Monday, 30 September 2013

September: The Results

It's been a real slog since the start of the US Open. After my horrible downswing during the first week of Flushing Meadows (where I made a lot of mistakes), I found myself in a rut of bad variance. For a good three weeks, opportunities dried up and when they did arrive, they more often than not, didn't work out. So another slightly disappointing month in comparison with how I did over the beginning of summer but I'm still pleased as this was a tough month.

Any month with profit is pleasing to me. But I think it's something many traders find difficult to grasp - that not every month will be the same. The general theme I find (and I'm seeing it with some academy members), is that aspiring traders expect that the pros all make similar amounts of profit every month and it never deviates much. Consistency doesn't necessarily mean consistent over a 30 day spell and it certainly doesn't mean consistent over a weekly or daily period. In my case, I have been quite fortunate in that I've found a way to trade that is fairly consistent over a relatively short time period but that isn't intentional - it's just the way it's panned out. My only aim each month is to protect the bank and execute the strategy properly, not to make a certain amount.

My months tend to pan out quite similarly, possibly because I trade a lot of games (I average around 125 markets per month). What most people won't realise, is that within that month, I will have ups and downs. It's never a straight profit line on the graph from start to finish. I will usually have at least one week where I don't make any money at all - even be in the red. This month was unusually tough, in that I went about 3 weeks where I was basically breaking even. Only in the final week did variance swing positively for me. My aim during a difficult week, is always to break even. My records show that when I have a tough week where the wins aren't coming, I will usually end up around break-even point - as long as I hold it together mentally and don't start chasing. But that doesn't mean I don't have losing streaks of matches. Those streaks are the true test of any trader and I've already seen academy members who are close to giving up at the first sign of a downturn.

Unfortunately, downswings are part and parcel of any pro trader's life. There will not be a single pro who doesn't go through downswings and if they don't, it's because they've found a holy golden egg laying grail! In fact, I consider myself lucky in that I have not had a losing month in a long time because I know many pros do have them and I've heard that some even go a whole YEAR without making profit. But the key is, they know in the long run that the system they have works and will eventually produce an upswing which cancels out any losses. My biggest downswings don't tend to last longer than a week and I'll usually have a big upswing not long after because I am confident in what I'm doing, have got my numbers worked out and stick at it. It doesn't make a downswing any less frustrating though! I can fully understand why anyone who didn't have my experience or faith in my way of trading, would feel like giving up during a bad spell of variance but trading is TOUGH. I think too many people think it's easy and that's why when they are faced with the reality, they change strategy for something they think will be easier. It's a classic newbie error, one I made countless times.

So yes, I'm proud of how far I've come and grateful that I seem to always have profitable months - for now. But if people knew what I had to cope with DURING each month, I reckon they would think very differently about just what it takes to achieve that green figure on such a consistent basis. I certainly don't plan to make a certain amount or even expect a certain amount each month. I just deal with it one trade at a time and at the end of the month, if I'm out on top, it's a bonus. If one month I end up in the red, so be it. As long as it's not a massive loss, I'm fine with it because in the long run, I will have enough saved from winning months to cover it and I will expect a spell of good variance is not far around the corner. If it isn't, then I know it's time to start worrying and perhaps look to change something. Till then, I'll enjoy P&Ls such as this, as they are far more than I ever achieved in a "normal" job.

Monica Puig:




(If you are wondering about the football results, I am not actually trading soccer this season. The losses incurred on Betfair are a result of some arbing I've been doing with the premium charge in mind, so no actual losses overall)




Thursday, 5 September 2013

Sultan Tennis Trading Guide

****IMPORTANT: PLEASE READ**** 

 

Thank you for purchasing the Sultan Tennis Trading Guide. The guide is only viewable on a private blog. This is because it is much quicker and easier for me to update the guide on Blogger than it is on a PDF ebook. In order for you to view this blog, I will need to personally invite you to access it. I will do this by sending you an email via Blogger to the same email address that is on your Paypal statement. Please read all the instructions sent by Blogger carefully and SAVE THE URL. Please don't forget this because if you don't save it, you will not be able to access the guide again without contacting me. You should then be able to log in at any time to view the guide. Please email me via the Contact Form on Centre Court Trading if you have any problems accessing it.

After you paid for the guide, I will have received an email from Paypal confirming this. It is usually sent to me within a few minutes but can sometimes be a few hours before I receive it on my phone. This means that it is not always possible for me to invite you to the blog immediately because I have to do it manually. I ask you to please be patient if that is the case. The vast majority of the time, I am able to invite customers within a couple of hours. I have always invited customers within 24 hours. If you do not receive an invite within 24 hours of purchase, please check your spam folder, as sometimes the invite gets sent there. If you still do not receive an invite, please contact me again just to make sure there have been no problems with the order.

Thank you for your patience and I hope you enjoy the guide.

Sultan




Sunday, 1 September 2013

US Open: The Disasterous Results

Today you are about to find out that even the most experienced trader can still mess up. I've always been honest on this blog about how I'm faring and as the first day of the month has traditionally become my monthly P&L day, I shall continue onwards but head bowed low for the first time in a long time. The bad news: the first week of the US Open has been my worst EVER  week of trading, profit wise. I've spurned literally thousands of pounds in just a few days. The good news: I'm still in profit!

Until a week ago, August was actually my most successful month ever as a trader. I will whisper it quietly, but I was actually in sight of my first 5 figure monthly total. But maybe that was the problem: the whispers became too loud! With an entire week of Grand Slam tennis to end the month, I started to focus on hitting that £10,000 mark. This is an old habit that I thought had died a couple of years ago, fixating on specific financial targets. But somehow, it returned and I couldn't let go. I got over-excited and over-confident. The first week of Wimbledon was my most profitable week of trading (and still is!) and I knew that if I replicated that for the US Open, I would possibly hit a figure that I could only have dreamed of a year ago. I had it in my mind that if I could make a 5 figure sum in one month, that I had truly "arrived" and could consider myself a successful, accomplished, professional trader. It was the icing on the cake, so to speak. For me, it would have been the final, ultimate triumph of my journey from consistent loser to consistent winner - and I desperately wanted to get it. TOO desperately, as it turned out. Things plodded along for the first 2 days and I was breaking even pretty much but then a few trades which were executed perfectly in line with my strategy, didn't come off and I started to worry; only a few days left and it was looking like I wouldn't hit my target.

So I forced a bet, to try and get things rolling. It went horribly wrong and I lost my entire stake. I also lost my head. Although that turned out to my largest loss, it still didn't make a huge dent in my month's tally. But I didn't focus on the good work from the previous 20+ days. I was only focusing on that 10k mark. Next came a series  of losses that equates to my worst ever sequence: 22 losses in a row (not including 4 greens which were all under £10). And they were pretty much all big losses. The question I always ask in this situation is: how much of it was down to variance and how much was me on tilt? This is a question that any trader must be able to answer honestly because if you can't, you will never be able to adjust and improve. These days, I know exactly each and every trade whether it was executed properly and what I should have made on each one compared to what I actually made. My honest assessment is that even if I hadn't gone on tilt and started chasing, I still would've had a lot of losses. It was just one of those weeks where very little went my way. There were an unusually high number of very one-sided matches where during an average week, I would have had at least a handful of them turn in my favour. This week, hardly any of them did. And that is bad variance in a nutshell. It's frustrating but has to be expected and planned for. It's why I have a large bank of money the majority of which just sits there, untouched. This month however, I didn't need that bank to cushion the blow as I'd already had a fantastic month of profit. But  as I sit here staring at that profit (less than half of my total for the previous 2 months), I can't help but feel gutted. Yet if you'd told me a year ago that I would be pissed off at making £2000 in one month, I would've laughed in your face! So I have to put things into perspective and move on.

What this last week has shown, is that you can never let your guard down in this game. I've always maintained that trading is a mental game above all else and is a constant battle to stay on the emotional tightrope. I'm fortunate in a way, that this period of variance did not happen at the start of August, which would have decimated my bank. But then again, would it have even happened at the start? I wasn't focused on making 10k on August 1st, not at all. I have spells of bad variance every month, so it's not like it was anything new. My bank is the size it is because I know that it should withstand a nasty spell like this. It was only because I saw that 5 figure sum on the horizon and a Grand Slam event to help chase it, that affected my mind and my trading. I worked out that if I had traded properly, without chasing, just the bad variance, I would've roughly saved 50% of my losses and that would've given me a monthly total similar to what I'd achieved last month. I would've had a few wins amongst those 22 losses too, as by entering the market at incorrect moments, I often ended up ruining the chance for me to later enter when I should have done, for profit. I also found myself getting more timid. You will see 2 good wins right at the end of the month on the P&L. The largest one looks pretty tidy but in fact, I was so timid that I only went in with half my usual stake: Hantuchova should actually have netted me almost £800 on that trade. The Kohlschreiber win should also have been almost double the amount.

So anyway, no real harm done and in retrospect, it does show just how far I've come. A year ago, I was happy to make £500 on the tennis. Now, 4 times that amount constitutes failure. Trading, eh?

Camila Giorgi: