Sunday, 30 March 2008

Mountain Climbing


Since Last Post P/L: £33.55
Monthly P/L: £150.50
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There are two ways at looking at my progress over the last month - slow & steady if you're an optimist and shaky & inconsistent if you're a pessimist. Fortunately, I can normally find a way of shining a positive light on most situations and in this case my view is that although I may be walking slowly I'm still not walking backwards.
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With life starting to settle down a bit I'm becoming more relaxed and as I'm a person who craves structure and routine this is most welcome. It's a been a challenging few weeks but there now seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel and I'm confident that April will help get my results back on track. It promises to be a busy month with plenty of trading action; the Masters @ Augusta, the start of the UK Domestic Cricket season, Indian Premier League Cricket and continued coverage of the Darts Premier League - surely this is my start to 2008?
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Here's my results since my last post:
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Darts
Jenkins v Wade : £7.04
Van Barneveld v Part : £16.99
Mardle v Manley : £41.25
Taylor v Jenkins : £35.85
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Rugby Union
EDF - Leicester v Wasps : £186.83
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Soccer
Man Utd v Liverpool : £16.16
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Golf
WGC CA Championship : £135.41
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Rugby Union has let me down this month and I'm not entirely sure why. I'm in the process of dissecting my approach to this market and maybe it's time for a little tinkering to the system? One thing is for sure, you can never sit still in this game.
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Friday, 21 March 2008

Keeping Focused


Since Last Post P/L: £170.97
Monthly P/L: £116.95
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Don't ever underestimate the effect your personal circumstances can have on your profit & loss figure. From a trading perspective, March has until now has been an extremely disappointing month and it's only over the last few days that some evidence has appeared that I maybe on the road to recovery. I'm under no illusions that the arrival of Caden and all the additional responsibilities that go with having a baby are the reason I've been unsettled and in turn my mind hasn't been fully 'on the job' when switching on the computer. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't swap him for the world but there's an important lesson to learn - events beyond our control can effect our mental state despite our best intentions and these changes can have a serious impact on how much money we can make.
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Here's my results since my last post:
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Golf
Arnold Palmer Invitational - Winner : £54.06
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Darts
Jenkins v Lewis : £43.77
Mardle v Barneveld : 53.87
Part v Manley : £19.27
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It's pleasing to see that Golf is starting to make a comeback to my portfolio. It's been a long time since I felt comfortable trading the sport and with Tourcast being discontinued I was sure that any edge I had may have disappeared.
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I've also spent a bit of time studying the Darts this week and last night was the first time of trialling the improved system with reduced stakes. The results were consistent but more importantly I felt confident in my 'call to actions'.
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Sunday, 16 March 2008

Special Delivery


Since Last Post P/L: £295.57
Monthly P/L: £54.02
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What did I say about buses? For the first 2 weeks of March everything was quite normal and then over the last week everything goes crazy!
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So let me start with the most important bit of news - Baby Caden (pronounced Cay-den) arrived on the 11th March at 21:27 after a rather eventful birth. As I explained in this post, we already knew our little man had a heart condition that would need corrective surgery before his first birthday, but there's also been the possibility (a 50-50 chance) that he will also share the same heart condition as his mum. In short, Nic's condition is called Long QT Syndrome and is a disorder that effects the electrical system of her heart. To ensure she's okay she takes beta blockers and also has a pacemaker and implantable defibrillator fitted just in case of any problems. Fortunately, up until now this seems to have been doing the job but as you'd expect, the thought of her going through a natural birth had left me feeling a little uneasy.
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She was doing brilliantly until the contractions started coming 2-3 minutes apart and as the pain intensified I could see she was starting to panic. I knew then that things weren't looking good. The plan had always been for her to have an epidural to lessen the pain but as she wasn't yet 4cms dilated the Doctors were a little reluctant to proceed......that was until she fainted 3 times in succession! The next 45 minutes were probably the most terrifying of my life as she came in and out of consciousness and the anesthetist struggled to get the drugs in place. Thankfully, as soon as she was hooked up, the medicine began to take effect and almost immediately she began to look better. The rest of the birth was a breeze in comparison but the experience of being totally helpless is not something I ever want to go through again.
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The bad news though is that it does appear that Caden also has Long QT syndrome. With so many challenges ahead of him the meaning of his name - 'Spirit of Battle' - seems very apt given the circumstances.
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Okay, so what else has been happening? Well, with so much going on it should be no surprise to you that when I've had 5 minutes to do some trading I've done exceptionally well at losing money!
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My results since my last post:
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Darts
Mardle v Jenkins : £27.66
Wade v Manley : £4.15
Van Barneveld v Lewis : £93.82
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Rugby Union
Italy v Scotland : £14.77
England v Ireland : £248.33
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As you can see, there's been some big losses in there which have made a significant difference to my profit and loss. If I'm honest, in the back of my mind I've been looking for a big win to set myself up for the month and as it hasn't appeared I've been keeping losing trades ride for way too long. It sounds so simple when I write these things down but unfortunately it's what's going on in your brain at the time that counts. With all the changes, my thought process has obviously been disrupted so the plan is to slowly get back into profit before taking a few days off to re-adjust.
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But it's not all bad...every cloud has a silver lining.
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The Welsh rugby team have won a second Grand Slam in four seasons and I'm over the moon! A big well done needs to go out to the players, Warren Gatland, Shaun Edwards and all those involved as the turnaround in fortunes since the Rugby World Cup has been nothing short of astounding. I always believed we had the talent but it seems we now have the mental approach to kill off games and long may the success continue!
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Monday, 10 March 2008

Waiting For A Bus


Since Last Post P/L: £32.47
Monthly P/L: £241.55

Not even a huge 7 days of sporting upsets can make me a decent profit! It really has been the week of the underdog so where do I start? Castleford, Cardiff City, Barnsley, Scotland and even Wales securing the Triple Crown at Croke Park! Can you imagine getting all those on a 50p accumulator!?!
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All these examples and yet my profit & loss has been notable for it's lack of big green numbers and it's very difficult to look on the positive side of things. Granted, a win is a win but it seems that every profitable situation I've placed myself in has turned sour.
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I think I need to slow myself down, take the small wins when they present themselves and not get greedy. A situation I've been in many times before but it seems I'm still learning the same lessons. In fact, the more I think about it the more I realise that there's probably only a handful of trading lessons in total, only they rotate just as the last one gets forgotten.
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Here's my results since my last post:
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Darts
Mardle v Wade : £21.54
Lewis v Part : £24.71
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Rugby League
Castleford v Leeds : £1.28
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Rugby Union
Scotland v England : £7.04
France v Italy : £7.11
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Golf
PODS Championship : £28.09
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I'm sure this lack of progress won't continue for long, and as the title of this post suggests a flurry of nice gains will appear - I just wish they'd hurry up.
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Monday, 3 March 2008

One That Got Away


Since Last Post P/L: £209.08
Monthly P/L: £209.08
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Rather than write this post about the great win I had trading the rugby, instead I'm going to focus on what went wrong when I traded the cricket!
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3am on a Sunday morning is an unearthly hour, so why was I getting up to switch on the TV to watch an event that was happening on the other side of the world? Quite simply, I knew that Australia v India was the only chance I was going to get during March to trade the sport and I didn't want the opportunity to pass me by. If I'm to hit my 15% growth target for the month then I can't afford not to trade my most profitable sports so begrudgingly I rolled from under the duvet and into the home office.
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Australia were batting first and although the run rate soared during the early stages they lost a few too many wickets to ensure they'd post a massive total for India to chase. By the end of their allotted overs the scoreboard read 239-8 and I guessed we'd have a game on our hands. What also comforted me was the sight of a £190 all green figure in front of me - this was turning out to be a good weekend.
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Guess what happened next. That's right. A couple of bad decisions early into the Indian innings and my profit was beginning to diminish. The market was flip-flopping more than a dying Goldfish and I was getting caught left, right and centre. Fortunately, I still had a green screen of £107 but now was decision time. Should I turn off the computer and make do with a decent gain or would I pursue a bigger prize?
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I turned off the computer.....30 minutes later with just over a pound profit!
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My reasoning behind continuing was two fold; I normally make my big profits towards the end of a match and with only one game of cricket to trade all month I felt I had to try and make the most of it. With hindsight it's easy to say it was the wrong decision and I do feel as sick as a pig but at least there was some logic behind it. I did forget one of my cricket trading rules though - only trade for 4 hours - if I go past this then my mind starts to wander.
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Here's the details of my weekend results:
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Rugby Union
Harlequins v Gloucester :£207.59
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Cricket
Australia v India : £1.49
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On the baby front, Iverson Junior is yet to make an appearance but it shouldn't be long now. What I've failed to mention up until now is that Nicola also has a heart condition (albeit a completely different one - sod's law eh?) and to manage it she has a pacemaker and defibrillator fitted. As you can imagine although I'm excited, I'm naturally very anxious at the same time so fingers crossed everything goes okay.
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