Friday, 29 May 2009

Month 1 Result - A Lesson for All

The main reason I started this blog was an effort to install discipline in my second term as a trader. I thought that if I wrote my experiences, then there would be a strong possibility that other traders both novice and experienced would read it and that a number of things could then come of it.
- New traders could relate to what I was trying to do.
- Senior traders could possibly offer advice on what I was doing wrong
- I would have to improve my discipline, because I knew I'd feel awful stupid writing about my losses caused by the lack of it.
Points 1&2 have met with some success, whereas the discipline completely let me down this month, and I know that if this continues, my remaining time as a trader is limited to say the least. (one month, maybe two). My main fault comes probably from having a gambling background and it is this conflict that causes the big issue. I'll stand by my mistake in Week 3, as I really didn't see it coming, but this weeks horrendous loss was down to letting a really bad trade go in running, despite me advising other novice traders not to ever, not never, let a bad trade go in play. Amazing isn't it. that you do these things, you advise, and then bang.

One strength of mine however, is that once I have picked up the screen and keyboard from out of the back garden, banged my head against the wall until it hurts, I just then think of an Aaliyah record, where she sings, ''and if at first you don't succeed, then dust yourself off and try again'' and so that's what I'll do only this time. I'll reduce my stakes and my bank as the temptation with a £1000 bank, which is what I was playing with, is to let potential £450 losses go in running, and that is what I did.

On the positive side, of which there is always one, it's this blog, which does, when I'm writing it, help me focus on what I should be doing, and so my aim, for month 2, is to try and go a whole month without going in running, and I'll take it a day at a time. Yesterday was a success, but I know I've got a major hurdle to overcome here, well an open ditch really :)
Anyway, onwards and upwards and all that. At least this blog shows, that as well as all these successful traders earning thousands a month, there are some that are losing as well. Maybe I should have renamed this blog - £1000 to a Tenner in one month.

That's it for now. Thanks to those to have contributed to this blog (especially Steve who hit home with some hard truths) and hopefully, when I post next week, I'll show my first green (don't laugh)

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Week 03 Result - Loss of £219.52

As the title suggests, Week 03 was not a good week, primarily caused by a simple mistake followed by a lack of discipline.

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

Just Over 2 Weeks In - Emergency Stop Button Hit!!

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

Week 02 Result - Loss of £18.15

Well, Week 02 is over and a busy week it was too with all the shenanigans at Chester and full racing cards everyday. I worked 6 days and my results were as follows;

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

Week 01 Result - Loss of £86.22

Well, Week 01 is now over for me, and unfortunately I have not been able to post a Green, which, although disappointing is not a major, as it is only the first week. So, what happened? What went right and what went wrong?

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.