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!).

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