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.