Sunday, 19 July 2009

Busy Busy Busy

Please accept my apologies for the lack of updates. My trading has been severely reduced of late due to extenuating circumstances: holiday's and The Ashes! I'm away for the next week also so it will be a a little while until we get back in to the flow of things. I have managed to trade a little since I last posted, but it was an incredibly frustrating day. P&L:

Horse Racing: GBP3.13 Total P&L: GBP3.13
Horse RacingShowing 1 - 9 of 9 markets
MarketStart timeSettled dateProfit/loss (£)
Horse Racing / York 11th Jul : 1m2f Hcap11-Jul-09 15:1011-Jul-09 15:190.53
Horse Racing / Ascot 11th Jul : 1m Grp211-Jul-09 14:5011-Jul-09 14:552.21
Horse Racing / Nott 11th Jul : 6f Hcap11-Jul-09 14:4511-Jul-09 14:530.46
Horse Racing / York 11th Jul : 1m Hcap11-Jul-09 14:3511-Jul-09 14:430.82
Horse Racing / Chest 11th Jul : 7f Listed11-Jul-09 14:2511-Jul-09 14:302.18
Horse Racing / Nott 11th Jul : 6f Mdn Stks11-Jul-09 14:1511-Jul-09 14:23-3.21
Horse Racing / Ascot 11th Jul : 1m2f Hcap11-Jul-09 14:2011-Jul-09 14:230.87
Horse Racing / York 11th Jul : 5f Nursery11-Jul-09 14:0511-Jul-09 14:11-2.69
Horse Racing / Ascot 11th Jul : 7f Hcap11-Jul-09 13:5011-Jul-09 13:561.96
Profit and Loss is shown net of commission.

No good profits there, couple of reasonable losses. If I'm honest with myself I'm sure it could have been a lot worse.

I've found myself developing a scary new habit - one which I need to alter. Using the ladder interface of Bet Angel you are able to see money above and below the current price, giving you some idea of what the market could do. However, on a typical scalping market I have been quite agressive, but perhaps not the right way.

Let's say a price is coming in. I, for example, may place a back bet just above the current price and a lay be just below it. This is fine - however - the Lay bet gets taken and the Back bet does not. The price continues to drop.

Now a key point in scalping is that it better to keep betting - the more you bets you get matched, the more your out of the money bets are counter-acted and nulified. However, going back to my example, with the price continuing to drop I put another back bet in, and another lay. The price continues to drop and now I'm out of the money on two bets.

The other day I let this situation happen 5 times in a row, so I effectively had 5 open bets and while the price stabilised at a lower level, it never recovered to the position it was at before. I made a loss on that race.

So I was thinking - in low quality, highly volatile scalping markets is it better to take a price for your opening bet rather than ask for one? Or is it better to ask for a price, but only put one side of the bet on and wait for that to get matched before placing the opposing bet to close your position?

I hope I have explained this well enough - I don't have a video of it - but I would be very keen to hear people's views on this.

Before I sign off for the rest of the week, I want to link to a couple of great posts Adam Heathcote made regarding entry and exit points, both are well worth reading:

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Unwell :(

Apologies to all for the lack of updates. I was unwell at the weekend with a thumping headache - it came on in the middle of my trading. I've also been snowed under with work hence the slow update.

I did manage to trade a few races on Saturday (back at £1.10 tick sizes) and the results were as follows:

Horse Racing: GBP22.80 Total P&L: GBP22.80
Horse RacingShowing 1 - 5 of 5 markets
MarketStart timeSettled dateProfit/loss (£)
Horse Racing / Bev 4th Jul : 5f Hcap04-Jul-09 14:4504-Jul-09 14:492.30
Horse Racing / Sand 4th Jul : 1m Hcap04-Jul-09 14:4004-Jul-09 14:498.64
Horse Racing / Leic 4th Jul : 6f Hcap04-Jul-09 14:3004-Jul-09 14:341.44
Horse Racing / Hayd 4th Jul : 1m4f Hcap04-Jul-09 14:2004-Jul-09 14:347.60
Horse Racing / Bev 4th Jul : 5f Mdn Stks04-Jul-09 14:1504-Jul-09 14:302.82
Profit and Loss is shown net of commission.

Not too bad. The races were quick fire and liquid, although I know I should have done better. Even though I'm posting profits here I can't help but feel a bit down. I made stupid errors on all of these races and should have posted higher profits.

I'm a bit worried - I can't see these errors decreasing any time soon - and it could have ended up oh-so-badly. I realise this blog is young and doesn't have much of a following yet, but I really would welcome anyone's comments or experiences when they were starting out.

I've look at the race card tonight, but even though I really want to trade there's only two cards on. On top of this it's thundering here, so there could be some cancellations. I don't really want to get involved in low liquidity markets after my last spanking!

Next time I trade I will try and record another video - this theme will be "how not to trade" - where I will upload a race where things don't go well.

Until then - good luck everyone.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

No excuses today

There are no excuses today. There are lots of races and lots of high quality. I hope to report back a good day. You can click here to see today's card.

What I'm looking at here is the fact that races are not spread too far apart and that we have a lot of group 1 and 2 races. Races of such high quality offer more stability, but more importantly offer far more liquidity. Those on big stakes can get very large numbers through many times.

I am going to stick to my small tick size all day, except I will try one of the group 1 races with larger stakes if I feel things are going well. Good luck to everyone who trades today.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Disaster explained

Let's start this off with a P&L shall we?

Horse Racing: -GBP30.12 Total P&L: -GBP30.12
Horse RacingShowing 1 - 7 of 7 markets
MarketStart timeSettled dateProfit/loss (£)
Horse Racing / Strat 30th Jun : 2m7f Beg Chs30-Jun-09 20:4530-Jun-09 20:53-17.29
Horse Racing / Strat 30th Jun : 2m4f Hcap Chs30-Jun-09 19:4530-Jun-09 19:523.58
Horse Racing / Thirsk 30th Jun : 7f Hcap30-Jun-09 19:3030-Jun-09 19:39-2.19
Horse Racing / Strat 30th Jun : 2m Claim Hrd30-Jun-09 19:1530-Jun-09 19:2115.27
Horse Racing / Thirsk 30th Jun : 6f Mdn Stks30-Jun-09 19:0030-Jun-09 19:11-12.00
Horse Racing / Strat 30th Jun : 2m Mdn Hrd30-Jun-09 18:4530-Jun-09 18:52-17.49
Profit and Loss is shown net of commission.

Not pretty! Now I should explain a couple of points first. To begin with, it's not as bad as it seems (relatively). I decided that I should try to see how I cope with 'bigger' numbers, so everything you see above here was achieved using £5 tick sizes rather than the normal £1, so the losses while large can not be compared with the wins of previous days.

I knew a day like this would come - it was typical that it was on a day I'd chosen to up the stakes. But perhaps that's the point - perhaps my mind is not yet ready for such big numbers being thrown all over the place. I should have stuck to my guns and worked my stakes up slowly. Hindsight is 20-20.

So what happened? Well, to begin with the evening's racing was always going to be polar. When I looked at the race card I saw it was either going to be a very good night, or a very bad one. Almost every single race was a swing traders dream - scalpers (if they were folly enough to try it) would have been eaten alive.

Now I always struggle with swing betting - I just don't have the knowledge or experience to judge it well enough. It goes back to what I said before - if there's no clear opporunity don't bet! I get an itchy trigger finger when I've watch a race for 10 minutes and not bet. I need to improve this. I was getting wound up by my lack of knowledge... On many occasions there was no clear sign of an impending swing, yet the price would keep moving significantly.

No excuses though, it was my fault. A better trader would have made a whopping great profit. A couple of the races saw me put my clown hat on and chase losses. When I started doing that I thought best to leave it for the night.

Not a good showing, if I'm honest. I know I can do better than this. I simply have to get better at swing trading - I'm unacceptably poor. Still, it's the weekend now so with luck this was a glitch, not the beginning of a trend.


Thursday, 2 July 2009

Disaster! But not as bad as the Titanic

I had a bit of a disasterous day this week, hence have dragged myself to the pub. Will report in full when I get home.

Monday, 29 June 2009

To Hell and Back

Today's tick size ranged from £1.10 to £2.50.


I think I need to lay down. There were some absolutely outrageous things going on tonight and I think my heart did actually stop for 10 seconds or so when I saw my horse drift from 5.00 to 9.00 in about 8 seconds!!

By the time I managed to close my position I was massively out of the money - but I did the right thing as it kept going further and further out - to the point I thought of jumping on the bandwagon. I've read that jumping on swings mid trade is not usually a good idea, so I managed to resist. I'm proud to say that I managed to avoid going on tilt and viewed the massive loss as a fact of life. Here's the P&L for today.

Horse Racing: GBP55.21 Total P&L: GBP55.21
Horse RacingShowing 1 - 12 of 12 markets
MarketStart timeSettled dateProfit/loss (£)
Horse Racing / Muss 29th Jun : 7f Hcap29-Jun-09 21:2529-Jun-09 21:361.87
Horse Racing / Wind 29th Jun : 1m Hcap29-Jun-09 21:1029-Jun-09 21:191.31
Horse Racing / Muss 29th Jun : 1m Hcap29-Jun-09 20:5529-Jun-09 21:015.45
Horse Racing / Wind 29th Jun : 1m3f Hcap29-Jun-09 20:4029-Jun-09 20:464.84
Horse Racing / Muss 29th Jun : 1m4f Hcap29-Jun-09 20:2529-Jun-09 20:296.38
Horse Racing / Wind 29th Jun : 1m2f Hcap29-Jun-09 20:1029-Jun-09 20:1710.65
Horse Racing / Muss 29th Jun : 5f Mdn Stks29-Jun-09 19:5529-Jun-09 19:589.31
Horse Racing / Wind 29th Jun : 6f Mdn Stks29-Jun-09 19:4029-Jun-09 19:502.12
Horse Racing / Muss 29th Jun : 5f Hcap29-Jun-09 19:2529-Jun-09 19:414.60
Horse Racing / Wind 29th Jun : 6f Sell Stks29-Jun-09 19:1029-Jun-09 19:133.37
Horse Racing / Muss 29th Jun : 2m Hcap29-Jun-09 18:5529-Jun-09 19:025.22
Horse Racing / Wind 29th Jun : 5f Mdn Stks29-Jun-09 18:4029-Jun-09 18:450.09

Notice anything strange? No losses! Yeah baby. That massive loss I took on the chin decided to bring itself right back down to 5.00 from 9.00. This time I rode it the right way and made pretty much all my money back. What started as a tight-ranged scalping market very quickly turned in to a nightmare swing. I wish I had saved the graph of the horse, but alas it's gone.

There were definitely a few hairy moments today - I have made a quick video of a scalping market I attacked. You can see that near the start I was just watching the market to see any trends that were developing. I decided that the market was going to stay rangebound, but show high volatility characteristics due to the quality of the race.

No sooner than I got started a nice big bet came flying in taking me a good few ticks out of the money. Not a good start. But again I kept my composure and manged to claw back the loss for a tidy profit. I wish every market was like this - we'd all make a killing!

I'm off to watch Top Gear now - missed it last night. Big fan of Stephen Fry so it should be a giggle. Video below:

Looking Tough

Looks like tonights trading is going to be tough - low quality races all night - and they're all spread by 15 minutes. Well you can pick your battles, but not your wars. I'm expecting some losses tonight so we'll see how it goes. I have some funky freeware screen recording software too, so I'll see if I can record some bits of the master in action.

Grab your nuts.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Mixed Feelings

Today's tick size was £1.

Today I smashed my daily profit for any day I've ever traded. I should feel elated - but I feel slightly awkward. I think I know why. Let's start with a P&L:

Horse Racing: GBP45.40 Total P&L: GBP45.40
Horse RacingShowing 1 - 20 of 20 markets
MarketStart timeSettled dateProfit/loss (£)
Horse Racing / Uttox 28th Jun : 2m NHF28-Jun-09 17:2528-Jun-09 17:340.53
Horse Racing / Salis 28th Jun : 1m Hcap28-Jun-09 17:2028-Jun-09 17:24-2.12
Horse Racing / Wind 28th Jun : 1m3f Mdn Stks28-Jun-09 17:1028-Jun-09 17:143.80
Horse Racing / Uttox 28th Jun : 2m Hcap Chs28-Jun-09 16:5528-Jun-09 17:04-0.37
Horse Racing / Salis 28th Jun : 1m2f Mdn Stks28-Jun-09 16:4528-Jun-09 16:520.57
Horse Racing / Wind 28th Jun : 1m Hcap28-Jun-09 16:3528-Jun-09 16:390.84
Horse Racing / Uttox 28th Jun : 3m4f Hcap Chs28-Jun-09 16:2528-Jun-09 16:350.89
Horse Racing / Curr 28th Jun : 1m4f Grp128-Jun-09 16:2028-Jun-09 16:255.96
Horse Racing / Salis 28th Jun : 6f Cond Stks28-Jun-09 16:1028-Jun-09 16:1515.74
Horse Racing / Wind 28th Jun : 5f Cond Stks28-Jun-09 16:0028-Jun-09 16:08-1.49
Horse Racing / Uttox 28th Jun : 2m4f Hcap Hrd28-Jun-09 15:5028-Jun-09 15:562.56
Horse Racing / Salis 28th Jun : 1m6f Hcap28-Jun-09 15:3528-Jun-09 15:4412.61
Horse Racing / Wind 28th Jun : 1m2f Hcap28-Jun-09 15:2528-Jun-09 15:32-2.90
Horse Racing / Salis 28th Jun : 5f Hcap28-Jun-09 15:0528-Jun-09 15:131.37
Horse Racing / Wind 28th Jun : 5f Hcap28-Jun-09 14:5528-Jun-09 15:000.98
Horse Racing / Uttox 28th Jun : 2m4f Mdn Hrd28-Jun-09 14:4528-Jun-09 14:523.65
Horse Racing / Salis 28th Jun : 1m2f Hcap28-Jun-09 14:3528-Jun-09 14:431.06
Horse Racing / Wind 28th Jun : 1m Hcap28-Jun-09 14:2528-Jun-09 14:292.15
Horse Racing / Uttox 28th Jun : 2m Nov Hrd28-Jun-09 14:1528-Jun-09 14:231.91
Horse Racing / Salis 28th Jun : 7f Mdn Stks28-Jun-09 14:0028-Jun-09 14:05-2.34
Profit and Loss is shown net of commission.

There's a few losses scattered throughout the day as you can see, but at this stage in my trading career I'm fully expecting of that. It seems standard to start the day with a loss, but I made things up very nicely in the next few races which I am quite pleased about. In particular I scalped very well all day.

My biggest concerns were my two biggest wins. Yesterday I decided I would experiment further with in-play betting - but only where the odds were very close to closing my position at the off. I know for a fact that it's very, very likely that over longer races your orders will be filled, but there's always the off chance that your horse will run in to a fence and die of massive brain trauma.

So what am I saying? Well, just look at the sheer size of the wins. I was filled on both occasions within 5 seconds of the off, but seemingly I must have had a bet left over somewhere I didn't know about. During the race my "green" figure kept changing - as soon I noticed this I greened out for massive profits. But I'm concerned that it happened twice. Guess I need to be more careful as it could have easily gone the other way.

I can really feel myself getting better, though. Now when I see someone lump £5k on a relatively low volatility race I don't just go chasing the money - I wait to see if it gets pulled or if money starts to follow. My disicpline is getting better certainly, but it can definitely improve.

The great thing about trading is that it's scalable. I increased my bank by 10% today, so when I next trade I will increase my ticks by 10% also to £1.10. This will compound my winnings (and losses) further - but this is definitely the way forward. Doing things this way means that I have less chance of a heart attack when raising my stakes... just easing in to the bigger money over time.

Back to work tomorrow... but a nice thought to take with me is that the afternoon's trading session scales up to £500 profit at £10 tick size! I'm still a long way off having the balls to do that, but we're on the right track.