Monday, 28 September 2009
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Monday, 8 June 2009
One book I'm reading at the moment (on the advice of other bloggers) is Trading in the Zone, and for me it is a useful tool as amongst the many things it touches on is fully taking responsibility for the trades you make.
I've struggled with this and when something has gone badly wrong, I've blamed (in my head) everyone and everything, from my Internet provider for letting my Internet go down just after I had placed a £100 back bet in, to God for short changing me on my luck allocation. All of which of course is crap, because if I had had a back up mobile connection, I'd have been able to close that trade, and if I think of all the times, not trading wise, that I've had serious good fortune, then I certainly shouldn't be blaming anyone, least of all God for a few bad luck / bad strategies in my trading.
I'm beginning to believe, albeit slowly, that once you take responsibility for your trades, and accept that you will have some trades that swing violently against you from time to time, and that Karma is an important part of trading, then maybe I may start to get rid of some of the negative energy that I have from time to time. Time to Time? - Well - almost every day :-). Certainly something to work on.
As a footnote on Karma, - sad to see my shining light on patience and discipline died in auspicious circumstances last week, certainly not the most dignified way of going out. C'est La Vie Mon Ami, C'est La Vie.
Friday, 29 May 2009
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
The week to start was good, but as with all novice and bad traders, the one mistake wiped out many hours of good work. The mistake I made? Well, it was the bookmaking tool again, where with seconds to go before the off, I pressed the close button instead of the cancel button on one horse, one that had drifted from 36/1 to 84.07/1 and in so hitting the close button laid the horse at it's current price, and you've guessed it - it won. I never even saw it because it was so low down the page. I thought I'd greened up on the race, when in fact the one down the bottom had a liability of £185.77. - In anger and frustration I then proceeded to make a lot of rash entry points which cost me £64 over the next 4 races, followed by a desperation plunge of £50 on a football match where the opposition scored about 10 minutes after I had backed the favourite. I wouldn't mind, I don't trade football, but the plot was lost temporarily and in total I ended up with a loss of almost £270 on the day, all caused by one initial error.
It's done. I stopped trading for a week, read and re-read all the info I have on trading that I have amassed over the last year or so and now I'm ready, one bite mark healing nicely, and mindset ready to face the lions again.
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Well, a disaster! A nightmare piece of bad luck which I didn’t even see coming, didn’t even know it had happened until 10 minutes after the event, and the result spelt disaster for the rest of day, with Caine going AWOL, increased staking and losses in total freefall as I tried to recover through a mist of anger and frustration.
Emergency stop button hit – All trading now stopped whilst the regrouping of the grey matter between my ears takes place.
To say I’m gutted is a bit of an understatement, but it’s happened as lady luck decided to punish a innocuous bad trade with a really serious smack in the mouth.
For the experienced out there who are now managing a wry smile and saying 'yeah, there's no such thing as bad luck, just bad trading', well, maybe so, but it's the first time I have ever done this type of trade, and so to get caught with such a large loss first time, was, in my opinion, just bad luck.
Monday, 11 May 2009
P/L - Was a loss of £18.15 (as against a loss of £86.22 in Week 01)
Number of races traded - 165
Percentage Won - 59% (same score in Week 01)
Percentage Lost - 30% (as against 32% in Week 01)
Percentage Scratched - 11% (as against 9% in Week 01)
My summary and thoughts of Week 02?
My win/lose ratio is 2:1 so why haven't I shown a profit? Obviously my losses were bigger than my wins, and this must become my next focus of attack as I seem to be taking my profits quickly and letting my losses run in the hope that they will come back before the off. In most cases, this doesn't happen, and so my red-ups are bigger than my greens. Totally the wrong way will say the experienced traders and so I need to reverse this and take my losses a lot quicker. This is a tough part of trading and I suffered with this first time round, but I need to work harder on it.
Highs and lows of the week, well there we a few roller-coaster moments, especially on Wednesday where in one spell I got 5 out of 6 trades wrong, and frustration boiled over a little, but on the whole my discipline was good. One mistake I did make and was a little costly was again associated with the bookmaking tool. When using this tool, I fire my prices into the market based on certain criteria being reached, so as usual on this one particular race I set everything up and waited for the trigger to be activated. It wasn't happening, the book wasn't right so with a couple of minutes to go before the off, I switched to scalping. What happened next was bit of a blow, as with half the field loaded, the automatic fire on the bookmaking tool fired as I had left it set to fire if my conditions were met. Sugar!! - or words to that effect! - Little or no time to cover / close my positions and a 5f sprint to boot! Off they went and a loss of £43.83 on the race. A simple mistake but a smack in the mouth for making it! Cest la vie - live and learn son, live and learn. Hopefully I wont make the same mistake again, and I'll ensure that if I decide to switch from bookmaking to scalping, I make sure I turn the automatic fire button off first!
Other learning's, well one is to beware the races where there is a long odds-on shot in the field and you are scalping or looking for swings because if say you have a £40 green or red on one horse and the horse is 4/1, then when you spread it across the field, the profit or gain is relatively small, but when the horse is 1/4, then it is a totally different picture, and large reds on these kind of odds hurt / smart a little when you have to red up before the off. I'll tread a little more carefully when trying to trade these in the future, especially in the early days, because getting these races wrong can seriously affect the old profit and loss for the day. I know, I got on the wrong side twice last week.
So in summary, I'm only two weeks in, and as yet I've worked 12 days for no profit at all, but the experience and the learning's have been good. I'm completely realistic about the learning curve I'm on and am fully aware that if this was easy, then everyone would be doing it.
I remember reading somewhere that 0.14% of traders make more than £12k a year - just 14 out of a 1000 make it. Not a good strike rate is it? The trick therefore is to be one of the 14. Tough goal, and one which I know many of us out there are striving for.
Saturday, 2 May 2009
Going through the trades, the main points were as follows;
I traded 150 races (no significance in the number, that is just what it worked out)
I was successful in 59% of them, which to me, is the biggest disappointment
Longest Winning Sequence - 10 races
Longest Losing Sequence - 3 races, though I did in that particular spell get 5 out of 6 wrong
My biggest win was £60.11 on a swing trade.
My biggest loss was £40.49, which was due to a bad trade going in-running. I could bleat on about how I was caught out by the last minute withdrawal of the 2nd fav as it wouldn't go in the stalls, but at the end of the day, I should have redded up sooner, and once it had gone in-running, I decided to let lady luck get involved. The quick way to the poor house I know. Lesson learned - again!
My other big losses were £18, £20, £28 & £31, and these were all sustained in the bookmaking option on Betangel, in what I thought were competitive handicaps. Two were due again, to horses being withdrawn at the last minute, and two were down to drifting favs and 2nd favs where I didn't close out till the damage was done. I didn't go in-running, but it seems I have a lot to learn on the particular feature. The size of these losses meant, that although I did have more winning trades than losing trades in the 150, the losers were of course bigger hence the £86.22 loss on the week.
My plan for next week?
Well, I will trade 6 days again, but the days will not be full days, i.e. 13:30 - 20:30, as I just don't have the mental stamina at the moment, and I'd rather not trade than be worried that I'm too tired to trade, but the stamina will come, with practice. I'm sure.
Emotion? - Well, it's been difficult, particularly when I had that bad run, losing in 5 out of 6 races, that was a little hard to take for an hour or so, still, it happens I guess, but it shouldn't, I need to get better than that.
So, not starving yet, but if I am to make a living in the den, then I'd better improve my stats a little, and eliminate some of these costly mistakes.
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Saturday, 25 April 2009
So, Monday 27th April 2009 and we're going in, we're going in.............
Friday, 17 April 2009
I have touched on the discipline before, and no doubt It will be the subject of many more posts on this blog, but what is also fundamental to my potential success is emotion and the control of it.
I'd consider myself to be quite a deep person, who keeps his emotions in check, but my trading sessions last year had them flooding out. Highs, Lows, Despair, Anger, Frustration, Elation, they were all there, and so it is important that they stay bottled this time. Why? Well I found that with all these emotions flying about, the trading became quite, (quite)? OK, very stressful and I believe that in order to be successful at this game, you need to stay, as some successful traders out there refer to, as 'in the zone' - controlled, almost robot like, free of the shackles of the raging torrent that can quickly absorb you if let the emotions run riot.
So, it's back to my old mate Kwai Chang again...................................stay calm grasshopper, stay calm.
Friday, 10 April 2009
They make a trade that goes against them, and then close their position for a loss, only to see the trend reverse and start to move the way they thought it would move. Damn - if only they had stayed with that trade! Then in the very next trade, they unfortunately enter on the wrong side again, and it starts to go against them again, only this time, they hold, no way will they make the same mistake twice. But this time, the trend holds, and goes further and further away from them, and now they are already 8-10 ticks to the bad.
Emotion takes hold. Why them? Why has it gone against them again? They then decide not to take the loss and to let this one go in play, to let it ride, surely fate wont be cruel and let this one now massive liability win. Surely it wont win? It wont will it?, It will, They know it will! But still they let it run and yes it wins, and now in the space of 5 mins, their mood changes dramatically, they are cursed, it's happened again, why oh why does it always happen to them? What harm did they ever do to anybody?
The computer screen clears as the race is settled, and then the depression sets in, a deep hurt, a real deep hurt, and one that holds for the rest of the day.
So why do I find this comforting? Do I revel in other traders pain? Do I enjoy seeing other traders fail? - No. I find it comforting because I remember the pain vividly from last time, and that what happened to me happens to many other traders at different times in their trading life, and they, like me have to learn to not emotionally react to a number of trades going bad.
Discipline, my friend, discipline.
Saturday, 28 March 2009
As I am not planning to start trading until 20th April, I've enjoyed watching the racing and having a flutter, and like any one who has a bet, my luck allocation seems, at times, to be a little out of kilter with what apparently seems to be countless seconds. I even had my first ever blank Cheltenham Festival, as for a bit of interest this year, I backed everyone of Chocolate Thornton's and Russell Johnson's rides and they didn't have a winner between them in the four days!!
Anyway, today was William Hill Lincoln day and this is one of those races where I have never backed the winner, but undeterred I had a bet as well as a few other bets on the other TV races. It then started happening again, my horses were getting placed but not winning, and I was a few quid down and doing a bit of cursing so come the Lincoln, I backed Zaahid and laid Expresso Star. You've guessed it - Expresso Star won and Zaahid came second.
Not a happy bunny!
Indiscipline you see! I've said to myself countless times not to lay horses as they invariably win. I had a stint on Betfair around three years ago where I used to lay horses in the televised races, and I never made any money, in fact I ended up down as even in the trickiest of handicaps, I always used to find that no mater how many prices I offered up, I always seem to lay the winner. There might be 16 runners in the race and I'd take bets on 5 or 6 of them, but you could almost guarantee that one of the 6 would win. So why did I lay Expresso Star today?
I laid it because I was frustrated at things not going right, so I opted for indiscipline, and so laid a horse despite me promising myself that I wouldn't lay to chase, and now I'm angry, not only at the loss I suffered, but my lack of discipline - again!
Now - Where is that place again Kwai Chang Caine?..................Do you have directions?.............Is it on the new street view on Google?..........
Monday, 23 March 2009
When I start trading on 20th April, my three mains aims will be discipline, discipline and discipline :-) and, to help myself along in the early stages, I am going to throw some discipline into the pot as well. In fact to be honest, I think I could do with a couple of weeks in the camp that Kwai Chang Caine (Michael Carradine) left at the start of the Kung Fu series of the seventies, because discipline, Grasshopper, is a must in this game.
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
I am hoping that this blog will serve as a reminder to myself to do things right and not let me make the mistakes that I made last time. I hope for an interesting and a profitable journey, as this will be the main source of my income. Pressure I know, but pressure I hope I can cope with.
My bank to start with will be a £1000, which is the same as last time, hopefully, it will last a little longer than last time if I am true to the lessons I have learnt.
I will update this blog at least once a week, and I will always post on a Monday, so if anyone wants to contribute to this blog, then please feel free to do so.