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Friday, 26 September 2014

Target fixation

Stubborn. Stubborn is the word that Mrs. Lambretta would use to describe me if we were on some bad ITV husband and wife show. I am stubborn, in simple terms. In real terms, I am determined, single-minded, driven, indefatigable and totally focused. However you choose to describe it, as long as it doesn't have a detrimental effect on your surrounding life, it's okay. But, there is a danger to the overall goal. Such focus can mean we lose sight of the very things that can help us succeed.

My stubborness means I shall not give up the endeavour to become a very profitable pre-race trader but it occurred to me that I've spent so many hours looking at the markets, football, golf, nags (I-R and PR) that it's possible I've become blind to what they are telling me. So, I am now resolved to taking a month off. No trading of any kind until Tuesday, October 28th. Why this date? Because the previous day I am attending Steve Howe's pre race trading course. Some of you will know the vast amounts I have invested in numerous training courses but, after viewing Steve's YouTube vids, I'm confident there is something different to all the others and that his style looks very similar to mine, only he makes good money and I make mistakes...

After so many years of trading so often, it'll be interesting to know what withdrawal looks like.

Stay green.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Belief. Where does yours come from?

First, I'll give mention to Caan Berry who has referenced a conversation we had earlier this week, in his latest post. That conversation sparked a train of thought, at stupid o'clock this morning, which led me to ask myself certain questions and relay them here.

Personally, trading is tough for me at present. The EPL is yet to show any real tradeable form, the change of codes in the nags, plus I'm waiting for some questions to be answered around cross matching in-running. In one of his many video blogs, Peter Webb suggests we are entering the time of year when many question their trading ability and some even give up, (Jan/Feb being the worst months). So, how do we ensure we do not fall foul and press on? Belief!

There's a DIY ad around at the moment, where people in it stand back and admiringly view the shed, shelf, paint job etc, that they have just completed, and we hear them proudly think "I did that".
We have all had moments like that. A job or promotion you wanted, a project you completed, something that made you both very proud but also surprised you in it's very achievement. That is the seat of belief. "I know I can do this because... "

Of the numerous schools of thought I subscribe to one is - taking the path with most resistance.
Sounds illogical, I know, but bear with me. During our conversation, Caan talked about how the Monday card was poor and, for a novice like me, can be difficult to trade. Perfect. If my ability to trade grows out of trading really difficult markets I can truly make the best of the easier ones. Where as, should I do all my learning on Saturday afternoons, my overall experience of the markets will be skewed and making good trades on the more difficult week days will prove really tough. This is how I forged my corporate career so, rightly, I believe it is the right approach
Another subscription is taking a lesson from every experience. Edison's much used quote of finding thousands of ways not to make a light bulb is the perfect example. Go back over your records, there are always trades we remember that confirm our ability to do things correctly. There are also trades that confirm our ability to get things wrong, the fact that you have a record of them and what you know to avoid should give you confidence and belief in your ability to continually hone your skills.

NB - I was about to publish this when I remembered a footnote I wanted to add: The most successful people we know are not successful because they have inherent ability, a natural talent. They all did one thing with great skill; they aligned themselves with people who had the knowledge they were lacking. In short, they asked for help...

Happily, there are some good games around this weekend. I see opportunity at Arsenal, Chelsea and Barca in particular.

Stay green and, above all, never give up - you don't know how close you might be.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Down versus Up

It's a simple equation, isn't it? Though, after taking a lot of time to trawl other blogs, trading service sites and numerous other info sources, it was surprising to me how little is mentioned about this aspect of trading. Or rather, how much emphasis is placed on telling us to think about it.
This should be the first thing we consider after a potential trade has been identified. Profitable pre race traders will always know their exit, particularly in swing trading, and it will rarely be equal or more than the potential up side.
When trading football, much focus is placed on stats, in particular when trading the Correct Score market, hence so many use "insurance" in other markets. Something I've personally moved away from due the long term erosion of profit, (in my experience). Probability combined with stats then compared to available prices is where value is found but, in reality, that value only comes from making the exact same trade, with the exact same set of circumstances again and again. More and more we seek better value trades but it's fast becoming apparent that that value is in ensuring we can make the trade with as little damage as possible.
Last week I tweeted that I had entered the Premiership Winners Market, backing Man Utd at 14's for their next four fixtures. My logic for entering being they had reached their rock bottom with the defeat at MK Dons and could only get better plus the other big sides each had tough fixtures across the same period. Seemingly, a draw with Burnley is an improvement but the market pushed them out to as high as 22.5. This was the real opportunity. Had both City and Chelsea won their games on Saturday, Utd would not have drifted by very much but a draw or loss by either side would result in Utd's price pushing down comparatively hard. After City's loss they came back to 16's, which is where I exited. Now with my original stake covered and free green for the next three fixtures.
When Chelsea went ahead against Everton, their price crashed to 1.11, possible downside 11 ticks, possible upside huge but my exit was 1.34 after Everton got their first. More than double the potential loss for an improbable outcome.

As my trading is now split 50/50 with football and trading nags in-running, the same principle must apply. My entries always begin with a lay so, you would assume my downside is a great deal higher than my up. Not the case, as my exit is planned and available before I enter, as such, my red is small compared to possible green.

In short; seek the value to protect your biggest asset, your bank.

Stay green.