Progress at last!

I made a steady profit for the first time since Saturday, which was a welcome relief. It almost felt strange seeing my balance increasing!

It was still a day of 2 halves. Until the 4:15 I was sticking to my strategy which I had tweaked from yesterday as I again had a losing day then (nothing major, fairly consistent but in the wrong direction!). I still defined the entry and exit points for trades but I was only looking for 3-tick profit instead of 6. This proved to work much better, but after reaching a profit of 8% of my bank by 3:30, I then gradually went into a 5% loss. At which point I returned to scalping 1-tick at a time. By the end of the day and a couple of evening races before dinner I made a 20% increase and an overall profit on the day.

I am weary of returning to a trading style much more like I used a couple of years ago (scalping 1-tick or so) because whilst it worked then, I would go on tilt occasionally and wipe-out my whole balance.

The new strategy I devised from the book I read has enabled me to be far more consistent, but I simply haven't been able to make it profit. It has been satisfying not to have gone on tilt and I haven't wiped-out my balance. But I still need a trading style that has an edge in order to profit long-term.

I have dug-out the old database I made back when I was trading in 2006. I was shocked to see that my average loss was actually 25% larger than my average win! My strike rate per race was 62.5% for wins, 12.5% scratches, 25% losses (all on horse racing). They really don't seem like very good stats to me, however I still made a decent profit on the trading.

I've thought about a revised way of doing the 1-tick scalping and I'll try it today. I will also pick the direction of the trade using the entry and exit strategy I've devised from the book. I have also printed out the main points to bear in mind when I have a losing race. The main one is that looking through my stats for 2,500 races, every time I had a large loss is was shortly after a much smaller loss (but one that was maybe double or more of my usual win amount) - basically I was on tilt from that point. I have thought about what I am going to do in future in this scenario and I will keep this printout next to my trading computer for reading at critical times!

The other points I've printed out are the stats above - if I can profit with stats that bad then I don't need to stress about a losing race. I've also thought about all the benefits that trading successfully can bring to my lifestyle outside of work - and also all the penalties for failure. Hopefully that will focus my mind!

I'd like to mention that I really started thinking about the trading v's proper job pros and cons after reading a post on The Experiment: Self-indulgent Bullshit which is an excellent blog.

That's it for now, wish me luck someone!

Blogged with the Flock Browser


  1. Hi.

    Thanks for the comment on my blog and the mention in your post.

    I read your first few posts at lunchtime and it is a great read. You appear to be quite into the detail of trading which is similar to me in many aspects although I get the impression you have more Betfair experience than me!

    I'll add a link to your blog from mines which should give you some exposure to new readers.

    Good luck with your trading.


  2. Hi

    What book are you referring to?


  3. Hi Graeme,

    Thanks for your kind comments! I appreciate the link too, it would be good to get some more readers and exchange views with them.

    I look forward to reading some more of your blog.

    All the best with the gambling / trading.

    Mind Games

  4. Hi TickSize,

    The book is "In The Zone" by Mark Douglas, sorry if you were hoping for something new - I first found out about the book from a comment on your blog!

    As you know, this book was actually written for stock market traders. However as it barely mentions anything specifically about the technical aspects of stock trading I felt it could be relevant to betfair trading - and someone had recommended it to you on that basis, so I gave it a whirl!

    I didn't want my blog to be a commentary on this book only, so at first I thought I wouldn't mention the title but just document my attempts to put into action the psychological concepts he puts forward - and then strongly recommend it later if it worked!

    At 200 pages of psychological concepts (many of them abstract) it's a long read but I am trying to follow what I learned which I feel is a lot. That is because my major failing in the past has been to occasionally wipe-out my balance in one fell swoop. This is a psychological issue and that is what the book is all about.

    I'll write a post about the book after I've had chance to trade for a while longer trying to put it into practice.

    Mind Games