5 Things you need to be a successful trader

Successful Trading: Five things you need:

 

  • Mental toughness
  • Focus
  • Toolkit
  • Process
  • Support

 

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a good start. I could spend ages talking about each subject here. If I get asked enough then I probably will!

 

 

  • Mental Toughness

Let me be blunt. Trading is a real head fuck. It really gets inside your head and messes with it. Making what are normally rational decisions become very difficult in the heat of the battle. When you have your hard earned money involved it changes everything. Some people are over cautious. Others think they are invincible. It’s not until after the event and they see the result of their actions that reality kicks in. The key skill is to be able to manage your emotions, keep them in some sort of control. This enables you to apply the focus and processes you need to make a successful trade. Learning to trade is a long and arduous road. Even with a high level of training, it will take lots of practice and screen time. Lots of knock backs, false starts and disappointments. It is no coincidence that the guys I have been involved with long-term are mostly successful. The ones that lack the mental toughness to “dig in” are the ones who don’t quite get there.

 

  • Focus

Focus is something I think many of us overlook when it comes to planning a trading session. A lap top in the front room while eating your tea, listening to the days news from your partner and having a couple of excitable kids jumping all over you is not ideal conditions for a successful trading session.

Make sure you have a quiet place to trade with no interruptions. Imagine being Neo when he plugs into the Matrix – You won’t go far wrong.

BUT, do not exchange trading for spending a little time with your family.

 

  • Toolkit

What do I mean by a toolkit?  The tools of the trade. Starting with a bank. This should be money put aside specifically to trade with. Money that you can afford to lose, (who can afford to lose money????) i.e You won’t need it back to pay your rent or mortgage at the end of the month. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount. Even £50 can get you started.

 

Second on the list is hardware/internet. A mid-spec PC will be fine to trade with, as long as you have 10MB internet speed you will be fine. The most important part of a hardware set up is a decent sized screen. The bigger the better. (I use a 27”).

 

Third on the toolkit list is a third party App. This is essential. It enables you to see the signals that the market provides and find your trades. You can execute them quickly with one click mostly and enable protection systems like “Take SP”.  I am not going to recommend an App, but the most popular ones are Bet Angel, Gruss Betting Assistant and The Geeks Toy. All slightly different and all top class products.

 

  • Process

Sitting there blindly clicking away may well make you a few quid. But in general, knowing what you are doing is a good idea! The markets throw up signals that help you to work out what may happen next. Your mission is to find these signals and interpret them.

What is vital is to concentrate on the process and execution, NOT how much profit you are making. That will come with time once you have mastered the PROCESS.

Training is an excellent idea. Whether that is with me or with someone else. Going alone isn’t always the best investment in your time or bank balance. Invest in yourself!

 

  • Support

This comes into two parts really.

 

Part 1 – Partner and family

You must have the support of your partner when starting this journey. They will soon get fed up with you being away from the family unit every spare hour you have, possibly losing money too. Partners expect instant results!!!! This is very unlikely. However much you make, it isn’t worth losing your partner for.

 

Part 2 – Other Traders/Mentors

From my experience running MGW, our Mastermind Program is a great success. It brings like-minded folk together, lets them learn from each other in a friendly and creative environment. Having a shoulder to cry on. Someone who understands what you are actually talking about means a lot. It’s hugely beneficial both in terms of learning and your mental health too.

 

My next Workshop runs on 24thSeptember in Coventry.

There are still a few places left.

Workshop Link

 

Be Careful What You Wish For

Be Careful What You Wish For

 

This post is a huge departure from what you will usually read. Especially coming from someone like me.

 

We get lots of emails from people of all works of life. Some very successful in what they do, others at the other end of the spectrum. The question everyone wants an answer to, that I always try to sidestep is “How much can I make a day”. It’s a question I dislike intently and I am usually intentionally vague.

 

For us, learning to trade is about execution. Learning the basics, the building blocks that will enable you to scale up your stakes to a point where you are comfortable. This is a long and arduous journey. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s down to knowing the signals, then applying them over and over and over. Until it becomes natural.

 

Knowing the signals though just isn’t enough. You need mental toughness, resilience and discipline. In my experience, the traders who “make it” are the ones that want it the most. They are determined and never give up.

 

But once you reach that Nirvana and are on that glorious path to untold riches, that’s not the be all and end all. We are told constantly by the betting industry, “When the fun stops, stop”. It’s the strapline at the end of every advert involving any bookie. You see the gambleaware logo everywhere too.

 

To be honest with you. I don’t think many bookies give a flying fuck if you “put gambling before your mates.”

 

Gambling or trading (same thing) is destructive, make no mistake. That applies to when you are winning or losing. Ok, it’s better when you are winning, at least you can pay your bills. But winning brings its own issues.

 

If you are making £1k a day, after a lifetime of struggling to make ends meet. Would you readily give that up to get dragged around B&Q on a Saturday afternoon? Or to have a day out with your mates on your Motorcycle or go to a match?

 

There are massive choices to be made when you embark on this journey. Have I got the mental toughness to endure the hard times? Have I got the strength to resist temptation when the good times arrive?

 

If you can identify yourself with something I have described here and feel alone or don’t know what to do. Get help! Whether that is through the gambleaware.org website or give us a shout (in complete confidence) it’s good to have a friend who can identify with your problem.

Stay Safe and Green – Steve

 

https://www.begambleaware.org/

Happy Anniversary To MGW

It’s an emotional day for me today. 4 years today since I ran my very first Workshop.

Since then I have had the pleasure to have met over 500 aspiring traders and hopefully helped them on their journey to improve their trading. I guess it’s a testament to the community that exists that I still have 3/4 of that original group with me now. I call them “Originals” . That’s not very original, is it? :)

The friendships I have made have enriched my life in many ways and the “business” side forgotten.

This post isn’t about me, it’s about all the Ladies and Gentlemen who I have had the pleasure of meeting, sharing a drink with and often part of their lives. If you share your life with others on a daily basis the connection can be profound. We experience every emotion, from the joy of a new arrival in the family to the grief of losing a loved one. Illness, divorce and even death.

It puts what we do on a daily basis into some sort of perspective. It’s not all about Betfair or money. Not for me, it isn’t anyway.

I am an emotional guy. I am a straight shooter. I say what I think and wear my heart on my sleeve. One of my not so good traits I’m sure.

I want to take this opportunity to thank every single person who I have met on this journey. It’s you guys that keep me awake at night, it’s you guys that keep me going.

Who knows what the next year will bring. I wish you all the very best of times and good health.

Cheers

Steve

Cheltenham 2018

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I always post something up about Cheltenham. I am almost like the Anti Christ here, and really don’t want to pour cold water on what Racing fans know is the greatest racing spectacle on earth. I am coming at this from a trading angle, not a betting/gambling angle.

So what is “Cheltenham” and why do we hear so much about it?

Cheltenham is an annual event, it runs over 4 days in mid-March. It is the climax of the National Hunt season and if it was held in the USA they would call it “The World Championships”. It is a festival of racing and a massive social occasion too. There is a massive rivalry between the Irish horses and the UK runners. In recent years the Irish have certainly had the best of it.

Why are we hearing so much about Cheltenham? It seems everywhere you look there are people jumping on the “Cheltenham” bandwagon. It’s one of the few times in the racing calendar that the mainstream press mention horse racing.

Bookies have “offers”, mostly to get new customers coming at you thick and fast. A Matched Bettors heaven.  I don’t want to drone on too much, so I’ll cut to the chase.

The racing is on the face of it very competitive, big fields and often the favourite is in close to double figures. Depending on your style of trading this can be good or bad. For us swing traders, it’s mostly bad. On the upside, you can get huge amounts safely into the market. But bad, because, it possibly won’t swing 20 ticks.

You will see seeming impossible amounts of money that you are in a queue behind, but this money gets matched much quicker than in a normal race, so it sort of evens itself out.

If you like to turn over large amounts in what can be stable markets, then this is for you. If volatility is what you trade on. Then, by all means, give it a go. But you may get frustrated.

What I am attempting to do with this post is manage your expectations. I guarantee that Twatter, Facebook and every blog you read will be full of stories or daring do and huge profits. For most of you, the week will be a disappointment. That’s because the Cheltenham frenzy has raised your level of expectation so high that it will be almost impossible to reach.

Enjoy the spectacle, it’s the best week of the year, but it’s not all about money. The fear of missing out will rear its ugly head for sure over the next few days. Go in with low expectations and it will be more enjoyable.

Steve @itsamugsgame

Jon @headgamestrader

Just a quick note to say we still have a couple of places left on the next Workshop on 26th March. You can book here http://www.itsamugsblog.co.uk/2016-racing-workshops/

F.O.M.O

F.O.M.O

Fear Of Missing Out

 

The fear of missing out is one of the biggest hurdles we face as traders. We see it on a daily basis with our Mastermind Group and on all the social media platforms too. It’s a monster alright.

 

So what is FOMO? How many times have you seen the old bandwagon leaving town? The urge to jump on is sometimes just too great to overcome. So you just manage to get on as it sails on by. Just as it slams into reverse gear and makes you giddy with the pace it reverses at!

 

During the Workshops we do, the very first thing that is said is to do with finding a SAFE place to put your money. It’s almost “exit first” then see if you have an entry point. Many times FOMO takes over, and all common sense and safe entries are forgotten.

 

The secret is to learn how to get on that Band Wagon before it leaves town. In fact even better if you can drive that bastard! Then when you have got as many as possible along with you for the ride. You jump off and leave it to find its own way.

 

The alternative is when you miss the initial move, find the driver. Who is driving this Band Wagon? When I say that I mean which other runner (s) are moving in the opposite direction due to the BW move? Watch them very closely. The candlestick graphs may be a mirror as in the diagram below.

See the collation of the candlesticks?

FOMO pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

This may suggest that the drift on the fav is being primarily caused by the steam on the 2nd favourite. So who is the driver? Which is driving which?

The way we look at it is the Favourite always wants to be backed. Everyone wants a winner, don’t they? So where better to start than with the fav?

So if it’s drifting, this must be caused by another runner(s) – Usually more than 1. In this case, I take it that the “driver” is Ladder 2. I have layed the favourite. So when is the exit point? That’s either to exit the lay trade or even an opportunity to grab that reverse gear I spoke about if you missed getting on the Band Wagon.

Wait until the driver stops, there will be signs it’s slowing down. There is almost always a delay before the odds start to react on the connected runner. In this case the fav. That’s the signal we are looking for.

 

Just remember next time you jump on that Band Wagon. Here in MGW, we are waiting to get off at just about that time.

 

If you are serious about Trading and would like to learn. Please take a look at our Workshops (LINK) and Mastermind Program (LINK)

 

Add us on Twitter at @itsamugsgame and @Headgamestrader or perhaps visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ItsAMugsGame/

Account Security

One of the things I talk about on my Workshops is how to manage your accounts. Betfair is not like Lloyds.

You have had your bank account hacked and have an account with Lloyds.

You: “ Hello, is that Lloyds?. I have had £12,456 taken from my account”

Lloyds: “ Very sorry to hear that Sir, we will transfer that amount straight to your account now”

You: Cheers

Same scenario with Betfair.

You: Hello, is that Betfair? I have had £3459 taken from my account”

You: Hello? Hello?

Betfair – Sniggering heard in the background – “Er, oh. Sorry about that. But your password is your own responsibility. If it’s used and your money was taken, that’s not our fault. I can, however, offer you a £25 free bet on our Sportsbook as a way of helping you overcome this inconvenience”

Betfair, to their credit, do have another level of protection that you can activate. How successful it is I have no idea. But any extra security has to be welcomed and used.

It’s called 2 step authentication. It’s basically an app for your smartphone. When you log into Betfair, you open the app and use the 6 digit code that is provided. It’s very easy to implement.

Betfair has made an excellent series of videos that show you how it works and how to get it. I will post them below. I strongly recommend you get this if you haven’t already.

 

If you are interested in learning how I trade. I have a few places left for my Workshop on 29th January Link To Workshop Page

 

 

 

 

Dealing With Quiet Periods

With a little “down time” I thought I would share with you my thoughts about how I deal with these days where Racing is badly affected by abandoned meetings.

I often hear comments like “I just want to make £5 a race” or “£100 a day”. I think this timescale is ridiculous and adds pressure to your trading. On a 30 race day, your target of £150 is under severe pressure if after 20 races you are not “on target” or even down for the day. This will affect your decision-making process for the rest of the day, make no mistake.

I always look at the “Big Picture” – This Big Picture extends beyond even Months and into Quarters. How many Companies do you see publishing their results on a weekly basis? Sure, it’s always a good idea to keep track of exactly where you are in the short term. But this is for information purposes only.

When I first started trading I diversified quickly, finding a way to make money from a market, then moving on to something else. Nowadays i trade pretty much exclusively on Pre-race markets. But having what could be called a “portfolio” of different markets to trade is smart if you are relying on your trading.

Summary

  • Always look at the bigger picture
  • Create a Portfolio of strategies on different sports
  • Accept that there are quiet periods in whatever is your main Sport you trade. – The Tennis boys have been quiet lately
  • Use the quiet periods to be productive, either finding new sports to trade or have a productive time with your loved ones. Did you know there is a baby boom within trading circles every October :)

 

A Real Tragedy

It is with great sadness that I write about a friend who passed away a couple of weeks back.

Andy Spriggs or “Super Drew” as he is well known, was a fantastic guy. A real wizard with Excel and all forms of automated trading. He was friendly and approachable. Always willing to help those without the incredible skills he possessed.

He went for a run and then went off to work where he collapsed and passed away. He leaves a young family behind.

As one of our own, we have created a fundraising page to try to offer some financial support to his family. maybe, just maybe give his boys a slightly better Christmas. We want to show Lydia that we care and in what high regard Andy was held.

If you would like to make a donation, however small, it would be very gratefully received. If you want to leave a message for Andy’s family. I know they bring great comfort to Lydia at this incredibly difficult time.

RIP Andy – You will not be forgotten.

Link to Fundraising Page

Cheers

Steve

Some help to deal with an outage

When this happens It’s a fact of life when trading on the Betting exchanges that sometimes things go badly wrong.

One such instance is when you have a trade in market and your screen freezes. There are a few things you can do to help yourself here.

Internet Issues:

Most people now have smart phones / tablets – Log into Betfair with 4g – If your internet goes you have a backup.

You can close a trade by phone if you are quick.

You can offset the bet on another exchange, such asBetdaq / S Markets or matchbook if you have a funded account. This isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Get friendly with your neighbour, see if you can blag their wifi password :)

Exchange Outage:

This happened on Saturday afternoon last on Betfair. When this happens your options are somewhat limited. There is one particular safeguard I regularly use; Take SP.

Take SP is a feature built into the major 3rd party vendor apps such as Gruss, Bet Angel and Geek Toy. If you enable this (I have a video, showing how to do this) it gives you some protection. It’s not perfect, but it can help save you from a huge loss.

In this video, it shows how to use guardian within Bet Angel to “Take SP”. What I would suggest is that you change the time of enabling Take SP to fit in the timeframe you are trading in. It’s no good taking SP 5 seconds from the scheduled start of the race is you have a trade in 3 minutes out and Betfair goes down. Peter makes a better fist of showing you this in his training videos.

If you Google “Using SP automation as a safety feature – YouTube” it will come up as the top answer.

My video is at the end of the post.

You may notice I have had a revamp of my Workshops for the rest of 2017. If you are interested in learning how to trade take a look HERE

Cheers Steve

 

Merry Christmas

 

No cringeworthy video, no witty little message. Just this….

A genuine “I wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year”.

Peace and Love to you all

Steve