Thursday, 29 January 2009

Great rebound

Apart from a few races where I managed to turn a good profit into either a loss or very small profit, I turned the day into a good result. I started off slightly hesitant given what happened yesterday, but after a couple of races I practically forgot about it.

I took a screenshot of this great example when somebody comes along in the market with a big order by backing (or laying) a large number of ticks away from the current price, in this example about 10 ticks! Anyway, you can see that the price slowly rebounded. So when this happens, the best thing is not to panic; well sometimes you do because the price may stick to where the backer or layer brought it down to, but more often than not I don't think you need to panic and get an awful price.


It was funny when Nick Luck, one of the TV presenters on Racing UK, accidentally aired "f***ing Nad Al Sheba" - something or rather that he was annoyed about. Anyway, it's random things like this that actually gives me something to laugh about considering the solitude I find myself in!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Loss!

Well what happened to me! You wouldn't believe it, but at one point I was £700 down. My worst day ever is £400 down. This is my first losing day of the year, but there is a reason for it. The truth is that I have been getting these odd calls over the last week about some 'tips', anyway it's dodgy stuff, I have been going along carefully. So anyway, I placed a big bet today, it lost (I hate gambling!) and it really messed with my emotions; I'm not going to carry on with it anymore. I was all over the place while trading because I was worried whether it would win and when it didn't my emotions were even more all over the place. Anyway, a good lesson learnt for me; never gamble big. Thankfully, I managed to pull £500 back after I accepted what had happened and calmed down.


I think the new poll I have added on the right hand side navigation is really interesting; if you could complete it that would be great, then at the end I'll anaylse the results. Incredibly, with this loss today, I am still having my best month ever in terms of average per day and total for the month - a great start to the challenge.

Monday, 26 January 2009

10 Seconds!

Those of you who use Bet Angel will know Peter Webb's voice is used to signal how long before the race is due off. Yesterday evening I was on my run past Chelsea towards Battersea Park listening to my iPod shuffle; I fill it with random songs from all the MP3's on my computer. Anyway I was running when I heard "10 Seconds!", I thought I was in the middle of a trade!, which obviously wasn't possible! Anyway it made me laugh. I still wouldn't mind a calm lady's voice telling me the same thing, not that I don't enjoy listening to Peter's voice every day!

Anyway, back to today. I feel like I have been reading the market's really well recently, giving me a third day in a row with a profit over £1,000. I lost in 4 out of the 19 races I traded in; an average amount of losing races in a day.

Back on my own

Firstly I'd like to apologise for anybody who has emailed me over the last week. I have been very busy and will get round to emailing back soon. I didn't really trade over the weekend, probably trading about 8 races over both days to bump up my monthy total. I went out about 4 nights in a row with my friend down, and wasn't fully focused with her down; nevertheless I had a great time. But now I'm back on my own I can give myself the time needed to prepare for a day's racing. There were some big movements in a few of the races today, where I poorly performed in. However a nice total for today so I am pleased.

A review of the poll I carried out:


The poll showed that Sunday is the least favourite trading day, followed by Monday and Tuesday. Saturday was clearly the most favourite day, probably because it's when most people have the time to trade the whole day, therefore making it a day to look forward to with confidence. Personally, my favourite day changes. At the moment I don't have a favourite day, I look forward to every day with a full day's racing!

Friday, 23 January 2009

PC Setup

I have been having a few problems with my PC for a few weeks now. It started with a few memory errors just as I was shutting down. Then my computer wouldn't boot, saying disk boot failure. Anyway, I am suffering these problems because I have a dodgy motherboard. I have my a RAID 0 for my OS and it has just caused a load of technical problems. I have been stubborn in getting a new motherboard because I want to wait and get the new Intel i7 architectured motherboard with the new processor when the new Windows 7 comes out. Anyway I got Blue Screen Of Death the second I finished trading on the first race today. Thankfully it wasn't half way through a trade! At the moment my setup consists of:

2.4Ghz Quadcore
8Gb RAM
Raid 0 10k Raptor Drives
30" Dell monitor
22" TV
Wired mouse
Wireless keyboard
Dell Latitude E4200 w/ HSPDA 7.2Mbps mobile broadband
Vista Ultimate 64bit



I don't really need to go into any more detail than that for the setup. Most of the stuff I have is not needed to trade, I'm just a bit of a geek and like to have a powerful setup! The main things to worry about is the processor speed, a good motherboard and plenty of fast RAM. A piece of software I would recommend is called Tuneup Utilities. If you don't have a powerful setup and want to make the most of what you have, the software can help you optimise everything about your Windows setup to improve the performance.

Thankfully I had no more BSOD's and the rest of my trading today was incident free (saying that I just got another BSOD just at the end of writing this paragraph!). I went on the London Eye for the first time yesterday evening and it was a great experience. I can't believe it had taken me this long since it opened up to go on it! Especially having always lived in and around London.

Today


Yesterday

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Wandering mind

Yesterday was an okay day, tipping just over the £1k mark, but today my mind was wandering badly. I had my mind focused on some work that I'm doing to develop as a person. It didn't help my trading. It was amazing though that I managed to make a decent profit in a couple of the races without actually focusing on what I was doing, but that obviously wasn't sustainable, losing quite badly in a couple of the races. I only traded 8 races today.
I never used to record partially traded days like today, but now I do because this year is more about focusing on the end of year target rather than a daily target. I do feel like the daily target helped me though. Some people will find having a target helps, but others will not. It's all down to personal preference and what you feel will get the best out of you.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Monday drag!

I failed to follow up on my success from Thursday and Friday last week. Managing to scoop just £325 today. One race I lost £300 through poor judgement on the price movement, it went totally against me. I don't mind losses, but big losses do have an impact on my emotions. Safe to say I'm sure that's the same with everyone.

I have a friend staying down from tomorrow for a few nights so if anything goes bad I'll have her to blame for anything that goes against me! Before I traded from my office in London, I was living at home with my parents. Whenever I took a bad trade, it was always my Dad to get the end of my emotions. He always used to pop his head in the room occasionally just to speak to his son. Of course, I didn't mind at all when things were going well, but when they weren't, I always used to get angry and say 'You know the rules!', as in the rules I made up for him not to come into my office at all while trading! Haha. He used to say 'well what if it's important'. I said if it's important then okay. But of course whenever he had something 'important' to say, I would always be like 'that's not important!!! you just made me lose £20 pounds (or I could have made £20!), as if 'dinner's ready' is something important anyway! So then he'd shrivel back behind the door and pop his head back in an hour later to repeat the whole situation! Lol. It all makes me sound very horrible!, but I knew he had a smile on him, especially when he made jokes about it to his friends!
I could write a book about all the interactions with my Dad while I was trading. He used to say the most annoying things such as, if I were to tell him about a trade where I lost money on a movement against me, he'd say, 'well why didn't you get out earlier'! Or if it was the opposite, he'd say, 'why didn't you stay in longer and make some more'! It makes me smile when I look back at it all.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Great result

Another great result today, when it's going bad it gets worse, but when it's going well, it really goes well. I know I'm not having a hard time at the moment, but if you are it's always good to realise that luck changes hands a lot and that there will be a lucky spell just around the corner. A good book to read if you don't think you're very lucky is a book called 'The Luck Factor' by Richard Wiseman. He discusses the factors that make a lucky person lucky. One of the most important factors I picked up was if you believed you were a lucky person, you were more likely to find luck! I read it last year and it has made me a more positive, and in turn, lucky person.

Back to today, I thought there were some good movements and good liquidity again; the best combination for a trader. I didn't trade on the evening races because I was mentally exhausted after concentrating so hard today!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

A great day!

I kept up focus throughout the whole day and came away with a great profit. Although I did have one bad race losing over £150 because I just thought the price was going to go one way the whole time, but it never did; each time cutting out for a loss when all of a sudden the losses racked up. I felt there were quite a few moderate price movements today, probably why I managed such a good result. I lost in 4 out of the 21 races losing £260 in total. Only bad thing about todays result is that I'm paying somewhere in the region of £300 Premium Charge. Not cool.

Sometimes I like listening to music while I trade, I like Armin van Buuren A State of Trance radio shows, they are a great listen, if your into that kind of music! I listen to music when things are going well, not when they are going badly. If it's going badly I like to know I'm not concentrating on anything else. I had another Bikram yoga session today after racing, I swear the room was heated to more like 50 degrees this time because I nearly fainted with heatstroke!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Minimalistic Day

The racecourses once again fell into the hands of the weather with Newcastle written off and Lingfield delayed. I was looking for a simple straight forward consistent routine of trading today so I ignored the Lingfield races with poor liquidity and just traded the Newbury races. I didn't trade the evening races; I'd planned to go to another Bikram yoga session. Unfortunately I got there late and the class was full, so I had to turn and come back home! Anyway, a good result from trading the first 6 Newbury races. Sometimes trading intermittently can be an annoyance and have a negative effect on my trading, but other times it lets me focus much better on the few races there are. This is why in the Summer when there is much more racing on I will seldom achieve similar returns per race! A mentality I challenge myself to change.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

An average day

An average result, but not an average start. I stupidly lost £265.50 in one of the Thurles races, it was bad trade after bad trade. I think it was due to losing nearly a hundred in the race before. So that set me down over £250 and thought if I keep this up it will be my first losing day of the year. So I snapped myself back in to full concentration mode for the rest of the day and profited in 14 out of the 16 remaining races I traded on, losing only £43.

It seems like the timing of my posts have left me in last place for mentioning about the program on the BBC called Million Dollar Traders. It's about eight ordinary people from different backgrounds going through an intense two week training to see if they can cut it to run their own hedge fund and make money from being given a millions dollars. It was fascinating to watch. I think the scouser will come through and do well, he seems the most intuitive, but intuition alone won't make you succeed so we'll have to see! But the old man is terrible, I mean, getting confused with his own position and doubling up on his position instead of exiting his trade?!?! Mind boggling! Michael Baker as most of you probably know from reading his blog has gone into this sector and I wish him all the best. The life of a horse race trader seems relatively short lived from what I have gathered, except Peter Webb of course, who has been at it from the year 2000; that's great tenacity. Peter in his blog says that successful traders simply outgrow the exchanges; I can see the same thing happening to me unless I diversify and reduce my solitary confinement (I can see in a couple of years that it might start affecting me). But for now, I'm fine. The buzz of earning the amounts I do has only just started to fade away, so you could say I'm still on a high. My trading performances have also begun to plateau, which I don't like. I always like to push myself and achieve something better. Then again, I don't think there is too much room to improve anyway. I've always been fascinated with the financial markets, but not taken a dive into the financial trading yet because I feel some sort of guidance is best since the markets are much more complex, where as becoming a horse race trader is much simpler; there are no macroeconomic dynamics to learn. I have to say, watching the program definitely got me sitting in my seat with excitement thinking about the possibility of becoming a futures trader, especially since analytical skills and emotional skills I can imagine are very transferable between the two.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Back on track

Over the last few trading days I had been in a bit of a low, doubting my ability sometimes, and worrying whether my trading success is sustainable. Commenting about my earlier post on confidence, I was clearly with a lack of confidence, possibly all stemming from a few bad trades. I started today with low confidence, and it showed with a big loss, however I seemed to forget about the last few days and got back on track and the day turned out to be a good one. I missed the last two Wolverhampton races because I tried out some Bikram yoga. They heat the room up to 40 degrees Celcius and for an hour and a half your sweating like you've never sweat before and pulling off stretches and moves for stability. I'd done some Ashtanga yoga before, it wasn't as hard work as that, but it was great for releasing tension and stress. I would definitely recommend it! I'm going to try and go once or twice a week. There's something about sweating loads that feels great.

I said I was going to take Saturday off, but if you've been following my blog from the start, your probably not suprised that I did trade! I traded with that lack of confidence, managing to make £437.56, which wasn't great; I didn't trade very well, but at least it's adding to my total to reach my target.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Off form

Last two days have seen me off form. I don't like posting when I'm not doing very well, it just hurts more when I have to write the posts! Not suprising I guess! Everybody prefers to talk about success rather than failure. Now some of you will be thinking well your still making money, but I just haven't been what's called 'In the zone'. I just haven't been making the most of given opportunities. Anyway, you get your ups and downs. I made just over £400 yesterday and £100 today. Both days basically just saw me make plenty of silly frustrating mistakes. I am looking forward to the meetings getting back as usual. These are the times where the good days are needed to account for the bad ones. I'm very disappointed with myself and will surely come back strong as I always have done in the past. I'll probably take the weekend off as it feels like I haven't had many days off lately; a refreshing break should see me back more focused.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Mentally Challenging

Today started off great, just like every day this month has gone so far. But then in the 15:25 (15:35 with the 10 minute postponement) I had a shocking loss of over £300. It was another mind-blank where I was in position and didn't do anything about it until the loss got huge. Maybe I shouldn't be so harsh on myself, the odds did tumble quite quickly, that can happen and there are times when you literally can't do anything about a sharp movement that goes against you. Most of the time I react quickly but I just didn't this time. Anyway, it felt like such a big set back mentally; from being up nearly £600 to below £300 in one race. I'm sure every trader knows what I'm talking about. A negative set-back always hits you harder than the exact opposite would in terms of confidence. Thankfully down to experience, I hit these set backs less frequently. Over the last few months I have begun to cut down the number of losses I have in a day's racing, which has directly contributed to my daily average increasing. So anyway, after being extremely angry with myself and teaching my boxing bag next to me a few lessons I felt like the remaining 7 races were extremely stressful and mentally challenging, all because of that big loss. Looking back I am pleased with managing to pull a good total in in the end.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Confidence

Confidence is so important when trading. If you aren't confident in your ability or just generally not feeling very confident at any point whilst trading then things will just go against you, and you may feel like trading becomes a struggle. In the second race today for some reason I had no confidence, I felt like I was trading but at the same time not having a clue what I was doing. Straight after that awful loss I had a loss in confidence; as soon as I felt that I knew I had to take action. So I stood up, stretched a little and got my usual pint of water beside me and changed my mindset and way of thinking, basically just refocusing. The liquidity was good again today, fuelled by the absence of the Sedgefield meeting. The weather right now is really diminishing the racing on!


I try and keep posts not too long; so I don't bore anyone, but also I know there are many days ahead where I will want to discuss certain points. So instead of throwing it all at you in one go I'll spread them over the year. My most recent poll (shown below) asked readers what their Internet connection is for trading with. I thought there would be more people with 8Mb connections, but 2Mb would be sufficient for trading with, even 1Mb should provide enough bandwidth to for Bet Angel to refresh at a rate of 200 ms. Personally I have a 24Mb connection (it works out more like 19Mb) as I really want to know that my Internet connection can handle anything thrown at it, especially since other applications probably running in the background might be consuming bandwidth, such as antivirus software updating. High bandwidth speeds is definitely one of the advantages from living in London.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Making the most of a poor racing day

I had previously set a rule of not trading if there is only one meeting on so I could spend my time doing something else. I was very tempted to just take the day off when I heard Wolverhampton had been abandoned and just go shopping. Then I thought, instead of worrying about my daily average statistics, focus more on the year-long target; so I traded, just as I would on the Wolverhampton or Kempton evening racing. It paid off and knocked off a nice sum off my target. There was good liquidity today, undoubtedly because the Lingfield races were the only races to focus on for everyone. I traded well on all the races except the 14:45 and 15:15 where I think I was overwhelmed with how well I had done in the first 3 races. I just hope all of tomorrow's meetings go ahead!

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Commitment

I woke up today not sure whether I was going to trade today, since I have traded the last 5 days straight. Usually when I don't commit myself to a day's trading I make a mess of it because it's like a half hearted attempt. Once again I was disappointed at the abandonment of Sandown and Wincanton. I started off on the first race okay, then lost on the second race. At this point I was thinking why am I trading today, then I realised that I've got my blog readers to show that I'm not just going to give this challenge a go, I want to go and smash it. So I picked myself up, thrashed a good result out in the third race and was motivated to trade the rest of the day. I am sure this will be one of many times where blogging and knowing people are following your progress can really give you a kick up the backside when needed. I've had a few comments/emails saying that this blog has inspired them to do their own blog and take up trading. It's great to see. I was at the gym yesterday after afternoon trading and I happened to meet Wolé who won the Last Man Standing TV series competition on the BBC this year, I asked him how much it had boosted his mental strength and he replied saying that it had given him the mental strength and determination to get through anything life throws at him. He said all he has to do is remember what he went through. Anyway, an inspiration and a great guy, not to mention built like a brick house!

Friday, 2 January 2009

Continued progress

I made some good progress today given Ayr being abandoned. They delayed the Southwell races by 5 minutes which I thought would have had a bigger impact on the liquidity but I was wrong, I think maybe because it was a planned delay. Anyway I carried out some good trading this afternoon until the 2.35 race at Folkestone, where someone in the betting ring or parade ring unfortunately collapsed delaying the racing considerably because they needed an air ambulance. Seeing that there was only two meetings on it messed up the liquidity/fluidity, mostly in the rest of the Folkestone races. By fluidity I mean the usual flow of money that takes place coming in on the back and lay sides of the market. Any delay on racing causes the betting industry to lose money (or rather saves the public's money!); it certainly prevents me from making some!

Anyway a good day, a good total. Assuming I work 220 days this year, I need to average £681.81 a day.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

A messy start

Woke up at 12:30 with a hangover, from a great night out. I got some cereal and sat straight down to make some pennies, with the attitude that the pennies make pounds (or in my case the pennies will help me hit my target!). The markets were not perfect for trading, probably because New Years Day would hardly be a day for people to study form and have a bet, I might be wrong. I was quite sloppy in my trading (expected with a hangover) and managed to miss an hour of trading. In the 13:40 I got what I call either 'absolutely f****d' or 'totally shafted'. Some guy while I was in position totally screwed me over with their massive bet in a change of direction of about 8 or 9 ticks. I was not happy, and it's amazing the kinds of swear word combinations you can come up with when something goes wrong or you make stupid mistakes! My flatmate and I could fill a whole dictionary with them. We credit each other when we come up with original lines!