Automated trading

I've been lacking any inspiration to write new posts for some time but a kind comment asking me to get on with it has prompted action!

A good part of the reason for having no trading-related ideas for posts is because I've been spending all of the day outside of racing working on automated (Excel) trading spreadsheets. It really is a joy to have your criteria systematically executed without loss of concentration and emotional distraction. One of the things that frustrates me when I'm having a really good day trading (manually) is that I tail-off rapidly, I just don't have the killer instinct to keep on hammering the markets when I'm well up on the day. However, with an automated strategy, the spreadsheet shows no mercy! It's really something to have 3 great winners at the end of an evening's racing whilst you're out having a beer. Of course it doesn't always happen like that at all but you get the idea........

For anyone struggling with "mind games" in their trading I would highly recommend them considering investing some time looking into ways of writing automated betting spreadsheets. If your trading is going nowhere then at least investing time into this will progress you in other ways even if your system turns out to be unprofitable in the long run, for instance, you learn a new skill - i.e. Excel and programming principles, which could be useful for your job. Also it makes you think about the reasons for making trades and what might be the best conditions for entering / exiting trades which could perhaps help in your manual trading.

So far as I'm aware Gruss Betting Assistant and Bet Angel are the only two trading applications that offer Excel linking. I have used both extensively but have used Gruss exclusively for well over a year. Back then its Excel functionality was well ahead although since I think Bet Angel has closed the gap somewhat and added some alternative features. The support on Gruss is just so superb I wouldn't go elsewhere though.

The Gruss forum, which non-subscribers can join, has loads of discussion about Excel trading ideas and technical help (search for keywords or look in the Discussion, Suggestions and Help sections) as well as a dedicated section for requesting professional help from Excel developers, including getting them to write all the code for you.

As well as implementing automated betting using the standard Excel interface, you can code much more sophisticated strategies using the built-in Excel programming language called VBA (Visual Basic for Applications I think it stands for). One post that gives you the basic framework of code for the start and end of your own code can be found here.

You will be amazed how often people on the forum will assist you and maybe even write whole chunks of code for you (for free) - often what might seem complicated to someone who has never written an automated sheet before is really straight-forward to someone experienced (and has probably been thought of and written by many people before you!). It's a great way to learn how to write the spreadsheet code - you can start by just tweaking an existing one to fit your criteria - that way you don't have to give away your idea for alchemy!

I was thinking about writing some posts about specific coding techniques and examples but am not really sure that is what my blog is about so haven't got around to it so far. Lets see if anyone's interested.

All the best with your trading!