March Summary

I'm not a great believer in setting hard and fast targets when I'm trading. Of course, I have a rough idea what I'd be happy with at the end of the month, but I do not set specific targets that must be achieved on pain of death. I have enough problems with my pessimistic nature without putting that sort of pressure on myself.

I'm the same in all other aspects of my life. I have a rough idea what I am aiming for, but it's never set in stone. In addition, many people (and in this context read 'traders' or 'gamblers') who do set targets tend to set them too high. There is no point in setting unrealistic targets if it means that they are always unachievable. It is pointless, not to mention demoralising.

Regular readers will have been acutely aware over the past week, that I had a very good chance of breaking through the £1K/month profit target (oops, there's that word again) for this month. This was never a specific target but if anyone wants an illustration of why I do not set them, one only needs to look at my trading the past 9 days.

In the first three weeks of this month, I'd averaged £252/week. I had nine days to achieve the same thing. I was, albeit subconsciously, very aware of the big number. I believe this is reflected in my trading. The next seven days saw me make £160 - £90 less than I'd been doing earlier in the month - culminating in a profit on Sunday of 1 whole penny. LOL!

I had £83 to make in two days. A tall order at the best of times, but, as I was at a client's all day on Monday, I was only ever going to be able to trade in the evening. Still, with a somewhat cheeky lay on a Racing Post nap I got myself within £18 for the start of play this morning.

£18! I should be able to achieve that in a morning session on the greyhounds. Indeed, I frequently do. Not today though. At no stage was I more than £5 ahead. Almost as soon as I was in profit, I'd lose it again. When the horses came along, I kicked off by losing £9.

I spent all day becoming increasingly frustrated by my failure to trade properly. I was all over the place. In the end, in order to break through into 4 figures, I tried another cheeky lay of a Racing Post nap. This time in the last race of the afternoon card. You won't be surprised to learn that this one failed and I lost £40.

No matter. I took the decision to risk £40 in order to get to £1K for the month. It didn't come off on this occasion and that's OK. However, this little tale serves to illustrate how dangerous it can be to set targets, no matter how informal they may be. It most definitely affects one's trading mentality.

So, what about the rest of the month?

Well, I've finished off with my second highest total of £945.78 and there's been some excellent highlights in there.

Listed below are the totals for each market/sport I got involved in throughout the month:

Greyhounds... £749.22
Horses... £201.56
Soccer... -£5.00

First off, the return on the greyhounds is the best I've ever had with only £30 of that earned from bet matching the Bet365 Sky Greyhound offers. Clearly, I'm absolutely delighted with that.

The performance on the horses is also very pleasing and finally showing signs of contributing to my earnings. Granted, some of that total has been through bet matching the Bet365 horse racing offers, but that only accounts for £57.94 and was helped by the offers being extended through the Cheltenham meeting.

I'd image that the bet matching on Bet365 will fall by the way side as I have always been unfortunate in not finding winners. As I've pointed out in numerous posts, this has really been hitting my premium charge allowance pretty hard. If I decide to continue with these, and to be honest I should do more as it is easy money, I'll need to do it over at Betdaq. I'll need to find some cash to fund my account first though.

So, roughly £140 has been due to trading the horse markets. That has got to be good news. I've still got a long way to go on that front, but at least the nags are bringing something in. More importantly, they are doing so without harming the profit from the greyhounds.

The £5 loss on the football was I small bet I placed on the 1st of the month. Apart from that, I haven't touched football all month.

So, more of the same for next month if you please. The problem with having a good month is that it sets expectations higher for the next. From a financial point of view, that's not my intent. If I must set a goal, it would be to continue the development of my horse trading. I'd like it's contribution to double in the coming month.

As ever, I'll keep you updated on how the month unfolds. Thanks for reading.


PhilipH said...

Many congratulations on another fruitful month of trading. You certainly know the game, especially on the greyhounds, and the horses seem to be going very nicely too.

Now I should be encouraged by your success - but I am not. I just have not got the right attitude nor have I the right amount of courage. My stakes are too small to make it as a trader; I won £23 or so yesterday but most of it was because I'd studied the races and was lucky enough to find a couple of decent priced winners. OK, I traded out on both of them just prior to the end of the race but I then cursed because I could have just left them to go on without laying them back at the death.

Today I did not find a winner! I lost around £31. I have to admit that a trader I am not, nor will I ever be. However, I've learned a lot about using the exchanges instead of using Mr. W. Hill's services...:-)

To be brutally frank Alistair I am rather envious of your discipline and skill in this trading sphere. OK, I know you had a punt on laying a favourite on the dogs but you can be forgiven that lapse in view of your chasing the £1k monthly profit. I doubt you will do that again.

Good luck to you. I shall continue to keep a weather eye out on your informative and entertaining blog.


Paul said...

Great post and well done for the month, Alistair

leonthefixer said...

Hi mate - great post. I fully agree about the targets comments. I am dead set against setting them.

I do have 'targets' but they are very very lose targets. If I make them great but if I don't I don't really care. Having set targets just leads to you concentrating more on the target than the trading as my recent post said about me trying to get a 100% day.

However, I do think things like £1,000 in a month can become a mental hurdle. I remember trying to break £100 in a day for the first time. Took me weeks as whenever i got close to it I started to think about it and my trading went downhill.

After making £100 in a day once I did it 3 or 4 more times in that week! The hurdle was gone.

Same thing happened when I was getting my bank past the £1k mark. Took a week or two then I never looked back.

Well done on an outstanding month mate. Don't forget what you aimed for all those posts ago when you first started. It was just a little extra 'pocket' money. £900+ in a month is equal to what many people in this country earn in a month from their main living! So give yourself a big pat on the back and don't be so hard on yourself all the time!

Well done and keep posting. Really enjoy reading your posts!

PhilKi said...

Hi Alistair
Another great month on the greyhounds...congratulations.
It seems to be 1 step forward; half a dozen steps back for me with the dogs. Any tips for all aspiring dog traders?

Alistair said...

Many thanks for the comments chaps. Much appreciated.

PhilKi - I've had a number of people ask for tips over recent weeks. Rather than repeat myself here, I'll do a separate post on the subject as I'm not sure how many read all the comments.

Keep a look out for it over the next week or so.


Ostlerstrading said...

Well done Alistair. A good performance hard earned.

Keep up the good work and I know that I speak for many when I say your fist £1k month is just waiting to happen.