Friday 29 January 2010

My poor hat

It's rare that I post up a P+L these days but I am very proud of today. It took me a while to get into my stride and at 15:40 the beanie got thrown hard against the back of the door, as it usually does when I got frustrated!

The catalyst for the turnaround came when I reasoned that, as I was up for the week, I needn't undertake my usual damage limitation exercise; I do believe that these exercises can be defeatist..."I'm in deficit, therefore the best I can do now is get back to £0".

So, sticking with the £40 stakes that got me into the trouble in the first place, I pushed through the negative to finish up for the day.

Whilst bank preservation is still the biggest part of my game - building up something substantial from nothing is still my biggest motivator - I realise now that I need to take a few more risks and step out of the comfort zone a little bit in order to improve my profit. Today seemed particularly volatile but sticking with the higher stake amounts makes you concentrate on the price movements more, which can only mean you learn quicker.

I'm looking forward to getting stuck in tomorrow as I feel that today's education has added another couple of 'strings to my bow'.

Friday 22 January 2010

Week 16

Week 16 of my 16 week challenge - that came round quick!

And what did I learn? Well for one, I'm not ready to retire on my earnings just yet!

It's funny reading through some of my older posts, I can see how naive I was at times. There's nothing wrong with that though, after all, it's what you'd expect when you first start out. You make little discoveries along the way, rendering yesterday's / last week's revelation obsolete. Things that seem like a big deal at the time - like a particularly big win / loss or a stake rise - appear trivial over time.

The psychology of trading is very interesting: have a good day and you're flying high, on top of the world, unbeatable; have a stinker and you start asking questions like "was I just lucky until now?" or "how long is this bad patch gonna last?".

One thought that enters my mind from time to time is "Wolverhampton is my bogey track". I'm not sure where this particular thought came from - "The Curse Of Wolverhampton" lol - but it's more or less at the back of my mind now...or is it? I've spoken of it now so maybe that will subconsciously cause me to trade differently there from now on! The mind is a kidder sometimes.

Things are heading in the right direction and I fully intend to keep at it for as long as possible. Here are some positives about my trading:

- I'm using £20-£35 stakes consistently without losing the shirt off my back
- I'm getting more used to the markets and am starting to recognise some of the behaviour
- I don't get so tense when I trade now, so my jaw doesn't ache like it used to
- I treat each day like it's an opportunity to earn some money
- The graph is heading in the right direction
- I haven't 'blown a bank' getting here

I do have some 'big picture' concerns such as:

- Am I going to be scraping by until my bank is big enough to push the price around like the big boys do?
- Is the government / Betfair / whoever going to pull the rug from under our feet with some new fangled policy?
- When is the next Betfair crash going to clean me out?
- Will the statistics that get banded around about how relatively few people actually make a living from Betfair, put me off for good?

Some quite profound questions there, but I'll try not to let them put me off :)

Friday 15 January 2010

Never stop learning

A stop-start week once again as far as the horse racing went, partly due to the weather and partly to my decorating commitments!

I got smashed on Monday to the tune of -£22.32 which is largely the reason I'm down for the week overall. I felt that Saturday and Monday were particularly spoofy days and I couldn't handle them to be frank. Why these days come and go I haven't been able to comprehend? All I know is that I need to learn to recognise what sort of day to expect early on in the session, and adjust my style / stakes accordingly.

Thursday and today were much more favourable, to the point where I said to the wife, "I can make some money here" and put down the paintbrush for a bit. The spare room is finished now by the way ;)

Despite the wobble at the start of the week, I'm getting more comfortable with the £35-£40 stake sizes. I think I'll probably sit at this level for a bit until I can consistently reach that £1-a-race average that I'm looking for. So far, I've scaled up the stakes but not the profit lol!

Saturday 9 January 2010

Put through the wringer

Ugh - what a day! That must be the most volatile I've ever seen the markets since I've been doing this.

To quote my glossary, there was FUNNY MONEY everywhere, I got SMASHED IN on almost every trade and some of the markets were SNIPPIER than a box of scissors!

It's fair to say that my usual game wasn't going to stand up today but I would have at least broken even if it wasn't for the two hideous spikes which accounted for my losses. The one in the picture is from the last race; I had a lay bet on and was two and a half quid up at the time - one adverse price movement that was the difference between a £4 loss for the day, and a £12 one.

I'll take this on the chin, move on and accept that there are going to be days like this. I look at it as an opportunity to adapt my game and become a more rounded trader. It still hurts though! ;)

Friday 8 January 2010

A rare treat...

...two race meets on the same day - crikey!

With only 4 days trading this week (3 if you ignore Monday's 3-race debacle) there is little to write home about - ended up a couple of quid down for the week.

Today, I equalled my best profit-per-race average of £0.84 and I'm settling in using the higher stakes (typically £35-£40 on the 1st and 2nd favourites) which are both positives. I don't feel too far off my next goal of £1 per race - a bit more confidence with the bigger stakes should see me blast through it.

Monday 4 January 2010


Today I was doing a bit of PIY (Paint It Yourself) in the spare room and thought it would be a good idea to trade a few races at Wolverhampton in between.

3 races = -£11.14...bah!

The following silly behaviour was noted and won't happen again:

a) Nipping in and out of the room between brush strokes, rushing stakes on without really studying the markets
b) Not trading with my glasses (I'm not blind but they help)
c) Trading just the single race meeting of the day (at Wolverhampton) when I know that you get all sorts of FUNNY MONEY at these events
d) Trading without my backup computer to hand (bank suicide!!)
e) Using £50 stakes on occasions when I just know I shouldn't
f) Eating that cheese sandwich for lunch (ed: you know cheese repeats on you!!)

The biggest reminder I need to make to myself is that old adage:

it's a marathon, not a sprint

Wise words indeed.

Friday 1 January 2010

Another telling off

The bloomin' weather is doing my head in. Today looked to be a rich source of racing but due to the frost, we were left with only 3 meets - bah!

Anyway, I got it into my head that I wasn't going to profit like yesterday because it was so bitty; silly attitude and one that I need eradicate if I'm going to make a living out of this.

I made sure I gave myself a jolly good telling off after a sloppy loss in the 14:00 and that was enough to ignite the trading flame once more.

Another few silly mistakes limited my profit but I can't be too harsh on myself - profit is profit and it's been a good week with £73 of green.

This blog

With regards to my daily blog updates, I think I'll be posting less frequently in the New Year, one reason being it takes so bloomin' long to summise each day!

This blog has been a good crutch to get me through a very difficult period of 'newbie trading' and, in Karate terms, I think I've earned my yellow belt this week.

I'd advise any brand spanking new trader to blog daily because, if nothing else, the initial humiliation of losing or just making a few pence is a good motivator indeed...if anyone reads it that is!

See you soon!