Not What I Intended

Today's Results:
Horse Racing... 4.6% loss. New bank... £279.05

The somewhat haphazard way in which I traded yesterday continued today. Although I got away with it last time, I wasn't so fortunate this afternoon and evening. So it is with some disappointment that I post a daily loss and end a run of 11 days of profit.

I'm not really sure why I traded so badly today. It was just one of those days when virtually everything I entered went against me.

The writing was on the wall in the first race of the day when I managed to rack up over £8 in the red. I immediately lowered my stakes a bit and set about a fightback, but it was clear I was going to struggle today as I didn't get involved again until the 3:00 where I managed to get around 25% of my loss back. But I threw that away again on the next race.

However, two races later I had my best trade of the day and recovered all my losses to put me a few pence up on the day. But my joy was short lived as two bad races later I was back to £8 down!

I managed one more race in the afternoon where I picked up a just under £1, but it was clear it wasn't happening for me so I quit, with the hope that the evening session would be a bit more fruitful.

Unfortunately it wasn't. It's just gone 7:00 as I write this and I've jacked it in for this evening. I did three races tonight and I've chucked away another £6.50, £5 of it in the 6:50. My head clearly isn't in the right place for trading today so there's no point in continuing.

I got involved in 13 races today, scratching 2 and losing on 6 (costing £25.43). With roughly 50% of races I entered losing me money, I think quiting for the day is the sensible thing to do.

In the forlorn hope of finding reasons for my poor performance, I've been thinking about what I've been doing today and, indeed, the past week or so...

Over the past seven days, my staking levels have increased dramatically. As such, when a trade goes against me, I'm looking at a much bigger loss, in monetary terms, than I've been used too. This has had the effect of me closing a trade for 3-4 tick loss when, as I've learned to do, I'd let it run as the majority of the time, in the place market, it will come back.

The loss in the first race is a case in point. The market immediately turned against me as soon as I placed my lay bet. It shortened rapidly and I managed to get out for a 5 tick loss. However, with 1 min until the off, it had drifted again to one tick past my starting position so I could've scratched that trade. My afternoon may have been completely different then.

I also trade manually. I do not use stop losses, or have the software automatically put in closing trades when my opening bid is matched. This is due to the jumpiness of the place markets. Stop losses can get fired at inappropriate times and closing trades can be taken when the movement in one's favour is much greater and so a larger profit is missed.

For this to work, one needs to be quick, but today I wasn't. Time and time again, I was simply too slow to react. I'm sure the splitting headache I've had most of the day hasn't helped.

Anyway, enough of the excuses. I was simply crap.

Back again tomorrow with reduced stakes so that I can find my feet again.


Drifter said...

Alistair a good decision to stop today. Once you start increasing your stakes it can get more difficult particularily the place markets. Good Luck for tomorrow

Alistair said...

Cheers Drifter,

To be honest, I was due a bad day at the office.

I'll lower my stakes a bit tomorrow until I get into the swings of things again. Here's hoping today was just a blip.

Anthony said...

Alistair, don't beat yourself up about it. You've come a long way since you started and look at the increase in your bank! I know you're not Bill Gates but everything is relative. Keeping your % check everyday is fantastic for confidence when you're doing well but damaging when you've suffered a loss in a day. Get past it and you'll be fine. When I have a bad day or 2 I just have to remember that I can't possibly have suddenly lost the ability to trade! Nor have you.
I do think you should start to move towards the outright markets because I think at some point soon you'll run out of liquidity in the place markets. That's just my opinion though. Keep up the good work and the blog.
By the way, have you stopped trading the tennis markets? How did you get on overall with the system you mentioned in earlier posts?

Alistair said...

Hi Anthony, thanks for popping by.

Sorry if it appears that I'm beating myself up. I'm not, but that's one of the reasons I find maintaining a blog so useful. Apart from documenting my progress, it allows me to vent my frustrations and get things off my chest. If I don't do that, I run the risk of letting my mistakes fester, which wouldn't be good for the next day's trading. So, just ignore me when I'm in critical mode. It's more for my benefit than any one who reads this blog.

Thanks very much for the support though. It's always good to get encouragement from fellow traders.

With regard to moving to the win markets, I don't think I've reached the point where the place markets are exhausted yet. Although my success has driven my staking levels up, I am by no means the biggest fish in the pond. So, while I am consistently making money, I will continue in the place market. It's building up my bank nicely at the moment.

Going to the win market will, for all intents and purposes, mean I'll have to start the learning process all over again. I doubt if the techniques I use in the place markets will be suitable.

The tennis trading is on the back burner simply because I've been concentrating on horse racing. I've decided to use the nags to build up my bank to £1000. Once I've achieved that, I'll look at branching out to other sports, including the tennis.