Thursday, 11 December 2014

This Is Not Fun

I've been dreading this blog post since early yesterday afternoon. Nobody likes putting up bad news about themselves and I'm no different. It's great been able to gloat about a nice winning day when you get the better of the markets and other Betfairian's but I'm afraid I was on the receiving end. It was all my fault, I had a bad day on Tuesday and followed it up with a terrible day yesterday to the tune of £500! Yes I gambled, I went In Play, I did all the things that unsuccessful traders without any control or discipline do and I paid the price.

The questions I've been mulling over in my head for the last 24 hours have been interesting. Obviously why has it happened, how can I change things, what do I need to do now, etc, all the normal stuff after a bad few days, but I've also been asking the question, do I want to do this any more? Since the flat racing finished and I lost my edge it has been a struggle. Up and down with the account, and my emotions, and I'm not really sure if I'm enjoying it any more. It's tough. The pre-race markets are so hard to get right consistently and of late I seem to be totally misreading them and the frustration this causes is resulting in the gambling mentality and ultimately losing money. With my edge I was making slow steady profits day in day out and that is great for the confidence. I really felt I would make money every time I sat down to trade. Now I feel the total opposite, I feel I'm probably going to lose money.

I went out for a run today which is nothing new but I had some thoughts going through my head whilst I was out battling the elements. First I thought I'll withdraw the bank from Betfair and buy a PS4 and veg out playing FIFA 15 for the rest of my life. Then I thought I'll carry on doing what I'm doing and hope things turn around. Then I thought I'd back every favourite and get out in running to profit on every race.... With these thoughts racing around in my head it is probably best I don't do anything for a while until I've calmed down a bit and had chance to digest things. I know the last week has been poor and November was average to say the least but I'm still in a positive position since I started with around £400 worth of profit so it's not all doom and gloom. The only real question is what am I going to do next? The answer is I have no idea!

Richard


Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Hangover

I went out last night and although we had a great time I was suffering for it today. Trading with a hangover is not recommended. I can't blame last nights alcohol for my bad start, it was all my fault and once again I got on for too much and let it run too far against me. I was positive that this particular horse was going to get backed, all the signs were there but in hindsight I got it spectacularly wrong. The next few races I over staked a bit and chased before knuckling down and trading professionally with both caution and measured reasoning. At this stage I looked at my p and l and I was down £176! My goal was to try and get the loss under £100 and once I'd accomplished that just push on and see where I could get to. Amazingly I ended the day with £5 profit which was far beyond my expectations. To make £180 on a fairly average Sunday afternoon in December is very satisfying. It's a case of cutting out the silly mistakes again. I'm sure once I can get past this I will really kick on. I'll keep it short as I'm at work tonight. Depending on what time I get up tomorrow will depend on if I trade or not but I should get at least an hour in. I've got some quality time off coming up so a trading extravaganza is only a few days away. I can't wait!

Richard


Friday, 5 December 2014

Friday Evening Trading

Just had a couple of hours after work to trade a few races and probably traded the best I have done for some time. One race caught me out where I had put in a bet just above the traded numbers and a big £3k lay took all my money and five or six ticks above. I wasn't too worried as just after these spikes the price tends to spring back to where it was so at the top of the spike I went in again for another £1 a tick. Then the same thing happened again taking my red position from small to medium to which I thought, right this favourite has gone out nearly 15 ticks so it must bounce back this time so I backed again at the available odds for another £1 tick. Unbelievably another £3k lay fired into the market and I decided enough was enough so I took my medicine and accepted the £30 loss. I would do the same again in the future as these situations more often than not bounce back to where they started but on this occasion I got it wrong. It just goes to show you how tough the markets are and no matter how good you are at trading if someone decides to fire a massive bet into the market and your on the wrong side of it your going to be facing a big red. Apart from that I thought I read the markets really well and I kept my composure without raising stakes or chasing. It's coming together and I really am looking forward to Sunday where I can have a full uninterrupted afternoon of trading where I hope to have a very positive day.

Richard


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Steady Wins The Race

Today was a big test. I'm at work tomorrow which means I won't be able to trade for the next three days and in the past that scenario has usually resulted in me making a right royal balls up of the trading, trying too hard to make up for lost time over the coming days. Today I well and truly passed the test. Patience was the key again today and waiting for the opportunity to get involved in both stakes and handicap races paid dividends. The amount of times I used to get into a trade way too early for the price to quickly go against me was far too frequently. I don't think I entered the market before the last five minutes of any race today so I did rather well. Another issue I've had is letting bad positions get really bad and encountering big reds which is something I'm trying to avoid at all costs. If you look at the profit and loss from this afternoons racing you can see how consistent the figures are with my biggest green been £10 and my biggest red just -£6. This is so much easier on the nerves and it builds the confidence as the day progresses. Everybody is different and can tolerate certain amounts of stress and pressure, for me, trading to lower stakes is far less stressful and is helping me massively to learn the markets without putting the bank in jeopardy. Speaking of which, my recent studying of the Fracsoft data has unveiled an interesting angle on the handicap races which as you can see worked pretty well today.

A very pleasing start to December with confidence on the up and new strategies showing plenty of promise in their infancy. I'm hoping a few days off will do me good and keep me keen for the next session which should be Sunday afternoon if all goes to plan. Until then, good luck in the markets.

Richard


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Back To The Beginning

Today I felt much better mentally. I'd had a great sleep and felt refreshed and in a much better state of mind. From the get go I'd made up my mind that I wasn't going to lose any money, and if there was a sniff of danger in a trade I was getting out and closing before it went bad. When I started this process with £100 in July I had a fear of losing money. Over the last five months I've overcome this problem but have become a little reckless maybe to the point of not respecting my money and the bank enough. It's one thing risking money to make money when the risk reward is in your favour but when you are giving away your hard earned cash then something needs to change. I feel that this is where I'm at and I need to realign myself somewhere back in the middle. I fully understand that as the risk is less then so will be the profits but that's fine. Consistent steady profits of between £10 and £20 a session will do fine for now. I'm still learning the ropes and trying to find ways to extract money from each and every market and this is going to take time. While I'm learning and studying the markets just as long as the bank remains in tact then that will suffice. One thing that has become very clear is how hard it is to make money in the winter months. There are fewer opportunities and patience is key in these baron times. Another thing I noticed that really was unacceptable was losing £260 in one day with a trading bank of £1000. Losing 25% of the bank in a day is just ridiculous and totally irresponsible and cannot happen again. I think half the battle is been honest with yourself and realise what your doing wrong and put them right or try to put them right as soon as possible. I believe this is just another speed bump on the road to success and I will get there in the end.

I've got the house to myself tomorrow and a full afternoon of trading beckons which I'm very much looking forward to. I thoroughly enjoyed trading today and the lowered stakes took a massive amount of pressure off which enabled me to make better decisions without fear. Lets hope I can repeat today, tomorrow!

Richard




Monday, 1 December 2014

November Results

For all the problems encountered in November and in particular two big losing days of £220 and more recently £260, it is quite remarkable that the month ended in profit even though it was only £7. I've spoken to a few fellow traders and close friends about my recent struggles and I think I'm beginning to understand where it has all gone wrong. In the first few months my trading approach involved both in play and pre race. Having an edge on the in play on flat races created a decent profit and gave me confidence to trade the pre race. When the flat season finished I lost my steady consistent profits so I started to struggle a bit with just the pre race. Things that had worked before all of a sudden didn't work and this made each session very frustrating. What I found myself doing was just taking a position too early in each race and hoping it went the right way instead of watching out for signals and trying to figure the market out with a bit of foresight. In other words, gambling. Some situations arise where I know I can make money but they are few and far between and it's the majority of races I really struggle to understand.

Well that's the problems and grumbles out there! Now what is required is a new positive approach to sort things out and get back on track. I did trade today and my plan was to drop stakes from £2 a tick down to a more manageable 25p or 50p a tick. The big losses need to stop as they are no good for the mental side of trading and I only end up chasing or gambling to get it back. This went well and apart from the one race where I doubled up and it went quickly against me, that aside I was happy with how it went. Ironically if I had kept stakes at £2 a tick I'd have made well over £100 but that is just the way it goes and keeping the losses down was the priority today. Moving forward I need to revisit the Fracsoft data and find an edge in the handicap races which is where I've had problems in the past. I have a few ideas so I'll get studying in the morning. This process is one of the toughest things I've ever done and it looks like it will continue through into December. One thing is for sure I won't give up and I will beat my demons and get the better of this trading game. December has started well and hopefully it will carry on. The only goal I'm setting for this month is to improve.

Richard


Sunday, 30 November 2014

Something Is Amiss

I'm not feeling anywhere close to being in the right frame of mind for trading and yet foolishly I've continued to trade regardless. Working night shifts doesn't help but it's more than that. Something isn't quite right and I can't put my finger on it. My progress through July, August, September, and October was fantastic but all I've done in November is struggle. This frustration has altered my approach maybe without noticing but things are not going well. The last four days since the big loss have been very poor. The first two days I was extremely tight and made about £60 then I had a bit of a chase and gamble day yesterday which resulted in a £25 loss. Today has been my worst day by far emotionally as I've been all over the place and the first three trades were -£50, -£50, and +£200. Not a great start for the nerves or confidence. I finished the day up about £40 but if I'm been honest I was out of control and didn't enjoy it one bit. It's been suggested I stick to what I'm good at rather than trying to profit from each race which is sound advice but I'm not even confident I can profit from any races any more as confidence is at an all time low. The best thing to do is have a day off and think long and hard about the situation I'm in and try resolve all my ongoing issues. At this point in time I'm even contemplating taking my money out of Betfair and taking a very long break until I sort my head out which I think is where all the problems lie. Below is the p and l for the last four days.

Richard


Thursday, 27 November 2014

Same Old Story

Yes I've done it again. I got the bank and profit up to an all time high and then proceeded to have my worst day ever with a loss of over £260. I've followed this same cycle three times now and to be honest I'm getting a bit fed up with it.

It was the same story again in so much as I shouldn't have traded for a couple of reasons but I won't be making the same mistakes again. Sometimes it's better to just not fire up the laptop. I've been stuck in this middle ground for some time now and the next few days are going to be spent figuring out why I keep messing it up and how to put it right.

The good thing is I'm still very confident I can do this I just need to get my head together and stop having these bad days. I don't like dwelling on the past so I'm putting yesterday behind me and it's onwards and upwards from here. Days like yesterday need to be the catalyst for success not the beginning of the end so that is what it will be. My immediate thoughts as to why it went so wrong are the same as ever. Tired, bad mood, getting into trades too early, gambling instead of reasoned trades, and a touch of chasing, although I did stick to my £2 a tick stakes until the bitter end. Maybe limiting myself to a maximum loss on the day or dropping stakes considerably is the way to go. As I said earlier a bit of time to reflect and get things right moving forward is the way to go. Today I have dropped stakes and taken a conservative approach and amassed £30 of profit. Doing that every day would be ideal but it's never that simple.

All that is left to do is leave you with the horror p and l!

Richard


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A Game Of Two Halves

Yesterday and today were very similar in so much as I struggled in some parts of the day and excelled in other parts. The only real difference was the profit and loss were poles apart! I started really well yesterday and played a tight strategy which worked really well until I made a real balls up in a race and doubled up stakes in a bad position and ended up with a big red. A mistake I make regularly and it's my inability to change my mind about a trade that lets me down even when all the signs are staring me in the face. I'm also having a hard time getting trades right when they are at the sticky figures of 3.0, 4.0, and 6.0. I've got it in my head that because you make more money laying at these prices than backing it is therefore more likely for them to stay above these prices and not breakthrough, especially in handicap races. The amount of times I get this wrong is uncanny. Sod's law usually kicks in when the last four trades have all shot through these cross over points so I back the next one instead of lay and of course it bounces back costing me double my initial stake. It's just another trading battle that I'm trying to overcome which is just added to the long list that I already have. The best strategy I've found in these situations is to do nothing. This doesn't make any money but I don't lose any and standing still at this game is sometimes not such a bad thing. My profit and loss figures are once again very erratic but I seem to get it right more often than not and the wins outweigh the losses so it's an approach which proves to be quite fruitful. I don't like the roller coaster ride of the big swings, but as long as the end result is positive I think I'll stick with it.

So here are yesterday's results.

 
Not a brilliant day but a manageable loss. Today was a similar start to yesterday with a fairly tight approach then I got totally bombed. I had a position open and was sat with a £5 green with it looking like it might go in my favour even more when a huge bet came in of I think £20k about twenty ticks lower than my position. I've seen these bets enter the market before and they are usually followed by a steady return to the original price but a flurry of money followed the initial bet and I was in trouble to the tune of £70. There was absolutely nothing I could have done about it and all you can do is accept it and move on. I should have reacted a bit quicker getting out but I was fully expecting the price to reverse which it never did. Not to worry! What followed was my best trade to date. In the 14.40 at Southwell there was a short priced favourite at 2.30 which had not had any support all day and two horses both at around 3.50 both of which had seen steady money. I waited for a few minutes  to see how things developed and with a few big bets on one of the other horses shortly followed by a couple of decent sized lays of the favourite (Galuppi I think it was) I layed it at 2.36 and watched it drift out to 3.25 for a massive £117 profit. These only happen once in a while so it was nice to get on board and get the full drift. This trade pretty much made my days trading and ensured I had a very profitable day. Here are today's figures.



So over the two days I put another £70 in the Betfair account and although it wasn't all plain sailing I'll take it. Lots more trading to come this week so still hoping November can be a half decent month.

Forex Trading;

Last night I downloaded the Alpari Meta Trader 5 forex trading software and opened a demo account to see what all the fuss was about. The nice chap over at the Big Pairs blog gave me a few ideas and pointed me in the right direction so armed with £100,000 in my demo account off I went. Most of the evening was a blur as I was getting to grips with the software and trying different stuff out, not to make money but just trying to learn more about it. Most of it was foreign but having experienced many graphs and charts on the Geeks Toy some of it had a familiar feel and amazingly by the end of the evening I had made £2,400. Now I'm sure it was beginners luck as the majority of the time I didn't know what the hell I was doing. It was very interesting and the opportunities are endless. The only problem I can foresee with forex trading is not been able to stop and turn off the laptop. It's like horse racing markets that never end. I'll be having another look tonight and will be giving myself a time to stop regardless so I'm not up until 1am like last night!

Richard 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Little Confidence Booster

We've had family staying all weekend so it's been a busy sociable affair but it hasn't left me any time to trade. I'm not too worried as I know I've got a good run of trading coming up this week and when everyone left at about 3 o clock this afternoon I decided to fire up the laptop and try build a bit of confidence going into next week. I was very quick to get out at the first sign of danger and was quick to lock in profit and with only an hour to trade I was happy to take £22 out of it. A good platform to build on for the week with no losses and some good decisions made, so it's all good news.

I like to read other blogs especially on my blog roll down the left hand side of the page and one that caught my eye this week was the Big Pairs blog. I know the author quite well and am not surprised to see they had a massive week with profits over $34,000, even though it's on a demo account it is still very impressive. Reading somebody experience that level of success in the forex markets certainly peaks the interest and has turned my head slightly for a closer look. The thing that interests me most is the ability to trade around the clock with unlimited amounts of liquidity, a luxury which the horse racing markets on Betfair does not afford us. So with the nights closing in I'll be having a look at the forex markets in general and see how they compare to Betfair. One thing is for sure, the price won't go in play and disappear to 1.01 so there is no chance of getting caught out! That has got to be a good thing!

Richard