This article is an extract from Steve Fierro's best-selling book The Four Quarters of Horse Investing, which is available from book stores on the Internet, including and

How much will this cost? How much will I make? How will I get paid? The three questions I present above must be answered. You have worked your way through quite a process. You have laboured in earnest to build a successful horse-investing portfolio. You deserve the answers to those questions.

If you are looking to me for the answer, you are looking in the wrong place. If you're looking to me for guidance, I can help. However, the questions will ultimately be answered by you.

There is something very beautiful about this wonderful investment market called horse racing. There is no set amount of capital required to get started. There is no salesman or company representative telemarketing you to death with statements like, with just $20,000 we can get you up and running. This is the beauty of the business you are creating.

You can jump in at whatever financial level is comfortable. You also have the comfort of knowing that whatever is invested is coming right out of your wallet/bank and that no one else will be doing the investing for you. Yes, I am saying keep this personal. Don't ask for partners. Handle all the investments yourself. The only persons that should ever handle your money are you and the teller you choose to handle the transaction.

You can also throw in the security of knowing that the true level of return in dollars and investment is not based on any phony records. You will be the one producing and keeping these records.

However, there is a reality to how much you can make. Only at the racetrack do people who play on a frequent basis head into the day expecting it to be a "life changing" financial event. Some folks have been going to the track for 10, 20 or 30 years and it hasn't happened yet.

They have made money and lost money on a daily basis. You can count on one hand the number of people who have had a life-changing financial experience from a single day at the races.

The energy and effort has to be put into the long haul. The energy and effort has to be directed towards the daily grind. This is no different from any other business.

Do you think the fellow that opens his gas station tomorrow is looking to have someone just walk in off the street and buy the place for ten times what it's worth? Heck no! He opens the doors every day with the expectation of making a fair profit from his investment in the station. You should expect the same from a day at the races.

Does the station owner have days when he loses money? You bet! You will have losing days as well. What the station owner does differently is, he does not panic (or blame anyone else) for the bad day. It was just that, a bad day. He may even have a bad week or month. He continues on with the knowledge that in the long term he has a profitable business that is based on a strong product and strong business strategies. You will build the same type of business.

You will do it as a profitable horse-investor. The beauty of it all is that, unlike the station owner, you can buy in for as much as you want.

When you looked at the year 2000 betting records based on my tactics, here is what you saw. Based on a $2,000 bankroll you saw that for this $2,000 initial investment, you received just over $13,000. The initial bankroll was duplicated 6.5 times in that year. My personal goal, annually, is to duplicate my bankroll in a range and not a specific number. My goal is to duplicate my bankroll nine to 12 times annually.

Let's use our record-keeping amount of $2,000 as a base. If I hit my lowest level goal of duplicating this bankroll nine times, I would make $18,000 a year. If I hit the high end of my goal, then this would go up to $24,000.

In the year 2000, using this $2,000 bankroll, I would have missed achieving my goal, but I still would have realised a profit of over $13,000. How many folks would die for a profit, period, let alone $13,000? Think about that for a moment. I will emphasise these are very aggressive goals. I will let you do the maths with any other amount you may choose.

What this guidance will do is help you to decide on your goal. Start small. Keep your present career or job.

When you set your financial goals, make them attainable. Make them comfortable. I can't stress that enough. Comfortable wagering and financial tactics are critical. If you have sweaty palms every time you make an investment, your chances for success are slim. You may only be in this situation because you are demanding too much too soon.

So what's the answer? It's up to you. It's your business. How much can I expect to make? You now know that answer as well. This will be based on a goal you make based on your bottom line financial investment.

By Steve Fierro