The Lazy Man’s 4% Horse Racing Plan

It Makes So Much Sense You'll Cry!

Have you heard of the 4% life plan?

It’s got nothing to do with horse racing, but in this article I’m going to show you how you can use it to make a living from your betting.

The concept of the 4% life plan is that if your investments make a minimum of a 4% yearly return, all you need is to have twenty five times your annual expenditures invested and you’ll be able to live off your investments for ever.

It works like this…

If your monthly expenditure is £1,500, then you are spending £18,000 per year to live.

Multiply that by twenty five and you get £450,000.

Four percent of £450,000 is £18,000. Which means as long as your investments make an average of 4% a year you can live off your investments without ever having to work again.

Yes, £450,000 is a lot of money, but if you’re from London, or anywhere near, then you’ll probably know people who have mortgages of that amount and a lot more.

In summary, it’s a lot of money, but it’s not an unachievable amount.

If you start investing regularly, then you will also be able to add the returns you’re making back into the investment pot to help you reach it even faster.

Don’t believe me?

Take the average UK salary of £28,870, which leaves you with £2405.83 after tax every month. Remove your living costs of £1,500 which leaves you £905 each month to invest. Nearly ten thousand pounds a year, which will grow at £400 per year (assuming the 4% yearly return). Actually it will be more because you’ll be investing money every month so it will grow a bit faster.

And… that’s assuming a single income household.

If you’ve got two average incomes in the house, then you have the £905 from the first salary and the full £2405 from the second, for a total of £3,310 to invest each month or £39,720 each year. At that rate it would only take you eleven years to be able to live off your investments.

Of course everybody’s circumstances are different, but the idea is to live within your means so that the majority of your income can be invested.

Anyhoo, if you want to read more about this from a personal finance point of view, then there are lots of places online. One of my favourites is the Mr Money Mustache blog. It’s American, so has an American slant on it, but it’s well written, personal and entertaining.

But what we’re interested in is…

Implementing It In Horse Racing

The first, most important, consideration is the returns.

It assumes a 4% return per year.

When have you ever heard of a horse racing bettor who’d be happy with a 4% return on their investment?

I’d venture to say never.

Yet if bettors were happy with this level of return, then almost anybody would be able to be profitable.

That’s some serious food for thought.

Most bettors want 20% return ON EVERY BET!

If you proved to a financial investor that you could get a 20% return every year, they’d bite your hand off and you’d have more money being sent your way than you knew what to do with.

Yet, us horse racing types are trying to make this amount on every single bet.

Assuming four bets a day, and I’m going to try to do better math than I did in my last post about what to expect from your horse racing betting profits, then we’re placing 1460 bets per year.

Aiming for just 4% per year is an average return of just 0.27% per bet.

Heck, I reckon anybody could do that without too much work. I could list a whole bunch of betting strategies that could achieve that with nearly zero effort. This 3-step horse racing betting strategy is an example.

Okay, I admit, you’ll need to be an RA Pro Member to be able to use it exactly as it is, but it’s possible to do everything manually if you want to. It would just take you a lot longer.

If you’re not yet a member of the RA Pro Community, you’d better go grab your trial here.

Admittedly, we want more than a 4% return per year as well, but let’s start with this as our base level, and build from there.

Implementing It As A Staking Plan

If we want to make an average of 0.27% return on investment per bet, then surely we’re never going to be able to make a serious profit?

I know lots of people hate odds-on betting, but this would represent average odds of 1.03, and most people would consider odds that low meant:

[tie_list type=”plus”]

  • The horse was basically guaranteed to win[/tie_list]

[tie_list type=”minus”]

  • You could never make a profit[/tie_list]

But we already know that 99% of bettors get it wrong, because they lose. And they get it wrong here as well.

I’ll come back to this later.

For now, we’ll take Betting Bounty as an example, but you could use any of your strategies, or any of the strategies being proofed in the forum, and work it out yourself.

It makes around 6% ROI, based on £100 stakes and an average risk (we trade out so we’re never risking our entire stake) of 40% of the stake.

Because the risk is so low, a bankroll of 12 units is all that’s needed, and we’re starting with £905, just one months savings based on 4% Life Plan.

We’re not going to invest more than a single month’s savings, which means that we’re in a position to be more than comfortable to lose it, as we know we can save this amount every month.

How much do you think you’ll have at the end of the year, assuming a 100% re-investment of profits?

Whatever you guessed, I’m sure you were too low. The real number is £10,344.79.

Yup, you’ve turned your £905 into £10,344.79, assuming just a 2% ROI per bet and full re-investment of profits.

Heck, even if you wanted to play super safe and have a bankroll of 25 units, you’d still have turned your £905 into £2,915.71 in the first year. By the end of year two it would be £9,393.74.

Holy schmokes.

Yes you read that right.

Even at the most conservative level, with a tiny ROI, you could have turned one month’s savings of £905 (at average UK salary and expenditure) into nearly ten thousand pounds in less than two years.

Your stakes would be £376, and there’d still be plenty of liquidity to play with. Within three years you’d be able to cover all your monthly expenditure from these bets.


As you’re probably beginning to gather, mindset is everything.

I firmly believe that anybody can become successful betting on horse racing.

Where the majority of bettors struggle is with their mindset.

Even successful horse racing bettors will often approach the game with the mindset of a bettor instead of an investor.

Change your mindset to that of an investor.

Change your approach to that of an investor.

Change your expectations to that of an investor.

And you will have given yourself the biggest edge possible.

It’s these three mindset changes that can turn from a losing bettor to a profitable bettor literally overnight.

These changes will mean that you realise you only need one, very low risk, strategy to make a lot of money.

The Big Question…

And it really is a big question.

Are you able to change your mindset from that of a horse racing bettor to an investor?

Do you think you can make that adjustment?

And if you can… would you like me to show you a high strike rate, odds-on strategy, that may only generate a return just above break-even, but will be better than 4% a year, that you can use with this approach?

Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.


  1. And if you can… would you like me to show you a high strike rate, odds-on strategy, that may only generate a return just above break-even, but will be better than 4% a year, that you can use with this approach? YES PLEASE!!

  2. Hi Michael, A really interesting piece and I would like to see the odds on method please. Thanks, Pete.

  3. Dear Michael, just read your 4%article. Yes show the system that you mentioned. I wanna know. I gotta know. Tell me!!!

  4. Quite an interesting article. This is something I have been experimenting with over the last couple of months. It would be interesting to see what your take on this sort of strategy is. I truly believe it is possible to make large amounts of money whilst keeping risk to a minimum (as this is racing noting is guaranteed otherwise we would all be rolling around in the bookies cash lol). The most significant point in your article, in my opinion, is mindset. It is far too easy to get carried away and become over confident when you start to get good results. Then comes the danger of over staking and down the slippery slope you go. I look forward to your next article, keep up the good work.

  5. Hi Michael. I am interested in this as I have been looking into this sort of strategy myself (using the place market on exchanges with favourites in 8 runner races) without having cracked it to my satisfaction.

  6. From my experience attempting to trade, following a slow and steady approach is certainly less simple than it sounds due to the nature of the punter, and indeed of people. Many of us tend to fall prey to a desire to win quick, easy and BIG! If the majority of punters followed a sensible staking plan and so forth, I daresay bookies would be in a lot of bother! Excellent article, and timely for myself!

  7. Personally I don’t bet odds on, because they do not appear to have anything to offer with the methods I use. But if I had a method that did produce profits from odds on horses, then yes I would use it, as your strike rate would be high, so no long losing runs. That would be a good outcome.

  8. This website is for genuine racing enthusiasts and I have nothing but praise for their education and ratings systems. Winning money from them is just a cherry on top of an already good cake.

  9. Very interesting what is the smallest amount I can start with so I can hopefully build up to what I need

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