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 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.