Thursday, 31 December 2009

2009, the end of the challenge!

Well, it has come to the end of the year and my challenge. Looking back it was a hugely successful year for me on Betfair. When I started the challenge I thought realistically I could have made about 170k if I was consistent, and that was exciting. It was a challenging year at certain points, requiring high concentration levels every day. The days I was not fully 100% committed mentally, I lost money. Thankfully that didn't happen too many times. The total I made was £296,208.92. The Betfair premium charge reduced that profit by approximately 20% equalling £59,240. I haven't got the stats for the whole year but I traded roughly 4000 horse races averaging between £70 and £75 a race. I didn't realise when I started it was possible to do that but it definitely is if you reach the peaks. I know there are at least 3 other people who trade on horse racing markets that make similarly large amounts - you can see and feel them in the markets. Below that it's harder to estimate but there are probably at least a hundred who make a full-time living from trading the same markets.

As for a new challenge? Well, I will continue to set daily goals. I won't set a yearly target, because it doesn't have as much meaning for me. I like to take each day as it comes. And with regards to the blog, I will continue to post! I won't be posting as much of how much I make, but I will post the occasional P&L so you know roughly how well I'm fairing in the ever more competitive markets - especially since the markets feel as though they've contracting.

I hope you all had a great 2009, and probably by the time anyone reads this, a good new years eve. I'm looking forward to 2010, I've no idea what it will bring, but that's where the excitement lies!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

What I've learnt (Part 2)

So carrying on from the last post, apart from learning not just about myself I've learnt how fundamentally greedy the Betfair markets can be and some people who use it, especially once the stakes being placed down go above £1000; it's easy to see once you know how the markets operate; differing levels of course. I managed to see the greed because I saw it in myself, and on my path of truth it's fairly conflicting. What still keeps me in it at the moment is a paying wage whilst giving me the opportunity to see what else is out there, and of course the undoubted naturally-born ingrained excitement that I get from the predicting, winning, and improving at something, which most of I see clearer has really brought the world to it's current state of mess in large parts, not to mention good as well, but it's getting out of control. I'm making very broad statements, but it's what I see as truth and from my new found experience, living in a reality of truth feels oh so good! On a simple level, it's like when you lie, you don't feel as good as if you simply told the truth without fear of consequences - break that down to every action you make in life and it's quite amazing how many 'lies' we give out every day in so many different ways. So anyway, when I started trading it was very innocent, with a pure aim to make a living from it. But it evolved much further to trying to be the best, which there's nothing wrong with, but it was the side-affects that became very clear through self awareness that really made me like 'wow, is that really me and is that what I need?'.

I had an awful days trading the other day losing over £1000, I was just sat here casually trading and things going wrong left right centre - it was purely my fault, if you use large amounts, you have to always be ready - ready for anything, and I simply wasn't! I'm not going to hit the £300k mark, I'll be about 4 or 5k off.

I've learnt quite a bit more, but I'm trying to keep it related to what I've learnt in relation to my trading. I'm going to get the ball rolling on my awareness development site at www.adamheathcote.com where I'll post about things I've learnt, books I've read and reviews. No advertising - I'll be doing it purely for the interest of myself and others to help bring about awareness of yourself that's hidden. I started in August with one post, but haven't actually put the foot down on it yet, but will make a start on the very first day of the new year. I'll make post every couple of weeks or so, or whenever it feels right to make a new post or topic that I'm interested in.

In my next post I'll post the changes I've seen in market dynamics, where I think the markets are going and how to spot and deal with aggressive behaviour in the market.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

What I've learnt (Part 1)

Well the markets have been far from great lately. I don't know what I'm comparing against because most days I'm more likely to say that they're poor and not great. At least they are good enough to get something out of. I've been looking forward to writing this post (and Part 2) for a while because I really feel I've learnt a lot about myself, the markets, traits and other people.

I'll start with what I've learnt about myself over this year while I've been doing the challenge. I quickly saw myself very zoned in to making as much money as possible; it was hard not to when I was getting better at trading the markets, and to a certain extent I did that. But it was always an artificial high, it was if I wasn't hitting the sweet spot every day I wouldn't be as happy as I was when I did, and I thought to myself over a long period of time.. why? Well it's mostly my way of thinking, as is the same with any perceived negative situation. So all these questions really just got me thinking what I was trying to achieve, because initially it was more and more money. But what would I do with that - buy a bigger TV, and a house? Then what? So over the last year I've really managed to unravel so much subconscious thinking that goes behind every decision made to see what really is my truth. It's really fascinated and gives me a more natural longer lasting high than, "Yes I made £500 in that race!". This is all coming from me; my story, someone else will have a different outlook. So being successful at this trading is more of a personal Outer success, where what I would much rather achieve is person Inner success. It all sounds funny talk, if I read this a year ago I'd think I was crazy!
So my lack of enthusiasm for making more money from trading has faded, it's still there and will always be there no matter what I do - I have set standards I believe I can achieve, but with awareness of my Self.

Along with my new ways of thinking and questioning my thoughts and actions, what makes the feeling so much better is keeping fit and eating/drinking healthily. I enjoy a combination of the Bikram yoga I do, which I go 2-3 times a week. The benefits are so good! You should check it out, it's the fastest growing yoga and I know why. It's extremely good for any bodily ache or pain, it's great for fitness; my heart beats as fast as when I run when I'm doing it, and after many times of doing it, it's such a great mental workout because it's so tough to keeping going for an hour and a half in the heat and do every asana to your best ability - pushing yourself every time!

I know there's more I want to write, so I'll leave it for Part 2!

*Update - just a quick message to say that those who have subscribed to Racing UK like me, will surely have had their Christmas wishes come true by their Annual Racing UK 2010 members badge coming through the post today! Sarcasm aside, it's actually quite friendly; more than Betfair have ever given me!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

November

Another fairly quiet month in all aspects for me this month. I've really kind of taken a back seat on trading - I am not so intensely determined to make as much money as possible because I've really no need to earn more than a certain amount. It's very comfortable earning enough so as to not worry about money to live from - anything after that really is a bonus. The attitude has partly come on because of the low liquidity and poor trading opportunities out there are the moment, but also from background work on myself. I basically made a decision to get out of the spiral of wanting more, more and more of something I in essence don't need. It feels great - less stressful for sure, meaning less core work just to minimise stress from really being at the peak of my game. As a result I am more and more sitting back and getting involved in the markets when it's optimum to do so - sometimes I get carried away, but I usually spot myself when I get too intense. It is great that I have a chunk of money saved, which allows me to take this approach, and be open to new ideas that come my way. Anyway, enough contemplation of my current situation. In November I managed £16,270.96 averaging £57.29 a race, and for the full days I worked averaging about £1200 a day. It's not bad considering the laid back approach - it definitely suits me as I've been getting this usual illness I get much less - which I put it down to just being able to let all tension out of my body in whatever situation I'm in, including trading. Tension comes from being very ready to click your mouse button as quick as possible to have a competitive edge over other people - but it's probably just a bad habit developed over the years (I think most people though would tense parts of there bodies if asked to reacts very quickly to something about to happen).


Regarding my overall target I'm clearly not going to reach £350k, I'm currently on about £282k, so my target is £300k. That's £18k in December, which I should be able to do, just as long as I put a good number of full days work in.

Friday, 20 November 2009

At Ease

I've been more accepting of the slowed down pace that the colder months have thrown up. I've learnt to trade slow and steady and be happy (as long as I reach over £1000 instead of the £2000 daily target!). I'd say I reached limitations with trading, and I can see now how the likes of Peter W. just accept trends in the market over periods of the year because they have seen it over more years than I have been around. I've only worked 9 days this month so far; buy doing all sorts of things. I am £25k short of the £300k target - I think the only thing that will prevent me from hitting it is the number of days I manage to sit down at my desk and trade. It's not because I'm not being disciplined - if racings on and I know I can trade, I will be there without doubt.

Anybody play Call of Cuty: Modern Warfare 2? I rarely play games, but this game is so much fun. My nickname is "fo_shizl" (PS3), I also play Fifa 10 if anybody wants a thrashing?

Sorry for the lack of posting - I normally like doing long posts, but I've covered a lot of trading aspects in past posts, but I'll do more, but shorter!

Monday, 2 November 2009

October

Another quiet month for me! Ideas, time out, planning and evolving my sense of self has been high up there on my what I've done list. One thing that I discussed with a fellow Bet Angel user (aka my landlord!) was that once you've learnt how to trade an make money from it, the general skill and ability won't disappear - it just needs refreshing. Many people will want to learn trading as a skill to be able to do to earn some extra side money - this is absolutely feasible, however, you need to have got to a certain skill level to be able to do that. If I were to work once a week, I would quite simply be rusty whenever I trade, but because I have learnt the skills I should always be able to profit from - but only a percentage of my full capability. I'd say it lies somewhere between 25 and 60 percent. Another thing to mention if you are learning - you really need to have worked full-time for at least 4 months at it to acquire these skills! Going half-hearted at something will seldom get you anywhere to being able to compete in the markets. This is because markets can subtly change, and you need to be in the change while it's going on. However, market movements are still fairly predictable, even with the noise of money you see.

October I worked 9 days averaging approximately £1000 a day, which is not good for me, but it was because of the on and off trading I was doing. Not to mention coming back from holiday and a long weekend course, I went on to find volatile, low liquid markets. A few big backers also changing the shape of the markets from what I was dealing with in September!


Thursday, 22 October 2009

A good break

Hello everyone! Sorry it's been a while, I've been on my last holiday of the year to St. Lucia where I had a very welcomed relaxing holiday. It's back to business now, to get as close as I can to my latest revised target. After the two weeks off, trading feels fresh again - which is good - as it was starting to get a bit repetitive.

My first day back was half of the racing yesterday where a few large chunky bets were going through; looked like gamblers' money which threw me off a couple of times. I was very rusty but determined to get back into shape. I didn't do too badly considering I went to bed at 8.30am when I got back from the airport with jet lag! Not much else to say at the moment, I will post when I've done a bit more trading.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

September

A slow month for me, similar to August. I don't know how much different this time of year was to last but it certainly feels more restrictive in terms of amount of money I can make. This time last year though, I was still on a steep learning curve and was constantly improving. Now I feel, as I have for the last 6 months, that I have really slowed down learning, to the point where it feels learning has stopped (although learning is constantly going on subconsciously in order to adapt to slight changes in market conditions). I can feel myself tending towards a more conservative approach and fine tuning myself to subtle indicators much better than before, as the markets feel and appear to be thinning out the colder it gets.

Anyway, managed to fit in 11 full working days with the holiday to the US I took. It should have been 12, but one day I was very slow (actually I was hungover from the night before but I decided to trade anyway!) and I let a race go in-play and ended up losing £1,000.. so I cut the day short! I profited £16,172.03 which has been my lowest earning month this year. It's quite hard working on-and-off. I fare much better when I work Mon-Fri, with a bit of trading on a Saturday, and the same repeated the whole month without any random days off.

The service I've been running with Dave, Exchange Secrets, has really taken a positive move forward. Our advice has been very helpful to our members, and satisfaction is what we have been striving to achieve; it's been working. Our advice has been evolving and members have been very happy; many making the service fee up in one advised race. We offer the advice in the afternoons Mon-Sat. This accumulates to about 70 pieces information a month, or between 14 and 20 pieces a week. The information has not only been very helpful in helping our users to make profit, but to also educate them on scenarios, trading advice and to give our experienced views of the market from years of involvement. The information is designed to make you profit, but also give you a depth of understanding to the markets that you do not find explained anywhere else.
The advice has evolved so that we offer on average between 2 and 5 pieces of advice in a days racing, covering our view of the likeliest scenarios for the front 2, sometimes 3, runners in the race. The good thing about offering the likely scenarios if we see them, is that if our strongest opinion of the race goes wrong, you have a scenario to fall back on to in case you are not sure what could happen.

As well as advice, we've also got a live chat room for members; trading videos done by ourselves, offering a more technical analysis of trading on Dave's half, and a more intuitive analysis by myself for our members.

I'm looking forward to the cool Winter months ahead; it's not so bad being stuck inside - it's just a shame that the racing is practically cut in half if you include abandonments due to weather.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Tough first day back

Trading after a lengthy break I'e found can be easy or demanding. It's easy to lose rhythm, and it definitely showed in my P&L. Lot's of ups and downs totalling to just over half an average day. My decision-making reactions were slow and it's hard to explain, but my bodily reactions were also slow - I think from all the crap I had been eating. I'm on a 'detox' diet; back to eating healthily; and it feels good. None of these sugar highs and lows with tired spots. Back to regular exercise and I'll be back in top mental shape. As with anything you do a healthy diet is important to help keep you alert, physically and mentally.


I lost in 9 out of the 22 markets, but made some good decisions in a few of the races to keep me well into profit. There were some big movements yesterday; I was expecting the volatility to be high, but not as high as it was. Kieron Fallon is definitely helping create some of this volatility on the horses he rides. Whenever I'm not expecting high volatility, I never stay in a swing trade long enough, but then it's pretty easy to see why. I seldom let greed take control. In fact I don't remember the last time I was frustrated because of any greed I've shown. I may try and up the 'greed' slightly to see if I can improve on my current swing trading performance.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Back from a break

I've been away on my long-awaited trip to the USA with 4 of my friends. It was basically a road-trip to Vegas from San Diego and back again via the Grand Canyon, L.A. and a few other places. I feel exhausted from it, driving, gambling! and eating pretty unhealthily. I now know why the Americans are so obese, it's because it's actually hard to find supermarkets or somewhere to eat that offers healthy foods - I didn't make that much of an effort in all honesty to find it though, generally going for the easy option while I was out there. I was planning on doing a post out there, but found it hard to find a good internet cafe, as well as the time!


Anyway it's good to be back, refocus from my gambling in Vegas; I lost £200 which felt pretty bad, I won't lie! I'm not an out and out gambler by trade and it showed. I kept it small, on the tables that offered the lowest minimum bets. I worked on the day before I left, but just couldn't keep my concentration because I had so many things on my mind - it just shows again how little you must have on your mind to be able to trade effectively. Alternatively you could just be good at blocking out thoughts that you don't want, from coming up while you trade.

I haven't really been trying anything new with my trading. It's pretty much become standardised. So until my approach doesn't work I'll keep doing what I do. I expect a rocky start after a while away from the trading screen - I'll keep my progress posted on here.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Interesting Day

Well today has been one of the more interesting days - with the comeback of Kieron Fallon, it definitely brought more volatility and action into the market today than usual. Punters will have strong conflicting views and markets can get pushed around, sometimes violently, as we saw in the 14:20 and Lingfield with Fallon's first race of the day. I didn't manage to get a screenshot but Peter W. on his blog did and just showed the massive move that occurred. I only managed £141 or so in the race, which is very poor considering the move. I usually don't do too well (in comparison to the price movement) on races where there is an absolutely massive move where I wasn't predicting it; mostly because I'm always expecting the price to turn back round, but sometimes they just never do.

It's always fairly exciting as well when the commentators get into debates, or there are stewards' enquiries ongoing etc. - it all makes for a more exciting day behind the screen; it should be cherished because they are few and far between. Actually sometimes I'll just miss completely what's going on on the TV - some days I'll just blast my music and not listen to any commentary, mostly because I'm just in the mood. I can sometimes get frustrated with myself when I do that though as when a horse is playing up, or something like that, and the commentator mentions about it, I'll miss it! But it's when I lose money because of it, as I'm just not expecting a drift.

I've had a good week this week which I'm pleased about - but it hasn't been without a few races where I just blow up and lose a load. That's been happening more often recently so I'll have to reanalyse my trading style.

Moving on to the discussion of blogs. There's a new blog called Adapt & Survive, which from his first post seems to be fairly successful! I always find it fascinating finding out out about other people who make more than a few hundred a day. One of the great blogs I think everyone would agree with, is the blog Don't Give Up Your Day Job, which has always been on of my firm favourites - as I write this it has made a comeback which I didn't know about! (I knew it would come back!; sharing your thoughts with other people and writing a blog is addictive to a certain extent). Of course, there are plenty of other blogs who offer great stories, maybe not raking in hundreds and hundreds of pounds, but are good reads. It's crazy when I look back and see where I started out. Anyway, I won't go into reminiscing! If you have a blog relating to horse race trading and you update it fairly regularly, then leave a comment or send me an email and I'll put the link up.

I remember posting up a graph of average I made per day since the start of my trading career. Well it's been exactly 2 years from the day I starting keeping records - rough as though they may be because I only record 'full' trading days. I don't mind posting this up because it can really show that hard work and dedication can see you improve. Also, since I started this blog, a lot of people have said to me, why publicise it, because it will only encourage other people to compete against you. I haven't found it getting harder, nor easier, but really I guess just constantly challenging - if I was losing out, I'd without a doubt probably stop! Anyway, this is about as detailed as my personal records get. All of the monthly figure totals will most likely be short - sometimes by a few thousands compared to the Betfair screenshots because I don't put up half traded days on this sheet.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

August

August was an okay month; I didn't work that many days, only about 10/11 full days, but I also had a fair bit of frustration being carried around. I seem to be finding that if I don't give a day's trading my all, I'm likely to just lose money from not being focused. Where as I used to be able to trade with as low as I'd say 60% concentration and still pull good days out of the bag. It's partly because I've been doing for 2 years, which isn't that long, but the repetitiveness can take it's toll. I'll counteract this by staying fit and going to the gym, and I think I'll now set myself a monthly goal as well as my usual daily goal. The daily goal is working for me because when I'm focused on a day I can usually hit it. If I want to hit my £350k target I need to average £27.5k a month in the remaining months. If I stay focused and take fewer days off; I'll be able to make it.


On the Friday I had a very bad day, worst ever in fact (excluding the time where I lost £1.8k when the internet went down round my brothers house!)- but a good reminder nonetheless that it's not always easy. I started with a huge loss which I do from time to time, but it usually just kicks me into gear and I just blitz the rest of the day. But this just didn't happen! I was having one of those days where my personal body response time was slow!, and my decision-making was equally as slow. I was predicting what would happen pretty well, but still made rookie mistakes putting in too much money in the market at the wrong times - awful! Anyway I look forward to a refreshing few months ahead as the weather cools and my office also stays cool. The bad weather generally doesn't make me feel guilty about being indoors, so my concentration definitely improves during the Wintery months.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Headache

Well what a headache I have! I came back from Germany on Monday evening from the Nurburgring absolutely exhausted. The freedom working for yourself is amazing, allowing you to take whenever off as long as you've worked hard when you need to. I was slightly rusty on Tuesday's trading and the same today. I managed to lose my biggest ever sum on one race today, £970! I literally backed at the bottom of this trend and it went all the way back up miles, and I simply thought it was going to stop but it never did. I still managed to finished up just under £1,200, but boy do I have a headache - I'm still a bit clogged up from that fever draining through into a summer cold.

Exchange Secrets is coming on well, Dave and I are giving out sound advice through analysing fewer races that we feel more confident on. Our members are very happy, a few members writing their joy with the service over the last week's worth of advice. Today I predicted a potential drift from 2.82 to between 3.7-3.9. This did happen and that one race alone would have covered more than the cost of membership. Anyway that's just one example - the service has been shaping up nicely from the advice we were initially giving out, which was too many races and less detail. I'll get a link up soon with all the historical advice we've given out soon and a few of the great comments we've been left from our current members.

I was gutted about yesterdays Sedgefield delay because I'm really trying to finish this months total over £20k. So far I've only traded 8 full days, with 3 left before the months up. I missed out on a lot of York but instead of looking back I'll look forward.

One reaason why I think I've been rusty is because while I was driving round that track in Germany, I thought how much more intense driving at high speeds was, and I thought that it was about 4-5 times more intense. Now I realise trading's not quite as easy compared to driving fast because I really had to up my concentration levels to come back from losing that grand - I have to say, I was pretty frustrated with myself after doing that - I don't really use my boxing bag in the room anymore because I accept mistakes I make more easily now, but I had to that time!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Back to blogging

I'm back to writing about my daily ups and down of the life of trading on Betfair. I've been fairly inactive in the markets at the moment; there's something really intriguing going on at the moment because I'm again not feeling very well. It's not a common cold or anything, it's the same thing I get all the time, which just seems to be a temperature and achy - anyway I'll figure it out sooner or later. Normally I just trade through it, even if the results aren't very good. This time I have decided to just rest and see whether it helps me recover more quickly, annoying thing is, even when I plan on doing nothing - things always need to be done! August is going to be a poor month based on records - but not for average per day, which out of 7 days traded is not bad. I'll be able to fit in another 5 hopefully before the end of the month is up.

It's great the football season is back up and running. I really enjoy playing the fantasy football (I play the official free one; the budweiser one here. I've just used my wildcard and think I've got a quality team! Last two years was easy as long as you had Ronaldo - so tougher this year.

Over today I'm going over many comments and emails, I have plenty to get through - apologies it's taken a while. I let them build up and all of a sudden there's loads! My internet is down today so I'm on the small laptop with backup mobile broadband.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Speculation

There is a lot of speculation out there at the moment - and I just want to set things straight. Exchange Secrets (ES) is a new idea that has never been done before, and when Dave approached me with the idea a couple of months ago, I thought this could work because whenever Dave was with a client teaching 1-to-1 trading, we would often give out predictions as to the direction of the markets. We wouldn't get every race right, probably 50-65% of the markets we predicted were fairly accurate. Anyhow, our intentions are not to scam people, rather to help people; if you're not happy with the information then we are not tying you down to a years subscription or anything like that. If after a couple of months we find that the information isn't really helping people, we will do our best to adapt the information to help people the most, i.e. try and be more accurate in some areas or word things differently. If people aren't happy at all after a couple of months of the site being up, we will not waste our time or anyone else's time! It is genuinely out there to help people rather than deceive people and become a business adventure for myself, and see where it takes me.

From a personal point of view, if while I am providing this service it effects my trading to the extent that I'm losing out more than I gain, I probably won't continue, but there's only one way to find out! Money will always be flowing through the market no matter what advice is given out, so that neither increases or decreases someones ability to make money in the market and that's the reason I went ahead with it.

To verify my results there is a guy at Betfair who I spoke to on Sunday evening called Christopher Thomas. He sent me this email with the following P&L from 1st Janauary 2009 and said he can verify it; he's also sending the same thing via post, which I should get in the next couple of days.

I also reiterate that I don't work for Bet Angel in anyway. My link with them purely came from me sending an E-Mail to Peter W asking if it was okay to put up a link to my blog on the Bet Angel site in exchange for having the blog themed for Bet Angel - seeing that I already used the software and didn't have any readers I couldn't wait. The blog was not set up with the ES in mind, it was set up because trading is a lonely existence. When I started I had no idea how well people were doing outside of me apart from pinstickers blog. ES also has absolutely nothing to do with Peter Webb, it was purely a business adventure taken by myself and Dave.

One things for sure is that I'm not going anywhere because I have nothing to hide and my intentions are good. I want to continue my blog because I enjoy it. There will always be people who question anything and everything that happens - it's just crazy the extent to which it's all guesswork!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Exchange Secrets

The service I was talking about is now up and ready to go!

"A brand new site designed to help people trade profitably on the sports exchanges. Exchange Secrets is a service providing its members with professional views on horse racing markets on Betfair.

This site is for like minded people who want to profit on sports exchanges. If you want to gamble, want large instant profits, then you are in the wrong place. We will provide solid professional advice, the same methods we use to trade the exchanges day in day out. It will provide you with the opportunity to not only make profitable trades but to learn a bit more about the markets and how they behave.

Membership allows clients to receive our daily assessments of UK horse racing. This assessment allows our clients to trade on the exchanges with more confidence which ultimately allows them to succeed at trading the horse racing markets. Clients also enjoy a private members section and a forum for discussion about anything related to trading.
"

  • The service is perfect for inexperienced traders who have just started out. With the knowledge of knowing how to back and lay, the advice can help you climb the experience ladder and give you a clearer picture of how it's possible to make some decent profits through trading.
  • If you're looking to improve your trading, our advice can give you the trading insight you need to turn a profit in the horse racing markets.
  • If you're already fairly experienced, our triallists found that it solidified their view and gave them more confidence, leading to higher profits. Our view is that if you use our information correctly, you can more than easily make up for the monthly fee.
£55 a month is our initial starting fee, we were tempted to start off at £75 given the value of the information if it's used properly, so jump on board before we change the price!

We have left the site open to new ventures in the very high chance that we will expand the service into advice for our clients for trading other sports including football, tennis and golf, as well as other major sporting events. We've also got a forum for members to discuss trading and advice and for people to share their views on the day's markets.

Back to my challenge, trading has been okay recently, but I've had to really sit down and focus hard. Some days it's as easy as sitting down and clicking a few buttons, but that's rare. Most full-time traders will tell you of a day where everything went so smoothly, everything just drops into place. I think days like that are more down to luck than being in-the-zone though!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Awareness

I was driving on the motorway on the M25, you guessed it, in traffic. I was in a slowly moving queue for a while out of the three lanes, and thought, hey this isn't moving anywhere! So after I sat in the queue for a bit I jumped in the next lane where it appeared to be moving faster. Low and behold, as soon as I got in the next lane it slowed down and the queue I was in started moving again. Of course this is a school boy error, I knew the rule of thumb that you're better off staying in the same lane; but I couldn't help it because I was sure it would work out. It reminded me of trading, you see a great move - the price is going down, and it looks like a sure fire thing to carry on going. The minute you jump on it, bang, it goes the other way. It's happened to me many-a-times, and a slap on the knee to remind me not to do it again can only help so much! Learn from mistakes and hopefully next time you see the same thing happen, you'll think twice before entering the market for what you thought was a quick buck. Jumping on trends that have already been going for a while will eventually stop just like the traffic in the lane did; it will go the other way and you will lose out; the measure being money rather than time!

My Awareness Development website should be completed soon, and I can't wait to get it to everyone. There won't be much there except a couple of articles; I plan to write 1-2 articles a week. It's all free, exploring the fascinating world of emotions and thoughts, how we can develop awareness and in general why we do certain things that seem rational, but are in fact irrational after a closer look. How does it relate to trading? - The more you are in control of your emotions, the better trader you can become. This comes through awareness; awareness of your thoughts which fire all these emotions.

Going back to my trading. Yesterday I had a sloppy day, I wasn't focused at all, so after a couple of races I quit; I don't do this too often because it's failing. Anyway I went back home and strolled around the greenery of Buckinghamshire, it was very relaxing and I'm glad I did it - I was very focused today.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Ever get that feeling?

Have you ever had that feeling that someone knows what you're doing and is purposefully going against you no matter what? or just for any reason whenever you decide to get in the market it goes wrong? Well snap out of it! I occasionally get those feelings a few times in a month, I have to overwrite them because it's simply your brain seeking reasoning for survival as to why it's not working out for you. There are hundreds of traders out there and so much going on, with people in numerous types of positions, which means that you got yourself into it because you pretty much just got it wrong. The best way to step out of it is to just compare yourself back to when you were in the zone and felt like everything was going right for you.

Comments
I've just gone through a months worth of comments and replied to them, so check back to see if you left a comment; I should have replied. Also, apologies if you've posted a comment and it wasn't accepted. I tend not to accept comments that antagonise other people or users who post comments. I tend myself not to get involved in arguments unless it's merely a discussion, as they literally are pointless!

I was up to lean sheet of about 40 races today from two days ago and I'm pretty sure that was my record for the most number of consecutive races without loss. I sent a message to Peter W asking what his was, to see if I could aim for it and beat it. Guess what? I lost in the very next race! As Peter said, it's always the case! I'll just remember next time to not mention it to anybody, even myself!

A couple of recent P&L's:
Today
Yesterday
Today was a fairly poor day, no excitement. Yesterday was a breeze I was just completely in the zone the whole day and I wish every day was like that! I'm 65% through my last updated challenge at £227k. I predict a very tight finish to it, especially since I have a month's holiday to take, spread over the remaining of the year. It going to require me to remain focused every day.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Back in action

I've just come back from a long weekend in Mallorca; I nearly couldn't go with the bombings out there and the closing of the airport. Thankfully it reopened and the flight left on-time! I've been fairly rusty today - it's also been a shock coming back to rain from the consistent sunshine of Mallorca. I can't believe that Chepstow got abandoned from the rain - it's supposed to be August! Anyhow it's hard to keep focused when you don't know if meetings are going to be abandoned or not because of the likelihood of trading on a race and not knowing whether it will run. Catterick also got delayed, and whenever there is a delay, the liquidity drops because the timing of traders and punters etc. all gets messed up. I also don't think it helps when traders like me put a negative on delayed racing because traders contribute the majority of liquidity. Anyhow, I managed to make £700 from 10 races, a poor start for my first day of trading August; mostly not down to my fault though!

July for me was painful looking back! It just felt slow and a bit of a drag to be honest. I made £25,260.02, which actually is a bit more than it felt like. I traded 317 markets averaging £79.86 per race. The average per race is definitely lower than the last few months because when I was ill I gave trading a go for a couple of the days without making any money, which was pointless; it would have been better to have just rested! Also, I traded a few of the evening races, and as the liquidity is lower, it's harder to pull consistently bigger results out of the bag. Hopefully this month I can hit over 30k.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Feeling Better

Well I feel much better now - feeling normal is very underrated compared to being ill! Somebody left a comment saying that confidence is not important, so I've popped up a questionnaire to see whether you guys feel that confidence helps you trade.

The last questionnaire I posted was to do with "What income would you be happy with?"


It's always something that everybody would always be happier on a higher salary. I've fallen victim to this. I reached my peak on my trading abilities a few months ago and to be fair, I've dropped off a little bit, but only slightly and my effective salary has gone down! So anyway I caught myself thinking 'oh no!' and realised how daft this was; I'm sure I could live a simplistic life off a salary between £30-40k which equates to between £150 and £200 before the premium charge, which I think I could manage no matter what conditions the market throw up in the upcoming years. Anyway, what's keeping my competitiveness up at the moment which helps me keep an edge is I would love a place to buy in London where I can call my home, somewhere to live with no mortgage (so I'd have to buy outright) which would let me enjoy life without the need to earn enough to pay a mortgage - but until then, I need to keep my eagerness and competitiveness up as well as willingness to learn and adapt; it's important if you want to learn and grow!

Anyway, most of you said £100k+ you would be 'happy' with. Seeing that the average income is much much lower than that, it seems like we've all got to be rich to be happy! Fair play to the ones that said £10-20k!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Illness has struck

Last few days have seen me away from my computer. If I was ill before, depending on how bad I was feeling, I will always attempt to trade because the thought of taking a day of when it's not deserved is frustrating. This time though, I'm feeling absolutely drained - most definitely self-inflicted from an exhaustively draining day and a very late night out Monday; there's no sympathy for me. It's definitely not swine flu before anyone asks!

For the days I have trading over the last couple of weeks, which hasn't been that frequent, I've felt indifferent about the markets - meaning that I think they have just felt average in terms of movement and liquidity. Whilst thinking about it, I remember it took at least 4-6 months of full-time trading before I ever get a 'feel' of the markets. Up until then, I think I purely traded on factual information such as weight of money and graphing.

I hope I get better soon; I've really been missing out getting my new challenge progress on its way by the end of the year.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Providing a service

This last week has been painfully slow for me! The trading has been fairly abismal in my opinion, but mostly boosted by my personal frustration with being busy and there being other high profile events on so last week saw me achieve about £2k. Over only 46 races this should have been much better!

I am raring to go and my lack of work over the last week will ensure I stay focused throughout my next week of trading!

Since I started my blog I've had numerous emails from people who are in one of the following categories regarding their skills as a trader;

1) You are totally new to trading and who would like guidance with their trading.
2) Has had some experience, but can't pin down consistent profits.
3) Has had plenty of experience but needs that extra bit to make trading pay.

One of the biggest attributes required to trade successfully is confidence. Knowing this, it opens doors to providing a service to people which can help them with their trading to become more confident, and in turn, profitable. Anyway, keep an eye out for news very soon!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Clashes

Occasionally, like today, you'll find clashes with other sports. The liquidity is fairly low and trading the markets whilst the golf open and ashes cricket are on, give the markets a much less meaty feel. It's hard for me to hit these targets I set for myself, and knowing the nature of the markets it makes it slightly demoralising. This is the sound of an unmotivated person and I'm writing this post to remind myself that all this negative talking about racing is having a big impact on my ability to focus and make the best of the days racing.

If you ever catch yourself speaking negatively, all you have to do is talk yourself out of it. The more you do it, the quicker you can turn your attitude around in the future.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Tidiness

One thing I do to make myself stay focused is to keep a tidy office. If the room's tidy, my thoughts are going to be much clearer and concise than if I was trading in a messy room. Clutter just seems to have this amazing ability to clutter my mind. I still forget to tidy it occasionally and not very surprisingly those are the days I am not very focused and trading at the lows of my ability.

I had a good week trading last week pulling in a respectable £8,000 before the premium charge. This week I've been fairly off the beat; busy with other ideas and extra curricular activities such as Argentine Tango which I've taken a liking to recently. Hopefully planning to go to the Nürburgring Nordschleife again soon for a two day track run which is exhilaratingly fun. A chance also to see some fine cars and practice my photography on cars zooming around the track.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Exit Points

Exiting your trade is as vitally important as entering a trade. If you have made a poor entry position, you'll be falling back on to your exit trade to determine whether you make a non-profit trade or a terrible trade.

If you missed the entry points post you can find it here.

Instead of repeating myself, all of the entry points are important to be aware of when making an exit trade. There aren't really any new points so I'll just cover each point where I can add new information with a perspective of exiting a trade.

Weight of money
After watching so many races, I've developed a good sense of deciding when the price will stop moving in one direction and head in the other. The way the money gets matched is different to the way a false move does; it's subtle and unexplainable, but if you watch carefully you can eventually get a better judgment.

Book over-round
Similar to entry points, if you're in position on a horse drifting, the over round will most likely be edging between 102-4, so you'll want to keep your eye on this as when the book starts tightening you'll want to think about getting out. But remember, you can't just rely on this, over hundreds of races you will start to get a feel of when the best time to exit is around.

Time before the off
Be careful with about a minute to go before the race is due off. A fair number of people will be exiting their positions and in my experience it's harder to predict. I also find that trends will usually come to an end with about a minute to go as the markets find an equilibrium; so if you backed a horse going down, then would be a good exit point if it's been a constant steamer, the same goes for drifters.

Matched and unmatched bets
Try and keep a tally of matched bets in your head so you know what's been matched going what way, this will help you decide on when to exit your trade; based on every factor I mentioned in the entry points also.

Commentators voicing opinion
I find that once a commentator voicing an opinion, it takes about 5 seconds on average for people to react, depending on how strong the opinion is and who is saying it. So getting in position by then is good. Getting out I find that the stronger the opinion, the closer to 30 seconds is a good point to get out, where as if it's weaker, closer to 10 seconds. Remember these are all guides and nothing definite, it's just roughly what goes on in my head during these events.

Horses 'playing' up
The same rule I explained in commentators voicing their opinion should be used here also. The more extreme a horse plays up the longer you should wait before getting out; this time the extreme end could be minutes. A horse being stubborn as an example of a tiny play-up, then exiting the trade could be no more than 10-20 seconds after it happened.

Regarding stop losses, I personally seldom use them. I prefer manually controlling my position and being aware of my net position in my head. Stop losses are very good when predicting long term trends. One attitude I take is to get out if I have any doubt greater than a strength of 2-3/10 that the price will move against me. Sometimes very slightly higher if I'm doing long term trends because you need to ignore the subtle swings in prices. These 'mini' swings in prices can be quite predictable - they occur because everyone is always constantly unsure at which point the price will stop and/or head in the other direction.

Never let trades go in-play, it's gambling if you do it on purpose because you felt bad about getting out at your current loss. If you don't know anything about in-play betting, then it's simple; stay away from it. If you are one these people who are addicted or just have a habit of letting it go in-play, try setting accountability on this. So whenever you purposefully let a race go in-play half way through a trade, make yourself do something you don't want to do, like cleaning the toilet - if you don't follow through on it, you're only letting yourself down and you will most likely never succeed at trading if you can't introduce good habits.

Never sit and hesitate too much on a trade, the more you hesitate, the more confidence you're draining from yourself - just get out of position and start again. This piece of advice is invaluable! The more you restart your trades, the more chance you give yourself from learning from mistakes. Also stop yourself from being in the 'what if' mentality. My flat mate used to do it all the time, saying things like 'If I got out a minute later, I would have got x more ticks and made £y more!' - it's time wasting and you're not paying attention to the market, holding yourself back from valuable market experience! It's also just negative thinking. You want to be as confident as possible.

Always remember: before you succeed, you must fail; take each loss positively with the mindset 'Yes I lost money, it was a bad trade, on reflection I did x and y wrong, next time I will try and do this' If you say this after every bad trade, you will undoubtedly improve. This statement is basically what I think an intuitive person repeats in their head subconsciously every time a mistake is made. I have sidetracked a bit from exit points, but it's still important to know.

I have been fairly consistent this last week, apart from today where I was not focused at all. I started poorly and was £500 down after 7 or so races. I then managed to finish £100 up - I decided to stop because I couldn't get in the zone (it happens). So I went to go shopping, got half way to Westfield and turned around because what I really needed was a deep breather and some music to calm me down from the rush I was in in the morning. Anyway I managed to turn the day into a £1250 profit; very gutting because the liquidity was good today with the Newmarket meeting and if I was on form and focused, I felt like I would have make a killing. Oh well, there are plenty more races in the future. I've started Argentine Tango lessons, which have been great fun, I'll talk about that another day - but ladies - watch out!

I'm currently on about £207k so far, I'm going to edit the challenge for the final time, making it £350k instead of £250k; I think it's more of a challenge to me which should help me refocus throughout the remainder of this year.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

June

June for me was a very frustrating month with the heat in the office, the high standards I had set myself of my now target £2,000 a day and overall lack of motivation. I think the lack of motivation came from having reached my peak and knowing it would be nearing on impossible to match it; and when I could not produce the same results I did from Cheltenham at Ascot I was disappointed. Anyway, that was just where I stood. Without always wanted to do just that bit better every month I don't think I would be I am now - I had the burning desire to succeed. The markets were also different to what I was used to - randomness in the markets and the frequent low liquidity made for unpredictable times and lowered confidence. Some normality I feel is coming back, obviously without that punter who kept backing the favourite with large sums of money. I managed to make money off of him, but it held me back from getting in positions I would normally have gotten into. I also feel more motivated now that I know I can control the temperature in my office, I can stay cool during the day and keep much more focused.

On to my results. I traded 19 full days, with quite a few days where I traded just a few races. I profited £29,478.35 covering 305 markets. A much better return per race than I was expecting it to be. I am making all this money yet my bank balance doesn't seem to by increasing that much. I thought I had curbed my spending on gadgets, but somehow the money slips out the bank in many other ways!


Anybody that had emailed or left me a comment, I will be going through the past few weeks' over the next few days.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

The heat is on

Well this past week has been very busy for me. I took Thursday and Friday off in preparation for a house party I had, which ended with great success! The best party I have ever hosted.


I'm sure many of you, as well as myself, have been struggling with this heat. It's been so hot I was getting very agitated this morning trying to think of a solution. If you read a couple of posts earlier back, you'll know I was struggling with the heat. It really affects my decision-making and everything else that's needed to trade - mostly mental strength. It drains me and I've realised more than ever how important it is for me to work in a cool environment. I got to the point this morning that I was taking someone's advice on here and phoning around to see what office space with air conditioning was available within walking distance of me for the summer. There are two floors at the bottom of my block of office space that hasn't been in use for months and months, so I gave that a go, but they weren't interested, as it would only be for a couple of months. I have a portable air conditioning unit, but it's so loud I actually lost concentration the other day and lost several hundred in one race as a result of not being in a comfortable environment. Anyhow, I remembered I had a pair of Shure in-ear headphones - I put them in, and they instantly dramatically reduced the noise; with my music or the TV makes in completely bearable. I also repositioned the air con unit so that the air more specifically cooled the area I was in rather than the other side of the room. This is as well as the 76% heat reflecting film I have cover the whole of the window! So now I've got the heat sorted - I can focus my efforts back to pulling out some good results out of the bag which I have been really lacking of this month - which I think was down to the heat. It all links in with having a clear head whilst trading - which is so important if you want success in trading to come your way.

In the next couple of posts I will make sure I get that Exit Points post done soon. I'll do it after tomorrow's update of how June went for me, and my general overview of the markets. I'll try and strike a good balance between helpful information for to improve your trading, and information that isn't so useful; but may serve as a motivational source.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Blag a million

Well, the Blag a Million project is officially under way and this Monday they blagged all my profit from the afternoon's trading session. Here is the video:



My progress has continued at the same rate as it did throughout May. The days are sunny, and sitting inside is a bit of a pain! I've been making the most of the sun when I can get some; a bit of sunbathing on the roof is quite fun and relaxing. My brithday's coming up, I'll be 24 and I'm heading down to Windsor racecourse for the day to gamble my money away with a group of friends. I'll try and get in the background shots of any filming like those goons you usually see who pretend to be minding their own business but are clearly trying to edge in on TV!, so if you're trading watch out for me!

Friday, 19 June 2009

Ascot (continued)

For the second day of Ascot I had similar success to the first day - although I took a big loss on the last race. I was in position and some punter who clearly wanted to back the favourite went against me, and lost me money!; sounds like Alan Sugar. Anyway the day was a result to be pleased with. Yesterday I struggled, I just wasn't 'up' for the days trading and I wasn't awake in my head. I played squash late in the evening and it showed - I just couldn't keep track of the scoreline, and every shot I kept playing was rubbish! I managed to finish up £1200, which by my standards was pretty poor; especially considering the higher liquidity at Ascot.
Normally what I've been doing lately is if I finished under £1000 for the afternoon trading session, and I haven't any plans for the evening, I'll trade the evening races to make it feel like I've put in a good effort for the day.

I'm really considering taking one day off in the week to pursue whatever I feel like doing. It should open up my career path, because at the moment my trading on Betfair feels like something I do just to make money, not something that I can be really enthused about. I'm thinking about starting a personal development blog/website initially for myself, but to share what I've learnt with others. I'll be sure to post up the link for anyone that might be interested in it - I think I'll start it next week.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

1st day of Ascot

Royal Ascot has started and I was very much looking forward to it. The big meetings bring higher liquidity, which, if you can learn to master those kinds of markets, can be worthwhile for your wallet! I did have a good day today. But they just didn't feel as good as Cheltenham was earlier in the year. Well, it was only the first day with 4 more to go! I've attached my P&L, what's funny about it is the start I had compared to the rest of the day. I've found that I can usually have a good day if my first result was a loss because it bumps me into action to say, 'come on Adam, get in the zone'.


I pulled a nice result out of the bag in the 15:45, mostly down to there being a drift on the horse in the final couple of minutes. Thankfully it stayed slightly cloudy yesterday so my room wouldn't heat up past my level of comfort. The forecast is cloudy over the next few days too, which I am very thankful for over the festival. I had my air conditioning unit on a couple of days ago. I started off with it in the room adjacent to my office, hoping it would cool that room enough so as to suck the heat out of this one!.. That didn't work so I put it in my office, a small 1.9m x 3.3m room. The noise was very loud. I don't think many people would be able to cope trading with what I had going on at one point - the air con, my music and the TV commentary; all within a metre of me! Pretty funny stuff.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Blag a million

Slightly off topic, but it's a challenge, similar to mine! - blag a million at www.blagamillion.com are these 2 guys, one of which is my friend, who are attempting to blag a million pounds in 3 months by doing everything and anything they can think of! It's going to be crazy. They are filming the whole thing; you can keep track of their progress by visiting their website once it's fully up and running starting on the 21st June. There's a big chance that it will take off and become big news within the 3 months so keep your eye out and join in wherever possible.


I will be taking part. I am offering/donating a day's trading towards their total! Hopefully just over a grand, or whatever total I can pull in on the day they film me will be a good start.

Hopefully I just don't have a losing day! You can join the facebook group here.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Taking time off

I've been working quite intermittently lately, and busy with plenty of things - such as buying a car. I have been trading, and of course I am carrying on with the blog - no doubt about that! I know it's been just over a week since my last post - someone just asked me if I'm stopping my blog! I really enjoy writing this blog and can't imagine discontinuing with it. I did trade on Derby day, although I was slightly hungover - so I just traded on the Epsom races alone; the other races seemed fairly poor in terms of liquidity. My confidence is back up again now - when my confidence is low, I can see the mistakes I make whilst trading; it's just so hard to change your trading style in an instant.

Taking time off
Regarding the post title, there are advantages to working non-stop. I remember when I started I wouldn't take a day off, I worked on every race I could - little did I know that that's exactly what you need to do to give yourself the best chance to get good at trading. It's the same anywhere else. Successful individuals work extremely hard at their chosen profession to work their way up, and when they have raised their game, they have the freedom to take time off, knowing that they have already put the hard work in. I find that if I trade too many consecutive days, my performance drops. So what I do now is take the time off when I feel I need the time off; allowing me to maintain a high level of concentration throughout a trading session without exhaustion. It's good to recharge the batteries! I've had quite a few days off though, that once I'm more settled and have less distractions, I will feel ready to trade 2 weeks non-stop!

This month so far I'm currently averaging just above my average per day from last month. I want to work hard the remainder of this month as I feel guilty for spending a large chunk on a car. Actually, it brings back memories of a motivation I had to make money trading. I have never had any problem spending money, and I used to spend my winnings easily - the motivation being if I didn't make any money the following few days, I would have no money at all! (I was strict about not withdrawing past a set amount in my account I was happy trading with).

Monday, 1 June 2009

May

The pressure was really on for me in May. I had done so well in March and April, at the start of May I felt it was inevitable that I wouldn't do as well. I think that was my downfall, that mindset is not that of a winning one. Nevertheless, I still averaged £1,707 a day for the 18 full days I traded, consisting of 2 Monday's, 4 Tuesday's, 4 Wednesday's, 3 Thursday's, 4 Friday's and 1 Saturday; that's a respectable profit of £31,766.84 for the month. On the Friday just gone I let the heat get to me and I only just managed to keep the day profitable with £25!. my worst day for a while; maintaining my run of 79 consecutive profitable days. After writing this post I'm heading out to the shops to by a fan. Last year I did buy an expensive air conditioning unit, but it was so noisy, I never used it.

I averaged £76.54 per race over 415 horse races. That's nearly £30 less per race than last month. I put this down to there being no 3/4 day festival like Cheltenham or Aintree (the liquidity was very high at these two meetings on almost every race), as I nailed them this year! My confidence in March and April was very high, so May, I have to be honest, wasn't as high. My biggest challenge this summer is going to be keeping cool (literally), as the heat can really affect my decision making; living in a top flat where the heat rises to, and having my office facing the sun during trading hours doesn't help! I only traded 18 days this month; if the weather stays like this, I will probably be spending more time outside rather than inside. A slightly different approach than the other top traders out there.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Entry points

Entry Points
There are different types of entry points given the information you are basing the entry upon. These are:
  • Graph history
  • Weight of money
  • Book over-round
  • Price bands
  • Time before the off
  • Specific market tendencies; i.e. repeating patterns
  • Price movement; i.e. how far has the price already moved.
  • Price movement of another horse
  • Matched and unmatched bets
  • Commentators voicing opinions
  • No. of runners
  • Horses 'playing' up, etc.

All of these need to be taken into consideration when placing an entry - the better you can learn about every single one of these, and your ability to process them all very quickly will help you get a great entry point. I will keep the explanations brief as I could probably write a full blog post for each section!

Graph history
I think it's important to get to grips with using graphs religiously, as what has already happened is, in my opinion, a massive indicator of what is likely to happen. The less graph history there is, either using the Betfair graph or Bet Angel graphing, the harder it is to predict the future, but closer to the 5 minute mark before the off, the easier it is. But remember, never solely base your decision on one thing; you need to use a number of these indicators to make the right decision.

Weight of money
In my opinion, is important as ever; but never solely base a decision on just this. Watch money flowing in and out of the market and eventually you'll be able to judge at what points in time before the race where weight of money is a true reflection of potential price movements.

Book over-round
This is one of those facts that you don't need to be intuitive to understand; if the book over-round is close to 100%, you know that something has got to give way in the prices of the horses. A tip: most likely the one that has already been either drifting or steaming.

Price bands
If there are a few minutes prior to the off time, take a look on the far right column of the Bet Angel ladder interface. Here you will see the total amount matched for each price. If you see that 30K has been matched on every price between 3.2 and 3.5, then outside those prices the amount matched drops to 15K and less, you now know that the price has predominantly stayed between those prices for a while, and the graph is most likely to reflect that, so the price is much more likely to carry on staying between those two prices. Being aware of the time before the off is, in my opinion a very important factor for using this indicator.

Time before the off
Being aware of the amount of time before the race is due off I think is pretty important. For example if there is just 30 second to go before the off, there is much less chance of there being a massive swing in price, the same goes if there is only 10 minutes before the off. Making the connection between time and price movements will help you with your entry.

Market tendencies
You need to be aware of patterns in the market that are repeating. So for example, prices moving inside a price band - they usually see-saw between the upper and lower 'boundaries', but seldom in equivalent timings.

Price movement
If a price has moved from 2.0 to 3.0 for example, you should know that the price isn't just going to continue drifting forever out to 1000. Taking price movements that have already happened can help you make decisions about entry points. Taking the example of a move from 2.0 to 3.0, you should be much less inclined to then lay the horse at 3 given what's already happened.

Price movement of another horse
Say for example you have to favourites price equally at 3.0 If the price of one of the favourites started to drift, the price of the other favourite will more likely than not do the opposite. There are many more scenarios I've subconsciously learned I could explain, but that example gives the simplest explanation of what to be aware of.

Matched and unmatched bets
If someone jumped in the market and just backed a horse with £6,000 for example, the price is much more likely to go south; there are many explanations as to why, a couple being the weight of money has now changed, or £2,000 of that could have been traders, in which case they now need to get out. Unmatched bets simply add to the mixer of whether or not they are going to get matched, whether it's 'spoofing' - i.e. they don't want the money to get matched, and whether or not for example it's a punter's money and they are keen to get their money matched so they 'drag' their money down intentionally to get matched.

Commentators voicing opinion
If a commentator or a successful punter, e.g. Dave Nevison (when he's on a winning run!), starts explaining every reason under the sun why a certain horse can or cannot win, most likely people are going to react to them, therefore these opportunities can serve as an excellent entry point.

No. of runners
If there are only 2 runners for example, their prices will move nearly perfectly to each other; keeping a low book percentage. That's one of the easiest examples, but if you build up a picture of all the races you trade and remember the number of runners, you will start to see price movement patterns appear. Knowing and learning this can help with entry points.

Horses 'playing' up
This is well documented and known by everyone; if a horse plays up the price if going to drift and serves as a good entry point to lay the horse in question, or even back one of the other favourites if the horse is a strong contender.

While writing this, I felt I could have explained everything into a lot more detail - I never realised I actually analysed things subconsciously into so much detail so quickly whilst I trade. I will go into the technicalities with screenshots of specific examples another time. There may be a few more indicators I have forgotten to mention, I've listed all the ones I could think of whilst writing this.

I'll make my next post on exit points; it should be much simpler.

Regarding my challenge, it's going great. I didn't trade bank holiday Monday - I took the time to play golf and beat two of my friends! I did pretty appalling with 31 points, but it was only the 2nd time I played in over a year! Yesterday I managed to just scrape over £2,000 profit; all in all it was a pretty uneventful day (sounds silly I know) - I was auto-pilot the whole day.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Update

Apologies.. its been a while since I last updated. I was aiming to reply to everyones' comments before I made my next post - I'll reply to them over the next couple of days. I've also been really busy doing all sorts of stuff; my interest in so many activities definitely keeps me busy. Some new activities I've been doing include Ultimate Frisbee, which I first tried out at University, and now play occasionally in the park with an organised group. I think one of the best things that has come about making all this money from trading has just allowed me to be open to new activities and ways of thinking, especially with being your own boss and working 4 hours a day; although I used to trade practically 7 days a week and on every evening race meeting when I was learning the ropes. I remember my now friend ex-girlfriend wasn't very happy when I was so adamant to trade every day and every race! I'm so glad I'm slightly more relaxed about taking time off by prioritising better. It also reminds me of my Dad back at home when I used to just trade that 'extra one race' just before dinner while it was getting cold on the table - if I lost money on it I'd get it in the ear about coming down to dinner when you're told - but if you won lots, it's happy days!

Trading for me has quietened down this week, what I mean is the markets have been more rational and consistent, without the price jumping here and there from a massive order hitting the market. I didn't handle it all very well, being stressed out with annoying problems was hitting my confidence. I don't know whether it's just me but I think maybe as soon as something irrational happens, it changes your way of thinking so dramatically. It's also amazing how thoughts can manifest in your head and change your perception of the markets and your ability to trade successfully; for example if you were to start looking for a specific price movement, or order that you might be expecting to hit the market, or even a particular person you have a feeling is doing something (if only Betfair listed the names and addresses of all money in the market, so you knew exactly what each person was doing!), your senses for figuring out what's going on in the market as a whole, I think, are dramatically reduced, and you start making poor decisions because you are becoming detached from what's going on in the bigger picture. I do this frequently and it's amazing how much it affects my trading - I hope I've explained it okay.

I had one awful race today, I was scalping and literally every scalp was a losing scalp, if ever there was a time of how to be 'out of the zone', that was it! I did about 10 losing trades in a row - I just couldn't believe it. It would have been a perfect example of what not to do. Apart from losing a good few hundred there I managed to tip just over £2k profit for today - I should have done better because I was well in tune with the movements that were going on today.

My next post will be on entry and exit points; a short guide of when to enter and exit the market as a trader, while trying to make as much money as possible!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Old challenge completed

Today marks the day where I completed my older challenge of £150,000. This does not include premium charge, which would bring the total to £120,000. Looking at those figures now, I can't quite believe I've already achieved what I initially set out to make over the course of the year! I'm 4 and a 1/2 months in, with about 6 and a 1/2 months of trading left, given I take about 1 month off to holidays. I guess maybe I should raise the bar a bit higher to 300!, but I don't want to look too far ahead; I like taking it day by day.

I had a good day yesterday and managed to keep another clean sheet, I think it's my second or third clean sheet of the year. Days like yesterday really help me towards my target, and keeping confidence high. I think if I were to break down the percentage of day's I was confident this year to those where I wasn't, I'd say 90-95% of the time I am confident of my abilities. I haven't been trading the evening racing as of yet, apart from once or twice. I don't like to drain my brain by trading for 7 hours, I think trading about 3 and a 1/2 hours keeps me staying fresh for the rest of the stay and even fresher for the following day's trading. Plus the liquidity at the moment is about half of that from the afternoon's meetings - I think. But by all means, if you're learning to trade, get involved in as many markets as you can, it's the best way to learn. There is plenty of money that can still be made from evening racing alone.

P&L from yesterday's trading:

Monday, 11 May 2009

Passion

I just want to start off by saying thanks to everyone who makes any kind of comment to me on my blog or via email, whether it's positive or negative. I really appreciate when someone comes along and congratulates me because it makes me smile. But I also appreciate when I receive someone else's opposing opinion or negative feedback, whether I like it in the moment or not, I accept it, because it's purely from someone else's perspective, and wisdom comes from many multiple perspectives.

When I talk about 'Oh I made this this week', and I don't appear to be happy with the result, that's purely because that's the realm I'm working in right now. I had a friend tell me today about some guy in an office saying he 'only' got half a million bonus this year, but looking from a different perspective, it's just the realm that guy is living in. I have set targets (high ones) and have partially become desensitised by the numbers; I think it happens when you are used to a certain outcome. I am slightly worried that I have been churning out the results over the last couple of months, that any kind of slip up in momentum would really affect my confidence. That's where some of you have come in and jerked me back into reality and put things into perspective. I have a life coach, a mentor to me. I've learnt so many things from him and if there was one thing that has come from earning all this money, it is the ability to afford my life coach to completely better myself as a person, to have a purpose and know my journey is a good one! I've become so aware of myself and I love it. I strongly recommend a life coach worthwhile, someone who you feel you connect with, someone who you deeply truly want to be like. If I all of a sudden don't earn any money doing this, I'd much rather save the money I have made for the coach than go on a holiday for example! I feel truly guided to where I want to go; having a purpose in life is the most important thing I've learnt from him. I don't know how long I will stay trading on Betfair exchanges, until it feels right to move on I guess. It's hard for me to say I have a real passion for it, more something I feel I am naturally good at, and because I don't feel like I have a passion for it, I don't think I'm possibly getting the most out of my life! I don't know what 'job' I could do that resonates with my passion, but I sense I will find out soon! Peter Webb is definitely someone who has real passion for trading, if you've ever met him, you'll know you get a sense of that as soon as he speaks about it, and the best person you could possibly learn from is the guy with the most passion for whatever it is you want to learn.

So anyway, back to trading. I had a tough and stressful week last week, with a fever and frustrating problems with my computer, my confidence dropped quite significantly, and it showed in my trading. I was aware my confidence had dropped, but because I wasn't feeling very well, it felt almost impossible to drag myself out of it! I feel better now and I'm back to picking up my confidence, I have my computer back up and running smoothly and I aim to crack on with my trading and learn a few new things. I'm sure most of you know that for a couple days last week there was someone backing horse's with large sums of money on favourite's unpredictably. If you were 'screwed' over by them, don't be angry. I think those events just don't happen frequently enough for someone to be expecting them and to therefore learn to trade around it. Hopefully he lost all his money and doesn't come back! If your not sure what I'm talking about, basically there was someone repeatedly backing favourites with between 20 and 30 grand, I think over two days, which just through people off their mark and caused confusion and uncertainty in the markets. It definitely didn't help me! If it happened all the time I wouldn't mind, because you can learn to adapt to changing markets.

Since last Monday:

Trading on Betfair, is I think, the biggest mooching career there is. You take and (edited:) don't give much back compared to most other careers paying taxes! Not even direct taxes to contribute to society. I have to say, at the moment I don't feel terrible about this, when I should, which is bad, but I have been socially conditioned this way. Trading definitely does give me great feelings though, making a great intuitive trade feels awesome, I think this aspect of feeling great partly keeps me so motivated to stay dedicated every day to it.

I will make sure I reply to comments and emails over the next couple of days now that I'm feeling better. I was poorly for about a week. One of the reasons was because I worked even though I was unwell; I always feel I have nothing else I could do productively, so I might as well just trade. Thankfully it wasn't swine flu!..., and next time I'm feeling poorly I will make sure I just rest. Looking back it would have been the best thing to do.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Trading when you're ill

...is not a good idea. When the Chester meeting started on Wednesday I was feeling fine and I had a cracking day of ~£2,600. In the evening I started to get ill - I suppose I felt it coming on earlier in the day. To top it off, on Wednesday my computer decided to fail on me. One of my hard drives decided to fail with bad sectors on my Raid 0 configuration so I was forced to trade on my laptop which I'm not used to, so for the last few days I've been without my PC. When your trading, I personally feel I need all the energy in my body to focus on my trades. Mostly because if a trade doesn't go my way I need my body's energy to keep myself calm and focused for the next trade. So anyway, last two days have seen me make just under £1000. Which have been my worst two days for a while. I'm gutted about the timing because there has been plenty of money in the markets. So anyway a stressful couple of days, I'm probably going to take a couple days off next week.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Is this stuff teachable?

I was thinking the other day, is it possible to teach and train someone up to be good at trading on the horse racing markets? And the answer is yes. I think it is possible to teach someone basic signals/indicators that the market shows to allow someone to profit between £100 and £200 a day. This is with some intuition, and not jumping into the market when the indicators don't seem convincing enough. I think to progress further than that you start needing other skills, such as fast responsiveness, quick decision making and a greater intuition at market reading. There are other skills, but I feel that these are the main ones to getting 'really good'. One of the reasons I started the blog is because there is this stage that I feel anyone could reach with learning the basics and applying them on the right horse at the right time, and £100 to £200 is a good tax free wage for working from home!

Currently I don't offer personal mentoring or training, I may do in the future, but Bet Angel do offer two ways for you to learn these basics. The first option, is going on Peter Webb's course, the founder of Bet Angel and a masterful trader on Betfair since it opened in 2000. This is a great way for you to learn everything about working on betting exchanges and how to profit from them. This is the course I went on in 2006 and I can safely say it is definitely worthwhile if you want to become a full-time trader.
The second option is personal mentoring by Dave Raybould, the 1-to-1 tuition is tailored to your needs. I've known Dave for a few months now; he's an accomplished trader, trading full-time when not teaching, and very good at explaining how something works. Occasionally we'll talk online while he's with his clients to get my views on the day's markets and to help them get an understanding of what their doing and why. Dave can give you the tools to enter the £100 to £200 a day category, as it's so important to learn basic principles before entering the market. You can apply for tuition here. Any learning to get better than this requires self skill development!

Just a note, I do not receive anything for these recommendations! It is merely my own personal recommendations. I feel Bet Angel is the best software in its league for its integrity, support, features and reliability, and therefore any training should match the software!