Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 review

Well, 2012 is nearly upon us and it's certainly been an interesting year as far as the trading goes...

About this time last year, things started to "click into place" and January was the first month when my income actually matched that of my old job. When February and March followed suit, I could relax knowing I would be financially ok, at least for a little while.

I log all my results in a spreadsheet and it's clear that I've not improved massively since January...and it wasn't for lack of trying believe me! I'm constantly pushing myself for higher returns, but higher stakes and silly "heat-of-the-moment" blunders have held me back a bit.

When I started filming my trading at the start of December (for some training videos I'm hoping to do in 2012) it dawned on me where I was going wrong in my pre-race trading. As a result, I've managed to tighten up my game quite a bit and the last 6 days have been amazing.

My strike rate is approx around 65% at the moment so my goal for 2012 is to improve that to at least 75-80%.

Late 2011 also spelled a mini-crisis in terms of my mental wellbeing. My self-imposed isolation since late 2009 really caught up with me in October of this year and I was feeling pretty miserable for it. I've got good health, a loving wife and wonderful child, a part time job I love, loads of free time to indulge my passions and yet I felt lonely and just...well...crap.

I fought the lows like every man should - with alcohol ha ha!! Obviously, that can only work for so long and then it's a case of figuring out why you're not happy in your own skin. That's for another day but let's just say that certain therapies have helped brighten my mood, like exercising with others (I've joined a gym), taking the St John's Wort herbal supplement (the jury is still out on that one), talking things through with the wife and even some retail therapy (new 32" LCD now takes pride of place in my already overcrowded office space).

I've even installed Sky HD for the office so I don't have to use the crappy video sender from the downstairs box to watch At The Races.

It's all about making life easier for yourself, and it's something I want to expand on in 2012 as I feel we get ourselves into an unnecessary pickle sometimes that could have been avoided with a different approach

another unnecessary pickle?

Anyway, that's enough rambling. To all my regular readers: I wish you a great 2012 and I hope you can continue to follow my journey well into next year...and hopefully beyond!

Take care! :-)

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Mooooooooo!

It's been ages since I checked the viewing stats for the blog via Google Analytics. I had a look today out of interest and noticed there had been more traffic than usual. On closer inspection, it now seems my blog is the "go-to" place for pictures of cows!!

bloody marvelous...

Google has suddenly decided to index the cow picture I used in this post on page 1 of their image search for the word "cow"!

Oh well, at least this blog is useful for something!


Back to trading matters and I'm pleased to report a couple of decent days trading


It's a relief actually, as Christmas over-spending and a recent bout of decorating has left my bank account a bit wounded. Also, the missus keeps banging on about getting a new dining room table so I felt I had a point to prove.

The Boxing Day madness of races going off every five minutes suits me down to the ground as I can really (cliché alert!) get "in-the-zone"; barring any silly mistakes, I know I'll always make money on these days.

Today was nice enough too although I'm still prone to making some horrid gaffes


£100 gone in 15 minutes. Not great, but I'm well used to the ebb-and-flow of money now and keeping a cool head in the next two races quickly made up for those errors


Ho-hum!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Slim pickings

Not much doing today - got into a bit of trouble early on and spent the rest of the session trying to claw it back...before ballsing-it-up in the second last :-(


Yesterday was far, far better...but this blog doesn't just sing when it's winning!

My emotional state has certainly improved since my post in early November, when things seemed somewhat bleak; my interest in all things trading remains indifferent though, including reading other blogs and even updating my own. I think it's because I'm approaching the end of a long and intense first year trading as a professional and I'm ready for a New Year now and a fresh start.

I've started taking the St John's Wort herbal remedy / supplement in a bid to try and "steady the ship" a little bit - it's meant to be effective at improving your mood and apparently they're mad about it in Germany! Maybe that's why they're so steadfast?! Taking that, combined with the fact I've joined a local gym to train at (instead of in my garage in isolation), have both helped immensely.


I had a couple of nice emails in November from people looking for a bit of advice. It's good to be able to give something back to the trading community in this way, in the same way I absorbed some terrific advice from other bloggers in the early days. My email address is at the top of the blog if you have a question about something I may have written in the past - I'll try my best to answer it.



I downloaded Camtasia 2 for Mac last week on a free trial basis and had a go at recording some pre-race trades for some training videos I intend to publish in Spring 2012.

That's been a bit of a learning curve in itself though, as articulating my thought processes while trying to execute them is harder than it seems. I managed a couple of green outcomes but there were a few red ones too as I found I was "putting myself off"! I was also aware I was pausing and saying "eeeeeerrmmm" at lot in between speaking, which is just plain annoying!

I may choose to just record the vids and narrate / annotate them afterwards, but I can't help feeling it would take something away from the experience.

I've chosen my domain name and have a dummy Wordpress blog in place - I just need to "pull my finger out" and get it done now. I'll only release a product that I'm 100% happy with though - and if I don't feel that the vids are up-to-scratch then I won't release them to the marketplace. If I decide that I'm revealing too much of my edge, or not enough to be useful to anybody, then that's another good reason not to release them.