Monday, 31 May 2010

May Summary

May has been another tough month for me. The first few weeks I was all over the place. I wasnt thinking properly about my trading, was too busy seeing what other people were achieving and trying to emulate them, and was probably trading almost at random at times. Heres the PnL graph for this month.

With my PnL looking like a line drawing of the Alps, I was making stupid mistakes, and was starting to doubt whether making it in trading was possible for me. The big loss on 22/05 was due to a huge spike moving the market 10 ticks or more, but I had something like 6 trades in waiting to be taken, which is just careless. Even without this spike, I was having way too many large losses, sometimes £4 or £5 using £20 stakes, and it was killing my trading. That was my lowest point of the month and I decided to do something about it.The total on 23/05 is mostly due to an arb on a betfair offer, but as you can see, I managed to turn things round for the rest of the month. I realised that I wasnt trading methodically, with an edge, and was putting in trades hoping it was the right place. I was trading every race, with no real idea why I was opening trades( of course, I had some sort of criteria for putting in a trade but it was all a bit up in the air and random). I that I would look at each market, determine a point where a trade seemed more likely to succeed, and then just sit and wait. If the market didnt reach that point( I might adjust my likely trade depending on what had happened in the market) then I would do nothing. If it did reach my point, then I would trade. The first thing that surprised me was the amount of times the market was reaching my trading point, even from seemingly far away. I was also suprised that the points I had selected did seem to be more successful than not. From then on, following this method, I havent really looked back. The big losses are gone, just 3 losses over £1 in the last week, none over £2 ( the loss on 26/05 was due to an in-play mistake and doesnt count :p ). I am much more relaxed when trading, making it easier to watch and take in all the market information. taking up better positions means I am not chasing the market around, and am less likely to be caught in play, as any losses I have are small, and i'm not going to be frantically opening and closing positions close to the off. It really does feel totally different. I am hoping this is the big step forward, the eureka moment that I have been needing to really get to grips with trading. Some people have been saying the markets have been good for trading over the last week, so maybe this has something to do with it, but I know I have struggled during supposed good weeks before.
heres my average win and loss graph, and strike rate graph for the month

You can see my average loss has come right down, my average win has slightly, although this is partly due to reducing my stakes half way through the month.

I am going away for a few days at the start of next month, I am actually dissapointed about that, as I am keen to continue and see if I can make more progress. Maybe its a good thing that I can take a break, clear my head, and come back recharged and ready.

Thursday, 27 May 2010


Just a quick note to say that I am still coming along nicely and getting more confident about my trading. I very rarely have a loss over £1 now, about 5 in the last 2 weeks i think, and its so much less stressful! Being so much more relaxed makes it easier to watch the markets and take in the information.
I made just under £6 today with £20 stakes. As I get more confident in my reads of the market, and in my identification of good opportunities, I am hoping this figure will rise a bit.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Steady the sinking ship

This month has been the worst month I've had for a while, and seeing as I said that about last month too, my confidence has slowly been draining away and doubts and thoughts about whether I can really make this work have been creeping in as the month goes on. After a good month in february it seems like my trading has been getting steadily worse. Over the last 2 weeks though, after a bit of thought, and advice from some people who read the blog, I have managed to steady things a bit, and am not spewing money away( although there have been 2 days where big spikes caught me out for a big loss). My average loss has gone down dramatically, I have managed to eradicate the £3, £4, £5 or more losses that I was encountering too frequently, my strike rate feels like it has increased too. My average win has also gone down slightly, and I am not making what I would call good totals every day, but I feel like there has been a genuine improvement and I have a good base to go from and improve my profits.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Have to laugh

Was finding it quite quiet today, not really getting anywhere but staying out of trouble and had a tiny profit for the day, when WHAM, a huge spike took 6 orders that I had in the market, and moved the market 10 ticks in the wrong direction. Nothing much I could do, my own fault for having so many orders in I suppose, I waited a few seconds to see if it would recover a little, it didnt, so I closed out for a £18.75 loss on that race. It is so discouraging when that happens, funny how you dont see it on Jack Birkheads videos where he has lots of orders scattered around the market. I was starting to feel a little more confident about how my trading was going, since I have definitely seen an improvement over the last week. Now I have basically no chance of even getting into profit for this month.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

slow and steady

Back to a straightforward day today, only had 2 losing races out of 15, only losing 50p, and overall making over £6, which is not bad for £20 stakes. It does seem like I am taking up better positions, and that being more patient( or less greedy?) has helped me cut out a lot of the stupid losses I was getting. Having to wait longer before opening a position runs the risk of becoming more tied to that trade, and not accepting that I can still get it wrong, and I think thats what happened yesterday to some extent. Also the longer I trade, the more mistakes I am likely to make. Yesterday towards the end I was getting a bit careless, and my big losses happened because I had more than 1 trade entered, and when the market went against me, either a spike or a move,the other trades got taken and I was left with a bigger than normal loss, which led me to chase.
As someone pointed out recently, there have been 4000+ races this year. If I had made £0.40 a race on average( as I did today), then I would already have made £1600, which is a lot more than I have actually made. I need to lower my expectations, not think about what other people are making, and focus on being consistent and disciplined.

Monday, 17 May 2010

1 step forward, 10 steps back

It was all going so well, after a 3 day break I had continued from where I left off, and had what felt like a decent total, no big losses. Then in 1 race a big spike caught me out and left me with a £6 loss, no warning, no way of recovering, seemed a bit tough, but I battled back over the next few races, and got back into miniscule profit again. I guess I had been trading too long at this point, as, in my last race I got caught out by a late move, was looking at a £3.50 loss, wasnt able to deal emotionally with the loss well enough, started chasing on another horse, which then also proceeded to go against me, then got caught out by the inplay signal, managed to close out in play for a total loss on that race of £10. Ten seconds of indiscipline and inability to accept losses, wiping out a whole days work. Why couldnt I accept the £3.50 loss? I suppose I felt dissapointment and anger and frustration that I had messed up again, and wanted to wipe out the loss( and the bad feelings) immediately. It felt like the day would have been wasted and I didnt want that.
Even with all the time spent, and improvements made, I am still making basic, stupid errors that should have been cut out months ago.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

day 2 of the "new start"

I am pretty happy with how things went today. Was similar to yesterday, no huge losses, no panics, no staring at the screen in disbelief and feeling like shit. I was patient, picked odds where I felt I was likely to make a successful trade, and waited till the market reached those odds. I only had 2 losing races, both under £1, and overall made £7, my best return( comparing for stake size) for a long long time. I still need to work on taking the opportunities, as a few times I waited "to make sure" and missed out. Fear of a loss, any loss at the moment, is playing a big part in my trading.
I now need to keep a level head, and put in more practice till I become more confident that I am on the right track. I wont be able to trade for the next 3 days, but maybe a break will be good to clear my head.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

a bit of improvement

Taking advice from comments on this blog, I have been thinking more about why and where I open trades. Sometimes it does seem like I am just thinking "Ok, I have to do something in this market, lets do X", which is probably not a good strategy. Today I was a bit more selective about what trades I did, and if I didnt feel that there was anything available, I didnt just trade for the sake of it. I have still had losing races, but managed to keep them all to below £1, no huge losses today, which is a great improvement. Not a huge amount of profit either, but any is good at the moment.

Monday, 10 May 2010


A couple of months ago I thought I was starting to really get to grips with horse trading. I was regularly making a profit, and even my bad days werent so bad. Recently though, I just cant seem to do it. I dont know if its just frustration creeping in, but the number of races where I have a big loss seems to have risen dramatically. Today I had a medium sized loss, battled back to break even, and then got hit by a huge loss. This pattern is happening all too often and I dont know why.
I have already dropped back in stakes, to £20, I think I need to spend more time recording and reviewing my trading.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

April summary

Not much to say except a very poor month for me. In play mistakes, and a bad week due I think to raising my stakes, and all my profits were wiped. I still have a long way to go :(