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).


  1. £1 a race is a start and may even be a good one depending on how much you traded to get that. Remember few traders make large amounts per trade it's generally the volume of trades that'll even out and make you money so 68 races over 6 days and nights is very low. I've been doing this a long time and only averaged £4.50 per market in August and probably only putting 4 times what you stick in the markets.

    The only real difference is I've turned over around 670 markets in those 10 days. I'm not saying this to brag as £4.50 is hardly premier leaque stuff just pointing out the more you do the more you'll earn and to let those markets pass by is pointless, if you don't spot anything in the win market look at the place market don't sit there doing nothing. 670 races may sound alot but win/place turns into around 34 a day.

    The moneys out there but it isn't going to come to you so don't limit yourself to one technique practice scalping swinging etc as every market is different but every market offers opportunities to profit also.

  2. In response to your stop-loss question, I tend to use a stop-loss once I'm in the money, to secure a winning trade. I did use a stop-loss by habit to begin with, but it was nearly always triggered, putting in the red (and yes frequently the price moved back again), so now I prefer to use my own judgement and the full market depth & trading volume indicators to assist my decision-making. Cheers.

  3. Just came across your blog. Can I ask why you focus on horses which I find the hardest of sports to find value in? I know there are lots of races a day but without an edge this just means losses pile up quicker. You're up against a lot of sharp people, many with inside info. Have you any interest in any team sports where in-play can often throw up value? Check my blog out - if you want to trade links, let me know. Good luck.

  4. Just read your blog from start to finish and you are moving in the right direction so keep going, be positive and you will succeed.
    I'm in a very similar position to yourself, I'm walking down a similar path which is full of pitfalls but you must remain positive and you must keep going.
    My advice is to just concentrate on the horses, once you have your trading head fully operational then consider trading other sports.
    Try and make a profit today of £30 and if you do take you missus to the pub for tea...set yourself small targets, achieve them and use that confidence to leverage bigger wins in the future.
    Basically, keep going buddy...

  5. thank you for sharing your blog. have recently started my own and am looking to exchange links with fellow bloggers.

    i have already added your blog to my blog roll and would appreciate if you could add me to yours.

    my url is:


  6. Thanks for the comments all.

    Anonymous 1 - I know that I do need to trade more races / markets. The problem I have is that when I trade a lot of markets I find my strike rate drops from high seventies to around sixty percent, and with the losing trades having a higher cash value than the winning trades, I invariably lose money. I also tend to misjudge my entry points when I trade many races as I cannot see a firm trend, and so the aggressive high volume traders tend to bully me into taking a position that they have led me into. I do accept the premise that every market presents an opportunity. It's just that I am not experienced or good enough to spot them and profit from them on a regular basis.

    BallbOy, thanks for your response on stop losses. I have now turned mine off, willing to accept that ones I hold on to long to will still be better in the long term than all the automatic ones which trigger only for the price to recover moments later (especially in weak markets),

    Anonymous 2 (green all over) - Trading other sports? I've dabbled with football, rugby league, tennis and golf, but I feel as if it is more gambling than trading (I know that many do not differentiate between the two), but pre the action going live, there seems to be little movement in price and therefore you need to take a position, go in-play and then hope your team / player scores first, or the golfer you've laid puts it in the water. If it doesn't happen you invariably lose most of your stake when the other team scores first and you then red-out. The horse pre-race markets are hard though, and that's what I refer to when I go into the lions den. That are plenty of lions ready to maul me in there, and they see novice traders like killer whales see baby seals.
    No problem with the link though, I've added yours to this blog.

    Hi Ferdy – It’s a mare isn’t it sometimes! At the beginning I was one step forward and four steps back, now I seem to be walking sideways, whilst trying lots of different strategies. The wife wants me to call it a day and get a ‘proper job’, but I’ve learnt so much in the last three and a half months, that I have to continue for now. I just keep saying to myself – “keep going, it’ll come’’, though I must admit it’s as frustrating as hell most days. I have shown the wife your comment though, and she smiled when I offered to take her to the pub for tea. Now all I have to do is win £30 

    JS – no problem, I’ve added your link.

  7. Ostler you make a good point about the bullying that goes on within the markets. It can be very easy to 'force' short term moves within a market without even being matched as I've done similar things in the past. Only needs a novice trader to cross the spread (1 tick down already) price to come in slightly and they're already reaching for the stop loss. Try and bide your time before jumping ship horses can regulary go in and out 5 ticks before resuming the original entry point.

    Make a note of all your closes especially the stops and check how many times they actually go back to where they started. Unless you really are rubbish at picking entry points you'll probably find the majority of your stops weren't needed.