Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Goodbye Traders!

Today marks the 3rd birthday of Centre Court Trading. It's been 3 years of massive highs and terrifying lows; arguments, debate, insults, compliments, hard knocks and a hell of a lot of fun too. When I use the line "It's been emotional" - I  really mean it! So I've come to the conclusion that this is the perfect moment to end my blogging. I know it's not the first time I've said this but I'm certain this time! I had planned to continue through 2014. I felt I might still have a bit left to contribute because my tennis trading academy had given me a new lease of life in terms of material to blog about. But recent events have finalised in my mind that the online trading world is a place I no longer wish to be part of.

I don't have a betting background so for me, trading has only ever been about one thing - making money. Some traders see this as a hobby, a fun pastime that they would participate in regardless of how successful they are at it. Not me. To me, it's always been a job, a means to an end, with that end goal being to have more freedom, both financially and socially. When I finish trading, I don't want to talk about betting, be around a computer screen or think about trading. I want to be spending my winnings and being more social - real world social! Writing this blog therefore, is just more time being part of something I am trying to spend less time being part of.

I feel that the whole trading blogosphere is in a rut and has been for a while. When I think back to when I started, the first 1-2 years, sports trading blogs were thriving. There was a buzz about trading and far more blogs about. True, there were a whole lot more really poor quality "P&L" blogs but there was also far more decent ones around that enabled some genuinely interesting debate and a real sense of community. That is pretty much dead now. Almost all the blogs I used to read avidly have stopped or barely post anything of interest. I can't remember the last time a new, interesting, well-written blog started up. A couple of decent ones but none that have fascinated me. When you don't have  that vibrant community to feed off, it's harder to come up with ideas for blog posts.

But I've had a good run - 3 years is far longer than your average blog lasts and a total of 321 posts during that time and over 320,000 hits is more than I ever expected. Considering I was almost gone after the first month, with my bank close to busting and my head a complete wreck, that's quite an achievement! When I began Centre Court Trading, it was for 3 reasons: to record my mistakes and develop as a trader, to give me a creative outlet that I would find fun and if I'm perfectly honest, to show that I'm a bloody good trader (even though I obviously wasn't when I started!). I think I've proved to myself that I'm a good trader and to my readers that it is possible to improve from a consistent loser into a consistent winner. So the only reason now that I would keep the blog running, is as a creative outlet. Unfortunately, I am no longer really finding it fun.

Caroline Wozniacki

I would like to thank everyone who has followed the blog over the past 3 years and especially those who have posted comments, given me advice and boosted my confidence when I was down. It's easy to forget just how low I was during that first year and how I nearly gave up on several occasions. Quite often, it was reader's comments that helped to pick me back up and even set me on the right path. I'd also like to thank those traders who took the time to tell me how much they enjoyed Centre Court Trading. Those messages really meant a lot to me and I always had them in mind when writing my posts because I always wanted the content to be of a high quality to keep those people satisfied.

Finally, I want to end with one message to any traders out there who are struggling to make this pay - stick at it! You can choose to go with the negativity shown by the many pessimists in this game or you can choose to be positive and strive to become one of the 5%.  If I can do it successfully (a guy who began this journey with little knowledge or interest in maths, stats, money management, betting or tennis, plus zero patience and mental discipline) then anyone can. There's a lot of bitter, cynical people out there, especially in the gambling industry. They are easy to spot; the ones quick to snipe on Twitter, make nasty comments on blogs and forums or blame anyone but themselves for failure. Just remember that they are nearly always the ones who are struggling.

I have mentioned before that reading other blogs from start to finish was a real inspiration and I got a lot of information doing so. I hope that Centre Court Trading will also provide that same value for aspiring traders.
Feel free to get in touch with me via my email or Twitter if you have any questions about any aspect of my blog. I'll still be around for a good while yet on the ladders but my exploits will remain private or for the ears of academy members only.

Good luck with your trading and from The Sultan, this is game, set and match.