Trading software

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Book review - The Rules of Wealth

Just finished a rather good book:

Rules of Wealth

It only gets 3 stars on Amazon which is surprising as it contains loads of little nuggets of good information regarding money, money creating and money management.

It's basically a list of rules (around 110) regarding how to treat money, retain it, earn it and make it grow. All very practical and simple advice but I did get a few lightbulb moments. The best thing about the book is that it is easy to read - each 'rule' is only 2 pages long so you can pick it up whenever you want or even read a page or two a day.

It's by a guy called Richard Templar which I gather is a pen-name and he has a whole series of these 'rules' books. I've ordered one or two more as I enjoyed that one.

It won't change your life and it's not about getting rich - it's more practical, everyday advice that we should all know but don't often follow.

Currently reading this one:

Gross Misconduct: My Year of Excess in the City

It's basically about a girl who gets a job in the City in with the male dominated culture just before the boom ended, and she goes along with the drinking, the spending and all the rest of it - before getting fired. So far so good although I'm only about a quarter of the way in. 


The S&P500 index took a bit of a dive yesterday and now trades around 1493. It's hard to say what way it will go in the medium term - I think it will continue to hover around 1500 for a bit although direction could change either way after tomorrow's non-farm payrolls in the US (which are always big news).  Explanation from Forex Live:

Nonfarm Payrolls measures the change in the number of people employed during the previous month, excluding the farming industry. Job creation is the foremost indicator of consumer spending, which accounts for the majority of economic activity.

A higher than expected reading should be taken as positive/bullish for the USD, while a lower than expected reading should be taken as negative/bearish for the USD.

I was having a look around for some trades this morning but nothing is coming up so I think I'll leave the financials alone today and just watch how the markets go. 


I didn't get out for a run this morning - I went up to the graveyard to visit my father's grave instead. He's 7 years gone today - people say time flies and it sure does. Feels like only yesterday I was up in the local with him having a pint and backing a few horses. I miss those days sorely. He was only 53 when he died and he died from smoking.  On his dying bed, my old man would have gave anything to have an extra couple of years with his family and young grand-daughter but you can't turn back the clock and it was too late to undo the damage. That must be so frustrating, knowing it could have been prevented. I miss him every day and I sincerely hope they have Channel 4 up in heaven so he can watch the racing on a Saturday.
If you are a smoker, consider giving them up - it's a horrendous way to die and often at a fairly young age.


 On the racing front, it was a blank day yesterday with Zamdy Man being a non-runner. I've one bet for today although the price is going to be around 4/6. Looks well-in under a penalty though. Here's Timeform's comment:

2.30 Lingfield - Secret MillionaireTook advantage of tumbling mark when landing a gamble over C&D last week (Sherjawy behind) and remains very well treated on previous form carrying a 6 lb penalty for that success.

Enjoy the day, looks sunny out there at the moment :-)


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

S&P500 rally, Wednesday's bets

Delighted with yesterday's results. Dr Livingstone won at 2.48 on Betfair and the S&P trade went perfectly.

In fact, it rallied further after it smashed through 1496.1 but I took my profit at that price:

This is a very strong rally this year and if you look at the ten year charts, we are now not far off the level we were at before the crash:

So a couple of quid earned yesterday on a number of fronts which was most welcome after a run of poor form.

I've one bet on the favs strategy today, currently priced around 3/1:

1.40 Ludlow - Zamdy Man
Successful in Newmarket maiden on the level, and shaped very when in face of stif task when fifth to Ruacana in Grade 1 juvenile at Chepstow on hurdling debut. Open to plenty of improvement.

 Have to work today and then I've my psychology course later this evening so it's going to be a busy day. That course is going well and I still have a few weeks left.

Health and fitness wise I'm feeling good. I've knocked the drink and bad food on the head for a few weeks  (until Cheltenham at least) and I'm back out running so I'm feeling good and getting up early each morning and getting stuff done.

Enjoy the day,


Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Hi folks,

Yesterday's bet on the favs strategy lost having traded short again in-running. I could do with a couple of winners to boost up the cash balance although I'm not too worried about the stats just yet and the run of form is nothing out of the ordinary. At the moment, stats on the fav strategy is as follows:

Bets: 69
Wins: 34
Strike rate: 49%
Profit to Betfair SP assuming commission is 5%: +15.07pts

One thing I have noticed however, is that it has performed a bit worse than normal lately and I wonder if that's because all the decent racing has been cancelled, leaving only the all-weather meetings to survive. As such, I've started to record a bit more about each bet and it will be interesting to see if the lower class of race proves to be a hindrance. I won't change anything for now but I'll certainly make more notes.

Anyhow, one for that today, here's Timeform's comment:

3.20 Lingfield: Dr. Livingstone
Held back by temperament when last seen over jumps in first half of 2011, but has returned to form in jumpers' bumpers of late, winning at Kempton last time. Much respected in current mood.

As regards the financial trading, I've been a bit quiet on that but there's a good gap opportunity today. As you can see from the chart below where I've drawn some lines, last night's closing price around 9.30pm on the S&P500 daily rolling index was 1496.1. Around noon today, it was trading at 1492.1 which is a drop of 4pts. The idea here is to buy at 1492.1 and wait on the 'gap' to close. The S&P doesn't like gaps, especially on the downside, and more often than not, the Americans will close it when they hit their desks around now. So if/when the price rises back to 1496.1, I get out and take my profit. The stop loss is one and a half times the gap so in this case, 1486.1. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Woeful weekend

Hi folks, very late posting today as I’ve tonnes to do. A pretty woeful weekend of punting just gone – the less said about it the better – Imperial Commander looked like he was going to land me a nice few bob and even traded as low as 1/100 in running but still got beat. Anyway, time to dust myself down and get on with it.

One bet shortly on the favs strategy, Hidden Link, 3.50 Kempton.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday's Irish Independent article

Hi folks, we've been starved of decent racing lately but thank God, we have some proper action today from Cheltenham and Leopardstown. There's one selection today on the favourites strategy (Bold Sir Brian, 1.15 Cheltenham) although it clashes with the selection I've put in today's Irish Independent:

Friday, January 25, 2013


Hi folks, in a rush at the moment so no time for a write up. One short priced bet today on the favs strategy:

2.30 Lingfield - Rhyolite
Improved when second in this headgear combination on recent 7f Wolverhampton handicap debut, going clear before wandering badly (still green). Can gain compesation off same mark here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ladbrokes buy Betdaq

News in this morning that Ladbrokes have bought Betdaq - not a big surprise really. What it means for liquidity remains to be seen but we'll watch with interest.

One bet today on the favourites strategy but once again, it's a short one.

1.15 Lingfield - Dark Lane
In good heart of late, gamely making it 2 wins from last 3 starts in a 6f Kempton claimer earlier in the month. No reason to think he won't make presence felt again.

From the Racing Post:

LADBROKES has acquired betting exchange Betdaq in a deal worth €30 million (£25m) it was announced on Thursday morning.
The deal between Ladbrokes and Betdaq's billionaire owner Dermot Desmond was close to completion on Wednesday night,
and in addition, Ladbrokes has agreed to acquire a ten per cent stake in TBH Guernsey Ltd, the technology provider to Betdaq, for €4m.

For Ladbrokes chief executive Richard Glynn, the acquisition is the first of his tenure, which began nearly three years ago.

The high street bookmaker has been previously involved in acquisition talks with 888 Holdings and Sportingbet but discussions were unsuccessful, with Sportingbet acquired by rival William Hill and GVC Holdings last month.

The acquisition is expected to be completed late next month, and Glynn said: "The Betdaq exchange is a well-regarded and well invested business and a close strategic fit for Ladbrokes.

"Whilst the main focus of our digital growth strategy continues to progress well, this bolt on acquisition provides us with an exciting opportunity to grow our share of wallet through the creation of a differentiated and comprehensive sports betting proposition for customers and also supports our drive for improved liability management."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Morning folks,

Another cold one out there. Looks like Kempton, Lingfield and Limerick will go ahead but Ayr is still subject to an inspection. Just one bet today on the favourites strategy and it comes from Ayr. That strategy is around 19pts in profit at the moment. Unfortunately, it's another odds-on horse though. Here's Timeform's comment:

1.10 Ayr - Veloce
Fairly useful up to 1¾m on Flat and highly promising hurdles debut in 2m Newbury contest. Faltered late next time at Musselburgh when odds on, but looks to have been found a good opening here.

Yesterday's selection, Irish Heartbeat, traded as low as 10/1 on in-running but ended up finishing last. That's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes but it was certainly disappointing to see a horse that short get turned over.

On the financials, there's a gap forming on the S&P which could end up being a decent trade (that is, the price is a few points lower than last night's close). I'll see how the gap develops and if it's 5pts or more at around 11.30am, I'll buy it.

Enjoy the day,


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Snow, snow, snow

"A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water." - Carl Reiner

Haven't posted in a while but with loads of meetings getting cancelled with the snow, there hasn't been much to say!  The US markets were closed yesterday for the bank holiday and Obama getting sworn in so there wasn't much happening on the financials either.

While the kids love the snow, it's a pain for those of us who write about racing to see meetings get cancelled left right and centre. Here's hoping some of the big meetings go ahead on Saturday and we also have very good racing from Leopardstown this weekend.

Just having the one bet today on the favourites strategy but it is odds-on so there won't be anyone getting rich from it.12.50 Lingfield, Irish Heartbeat. Here's Timeform's comment:

Temperament called into question and on a long losing sequence, but continues to run creditably, and went close when dropped to selling class over C&D last month. One to consider again.

Snow in Dublin back in the day:

Friday, January 18, 2013


Horrible day out there!

Trying to write tomorrow's Irish Independent article but it's proving tricky with meetings getting cancelled all over the place. That's one of the difficult things about having strict copy deadlines - you could spend the morning writing and researching but then the meeting gets cancelled and it's back to the drawing board. It's not very exciting but at least there will be some all-weather meetings to write about and hopefully, some decent racing at Naas will go ahead.

Another winner yesterday on the favourites strategy although the price came right in and it went off at 1/2. I've one bet on that today, Neige d'Antan in the 2.00 at Lingfield. She'll probably go off around 10/11 or thereabouts.  Here's Timeform's comment:

Most consistent, battling on grimly when narrowly regaining winning thread at Wolverhampton. Good nose second there next time and sure to go well again.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Favourites betting strategy

Just a quick update on the favourites strategy. It's going well at the moment but I've decided it will be a test over 100 bets before I hit it with serious money. At the moment, I've had 32 winners from 62 bets (51.62%) and the profit to Betfair SP to a €10 stake (assuming commission is 5pc) is exactly €190. The average BSP was 2.91.

If the profit is anywhere near €300 when I finish the 100 bet trial, I'll be very happy. Again, it's early days and I'm not taking anything for granted - indeed, the 'form study' bets took off like this and hit 30pts profit before declining over the space of a year and finished up around 5pts in front. I've put those bets on ice at the moment to have a think about what to do with them.

Anyway, here's a chart showing progress of the favs strategy:

As I say, I'll hold off on the big stakes for now but if the chart is going in a similar direction after 100 bets, I'll give it a lash with a bank of a monkey (€500) or maybe one large (€1000) if I have enough to put by.

There's one bet for today, Brick Red, 3.20 Wincanton. It'll probably go off around 5/6. Here's what Timeform have to say:

Strong traveller who threatened to come good in handicaps, and did so emphatically when justifying strong support at Ludlow last week. Track will suit and well-in under a penalty.

Enjoy the day,


Wednesday, January 16, 2013


One for today on the favs strategy:

4.05 Newbury - Chapoturgeon
Smart chaser at best, and made winning hunter debut in this race last year. Cracking runner-up effort in Cheltenham Foxhunters next time, and really ought to outclass this lot on reappearance.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Not much time for a write up - just having one bet today on the favs strategy, 3.25 Wolverhampton Hepworth. Here's Timeform's comment:

Made the track just twice, but was a highly promising second in back-end 1m maiden at Doncaster at 2 yrs, and may have needed last month's reappearance at Lingfield. Cheekpieces on.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Fear of the dentist

Well, I got the battered and broken tooth pulled yesterday evening.

I was going to book for today, but they got a cancellation and asked me to go up yesterday evening at 5pm. I hadn't really any time to chicken out or think about it too much which was a good thing I suppose. I must admit though, it was very painful - although probably not as bad as some of the toothaches I've been having.

Anyway, on to today's racing.

The favourites strategy hit a new high yesterday of over 20pts. Absolutely delighted with that and while it is early days yet, it is going well. I'm still going to hold off on the big bucks for now until I test it a bit more. There's one bet on that today, Black Thunder 2.40 Kempton, but it actually clashes with the bet I've put in Saturday's Irish Independent article for that race (see below).

Don't think I'll get to see much racing - I want to take my daughter out to the cinema as I haven't spent much time with her all week due to my tooth. I'll tape it and catch up later. Enjoy the day,



FIRST ran in 2002, the Leamington Novices Hurdle (3.00 Warwick) is now over a decade old, but there's actually been just eight renewals of the grade two contest as poor weather conditions called a halt to proceedings in 2003, 2009, and 2010. Those of us who write about horseracing get a bit of stick if we tip too many favourites - and so we should because any Joe Soap can open a newspaper and circle the jolly. But from the small amount of data we have from this race so far, opposing the favourite here could be a costly exercise with six of the last eight market leaders all going on to win. I hope readers will forgive me then for siding with The New One at 5/4, which is one of the more exciting horses to come out of Nigel Twiston-Davies' yard of late. Other than Inglis Drever, there are no real superstars in the list of previous winners so I won't be getting over-excited about whichever horse goes on to win today - although it must be noted that bookmakers have seen some ante-post interest in The New One for the Neptune Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and he now trades as low as 12/1 in places for that race. He comes here with a decent enough CV and was one of last season's better bumper horses; with his only defeat in four of those races coming in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival. He made a winning start over timber when taking a decent novice hurdle at Newton Abbott on the first day of October and followed up that victory with another win later in the month at Cheltenham. While he remained in control in both of those races, he didn't always jump fluently which is a minor cause for concern although I'm told that Twiston-Davies has been doing plenty of schooling at home to get his jumping right. The one most likely to follow him home is Dursey Sound, which should go off around 9/4. He won a bumper at Galway for Charlie Swan before being sold to go hurdling across the water and he duly obliged with victory in his first two races over obstacles at Uttoxeter and Wetherby. He lost little in defeat to Easter Day in a novice hurdle at Ascot last time and he's one to stick in the notebook for the future. For something a priced a little higher, consider Dark Lane in the Blue Square Bet Sprint Series Round 2 Handicap at Lingfield (1.25), priced around 7/1. The seven-year-old won a claimer at Kempton on Sunday but the handicapper hasn't had a chance to reassess his mark yet so he comes here with an automatic 6lb penalty. Whether or not that is enough to hold him back remains to be seen but connections have booked Philip Prince to ride and his 7lb claim as an apprentice might just be the difference between winning and losing.

BOTH Bear's Affair and Black Thunder should prove popular in the betting for this afternoon's Lanzarote Hurdle (2.40 Kempton) but as topweight and second-topweight respectively, they may find themselves struggling in the business end of the race. Instead, a chance is taken on the Warren Greatrex trained Oscar Prairie which trades at 16/1 and higher in the early markets. He was pulled up a number of times in some handicaps at the start of the season but finally bounced back to form when runner-up at 66/1 at Wincanton last week. He's an unpredictable sort and it's not a race for heavy punting but the assessor has left him in with a chance and he can land a place at the least if running to form.   

Soccer: MANCHERSTER United v Liverpool is still the biggest fixture in English football and despite the latter's poor league showing in recent years, the possibility of an upset must always be factored in. But as punters, we can only focus on the facts and form in front of us and with all the evidence strongly pointing to a Red Devils victory tomorrow, odds of 10/11 on the home side to win represent tremendous value.
Horseracing: JUST five runners go to post for the opening claiming stakes on the polytrack at Lingfield (11.45), with Ajeeb looking the pick of the bunch at 13/8. He's a consistent sort that has been running to form in some handicaps this term and his second place to Harry Buckle here recently gave the impression that he's still open to improvement. A drop in class should see him go one place better today. 

11.45 Lingfield: Ajeeb
1.25 Lingfield: Dark Lane
1.50 Warwick: Highland Lodge
2.40 Kempton: Oscar Prairie (e/w)
3.00 Warwick: The New One

Friday, January 11, 2013


Hi all,

Didn't post yesterday as I was absolutely dying with a toothache. I'm one of those silly people that is afraid of my life of the dentist after some bad experiences a few years ago - but a cracked back tooth is starting to catch up with me and I'll have to get it sorted one of these days :-(

My stomach is in bits from painkillers - they couldn't be good for the liver. But I've a ton of work to do today so I'll have to battle on for now. On Wednesday, the fav strategy selection won at a decent price and pushed the bank to a new all-time high (just under 20pts) which is pleasing.

Two bets for today but both are odds-on. I'm not one for multiple bets normally but with both horses priced six to four on, I might just do two wins, one double.

Uimhir A Seacht is the selection on the handicaps and looks well-in under a penalty, while Glorious Twelfth is the selection on the favs strategy. Here's Timeform's comments:

2.40 Sedge - Uimhir A Seacht
Irish point winner who shaped better than result when fifth on handicap bow, and has since readily gone in twice at Fontwell and Chepstow on Tuesday (value extra). Hat-trick is on under a penalty.

2.50 Hunt - Glorious Twelfth
Didn't need to match earlier in-frame efforts to get off mark at fourth attempt in bumpers, and made a pleasing start when runner-up on hurdles bow at Newbury (21f) in November. Obvious claims.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Hi all,

A good day yesterday with one winner on the favs strategy. Didn't get to trade the financial markets yesterday but I'm going to try give it a go today.

Elsewhere, my wife has a big exam today as part of her course to become an optician so best wishes to her!

Once again, just one bet for today on the favs strategy. Looks like it will go off around 3/1.

1.55 Ludlow - Brick Red
Strong traveller who won a maiden at Uttoxeter in May and has shaped encouragingly in 3 handicaps since. Sharp 2m promises to suit, and stable in terrific form at present.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday, 8th January

Hi folks, I realise it's been a while since I posted - I've had a good bit of work on and some family stuff to do so I had a little break from racing and trading.

Just one bet for me today, it's on the favourites strategy. Here's Timeform's comment:

2.30 Leicester - Pine Creek
Had some useful form to his name at up to 1¾m on Flat in France for Andre Fabre, and really caught the eye on hurdling debut when third at Folkestone last month. Open to significant progress.

He's about 11/10 at the moment. That favourites strategy is going well and I'm tempted to get stuck in but I'll hold off a bit until I have at least 100 bets under the belt. At the moment, I've 28 winners from 56 bets which is a strike rate of exactly 50% and the profit to Betfair SP, assuming commission is the maximum 5%, is 16.37pts.

You can see from the chart that they took off like a rocket at quickly hit 15pts profit after about 20 bets or so (the left hand vertical line is the profit in points and the horizontal line with all the numbers is the number of bets).   I then hit a 'range' as you might say in trading, where I was up and down but going nowhere really. It's picked up a bit and is just a point off the bank's all time high of 17.37pts but this is why I love plotting my bets on a graph - you can really see the full picture.

What you want ideally is a nice (relatively) smooth upward rise rather than zig-zagging all around and while the direction of the slant is right at the moment, I'll be very interested to see how the next 50 bets go and that's why I'll hold off on the big bucks just yet. If you haven't every plotted your betting progress on a chart, try it. It really gives a clear view of how consistent you are.

I know some people that have shown a profit on a certain strategy but if you plotted it on a graph, you might realise it was all down to one or two lucky big ones or perhaps it's down to some loss chasing. As a financial trader, graphs have become second nature to me and I sometimes wonder how I done without them in horseracing betting when analysing my records a few years ago.

As regards fitness and all that lark, I went for run this morning - it was my first run in a while so it was great to get that out of the way as such as I had put it off a little bit. It was a bit tougher than normal but I feel great and am set up for the day. It's amazing how a simple run and a shower afterwards can leave you feeling brilliant and refreshed. 

Kinda glad all the Christmas madness is over to be honest and I think I'll take it somewhat easy until March as I want to have a nice few bob for Cheltenham. I've taken a few days off work which is great (as everyone is only going back!) and I'm going to spend the day working on my book, trying out some S&P trading and also trying out an automated Betfair trading strategy I'm working on.

Enjoy the day,


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goals 2013 & Happy New Year

Good morning folks and a Happy and prosperous New Year to all readers. 

Last night was the first New Years Eve that I didn't go to a party or have a few drinks in over ten years so I feel as fresh as a daisy this morning which I guess is a good start to the year. 

First things first, I hope I can get the year off to a great start with Tarquinius in the 3.10 at Fairyhouse. Myself and the lads were at Leopardstown on Saturday and backed this one at 9/2 from Gordon Elliott's stable. He won with plenty in hand and gets away with today's race with just a 4lb penalty. There's also an amateur jockey booked so that knocks another 7lbs off. Could be an interesting race and I'm going to back it at 2/1. On the favourites strategy, Hawkes point is the selection in the 2.40 at Exeter. 

As regards the New Year and resolutions and all that lark, I've said before that I'm not really one for making my mind up to do something on a certain date like January 1st as life is an ongoing affair from start to finish. However, humans love to break time into chunks and the 1st of January is as good a time to take stock as any I suppose. The New Year is a time for being positive but I'm acutely aware that some people may not be doing so well. Plus we all most likely lost some people in our lives over the past twelve months and some things did not go our way so I think it's OK to look back with both happiness and sadness and it's good to be mindful of those that may not be in a great place as we enter 2013. If you are not in a great place, make a few baby steps in getting out of that place.

I was having a look through last year's goals for 2012 and I'm happy to say I met most of them. Going to have a quick look at each now and see what I want for 2013.

For 2012, I wanted to learn as much as possible and I wanted to get up every day at 6.30am to trade to 8.30am. I did learn quite a lot and read a few books on the topic. I also get up at 6.30 about 3 days a week but not 5. Perhaps this is something I can work on in 2013. The good news is that my account showed a profit for the year which is no mean feat so I'm proud of that. The one thing I didn't do was a 'trading plan' which is pretty much like a business plan and it makes you write down clearly where you are going and what you are doing. Trading, after all, is a business just like any other. There's a template for a business plan in one of the books I read: 

 I've been mainly trading the S&P500 Gap and a bit of gold and that's what I think I should concentrate on to keep myself in profit before moving on to a new strategy. Specialising is key and I'll continue to do that.
2013 goals: Complete financial trading plan. Know the S&P Gap inside out. Read any outstanding books on my list before moving on to new books. Aim to be earning a 5pc profit on my account every month.

This is one I really let slip in 2012. I was supposed to set myself time to trade but it never seemed to work out that way. I'm still in the old habit of hopping on and off whenever I feel like it and that's not good. I need to become more structured. Some things came up through the year which meant I needed some cash and had to tap into my trading banks. I need to keep it all separate and don't let that occur again.
2013 goals. Create set times to trade (eg: Saturday afternoon, evening summer racing). Continue to test out the two automatic strategies I'm working on. Aim to earn 5pc profit per month on my account.  Keep my trading banks completely separate from everything else. 

I said last year that I wanted to continue to show a profit for my Irish Independent column and that's obviously a goal for 2013 too. I'm still working on the final figures for the 2012 columns but I had a couple of nice winners through the year. I also wanted to give the form study bets a lash with some decent money. I gave it a go with a monkey (€500) just as it turned the (wrong) corner and I lost a couple of ton. Not the end of the world but they have been hovering in and out of profit for some time now and I wonder if it's worth the effort. Rather than studying every race, I think I need to get back to being more selective and specialised. For example, years back I used to make a packet on all-weather handicaps. It's poor racing and a bit boring but feck it, if it pays the bills...
Things  like the favourites strategy have been going well and I want to do more similar work.
2013 goals: Show a decent profit in the Irish Independent. Specialise with what races I bet on. Continue work on the favourites strategy and other similar strategies. 

Last year, I aimed to be running 3 days a week and do a workout 3 days a week. I've been successful with the running but I think including the workout was aiming for too much. Perhaps if I keep up the running and add a workout once or twice a week it would be more achievable.  I would like to complete the Insanity workout which I got last year but never did:

It's an intense 60 day workout and is meant to be mad tough but it would be a good challenge. I also was training to do the Dublin Marathon last year but missed the application deadline. Doh! I think I'll do it this year.
2013 goals: Go running 3 days a week. Workout 1 day per week. Do the Insanity workout. Run the marathon. Eat a bit healthier and get the 5 a day. 

Last year, I wanted to write at least one chapter of a fiction book I was writing. I actually went a different direction and started a different book - I'm writing a book on sports trading at the moment. I need to get kicking on that and get it finished but it's going well. I'm about 75pc finished at the moment.
2013 goals: Finish the book by the end of March. 

Last year, I was new to driving and wanted to pass my test. That's done and ticked off the list!

Last year, I wanted to spend more time with my daughter in the evenings after work which I've achieved. Myself and the missus probably don't get out enough together but she's in her final year at college so is studying hard.
2013 goals: Continue to make time away from work/writing/racing for my family and go out a bit more with the missus when she's done her exams! Get up early to get work done to make more time. 

Again, I won't go into too much detail on a public website but I've been meeting certain goals, clearing some debt and saving a bit. I've a few things I want to do for 2013 including the wedding and getting some money together for something. 

We stayed in Ireland last year for a holiday - I've no real travel plans this year as we are saving for something very important. Myself and herself are getting married (properly this time) in October and having a decent day out and honeymoon. Ten years ago, we got legally married for various reasons (don't ask!) in a registry office with just a few people present. We always planned on doing a proper wedding when we had the money but just never got around to it. 2013 is the year!
2013 goals: Pay for the wedding without getting into debt. Have a nice honeymoon. Possibly pay for a trip for herself to Canada to see her family that can't make the wedding. 

Last year I enrolled in a psychology course at Trinity College and I'm loving it. I'm going to do another evening course again this year - perhaps a financial trading one again. I think it's good to keep the brain ticking over and learning new things.
2013 goals: Continue to read - finish that stack of books under the computer!! Do another evening course, possibly in financial trading. 

I think that's about enough for now. Another goal is to REVIEW THESE GOALS (!) halfway through the year and report back on progress. If you haven't done it before, it's worth writing down what you want to achieve in the coming year and reviewing it every so often. You can then set baby steps to get there. I'm not one of those for the 'follow your dreams and you can achieve anything' bullshit but I do think that every journey starts with a single step. Starting something is usually the hardest part and as they say in Irish, 'tús maith leath na hoibre' (a good start is half the work).

Best of luck throughout the year and thanks for reading in 2012.