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!


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!


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!


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.


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!


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.


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!


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!


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.


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.