Monday, 30 November 2009

November summary

Overall, November has been my best ever month:-

PnL : £28.28
Strike Rate : 62.33% ( races not trades)

Even though its been my best month, both values are quite low. Using £10 stakes I would be looking for £60-£90 a month, and my strike rate seems quite low. I have also traded a low number of races, only 377 out of the 600 or more races. I know that I am avoiding a lot of races with odds on favorites or very volatile markets with odds in the 2.00 to 3.00 range, I will need to work on making these markets profitable if I want my PnL to grow.

In general though, I have a lot to be pleased about. I found a good spreadsheet on this site , made by MG from the Trading Mind Games blog, it gives a lot of good information on how your trading is progressing. Firstly, my PnL for the month.

After the disasters around the 7th-8th Nov, my PnL has been rising pretty steadily, and I have been fairly consistent. Even when I have had a horrible strike rate, I have still managed to keep it together pretty well.

Some graphs :-

My average loss has been steadily dropping throughout the month, and this is a very good sign. My average win has gone up very slightly. I am worried about my strike rate, which has gone down through the month( although it is still round about the value for other months). I don't want to become ever more cautious and fearful in an attempt to increase my strike rate, so I need to strike a balance between going in to the market when I perceive an opportunity, and making sure that the opportunity is a good one. I am making a profit, and this is something to be proud of at this stage.

Saturday, 28 November 2009


The last 2 days I have been consciously looking for only swing trades, and it has been going a lot better. It means putting a lot less trades in, and being a bit more patient, which has been difficult, as I feel I should be hitting the markets hard. Also I am worried that I am changing my trading style in reaction to past days trading, becoming a bit more tentative and conservative than I should be. I guess I should be adjusting my trading style to each market, treating each one as unique, but it's hard to work out what a market is doing until you have watched it for a while, and by then its too late, its in-play!
Today I had a 100% strike rate in races, so am really pleased with that. I think have been overly critical and pessimistic of my trading in the last week, as, looking at my records, it looks like I'm doing fine for the stage I am at. I will probably take a day off tomorrow, maybe 2, and post a monthly results post.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

tough day again

Another difficult day, this time I didn't get away so easily, ending up with a £2.48 loss for the day. I think part of my problem was trying to scalp in markets that just didn't suit it. Once I had adjusted and was looking for swings, things seemed to go a bit better( although without being great).With my strike rate being so low, I also lost a bit of self-discipline, and deliberately let a couple of races go in-play, which is not a good sign. I am still obviously not able to take a sustained run of losses and accept them.
Betfair going down for a few races didn't help either, meaning less races where I had a chance to pull it back, luckily I was out before the start of the race which seemed to cause all the problems.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


Found it hard going today, nothing I did seemed to come off.
Feeling a bit discouraged but still ended day with small green.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009


Today I started off really well, first race made £1.55, another race made £1.67. I was keeping my losses low and trading calmly, trying not to focus on how much I was making. Then came the 14:50 and 15:00 races. I'm really not sure what happened, but I managed to lose a total of £4.20 on these races, blowing my profits for the day so far. There was an unexpected swing in both races, I seem to remember, but there has been in other races too and I usually manage to lose less than £1 on these most times.

The worrying thing is, this is now 3 days in a row that this has happened, where I have been on for a good total for the day and then 1 or 2 races just kill my profits. I can put some of it down to the fact that sunday, monday and tuesday are fairly difficult to trade, but I don't think this is the whole story. It seems to be the later races, getting to the end of the card, that get me. Am I getting tired, losing concentration and focus? Am I letting my PnL affect my trading by become more reckless and (over)confident when I have a good total for the day? Do I think I know what the market is doing and not need to pay attention to the information that is being given me?
I am certainly getting angry when these losses happen, and that can be a sign that I am emotionally involved in the market, and have expectations of what is going to happen.
As I have mentioned before, I think a certain amount of self-sabotage is involved too. That is something that by its very nature is going to be hidden deep in the subconscious and not something I can get rid of easily. I dont fancy looking in the mirror every morning and chanting
"I welcome wealth and success as my right" or whatever crap the self-help books teach you to say.
I think a combination of all these factors is the cause, and is an indication that I am not as far along the path to success as I think. I was going to raise my stakes, but may wait a bit now.

I am happy that over the 3 days, I have still made £4.62 , and a few months ago I would have been deep in the red in the same situation.I know I am making progress and need to stay calm and work on these mental aspects.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Feeling good

It's funny how when things are going badly, I can have a lot to say, lots to think about, and lots to beat myself over the head with, but when things are going well I don't know what to say. I am really pleased with how the last 2 weeks have gone, and I think the blog has a lot to do with it. It helps to think about what is going wrong, what you have learned about trading, and to put down your thoughts, it kind of brings them forward in your head, makes them concrete, and gives you focus on things to work on.
Another good today, making £3.52 from £10 stakes. This is without trading all the races. I find it quite difficult to have a strategy for races with favorites with odds less than 3, and also races where 2 horses are under 3, or around the same mark. If I can make more progress in these races then my PnL can only improve. I have almost eradicated going in-running, as I am now out when Bart says "I'm outta here", or else closing my trade soon after.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Smooth running

Today saw much more stable markets than the last 2 days for me. Everything seemed to go really smoothly, there were no panic moments, and I was on for a 100% strike rate in races until the last race, where I messed up a bit.
After the last 10 days where I have had 8 winning days, and the 2 losing days lost me a total of £0.29, I am seriously considering raising my stakes a bit. At the moment I use £10 stakes across all price ranges, and although I don't set a daily target I consider anything over £3 a good day. I want this month to end with a green PnL, and raising the stakes may put unnecessary pressure on me, so I may wait till the end of the month and then raise my stakes to £20.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Tough couple of days

The last 2 days have been a bit of a struggle. The markets were quite volatile, sometimes huge swings that I wasn't confident enough to get on, because in these markets it can just as easily turn the other way in a flash. I find its better to offer a price at a good entry point if possible rather than gamble on the swing, if it's a missed opportunity then there will be more along later. I don't know if I am right to fear these swings. As Mark Douglas says, each moment in the market is unique, just because its gone against you before shouldn't stop you from entering if you perceive an opportunity. I feel, however, that unless you are in right at the start of the swing, then the upside is limited and the downside can be pretty big, so I tend to stay away.
These markets also make me quite jumpy, and I am ready to exit my position as soon as it looks like going against me. In general I think I am right to do so.
So with these conditions, I have been struggling to find good trades, and haven't had much consistency. The positive that I can take out of this is that I still managed to make money overall. Yesterday I ended up with a decent total, and today I was about break even. I know that a few months ago I would have been much more likely to have gone to pieces and lost a lot of money.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Downs and Ups

I was feeling quite confident after how the last few days went, my state of mind was positive, I was ready to accept losses when they came, and trying to trade without fear. This state of mind was sorely tested when race after race went badly, After the first losing race I thought " Ok, I can accept that, the market was hard for me to read", after the second losing race I was thinking "Wow, Im losing confidence in my reading of the markets", and by just over an hour in to the trading session, I was £4 down, my positive feelings were gone, and I was ready to quit before I really went to pieces and lost more. I couldn't believe how I seemed to get every race wrong, for large losses each time.
Anyway, I kept going, tried to stay positive and believe in my trading ability, and race by race clawed it all back. I got a nice trade in the 15:05, where I caught 2 swings on the 2nd favorite and greened up for nearly £2. In all, I got 8 winning races in a row from being at my lowest point, and ended the day up £1.89

The nature of the markets mean that there will be times where I hit a run of losing trades, even though my entry points may be ok. This is all part of accepting the losses and putting in trades when you see opportunities, even if you have lost the last 5 times. At the moment my edge is fairly small(if it even exists), so these losing runs will have a large impact on my PnL. As my trading improves and I identify better and better entry points, my edge will grow and hopefully lessen the effect

Thursday, 12 November 2009

back in the black

I have been trading quite well in the last few days, and have clawed back all the losses from a few days ago. It would have been 4 green days in a row, if I hadn't been a bit too greedy in the last race, and put in a really stupid trade, which wiped out my whole days profit. I was greened up in that race too ( havent I been here before?).

I still feel that I am making some progress. I am beginning to actively accept that some trades may make a loss, am choosing a point where I will cut out, and putting the trade in without ( much) fear. This is made easier by the fact that I know that I can make the loss back easily in the next race, or even the same race a lot of the time. This is the sort of mindset that I think is needed to be successful. So maybe I am starting to conquer the fear. Greed, on the other hand, still has a big hold over me.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

self fulfilling prophecy?

On Tuesday the 3rd november I wrote in my blog
"I feel that I have made a large leap to the next level over the last few days.................,I will see what happens in the next few days, many times I have thought this and been brought crashing back to earth."
Is it a coincidence that the next 3 days trading went really badly? probably not, but whether its due to the the negative thought of "its happened before, it will happen again", or to overconfidence from good results, or some other reason, I dont really know.

Anyway, I have pulled it back together a bit in the last couple of days, with 2 decent results. I have set a rule of not trading past the official off time, even if I am in the red for that race, and have managed to hold to that most of the time. not good enough, I have to do it every time.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

self destruct engaged

In 1 race today, I lost almost a whole £10 stake. Sounds almost impossible to do unless you are really really bad at trading. I laid a horse, it started to come in, I laid it some more, it came in more, laid it again, came in more, finally gave up and closed for a near £5 loss. Then I laid another horse, it started to come in, laid it some more, it came in more, laid it again, came in more, laid it again, came in more, closed for a near £5 loss. I guess I still cant recognise the markets that are likely to come back, and the ones that probably arent. I stopped trading after that, as I felt pretty low, and would probably be likely to carry on trading badly to try and gain back some losses.

In the last 3 days I have gone from having a good start to the month, to wiping out all my profits and now looking at a long climb back to being even for the month, if I can even achieve that.
I feel really disheartened and low. How is it possible to not let this affect me, as I need to do to be able to trade properly.

Friday, 6 November 2009

It finally happened

The event I predicted finally happened today, I went in play one time too many, not consciously intending to, I had a couple of bets just outside the money which got taken right at the off. the horse must have shot out of the stalls like a rocket, because the odds dropped and kept on dropping. A momentary thought of " Let it run and see if it comes back" was quickly suppressed, and I was out for a big red, wiping out my winnings for the month so far. I was in the green for the race before this happened too.

Did I learn my lesson? Nope, the next race, the same thing happened!! this time I got out for a scratch but that's not the point.

So what is making me do this, time after time??

Greed. I want to win more. What I am making(taking stakes into account) is never enough.

Addiction. I am maybe addicted to seeing the little green numbers next to each runner. Its a flaw in my mental character. Its what made me play fruit machines, even when I knew what it meant for them to have a payout of 70%. Its what attracts me to play roulette, even though I know that its impossible to win in the long run.

Self Sabotage. Im not sure about this one, but maybe I dont want to succeed at some subconscious level? When I play tennis, and am winning, and have the winning line in my sights, I suddenly fall to pieces and lose. Same with most sports. Same with University. Maybe Im not sure if I really want lots of money( strange though that sounds). What do I get out of not succeeding as a trader? I dont know.

On a more positive note, the loss hasn't affected me as much as it usually would. A flash of anger at being so stupid, and I have been pretty calm since then. I knew it was coming, so it was easier to accept I guess. What can I do about it? The feeling of "needing" to place these trades near the off is like an urge to scratch an itch, I guess its like a loss of control, a relinquishing of responsibility, I can throw everything into the wind and see what comes back. Will I be blessed or will I be cursed? Will I win or will I lose?

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Too good to be true

I had a mixed day today, I was going well and on for a good daily total, when 2 out of the last 3 races caught me out, losing over £5 in those 2 races. I knew that one of them was risky, but still had too many trades in place, and they got taken as the market went the wrong way, leaving me with a large red position. I ended up down about £1 for the day, its frustrating to be wiped out by 2 bad races, and I'm not sure how to go about dealing with that problem, it happens all too often and turns profitable days into losses.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


I don't know whether today's markets just suited my style, but today's trading went so smoothly. I traded 14 markets, with only 2 small losses, one of them £0.01, and I made way over my daily target of £3. I felt in control, not emotionally involved in the markets, picked good entry points, was patient when there seemed to be no opportunities, my mind was alert and thinking well, and I was quick to analyse when I thought a position was going against me and got out straight away. The only slight downside was that I was caught In-Play twice when I was trading too close to the off, I got away with it both times, but I know that eventually I will get caught out, probably badly, and need to eradicate that flaw in my trading.

I feel that I have made a large leap to the next level over the last few days, having thought about where I am going wrong( not taking and dealing with losses), read "Trading in the Zone", watched videos of other people trading - this video particularly made a big impression on me - I will see what happens in the next few days, many times I have thought this and been brought crashing back to earth.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

5 winning days in a row!

After the disastrous day which caused me to start writing the blog, I have had 5 winning days in a row, I'm feeling fairly proud of myself. When I get a good run I starting calculating how much I could win if my stakes were £x and how much I would be happy with per month, which is fair enough but I need to be careful not to let it affect my trading. Focusing on how much you are making, or losing if you are having a bad day, seems to separate you from the market a bit, and cloud your judgement.

Anyway, my october results are

PnL = -£5.01
Strike rate(races) = 62.87%

I am going to stay with £10 stakes for the time being. I am aiming to make an average of £3 a day, am looking for a bit more consistency, and would like my strike rate to be a bit higher