They’re never gonna believe us – we won the Monkey League

It’s been a proud day in Tapper Towers as Oliver has been crowned king of the First Actuarial Monkey League, beating off 150 rivals including his Dad (35th), Marian Elliot (20th) , Sebastian Cheek (122nd) ,Tom Selby (25th) and Andy Hucks (31st)- a small selection of the League’s diverse membership.

You can read all the details at http://www.firstactuarial.co.uk/InfoCentre/MonkeyLeague (these clever hyperlinks often get ignored!)

The point of this blog is to get you all excited about next season which for Fulham fans starts in about a month’s time!

We have decided to throw our league open to all, including the serried ranks of mallowstreet, the Pension Play Pen, not to mention the good people who read my stuff on here.

Your task, to pick a couple of teams to do relatively well in each of the four Football Leagues – and to pick a complimentary number to do relatively badly. “Relatively” to Mr William Hill‘s predictions at the start of the season.

If you are a beta picker, you will beat 500 out of the 1000 monkeys whose random selections you play against. This year’s winner beat 998 monkeys while several at the bottom of the table failed to beat one! Assuming that all participants at least try to exercise some skill and generate some alpha, the results (and we have dat now for 6 years) suggest that we are not much better as a group at picking winners than our distant forebears.

The mention of alpha will put many in mind of a parallel activity, the efforts of those self-selecting funds on their own behalves or on behalf of others to out-perform market indices (500 monkeys) or a selection of their rivals.

It will not surprise you to know that we hold no truck with the theory that you can consistently pick winners and this si born out by the number of past winners of the league languishing in the bottom quartile (surely the fate of young Oliver before too long).

I would no sooner put next year’s football predictions in the hand of my son than he would in mine. We own those decisions and the league gives us fun from September to May. I suspect many people who pick funds within their self invested personal pensions get the same kind of kick. Right now as I bathe in the reflective glory of my wonderkid, football prediction seems the easiest thing in the world. I suspect that is precisely why Mr William Hill is a rather richer man than I am.

The views expressed in this article are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of First Actuarial LLP

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