investment that I did was pay over paying the mortgage whenever I could. I didn’t really think about much else beyond that as well. I always say, Okay, I can try and get rid of this day. And then once that’s happened, I’ll just have this rental income, which will be a nice kind of, well, pension essentially. So I definitely did that for a long time. As I said, when I went to Argentina, I’d over the years that followed, I wasn’t really making enough to be heading for financial independence, I was going for the retire early part without the financial independence. So though, I know quite well, for me, I think if it had been the other way around, I think it’s fire has existed, or if I had heard of it in 2008, it would have been really easy for me to focus on maximizing my savings rate and trying to earn income and thinking, Okay, I just need, I need to get to financial independence. And then I can go and travel. So I would have been obsessive about it, I think so the fact that I didn’t hear hear about it, maybe work to my advantage, because I actually went out and just did all the traveling stuff first on because I kind of ended up where I am, which in terms of hitting fire and retired arrow, that’s not something that’s really going to be too realistic for me, and I’m in my early 30s at this point. So I’m probably talking to at least another 15 years. Before I get anywhere near that, but I’ve already done the travel stuff. And because I’m in the position I am no, I actually have the freedom to go and travel at any time. But all that is possible. Because of the situation I’m in know where I can work from anywhere, there’s an internet connection. You know, there’s some time zones that are better than others. But basically, I can be anywhere. And for me, although I’m not financially independent, I’m guessing a lot of the benefits. I think when people aim for fire, whether really even for is the freedom to kind of do what you want. Generally, it’s not about having X amount of dollars in the bank is about having the freedom to wake up in the barn and kind of live on your own terms. And I’m probably busier than I’ve ever been in terms of work, but it’s a job I enjoy as well as my own business. So you kind of feel the, the rewards of the work that you put in. And, and as I said I can do that from anywhere in the world so I can if I want to fly to Thailand or wherever I can do that. And then if I want to take a couple of days off while I’m there to go to the beach or go on a board Trevor whatever, I can do that as long as I can bike and catch up on the work in the evening or the next day. So I definitely got a lot of the benefits I think that people are looking for from fire. without actually having fire Jake,

Captain FI 45:03
it’s it’s a really interesting take on Nick. And you know that digital digital nomad, you know, designing your own lifestyle, it’s, it’s increasingly appealing to me, you know, I’ve sort of recently been getting more and more into websites particularly

Nico 45:21
think it’s something that people don’t think about this idea of, Okay, can I be away from the office away from the country, possibly, but still make money? Joe, I guess that’s one of the I don’t know, I would say it’s a weakness in the fire, community or in the concept. But I think for a lot of people, and as I said, for myself have definitely would have been the case, because I would have got obsessive about the CD, it can almost be like you’re just delaying the gratification, I think you also have to remember that you should enjoy the moment as well. Great.

Captain FI 46:01
So I’ve never felt like I’ve deprived myself. And I do you know, feel like I have a wonderful lifestyle. And I’m, you know, fortunate that I can maintain a quite a reasonable savings rate. But that is definitely the biggest thing. Or the my biggest drawback with my sort of fire journey at the moment, is I can tend to become a bit obsessive over things like savings rates, and maximum invest. So I’m trying to take my foot off the gas pedal a little bit more, you know, listen to the advice from, you know, all the pretty all the smarter people than I am that I’ve viewed on this podcast, that are all telling me similar things. So you know, takeaway to be bits of advice, I think I’m doing well.

Nico 46:53
I think like in everything, there’s, there’s always a balance that we find general is very easy to go one way or the other on. And you just have to find find the middle ground. But sadly, for a certain type of personality. And as I said, I include myself, I can see how it would be really easy to get obsessive about it. And, you know, forget to actually stop and smell the roses, as they say,

Captain FI 47:20
I guess moving forward other than reinvesting into your business, and paying down your investment property mortgage. You know, do you, you mentioned earlier index funds as well. So what what particularly interests you?

Nico 47:38
And at the moment, I’ve mostly focused on tech stocks. I don’t know if that’s because we’re not really a tape business. We have some software and so on. But I think just the way the world’s going at the moment, it definitely seems to me that you can’t really go wrong with tech. And so I’ve got nd Q, which is sort of the NASDAQ go index, and also find, which is just 10 stocks. And that one is Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google, I think there’s Tesla and a few others, you know, the big ones there, then there’s Alibaba as well, which kind of gives you coverage for the Asian market. But personally, I, you know, obviously, I’m not an expert, but I just think, especially with COVID. tech stocks are just gonna keep going up. We’re talking about vaccines and stuff now. And they have taken a hit since the vaccine users came out. But personally, I think the way we all live as a society as a planet, is changed by what’s happened in the last year. And I don’t think we’re just going to completely revert to the way things were before. So there’s going to be more than meetings, more work from home. All of these things are just going to keep happening. So I’m quite happy being in tech, and I’ll probably stick to that.

Captain FI 49:00
So Nick, you touched on Tim Ferriss four hour workweek. And I read that and that’s one of my favorite books. And that’s actually what helped push me down the path of online business. So obviously, that’s going to be one of your, your top recommendations. But do you have any other awesome books or even you know, blogs or other podcasts that you’ve heard that have been helpful to you?

Nico 49:27
Yeah, so like I said, the four hour workweek, basically changed my life. I there’s no other way to put it. And I’ve read most of Tim Ferriss other stuff, I haven’t read the four hour Kirk, I’m not much of a cook. But he’s got one called tools of Titans, which I definitely recommend to people. He’s is basically a list of reports of snippets from interviews that he’s done with various people from various different fields, and it’s just full of gems of wisdom. is the kind of book where you can pick up and deliver to it for a few pages and then put it down and forget about it for a month and you come back and, and read another one of the interviews so that that’s definitely something I would recommend. And I like to read all of can business and entrepreneurial books. When I’m not reading fiction, and when they give you you may not consider a business book for it, but for me is basically a business book. Have you ever read Arnold Schwarzenegger? Is all biography Total Recall?

Captain FI 50:37
No, I haven’t.

Nico 50:40
Honestly, I picked up by chance. Maybe a year ago or so. And army is the biggest hustler of all time. Right? This guy? Did you know that he was a millionaire before he made his first movie? No,

Captain FI 50:58
I know. I had no idea.

Nico 51:00
Yeah, so he basically came over from Austria broke that compete in a bodybuilding competition. And I don’t know what the timescale is. Maybe within five years, he was a millionaire. It made money in property. He bought up all land that apartment buildings and stuff. So he made millions of property before you even get into movies. And he just kept hustling. See in terms of, if you want to be motivated to focus on something to really work on something will offer the nominee is a really is a great story. But it’s also a, like I said, it’s a kind of business book, and he set out to do something, and he does it. And it definitely then motivates you to to go into the same yourself.

Captain FI 51:54
Where because I have seen him flogging off supplements recently. And I think that’s probably another another business that he’s doing. But I mean, he was even a he was even a pretty successful politician wasn’t either. Yeah.

Nico 52:11
Yeah, he was governor of California. So his wife story is absolutely incredible. Joe, he is born in 46, in Austria, right after the war. And anyway, he did all these things. You know, the Mr. Universe. I know that and in the movies, it was the highest paid actor in Hollywood. And anyways, Governor of California is a pretty incredible wife story. But like I said, it’s also got some gems in there in terms of motivating you to go out and achieve your own goals.

Captain FI 52:43
Well, that’s a book that I would never have considered picking up, Nick. So yeah, I appreciate you bringing it up. I think you know, reminisce and even just talking about it, it’s kind of reminding me of my childhood. But I guess that’s just, you know, hashtag 90s Kids things. So yeah, I’ll definitely I’ll definitely get that. Look, it’s been awesome chatting to you. I guess, just to wrap things up here. And you’ve kind of I reckon you’ve alluded to these quite strongly throughout the whole interview. You know, if you could, if you could offer someone who’s on their own journey to financial independence, you could just offer them three pieces of advice. What would you say?

Nico 53:27
Um, I mean, sorry, young, if you can, that obviously makes a big difference. Compound interest and so on is, is definitely works in your favor. But also, it’s never too late. So you know, start tomorrow start today, just get started would be the number one piece of advice. From my own personal experience. On Monday, I did kind of mention already the idea of geo arbitrage. So I earned money in Australia, but for the most part, I live in Nicaragua. So Tao is may have quite a high savings rate at the moment. But also, Joe also mentioned that we’ve got this kind of work from home culture that’s becoming more popular and low. So if you’re currently living in Sydney, but suddenly you can work from home then move somewhere cheaper, Chennai, it definitely makes a huge difference and it’s more possible than ever to take advantage of it. So so that’s definitely something I would recommend. And I guess the other one is to start much betting or start some kind of side hustle. There’s also things that you can do to boost your income a little bit. And then what you could do with that is you take it and you invest it and you can invest it in shares, you can invest that in yourself, you can invest it in a new business, there’s lots of things you can do by just whatever money you’re in today, take it and use it and make sure they mg more tomorrow,

Captain FI 54:57
get get those dollars working for you. Exactly. Thanks very much for taking time out of your busy schedule to have a chat today. Look, if if people want to learn more about match betting or they want to get in touch with you, how can people find out more

Nico 55:14
I well water signs on Conde here. As I said, we’ve got a free membership that people can sign up for and we learn the basics and so on. We also have an app that you can download, if that works better for you. And again, that’s, that’s free, and you can get all the tutorials. We have a Facebook group, so you can search for us there. And we are available via email anytime of the day. And you know, there’s always someone happy to help, as I say, look at the discord server as well. So there’s always a places that you can reach out to us and ask questions or, you know, if you just want to clarify anything that we’ve talked about, and like I said, I’m always happy to answer any questions that people have.

Captain FI 55:54
Awesome, Nick, we’ll look Nate, it’s pretty late here. So I reckon I’m gonna I’m gonna hit to bed and it’s just the start of a beautiful Scottish day for you. So I’ll let you crack on with a it’s been awesome. I’ll catch you later.

Nico 56:08
All right, it’s been a pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Captain FI 56:12
Thanks for listening to another episode of the Captain FI Financial Independence Podcast. To read the transcripts, or check out the show notes, head over to www dot Captain for all the details. If you have a question for the captain, make sure to get in touch. You might even make it on the airwaves. You can reach me online through the Captain FI contact form or get in touch through the socials. I’m active on Facebook and Instagram as well as a number of online finance and investing forums. And finally, remember the information presented on the show and the links provided for general information purposes only. They should not be taken as constituting professional financial advice. You should always do your own research when making any financial decisions and make sure it’s appropriate for your personal circumstance.

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