I'm not a programmer, but I did used to be over 15 years ago and I've dabbled with bits and pieces since then to serve a purpose outside of work (e.g. Filemaker Pro was an easy way of creating a database to import and report on my betfair results). I soon found that the Excel macros wouldn't enable me to do what I wanted to try out and so I've delved into Visual Basic / VBA which is a whole bag of tricks included as additional functionality in Excel that I never knew about. It's all very well getting automated, but without a good system it's fruitless. I think the main downfall is that in order to be fully automated, stop-loss is required and as I discussed in a previous post, I'm struggling to find the long-term value of those.
If there is a solution to trading successfully in this manner, I think it would incorporate a mixture of automation and manual skill. I wrote a new automation system this morning whilst watching "Hollyoaks" (Darren has really chanced his luck this time, faking the death of his father, as if lumping his home and business on a roulette wheel wasn't enough before!). Once I got chance to start using it this afternoon, I found that I really needed to ditch the stop-loss and I used the automation to open the trades and I would manually close them unless they reached the offset I'd set (2 ticks).
The real advantage of the automation is that it is a lot faster than me (even on my trusty old laptop!) and it doesn't get bored of looking for the criteria. The fact that it can't deviate from the criteria means that it it possible to test the criteria (if you can be bothered to sit around for long enough) to see if you have an edge and also has the huge advantage of not going on tilt! One point that I noticed was that often after closing a successful trade the system would place another trade before I'd even had time to think about it - aka "striking whilst the iron's hot", which just happens so much quicker than doing it manually.
I was quite motivated to sit it out because the first race I traded, the automation produced 11 successful trades out of 13! I'd already worked out how I was going to spend the £4k I'd have earned next week before the 2:10 started! Of course it's never that simple, each market is different and the subsequent ones didn't work the same.
When I started this blog I wasn't looking for a "system", but I do need an edge to my trading. What I have learnt from reading about the psychological aspects of trading successfully is that I do need a definable "edge" to enable me to remain calm and ride-out losses when they inevitably occur so that I can reap the benefits of long-term profits.
I will be trying out the system further tomorrow, again with small stakes, now that I have had chance to refine it and see how it goes.
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