Trading software

Monday, January 24, 2011


Apologies, it’s been a while since I posted so I just thought I’d update a few things since the New Year. I know this is a trading blog but my outside life has an impact on my performance so here’s what has been happening in general, in both trading and life:

I haven’t really been doing much to be honest – I’ve decided to hold off for two reasons. Firstly, as mentioned before, I’m in the process of setting up a new office for myself. I want to decorate it properly and get a decent desk and screen set up too before I start trading again because at the moment, I’m mainly using the laptop from the kitchen table which wouldn’t be ideal! I’ve no private space anymore to trade and I just can’t perform when there are distractions around.

I’m thinking of getting a new broadband connection as my Eircom one is clocking in around 2MB-3MB when it’s supposed to be ‘up to 8MB’. I know you will never get 8, but it still seems a bit slow at times. I’ve heard UPC have got their act together and may jump ship to the 30mb but I’m unsure if I’m stuck into a contract with Eircom because I signed up for one of those bundle packages in the summer. When trading, you need every little edge you can get and if a couple of extra MB in speed can fire a bet in to the Betfair server quicker than the next man, it should be worth it.
Secondly, I’ve given a lot of thought to increasing my trading bank, perhaps to 5-6K. I won’t have the money until mid-Feb really so I don’t know whether to keep trading in the meantime. Yes, yes, I know I’ve preached patience before and I should let the bank grow naturally but I do feel slightly bored sometimes trading - and making a couple of quid on each race doesn’t seem to do much for me anymore. I know how selfish that must sound to those operating on smaller trading banks but I feel that the time has come to move this to a bigger level.
I’ve thought about this a lot. I know a lot of people make New Year resolutions that they don’t keep, but I want 2011 to be the year where I really crack on with the trading, or else pack it in. I feel I’ve spent enough time learning the ropes and if I don’t move on, I’m just going to get bored. I trade badly when I’m bored and I lose my discipline.  It probably sounds cocky, but making 50 quid a day doesn’t interest me anymore that much when you consider the amount of time I’ve put into trading and learning over the years.

Don’t get me wrong, I know guys that would love to make 50 quid a day sitting at home – sure half the country isn’t bloody working at the moment – but I just feel I’ve hit a bit of a rut and need to move this on with some more serious money, especially since I’ve taken plenty of paycuts in the 9-5 recently and am starting to miss the money.  I’ve also changed working hours to mind my daughter more so my annual salary has taking a fair whack too along with the paycuts. If the trading bank was twice what it was, I could potentially be making 100 a day instead of 50 or whatever - doing the same amount of work. Now that would make it a bit more interesting.
All that said, there are no guarantees and if it goes tits up, I’ll have blown some serious money, which is not something one wants to be doing these days.
I suppose there’s the argument that I should let the bank grow naturally and if I’m patient and successful, the money will come –but I’m not sure I want to spend hours and hours trading and watching the bank grow slowly. I want to be trading with a bank where the profit really makes a difference (although naturally, the losses will hurt harder too).
Money in general

That brings me on to the topic of money in general. I don’t want to be too specific about my personal finances on the Interweb, but I had a discussion with a friend in the pub on Thursday night and she made the point that I should stop moaning about pay cuts and that I’m lucky to have one good paying job – never mind other sources of income such as trading or writing.
And do you know what? She’s dead right.
She made me think a bit more over the past few days and I probably have been a little ungrateful with what I have, jobs wise.
My secret hero (Gordon Gekko!) once said that ‘greed is good’ but to be honest, I probably must have sounded like a right so-and-so moaning about pay when half the country is in ruins financially.

In my defence, I’d had a pretty bad week on the horses that week (traditional punting) and lost about one large – although it was purely my own fault for staking too high on some ‘certs’. That’s a serious amount of money in any man’s language and it hurt pretty bad, leaving me to have to cut back on certain things this month. That same week, I open my pay packet to find it reduced even further.

I guess I was just venting and licking my wounds a little but her point remains valid: I’m lucky enough to be able to have spare betting money – many families in Ireland are lucky if they can put bread on the table. And I know how they feel too – I grew up in a working class estate where there were no jobs about so deep down, I know I’m very lucky to have a couple of sources of income.
But it’s good to get some perspective on life from other people, and I’m glad she got me thinking quite seriously about what I’ve got - even though to her, it was just a quick bit of banter over a pint.
The writing is going well with my Indo column a few points ahead for the year so far.  I’ve been approached by one or two papers and websites about doing some more writing but I’m carefully trying to balance my work and family life so I can’t take too much on either. I do have a lot on at the moment and I really need to sort out my time better.

I've been working on that and will be reducing some elements of my betting work. I do love the writing for the paper though, and would like to do more. My goal for the year with the Indo is to beat last year’s profit of around 19 points. Also, I had a poor Cheltenham in 2010 so I’d like to make it a good one for the Indo in 2011 – we’ll wait and see!

This is going great and I’m feeling much fitter and healthier. I’ve also started lifting a few (small!) dumbbells just to get myself back into a bit of shape and I’m enjoying that a lot. Well, when I say enjoy it, I mean that I enjoy it when it's over! A man once said that if you enjoy exercise, you are not doing it right and I think he got that right. You have to push yourself to the point of un-comfort.

I used to do dumbbells years ago when I was in Karate and I always felt good afterwards. I’m not one of these guys that wants huge muscles or anything (far from it) but it’s nice to be toned and in shape all the same. The oul' six-pack is back and my arms are shaping up again.

 I've always been fairly thin so I'm not trying to bulk myself up - that wouldn't suit me but I am getting a bit more toned. I’m now running five days a week and it seems to get easier every time. I may introduce some harder runs up and down hills soon, but overall it feels good to be running again. In fact, a mate of mine suggested doing the Dublin marathon later in the year and I really think I’ll give it a lash! I’m not quite sure if he’s serious or not but I think he is and I’m sure we’d both have a bit of craic giving it a go.
I read recently that to be successful in trading, you have to strive to be successful in other areas of life too and I think I’m coming around to that view. Success breeds success and I’m trying to make improvements in a number of areas such as trading, home, family, fitness etc. It’s all good, and while I never really went in for the ‘power of positive’ thinking stuff, I must admit that a general feel-good outlook on life can work wonders in many areas.

Anyway, that’s enough from me, I’ll update again soon – hopefully then I'll be trading from my new home office (smiley face!).

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Setting up a new office

Not doing much punting or trading at the moment as I’m doing a good bit of work in the house. Part of this involves setting up a new office for me (smiley face). My daughter is currently in the box room (a room off our main bedroom) but is old enough now to have her own room upstairs. This leaves me with a small spare room that is going to be turned into an office.

I’m hoping the extra space will, in a small way, improve my trading – my setup will be more professional with my screens and computers and sports TV and it should beat trading from the sitting room or bedroom where I'm constantly interrupted!

Not sure when I’ll get it finished but I’ve most of her room done upstairs so hopefully she can move over the weekend or next week maybe – then I can get my new office decorated. Can’t wait. Will report back when I'm back up and running with my new setup.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Staying fit

This doesn’t relate to trading greatly but with the snow now gone, I’ve started running again to keep fit.

I’m not particularly fat or anything – I never really put much weight on at all – but it’s just to stay fit as I have been feeling rusty and tired. This can affect trading and life in general so it’s been good to get back out running now that the snow is gone.
At one time, I used to be very fit and done a lot of Karate/Hurling and other sports. When my daughter came along six years ago, I had just started university and my father got ill so I really had no time for sport. Slowly I let my fitness levels slip.

A couple of years ago, I started running again to get fit as I spend most of my day sitting in front of a computer. It’s amazing how great I feel afterwards and ironically, doing exercise gives me more energy for the day.

I must admit that I let it slip again last year and got lazy. Around November, I started running again but the snow came so I had to stop, but I’ve no excuses now and am back at it.

I’m lucky in some ways as I have some headstarts – Firstly, I never smoked so my breathing etc is pretty good and second, I don’t have much weight on me. So hopefully it won’t be long until I’m back in business and fit again. I’ve been eating a lot healthier in the past few months too. I still enjoy the unhealthy foods now and then and treat myself occasionally - but I'm trying to keep it to a minimum. I think turning 30 a few months back made me realise that now is the time to stop messing about with my health as any damage would be hard to reverse in another decade or two.

I’m going to start some more exercises to tone up next month but for the moment, I just want to get back running and in some sort of shape. I really enjoy it – no matter what worries are on my mind, be they personal, work or trading, they all just disappear for a time when I stick on the MP3 player and hit the road.

As mentioned, my energy levels and concentration are getting better so hopefully it will help me put in some decent trading sessions in the coming weeks and months.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Good start to the year

Kicked off the first day of the new year in style yesterday with a 7/1 winner - it was my main tip of the day in the Irish Independent so I'm pretty pleased with that:

I had a bad end to 2010 but a good one to 2011 so fingers crossed for a profitable year! I also done a double on Even Stevens which won and Bolton to win or draw so I was gutted when Joe Cole (who was offside!) knocked one in the added minutes.I traded some of it out on Betfair in the 85th minute so it's not like I lost a lot of money but it would have capped off a great day.

Regarding the racing, I'm not sure when I'll be back trading yet - my NTL is still acting up. It came back yesterday and went back off again this morning. It's back on now but I'm still going to get the guy out on Thursday to look at it. One of my mates tells me that they'll probably give me one of the new boxes with pause and record and all that lark. My digital box is about 5 years old so I could do with an update anyway. I've tried trading without the TV on before but I just don't like not knowing when the races are going off - you have to close out right at the off time to avoid going in-running but the race could have a delay or whatever, missing you an opportunity. Anyway, I'm happy to have a few days off and relax.