Howards Way Review

Howards Way is a new to market independent tipster service which is operated by the eponymous Howard. It is a selective affair that seems to have some pretty reasonable results.

Introduction to Howards Way

Genuine independent tipsters seem to be a pretty difficult thing to find these days. It seems that so many more tipsters would rather put in their lot with a management service, and why not? I wouldn’t try to plaster my walls. Why would you expect a tipster to manage their own service? None the less, it does make it a little bit more exciting when something comes along that fits that bill. Especially when they’re really talking themselves up as being a pretty big time winner.

Of course, anybody can talk a big game. I can sit here now and tell you that I’m picking winners out left right and center. I can tell you that I backed whichever rank outsider came in at 33/1 yesterday. I can make up a number that I supposedly took home in profit last year. But that doesn’t mean any of it is true. Which brings me to the question of why you would want to buy into Howards Way? Because, honestly, it is incredibly easy to be sceptical about these kinds of things. However, I’m not certain that I would want to write Howard off here.

Because whilst I completely agree with myself that results can be fabricated, Howard has gone above and beyond in my opinion. I’ll talk about it a little later on, but there has very much been a bit of a “trial by fire” which leads me to believe that at the very least, this is genuine. Whether or not Howards Way can deliver on the claims is a bit of a different story. So, lets get to it.

What Does Howards Way Offer?

Realistically, I am going to give some benefit of doubt here. Something that I know I don’t tend to do. But hear me out. Unlike a lot of independent tipsters that come out with a BS story and ridiculous looking claims of making £100,000 in am month, Howard doesn’t. Howards Way is definitely a bit fanciful, but that could be down to a tipster trying to market a service themselves. Just like me trying to plaster my walls would be more than a bit messy (see, I was going somewhere with that).

As you would probably expect from all of this, as an offering, Howards Way is pretty straight forward. Not that this has to be a bad thing. All that it means is that you get about the bare minimum that you would expect from a tipster, in order to be able to place the bets that they recommend. This includes the fact that whilst selections are sent out “plenty of time before the races started”, it does somewhat restrict the potential for value, even with odds included.

Which brings me to a point that I always drag out here, but it is always important. If you want to get the most out of this, you should probably be looking to use an odds comparison site. If you can that is. The fact is that receiving bets later in the day can stop some people having the time to do this, which is rather why I do count the fact that bets are sent out later in the day against Howards Way as much as a I do.

What I do like however is that Howard doesn’t just look to use email in order to get his tips out. He also takes advantage of an app called Telegram. As well as being the fastest messaging app available, I like this for one reason only. It’s hard to miss. The fact is that your phone going off is much more convenient than emails, especially if, like me, you have multiple addresses. That means no missed tips, and no missed big winners.

Now, let’s talk about the odds involved with Howards Way. Whilst Howard is happy to boast about some of his bigger winners on the sales page for the service, I don’t see them as being typical of what you can expect. The fact of the matter is that most of the bets that are advised tend to have low end to middling odds. Sometimes, you will see bets at more than 7/1 but this is a bit of a rarity.

On those bets that do have higher odds, Howard tends to recommend backing them on an each way basis. Something that I actually consider to be quite welcome. It seems like a lot of tipsters try to go all or nothing a lot these days. But, as the proofing for Howards Way shows, that is 90 bets that showed some return that otherwise wouldn’t have. That is no bad thing.  

Something that is undeniably a bit frustrating for me here is that there doesn’t seem to be a staking plan in place. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe that a very simple level staking affair would probably suffice. 1 point per bet with a bank of 100 points should more than cover a service who hits drawdowns of at most 14 points (based off what I’ve seen).

Unfortunately, actually calculating a strike rate is a bit of a difficult thing here. The proofing that Howard provides is a long way from convenient in terms of formatting. But I think I’ve worked it out (although this could be subject to error, it should be in the ball park). By my count, Howards Way had 819 bets placed between 1/1/20 and 12/12/20 (when proofing ends). Of those, 460 bets lost and 90 placed. This leaves 269 winners and a strike rate of about 33%.  

How Does Howards Way Work?

Howard describes himself as “a retired IT technician from a countryside town in the north of England”. He goes on to say that he has also “always been interested in the goings on behind the scenes in horse racing”. This leads to an apparently logical conclusion of investigating form and stats as a side hobby. Furthermore, we are told that he has over 50 years of experience.

And that is about all that we are really told, if I’m honest. This of course carries certain implications, but let’s call a spade a spade here. That’s all that you’re actually doing here. Howard implies some things, and you do the mental gymnastics to apply them to how he probably runs Howards Way.

Here’s the thing. That conclusion that I reached, and I am sure you reached, makes sense. There are plenty of people who look at form and stats when they are trying to find winning bets. This also makes a bit difficult to really doubt what Howard is saying here too much. Because what he is talking about, in many respects, is the bare minimum of what you would expect for Howards Way.

It is worth keeping in mind that there is proofing provided for Howards Way, however, as I have already said, it isn’t the best laid out thing. Whilst this gives you a good opportunity to get an idea of what you are getting into, be prepared to put in some time and effort into getting this nailed down. Because Howard isn’t exactly helpful in how he chooses to display data.

What is the Initial Investment?

Howard has opted for three different subscriptions if you want to sign up to Howards Way. The first of these is a weekly subscription which is charged at £6.97 per week. Alternatively, you can opt for a monthly subscription which represents a significant improvement in value. This is priced at just £17.97 per month.

The best value is a quarterly subscription, however, this does come with the largest outlay. Large being a very relative term here as Howard wants just £33.97 per quarter for Howards Way. This still puts it at less per quarter than a lot of tipsters charge per month.

Unfortunately, there is no sort of refund or money back guarantee with Howards Way, however, I do think that it is worth noting that Howard does offer a 14 day free trial on all options (as of the time of writing). This means that ultimately, I think you can very reasonably give all of this a go on paper with pretty minimal outlay.

What is the Rate of Return?

Do you want to know what the biggest kick in the teeth is when it comes to Howards Way? It is the fact that Howard doesn’t talk about how much money you can expect to make. Which is incredibly infuriating. Unfortunately, none of the many marketing emails I’ve seen talk about the long term profitability of Howards Way either. They simply list a number of big winners (which are oft repeated in other emails).

Honestly, I do believe that you would be in profit with Howards Way. A 33% strike rate means that you need odds of higher than 3/1 to lock in a profit (on average). So, it really is feasible from looking through the odds that Howard does bet at. But with that said, that isn’t the kind of statement I would gamble too hard on.

Conclusion for Howards Way

One of the single most frustrating experiences in this line of work is finding a good looking tipster service that is ultimately taken down by something ridiculously simple. In this case, all that Howard had to do was tell us how much money Howards Way has made. And what is most infuriating is this is by far and away the best method of managing people’s expectations in terms of a service.

As I often say here, the bottom line for almost all of us, is the bottom line. And if a service isn’t making money, then it’s not worth investing in. Now, I can look at recent results and calculate that Howards Way is or isn’t doing well, but that’s a fruitless exercise in my mind, because the focus of your betting should be on the long term. Getting an idea of the ebb and flow of a service is key for me.

Of course, that is an absolute clanger of an issue. But it isn’t the only one either. The fact of the matter is that I would really have liked to have seen a bit more insight from Howard on what his selection process entails. Especially because really, this is a moderately high volume service. To £10 stakes, you can very reasonably expect to bet £200 in a week. Doing that because someone likes horse racing and used to work in IT… Seems questionable.

But of course, that isn’t the be all and end all. There are also some clear positives with Howards Way. Let’s be honest for a minute. I know that I’ve ragged on it (and not without reason, I’d hasten to add), but you can quite simply sign up to this and give it 14 days of your time betting on paper. It doesn’t cost you a penny, and you can see how it works for you, if it fits your schedule, etc.

And even then, it really isn’t expensive. Whilst I am generally cautious when it comes to betting and don’t really believe in just “having a punt”, less than £18 for an extra month of tips is worthwhile in my opinion. Again, even if you’re just looking to extend that “trial”. And if you’re betting to £10 stakes, that’s just 1.8 points of profit needed to put you in the black. That could be just one horse coming in.

But would I actually recommend Howards Way? The short answer to this, if I’m completely honest, is no. But I do want to. It’s a difficult thing. Objectively, I think that you’re taking on a fair amount of risk with Howards Way. It shouldn’t go catastrophically wrong given the structure, but you’re still going in blind. But it doesn’t actually cost you to do so so…

The thing for me is that I like to think long term. I want to invest my time and money into things that I can sit back and rest on a bit. As much as I love doing what I do, as a punter, I just don’t have the time or inclination to follow every crumb that falls by my table.

Now, if Howards Way came with basic insight, like, you know, how much money it made. That would be a lot easier to digest. But as it stands, with so many proven options available, I just can’t see many reasons to invest your time and effort into something so… unknown.  

 

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From: Simon Roberts