Monday, 30 June 2008

Time Flies


Since Last Post P/L: £65.98
Monthly P/L: £701.24
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Making a loss at the end of the month is starting to become a very frustrating habit. I know the reasons why I'm doing it but I just can't stop myself. It's all about thinking or taking for granted the money I've got in the bank and adding up the figures before the finish. As a result I'm not fully accepting the potential losses before I enter a trade or sit down to start a trading session. This is vital flaw because what I end up doing is being timid in my approach and not having the conviction I need to turn a profit. This previous post describes perfectly how I should be acting but those feelings are just not there when the last few days of the month are in sight. Then the inevitable happens - I make a loss, then another one and before you know it I'm out of my comfort zone with the prospect of an unbearable loss is on the horizon. What I should be doing is holding back and only getting involved when I'm convinced that things are in my favour and then go in hard. Please remind me about this the same time next month :-)
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Elsewhere, the hot topic on other blogs seems to that of recording and keeping track of trading results. Even though I do review my progress regularly on a weekly/monthly basis, after reading Matt's excellent post at Punt.com I also feel I should be doing more in this department. I can see this process taking at least a few days to complete but as soon as I'm done I'll let you know the results. Not sure what the outcome will be but I can tell you now that I'm just not spending enough time at my desk. What with making dinner, bathing the baby, writing the blog and being a part time Project Manager my time is well and truly tied up. Something sooner or later will have to give and I'm in no doubt that without dedicating sufficient time to my trading my results will suffer. If this trend continues then some tough questions may have to be answered. Pete Sampras didn't win 14 Grand Slam men's singles titles from hitting a few balls every other night.
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But it's not all doom and gloom. Let me take a minute to reflect on how far I've come. Okay, this month hasn't been great with only a 5% growth to my trading bank but I was away for a week in Ibiza which meant I missed a few events I would have otherwise got involved with. If you look at the bigger picture - I've already made over 6k profit this year which is not far away from my total profit in 2007. If I can continue at that rate of growth I'll be more than happy and 2008 will end up being another fantastic year. I just have to continue looking forward and not dwell too much on the negatives.
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Something else which has been playing on my mind has been what sports should make up my trading portfolio. Some sort of prioritisation needs to take place but what criteria should I use? A past history of profits? The sports I'm most familiar with? Sports with markets that have the most liquidity? The list gos on but Mike from the Slipperytoad blog reviewed the issue recently in this post. Historically, Cricket, Rugby Union and Darts have been my most profitable sports but I can't help but feel that Tennis and even Horse Racing should figure more prominently. Getting involved in these events will take time to develop strategies (reviewing statistics/past results etc.) and if I do this my monthly profits are sure to stagnate so you can understand my reluctance to change. Any advice on how to handle this situation from those of you who've experienced this in the past would be much appreciated.
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My final results for June were:
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Cricket
West Indies v Australia : £0.30
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Tennis
Vaidisova v Chakvetadze : £48.93
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In my last post I did also forget a market that had been settled in my Australian Betfair wallet :
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Rugby Union
New Zealand v England : £17.35
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15 comments:

Anthony said...

As far as I'm concerned, one of your most thought provoking posts. I'm currently considering the exact same isues with regard to expanding the portfolio.It's always interesting to see the sports people trade and to try to work out how they trade them, though that will not always help because everyone has their own niche or style.
I currently mainly trade the horses, with a little timid tennis thrown in. It took me a long time to earn a comfortable income from the horses (which is not huge compared to many) and, like you I'm reluctant to give up any of that time or income to the possibility of not being able to trade another sport. However, this month I've had a more serious look at the tennis when time permitted and looking at the results it turns out I've netted £100. Not a great deal for a month but my maximum stake was £50. I also know there were many times when I shouldn't have jumped into the market and others when I should have sat on my hands for much larger profit. These are the same issues we have when trading the markets we're comfortable with. I'm beginning to think if you can trade successfully on one sport, you will be able to make a regular profit on any. It's the same rules: Start small, protect the bank, keep your discipline.
Great blog, good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark,

Well done on your year so far, it's ticking over nicely. On trying other sports I think you'll find the vast majority of people who make good money on Betair concentrate on one or possibly two sports. Cricket at the moment is a hell of a sport to have a grasp on, I'd look to capitalise on that, after all you can only bet on one sport at a time and theres not a shortage of it on. Theres alot to be said for diversifying your risk but I think you'll find it alot easier to make an extra x quid on cricket than make x quid on a fresh sport. Not sure if that helps but sometimes we forget how difficult it is to make money gambling full stop.

Good luck, Nick...

Mark McGuinness said...

Hi Mark,

I hope you are well? I used to work for Betdaq as their Marketing Director and have an idea to run by you - how can I discuss this our contact you?

Regards,

Mark McGuinness

Mark Iverson said...

Hi Anthony,

Thanks very much for your kind comments.

I'd really like to go a bit deeper in my posts sometimes but as I've mentioned time doesn't always give me the chance to do so.

Great to see that you're making the switch to tennis pay and it's nice to know someone else is also in a similar position to me. I agree that if you know how to trade then learning the sport is a skill that can be developed.

All the best and please keep on reading.

Mark

Mark Iverson said...

Hi Nick,

Thanks for dropping by.

I agree that those who earn decent amounts are probably specialists in their chosen area but to make it pay there has to be enough going on to maintain the p&l. Cricket is okay for this and with the introduction of Twenty20 the future's bright but Tennis and Horse Racing attract much more money than Rugby and Darts.

It's so tempting to try and make the switch but I take your comments on board - you're right - being able to make money at this game is not a given.

Thanks and all the best,

Mark

Mark Iverson said...

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the interest.

Please feel free to drop me an email at mark@markiverson.com. I get loads of spam which often hides the interesting mail so please put 'BLOG' in the subject header.

I look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,

Mark

Anonymous said...

Mark, yeah I see what you mean about liquidity on Rugby and Darts! Have you thought about giving Golf a go again, since the basket case coverage of the US tour, alot of money seems to have transfered over to the European tour. I suppose it's really still a gamblers market for the first 3 days but theres plenty of money around on Sunday afternoon to trade once the TV coverage starts. I can't comment on Tennis but theres plenty of money there, the horses is a viper nest as far as I'm concerned, many who make it pay on other sports get ruined on it, but then again Graeme on Self Indulgent Bull is doing well,

Anyway good luck and remember not to take the Cricket for granted! Nick

Mark Iverson said...

Hi Nick,

I had a brief look at the Euriopean Tour last year and I found the coverage delayed and the score updates behind what was happening on the course. As you can imagine this made things very difficult to trade.

With the golf I'll probably stick to the Majors and the odd big PGA Tour Event. With Tiger injured there should be plenty of swings (no pun intended!) during the final round.

Thanks again.

Mark

Graeme Dand said...

Hi Mark.

Well done on the past month. I wouldn’t worry too much about the small loss at the end of the month to be honest. A loss at the end of a good month doesn’t affect your confidence much. A loss at the beginning of a month and knowing you are in the red for the month would be a bigger problem! Obviously, you should never look at results on a monthly basis as it’s the long term that counts but we are only human after all!

I think you raise a good point about having a portfolio of sports to trade. I haven’t spoken much about this on my blog but I actually have a very good knowledge of most sports. I’m obviously learning the trading game whilst trading horse-racing but if everything goes to plan, once I gain enough experience and my profits start to level off, I may look at other sports.

I think it all depends on where your profits level off on your current favoured sport. From reading your blog, you appear to favour cricket I guess but I’m not sure how much risk you undertake to gain your rewards.

I think return on capital employed and standard deviation would be 2 things to try to understand before considering moving on to other sports. You ideally want to trade the sport that provides the best return and lowest risk with your style of trading

Like me, you appear to struggle for time to trade in some weeks, so maybe even looking at an hourly rate would help you. For example, when you trade cricket, do you have to spend 3-4 hours watching it at a time? Obviously, darts matches and rugby games are fairly short in nature and maybe they provide a better return per hour traded?

Good luck for the month ahead mate and if you ever want some advice on horse-racing, give me a shout!

Graeme

Matt said...

Good post Mark, thanks for the link (again!), I feel like I should be paying you for these links! hehe

Re: losing at the end of the month... an easy trap to fall into is feeling like you are playing with 'the profit', ie. money that isn't yours, or wasn't yours, so it doesn't matter as much. Seems you might become susceptible to this if you are counting it before the finish as you say..

It's always your money ;)

Punt.com

Mark Iverson said...

Hi Graeme,

Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed comment.

I don't know - maybe having a small loss at the end of the month helps focus the mind for the one coming up? Perhaps it's my subconscious reminding me that I haven't got this sussed yet!

I'm in the process of doing the analysis Matt mentioned and it gives some interesting reading - I just haven't figuured out what the figures are telling me yet!

The standard deviation thing has been mentioned now so I'll have to get my mind around that before moving on I think.

Thanks again and all the best,

Mark

P.S. I might take you up on the Horse Racing advice :-)

Mark Iverson said...

Hi Matt,

I take any well known debit cards :-)

I think you're right - I'm counting my winnings before they're in the bank and end up paying the cost.

Note to self - don't do it again!

Cheers mate,

Mark

Anonymous said...

Mark,

surely the easiest thing to do is get your P and L from Betfair.

For this year and last year. They will do this if you email them.

Concentrate on the sports where you make best profits, and ignore the ones where you make losses.

Factor in the time you have available, and you can work out where you can make your money when you have the available time. At other times don't bother.

The Gambler.

Mark Iverson said...

Hi John,

Thanks for the comment.

I already keep detailed records of my p&l and I'm aware of what sports I make me a profit but the problem I think I have is that I'm not being 100% efficient.

On some sports it takes me more time to make x amount and those are signs that my strategy could be better. Therefore, the question is do I try and improve my strategy on the weaker ones or do I explore potentially more lucrative markets e.g. Tennis?

After going through some further analysis (I'll post the findings shortly) it's been quite an eye opener and I now feel that potentially I can road map where I want to be by the end of 2008.

Matt (from Punt) mentioned that you maybe meeting up sometime soon - if I'm available it'd be good to catch-up too.

Thanks again and all the best,

Mark

Anonymous said...

Cheers Mark.

All the best.

I added some thoughts on "How to make money from Betfair" on my blog today.

Will give your blog a shout later.

http://john2e.typepad.com/

The Gambler.