Factor Five is a new horse racing tipster service which is being offered through the Bet Social stable of tipsters. Selections come from tipster Mark Thomas.
Introduction to Factor Five
I feel like this week, I have looked at a lot of quite convoluted tipster and betting services. They have all involved elaborate bet types, high risk, silly and questionable staking plans. Now, in and of themselves, these things aren’t necessarily deal breakers. I have seen betting systems that have proven profitable using one or all of these elements.
None the less, it was rather pleasant to look at Factor Five and see a straightforward tipster service. And actually, rather contradictorily, this is quite an exciting thing for me. Because decent and simple tipster services aren’t something that come along that often. Given that Mark Thomas says “that even a novice punter could place these bets in 5 minutes”, I really don’t think I’m unjustified in this.
However, it is also at the back of my mind that I have seen more than enough tipster services fail on those same principles as well. And actually, whilst there are some clear immediate positives to Factor Five, there is also one thing that has really jumped out at me as potentially problematic. Is it all worth it? Let’s find out.
What Does Factor Five Offer?
I have already said that Factor Five is a straightforward affair, but just how deep does this actually go? For want of a better way of describing it, I think that every single element of Bet Social’s management, and Mark Thomas’s tips are… Well, exactly what I would expect from a tipster service. And I can’t emphasise enough that I don’t see this as a bad thing.
First things first, let’s actually talk about that management side of things. Because Bet Social are actually relatively new on the wider tipster scene. As such, I am keen to see how they have got on with the service. Now, the short answer to this seems to simply be “not bad”. But there is a little more complexity to this.
Mostly, this is all very much as you would expect. Bet Social send out the selections on Mark Thomas’s behalf on a daily basis. Not at all surprisingly, these are sent out directly via email. All that you have to do is place the relevant bets. Now, there are a few things that stand out to me here as strong positives.
Number one, Mark Thomas and Bet Social don’t just take the time to simply give you a list of fixtures and horses that are running in them. Instead, you get full race details, advised odds, and something which I think a lot of the time is overlooked. Specifically, the bookies are offering said odds at the time that Factor Five goes out. All of this is a pretty decent start to get off to.
Secondly, the selections are issued the evening before racing. And actually nice and early on the evening before (typically between 6.30pm and 9pm). This means that first of all, you have plenty of time to get your bets placed, regardless of your schedule. Furthermore, you have more chance of getting those recommended odds.
In terms of the bets, Factor Five exclusively involves backing a horse to win. Now I know some people get turned off by simple betting, but I really don’t think it’s a bad thing here. Mark Thomas claims in the sales material that using his service will take just 5 minutes per day. A claim that I see a lot, but here, those simple bets and details of bookies makes it a very real thing.
Another point to consider is the fact that just because you are betting on horses to win, that doesn’t mean that a service has to be boring. The average odds to BOG for Factor Five stand at 9.49. A number that is actually very reflective of what you will be betting on. This means that there is still some excitement to be had when a win comes in.
Now, don’t get me wrong, that might not be the most frequent of events. The strike rate for Factor Five stands at just 15.85% according to Bet Social’s proofing. And in theory, when this low strike rate is combined with a pretty high volume of bets, it can be problematic (for context, November had 123 bets advised). However, with the right staking plan, you should be fine.
And going back to the idea of simplistic betting, this is again evident when you look at the staking plan. Mark Thomas recommends nothing complicated for Factor Five, just level 1 point stakes on all bets. This means that you only need a pretty modest betting bank of 100 points in order to actually get started.
Alternatively, if you did want to mix things up a little bit, Mark Thomas also provides a separate staking plan (referred to as his “Ultimate Staking Plan”). I won’t go into detail here as ultimately, it’s behind a paywall. But I will say that it allows you to significantly increase the profitability of Factor Five (whilst inevitably somewhat increasing the risk).
How Does Factor Five Work?
If there is one criticism that I increasingly find myself leveling at tipster services these days, it is that no tipster seems to want to talk about what their betting process entails. And in some respects, Mark Thomas is no different. There isn’t really a lot of detail on the selection process, which I always find a little bit frustrating if I’m honest.
What you do get though is a comprehensive look at Mark Thomas’s betting philosophy, which includes some insight at least. The sales material for Factor Five references things like 31 years of betting experience, key factors for success, and also references to value based betting. Like I say, I would have liked to have seen more information, but it’s better than nothing.
With that said, the only reason that I think that this is close to acceptable is because of the incredibly comprehensive proofing that Bet Social provide for the service. This goes all the way back to January of this year and it covers everything that you would need. You are shown profit to various prices (although not advised odds, disappointingly) and graphs allow you to chart the performance over the year.
All of this at least allows you to get a basic understanding of what you are getting yourself into. I’d always like more information, but in this case, there is enough. And honestly, that is more than I can say for a lot of tipsters.
What is the Initial Investment?
So far, I have gone very easy on Factor Five. And that is because there has been a lot to like, but when it comes to the pricing… Well, this is where you hit one of the biggest hurdles in my opinion. Mark Thomas and Bet Social have come up with three wildly differing pricing structures here and whilst there is the potential for value, none of them are cheap.
First things first, there is the monthly subscription. Now this is actually billed every 28 days which means that you will pay that out 13 times in a year. And at £54 per “month”, this really can start to add up price wise.
Of course, there is somewhat better value to be had for subscribing for longer period. For example, the quarterly subscription is priced at £108 for 90 days. And representing the best value, despite the largest outlay, is a 6 monthly subscription. This is priced at £117 for your first 6 months, with subsequent periods charged at £157.
It is worth noting that Mark Thomas and Bet Social do not offer any money back guarantee on Factor Five, which means that those longer subscriptions do require some pretty serious commitment.
What is the Rate of Return?
Of course, none of that really matters is Factor Five is well positioned to make money. And honestly, the potential here is actually pretty impressive. Bet Social’s proofing shows that since they started proofing in January, there has been an overall profit of 475.32 points to BOG. That is a bloody phenomenal number.
What is great to see though is that it is one that is built off a good few 50 plus point months. Which helps keep things exciting, whilst still allowing for that consistency (what I mean by this is that there aren’t 3 100 point months and all of the rest are just a few points each). The ROI looks equally impressive at 32.78%, which his also a solid number .
On top of that, Mark Thomas says that if you are following his “Ultimate Staking Plan”, you could have turned £5,000 into £57,000 in less than 10 months.
Conclusion for Factor Five
Factor Five doesn’t aim to break any new ground. But that really doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The fact of the matter is that based off what I have seen off Factor Five, you have here something that does basic things, very well. Something that I think is reflected in those longer term results. There is no getting around the fact that Mark Thomas has done very well here.
And I’m not just talking about the overall results. Don’t get me wrong, 475 points is bloody impressive. But it is more the consistency with which the profit has been earned. Yes, there has been months that have made more than 100 points. And that is great. But every month that has made a profit has done more than 15 points. That is pretty bloody impressive if I’m honest. Especially to level 1 point stakes.
And in a rather odd feeling thing to say, it isn’t just the winning months that are impressive. When there have been losing months, they haven’t ever been particularly drastic losses. At most, Mark Thomas has incurred a 20.5 point month. Whilst not ideal, it is a lot less than some services I have seen and realistically, this can pretty easily be made back on the profitable months.
Now, there are still some things that need to be considered here. That low strike rate being one of them. It should be obvious, but you aren’t winning often here. And you will inevitably have to have periods where you watch your betting bank dwindle. But with discipline, this should be manageable.
Another thing, and this is probably what puts me off Factor Five more than anything, is the costs involved. Look, I get it. Mark Thomas and Bet Social aren’t asking for a lot of money if you want to commit to the service for 6 months. But that is a long time to pay for tips that might not work for you. And the “monthly” costs are so prohibitive that there is no real way of justifying trying the service for a month to see if it fits your betting.
So, with all of this in mind, is Factor Five something that is worthwhile? The short answer to this is, probably, yes. The results are all good looking, and with a year worth of proofing, I think you can get a pretty good idea of what they future should hold.
However, all of this is based on one thing, and one thing only. And that is your willingness to commit. Whilst the results look very good, the only way that I can really see value in Factor Five is if you are signing up for 6 months. If you can afford the outlay, and you have the discipline to follow Mark Thomas’s advice, it is a good looking option. But otherwise, I just see Factor Five as being too pricey.