Trading software

Monday, December 19, 2011

Winner alright, winner alright

Drove to Dún Laoghaire and beyond in the car yesterday and won the €150. Happy days!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Learning to drive

Haven't been out and about in the car as much as I wanted to but I still have a week to win the bet with the missus.

She's driving years and thought I'd never bother to learn so a few weeks ago, we struck a €150 bet that I'd drive down to her work before Christmas and pick her up and drive home.

She works in Dún Laoghaire which is a busy town so it could be tricky as I've only ever drove on quiet roads on Sundays - but I'm going to kick on this week with plenty of practice. The car is big enough (Mitsubishi Lancer) so it's a little tricky to get used to compared to the motorbike but I'm really enjoying learning.

It would be a nice couple of bob to have for Leopardstown if I win the bet ;-)

Betting wise, I had a good day yesterday for the Irish Independent with a 12/1 winner (Raya Star). I'm pretty chuffed about that as I think I've had around 4 or 5 profitable weekends in a row at this stage. I consider myself a better punter on the flat but I've been doing quite good at this time of the year on the jumps.I'd been going through a rough patch for a while late summer so some nice priced winners are most welcome, especially at this time of the year.

Don't think I'll get to trade today on Betfair as I want to get out driving when I'm done my form study. Nearly done but there's nothing standing out so I might have a blank day on the betting front.

The car:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nearly there

As mentioned a few times, I’ve been getting up at six every morning to put in some good old form study work. It’s been tough to do but I’m getting loads done in the extra few hours in the morning and I’m going to keep it up. I don’t find a bet every day but I thought I’d track my progress and see how I get on over 100 bets and whether or not I can make the midweek stuff pay anymore. I’m half thinking of getting the tipping site going again as I used to make a few bob from it (I didn’t charge – I made money from donations and affiliate links) and so I may start proofing the bets again. 

Still have some things to think about but my 100 bet trial is close to an end as it’s gone well thankfully. There’s a picture below showing the progress on a chart, but here’s the basics:

Bets: 91
Wins: 50
Strike Rate: 55%
ROI: 32.72%
Average Betfair SP: 3.04
Longest sequence of winners in a row: 7
Longest sequence of losers in a row: 5
Profit to €10 stake at Betfair SP: €301

I’m delighted with this as I’m happy to operate at the lower end of the market price wise, and it suggests that money can be made on the shorter ones. The average price has been around 2/1. Short prices are nice in that you get plenty of feel good winning streaks - although the downside of course is that a losing streak can take time to recover from. 

Before I decide if I’ll start posting up my bets again, I’ve some stuff to do/think about. First of all, my site is lying idle for ages and needs a cleanup and a revamp. Second, I’ve to decide on a staking plan – the above is recorded to level stakes which is the best way to do a trial – but in reality, some sort of ratchet plan using  a percentage of the bank would yield a better return. 

Of course, all of the above assumes I’m going to remain profitable – I’m not stupid enough to take that as a given though. Things change all the time and a bad run can be just around the corner. Who knows, my next sequence of 100 bets cold hit plenty of losers and bad luck and may not pay – but I’ll plug ahead anyway and see how we go. Just one bet today, Pride Of the Artic at 2.35 Gowran - but this is a tricky and I have my reservations so please don't take that as a tip or anything.

With regard to trading the financials, the markets are not buying this Euro deal at all and we’ve finally dropped into the 1.20s with the Euro against the dollar. To be honest, I think they are all a bunch of morons – they brought even more uncertainty to the markets with this ‘plan’ just before the Christmas break.
It’s also looking increasingly likely that there may need to be a referendum on the deal in Ireland. Would it pass? I’m not so sure. People are tired of Europe, tired of politics, and tired of being broke. Remember the posters for the Lisbon treaty and the Nice treaty?    “Lisbon equals jobs, vote yes”   .... “Nice equals jobs, vote yes” . 

People were told that if they voted no, they would endanger the economy. So they voted yes. But where did it get us. Where the fuck are the promised jobs?  They may have a hard time selling this as the two other treaties didn’t deliver on what they promised, mainly jobs. 

Plus the idea of a financial tax in Europe but not Britain could damage us badly. Why would anyone stay in Dublin getting taxed out of it when they could just pop across to the city in London to do business without the tax?

Anyway, it’s a bit silly of the Irish government to be coming out scare mongering already telling us to vote yes – when the bloody content of the deal hasn’t even been agreed yet!
The economy is a mess either way so I don’t know that a yes or a no vote on this would change that. I dunno, you really can’t trust anyone with your money these days, can ye?

Progress on the form study so far:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Euro down & in-running madness on Betfair

Click here to subscribe to this blog.
Well, the markets are not really buying this new Eurozone deal it seems and as some suspected, it’s really just another small plaster on an open wound. It gets them a little more time but it’s not a real solution to be honest and I’m not so sure a referendum would pass in countries like Ireland should it arise.  Where do we go from here? It’s hard to say. After a day of falling slowly yesterday, traders have taken a bearish view of the currency against the dollar and as I type, we are now down to the 1.30s. 

From memory, we haven’t traded this low since January and you’d have to wonder if it will continue to slide should it break into the 1.20s.

On Betfair, there was in-running madness, joy - and carnage for some at Catterick today:

The winner Dystonia’s Revenge traded at the maximum odds of 1000 (999-1) on Betfair; €36 matched at that price.
Runner-up Eighteen Carat (caught close home) traded at the minimum odds of 1.01 (1-100).
Quel Ballistic (hampered and unseated 2 out) traded at 1.11 (1-9).
Faller Corkage (8 lengths clear when falling 2 out) traded at 1.15 (1-7).
Third-place Definite Appeal traded at 1.48 (just over 4-9).

Wonder how many banks were boosted/busted on that one!

Claimed your free €30/£25 bet yet?  If not, why not? Click here for more.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tricky times

Click here to subscribe to this blog.

It's been a funny week in the financials with everyone waiting on the big EU summit on Friday. It's kinda exciting to see which way it's all gonna go and it no matter what 'side' you are on, at least it's starting to finally come to a head. There's been a lot of uncertainty and I find it difficult to trade so hopefully by the new year we will at least know where we stand.

Regarding Betfair, the Irish government has announced in the budget that they plan to tax betting exchanges. How this will work remains to be seen and it seems very hard to police. There have been announcements on this before and nothing has happened so I'll see what happens over the next few weeks before I worry too much about it.

Anyway, I'll leave you all with this picture. Ciao!

Claimed your free €30/£25 bet yet?  If not, why not? Click here for more. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

A good month

Click here to subscribe to this blog.

November 2011 is now gone forever and were into a new month. November was pretty good and I’m very pleased with how the form study has been going (the screenshot shows the last 30 bets or so). As you can see, I’ve now got 70 bets under the belt and the profit to a tenner is €243.10.  I’m still going to wait until I’ve got 100 bets under the belt before posting these on my site and putting decent money on. You can’t help thinking that a ton on each would have yielded a profit of well over two large by now but I’m trying not to think that way as you can get cocky and carried away. As you can see, I record quite a bit about each selection (most of it will only make sense to me) so over time, I can filter out what is or isn’t working. 

Again, I don’t want to get too cocky and it’s possible that I just hit a streak of luck but the more bets I get under the belt, the more my confidence grows. It hasn’t been easy though – I’m up at six in the morning most days now and by the time 9pm comes around, I’m knackered. 

But getting up at six has also helped my financial trading and the couple of hours I get in the morning before I bring my daughter to school is a great time to get stuff done. It's nice a peaceful and quiet and I've found that I enjoy working away while everyone is still in bed.  I’ve been trying out some new strategies in the financial market s and so far, I’m churning a small profit. Again, I’ll wait some time before going at it with big stakes as I want to get into a routine. 

One of the lads asked me down for poker tonight and I would have loved to go as I haven’t played in ages. However, I promised my daughter I’d watch the Late Late toy show with her later so I guess I gotta stick to my word! Like many Irish homes, staying up late for the Toyshow was a big tradition in my house each year and it's good to do it now with my own family. We might get to play poker tomorrow though, so I’ll see how it goes.

November was also a good month for my Irish Independent column so I’m pleased about that. I had hit a poor spell for a while but as the National Hunt form starts to bed down a bit, it’s getting a little easier. I’m going to go with Sizing Europe in the tingle creek but it’s a tricky race and it won’t be easy to win. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Great S&P gap trade

I spoke about the S&P gap trade before and we got a great one today.
In fact, there was a huge spike in the S&P today after it closed the gap but I had put in a ‘take profit’ order at a certain point as I knew I wouldn’t be at the PC all day to manage the trade. Still, the gap trade itself worked great and a good profit was made. If you look at the chart, I have drawn vertical line at 1195.1 (where the market closed yesterday). 

I got up and watched the market from 6am and it was falling at that point. I was waiting on a turnaround (a 15min green candle) and that happened around 7.30am (point A). I bought at point A and put in a stop loss. After that, it’s really just a matter of waiting on the gap to close. I had to go to work so I put in a ‘take profit’ order just below the black horizontal line. Around 10.45, the market had nearly closed the gap and I’m confident that it would have done so anyway but at 11am, the news was out about the Central Banks’ action and the price shot up. My order to get out was hit at point B. 

That’s the downside to leaving orders, if I had been watching it, I could have left my order open and enjoyed a huge price move rather than closing out early for a profit. That said, not watching the markets has its benefits: it takes away the emotion. All in all, it was a good trade and I was very pleased to log in a lunchtime to see a nice profit.

On the racing front, I only had the one bet today Derwen Pryde which won at 4.0. This brings my form study bets up to 64 bets and the profit to an all time high of over €200 to a €10 stake. I’m pleased with that and so far, I’m on track to start proofing again soon if it keeps going well. 

Haven’t had a look at tomorrow’s racing markets yet – I think I’ll get up early in the morning and do it as I’ve a bit of reading I want to do tonight. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Driving, Euro trading, Betfair trading, Racing tips

As mentioned, I’m learning to drive and I’m quite proud of myself after yesterday. OK, it was only half a mile, but I drove down to the local train station and back, taking in some tight bends and a hill start along the way. This was my first time on the open road and while I was a little nervous, I felt a great buzz afterwards. I’m determined not to lose that bet with the missus and I think she’s getting worried! The car has a slow puncture though, so I’ll have to get that sorted today or tomorrow. I used to fix punctures years back when I worked in a garage so I should be able to do it myself. I’m going to try to keep up the driving as much as I can – even just small journeys but often will help.
With regard to the trading (financial markets), I’ve been staying away as I just can’t see any opportunities. No point in trying to trade for the sake of it. The Euro (versus USD) is a puzzle right now – there’s been bad news for most of the week but it has rallied strongly this morning (see picture below). At 7.45 am, we were down around 1.3282 but as I type, we are already up touching near 1.34. A good bounce trade if you can get it but I’m sitting it out for a bit as I’m finding it hard to trade. There’s rumour of a massive IMF loan being made available, mainly for Italy, but we’ll wait and see if that materialises.  
Haven’t really been trading on Betfair much – I’m working during the daytime and I decided to knock the evening all-weather on the head as I wasn’t making money on that. I hope to get back to it soon though and I’ve bought a new microphone as I’ve had a number of emails asking me if I’d make some more youtube videos. I’ve some time off over the Christmas and new year so I hope to clock up plenty of hours then – although I do want to actually go to some of Leopardstown (as I do every year). I’ve also had a few emails asked if I’d run a trading course for those that are trying to learn – I’ve no immediate plans to do so but it is something I might think about in the future. There could be a couple of bob in it if I got the right numbers – but when you start charging people for stuff, there comes a lot of responsibility and extra hassles. I’ll think about it after Christmas maybe but for now, it’s an idea that is being put on the long finger.
I was complaining about a bad run on the horses a few days back but I’ve had a good turnaround and hit six winners in-a-row with the form study stuff I’ve been doing. Funny how things can turn around quite quickly. Years back, I would panic during the bad spells and start changing things around. But when you start to fiddle with things, sometimes you  muddle the whole thing up and end up worse off. You have to prepare for the bad runs and take them on the chin. Likewise, you can’t let the good runs go to the head. Individual races don’t really matter too much – it’s all about grinding it out over the long term. I’m back over the 50% strike rate which is pleasing so fingers crossed, it continues to go well. As mentioned, I may re-establish the free tipping website in the future if these continue to be successful. I didn’t charge for the tips in the past but I used to make a nice couple of bob from affiliate links and also donations. I said I’d give it 100 bets before I started proofing again, just to make sure I could still make it pay, and also to make sure I could get up early every day and put in the graft! So far, I’ve had 31 wins from 61 bets and the profit to a ten euro stake is around €196. Generally speaking, I’ve been focusing on the shorter end of the market and the average Betfair SP is 3.32. I'm comfortable with this although the margins are tight. Sometimes there seems to be an obsession with punters trying to get ‘value’ bets at big prices but value can be found at all ends of the market and I don’t have any rules about what price I will or wont take. Some people won’t back odds-on for example but the only rule I follow is that the horse should have a better chance of winning (in my opinion) that the odds suggest. If so, then it’s a bet. I don't really understand the idea of not taking short prices. If a full strength Manchester United showed up to play the local pub team and someone offered you 10/11 on United, would you refuse as you don't back odds on? OK, it's a silly example but ye get the point. 
I got up early and done some work this morning and picked out two interesting ones – although I’m going to watch the market as I’m not 100% on either of them. In the 1.30 at Folkstone, Ohio Gol d looks like a good thing and my own ratings have him some 20lbs clear of the field. But 1/2 seems a little tight with some unexposed sorts in the field. Hmm, I’ll have to study this on a bit more.
In the 2.55 at Ffos Las, Azitone looks well ahead of the handicapper and by my reading of the form, she should win with plenty in hand. But I have reservations about this one too – I’ve been watching some of her races and she’s not what you would call genuine. Like most of the fairer sex (!), she’s  contrary and she only gives it her all when she feels like it. She’s currently trading around 11/10 and I think I’ll have to do a bit more work on this race too before I decide to back.So overall, I think caution is the theme for today.
Anyway, that’s enough rambling from me for now - best of luck with your punting, trading, or whatever else you get upto today.  

Euro/Dollar 15 minute chart:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Great day

Had a good day punting so far with my Irish Independent article doing very well. I had Overturn as my main bet which won at 7/4 and Carruthers at 10/1. Just had Half A Sixpence go in there too which is one half of my double. One more to go, Circuitous, at 8.50 which I've backed each-way 'to nothing' although the price is now in to around 3/1.

Hope I don't come across as boastful but ye gotta sing when you're winning!  God knows, there's enough losing days in this game. 

It's nice to get a few nice priced winners in this side of Christmas - as mentioned I hit a rough patch recently but thankfully, it didn't last too long.

Was out for a few jars with the lads last night so I think I'll just take it handy tonight and do a bit of reading or maybe watch a DVD. Actually, I have one called 'Enron' which is suppossed to be good so I may watch that.

Haven't had a chance to go through tomorrow's form - think I'll get up and do that early in the morning. Won't get to trade the racing as I want to go out and practice my driving. That's going OK although it's proving a bit harder than I thought! I kinda miss the motorbike but I'm going to keep plugging away at it. As mentioned, I've a bet with the missus for €150 that I'll drive down and pick her up from work before Christmas and I hate losing!

Today's Indo:

HORSE RACING can be a great leveller of men and it doesn't let you stay smug for long. Last week, I was feeling a little vainglorious down in the local with the lads when Overturn, which was my main bet of the day, came home at 5/2.
But soon after came the Betfair Chase at Haydock, in which a mate of mine had backed Kauto Star. He asked what I thought of his bet and I told him that Kauto was finished -- and that I wouldn't back him using my mother-in-law's account.
I was bullish about Long Run, but five minutes later my mate was all smiles getting the rounds in while I was sent to the corner of the room to think about what I'd done. But on this occasion, I was happy to be wrong and it was great to see the old battler turn back the years.
I did my dough on it, but as Kauto came over the last, the racing fan in me became stronger than the punter and I actually found myself cheering him on. Win or lose, those type of races remind me why I love this sport.
As mentioned, Overturn took the Coral Hurdle at Ascot last week and I'm happy to stick with the seven-year-old as he takes on Binocular in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle today (2.20).
As pointed out last week, Overturn has got to be one of the most versatile horses in training and we were set for a cracker of a finish before Oscar Whisky fell at the last. Whether Oscar Whisky would have won we'll never know, but Overturn ran a great race regardless, and I was particularly impressed with his jumping this time.
The 2010 Champion Hurdle winner Binocular is a great horse, but I'd have this pair evenly matched, so taking 11/4 over 4/5 is a no-brainer. Indeed, Timeform have them both rated equally and, on official ratings, the handicapper has them only a pound apart.
Binocular's backers have to assume that he's fully tuned up on his first run of the season, as he hasn't been seen since finishing third to Hurricane Fly in the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at Punchestown. He was beaten twice in this race before, so I'm surprised to see the backers get stuck in once again this time around.
On the other hand, Overturn's backers will be hoping that last week's race didn't take too much out of him, although the vibes from the yard are good on that front. While Binocular beat Overturn in the Christmas hurdle at Kempton in January, there has been a lot of water under the bridge since then and I reckon it could be closer than the market suggests.
Celestial Halo is a decent animal and will take them on a good gallop, but it looks like a match between the top two market leaders. At the prices, Overturn is the value option.

I read this week that the inaugural Hennessy Gold Cup in 1957 was won by Mandarin, owned by Peggy Hennessy. Peggy was a member of the family that founded the drink, and it's now the longest commercial sponsorship in British racing.
Trivia aside, though, this is a tricky one to figure out and it looks like Aiteen Thirtythree will go off as favourite.
While that gelding has strong claims, he's a bit short in the betting and preference is for Carruthers, which is generally available at 16/1.
He managed to finish sixth in last year's renewal, which was excellent considering the strong field that included Denman and eventual winner Diamond Harry.
Mark Bradstock's front-running gelding can go the distance, he's a good jumper, and he always gives a genuine effort (3.10 Newbury).

2.20 Newcastle: Overturn
3.10 Newbury: Carruthers (e/w)
8.20 Wolverhampton: Haaf A Sixpence
8.50 Wolverhampton: Circuitous (e/w)


Manchester City may be on top of the table but a trip to Anfield is often fraught with danger for the Citizens, and they haven't won there in their last eight league visits. This could be tight and I'm going to play it relatively safe with a double chance bet on Liverpool (win or draw) at 4/7 tomorrow.

Haaf A Sixpence ran well to come second in his first career race at Kempton recently considering he took a wide course. While he was no match for the winner, he looks reasonably promising and should land a maiden sooner rather than later. The Enjoy The Party Pack Group Offer Maiden Stakes is a weak enough contest and at 6/4, Ralph Beckett's gelding is a fair price to get off the mark this evening (8.20 Wolverhampton).

Irish Independent

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Euro, a bad spell on the racing, mobile devices, tooth fairy

Have to say, the Euro (versus USD) is proving more resilient than I thought despite all the bad news. When a product is constantly receiving bad news but still holds its price, it must be respected. I’m still bearish in my view of the currency but I was surprised to see it hold above 1.33 and rise back up to over 1.34 this morning. This comes on the back of German bonds not selling which did put a bit of pressure on yesterday. I must admit that I feel it should be around 1.30 right now but it doesn’t really matter what I think – the markets will have their way. It’s a holiday in the US so it may be quiet enough, but I think I’ll leave the Euro alone for the next while. 

By the way, the S&P gap never closed yesterday so I got stopped out for a small loss. Nothing much to worry about though but it’s still a kick up the arse. 


I mentioned before that I’ve been doing some proper form study each day and that it has been going well. But I’ve hit a bad patch and of the last 17 bets, I’ve only had five winners. Included in that,  I had five losing bets along the way which cost me a few bob. Considering the strike rate was 50% up to this, it’s a little disappointing. But I’m not too worried – I did hit 7 winners in a row at one time so the opposite must be expected now and then. It’s all about taking the good with the bad. Thankfully, the early gains have provided a cushion for the losses and I’m still up overall. Again, after 100 bets, I’m thinking of proofing these again for my site (provided it stays successful). As we stand, we have:

Bets: 55
Wins: 24
Strike Rate: 44%
Return on investment: 27.57%
Average price (Betfair SP): 3.54
Profit to €10 stakes: €140.60

I’ve a couple picked out for today – although they are mostly short prices. Please God, they give the bank a little boost:

12.50 Uttox – Golden Chieftain
1.05 Thurles – Apt Approach
2.00 Uttox – Mangonel
2.10 Newb – Grand Crus


For anyone who reads this blog on a mobile device, you should see an improvement in the layout. I’ve switched to the simple view for smartphones etc rather than the regular webpage. Hope it helps a bit.

Best of luck with your trading/betting today – I could do with a good day as the tooth fairly called again last night. A fiver she left! 

In my day, you were lucky to get twenty pence as the tooth fairy’s husband “was out of work” and they hadn’t got much money, according to my old man. Ha ha, God rest him, and God bless the early 80s.
I do remember one particular occasion though,  when the tooth fairy’s husband must have found some work - as I woke up to find one of these beauties under the pillow:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Course in trading, S&P 500 gap trade, Lingfield racing

Finished the diploma in Financial Trading last night and I found the course excellent. I learned tonnes and am looking forward to putting it into action and hopefully earning a few bob. I also have access to their trading days in their office on the 3rd Friday of the month which I’m looking forward to. Basically, you bring in the laptop and trade with the tutors for the day – they are on hand for mentoring and advice. Can’t go this week but I may try make the December one. 

The next step with my financial trading is to go through all my notes and come up with a proper trading plan. I’ve been doing OK at it but it’s been quite hap-hazard which isn’t ideal. There’s no point in jumping on the laptop whenever I can and trying something out – I need a timetable and must decide when I’m going to trade. I need to know what I’m going to specialise on and what style of trades suit my personality.  For now, daytrading isn’t really an option but I do have the two hour timeslot from 6.30am to 8.30 to place a few strategic trades, plus some time at the weekends to look at longer term positions. I may concentrate on that timeslot for the next month or two and see how it works out – although it does mean getting up early each day. Still, I’ve never been afraid of a bit of graft so I don’t think it will be any bother. 


One of the topics on the course was the S&P gap trade and I have an open position on that today. I’m not giving any secrets away when I explain how it works – it’s one of the most widely known trades out there and as such, it has certain self-fulfilling qualities. 

Basically, you check what price the S&P closed at the night before (around 9pm Irish time). At this point, the Asian markets take over while the Europeans go to bed. In the morning (6.30 to 8.30), you check if the S&P futures has dropped from that closing price overnight. If so, you buy it and wait on the gap to close to the previous night’s close. It can be quiet for a while but when the Americans come in, they usually close the gap as most Americans still prefer to buy rather than selling - and don’t like to see us pesky Europeans and Asians shorting their stock.  If the gap hasn’t closed by around 3pm, you get out as by that stage, the ‘real’ market is in full swing. 

To see an example, look at the chart below.

Last night, the S&P closed around 1188 (I’ve drawn a black horizontal line at that price). I’m basically hoping the price rises back up to this price. You can see in the night/early morning trade, the price went lower and dropped to around 1169 at one point. 

When I got up at 6am, the price was around 1172 which was a fair gap from 1188 so I bought in anticipation of the gap closing before 3pm today. As I type, it’s slightly up on that and I’m hoping the gap will close up to the black line when the Americans arrive at their desk. 

As mentioned, because it’s one of the most famous trades out there, it kinda becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as people buy in anticipation of the gap close and thus push up the price. Of course, it doesn’t always work and a news item could destroy the trade so proper stop-losses should always be in place. I’m heading out now but I hope that the gap has closed by the time I check back around 3pm. If so, the profit will be in my account and that’ s a good job done. 


One the racing front, I’ve no huge fancies today although I do think Princess Lexi is worth a punt in the 3.45 Lingfield. She’s off a lower mark here on the all-weather and she ran well for the new yard last time. 3/1 on the machine looks a fair price. 

Best of luck with your trading/betting or whatever it is you get upto today!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gloomy Monday?

Seems to be a gloomy feeling in the markets so far this morning with a lot of major products down.

I'm bearish on the Euro and it's taken a fair hit in this morning's trade. The S&P500 and the EUR/USD have been pretty much tracking each other over the past couple of weeks and it's not surprising to see the S&P down too.  I normally like to try the well-known S&P gap trade - but I'm going to give it a miss today as there's been a fair drop this morning and the mood continues to be negative. Besides, we've some 'Existing Home Sales' data due out in the US later so that will probably take over the markets.

By the way, Forex Live is a great site for finding out the latest news that will be coming out each day and how important or not it is - they have an excellent calender for that stuff:

Make sure you adjust the timezone to suit locally. It's essential to know what big announcements are being made. When I started trading, I'd often forget to check the calenders and the next minute the markets would start going mad over some news and I'd lose a packet!

On the racing front, there doesn't seem to be a lot of opportunities out there although I do like the look of Mangoel in the last at Kempton, priced around 9/5. She wasn't doing much at all but she switched to Jim Best's yard and he seems to have figured her out.

Anyway, here's the Euro vs Dollar 15min chart for this morning, showing the early losses. It's interesting to see it test the 1.346 level numerous times here and fail to break up through. There's almost a straight line of about 6 candlesticks on that level:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Update: racing tips, financial trading, Euro 2012, books on trading

Haven’t been online much this week so hence the lack of blogging but here’s a quick update of what’s been going on:

Form study
Going much better than expected. As mentioned, I’m putting the work in each morning and being very selective. The long term view is to get the free tipping site back up in running if I continue to be successful. So far, I’ve had 23 winners from 46 bets – the strike rate has been remarkably consistent around the 50pc mark. I’m very pleased with this win rate as the average price is 3.2 (Betfair SP). A price of 3.2 suggests that the horses should have a win rate of only 31pc so a win rate of 50pc is great. The profit to a €10 stake is €179.90. The longest sequence of winners was seven in-a-row and the longest sequence of losers was 3 in-a-row. I don’t want to get carried away, any high strike-rate strategy is bound to hit on nice winning streaks and that’s possibly what happened - although as the bank and the number of bets build, so does my confidence. If the profit to a tenner is anywhere between €250 to €300 when I’ve 100 bets under the belt, I’ll be a happy bunny. Just one bet for today (Rith Bob, 1.40 Wincanton) although the price will be short. 

Diploma in financial trading
Is going great – we are into week 6 and have covered tonnes of stuff. Really starting to form a view on things and the course was definitely worth the money. Some of the work we are doing really reinforces the idea that simplicity is often the key. Who was it that said KISS (keep it simple, stupid)? I think this principle is definitely worth thinking about in trading. Again, some of it is obvious – risk reward ratios, stop losses, not fighting the market, learning to live with a lot of small losses... It’s stuff most traders should know inside out but rarely follow. The course reinforces it all but also gives strategies and insights from traders that have been doing it for a living for donkeys years. 

The markets
Haven’t had the chance to trade Betfair in a while with work etc, and the evening racing now finished. I said I’d leave the poor all-weather stuff alone for a bit as I was losing money on it so I’ve done that. On the financials, I’ve been trading in small sums and also using the demo account. I’ll continue to do this until I’m finished the course as I still feel I’m learning all the time.  I’ve been mainly selling the euro and trying out some stuff we learned on the S&P on the course. I still have a fairly bearish view overall. I was probably moving a fair bit off my horse racing brief but in my Irish Independent ‘Betting Ring’ column on Saturday, I suggested that the Euro would fall a couple of cent against the dollar this week and it’s went from 1.37 to near 1.34. I’m happy about that – but my racing tips that week turned out to be donkeys! Ah well, ye win some and you lose some. 

Ireland soccer
Fantastic to see Ireland qualify for Euro 2012 and it kinda takes me back to the good old days of ‘Jacks Army’. Please God, we’ll have some good times in the summer – half thinking of going over for a match or two. 

Currently reading Mastering the trade by John F. Carter. I’m not far into it, just three chapters, but I can tell that this is a really excellent book. It’s very readable (which is rare in the trading genre!) and has plenty of real life examples and strategies. It’s good on the psychology of trading too which is of huge importance. Most trading books are hard work but this one is enjoyable to pick up. I recently finished God in the pits, confessions of a commodities trader by Mark Ritchie. It was a very interesting read (although it’s a good few years old) and mainly concentrates on how he is trying to lead a good (religious) life alongside his other life in the often murky world of trading. It’s very interesting although it’s more of a biography than a trading book.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cheltenham, Novebmer

Anyone who knows me well will be aware that I much prefer punting on the flat and find it easier to make a few bob - so the return of the National Hunt is not something I welcome as much as most Irish people. However, as a spectacle, the NH is always better to watch and it's hard not to get a little excited as the season starts to kick off with some decent races at Cheltehham. Of Irish interest, Garde Champetre is hard to oppose in Friday's Cross County although at 12 years of age, he's no spring chicken. Still, early odds of just under 11/10 on seem pretty decent and I may just have a dabble.

In the soccer, I'm hoping for an Ireland win obviously although their style of play can be odd and I'm not doing to well betting wise under Trap's set-up. We are 4/11 to qualify so fingers crossed we get something away to Estonia.


The badge of a Garde Champetre, which is actually what rural policemen are called in France:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

So far, so good

I mentioned last week that I may set up the tipping site again. As stated, I’ve been putting in some serious form study again and so far its paying off so I’ve a loose plan on what to do with the site. I’m going to continue testing at home until I reach 100 bets at which point I may stick the selections on trial on the blog (before re-establishing the main site). 

If it continues to be successful after, say, 100 bets on the blog, I could then start the main site again and start proofing. Not sure if that’s what I’ll do but I want to keep working hard and testing before I decide to get the site up again. Sure we’ll see how it goes. At the moment, I’ve 34 bets under the belt, with 17 winners (50%). The ROI is 50.47% and the average price is 3.57 (Betfair SP). The profit to a ten euro level stake is €171.60. 

I don’t expect to continue to hit those highs (especially as the season has changed over) hence the further testing before I post but I have to say, I feel good to be getting up early and doing the old form work again.
Don’t take these as tips !  but there are two selections today I hope will go well – Distime (3.10 Bang) and Sheikh The Reins (5.20). Fingers crossed they go well.

In the financial markets, it’s been a mental week. Can’t believe the Germans and French got rid of Berlusconi. That’s two European leaders in a week – the cynics could say that the takeover is well and truly underway.  Markets rose last night but fell this morning and it’s looking like Italy needs a bailout – one that we can’t afford really. Interesting times, although hard to trade. 

No more Bunga Bunga parties:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Betfair, Greece & trading the Euro/Dollar

Sorry folks, haven’t posted all that much lately, mainly because I haven’t been trading much.
On the Betfair front, I haven’t been around during the day as I’ve a lot on with work and most of the evening stuff has been crap. I’m finding it harder than ever to make money from the low quality all-weather meetings and I get the feeling that there’s not much non-trader money in the markets that can be picked up. The liquidity is low and you see the markets getting manipulated quite a bit so I’m thinking of quitting the poor quality evening stuff – or at least reduce stakes.
On the financial trading, I haven’t done much either as the markets have been mad with all the chaos over Greece. Good old George Papandreou really threw a grenade into the room when he said he’d have a referendum on the bailout!  Now he’s backtracked but you’d wonder what he was thinking all along.Whether you agree or disagree with the whole bailout thing, most sides would agree that they are all as mad as hatters.
I’ve been keeping an eye on the Euro against the USD on all of this and was a bit surprised that it didn’t drop a little further. For a good few weeks, it traded in a range from around 1.40 to 1.45 but then took a dive for the month of September. It recovered a bit in October but it’s too hard to predict at the moment and I reckon the best option is to go to cash right now and sit it out for a bit. At times like this, I like to go to my demo account - in that way, I’m continuing to trade (and keep on top of the markets) but not risking any money. There are other influencing factors of course but until the Greece (and possibly Italy!) thing settles, it could be choppy waters. As I type, we are at 1.38 or thereabouts. 

Managed to make  €320 day-trading the S&P 500 today with a bank of 20K.  Pity it was my demo!!

EUR/USD daily chart & my S&P trade.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Good old form study

Currently working on something that looks promising...

Last year, I ran a (free) tipping site, and I’m thinking of re-establishing it sometime in the near future. 

I got a fairly big following at the time as the profits were OK and made a nice few quid from affiliate links but I stopped tipping as I simply hadn’t got the time.  I do miss doing it though and the extra income from both the bets and the affiliates was welcome.

So I decided to start doing some serious form study again, usually early in the morning and so far, the results are positive. If it continues to go well, I may re-establish the tipping site. This time though, I’m only concentrating on a couple of races per day – and if there’s no bets, that’s fine. One of the problems with running a tipping site is that people expect selections every single day (even though it was free). You can also run into problems when you hit a losing run as you get slated on forums etc, but I guess that comes with the territory.

I wouldn’t call it a system as I’m doing from study but I have found that a systematic approach (concentrating on certain races and horses) has helped cut out most of the poor bets and so far, this work has paid off. I’m not sure if or when I’ll get the tipping site going again, I may just stick the selections on the blog, but it feels good to be able to take a few quid from the markets, especially since I'm using my own ratings and tissue prices for the bets. I’ll post about it again in the future but here’s the early results, recorded to €10 stakes at Betfair SP, assuming one was on the maximum 5pc commission:

Bets: 20
Wins: 10
Strike Rate: 50pc
Average price: 2.94
Profit to €10 stakes: 67.20

Here's the qualifiers so far - I'm having a particularly good run the past few days:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mad markets

Had a small few quid in one of my trading accounts and tried to do a bit this week but it's very choppy with this whole France/Germany row and I've decided to get out and go to cash for a bit until it settles.

Will there be a deal? who knows but I'm afraid of getting caught in one of the many swings so I'll watch from the sidelines.

As I type, the Euro/USD is 1.3844 which is up from a few days ago but still quite low compared to April or may.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Investor & Trader summit

Took a day off today to go into town for the Investor & Trader summit, run by Marketspreads.

David McWilliams is the chair and it looks quite interesting. Peter Brown, who runs the IIFT trading course I'm doing, is also a speaker as is Charlie Fell from the Irish Times.

I've been to these sort of things before and I usually find that you learn a few bits and bob.

The IIFT course, by the way, is really enjoyable and I've learned quite a bit in the first two weeks. Can't wait to put some of it to practice but I've decided to open up a demo account again just to try out some of the new strategies before going live with bigger money.

I've no open positions with my live account at the moment - things are still quite funny and it's hard to make a decision about which way the markets going. 

Otherwise, I've not much to report.

On a non related note, a mate of mine is giving me a car this weekend :-)    I drove a motorbike for years but it's high time I learned to drive a car so I'm looking forward to something new although I am a tiny bit nervous. I have a bet of €150 with the wife - I told her I'd drive down in the car and pick her up from work at Christmas. She says I wont. So I've a couple of months to learn to drive as I sure as hell ain't giving her a ton and half!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Learning to trade (financials)

I've been doing pretty well trading the financial markets (albeit with a small bank) in the past year and while it's good to pat oneself on the back for a job well done, I won't pretend I didn't catch some good lucky upswings which greatly added to the total. Still, I feel I'm learning all the time and still find it absolutely fascinating, which is great as I don't get bored reading or learning about the topics.

But there's tonnes of room for learning/improvement. Despite keeping in the black, I've really only dipped my toe into the water of financial trading and want to take it a bit further. So tomorrow, I'm starting that diploma with the Irish Institute of Financial Trading and I'm looking forward to it immensely.

The course was expensive, €950 in fact, and I'm not naive enough to think this will be some sort of silver bullet that will make me become a super trader or anything - but there's only so much you can learn at home from reading books/websites and I think the course can't hurt. I've hear very good things about it anyway so fingers crossed.

When I first started trading on Betfair, I lost a fortune and I wish there had been some sort of course out there back then. I eventually done Peter Webb's course (founder of Betangel) and it set me on the right track. That course was expensive too but it paid for itself numerous times over at this stage. Hopefully, this diploma course will eventually earn/save me €950 cost the cost over time.

Elsewhere, I see that Greece hasn't met its targets and we have (yet another) 'crisis' with the Euro. You kinda wonder how many crises' (is crisis' the plural of crisis?) we can go through before the arse just falls out of it.

Whatever happens with the Euro and Greece, hopefully some of us can make a couple of bob out of it somehow. I've no positions at the moment though as I have to get some funds back into my trading accounts (I withdrew quite a lot when I went off on hols).

I've a busy week ahead and my missus is away for the week at Cambridge to study so I doubt I'll get near the Betfair markets as I'll be minding my daughter when I'm not working. If I can nip and hour or two here or there, I'll report on my progress.