Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Post holiday depression...

Welcome in the reality! My trading before the holidays was quite decent, Wimbledon and the tournaments before I was always in profit. Today I had a terrible return to the ladders. Nothing worked, I made five trades and all ended with a loss! Thanks to the money management I "only" lost around 6% of the bank.

Well it's normal that traders have good and bad runs, but today I asked myself (like in old times), where is the edge? We had the discussion with Cassini. He has the opinion that there is (almost) no chance for a hobby punter with an average internet home access (no courtsiding) and normal information to make money. Okay, it's just one appreciated opionon of many, but my sceptism is coming back. Is it really possible to make money from home (against the big fishes)?

I am happy not having the pressure to earn my money with trading. It's really frustrating to have these kind of days. If you need the money for covering the daily expenses, it can be really stressful. 

I don't know the exact reasons for today's failure. Was it bad variance? Was ist overtrading? Was it bad knowledge? Was it mix of all? It's difficult to say with just five trades. You need a big sample to judge strategies and your trading level.

Well, I recognized that my stakes are still too high for not proved strategies and knowledge. Obviously you can't earn big moeny with low stakes (and the opportunity costs are even higher), but for testing the strategies is better. I didn't lose a fortune, but it's still too much to be not angry and disappointed. 

I talked about scaling up the stakes if the strategies work. Thanks to the great liquidity at tennis markets this would not be a problem. I decided to lower my stakes by factor 5 (max risk per trade 20 Euro). For learning and gaining trust, it's unfortunately the only way. Sultan talked more than once about this topic at his road to become a successful trader. First you have to trade consistent, second you can rise the stakes. 

Let's see if I can make profit one day. If not, it's not the end of the world. In 2 1/2 weeks I will start my new job, where I earn good money with less stress. I see trading as a hobby, it's a a great competition against other people. The minium target has to be not losing money!


  1. Hi!

    As a fellow trader that was in a similar position some years ago, I´ll tell what worked for me, in terms of discipline, staking and scaling up:

    - In this phase, trade with an amount that doesn´t affect your mood or create fear while trading (for instance 20EUR like you did).

    - Use a flat stake as a way to improve your discipline. If you always trade with 20 EUR, your wins and losses will be in the same range and you can ascertain in a more meaningful way if you have what it takes.

    - For scaling up, I developed this system: increase 50% of the stake, when you reach a 300% profit; reduce 50% the stake if you lose 300%; reset the percentage count when you reach either a positive or negative goal. Ex: for 20 EUR, increase to 30EUR if you can profit 60EUR from it.

    If you have an edge, at first you´ll increase your stake levels with ease but later you will encounter scale problems.
    If you don´t have an edge, you´ll get stuck in this system but you will reach a conclusion, and can enjoy your time doing other stuff.

  2. Thanks for the interesting comment! Right now I am still searching for the best system, where I feel comfortable. Often I only watch the markets. It's a bit boring, but it's necessary to improve my understanding. I recognized that is better to enter during a game than waiting until it's finished. It gives you a lot more opportunities with better risk/reward-ratio.

    To be honest, I think there is no real edge. Despite you are sitting next to the court. The markets are that effective. The only way to trade successful is game reading and knowledge of the players and markets. But there is definitely no golden egg-lay strategy.

    About scaling up, this seems a good system. Thank you for the idea!

    For me trading is more like a hobby. I like watching tennis matches, I like exchanges. If I can earn one or two bucks it's welcome... if not it's not the end of the world. I have a decent salary, money is not anymore the big driver for my trading activities. With sportstrading would be impossible to make this income. Like Cassini mentioned, Betfair already takes a big part of the cake (PC, commissions).

  3. You´re welcome, i´m starting to participate more in the blogging scene and I like your blog, it is an honest one!

    I know nothing of tennis markets as I´m a football trader, but the way I see it it´s not a good thing to take the sniper approach at the beggining. I think you would learn a lot more if you use 2/3 EUR stakes and try your game reading skills more. If you enter 6 times a day in the market, it´s impossible to test if you´re doing it right/being lucky/being unlucky etc. With this number of positions per day, you can be profiting and trading badly or having losses while trading good, and you may take the wrong conclusions about it. About this, I commented on Cassini blog and left two real examples there.

    As an example, in football it´s normal for me to take 80/90 positions in a football match. It´s impossible to fully eliminate bad decisions, so some of my positions are bad but what matters it is the EV of the whole set of positions.

    Concerning game reading skills and knowledge, as an analogy with football: it´s a lot easier to specialize in Getafe, Empoli or West Ham than it is to specialize in Real Madrid. I think this might be also true in tennis.

    1. Thank you! Yes, I prefer to be honest. I can't improve myself, when I am lieing. There are enough liers when it's about trading... Most of good traders don't blog. They have no time and no reason to do it.

      The problem is the minimum amount you have to stake at Betfair. If you go lower as 2 Euro the delay is ten seconds (instead of five). With my strategy I hedge a bit of profit, with an initial stake of 2/3 Euro I can't do this without an additional delay. I think a risk of 20 Euro per trade, it's okay. You don't lose that much money (so you hold the frustration low), beside a profit brings a bit of positive energy. It also depends, how much you can afford to lose. For some people are two Euro more than for others 200. I am somewhere between... I am not rich, neither poor.

      My trading style is also more in and out, normally I am not invested longer than 2-3 games. I don't take 80-90 positions during a game, but ten are possible.

      I am with you... it helps more if you know a player like Johanna Larsson than Serena Williams. I mean "everybody" knows the comeback qualities of Serena or Djokovic. These kind of knowledge helps, even more important are the charts. One guy told me once, that you can even make money when you don't know the players. I am quite sure, that he is right. Sometimes even easier, because you don't have any burdens. Normally traders tend to go with the favourite. That's the main reason why bookies make money... The value is in 8 of 10 cases on the side of the underdog.

    2. You are right about the blogs, not a lot of interesting content. I thought several times of opening one but never went for it because I don´t want to do a P&L blog and I don´t want/can share the way I trade. Nowadays, I´m thinking about it again as I´m in a strange situation right now: Betfair is temporarily forbidden (I hope!) in my country and my professional situation does not allow me to move abroad in the next 6 months, so I decided to stop trading in this period (don´t want to nothing "ilegal" also).

      About value, my vision is that it is a very volatile concept: during a game it flips several times between the favourite and the underdog. The hard part is that value is a subjective and abstract concept, if an apple is worth 1EUR it is value to buy it for 0.5EUR but it is also value to buy it for 10EUR if you can sell it for 11EUR later.

      About making money without knowing the players, i would say that there are several ways to skin a pig, each trader has to find a suitable strategy for their personality in terms of risk-reward ratios, short vs long positions, sports knowledge etc. In your case, if you get frustrated with losses maybe you should try a more risk-averse approach. Taking bad positions and increasing the stakes after a loss was by far my biggest trading problem. It was not uncommon for me to ruin a trading week in seconds when I was starting.

    3. You can bet on betfair, when you have an IP adress from a different country. Nevertheless I understand that you don't want to do anything illegal.

      Unfortunately is not so easy to spot value. The tennis markets are mature and very efficient. With the common tools everybody sees, where the odd will go. Like some people mentioned, some years ago it was a different story and a lot easier to make money.

      Yes, I need a more risk-averse approach. It's not my style to lay 1.01 and win every 50th trade, even if it would be profitable. I need something with a high strike rate and not much risk to lose the trade. Unfortunately you also have to consider the average loss/profit ratio. It doesn't help to win 99 of 100 trades, when you lose the whole bank with the only losing position.

      Well, I will take my time to analyze my errors and strategies. I am sure that there is room for improvements...

  4. Can you re-add my blog please to your blog list again?


    1. Thanks for adding my one. I just did the same with your blog.

  5. Well i don't know about Cassinni....but if he realy meant to say thats its highly impossible to make money from home with normal laptop and connection its absolutely bull crap.Its difficult...its hard need lots of patience, experience , knowledge of sport and lots of zeal.Patience to wait for right time as per your strategy and plan and zeal to pull out at the right time.Many a times we all don't follow our plans no matter how many times we plan to follow and thats where we falter.Scalping worked 5-10 years back , now it don't , similarly 15-40,lay the server all failed one by one. What realy will work and never fail is the swing because God also don't know when and at what point of match the swing will happen.