Today we interview Michael from Foxy Monkey! The go-to blog to learn about matched betting and FI, we talk about how he got started with matched betting, his investing strategy and geoarbitrage.
What we talk about:
- How he got started with FI
- What is matched betting
- Is matched betting worth it?
- How he invests
- His FI plans and goals
The Foxiest Monkey of them all
Michael is Greek and works as a software engineer in the city of London. He discovered FI when he was searching of ways to make his extra money work for him, and got started with investing. He created the great blog of Foxy Monkey, where he write about matched betting, career tips, investing and his FI philosophy
Matched – WHAT?
Chill, it’s not as crazy as it sounds.
Matched betting is a form of making money through bookmakers’ sign up bonuses. Basically, you bet £10 on Andy Murray winning Wimbledon on one bookmaker, and you bet £10 on Murray losing at Wimbledon. This way, you don’t lose any money no matter the outcome – and you get to keep the £30 sign up bonus. This keeps on going and eventually you’re making money!
This is unique to the UK (sorry Europe) and is an easy and quick way to make money on the side – or is it? We dig deep on it with Michael.
Michael got started 2 years ago through a platform called Oddsmonkey. This platform (for £17/month) will walk you through which bookmakers to bet with and which ones to bet against. So literally all you do is slot in some numbers, wait, receive the sign up bonus and start again. It’s tax free and pretty much risk free. Michael tells us that as a beginner you can make £500/month dedicating 5 hours a week to it, so you’re making around £25/hour.
Sounds pretty sweet, but the real question is…
Is it worth it?
I (Araminta) have experience with matched betting and tried it out for a couple of months. But then I quit; for me it wasn’t worth it for several reasons:
- You need to keep track of every single transaction (a bit of a pain)
- It’s not scalable
- You’re not building any skills
- A little repetitive and boring
So I asked Michael: What makes matched betting better than say, getting a freelance job and charging £25/hour for it?
And he answered: It doesn’t.
Matched betting is really for those who want to make easy money in their spare time, who maybe don’t have a skill they could freelance (although I’m sure if you look hard enough you’ll find something) and who don’t want to leave the comfort of home. If that’s you, then matched betting is totally something you check out – it’s a nice little side-hustle that can boost your savings.
We end up agreeing that matched betting is a good side hustle for university students. Instead of earning £7/hour at an exhausting and time consuming student job, £25/hour online is a much better deal.
Overall, interesting stuff. What do you think? Comment your thoughts below 😉
How Michael invests
Michael has a great article on how he invests. He breaks down his asset allocation, his funds and his percentages. But we wanted to dig a little deeper.
Michael tells us his strategy is all about simplicity: low risk and cost index funds. He essentially ‘sits back and let’s the market do the work’. He tries different hustles to boost his income, keeps experimenting with investing to a minimum and focuses on the index funds. A similar approach to Barney from The Escape Artist.
For this reason, he’s taking a break from matched betting and now focusing his efforts on his blog – it’s more scalable, more fun and much more interesting. And he’s got some really great blog posts on there!
His FI plans
Michael is planning on reaching FI in about 10 years if he stays in London. But he says that he’s thinking of moving back to Greece with his wife in about 5-6 years so he can retire even earlier! Awesome geoarbitrage right there. As other people we’ve interviewed have done in Switzerland and London – earn a high income in a high cost of living area and then move on to something drastically cheaper. This will accelerate your path to FI even more 😉
- Michael’s blog: Foxy Monkey
- Early Retirement Extreme
- Book: The 10x Rule
- Book: All About Asset Allocation
- Podcast: Animal Spirits
- How Foxy Monkey Invests in this Overvalued Stock Market
- Beating the Stock Market with… Cycling. And is it risky?