Trading software

Monday, February 28, 2011

Lady luck


A pretty decent  day profit wise with €227 banked although the Roman Goddess Fortuna, otherwise known as ‘lady luck’ was looking down on me for one particular race. I only started trading after lunch as I had a meeting this morning so I’m glad to have pulled that much out of the markets in half a day. 

In the 5.00 at Wolves, I made some horrendous trades and ended up with a red book on both Black Pond and Sim Sala Bim – the latter horse potentially costing me over a ton. Another horse, Arizona High was the only other one in with a chance on paper and I quite fancied it so I let the red books stand and hoped for the best.I know this is punting rather than trading so I shouldn't have really done it - but thankfully it worked out.

Loads of money came from Sim Sala Bim and it was backed down from 4s to around even money – a huge move. At that stage I wanted to take it on even more as I generally try to take on the steamers.
But low and behold, a no hoper Needwood Ridge goes and bags the race around 118/1 on Betfair and this netted me 84 quid as you can see from the screenshot of the race as it ends. I should have won a bit more to be honest but I had layed the field in-running at 1/10 so got hit with that. Who would have thought this horse could win? No-one it seemed. Still though, can’t complain!  :

I noted before that I find the odds-on horses hard to trade and the 5.30 was a real rollercoaster. I was up 40 quid at one stage and lost it all and near the off, I was looking at a red book of minus 30. Then, the prices swung again and was green. I said feck it and I got out for a profit of just under a tenner. I’m really starting to dislike the races with horses under 1.8 or so – as I said before, the significance of the price moves are a bit more difficult to grasp sometimes.

I see that the last race of the day at Wolves has another odds-on horse but I’ve decided to finish up for the day while the going is good. I'll just watch it instead and see if the odds on horse is as good as the market thinks. 
Not only is the horse odds-on, I often find that the last race of the day can be a bit mental as plenty of people who have lost money today will use it as their ‘get out’ race. This sees the prices go a bit crazy sometimes and it’s hard to know how much of the money is from desperate punters trying their best to chase some losses. I know that this happens because I’ve been there on many occasions – not a good place to be!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Taking breaks

Another good day with a profit of €189. I won't be trading tomorrow as I'm at a Christening so that ends a fantastic week.

The 'Wall Street' character, Gordon Gekko famously said that 'Lunch is for wimps' but in all seriousness, it's important to take breaks from trading. You can get so sucked in and spend hours staring at the screen. Performance suffers if you don't take breaks so I took 20 minutes out today during trading and walked the dog.

It's also important to keep hydrated and I always have plenty of water beside me when trading.

I may get to trade on Monday - not sure yet. Off out tonight for a much needed few pints!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Lovely Jubbly

Started off my sports trading with the bigger bank and had a great day. As Del Boy might say, Lovely Jubbly!

Traded 20 races today and made a profit in each and every one. I must admit that I was a little bold and let two races go in-running, something I'm trying to eliminate.

I haven't really decided what my targets are for the new bank. I'm not really sure how much of my money I can turn over so I'll wait for a couple of weeks to see how it is going before I set some targets for myself.

Once again, the short priced odds on horses proved the most troublesome. Because they are odds on, it's kinda harder to notice how significant the price moves actually are sometimes. Plus, you are using quite a big chunk of the bank on theses horses. I'm going to be more cautious with the short ones in future.

Today's turnover was €92,834.76 and on that I managed to turn a profit of €277.47


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Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Finally sold the remaining gold I had in my market spreads account today. Pretty pleased with myself as the closed deal adds around €250 to that account. So all in all, I've had a pretty good time with Gold in the past couple of weeks between my two accounts.

This week's market spreads profit is pretty good considering my stakes on each trade were around the 20cent mark. But when the prices are moving in .10 ticks, a big move either way can be worth hundreds in profit or loss.

Got myself a book about currency trading but at the moment, it all still scares the life out of me. I'll see how I feel after I read the book but so far, I haven't tried to trade it.

Still reading as much as I can about trading - I must do some more book reviews if I get time.

Market Spreads Profit/Loss for the past 7 days:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Big week ahead/Libya

Keeping an eye on the whole Libya thing makes me happy to live in a country like Ireland, despite the fact that the country is broke. Horrible scenes on the news of people getting killed and I feel lucky to have been born in this part of the world.

In terms of the markets, Libya is a fairly big producer of oil and companies such as Statoil, BP and Wintershall have all suspended their operations in the country. The effect is that crude oil has been pushed up past $108 per barrell and it could go further. At first, I was kicking myself for not buying at 85 dollars but having just watched the news,  I'm not 100% sure that I would have felt good making a profit knowing what is happening over there so I'm not too bothered. If you decide to trade and go long, then in some ways, you'd be hoping for more grief to push the price up which wouldn't be very nice as we are talking about peoples lives here.

Besides, there is a knock-on effect on Gold as people seek safe investments so I've made some money on that front.

As regards the sports trading, this is a big week for me. I mentioned a while back that I was going to up my bank significantly and the time has come - I've to work this week but I should be trading with the new bigger bank over the weekend. Exciting and nervous times ahead!

Brent Crude Oil Hourly Chart:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sold and hold

Decided to sell a bit of my gold today at $1390 but I'm still holding a small bit in the hope that it breaks through the $1400 mark. I bought most of it around $1335-$1340 so I've made a nice few bob - just wish I had more on!

In my marketspreads account, I started off with €250 and that figure is now up to €500 with €120 also in profit in open bets. This pleases me greatly as I know from racing that it is very difficult to double your bank. All told, I've about 1K now in non-sports trading accounts and it's something I want to work on more.

It's funny, because non-sports trading was something I didn't think about doing much until lately but I really enjoy it and I love the challenge.

Perhaps I've been a bit lucky but I've concentrated on Gold and Oil and this specialisation seems to have paid off. It's interesting to keep on top of the news stories too and it's amazing the things that affect the prices of Gold and Oil.

Weekly gold chart:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Proper broadband speed at last

Got my 30mb line installed this morning and it makes such a huge difference. Can't wait to trade with it and see what it's like. At the moment, it's clocking in around 22mb which is fine.

Should be up and running  and trading with my new larger bank by next weekend ( I'm a bit nervous but excited too) so I'm glad to have the new line installed before I start using some serious money.

Regarding poker, I'm going to a mates house on Friday to learn how to play! The missus is probably thinking that I don't need another thing to bet on ha ha. But it should be a good laugh and I'm looking forward to it. I'm hoping to get out for a pint tonight as a mate has told me he'll bring a deck of cards and show me some basic hands etc.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gold and Oil

Still holding a small bit of gold worth a couple of hundred Euro. It's back up to $1,374 at the moment and I'll sell half of it if it hits just under $1,400.

I'm not holding any oil at the moment but Brent Crude is back up over $100 per barrell. It had eased off after the whole Egypt thing settled down but rose again as it seems that other middle-eastern countries may be inspired to uprise including, of all places, Iran.

It's not quite the scale of the collapse of communism in the late 80s and early 90s but if this gets going, it could be a big deal. I'm really unsure whether to buy Oil now - it's seems quite pricey and if everything settles, I've no doubt it will drop. However, if more countries start to protest against their reigime, it will almost certainly go up as many of these places are big producers. If this is the start of something big, now would be the time to get on.

Just can't make up my mind!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Terrible scenes at Newbury

Awful stuff at Newbury today where to horses have been killed - it seems that they were electrocuted.

As an owner of a horse, I feel so so bad for all the connections and of course, for the poor horses themselves; Fenix Two and Marching Son.

It's a terrible tragedy really:

It also seems that a couple of horses were killed in action at Leopardstown so it was a bad day for racing all-round.

On a positive note, my main tip of the day for Irish Independent, Kempes, won the Irish Hennessy Gold Cup so I was delighted with that. Everyone was saying he won't like the ground but as pointed out in my article, he actually has a decent record on heavy:

Saturday February 12 2011

AS a small-time commodities and stock trader, I got exited the other night when flicking through the channels and discovered that the original 'Wall Street' movie, starring Michael Douglas, was about to start.
The missus had a bit of a face on her, as watching a 1980s film about trading is not exactly the most romantic thing to do on a night in. But it's a cracking flick nonetheless, full of classic one-liners and is a movie that comes highly recommended.
At one point, the young Bud Fox asks his millionaire trading mentor Gordon Gekko whether you can ever have enough money -- to which Gekko replies, "It's not a question of enough, pal. It's a zero sum game; somebody wins, somebody loses. Money itself isn't lost or made; it's simply transferred from one perception to another."
With the wine flowing, I tried to explain to herself that betting on horses is a similar game where the real sense of achievement comes from having your opinion validated rather than winning money, but she was having none of it and rightly pointed out that it's easy to be philosophical when you have a couple of million in the bank like Michael Douglas!
She deserves a medal for putting up with me and with Valentine's Day coming up, I need more than my opinion validated -- I need hard cash to treat her to a nice night out. That's why I'm going to Leopardstown today where I hope to make some bookmaker satchels a little lighter following the rescheduled Hennessy Gold Cup (3.15).
I wrote about this race last week and I guess my editor wouldn't be too pleased if I re-hash old copy so I'll keep it brief, and once again put up Kempes as the bet of the day, priced around 6/1.
At those odds, it's worth going each-way to get some money back if he's placed. In the racing columns, there seems to be a consensus that he won't like the heavier going and Willie Mullins stated this week that he was "not sure" if the ground would suit.
But I beg to differ and think it's worth taking a chance, especially now that stablemate Cooldine and Paul Nicholls' Pride of Dulcote have been withdrawn. In fact, his full record when racing on heavy ground reads 412211PU and he was going quite well when unseating Tony McCoy last-time-out, so I'm not too sure what all the fuss is about.
I think punters are over-reacting a little here, making Kempes' price of 6/1 quite attractive. Romance in Ireland is alive and well and any winnings will be spent on fine wine and dining on February 14. If it loses, I'm afraid we'll have to stay in with a DVD, although I somehow doubt she'll be keen on my choice of 'Wall Street, Money Never Sleeps' if I'm left out of pocket after today!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Oil, poker and my office

I see the price of crude oil, or 'black gold' as some people call it, has dropped back down to around $86 a barrel following the news that Hosni Mubarak has stepped down in Egypt. That country is not a huge producer or anything but there is a major pipeline along the Suez Canal which may have been under a slight threat. I feel I’ve missed a trick with Oil – I bought it at $88 a few weeks ago and promised myself I’d hold until it hit $99. For some reason, I got jitters when the price dropped to around $84 and I sold out for a small loss. Kicking myself now for not holding on as it rose to over $100 when all the hassle was going on in Egypt – although it’s a commodity I’m still learning about so the stakes were not huge. 

I was chatting to some mates the other night and they’ve agreed to help me learn how to play poker. I’m not sure if I’d ever be able to make it pay but it’s something I’ve always wanted to learn so we are going to starting arranging some poker nights in the near future. In the meantime, I’m trying to read up online and learn as much as I can. Man, there’s a lot of sites out there on Poker!  I’m trying to find some sites and forums that are not too hard on newbies like me – some are better than others. Some are very friendly whereas others are just downright rude! I guess it’s like that with all forums and I’ll eventually settle in somewhere while learning. Poker Junkie looks like a good spot for help and debate so I’ve been doing a bit of reading up on that site. There are a few others out there and I’m trying to get to grips with each of the bonus deals before I sign up to any sites. I have to say I’m also looking forward to having an old style (offline) poker session. The lads used to do this a while back where they would grab a nice bottle of whiskey and take turns in each house. I never went as I didn’t know how to play but hopefully I can change all that soon. Just have to try to learn the ropes first so they don't rip me off!

Still haven’t started on my office – I haven’t had much time lately but being honest, I’ve been a bit lazy. I’m going to head out to IKEA one of these days to get some furniture and then it’s just a matter of painting the place up a bit. It’s only a small room so it shouldn’t take too long. 

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011


No, not the drug – I’m talking about broadband.

As mentioned before, I’ve decided to get more serious about my trading and later this month, I will be putting a few grand into the account. When I’m trading with such serious sums, I don’t want to be left behind on my old internet connection. At the moment, I’m with Eircom and am supposed to be getting ‘up to 8mb’ but in reality, it’s only clocking in at 2mb.

This isn’t really good enough to be honest and makes a mockery of their ‘next generation broadband’ advertisements.

UPC, whom I have my TV with, offer the 30mb line and a phone deal for a little cheaper so I’ve said what the hell, and signed up. Now I know you’ll never actually get 30mb but they use fibre optic cable so it should definitely be a lot faster than what I’ve got now. If that millisecond gets my bet into Betfair’s server ahead of someone else, it could be worth the effort of changing over.

I’m waiting on a few bob that I should be getting next week and then it’s all systems go! I’m a little nervous about upping the bank like that but I kinda feel that I need a serious challenge with this trading business and don’t want to keep messing around with small sums forever. I want to make some decent money, otherwise there’s no point in spending so much time at it.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Gold, beautiful gold

The wife's been slagging me about Gold as I was talking about it all week - she reckons I'm getting like the Israelites in the bible (Exodus) who started worshipping the stuff and ended up pissing Moses off when they made a golden calf out of it!

Seriously though, I made a couple of good trades on it yesterday with both accounts and ended up with a few hundred in profit. I was raging a little as I was going to top up my market spreads account and buy some more but didn't bother - but combined with the other account it was still a very good trade.

I had been watching the price for a while and decided to buy when it hit the $1,330 mark. In a few hours, that had risen to $1,355 at which point I sold 75% of it. I think the sudden rise was mainly due to the announcement from Ben Bernanke that the US recovery still needed Fed support.

There's a US payroll report out so the price has eased off and now trades around $1,349.

Really enjoying the trading on Gold and am currently reading a book on commodities as I want to learn more and do more trading on others.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Spring!

Just back from my run and it was lovely and sunny out – I’ve a good feeling about this month already!
As mentioned last time, I’ve decided to up my bank to about five and a half large later this month so I’m holding off on the sports trading until I get some money that I’m owed midway through this month.
However, I’ve been looking more at the non-sports trading and want to dip the toe in a bit more following a very enjoyable seminar on Saturday, run by marketspreads. 
I’ve two trading accounts at the moment but I’m liking marketspreads’ package the best so may move the rest of my money there as I’ve only a couple of hundred in that account at the moment. 
The seminar covered trading basics, there was a talk from Charlie Fell of the Irish Times (very interesting) and there was also other stuff like Technical Analysis. The TA was excellent and I learned quite a bit. 
The great (and potentially catastrophic!) thing about non-sports trading is that you get leverage. On Betfair, for example, you can’t place a bet or trade unless you can cover the bet with the money in your account. But when you are trading with a broker or spread company, you get leverage that allows you to go into the red. On Gold for example, market spreads offer 200:1  That means you can do some decent trades with only a small bit of money in your account – the downside is that you can rack up serious losses and then owe them money.
I’m playing a cautious game while I learn the ropes, but it’s a great mental game and keeps the brain active.
I still find the sports trading a lot easier though and that’s where I’ll be putting the money later this month. 
Anyway, Happy Spring everyone, I’m glad to see the back of a dull and dark January.  I lost quite a bit on the horses and really felt the pinch in the wallet but I’ve a good feeling about the month ahead. After that, we hit March and it’s Cheltenham territory (already!).