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


Friday, 21 November 2014

Trading After A Break

It felt like an age since I last sat down to trade and I have missed it immensely. My last two days before the enforced break went very well with two solid days and over £180 of profit, so I felt good going into today with confidence pretty high. It didn't all go to plan though and I found myself a bit up and down and emotions were all over the place in patches. Fortunately I got it right more than wrong so I came out on top. The truth is I didn't expect to be trading until Monday so had to trade on and off as and when I could. The end result was satisfying with around £35 of profit. I've got a busy weekend with family visiting and the kids have loads of sport on so it won't be until Monday before I can trade again. The way things are looking it should be a productive week in the office and I'm hoping to push things to the limit and try get the profit as high as possible. My strategy will remain the same, just making sensible trades when the signals are there and to do nothing when I'm not sure. It has served me well over the past few sessions so I have no reason to change. That's all for now so I'll just leave you with today's numbers.

Richard


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Quiet Sunday

After getting back from my lads football and having lunch the racing was well under way so I didn't have a great deal of chance to trade and keeping in tune with my new approach of leaving alone races where I don't see a definitive reason to enter the market, I only got involved in three races. The profit was decent though so quite happy with my efforts. As I mentioned yesterday I won't be trading much at all this week so I won't be updating the blog until Saturday at the earliest. The break will do me good and help keep my focus. I do have a few more ideas to run by the Fracsoft data but will take the findings with a pinch of salt!

Richard


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Stopping The Rot

Yesterday was much the same as the previous few days. It's safe to say at the end of play I had totally lost confidence and lost my way. The problems seem to have started in conjunction with trying to learn new strategies on Fracsoft. You get a few ideas in your head of how the markets should behave in certain situations then it becomes difficult to change your mind and admit your wrong and subsequently get out. This is what I've been doing recently and it doesn't work. Each market is unique and individual and no set method works all the time. It's good to have an idea as to what can happen or to what happens more frequently than not but you can't ever think you know what the market is going to do because you just have no control over all the different people involved within a particular market. I got caught out far too many times yesterday thinking something was about to happen and holding on to my position far too long which more often than not resulted in a big red. The good thing about it was I kept my discipline much better than previous days but I just didn't know what I was doing any more, so it will come as no surprise when I say I lost over £100 and it hurt.

My plan today was to start with a fresh perspective and not expect anything in particular to happen but just react to each market as it unfolds and only enter a trade when there is a definite signal and reason to do so. This was my approach today and I stuck to it very well. It meant I was quite selective and I left a few races alone but the results were positive and I did feel much more comfortable with it. I must have been doing something right as I had another personal best day of over £140 which is amazing considering how I felt last night. This has got to be my new approach from now on and although the Fracsoft research will continue in the background, I must take the findings with a pinch of salt and just bare in mind that literally anything can happen and probably will.

The ability to learn and adjust is so important in trading and I think I'm beginning to understand what is required to make this work. I'm a bit frustrated at the moment as my Betfair account has been at the same level (or lower) for a while now and it would be nice to take it to the next level. I'm just about to work out the overall profit and I'm guessing I've just gone into profit for November which was my goal for the month just a few days ago after been over £150 down at one stage. I'm hoping now I can take it to a decent amount although I won't be trading much this week due to work and other commitments.

One thing of interest to note this week having read a few blog posts is a few of the more successful and well known traders mentioned having a loss when Betfair failed to put a race in-play and just closed the market leaving the pre-race to in-play traders with open positions and with no way of getting out. What I found interesting was how many traders must use this type of trading as a large part of their success. It involves having a very good knowledge of the horses running styles but it can be very tricky. If a known front runner gets away slowly or a hold up horse bolts to the front it can leave you staring at a big red or worse still if the race doesn't go in-play you really are in trouble. I used this technique on the flat through the summer but found the jumps to be a different proposition and not one I could consistently make a profit with. Not having any pictures also affects my ability to trade in-play with any confidence so I concentrate solely on the pre-race markets now.

Right that's enough prattling on for one night, I need to get some sleep. Just the last two days history to post so here it is.

Richard


Thursday, 13 November 2014

Better? Better...

I do like the Snickers adverts, hence the title of today's blog. It did go better today although I still felt a little bit 'On Tilt' at the start of the afternoon. After half a dozen races I settled down and got to grips with things but at that point I was about break even. The race that made the day was a handicap race with a favourite priced at around 2.80  There had been some early money for it and the trend was downwards, so when a few big bets came in I jumped on board and rode the wave all the way in to 2.32. It seemed such a good trade that I backed it again at 2.70 so was on for a double stake. Nothing else was getting any money so I could only see one outcome. This created my biggest ever green on a horse race and pretty much defined my afternoon and evenings trading. I eased off big time to ensure I had a decent day, which was very welcome after yesterday's performance. The only down side was I could have let it go a bit further as it touched 2.20 at one stage. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I was more than happy with the result.

After a sleep and some time to reflect on the disaster yesterday it has become clear I should never have sat down to trade at all. Caan Berry has mentioned never trading if you have certain emotions going on and I was both angry and tired which was the recipe for my disaster. The problem I have is that I am trying to create a large bank to trade with whilst learning several strategies to enable me to earn a regular full time income, but on a part time basis. So inevitably I try to trade at every opportunity. This is great in theory but can be counter productive if I'm not in the right frame of mind. Yesterday was just one of those days where I should have stayed in bed after my night shift and taken the dog out for a long walk. At least he would have been happy. It's so difficult for me personally to pass up the chance to trade as I feel this is money lost. Well it was money lost yesterday that is for sure.

This journey is all about learning but more importantly keeping the bank intact. It's taken a great deal of effort and discipline to get to where I have and to build up the bank to the level which it's at now and it would be unforgivable to blow it now because of my emotions. A large part of this is recognising how I feel as I sit down to trade and if I feel anything like I did yesterday then I need to leave the markets alone as hard as that may be. Another lesson learnt and hopefully another step in the right direction. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to say I've cracked it as I feel there will always be a battle with my emotions, the trick is to try understand how I'm feeling and act accordingly. Easier said than done!

Richard



Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Major Setback

There is only bad news on the blog tonight unfortunately. I lost my head today and lost £240. My discipline went, I chased, I gambled, and for the first time in a long time I felt out of control. Writing this is tough. I'm not proud of my actions today and I've spent the last few hours stewing and fuming at today's effort. Thankfully common sense kicked in and I shut down the Geeks Toy but way too late. The new objective for November is to try and finish the month in profit now instead of looking at a healthy profit.

Well there is nothing I can change about today but I will learn from it and I will bounce back starting tomorrow. Things went wrong for a few reasons. Coming off night shifts is never ideal and I was tired. I also had a bad night at work and wasn't in the best of moods. All this led to the day I had at the laptop and as long as I learn from it and don't have a repeat ever again then it will be a lesson well learnt.

Just one more thing I noticed in the markets this afternoon, on more than one occasion the money was getting matched on both sides of the book with exactly the same amounts. One of the races in the early evening at Dundalk was riddled with fake money. I found it very difficult to read these markets and would have probably been better off leaving them alone. In fact I'd have been better off not bothering at all today. If only!

Richard








Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Back On Track

After my little wobble last week it was important to come back strong this week and after a rubbish day on Sunday where I lost about £3, yesterday and today were much better. I managed to put a profit of over £100 in just these two days. Looking at my Betfair profit and loss sheets over the past few weeks there are massive fluctuations in both wins and losses. It's not good for the confidence to take such roller coaster days and I was very aware of this going into this week with a mind to curbing the big losses. I do feel that sometimes I'm still over staking and letting losing trades run far too long.

The idea behind downloading the Fracsoft data was to look at the markets from a neutral point of view with no money invested and hence no emotions attached. It's easy to forget what your initial reason for getting involved in the trade was when your facing a big red or green for that matter. I've looked at maybe twenty or so races and I have entered what I deem relevant information into a spreadsheet so I can process the data and look for patterns. The results so far have been a real eye opener and patterns have emerged which may create some opportunities when trading live. I did a few of those trades yesterday and today and they did go rather well.

I'm at work tonight so I will keep this short and post up the thee day p and l followed by today's.

Richard


And here is today's.


Friday, 7 November 2014

Tuesday & Wednesday

It's a funny old game. My plan was to start steady and build up a nice profit through the day on Tuesday. I did just that before blowing most of the profit and then did exactly the same on Wednesday but with a bit more gusto and with a bigger negative affect on the bank role. The £77 loss over the two days won't hurt too much as I was up £60 for the month already so we are back to square one.

Part of the problem I'm having is looking for opportunities that simply aren't there then taking a chance on a badly planned trade which invariably goes wrong. I'm working hard behind the scenes to find a few more edges to exploit and the early signs are good. I've purchased a months worth of live data from Fracsoft which I've just started ploughing through. It's nice to have time to watch the market move without having money invested and have a real look at how prices react with one another. I have a few preconceived ideas from watching the markets over the past few months and now I have the opportunity to see if these ideas have any legs. Hopefully this extra investment and effort with pay dividends!

Here are the figures from Tuesday and Wednesday.


Monday, 3 November 2014

Monday

One of the most frustrating things with pre-race trading the horse racing markets on Betfair is how hard it is to make money even when your trading at your very best and how easy it is to lose money with just a slight lapse in concentration. Keeping that intensity up for hours at a time is exhausting and one of the greatest challenges we face. Another thing I fail to do regularly is start slowly with lower stakes and ease myself into the afternoon without doing anything foolish. I did the same bleeping (insert your own expletive) thing again today which really annoyed me. Not for the first time I was facing a hefty loss after just a handful of races, £80 to be precise. The first two races I just got it wrong but the big loss of £50 was initially a bad call which I turned into a terrible trade by staying in way too long hoping for it to reverse. I was trading to £2 a tic which soon adds up when it's going away from you on the ladder. As I write this now I'm still fuming with my approach and rightly so I was rubbish.

The hard thing to deal with when your in such a hole is knowing at that point your not going to be having a good day whatever happens which makes it tough to not over stake or chase throughout the rest of the afternoon. It is however a good test of character and mental strength as to how you cope when things don't go to plan. From my own point of view I'm at a stage where I don't feel the need to chase or gamble any more so I was intent on just sticking to the plan and trading as normal. Well it worked and the amazing thing was I actually made it into profit by the last race of the afternoon at Wolves. All I can imaging is where I'd have been if I'd have started well. This I'm sure is what separates the traders like me that make a few quid each day and the elite few who make hundreds every day. If I'm to progress I need to cut out these silly mistakes. Over the last two days I've blow over £100 of profit on mistakes and I'm finding this very hard to take.

With all my blog posts I try to find positives from my trading sessions and today I did notice one or two things that could help my future progress. One of the things I spoke about yesterday was how I struggle in certain markets. The markets that are less liquid and more volatile which produce some good swing trade opportunities I seem to do pretty well from, however the more liquid less volatile markets are still posing some problems. From what I've learnt over the past few months these markets are ideal for scalping but I tend to find myself on the wrong side of a small two or three tick move more often than not and I'm finding it difficult to get right. Today I noticed that these moves tend to come earlier in the build up to the race then settle down with a minute or two to post time. So from now on I am only going to attempt scalping within the last two minutes before post time. It may sound obvious to some but sometimes when your caught up in the moment and watching the ladders intently you enter the markets a little too early and this is definitely something I've been guilty of and something I need to be particularly aware of. You never stop learning and every minute on the ladders is more experience which can only help for future situations. Although I made a mess of today I still made a few pounds profit so I'll look forward to tomorrow making sure I don't have a bad start again!

Richard


Sunday, 2 November 2014

Good But Disappointed?

It's a sign of how far I've come and how my trading has progressed recently when I can make a £40 profit on the day and still be unhappy with it. There are certain races I can open up on the Geeks Toy and I instantly get the feeling I can make money on them. Not so much the race type but more the structure of the market. On the flip side, there are other markets where I just can't figure out what to do. In these markets probably the best line of attack is to do nothing yet I always seem to enter the market and find myself in trouble soon after. A few close to me have suggested to just concentrate on the markets I'm strong in and leave the others alone which is great advice but easier said than done. When you don't enter a market your always left feeling what might have been. More problems to overcome and that's the challenge we as traders face. If it was easy everyone would be making money at it, and obviously it's not easy!

Taking the positives out of today is the way forward and I'm satisfied with most of what I did. The fact that November has started on a good note helps the confidence and has given me something to build on. Plus if I'd have let the problematic races alone I would have cleared the £100 mark again. It's no good looking at what might have been, it is what it is and I'm okay with it.

Following a week in London and yesterday afternoon in Hull watching the football it's good to get back on the laptop and trading again. I do thoroughly enjoy it and still hope this can be my full time job one day in the future. I'm out in York for a few beers tonight which should be the perfect end to an excellent week off work. Most of my spare time now will be spent studying the markets again trying to get to grips with some of the 'more difficult' races. Not sure what tomorrow's racing is like as I haven't checked the cards but if I'm too hung over I'll just have to take things very steady!

Richard