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!

Friday, 1 May 2009

April

Yesterday was a roller coaster for me. There were so many opportunities yesterday it felt like a trader's dream and I managed to make good sums nearly every race. In the 15:05 race I let a trade go in-play, but not on purpose. The clock on my Bet Angel had about 1 second to go before turning 'red' and it warns you that the race is due, and although I didn't have my eye fixed on the TV, I'm sure it was one of those races where they just cut to them running off without any prior notice, such as "another turn and they will be off". So anyway, it was pretty unfortunate that the horse that I was trading on had a 10 length lead after no time. I ended up taking a loss of £1,410 on the chin, instead of the £200 I had actually made on the race. I've noticed over the last week (it might just be my imagination) that races have been going off on time much more frequently. Surprisingly the loss didn't really have an affect on me; my acceptance of big losses is much better than small losses strangely.
I had another mare, my worst one in fact from a purely trading perspective in another race. I ended up piling in plenty of money on one side of the market when I thought one thing was going to happen, but of course it didn't and it went wildly against me. I took an £800 loss in that one. Amazingly, I finished the afternoon £800 up. It would easily have been my best non-festival day for trading if I hadn't lost in either of those two races.
I think I made these mistakes because I remember at the start of the day I really wanted to make a certain amount to tip my winnings for this month on horse race trading over £50k. I thought I had fell about £200 short but while I was writing about this I checked my P&L for the month and just made over it! I have an Excel spreadsheet I use for estimations to track my progress that way.

So April was my best month for me so far on my trading journey, I traded 480 markets in 21 of my 'full' trading days, averaging £104.70 per race. So my total was £50,256.59. After the Betfair premium charge of approximately 20% it's more like £40k. Still good, but gutting that they steal that money off of me in the way they do. I've never had a call from Betfair, ever! I'd like to think that heavily paying customers of premium charge we would get a surprise present now and then, but I guess that's never going to happen!


As you can see I'm only really good at the horse racing at the moment. Trading the football I'm learning a few things so next month that negative should turn to a profit.