OK, for a start, this is not like any other Betfair or Betdaq challenge that pops up every now and then ... for me this is a MUST DO. I've been trading on Betfair for the past few years and I've recently realised that I'm stuck in a rut and my trading is becoming less and less productive. So I've decided to shake things up a bit and set a few goals ... all leading to the main goal of winning £200K in the next year.
Now, literally as I type this I'm thinking to myself 'there's no way I can come anywhere close to winning that amount' and I did actually change the target to what seemed a more achievable figure of £120K. Well that would have been a pretty negative start! I need at least £200K as I am going to retire from full-time trading and move from the oasis of Newham to somewhere nice on the coast (with or without the missus) and all before I reach the age of 51 (early 2013). Now in today's economic climate no fucker will lend me that sort of cash based on my current Betfair P&L so I'm going to have to earn it all myself.
I do need to get myself prepared both mentally and physically so for ease of reference I'll be starting the ball rolling on January 1st 2012. Just sitting here I've already calculated that I'll need to earn an average of £600 per day and my immediate thought is 'I can't do that'. So obviously one of my main goals to deal with over the next week or 2 is to change my mindset as to what is readily achievable. Horse racing opportunities during January to March are pretty limited due to the actual numbers of UK races that are run as opposed to the height of the summer so I will be making the extra on football and maybe USA racing and the greyhounds. Fortunately I've seen guys able to make this and a lot more, so I know for a fact that it is a realistic target.
So why do I have to blog my exploits? Well one of the main reasons is to help me change what I do on a day-to-day basis. The fear of failure and making myself look a right twat will me make more focused and will force me to implement the changes that I need to make. When I make these changes and they become habits then the trading will become more fun as I'll be a lot more successful. Additionally I've enjoyed reading material by the likes of Koo (fantastic thread on the BF forum which gives a lot of tips, if you read it carefully, on how to make it pay) and Adam Heathcote and to be honest it's going to be a nice ego boost to show people what can be achieved with a bit of hard work. If I can help others along the way then that will be a great bonus and no doubt I will also pick up quite a bit of useful information and feedback that I can use to help me reach the £200K.
So what am I going to be doing over the next few days. Well I have already identified a few key areas that I need to address:
- the psychology of trading : probably the most important facet of successful trading. Trading can sometimes be the biggest mind-fuck of all time. When things are going well then it's like 'finding money in the street' or 'free money' as 1 or 2 have been heard to shout in the exchange. The world is a great place and you just can't wait to get started the next day as profits are guaranteed. However, just one day of bad results can seem to indicate the end of the world, or even worse the end of in-running!
I have read somewhere that the main difference between good and great traders is the ability to implement proven winning strategies in a calm and efficient manner independant of the fact that you might have just have done your bollox backing a Nora Looby ridden maiden in the 14:30 at Lingfield. In a nutshell this means being able control your emotions when things don't go to plan, and in particular avoiding the dreaded 'tilt' factor which more often than not causes you to turn a bad day into a horror show. Just think about this: if you have a winning strike rate of 90% then that's pretty good. But out of 100 races you're going to lose, on average, 1 in 10 of those races. You're not always going to win on 9 then lose on 1. You might have a losing streak of say 5 or 6 races. This is the sort of time when you need to trust in your judgement and continue to implement your winning strategy despite the fact that it seems that the world and Tony McCoy are plotting against you!
I'm currently reading Brett Steenbaragers book 'The Daily Trading Coach' which delves into the psychology of trading and looks at ways in which you can become your own trading coach. I'll let you know if this is a worthwhile buy after I've ploughed through a few chapters and implemented some of the ideas.
- form study : I currently trade almost entirely in-running. However, at present I don't study any form at all (which may be a surprise to many readers). Up until last week I still thought Jonjo O Neil was a jockey! I have heard good feedback with regards to the Timeform in-play cards (especially for the jumps) so I will be getting a monthly subscription. This will enable me to go into each NH race with a pre-determined plan of action. Unlike a lot of race fans I do like the all-weather and I'll be working hard on studying the running styles of the current crop of regular all-weather horses based upon the speed at which races are run. I'm pretty confident that most of my profit in the January to March period will come from this all-weather study.
- pre-race trading : I have been experimenting with the pre-race markets over the last few weeks, with varying levels of success, and I'd like to exploit this opportunity to help me towards the £200K. I have spoken briefy in the past to Jack Birkhead of 'The Sports Trading Journey' and I'll be signing up to his 6 month plan. I know that he is very analytical and focused so I'll be taking the opportunity to pick-up on what he has to offer.
- football trading : I do like football but like Steve McClaren I haven't got a clue about form, teams, formations, etc. However I have been working on a trading method that may allow me to make profits on football trading. This is still work-in-progress so watch this space.
- Betdaq : I need to get some funds into my Betdaq account. Giving 20% of my winnings each week to Betfair really gets on my tits.
Some words that I have deliberately avoided using :
- 'hopefully' - if I'm always 'hoping' that something happens then I think that I'll have a long wait before I get to £200K. Therefore I won't be using the word 'hopefully' in this blog (let me know if you spot one!) ... apart from that one just there of course.
- 'challenge' - this is not a challenge it's a 'MUST DO'. I'm not prepared to fail and the word 'challenge' leaves you open to saying 'well I was really up for the challenge and I gave it my best shot but I failed' ... that's not for me.