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


Friday, 3 October 2014

Steady Start

After looking at the profit for September and how it all came about I have to admit a fair bit of doubt entered my mind wondering if I could repeat or better those achievements in October. £330 is a fair lump of money to us as a family and although it has just stayed in the Betfair pot, psychologically it has made a big difference. So with that in mind it was important for my confidence to have a steady and positive start to the month. I traded a bit on Wednesday and was about £8 down so no dramas there. Today was much better and with a determined attitude to not lose money the profits came in dribs and drabs but the good thing is they came and added up to a nice total. The small ball approach is so much easier on the nerves and although the wins aren't quite as impressive, more importantly the losses aren't as devastating. Keeping confidence up is probably priority number one at the moment.

Here is the performance in October so far.


Now the jump season is upon us one of my favourite in play strategies can be utilised and with a conservative approach the downside can be limited whilst the upside can be huge. A bit of study concerning the jumping ability of each horse in the race is required. We are looking for horses that either fall or make mistakes regularly. Once we have identified a poor jumper we can then lay that horse before the off and hope that once again it struggles getting around. At worse we can get out half way into the race with a small loss, however, if the horse clatters the obstacle you can expect to see its price come out considerably and even better it may fall and we've hit the jackpot. All that's required is a bit of study and the profits are there to be had.

Richard

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Should Listen To My Own Advice!

On Sunday's blog I wrote a fairly detailed list of what I've done over the past three months to become a profitable trader. Everything I wrote down has helped immensely and you would think logic would kick in and I'd just follow the plan and make money. Simple. On Monday, I totally ignored everything on that list and decided to take unnecessary risks, chase early losses, lose my head, go in running, and pretty much trade like an out of control idiot.


Yes that does say -£75 and at the time I was gutted. All that hard work from the previous days gone in an afternoon. If there was a positive to take from it I suppose the fact that I was down about £110 at one point before taking a time out and then knuckling down to get back to -£50 was pretty good. Unfortunately I gave back £25 in the last race.

Last night I was in a bad mood and very frustrated with how I'd traded and reacted to the early losses. Going on tilt and gambling hopefully instead of trading with considered thought is not going to get me to where I need to be in the long term. Having had more time to think about things I came to the conclusion that my stakes had risen too much too fast and overall I wasn't comfortable with it. The old problem of trying to run before I could walk springs to mind.

Today I was totally focused on not losing money, keeping stakes sensible, and not letting the reds go too far. It was important to prove I could get it right after two particularly bad days. Whilst I cut quite a few trades far too early this tight approach had the desired affect and I finished the days trading with a very satisfying profit.


At least I can still do it when I put my mind to it. There have been some worrying signs over the last few weeks, mainly the fact that the urge to chase and gamble to regain losses still remains with me after all this time. I don't know if I'll ever get past this recurring problem, all I know is if I don't then this is not going to work.

September as a whole has gone quite well with my biggest monthly profit so far. I wanted to break the £300 barrier for the month and although yesterday nearly ruined it I got over the line with my decent day today. The encouraging part for me is there is less racing as the winter draws closer but the profits continue to rise. It will be interesting to see if I can continue to improve over the coming months. Lets hope I can put my problems behind me and continue to develop as a trader going forward.

Once again the trading will be hindered by work commitments starting tomorrow as I'm working the next four nights. Should still get a few afternoons in but it will be patchy at best.

Cheers for now,

Richard




Sunday, 28 September 2014

Disappointing Sunday

Well yet again I failed to put back to back decent winning days together. It was going so well too with a little over £20 up then I got it wrong to the tune of £36. After getting back to nearly level for the day once again I hit the self destruct button and lost another £20. By the end of the day I was down £21.50 so not the end of the world but disappointing none the less.



Looking back over the days results it was quite clear I had over staked on quite a few races, including both the big losing races. Stake sizes are something I vary depending on several variables including race type, amount traded on the race and selection, price of the horse, and the course. Sometimes I get a bit side tracked with watching the ladder going up and down and lose sight of the big picture. For want of a better term I just lose the plot temporarily. This is easily done and although I can win big when it goes right I'm more inclined to lose big which is what happened today. Having a day like today just reconfirms how hard this trading is and how far I've come in such a short space of time. There is so much to consider when entering a trade and when exiting too and I'm never going to get it right every time, it's just not possible.

I'm still learning and get the impression I'll never really stop. There is always something new to observe every time you open the Geeks Toy. Without giving too much away I'd like to give a few ideas or pointers to any new traders out there that are struggling or are looking for help. This is what I have learnt over the last three months of trading.

1) Start off with small stakes whilst your learning. I had a comment on the blog a few weeks ago from a very angry chap telling me to get a life and why was I bothering with such small stakes. Common sense tells me that when you start something new with a large element of risk to just start small and build up. A novice tight rope walker would be well advised beginning a foot above the ground as opposed to stepping out over the Grand Canyon on his first attempt. The same applies to trading. Putting 10k in your Betfair account and trading with £100 as a novice is only going to end in tears. Starting with a modest £100 bank and trading £2 would be a more sensible route to go down until the basics have been understood.

2) Don't over think it. Trading can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. I've seen numerous set ups on the Toy with all sorts of graphs and charts. When all is said and done the price will do one of three things. It will go up, down or stay the same. Whether you back or lay initially, only one of the three options will lose you money. With the saying of 'let your winners run and cut your losers short' at the front of your mind at all times, whatever your reason for an entry you should be okay if you stick to the plan.

3) This kind of goes with number 2. When deciding whether to back or lay, have two exit points in mind. If it goes the wrong way, and it will from time to time, have a point where you are not willing to go beyond. This must be the most you are willing to lose on any one trade. What I will say though is don't have it too close to your entry point. Give your trade chance to materialise. In my first month I would enter a trade and as soon as it started to go wrong I would get out only to see it reverse and go the way I originally thought it would go. This is why staking is so important. If you over stake then by the time a trade has gone two or three ticks against you the red is that big that you feel you have to get out. With smaller stakes your more inclined to let it come down and reverse to then reap the rewards of your original thoughts. If it goes the right way, and it will from time to time, let it go until you feel it has run out of steam and has started to reverse. Try let them run as long as you can.

4) Don't trade every race every day. Yes trading is all consuming and unfortunately can end up being all you think about. Having a few races off a day and a few days off a week will keep you fresh and pumped for the challenge.

5) Psychology. This is the tough one. I can't directly help anyone with this. All I can tell you is this is the most important part. Get this right and the rest will fall into place. Read about it, study it, practice it, and repeat. I still struggle with aspects of this every day. This includes taking a red, chasing, learning to lose, etc, all the difficult stuff. My problem from day one was taking a red. I found it so hard. It was just handing money over to someone and it didn't sit well with me at all. This has been a problem for a long while, causing me to go in running when not planned and ultimately blowing the bank. When I bought Caan Berrys trading manual the plan was to start trading again but I had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I was going to struggle taking reds. I was right. One day I decided enough was enough. I was up around £80 at the time but I'd had some dodgy moments in running and it was just luck that had prevented me from losing the bank. That day I decided to trade blind and then trade out regardless of the red or green 20 seconds before the off. I lost about £80 that day but that is the best days trading I've ever had. Ever since that day I can take the red. My nemesis no longer exists and that has enabled me to move forward with my trading. Whatever it takes you need to find your nemesis and get the better of it before it gets the better of you.

That's about it for now. I could talk about this for hours but I'm running out of evening. The five points I've gone through above have been the difference for me going from losing to break even to been profitable in the markets. I hope they are of some help to someone out there too.

Well done Europe by the way, awesome achievement once again.

Until next time,

Richard