Weekend starts early today!

I've done my daily skim through the markets and there are a lot of weak low-volume markets later on this afternoon, so I'll be shutting down the computer and getting ready for the pub early today!

At the time of writing, the highest traded markets on betfair are at 2:45 and 4:45 with £77k and £80k respectively. Contrast with the fact there are no races from the 4:50 (£5k) until evening racing that have more than £10k traded, except the 5:25 (£12k). Some of this is probably due to the earlier races in the day attracting slightly more attention early in the day, but not that much.

Obviously this makes these weaker markets different to trade - more risky and probably more jumpy. Personally I really like the jumpy volatile markets but it does become more like gambling so I steer clear of the really weak ones. It is much much easier to have a large loss because if the market turns sharply, there will be a lot of traders desperately chasing the same limited money to get out of their trades.

These weaker markets tend to be later in the day (and the Irish courses), so don't kick yourself when you always seem to cock-up your P&L and strike rate for the day - maybe just consider avoiding these races.

Whilst the 5:25 might have enough volume when it comes to trading time and actually represent a good opportunity, I think I'll be knocking it on the head for the day after the 4:40 as waiting 45 minutes for one more race to trade isn't much fun! All the best for today.

Keeping tabs on your trading

I do a quick analysis of every race at about midday and note my expectation on a spreadsheet. A side benefit of doing this that I hadn't thought of beforehand is that when I've had a losing race, I can read my comments for the next race. Even if my mind is steamed-up, at least I have analysis for the next race which was done with a clear-head. I can also see when there are several opportunities later in the day for swing trades etc. When I didn't do this pre-race analysis and I had a losing race, the time I had to make-up my loss was always the NEXT race! Sometimes I'd get lucky, but if the next race was a poor trading opportunity then I'd be much more likely to do daft things like doubling-up and going in-play.

After having a session where I went on tilt I always used to eventually come to terms with it and soldier on. Now what I try and do when I have a losing race despite my best trading endeavours is not beat myself up. I try and blank it from my mind in the same way I used to do with much bigger losses. Obviously I can do this much more quickly for these smaller losses! I then move on to the next race. It so often surprises me how quickly I can get most or all of the loss back. I then have a chance to make a little more. In the past I'd have no trading bank left to trade with!

After each race I note my P&L and make comments about the market. In combination with the screen video I record, this makes a useful review tool. I've thought long and hard about the pros and cons of constantly being aware of my P&L throughout the day and I've read many other traders' blogs about this. The danger is of course that when things aren't going well that focussing on the losses may make you trade worse.

On balance I find recording my P&L as I go along useful - for a start it's more up-to-date than my Betfair balance which may have unsettled markets to come into my account. It also enables me to have more perspective on the day than just a total P&L figure. After I've done my pre-race analysis I write a one-sentence forecast for the day - after all if there don't appear to be a lot of good trading opportunities ahead for the day, I shouldn't be beating myself up when I'm not making much money later on!

Scary stuff

"Do one thing everyday that scares you." (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Trading used to be a world of wonder and mystery. Now it scares me and it is still largely a mystery. I still do it everyday though so hopefully that counts for something. I think taking time off now and then helps maintain the element of wonder.

"What's meant to be will always find a way" (Trisha Yearwood)

I hope that means laying low and backing high and not the other way around.

"You're never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you're never as bad as they say when you lose." (Lou Holtz)

Funny that. No-one has ever told me I was good at winning. When I have a cracker of a losing trade I expect to get a call from Betfair right afterwards with someone laughing so hard they can't speak.

"Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back towards disease and death." (Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi)

I now ignore those who continually make out that trading is straightforward and even by randomly sticking trades into the market he still finds it hard to lose and so by implication (the 95% of traders) losers are sub-chimp level. And then have a one-way dialogue on their blog......

"If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be." (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

I like this guy. He also wrote my favourite ever quote:

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. "

After a long journey I've been making a profit for 6 months.