Monday, 28 September 2009

A Huge Step Backwards

My latest month has just closed and it was basically a disaster will a loss of £541.76. What went wrong? Well this month I mixed up my trading with some laying and it didn't go well. Maybe you shouldn't do both, but as I was struggling with the trading side and my 6 month deadline is approaching, I tried laying books at varying times to the off and invariably the books proved very unprofitable as often the winner was backed. I also tried some trend betting / laying on the football, but this too, just added to the losses. Add letting a horse go in play that cost me £128.14 and all in all we have a mess.

So what now? Well. I did say that I would seriously re-evaluate after 6 months, and the signs to be honest are not good. I've made just one profit in 5 months, and although you could say that the first two months were very amateurist, the fact that I have moved from a month four gain into a month five loss is disconcerting. I've tried numerous strategies over the last five months, but only 2, possibly 3 seem to produce a fairly consistent positive return, though these returns are small. Increase the stakes on these? Well it seems an obvious solution, but I'm still unsure if it would produce a livable amount, though I will continue with these strategies this month.

What I do feel I'm lacking at the moment is confidence, because after a few 'bad' trades, I tend to find myself watching the ladders, being pensive about entering, and waiting for a clear signal, but then I generally find that by the time I think I've identified something 'definite', the move is either already over or the race is about to jump. Joys of trading eh?

Anyway, that was then, this is now, so onwards and upwards Ostlers, you have one month left to prove that you can do this. Let the battle commence! - hey, that was positive wasn't it! :-)

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Treading Water

A long time since my last post and all I've been doing is beavering away trying to find ways to turn a consistent profit, and 18 weeks in, the lodge is far from finished. I've found that purely trading is not for me, I'm just not turning a regular profit. I've tried scalping & swing trading based on all sorts of technical analysis, I've tried following the herd and going against the herd and trying to catch the momentum change, I've reacted to commentators news as to horses sweating, playing up etc, and yet still I have not managed to turn a profit consistently. Accepted, I am miles forward from where I started, the discipline is so much better and the days of huge losses on races by going in play are well behind me (I hope), but still, progress is slower than I anticipated. So for the last three weeks, I've tried a different tact and brought in other sports and as well as trading I have backed and laid with mixed results. All the lays have been done based on a wealth of information provided to me by a guy who I consider to be the most knowledgeable guy I know on horseracing but this too in the early days has not reaped anything, and the backs / trades on tennis, rugby and football have been done based on my own research, and even though as yet, the profits elude me. I will continue to run with it for a few more weeks.

I need to try these different approaches as time is marching on. This is a 26 week plan I'm on and 18 weeks have now gone by. If, at the end of the 6 months, no profits are forthcoming, then I will need to call it a day financially, so at the moment, I am trying to branch out and reap small profits from many avenues, rather than rely purely on trading, as I believe that if I just stay with pre-race trading on horses, then failure is inevitable.
Downbeat? I don't think so. People say that good trading comes with confidence, well for me, it's not that I lack confidence, I'm just a realist who knows his limitations on trading. Who knows, the new strategies may work. They wont fail through lack of effort and the amount of spreadsheets I have continues to grow because I do record every avenues results, hoping that if I try a dozen, then although many of them will be dead ends, maybe one or two will turn the consistent small profit that I am looking for, be it backs lays or trades. I'll let you know.

Oh, nearly forgot. One big positive. Month 4 - My first profit - Marvellous!

Monday, 10 August 2009

A Green Week at the Ostlers

A good week in some ways, in so far as I made a small profit, though the profit was scattered as I had a dabble on the rugby, football and greyhounds (as well as my mainstay - the horses)
The greyhounds I found very difficult to trade as the prices seemed all over the place and the active time so short (less than 2 mins to the off before anything really starts to happen, and trends very difficult to spot)
The football I was bobbins on as I traded eight matches and called six wrong, so an auspicious start there. Rugby league - played two won two, but liquidity was very low, so the jury's out on that one.
Horses, of which I traded 68 races, yielded a profit of £68 - A £1 a race - which therefore has a lot of room for improvement. Biggest issue as always is that I take my profits quick and let my losing trades run longer. Bit like selling low and buying high :-), opposite to what I should be doing, so work to be done. Not quite got my head around the stop losses yet, as invariably when I use them, the price recovers and when I don't use them the price continues to go the wrong way. (now where have I have I heard that before) I'd be interested to know how many people use automatic stop losses so maybe I'll start a little poll.
My edge? - well I did stick with it, hence the reason I only traded 68 races, though I did do 6 afternoons and 4 nights on the horses, it's just that in all the other races the opportunity I look for didn't materialise. Having said that, I did try another little strategy and as yet the jury's out on that one too as I had mixed results. So, into a new week, I know more than I did last week, and slowly slowly is the plan, hopefully in the right direction and hopefully in a better mood than I was last Monday (hence my rather depressing post).

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Sassafrassarassum Rick Rastardly

Feel a bit crap today. Tired I think of banging my head against the wall trying to make some kind of money in this trading lark. Last weeks 6 day hall from trading the horses was a loss of just over £5 - a stunning performance in terms of reducing my losses but still a long way off the the £100 a day I was told an 'average' trader should make a day. Maybe I'm just a crap trader, or maybe I was just told a little Porkie.

Anyway, decided to have a go at the football yesterday, so thought I'd do a bit of research into the Hamburg cup match last night. Hamburg odds on. I'll back them and then lay them as soon as they get in front, can't be difficult that can it? Form points to Hamburg, forums are screaming Hamburg. Result 2-2 at 90 mins, and Hamburg never in front. There endeth my football trading career for now.

So, how to make money at this game? I mean from trading and not training. We all know it's not easy, but how many are actually making a living? Not too many I don't think, and the ones that say they are making £000's are suddenly diversifying into other things or taking breaks. Hmmm...

Maybe I should go back to bed, I sound like (and feel like) I've got out of the wrong side this morning.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Month 3 Result is in.

For those that are following this blog, may I first of all apologise for the lack of posts. My only excuse is the fact that I have been beavering away looking for the elusive edge. The edge eh, where do you buy 'em from, anyone got any spare (ones that work obviously) because to be a successful trader you must have an edge. Three months in and I am beginning to believe this more and more.
As you can see by my results on the right, Months 1 & 2 were a bit of a nightmare of spells of indiscipline, blind panic, anger, frustration, despair, and many head in hands at the desk moments. Month 3?, well Month 3 shows another loss I'm afraid - a loss of £96.38 which in comparison, is, I believe, a massive step forward (and £37.50 of that was due to letting two trades go in running - I know it shouldn't happen, but two in a month is just a massive improvement on where I was. Great though, that still when I let them go in-play, they still slap me - a great reminder)

So, the difference between last month and my previous two?
Smaller stakes - still concentrating on making a profit rather than a salary
Experimentation - Playing around with different strategies, recording every result, some failing almost immediately and some showing just 60% strike rates, (which is only slightly above a toss of a coin re entry points) and one, which last week recorded a 74% strike rate which is encouraging)
Discipline - Redding and Greening 'almost' every time
Patience - Not trading every race if my current criteria is not met (I only traded 397 races this month as against 606 the previous month)

Future plans? Well, I have decided that I will re-evaluate my position after 6 months, Months 1, 2 and 3 have all shown losses. I'm really hopeful that Month 4 will produce my first positive P&L, but if I continue to lose through to month 6, well..........

Written on my wall at the moment, is something I read on someone else's blog which is inspirational to me right now, and it's this - "You only fail when you give up".

I really hope I don't fail.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Stemming The Bleeding

It's been a while since I last posted (almost a month). The main reason for not posting is that despite my Over and Out post, I have continued to trade without the pressure or embarrassment of posting large losses, (even though I have continued to trade poorly making mistake after mistake and losing quite heavily). Anyway, last week - Week 11 of my return, I managed to turn it round with my first ever profit for the week (albeit a tiny one).

Week 11 - my first ever profit - Wow!, a small light at the end of the tunnel perhaps (or is it just another train heading my way) :-).
The difference? Well it was something that I read in someone else's blog (cheers mind games) that has changed my trading perspective a little. I spent last week trying to just make a profit rather than making a salary. As you may know I started trading with a £1000 bank and always used the whole bank. When this went wrong, I switched to a £500 bank, but that too still allowed me to let potential £450 losses go in-play, so now I am with a £250 bank, not trying to earn / win salary sized amounts, just trying to win something, to prove to myself that I can read some of these markets correctly, and turn a profit. Only when I am doing it consistently and greening / redding every race will I increase the stake to try and make a small living.

What may surprise you is that last week I managed to trade a full week without letting a losing trade go in-play, the first ever week I haven't done it, and the first ever week I have made a profit. Coincidence? I think not. It just took me 10 weeks and a sore forehead to grasp it. Let's hope I can continue for a second week.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009


Sorry Kiddies, I've Crashed and Burned!

After losing on both Monday and Tuesday this week, I made a mistake / traded badly today by laying a horse just before the off, well micro seconds before the off. Couldn't get out in running - cost me £237.
So annoyed that I tried to get it back by putting what was left of my bank £175 on a odds on favourite in a 4 horse race. Needless to say - it lost.

Thanks to all who contributed to this blog, and good luck to you all.

One tip to any new ones starting off. Stay away from all those people who post videos on how easy it is to make money at this game. It's crap. It isn't. All these people (top dogs included) only post the winning videos. They never show you how easy it is to lose money as well.