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!


  1. Interesting post about your analysis, I also have recently started recording my trading and analyse the markets and trades later. Haven't considered pre-race analysis or making notes during the session. Do you find pre-race analysis has made a difference to your profits or just confidence? I'm not fully decided on monitoring my P&L whilst trading. I'm inclined to think that focussing on this would use energy which could be used more productively on actual trades. Then again it does give me cofidence to see the greens and reminds me to think longterm. I suppose it is one of those topics that is a matter of opinion at the end of the day.


  2. Hi JS,

    I would say that the pre-race analysis helps me in several ways, hard to put a monetary value on it. It sets my expectation for the day (if this stops me getting frustrated that alone could save me a lot!), it helps me keep perspective during the day and reminds me whether I should be approaching the next market with a view to scalp or try for a swing trade.

    I agree about your comments on monitoring P&L. I may even try not doind it again for a while to see if it makes any difference. Because I withdraw any profit at the end of each day, it's kinda hard for me not to know my P&L anyhow the next day. I definitely don't want to stop withdrawing profits, that is one of the biggest motivational methods I have!

    I've added your blog to my list. Cheers, MG

  3. Thanks for the addition and your reply MG, just noticed it today.

    Good luck with it all mate.