Billy Walters: The Most Feared Sports Better in History Tells 60 Minutes why he Avoids Wall Street
This past Sunday, 60 Minutes ran a piece on professional sports gambler, Billy Walters. Mr. Walters has been professionally betting on sports for over 30 years. Walters has defied all odds and is worth hundreds of millions. Betting on underdog New Orleans in last year’s Super Bowl brought home $3.5 million for him.
He’s become so good at it that most sports bookies will not take his bets.
Billy Walters Is Better at Calculating the Odds than the Odds-Makers
How has he done it? An insane amount of data. He has used consultants to compile databases that predict outcomes and betting lines for games. And his team has done it so well that they’ve been able to out-predict the professional odds-makers in Las Vegas. He considers what the data is showing for each game, compares it to the actual betting line, and then makes a call of how much he wants to bet on each game.
And it has worked for him. Billy Walters claims that he has never had a losing year. I’ve embedded the interview for you to watch, or you can check out the Billy Walters Interview on 60 Minutes site.
My Gambling Caveat
Before I continue with this story, let me give the caveat that I am not advocating professional gambling in any way. Billy Walters is one exception to the rule, and it took an entire team of data consultants and sports experts to develop his system in order to beat the odds. The fact that he’s become famous and well respected in sports betting circles highlights how rare his case is. Continue reading for the true moral of the story here.
Billy Walters Compares Wall Street to Las Vegas
Where this story took a very interesting turn is when Walters began comparing Las Vegas to Wall Street.
Here is the dialogue between Billy Walters and 60 Minutes reporter, Lara Logan.
“I’ve been swindled out of quite a bit quite a bit of money on the stock market. And I bought a lot of Enron stock once. And I got swindled. I bought a lotta WorldCom stock, got swindled. I bought a lotta Tyco stock. I got swindled,” he told Logan.
His disdain for Wall Street is one of the reasons Walters decided to talk to “60 Minutes” – a chance he says to make the point that the gambling world is not as shady as most people think.
“I ran into a lotta bad guys, a lotta thieves. I mean, they’d steal the Lord’s Supper. But I can tell ya, percentage-wise, I ran into many more with suits and ties on than I have with the gamblers,” he told Logan.
“So you would say that the hustler from Vegas got hustled by Wall Street?” Logan asked.
“There’s no doubt about it,” Walters replied.
Why was this so interesting to me?
Billy Walters, the most revered sports better in history – a man who methodically pours through data and has never lost over the course of a year in over 30 years of GAMBLING, has been absolutely taken to the house when trading stocks on Wall Street. He’s not the only one. I’ve covered Mark Cuban’s Wall Street rants in the past.
The Takeaway: If Billy Walters and Mark Cuban, both with insane amounts of money, resources, business knowledge, and inside connections can’t succeed by trading stocks on Wall Street, how can you or I expect to? If you’re ‘making bets’ on stock trades, odds are that you will not succeed. The ‘house’, or in this case professional traders and insiders, will win 6 times out of 10. Slow, steady, low-fee, diverse investments like ETF’s and index funds are probably the only hope the amateur investor (your or I) has.