MAFL 2010 - The Tradition Continues

Welcome to MAFL 2010.

This year MAFL celebrates its 5th season of faithfully frustrating and sporadically enriching Investors. As I trust you've now come to expect, MAFL changes every year and, indeed, this year's MAFL is a little different from last year's.

E-mail Subscription
MAFL Online now offers an e-mail subscription facility. To subscribe, click on the link in the "Subscribe via email" section at top right then follow the prompts and provide your e-mail address. Sometime after you've done that an e-mail will arrive in your Inbox containing a link that you'll need to click to confirm your subscription.

Thereafter on those days where there's something new on the MAFL Online site (and only on those days) you'll be sent an e-mail containing the first few hundred characters of the new posting and a link to the MAFL Online site so you can, if you want, come and read the entire posting.

Delisting of MAFL Stats
Another change this year is the retirement of the MAFL Stats site. I'm not sure whether it was the mention of "Stats", the turgid nature of the postings, or the misfortune of being the junior and lesser-updated MAFL site, but whatever it was, by season's end MAFL Stats was generating less web traffic than you'd see for a site offering weight-loss tips to Sumo wrestlers.

All of the static content that was on MAFL Stats has been transferred to MAFL Online (so clearly I'm not buying the "turgid" content angle) and I'll selectively move some of the dynamic content across to MAFL Online - such as the weekly ladder, Alternative Premierships and MARS Ratings - as the season progresses.

Fund Changes
MAFL will offer six Funds this year, five wagering on the head-to-head and one wagering on the handicap market.

Head-to-Head Funds
Three of the head-to-head Funds - New Heritage, Prudence and Hope - will be repeat-offenders from 2009, and two will be new Funds. One of the new Funds, The Shadow Fund, will be based on the tips of the Shadow heuristic and will level-stake wager commencing in Round 6. Each wager will be 5% of the Fund and bets will only be made on a game if Shadow is tipping the home team, actual or notional.

The other new head-to-head Fund, which for now I'll call the Heuristic Fund since I'm lacking in inspiration this early in the new year and so have nothing better to offer, will also be heuristic-based. It will promiscuously bound from heuristic to heuristic, remaining faithful to a single heuristic only until such time as wagering on that heuristic's (home team only) tips has cost the Fund money for 2 successive rounds after which time the Fund will transfer its affection to the heuristic with the season's best home-team wagering performance at that point. It too will level-stake wager, risking 5% of the Fund in each bet, and will wager on the Shadow Fund's home team tips in Round 1.

To more fully explain the Heuristic Fund, let me walk through a hypothetical few rounds of wagering:
Round 1: The Heuristic Fund wagers 5% on the home team, true or notional, in any game where the Shadow Fund has tipped the home team to win.

Round 2: The Heuristic Fund again wagers 5% on the home team, true or notional, in any game where the Shadow Fund has tipped the home team to win.
(In short, the Heuristic Fund wagers will mirror those of the Shadow Fund for, at least, Rounds 1 and 2.)

Round 3: Assume that the Heuristic Fund lost money in Rounds 1 and 2 by following Shadow's tips. In that case the Heuristic Fund would switch allegiances to whichever heuristic had the best (notional) wagering performance at the end of Round 2 assuming that level-stake wagers had been placed on all of the heuristic's home team tips during the season. For Round 3 the Heuristic Fund would wager on the home team tips of this, the currently most successful, heuristic. (If two or more Funds happen to be equal on performance to date I'll break the tie by selecting the heuristic with the stronger overall tipping performance amongst the 13 tipsters we followed in 2009.)
Let's assume that the Ride Your Luck heuristic had started the season very well and so the Heuristic Fund switched to it for Round 3.

Round 4: The Heuristic Fund would again wager on the home team tips of the Ride Your Luck heuristic.

The Fund would continue to wager on the home team tips of Ride Your Luck until such time as this caused the Fund to lose money for two successive rounds at which point the Fund would again switch heuristics to whichever heuristic was at that point most successful to that point in the season. Simple really. (Don't worry too much as this Fund will have a low weighting in the Recommended Portfolio. I just wanted to make sure we had a bit more happening in the first few weeks of the season than we did in the last few seasons.)

Following this strategy would have made money in each of the seasons 2006 to 2009 with profits ranging from 1.5 to 16 units. That said, of course, our 2010 mileage may vary.

The one head-to-head Fund that has not made the list for 2010 is the Chi-squared Fund. No matter how generous I was in adjusting its 2009 performance to allow for the effects of Dame Misfortune, the Chi-squared Fund reminded me of the Heritage Funds of 2007 and 2008 but without the profit. So, this year, the MAFL Mascot will revert to being merely a tipster unless his tipping performance is so outstanding that it gets him a run for The Heuristic Fund at some point in the season.

Line Fund
The Line Redux Fund of 2009 is another casualty for this season, replaced by a Fund based on the margin predictions of ELO, which for now I'll call the ELO Line Fund (I told you before, right now I'm not doing inspired).

This Fund will level-stake wager at 5% and only when the tipped margin is such that the home team, actual or notional, is predicted to win on handicap.


And that, for now, is that.

More to come in the weeks ahead ...