Sunday, 8 August 2010

The Next Step

I have enjoyed my 2 weeks away from the stresses and anguish of trading. Yes, I know it shouldnt be that way, people say its really boring when you crack it, but thats been my experience, and probably highlights exactly where I'm going wrong.
So I'm not sure how to proceed from here, or even if I am going to continue in my quest. I seemed to have some sort of an edge, I was generally in (small) profit, and I think that it is my mindset, confidence and attitude that have kept my profits small and made me struggle. While I probably couldnt definitively define my edge so that, say, you could program a bot to use it, I wonder how many other traders could do so for their edge? But, as people have said, there is no point me carrying on and trading as I was before, whether it was that I didnt have an edge, or that my emotions and mindset eroded a lot of my profits. That leaves me with 2 areas to work on. Im not sure how much I am up for the grind of watching loads of markets, defining some edges, and testing them with small stakes for a good period of time. For the mental game, the blog was supposed to help with this, and it has to a certain extent, but you can see as time goes on that the posts come less and less, and are saying the same things over and over, so I am wondering if the time has come to suspend the blog for a while. I am also considering cutting all ties with other traders, since it does my mindset no good to be struggling all day, while other people are saying "oh, its easy", " Ive made £x so far", or giving out advice which is well meaning but useless to me as I am at the moment.
So over the next few weeks I will probably be watching some markets, testing some stuff out, seeing how I feel about getting back into the grind, and looking for ways to further my mental development.
Thank you to everyone who commented, even the Anons, and the seemingly negative comments, which I took as being made to try and help me, and point me in the right direction.
The blog is not definitely closed, if I make startling progress in the next few weeks, and have something new to say, then I may make further posts

Saturday, 24 July 2010

The End?

After 5 losing days in a row, all my confidence is gone, all my discipline is gone, i have no clue whats going on in the markets or in my head, and am just spewing money away. I dont know what happened as the first half of the month was decent, I was on for my best month ever. I did have a deal with someone that if I got over a certain amount, I would raise my stakes. Guess what was the highest I reached, before this 5 day losing streak? yup, the exact amount I needed to make before raising stakes. It could just be coincidence, or it could be evidence of self destructive behaviour. Whatever, my confidence is all shot to pieces, and theres no way I can trade properly like this.
I may drop back to min stakes for a while, but I dont know if I have the determination in me for more months of hard slog. Comments on this blog have advised me to give up, and it is something I am seriously considering. I will update the blog on the outcome

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


I wasnt able to trade this afternoon, so as soon I got back in, I sat in front of my PC and got ready to trade the evening markets. I guess I wasnt prepared and in the right mindset, because after the first two markets where I had small losses, for some reason I wasnt able to accept a 3rd losing position in a row. I placed a trade which went against me, and then looked to leverage my price by putting in another trade. This is something I hardly ever do, if at all, so I really dont know why I started doing it now. The price moved further away so I tried to leverage the price again. The market didnt recover as I thought it might so I ended up with a pretty big loss, about 27 ticks.
I dont know what I was thinking , I am usually okay at accepting losses. it didnt affect me too much, I knew it was a really stupid mistake, and kew the feelings and actions that had caused it. I traded some more of the evening races before I had to go out again, and made most of the loss back.
It made me laugh to look back and see that if I had just taken the smallish loss on the first losing position, I would have been in profit for the evening. I guess even with all the practice, all the knowledge of emotions and how they affect you, I am still going to make stupid mistakes like this now and again.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Im still here!

Thanks to everyone who left comments on my last post. A couple of people seem to think I am giving up, but I am still here. I havent updated the blog for a couple of weeks as I havent had much to say, and have been considering some of the questions that were raised in my last post. I am still trading as much as I can, am in profit most of the time, and am gradually erasing the errors that cost me so much( I hope).
On saturday the bomber was out and throwing his money into the market again. Last time I was trading when he was around, it cost me £78, so this time I was much more careful, only backed first, didnt leave any lays lying around, and tried to profit from him. It didnt work out so well, was break even most of the day, so I stopped early.
I am now trying to pay more attention to market conditions, and changing my strategy accordingly, instead of going in and hoping that the way I trade will work. Early in the week, for example, I find trading difficult and stressful, as there is not much money about, a lot of spoofing going on, and so have started looking for lower risk opportunities on these days, since, if I get it wrong, it is very difficult to get out again with just a small loss.
I am still considering the future, and how best to progress from where I am now. I do have doubts sometimes about whether I can really make it work, but for now am determined to keep trying and keep improving.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Under the Spotlight

I have been thinking about why i seem to find accepting losses difficult, and why my results are never as good as I think they should be. I have realised that I am quite critical of myself. For example, today someone stopped me and asked for directions. I didnt really do a good job of explaining, and after they had left I had lots of negative thoughts going through my head. "You're useless", " I bet he thought you were a right twat", "You cant even explain simple directions" etc etc. I think this happens with most of my activities of daily life. Every thought and action is under an intense scrutiny, and they hardly ever measure up to expectation. Failing, or not being good enough ( or not as good as someone else), is not an option for me. But failing, not being good enough, making mistakes, doing stupid things, are going to be a part of everyones every day life, so this leaves me in a cycle of striving and trying, failing, feeling awful, worrying about not succeeding, and then trying again. So each loss, each failure is a reinforcement of "Youre not good enough", and the feelings associated with that. Of course, its going to be hard to do actions that have a chance of "failing", and if a loss in trading is seen as failure then I am not going to be keen to put myself in situations where I end up feeling like crap.
I have a good idea where all these feelings came from, but how do I go about getting a better attitude, other than years of therapy? I was looking at some websites for sports psychology, and one of them had 5 statements that rang true with me (link)

The website does remind me of certain e-books trying to sell betting systems, but the 5 statements are definitely things I need to work on. How much is good enough? Would I be satisfied with £50 a day? £100 a day? Would I finally feel a sense of worth if I was earning more than AH? I should focus on the positive things, that I have been in profit for 9 of the last 10 months( and the 1 losing month was a very small amount), which is more than a lot of traders achieve. I can obviously trade, maybe I should just relax a bit and enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

June Summary

June was a month of mixed results for me. My PnL is more of a straight line up than it has been the last couple of months, and I have only had 5 losing days( 6 if u count the £0.05 loss), so I feel I have made progress in being a bit more consistent. I am still making too many mistakes though. A couple of inplay errors, some slack thinking and slack reactions, and getting caught out by the mad bomber on a few occasions, has meant that my profit isnt as high as it should be. A number of times I have put in a trade in a weak market, the market has moved away, so I put in another trade, it also doesnt get taken, and I leave them in, then the market comes back, and I sit there hoping that it will stop at my trades. Sometimes it does, but if it doesnt then it generally goes through both trades and moves a number of ticks leaving me with a loss that hurts both my emotions and my PnL, since it is a double sized loss. I need to be more careful to remove trades that have not been taken.
I guess I should be happy that I am in profit, seemingly only 5% of traders are. Its tough to keep a level head when you see or hear about others that are making good money and it can make me try and force things sometimes. If I can stay calm and concentrated, do the simple things right, and stay out of trouble, I should see my PnL grow.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Long Boring Day

Today started off badly, getting caught out by the mad bomber, and losing 8 ticks in the first race. Things didnt get any better as the day progressed. I wasnt able to trade as normal, for fear of getting caught out again, I had to try and stay out of the bombers way, and take advantage of him if possible. I really struggled, lost my rythym and confidence, and by 5pm was down 20 ticks. I took a break before the evening races and went for a walk. It was a beautiful sunny day and I had missed it all by being stuck indoors lol. Over the evening races I managed to make the 20 ticks back, and ended up break even. Today showed that I am still quite fragile when it comes to losses, and that a couple of bad results can still affect my trading, making me more impatient, less confident, and not able to think straight. I go on tilt very easily, and everything becomes over dramatic: "Oh no, I cant trade, Im useless" etc etc. Hopefully the way I recovered will give me a bit of a confidence boost.