Saturday, 25 October 2014

Even Tougher

Yesterday I found the trading really tough but I battled through it and came out on top. Today I tried to force it and the markets punished me in a big way. It's days like today that make me realise I'm far from there and still have so much to learn. I've heard a few traders say they ease themselves in to the afternoon with steady staking trying to get off on the right foot. I did the total opposite and was down about £90 in the first hour. I came back later in the afternoon and had a massive move on a fav for my biggest profit ever of over £100 to get me back in front. With only a couple of races left at Wolves I was up about £16 then threw it all away with some poor decisions. I'm not too disappointed though as I kept discipline throughout and stuck to my plan. Sometimes things don't work out how you anticipate and today was just one of them days. I maybe over staked a few times but that's just how it goes. This will be my last day of trading for October as we are away for half term holidays so another positive month and that is the positive I'll be taking out of this month.

Here is the roller coaster p and l.


Until next month, good luck,

Richard

Friday, 24 October 2014

Tough Day

I set myself up for a fall yesterday telling every man and his dog how I've cracked this trading lark which created an air of anticipation before I started trading today. To be honest I was extremely nervous before and during the first few races. I started okay but then dropped a clanger and lost £30 in one race. I got in way too early in the race and in a very bad position which I should have got out of straight away but foolishly I didn't. I made loads of mistakes today and struggled to find any momentum in the markets. Having said that I battled on and still managed a decent total for the day.

Here are today's figures,


Trading was really difficult today, I'm not sure why I found it so hard. Maybe it was due to the fact I expected to make money which put me under unnecessary pressure to perform. Whatever the reason I'll be looking to put it all right tomorrow if I get the chance to trade again.

Richard

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Thursday

For some reason I struggled with the title of the post tonight so I reverted to the old day of the week faithful. Maybe I'm getting writers block or running out of ideas which is strange considering I haven't blogged as much this month. And the fact that I do have much more to say in the way of help and advice for any new traders out there. Don't get me wrong I'm no professional by a long way but I have managed to beat a few demons over the past four months. After today's session which was only an hour and a half long I mentioned in passing to my wife that I thought I was getting to grips with it after a massive learning curve over the past four months to which she replied 'More like twenty years!' She does have a point as I have been trying to make money in various ways on various platforms, this to her is just the latest one. Whilst we are on the subject of partners I do feel this can have a massive impact on how us traders trade. I'm lucky in so much as I don't get any grief or hassle although I'm probably not the most supported but then with my track record I can hardly blame her. For those guys out there that just get constant grief it must be very difficult. Fighting the markets is hard enough without having to battle the missus at the same time. In summary I don't really go into too much detail and as long as I'm not chucking money down the pan (and she knows I wouldn't lose much) then it's all good.

I digress, back to the trading. I can't put my finger on it but just over the last week or so things seem to make sense. I'm starting to 'get it'. The best way I can describe it is like doing a jigsaw puzzle. When I first started out the puzzle was laid out in front of me but the pieces were face down and there wasn't a picture on the box. Like most new traders you haven't a clue what your doing or where to start. I had an advantage over some as I was very familiar with Betfair so the ladder on the Geeks Toy was pretty straight forward to master. Buying the Caan Berry trading guide helped a lot, understanding how each market works and how the prices interact with one another is a key factor in this whole process. So with a picture to refer to and all the pieces the right way up you can start to make sense of things a bit. The next stage is to put the picture together, this is finding what works and what doesn't. Not just regarding the trading but you as a person. Knowing and understanding how it feels to lose (or win for that matter) £5, £10, £50 in a day is so important. My fear of losing held me back for ages. For others it may be the same, who wants to lose money! Unfortunately it's something you have to get used to in order to win. It's an unavoidable evil that just has to be done. At the time when your faced with clicking a button to take a £20 loss it is tough to do and you think if you let it go in running you might be able to half that loss or even get into profit. Trust me I have been there more than once, it may work a few times but in the long term you will lose your bank. This is one of those lessons you can't teach. It's something you have to find out for yourself, usually the hard way. As most successful traders will tell you, losing money learning is inevitable. This is why I recommend starting out with very small stakes just whilst your learning. Losing a bank of £100 is not the end of the world, losing a bank of £3000 is! Staying alive while you learn is in my opinion one of the most important factors in being successful. There is no point in busting out a few weeks in as you wont have had time to learn all the necessary skills. Keep stakes low and take your time to learn would be my advice.

Back to the jigsaw! Once you start putting the pieces together you start to see the big picture. Each piece of the jigsaw for me represents something I've read in the trading guide, a video I've seen on You Tube, something I've noticed on the Geeks Toy, an article from another blog, etc. Over time as I have learnt more about trading the whole picture has become more clear and as I write this I get the feeling the picture is as close to finishing as it ever has. No I haven't mastered trading and I'm not saying I'm going to make millions at it. What I am saying is that I understand what is required to make money and with a cool head and smart money management I believe there is a good chance I will make money each time I sit down at the laptop. It's a good place to be but it's not an easy place to get to. I've spent hundreds of hours sat in front of the screen trying to make sense of it all. When most people have gone to bed I will be up studying videos on You Tube or reading blogs about trading, trying to get any small bits of information that may tip the scales in my favour on the ladders. This is not a get rich quick scheme, and the element of risk where it is possible to lose as much as you can win keeps you on your toes and if you take your eye off the ball for one second you can be staring at a big red. If you can't tell already I can honestly say I have loved every minute of this journey so far and there is still a long way to go. A few months ago I wrote about how much I'd like to do this full time and that is still my main goal and ambition. It has only become a real possibility over the last week in my mind and I do feel if things continue in the same vein over the coming months then it could be a distinct possibility in the next year or two. Am I setting myself up for a massive disappointment, probably yes! I hope the comparison to a jigsaw wasn't too pants, it is how it feels to me.

Right onto the profit and loss picture for today. Considering I only traded for an hour and a half early on and then did two races late on in the evening I thought the returns were quite good!


Hoping to trade for most of the day tomorrow and some of Saturday but you never know what's around the corner.

Richard

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Back Into The Swing

On Wednesday afternoon I headed down to the Belfry near Birmingham for a two day golf break with my brother. We haven't had a proper catch up for ages so it was great to have some quality golf, great food and beer, and even better company for a couple of days. As an added bonus we got to talk tactics regarding the trading as he used to do rather well at it some time ago. The conclusion we came to was I needed to drop the in-play trading and concentrate on the pre-race markets. Looking back at my results over the past month or so the in play whilst profitable, was extremely volatile and there is always the risk of a wipe out. There is also the issue of the scalability of the in play markets, especially at the higher prices where the money can get a bit skinny. All in all the decision was to just do the pre-race markets. Today was my first days trading after the new approach and all I can say is I'm absolutely chuffed to bits, my first £100 profitable day. I just got over the line and then stopped trading so as not to ruin the day with any mistakes. I wasn't expecting this day to come for quite some time so you can imagine how happy I am. Four days of work beckons starting tomorrow so I won't do any trading until next Thursday unfortunately. It's dare to dream time again!

Richard




Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Quick Update

Very busy at work this week and going away golfing tomorrow for a couple of days so haven't had any time to update the blog until now. I've reverted back to what I like to call chicken trading. Basically I'm trading scared so approaching these new conditions ultra cautiously. Protecting the bank has become top priority again until I can figure out these ever changing markets.

I've dabbled in the markets on both Monday and Tuesday for a few quid but it's been far from straight forward. I'll profit from a couple of races then lose one and so on throughout the course of the day. Not good for the balance or great for the confidence so I guess continuing with caution is the only way to go. Roll on spring!

Richard

Friday, 10 October 2014

A Change in Seasons

Some of my tried and tested methods that consistently made money a month or two ago are starting to fail and in a big way. I'm wondering if it's to do with the end of the flat season and the beginning of the jumps. The markets don't seem to be reacting in the way I expect them to sometimes and this is a bit worrying. It may be that I have to drop stakes until things settle down again or I get to grips with the changes. Tonight was a perfect example as the first two races didn't go quite to plan and I found myself in a hole to the tune of £50. Not an ideal start and when I looked at the nights racing I knew it was going to be a losing day. I just chipped away with relatively low stakes and clawed some back without chasing which was pleasing. Looking back, I broke a few rules tonight. Trading whilst tired after a long shift at work and over staking in uncertain times are not going to bring huge profits on a regular basis and I know these things yet still do them.

 
Dave commented on yesterday's blog about how different the all weather markets are during the winter months and I'm finding this to be so true. All I can do is drop stakes in these uncertain markets and hope they settle down in the next few weeks. If they don't I could find myself in a tough position where I may need to go back to watching the markets to see if I can see any emerging patterns from which to profit. I do like a challenge but this trading lark is ridiculous. Just when you think you've sussed it...

Richard

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Hit The Bar

Yesterday I had my second decent day in a row and today I was going for the hat-trick. Well with a few races left I was almost there with a profit of over £46 how could I fail? Quite easily really, I managed to balls it up with two big losses of £32 and £19 to finish the day -£4. Whilst I'm very annoyed to have lost all the days profit in two races I can't be too disappointed as another disastrous day only ended up with a small loss. My really bad days now tend to be break even or a small loss which I can handle no problems. The progress I've seen over the last three months has been nothing short of fantastic so hopefully I can continue to improve over the coming months in a similar fashion. I'm working the next three days so I won't be doing any trading until Sunday at the earliest.

My goal for this month is to cut out mistakes, stay focused and disciplined, and just keep taking opportunities from the markets when they present themselves. It's dangerous to have financial goals at trading but I would love a repeat of the £300 I made last month. At this stage, we are a third through the month and I've made about £140 so I suppose I'm roughly on target. With that said, I'm away for a few days golfing next week and it's half term at the end of the month so I think we will be busy with the kids. Who knows what the rest of the month will bring, as long as I don't do anything silly I should be fine.

Richard

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Hourly Rate?

Another busy day on the domestic front meant I could only nip in and out of the trading office a handful of times this afternoon. It was most annoying really but some things just needed to get done, and with a long stretch at work on the horizon it had to be today. I did accomplish a multitude of tasks that had been lurking in the background for an eternity so it was worth the effort.

Only having the opportunity to trade a few races must have heightened my focus as I had one of my best days and was on my highest hourly rate ever. I can't have spent any more than an hour sat down in the trading chair for a cracking total of £46, which for the first time gives me that elusive back to back decent totals. Tomorrow I'll be going for the never done before hat-trick.

It's been a very long day today so I'll get myself off leaving you with today's very short list.

Richard




Monday, 6 October 2014

A Frustrating Weekend

With working night shifts over the weekend I was unable to give any explanation as to how Saturday had gone. The day had started pretty quietly and I had just chipped away to build up a really nice green of over £40 until very late on in the afternoon where I made a howler of a mistake and blew £20 in the one race. My final total of £28 didn't look too bad but once again (and I seem to say this far too often) it could have been so much better but for silly mistakes. As time goes on it's these silly mistakes that add up to a hefty total and the difference between making a few quid and making a decent second income. I can only try and learn from them and move on.

So onto Sunday. With the lesson learnt from Saturday's trading it was important to bounce back and have a good day. Heading into the last race of the day with a little over £26 profit locked in it was inevitable...

-£27! Leaving me a pound down on the day. The amazing thing about it all was I felt okay about it. Months ago I would have been fuming for hours, snapping at the wife and kids, kicking the cat, and plenty more. Yesterday I just stayed calm and forgot about it, taking on board why it had happened and what I can do in the future to avoid it happening again. Getting angry and frustrated doesn't help the situation and what I've found is that over the coming days I tend to go through a bad patch of results when I trade in an angry mood. It's much better for me to just stay calm and approach the next days trading as if nothing has happened.

Today was better. I had a million and one things to do so I wasn't expecting to be trading much if at all if I'm honest. I dabbled in the early races and did okay but had to go out for a couple of hours. I'd promised my lads I'd go get them Fifa 15 so in order to prevent World War 3 that is what I did. On returning I turned the laptop back on and had a great hour or so ending up with £43 in the pot. Not bad to say I was having most of the day off. It's amazing how a mistake free day of trades soon adds up to a very tidy sum. The next two days should be quite productive on the trading front and my goal will be to keep it error free and not get too greedy. There are so many things to take into consideration when making a trade and it's hardly surprising that mistakes happen more often than not. I'm conscious of the fact and in particular I try and keep an eye on the more important stuff or what I deem important. The learning will never end I guess. Keeping things positive which is a must, I've had three days trading with two big mistakes I still had a profit of over £70. If I'd have encountered mistakes like that a month or two ago I'd have ended up putting a major dent in the bank or possibly even worse. I do feel like I'm improving week on week and if I keep my cool and trade with the same liability there is no reason why I can't make £20-£50 every day I trade. This is the level I feel comfortable at and what I feel I can achieve realistically. With that in mind, if I can trade on average 20 days a month then £400+ should be well within my grasp. I know this is not massive compared to some of the big hitters out there but it will do nicely and as it's scalable then as soon as I'm ready mentally I can ramp it up. Both feet are firmly on the ground but I have to admit to being slightly excited about the future.

I'll leave you with the last two days P & L.

Cheers for now,

Richard

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Saturday Update

Just a Betfair profit and loss page today, I'm working tonight.

Richard