I've been working hard over the last few days and have made several observations about my trading. I make notes as my day progresses and here's what I've highlighted:
- I've tweaked my custom back and lay buttons and I'm happy with my setup at the moment. I realise that I'll have to increase these as I progress and ultimately I'll be playing with stakes and/or liabilities of four times greater than what I'm currently using. As mentioned previously a lot of traders find it mentally challenging to up their stakes, even when they are regularly making money. The way that I have managed to do this is by spending a few minutes each morning focusing intently on exactly why I want £200K. When I think about giving myself the opportunity to buy a new house and move to the coast, and how much I want that and how much that means to me, then I realise that I'm not going to get this by betting stakes that are not appropriate. I also focus on the fact that I've been trading I/R for more than 3 years and I've always made a decent monthly profit. None of us are ever going to make really good money or make significant changes in our lives without stepping outside of our comfort zone and rising to the challenge. Once I've pondered on these facts for a few minutes each morning then I'm ready to smash in!
- I've realised that some days will present more opportunities than others. We've recently had a few great days of racing, including tomorrow, but then on Tuesday we only have 2 meetings, Southwell and Ayr. So I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't make a lot on these days when the racing is skinny. This also applies to races where the liquidity is non-existant, like many Irish races. These sort of races would really get on my tits as I couldn't believe that there could be so little money in the market. I'll be making a conscious effort to play each day in a similar fashion, as I know that the profits will even out over the month.
- I've been much more patient and relaxed during trading over the last few days and this has really helped me to focus and trade efficiently.
- I've set my football staking so that I'll win £50 whenever I trade early in the game or £100 when I play late on in the game. I made small profits on the footty in December so I'll see how it goes in January.
- as stated previously I really do believe that I have the AW racing by the bollox. I've only just started compiling my notes but I'm already highlighting some nice selections. One of the problems that I've had in the past is trusting my pre-race analysis. Although I have analyzed races correctly I haven't really profitted from my study as I'm still reticent about backing pre-race or early in a race. I'm going to be focusing all of my spare time on analyzing the AW races and monitoring how my selections get on during January. I realise that I need to play much more aggresively in these races and no doubt this fact will gradually sink in over the next couple of weeks as I rack-up a never ending list of winning/placed horses! I'll be posting some of my selections here (I'm CanaryDwarf), so feel free to take a look and see how I'm doing during January.
- during the last few months of 2011 my days were pretty disorganised. As well as trading I also like going to the gym and I'm also learning how to play the guitar. Along with the occasional trip to the pub and the subsequent lie in bed the following morning my days were becoming rushed and I felt that I was struggling to make any progress in any of the above activities, apart from the drinking where I was excelling until I crashed and burned in spectacular fashion after drinking numerous pints of Stella on a pre-Xmas drink with my fantastic mates that I have known from when I was a youngster. So as from today I'll be getting my ass out of bed early doors (alarm is set for 07:00), I'll be off to the gym and in the office by 10:00. I'll also be setting some time aside for my guitar practice, much to the annoyance of my neighbours!
- one of the things that I'll be continually reminding myself is to work as hard as possible in 2012. I truly believe that to meet my targets I'm going to have to work really hard and effectively during 2012 and maybe not take so many days off when the days are nice and sunny.
- I always try and spend a few minutes just thinking about the positive things in my life before I start trading. Thinking about my great family, the fact that I've been able to trade for a living and the fact that I'm good at what I do, puts me in a really positive mood for the day.
- I bought some earplugs to use during trading so that I didn't have to rely on commentaries or get inadvertently swayed by pre-race selections from the 'experts' on Racing UK. They're weird! (yes the earplugs and the 'experts'). Watching a race unfold in pure silence is really good, but it's also quite hard to adjust to without the help of the on-course commentator. I must admit that I gave up after a couple of hours, but I'll try again and see how I get on ... watch this space.
- I did dabble in some pre-race trading early in December and it was interesting to see the reults at the end of the month. On most of my losing trades I noticed that I nearly always started with a lay bet. This echoes my natural preference for laying horses I/R. There is obviously some mileage on working on my pre-race trading, but it all comes down to using my time efficiently. I've decided to build on my strengths in the I/R market by spending as much time as possible analyzing the AW cards (as mentioned above) so the pre-race trading will have to take a back seat for the time being.
- as mentioned above, the market in some Irish races can be abysmal. This gives the opportunity to become a market maker as opposed to taking prices that are on offer. I may look into setting-up a different Gruss profile where I can market make, although I'd almost certainly being playing against those fucking wanky market making bots that jump in front of you a millisecond after your bet hits the system.
- one thing that would often break my concentration was the constant stream of crap being pumped out by Racing UK and especially SIS. To be honest they're not really racing channels are they? Who wants to see racing from South Africa , France or Germany? Even worse is that cartoon racing! Who the fuck wastes their money on that crap? I like greyhound racing but they purposely superimpose it over the horse racing ... and as for those fucking 49'ers!! As you can probably tell this sort of crap really used to get on my tits. However these days I take it with a pinch of salt. I might have the ocasional outburst but I always calm-down before the next race starts.
- my knowledge of jump racing form is non-existant and I've been caught out laying a few stayers in the last week. Time to sign-up for the Timeform in-play cards!
- I did go into 'protection' mode during the last race of the day on a couple of occasions. I suppose that it's a natural instinct not to want to give back your days profits on the last race, but on both occasions I missed winning bets. I'll give myself a slap with a wet fish next time I feel defensive towards the end of the day!
- I did also experience an I/R paralysis of my clicking finger after I had laid a horse over the jumps. My lack of clear thinking caused me not to safeguard my profit and ultimately I lost. I know what I should have done so I'll be better prepared when this scenario happens again in the future.
- I'll being looking at my bets on a daily basis to make sure that I'm effectively utilising my bank. I need to make sure that I'm risking £500 'ish per day. As I don't trade in every race I do have days where I've only traded in a few races, so I may need to trade slightly more aggresively when I do get involved.
Well that's it for now. Plenty of good racing tomorrow and the gym is back open so I'm looking forward to beating the fuck out of the heavy bag, having a good steam, getting myself in a positive mood and smashing into the racing.
Happy New Year!
Cheers - Dave.