Sunday, 31 January 2010

January summary.

My target at the end of December was to have my first £100 month in January. I didn't quite manage it, in fact I made the amazing sum of £0.25! I wont go in to all the stupid mistakes I made this month as I have posted about them already, but I hope January will drill it in to me to close out as soon as possible if I go in-play, even for a seemingly painful amount. If I had closed out for an £8 loss on the day I lost £40, then I would have been up £32 for the month, which seems like a really good amount just now. This is the major hurdle I have to get over at the moment, to remember that trading is a long term thing, and that it is possible to get back a loss fairly easily. This knowledge has helped me a bit I think, as I am being a bit more aggressive(well, a bit less fearful anyway) about putting in a trade when I perceive an opportunity: I am less scared of getting a loss.

So heres the PnL:
I am pleased with the way I recovered at the end of the month.
Heres the average PnL per event, not much I can tell from this.

And the daily strike rate: I felt that my trading was improving, despite the number of off days, and this is reflected in my improving strike rate. I am finding better entry points, and making better decisions about where my exit points should be. I am also starting to eliminate the "greedy" entry points where I try and jump on a swing right at the end of its life, and then have to cut out when it bounces back. Sometimes I am able to wait out the bounce as I am fairly confident it will return or at least lessen my loss.

So I think I learned a lot this month, we shall see if I can put it into practice in the next month.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Back in the game

I moved house on monday, and BT werent supposed to be turning on my broadband till next monday, although the phoneline was getting turned on on friday, I thought I would check to see if I had internet access and WOOHOO, it was on early, thanks BT. apparently i have a 19Mb download speed according to my router, although when I did an online speed test it was only 7.5 Mb.

So I traded a couple of races yesterday evening, and the full day today, and glad to say I am basically break even for the month. My trading seems much better since I lost the large amount in-play, I feel more relaxed and less pressured to trade too close to the off to try and get rid of reds. We will see how relaxed I feel when I have a bad day and nothing seems to be going right though.

I will do a january summary in the next couple of days.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Kick up the rear

I don't know if my stupid mistake the other day has given me a much needed kick up the ass, but since then, the last 2 days trading have gone amazingly well, and Ive made about half the deficit back. No dramas, no in-plays ( except one where a big spike took a trade well out of the money right before the off, I closed out immediately), no feeling of struggling, whats going on?

I had one fairly big loss today, and have a new strategy to cope. I close my eyes and imagine myself putting my arms round the loss, accepting it, absorbing it, until it kind of dissolves away. I think welcoming thoughts to it and try and note any bitterness or dissapointment that I feel and just let them sit there until they go away.
It probably seems a bit new age and mystical, but I need to find a way to accept the losses, make them part of my trading, and deal with the feelings they bring. It seems to be working so far.

I am moving house tomorrow and I don't think I will have internet access for a couple of weeks, unless I get really lucky, so it looks like I will be taking a break from trading, as anonymous suggested in the comments to my previous post. I might try and find a wireless cafe or something where I can try and trade on my laptop, or I may just take the break.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Getting myself all tangled up

Have been going along steadily the last few days, almost break even for the month after the disaster of a few days ago. Its been hard going though and I think this is affecting me. Today I lost the first 4 races, and was down £5, quite a lot for my stakes, but I wasn't unduly worried, I knew I could( and would) get it back. This is in fact what happened over the next 4 races and I was a few pence in profit for the day. The next race I traded I got caught out by the mystery punter who seemed to be whacking great chunks of money on the favorite, I redded out at over £5 for the race, and was prepared to accept that. The favorite was still getting hit so I traded in the expectation that it was going to continue, which it did, and I got my PnL down to about a loss of £1 . Instead of accepting that this was a good result, I put some final trades in too close to the off, got the dreaded in-play signal, and the favorite must have crawled out of the stalls because its odds moved out and never recovered, over a 1m race. I didnt close out, through inability to accept a big loss, and so the race ended and I had a huge loss instead, £40. I thought I was past this stage, or at least coming to grips with it, but going through a tough couple of weeks has shown just how fragile my discipline is.
The loss itself hasnt affected me that much, its the dissapointment of failing to do what was needed in the situation that is really discouraging. If I don't sort it out( as I have said before) I will never be able to make this work. Its my own fault, but I dont know how to remedy the problem. Embrace the losses I guess. Its funny how my mind works, I was prepared to ( unhappily) accept a £5 loss, then couldnt accept a £1 loss, then couldnt accept the £8 loss in running, so was forced to accept the £40 loss. Maybe thats part of my subconscious thinking, let it go out of my control and then I cant blame myself for the results( blame is probably the wrong word, accept responsibility is better). Well I am blaming myself, the £40 loss was my fault. I accept that I didnt do what was required, I will do what is required next time.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Wtf am I doing?

I was looking forward to trading today as it seemed to be a full card. Unfortunately someone came round to visit me, so I wasn't going to trade. but half way through the afternoon I thought "F**k it, I'm going to trade, I know its risky but I think I can handle it and I know what to look out for and avoid if there is someone else distracting me". The things to avoid being going in play and paying attention to what bets had been matched and what bets hadn't. So of course, with someone talking to me and distracting me, I traded, had a small loss, put some trades in too close to the off, went in play, thought I had closed out for a big loss, decided I'd had enough of that, and only traded one race. then I found out later I had left an unclosed back bet in( think it was one of my efforts to close out in running that I hadnt cancelled) so ended up with an even bigger loss after just one race! Feel free to laugh at me or mock me, because seriously, if I'm going to do such stupid things then maybe I should just stick to minimum stakes and have trading as a past time and hobby, similar to playing a computer game or whatever. Have I learned nothing over the year I have been trading "properly" or over the 2 years that I have been trading in full? As Someone mentioned in a comment a while back, "Don't like to say it but you've acheived absolutely zilch since starting this blog" I didnt really agree with him then, but maybe hes right. My trading and discipline have improved a bit, but when it comes down to it, I give in to impulses that I know are wrong and likely to lead to difficulty.

Friday, 15 January 2010


After the doom and gloom of my last post, I wasn't feeling too confident about todays trading, I had a few decent races, one race with a fairly big loss, but it all seemed to be going along ok, although I wasn't feeling that positive, and don't think I traded very well. Then the last race I traded, everything seemed to go right, I felt like I read the market well, had good entry and exit points, and ended up with £4.35 green! Wow, probably my best race ever. And when I looked at my PnL for the day, I got a big surprise, £14.45 , my best day ever. I knew I was on for an ok day but with the big loss I didnt expect that at all. Just shows what a strange game this trading is, and how the "random sequence of wins and losses" effect can manifest itself over time. I guess I need to be a little less negative when things are going badly. I do need to minimise or cut out the losing days if possible though, and learn to stay in control and disciplined.

I have changed my trading slightly in the last few days. I used to only start trading with 5 minutes to go till the off. I am now looking to trade from 10 minutes to go. Twice as much time should mean twice as much opportunites and twice as much practice. I will see how it goes.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

In a slump

I feel like I have been really struggling lately, every race is a stressful affair, holding my breath waiting for the market to go against me. The fact that I have had 2 really bad days doesn't help. I know Ive been here before, at the start of december I had 2 bad days and still recovered well. At times like these I start to despair that I will ever make this worthwhile. Im not even aiming high, I'm not looking for hundreds a day, £20-£30 a day would be amazing for me( at least for now), but that seems so far away at the moment. I know people say "its a bad time of year" but the good traders are still making money, and lots of it. I am stuck in my development and dont seem to be getting any better. The fact that my journey to this point has probably taken 6 times as long as anyone else sometimes makes me wonder if I am cut out for this. Don't get me wrong, I have no intention of giving up but some sort of sign of progress or feeling that my goals are within my grasp would help spur me on.
I am around break even for January so far, I guess that is something positive anyway.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

A small profit

Back to winning ways today, with a £1.34 profit with £10 stakes. Its not a fortune but I am happy to break the losing streak. The markets almost seem to me more like summer markets, and I have had trouble adjusting. Hopefully I can get back in the groove as the racing gets back to normal

Monday, 11 January 2010

random sequence of wins and losses ( I hope)

After the shock of my last days trading, I cut my stakes back to £10 to try and gain a bit of confidence. I was more in control, and didn't go in play once, which is good. I still struggled though, and couldn't seem to find good entry points. I had a 38% strike rate in races. Since any set of results will contain a random sequence of wins and losses, I am sure that this is just a temporary blip, combined with lack of practice over the last few weeks, and maybe the markets acting a little strangely. I lost £1.51 today, but am still in the black for this month, so hopefully things will improve as racing gets back to normal.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Wtf just happened?

I was glad to get an opportunity to trade today, with 2 meetings making it through the weather. I wish I hadn't bothered now. Seemed like every single trade I put in went wrong, and I was finding it hard to keep my composure. It finally all went to pieces when I traded too close to the off,the race went in play, tried to close out twice, then both close outs got taken and of course the price went the wrong way making it even worse. I ended up with an £8 loss in that race.The days total was a £15.34 loss. This is my first losing day for over a month(although I haven't managed to trade a lot recently) and I am finding it hard to take. I guess it gives good warning that I still have a lot of work to do mentally. When its all going along smoothly you can get tricked into thinking that you have it cracked and your emotions are under control, and its not until things really start to go wrong that you find out where you are at. I still don't understand how I can have got it so horribly wrong after months of getting it right.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Running out of ideas

I am guessing that this blog isnt that interesting, I wasnt expecting it to be when I started, the main reason to write it was to help me improve my trading, which it has done fairly well. I am still making some errors though, and one thing I need to highlight , Stop trading too close to the off!! or to put it more positively - "I will close all my trades at the official off time"

There are only so many posts I can do saying " I had some bad races, but ended up in profit for the day" which seems to be the general trend of my trading at the moment. I enjoy writing the blog, and it definitely helps so I need some fresh ideas and perspective on my trading to write about! What these are I have no idea, so any suggestions welcome :)

I am getting together my emergency back up, as I intend over the next few months to keep raising my stakes, and need cover for when there is a power-cut, or my PC dies. Orange have a cheap mobile broadband at the moment, £5 a month for 500Mb, which should be enough if I load The Toy on my laptop and turn off the API until needed. I think I will also check out how easy it is to place a bet over the phone.

Friday, 1 January 2010

December summary

PnL : £70.92

Yet again, my best ever month, due to the fact that I doubled my stakes at the start of the month. I also think my trading has improved, as I only traded just over half the possible days this month, but still did better than double last months profit. There were a few days where the average loss was quite big, but that was due to having a small number of losing races, where 1 or 2 losses would be large. I am looking to bring my average loss down if possible over the next month. I am very encouraged by these results, I have consolidated on what I have learned over the last few months, and am making slow upward progress.

My strike rate seemed to be a lot better this month, mostly in the 70's, with the average increasing as the month went on.

My average win increased slightly throughout the month,I think this shows I am still progressing. My average loss seemed to decrease over the month, although looking at the graph and the PnL above I dont see how this is necessarily possible.

So, my aim for January is to have my first ever £100+ month and to work on reducing the average loss. I need to keep tight control on trading too close to the off ( which did result in 1 or 2 losses over the month), by closing all trades at the official off time. I will make sure I am keeping my concentration levels up by taking small breaks and drinking lots of water. I am also thinking about raising the stakes again, but the last 2 months I have done that at the start of the month, I have struggled for the first few days, so I might wait till the middle of the month.