Saturday, 5 July 2008

Like a pack of cards.....

Daily Loss £283.34

I replied to a comment made by Mike on my blog a few days ago and I said “ When my confidence went, it was like a pack of cards and everything became far too difficult”.

Well guess what? I lost my confidence this afternoon and it became car crash stuff to be honest. I took a bit of stick recently for decreasing my stakes after doing so well but as I keep telling everyone, I’m only a novice at this game and I know I’m still not that good a trader. I take no satisfaction from saying “I told you so!”

I think some people mistake my realism for some sort of arrogance but I don’t really give a shit to be honest. I know what I’m doing and when I’m a good trader, you’ll hear me shouting it from the rooftops. At the moment, I have 4 months experience and I’m still learning everyday. I’m not that great a trader and I’ve a long, long way to go before I get to where I want be. That’s not me putting my trading down, it’s the truth!

Part of me just wants to stop this post here but I’m going to finish it if it kills me!

I was £100 up after trading 3 races today. I had 2 wins and a rsikfree bet which ran badly.

Here are my 2 wins.

As you can see, I did really well but I don’t want to dwell too much on these wins.

My record for the rest of the day reads 8 races traded, 1 break-even and 7 losses. I suffered my first loss of £23 in my 5th race. I had £600 riskfree on a horse trading at 50 at the off. However, I had got involved trading another horse in the race and got in a bit of a mess. I lost £23 on it and I was hoping the other horse would run well and save me the loss but it didn’t happen.

So, £77 up for the day and having a good day again. The fun then started!

I backed a huge drifter, which went mental on Betfair and I lost £94 on the trade. That’s one hell of a bad trade to be honest and it affected me more than I realised. I ended up with my whole bank on the horse and it continued to drift, so I had to take the large loss.

I then got a riskfree bet on a horse which ran badly and I thought about calling it a day as Andrew was signing off MSN after having a nice profitable day trading the 2 horses I won on also.

I can’t exactly remember the words Andrew used but he said “Don’t chase the winnings you lost” and I replied “I’ve not got anything to chase as I’m not down too much yet!”.

I then traded 5 races in a row, losing on 5 trades, ending up with my full bank on a horse twice and getting myself in an awful mess as every horse I backed drifted wildly! When I say wildly, I mean wildly. I lost £90 on a sprinter at Haydock that went from 14 to 32 on Betfair. I kept backing and backing and by the time it reached 28, I had £600 win on it. I then had to lay off at 32+ and it became an absolute mess with red everywhere.

I really fancied Gala Sunday in a race at Beverly. It drifted badly and I couldn’t understand it apart from its bad draw. I was right about the draw and it had no chance on the outside of the field. This was another £80 loss as I decided to take some red in running but it never shortened since it was always wide. I could have saved myself £40 here but my discipline was well shot by then, so I wasn’t really caring to be honest.

I’m not in the mood to talk through every race as you can imagine but my trading got me in a mess everywhere and it’s back to the drawing board for me (again!).

This has put a dent in my trading bank again which is no bad thing to be honest. At the moment, my head is a bit messed up and I’m not planning on trading for a few days again.

Incidentally, I made a promise to myself and Denise that I’d never put any of my £2k profits I’ve withdrawn back into Betfair if I lose my trading bank. Hence, I’m left with a few hundred in my account now and that will mean a reduction in stakes again I’m sorry to say.

Not really sure what else to say. I feel sickened by today to be honest and I’ll no doubt reanalyse things and see where I went wrong. Maybe I got too relaxed after having 2 large wins at the start of the day. Not too sure at the moment what happened if I’m honest but I’m not going to let this get me down this weekend, so I’ll look at things on Monday.

I hope everyone else had a better day than me!

I’ll start to read my new trading books this week, so maybe that will help me understand what happened!


Anonymous said...

you've just got to remember that what you do isn't easy to achieve (or everyone would do it !). When you are flying, you are focused and disciplined - if you lose these, you know what happens...
You simply need to get your discipline back - and perhaps also get back to trading with knowledge (rather than on expected market movements).
I know you'll need a few days to recover from this - but just remember that you've not lost any of your skill or ability - you just got a bit complacent or lazy. Sort that out and everything will be fine again - trust me...

Steve said...

I'd echo A's comments, it's just a case of getting disciplined as your strategy works but you cant seem to handle to odd losing trade and go off on recovery mode.

Certainly not the only one to do it as I do it myself far too often but it never pays off in the long run. Also think your reducing stakes is a bit pointless as it'll put the pressure on you too much trying to attain the same level of profit as previously but with a smaller bank. You might not do it consciously but subconsciously you will and bound to be dipping into that 2k profit soon enough.

I'd advise you to stick some back into the the account as in the long run it'll make more sense than trying to trade with limited tools so to speak.

All very well wanting to stick to promises etc nut if you want to make a go of this you shouldn't be cracking at the first hurdle and giving yourself added pressure playing with a small bank. By all mean reduce stakes for a while but you'll end up using the full bank on most trades which is never wise and will only lead to your downfall.

You've only been trading part time for 4 months or so and made £2k give yourself a pat on the back not grief we all have crappy periods trading it's how you get thru them that counts.


Alistair said...

Hi Graeme,

Sorry to hear of your loss. These periods of self-doubt can be so difficult. I'm going through one myself just now.

I think A it the nail on the head. The impression I get recently is that you appear to have inadvertently moved away from your very successful strategy of form analysis based trading. In my view, that's what gives you a great edge.

By all means, temporarily reduce your stakes until your confidence returns. However, it may be that your strategy has changed, albeit subconsciously. That being the case, it may be more beneficial to return to the basics of your strategy rather than alter your staking.

All the best for the next time you venture forth.


Matt said...

Sorry to hear about today Graeme.. it's quite late, so I'll keep my comment fairly short if I can...

A few things come to mind here..

- Every market and every trade are equals, just singular events on a path that is very very long. We all have a tendency to blow the one we are involved in out of all proportion, if it's a losers it's just a loser - adhere to your strategies for managing your losses and cut it. Then it's a simple case of... "NEXT".. minimise, then forget it, you dealt with it.

- You cannot 'win' that money back, you simply continue to work your strategy on each market, working your winners, chopping losers. Each loss is lined up in your path waiting to happen, and they will happen regularly and in sometimes in ridiculous runs on of consecutiveness. Plan for them! Don't act surprised when one comes along, don't 'react' to it.. execute your plan to cut and 'NEXT'...

- Don't argue with the market. In general, it knows a lot more than you do. If it's screaming at you that you are wrong, do something about it and fast.

- Cutting stakes is the right thing to do when things aren't going well.

- When you felt the rise of need to get your losses back, learn to stop until you are normal again. Consider how much money this may have saved you today... Inaction is one of your biggest weapons, everyone else in the market loves it when others are on tilt, you don't have to give them the satisfaction.

Take time off, you've paid your tuition fees for today and the next couple of days if need be. Think over how you might have acted differently, don't surpress how you feel, but start to feel a strong need to minimise losses agressively, you have to want to not lose as much as you want to win perhaps...

We've all been there, and we'll probably all visit this scenario again! I've done it many many times..


Matt said...

I liken a lot of this to poker. Great players can go all day folding hands if they aren't right to play.

When things are perfect, then they play aggressively.

There was a great section in Zen and the Art of Poker, where he talks about developing a feel for when things aren't flowing for you and lowering stakes or becoming less aggressive until you regain the flow of the game and confidence. There's nothing wrong with this at all.


Cassini said...

Hi Graeme, Unlucky on a bad day today, and I would agree with your decision to reduce your stakes. The only person who knows what stakes you are comfortable with is you, and I know from experience that you don't need to use big stakes to make big money. Slow and steady. Good luck.

TickSize said...

Hi Graeme

Keep your chin up mate, you lost a battle but not the war.

I advise you take sometime off. When you return ensure the fundamentals of your system is sound and prepare for the long haul .

I found this On-line it may help.
"There is a random distribution between wins and losses for any given set of variables that define an edge"

The Betfair Loser said...

Hi Graeme,

Thanks for your comments on my blog when I had my own personal nightmare day last week!

Judging by your previous results, you should earn it back quickly know you have the skills to do so!

Best of Luck!!

Graeme Dand said...

Agree with everything you say Andrew! I know I lost my discipline and I know I’ve got lazy and have been trying to find shortcuts to win money. I’m looking forward to getting back to doing what I do best now though and as long as you keep supplying me with a few winners, I’m sure I’ll be fine! lol (no pressure mate!)

Steve, I wish I knew why I lost the plot on Saturday mate. I had one bad race when I knew I should have cut my loss short and then I lost the plot.

I’ve thought long and hard about the whole stake size thing. I think I need to see this as a long term game and not just 12 months. Ideally, I want to make as much money as soon as I can but at the moment, I’m playing about with large enough stakes. As I’ve shown, I can win £50 a race with a £100 stake when I’m on form. When I have a large bank, I’m liable to just end up chasing drifters with higher stakes and as Saturday shows, ending up with £600 win on some donkey is not the best place to be in.

If I do happen to recover from this quickly and get back to making consistent profits, I’ll happily top up my bank to make more profits. However, I need to prove to myself that I can make consistent profits first as I’m a bit erratic at the moment. I’ll reassess the situation at the end of this month.

Ali, I agree with you 100%. I have moved too far away from what I do well and I’ve been looking at shortcuts to win money. As you’ll see from today’s post, I don’t see anything wrong with having a few strategies but I need to factor this into my stake sizes. I am returning to basics but at the same time continue experimenting with smaller stakes on other strategies, so I’ll see how I do.

Matt, I like your idea of short comments! I feel like cutting your comments out and pasting them on my wall. I think the “don’t argue with the market” is my biggest fault at the moment. I feel this is OK when I’ve done my research and if I really think a horse is wrongly priced, I’ll take a stance. However, on Saturday, I was taking a stance all the time without using my judgement and that’s what ultimately cost me.

I think my main strategy exploits the fact that I know more than the market in a certain type of race and this is my ‘edge’. If I didn’t argue with the market in some races, I wouldn’t win as much as I do with my smallish stakes. However, trading the right horse is the key to it. On Saturday, I lost my discipline and was trading at random. Silly boy!

I like your poker point. As you can probably guess from your limited reading of my blog thus far, when I play poker, I don’t play too tight a game. My poker friends call me ‘All in Dand’ and you can probably imagine why. I’m the sort of player that everyone hates since I’ll raise with any cards and I’ll catch you out when you least expect it. Not sure how that relates to my trading but probably linked to my lack of discipline!

Hi Cassini. Slow and steady mate is the order of the day I think. I’ve shown quite successfully that I can generate decent profits with small stakes. Just need to prove it again.

Ticksize, taken on board your comments mate and I’m taking a few days off.

Hi BTL. I guess you know how it feels! I think how we both bounce back is what defines us as traders. Everyone knows this game is easy when you are winning. How you deal with a loss is what separates the good traders I guess. I hope you bounce back also and we can both go on from here.