Optimism – The Key Trading Ingredient

I’ve been considering some of the issues I discussed in my recent post What is a Professional Sports Trader? . In particular, the list of attributes that I feel a sports trader has to have or acquire to be successful. Now, while all of the characteristics I listed are important, or at least desirable, I think one in particular is essential. And that one is ….. OPTIMISM. In fact I would go as far to say that without optimism it is very difficult, if not impossible, for someone to a) learn to be a trader, and b) be successful at it.

Let me explain….

To me, optimism provides the fertile ground from which all a trader’s ideas, determination, discipline etc. can be germinated and grown. Without it, I struggle to see how someone can take on the challenge of trading – and it is a challenge! – or trade effectively in the markets. Unless we have the positive mental attitude that something is possible, whether it be to become a successful trader or that a particular trade could be successful, what hope have we that we will achieve our goals and aims?

A novice trader needs to be sufficiently optimistic that they can become a successful trader. That it’s both possible and realistic for them to achieve that goal. It’s the fuel that drives us to apply ourselves to the task, overcome difficulties and creatively solve problems. It provides us with the impetus to spend hour after hour in front of our screens, reading books and paying the cost of training courses because we truly believe that we can succeed. It helps us to place sufficient value in our goal, that we are prepared to invest our time, money and at times emotional discomfort to achieve it.

As a trader, optimism – along with the skills, knowledge and experience we have acquired over time –  enables us to place trades time and time again. Why? Because we are sufficiently optimistic to a point where we believe that a trade has a sufficient probability of working. When we take a loss, optimism assists us in remaining disciplined in the knowledge that if we continue to exploit our edge and work our plan, the net result will be in our favour.

By nature we are not all optimistic. However I do believe that we can help ourselves to be so. I have suffered with anxiety and depression for many years, therefore I probably know better than most that from time to time life can feel quite bleak and that challenges can be overwhelming. I have learnt what ‘makes me tick’ and what I need to do to lift my spirits when my chin has dropped. Simple things like physical activity, positive self-talk and interacting with others can soon pull me round and enable me to apply myself to the task in hand.

I remember a colleague year ago telling me that, if you want to be somebody, e.g. a successful trader, behave like that person you wish to become. I might not have all of the skills, knowledge and experience to be a successful trader just yet, but I know that if I ‘fake it till I make it,’ that will provide me with the confidence that I will achieve my goal while I acquire those essential tools.

In other words, I find it helpful for me to view myself as a successful trader in training, rather than someone who is training to become a professional trader. The difference between the two is slight, but I believe important.

 

The Day The Wheel Fell Off

There’s no getting away from the fact that, whatever measure you choose to use, yesterday’s trading was a shocker! I woke at 2am this morning still perplexed by yesterday’s events, so decided to get my thoughts out on paper – or more accurately this blog post – rather than just let them run around inside my head. I need to try and gain something positive from the experience, however small.

The only glimmer of light in yesterday’s confusion is that because I am still using relatively small stakes, the financial lose was minimal. My primary concern is the psychological damage it may have caused if I allow it to.

The daily routine started as normal – woke, shower, breakfast, study (reading trading books and watching YouTube videos on trading), lunch and a brief walk before I sat down to trade at approximately 1pm. I went through my usual preparation before the first race at 1.40pm.

I don’t know why, but nine times out of ten, my first trade is a winner. Yesterday it was not. After several more losing trades it started to dawn on me that something was not quite right, and in hindsight may be that should have been the stage to stop, gather my thoughts and start again or possibly even call it a day. However I didn’t – I just ploughed on expecting things to change. Needless to say, they didn’t. I went from one trade to the next losing almost every time. In fact, I think I would have had more positive results if I had been placing trades randomly. At least that way the law of averages would have ensured I had at least some winners!

Over the last few weeks, I have been really pleased with my progress. Primarily my improved daily consistency. As far as I am aware, I was using the same indicators, methods, approach as before, i.e. my edge, but for some reason it was just not working. Was it me, were the markets different, or worst of all, does my edge not exist?

As the day continued things went from bad to worse. I felt completely detached from the markets and the trading process. As if I was on the outside looking in rather than being part of the process – isolated from the markets rather than participating in them. I then made the worst mistake of all. I started modifying my technique and using untested signals to enter trades. I finally called it a day at around 5pm. The whole experience left me feeling confused, disappointed and worried.

You’ve probably got the message by now that it was not a good day!

So, the questions I am asking myself are why did this happen and what can I learn from this experience?

As far as I am aware, there are only two variables in trading – me and the markets. Whilst it is tempting to do so, I must not blame the markets for my dismal performance. The markets  are what they are. They are not trying to catch me out or punish me, they just are. Therefore, it has to be me. The bottom line is that, I am responsible for my dismal performance. Whilst that fact is a bitter pill to swallow, there is something empowering about that statement. If I believed that it were the markets that were responsible then, as I have no control over them, I have no ability to influence the process. I will be viewing myself as a victim. However, if I acknowledge that it was me who caused the problems of yesterday, then I have the ability, and responsibility, to influence a similar situation in the future.

I am confident that I have an edge, and that it works. I have seen it work time after time, and there is no reason to believe that it will not continue to work in the future. After all, my edge is not rocket science – it is primarily techniques I have picked up from experienced traders combined with a few of my own charting indicators.

So, what is my plan for tomorrow? Firstly, I’m going to take a break from studying. My wife has been telling me that I have been ‘over doing it’, and as usual I think she is right! I’m going to spend the morning doing something completely different – the car could do with a good clean so I think I’ll do that – go for a walk after lunch and then sit down to trade. Tomorrow’s trading is going to be a ‘back to basics’ day. Keep it simple, be selective and aim not to lose on the day rather than profit.

Once again I have been shown that psychology is key to trading success.

 

What is a Professional Sports Trader?

The last ten days or so have, I believe, seen a marked change in my trading. Thankfully for the better! Keeping up a rigorous daily routine of study – principally reading trading books and watching YouTube videos of Peter Webb of Bet Angel and Steve Howe of It’s a Mugs Blog. As a result of the progress I have made, I gain something new every time I read or watch them. However, what has really been a revelation to me is the benefit I am receiving from writing this blog, and particularly, using Twitter to interact with other likeminded individuals. The latter of which I believe is so important that it deserves its own blog post, but needless to say, I would advise anyone starting out on the same journey I am on to do the same. I can assure you that you will not be sorry you did.

I would just like to thank Peter and Steve for spending the time in producing and upload their videos, and to all of those that I have chatted with on Twitter for all of your wisdom, support and good humour. You know who you are!

As I say, recent developments in my trading have been very encouraging. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making a fortune, but my understanding of the markets and market dynamics, and my consistency have improved greatly. I believe these two factors have taken me to the next trading ‘level’ as it were. Ironically, I am not making any more money than I was making four weeks ago, however, it is the way that I am trading that I feel is the important factor here. I’m confident that the way I am trading now is building a more solid foundation for a sustained future of profitability. My win loss ratio has improved markedly, as has my risk reward ratios on market entry. My next task is in learning how to extract more profit from the trades I am making, i.e. focusing on the exiting of my trades. It would be tempting to increase my stakes at this stage in an attempt to generate more profit, however I know that this approach is not the answer. As a result I am still keeping my stakes small (£10-£20) until I have resolved the trade exit issue. To increase my stakes at this stake also runs the risk of me losing my confidence and undoing all of the good work and progress I have recently made.

It is decisions such as this that I hope and believe separate the 5% from the 95%. In other words, the people that succeed in trading and the ones that don’t. I believe it is also what separates the Professional Traders from others.

Which has made me ask myself the question…What is a Professional Trader?

One definition of a professional trader that could be used is someone who makes money from trading for a living. Now there is nothing wrong with this definition per se, however I can’t help but feel that it is a) open to interpretation, and b) possibly degrades is some way the ability of skilful traders. Let me explain…

If we define a professional trader in monetary terms, then one could argue that the more money someone makes from trading the more professional they are. To me this does not seem quite right. If trader A is making £50K per year from trading and trader B is making £100K per year, does that mean that trader B is twice as professional as trader A? I don’t think so. There may be a number of reasons why that may be the case, but I don’t think ‘professionalism’ is one of them. Also, to define successful trading purely in monetary terms appears to be a very blunt instrument of classification, and doesn’t pay justice to the fundamental skills, knowledge, and let’s face it, bloody hard work that has to be put in by someone to be successful in the sports trading markets.

To me, a professional sports trader is something that you are, not what you produce. Put another way, if you conduct yourself and trade in a professional manner, then the profits will naturally follow. However, the profit in itself should not be the ultimate goal. Being professional should be.

If I had to come up with a few words and phrases that to me typify the characteristics of a professional sports trader they would be, in no particular order:

  • Disciplined
  • Meticulous
  • Dedicated
  • Confident
  • Focused
  • Determination
  • Self-aware
  • Humble
  • Generous
  • Enthusiastic
  • Supportive of others
  • Optimistic
  • Willing to invest in themselves
  • Good sense of humour

So the question I find myself asking is, how many of these characteristics apply to me? Modesty prevents me from answering that question, however what I sure of is that if I strive to be all of the above, then I will have earned the right to call myself a professional trader, regardless of the level profits I make.

Insure Yourself Against Tech Issues

In response to the replies I received in response to a tweet I posted today about what to do if you are trading and experience power, device or internet issues, I decided to write a quick post on the subject rather than reply to everyone individually.

If one of these problems does occur and you have an open position in a market/s, the consequences can be expensive. Therefore I feel that a small amount of money and time spent now could be a very good investment for the future. Consider it as a form of insurance if you will.

Now everyone’s trading set up will be different, therefore you will have to adapt and modify the information below to suit your situation with regards to equipment.

Broadly there are three problems that can happen to your trading equipment while you are trading that can leave you with an open position which will go in-play. These are:

  1. Power cut
  2. Computer crash / freeze
  3. Internet problems

Depending on the equipment you have will have a bearing on what you need to do to protect yourself.

Power cut

My trading equipment includes two laptops; one of which has a monitor attached to it so that I can extend the screen. As they are laptops, I don’t have a problems with power cuts as they will keep running on their batteries. However of course my broadband router will stop working, but I’ll get to that issue later. If you have a PC or iMac however, it will stop working, therefore I would suggest purchasing a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). This is basically a battery which sits between your PC/iMac and screen/s and the mains socket. If there is a power cut, the UPS will keep your devices running long enough for you to get out of the trade before the battery runs out. The size of the UPS battery will depend on the length of time your equipment will run before the battery is drained. When there is a power cut the UPS will make an audible sound so you know that there has been a power cut and that it is now providing the power.

Computer crash / freeze

If you only have one PC/iMac then your only real option is to re-boot your system as soon as possible. An alternative is to get your hands on another PC/iMac and screen, however I would advise purchasing a laptop because then you will not need to purchase the UPS as explained above. On this second device, install the trading software you use (I use Bet Angel, and they allow you to use their software on multiple devises at no additional cost – I’m not sure about other trading software providers) and have it logged in to Betfair in the same way you do on your primary device. As you place trades on your primary devise, you will see the activity on the backup devise, so if the primary device crashes / freezes you can carry on trading on the backup. The backup device does not have to have all of the functionality as your primary device, as long as it can allow you to get out of the trade.

Internet Problems

Unfortunately, the only way round this problem is if you have a mobile 3G (or better) signal in your area. The idea being that if there is a power cut (so your modem will obviously not work) or an internet problem, you can use your mobile phone as a modem by ‘tethering’ it to your trading device. This can be done by either using a USB cable or by using Bluetooth. Depending on your mobile and your trading devise, this will be done slightly differently for everyone. I use Bluetooth, which involves ‘pairing’ my laptops to my mobile which is a one-off process. I then went to Control Panel (sorry Mac users, I don’t know where you find it on your platform!), found my mobile under Devices, and created a short cut of the icon on my desktop. At the beginning of each trading session, I ensure that my mobile and laptop are connected by Bluetooth and then they are ready to work together should they be required to do so. If there is a power cut or internet problem, I then right click on the mobile icon I placed on my desktop, go down to ‘Connect using’ and click on ‘Access point’. Again, sorry Mac users, due to my lack of knowledge of iOS you will have to work it out yourselves, however I’m sure the process is pretty similar! My laptop will then be using the data through my mobile and my trading software will start working again, giving me enough time to exit any open positions I may have.

What I think is really important is that you practice what to do in the eventuality of one of the three problems above occurring. I think you would agree, for most people they do not happen often and in a way, that can be a problem. You might go a whole year without one of the above occurring, but when it does you need to know what to do immediately. Therefore I have put into my diary that on the first day of each month I will practice the procedure above for the internet problem so that I don’t forget how to do it. Similar to the way a company might have a fire drill each week.

I hope this helps.

 

It’s All In The Price

There are generally three types of traders: Fundamental traders, technical traders and traders that use a combination of both fundamental and technical data.

Financial market traders years ago – long before the advent of sports trading as we know it – only used to use fundamental data to inform their trading decisions. Data such as company profits and/or losses, personnel changes, weather etc. and how they thought this information would affect the value of a particular equity or commodity. Then came along these rather strange guys, in the form of technical traders, with roles of graphs under their arms (they were treated with some considerable suspicion at the time) claiming that past price action of an equity or commodity could be used to predict future price action. These days I think it’s probably fair to say that technical analysis is probably the dominant approach to trading – particularly for small traders trading their own accounts – although fundamental data is still recognised as valid by some.

So how does this reflect on sports trading, and in particular, the trading of horse racing odds (my particular area of interest)?

Fundamental data of horse race trading involves the analysis of information including, horse, trainer and jockey form, ground conditions, weather and draw bias to mention but a few. These are what I view as the ‘physical’ elements that go into a race and can be used by some to try and predict the probable outcome of a race. However my argument is, do we need to know this to be able to trade successfully?

My personal view is that we don’t. All of this fundamental data is distilled into the price of a market at any given time, therefore price and price action is generally all we need to know. The screens we have in front of us as we trade are our window through which we can see, second by second, the views and opinions of others as they commit money to the market. I think this is a very important point – the views and opinion of only those who are prepared to ‘back them up’ with cold hard cash are relevant. The views and opinions of others are absolutely irrelevant.

You have probably surmised by now that I am a technical trader, and I who go as far as to say that price and price action data is all that is required to be a successful sport trader. Everything, and I mean everything, is reflected in the price and its action of all of the participants in the market. All of the fundamental data (horse, trainer and jockey form, ground conditions, weather, draw bias etc.) is already factored in to the market price at any given time. My argument therefore would be, why look anywhere else for more data to enable you to have a view ; it only has the potential to ‘skew’ your opinion.

The important thing to remember however, when it comes to price and price action, is that it is a reflect of the net opinions of the group, i.e. the traders, punters, bookies etc. that are actively participating in the market. Group and group dynamics are a fascinating topic, and one which I have studies in my previous career as an Addictions Therapist. The group itself is a separate entity to the participants of the group, and it has its own separate dynamic to the individuals that make up the group. As each individual, with their own unique views, opinions and goals, joins or leaves the group, the group as a whole has to modify itself to accommodate that change.

I tried an interesting experiment yesterday, which involved turning off my charts and the volume indicator on my trading screen (so I had no idea where the price had been previously), so all I was left with was the price and its action. It was fascinating to ‘feel’ the sentiment of the group dynamic as the elements of supply and demand played out in the market. The ebb and flow of the price, its reaction to certain levels, the building of activity as the race neared post time, it was all playing out before my eyes is a way I had not quite appreciated.

Trading Like Buddha

Before I start this blog, I would just like to make it clear that I am not a Buddhist. In fact I would class myself as an atheist. I thought I would just get that one in there quickly before I frighten too many people off!

However about ten years ago I did look into the principles of Buddhism to see whether it would ‘be of me’, and despite not taking up active Buddhist practice, I do still reflect on the principles of the religion (actually it’s more a way of life than a religion, but that beside the point) and how they manifest themselves in my life. So I thought I would get them down in a post as a reminder to me, however you may find them useful also.

There are a couple of key principles of Buddhism which I can directly relate to trading and my trading journey.

Life almost always involves suffering

This sounds quite depressing right? But think about it for a moment. There is no doubt that life can be tough. There are winners, and by definition, there are loser in life. Relationships, health, wealth, employment, accommodation, positive feelings, can all be lost or taken away. They are all impermanent. The aspiration should be to accept this situation and not try to deny its existence. Now I’m not for one minute saying that we should just lie back and accept that life is just going to trample all over us. We should take ownership of our lives and do what we can to prevent suffering to ourselves. However, sooner or later we are all going to experience suffering in some form and if we can accept fully that this will occur, then we are going to be is a far better psychological state to be able to deal with it.

Nobody actively wants to have a losing trade, but if we wholeheartedly and truly accept that they are going to occur, then when they do, they will not have the power to hurt us and will be easily overcome. Trading is a microcosm of life – everything is impermanent.

The root of all suffering is craving

When I look back at my life and remember times when I was sad, jealous, angry etc. (all of which we can class as forms of suffering), I can identify that carving was at the root of my discomfort. When we hold on to tightly to things, people, states of mind and so on, we create added pain when they are no longer with us and risk losing them forever because the craving was so intense. Do you remember the intense feeling of loss when that girl or boy dumped you at school and you did anything and everything to try and prevent it happening? It really hurt, right? I used to be an Addictions Therapist so I know a thing of two about craving!

When we hold onto a trade that isn’t working we cause discomfort within ourselves. And the longer we hold on, the more the discomfort grows. Resign yourself to the fact that, in this instance, you were wrong and let it go. All the while you hold on to a trade that isn’t working, you may be missing an opportunity to take the next trade which will work.

I believe this is also relevant to the practice of trading as a whole. I want to be a successful Sports Trader, but I know if I hold on to that dream too tightly, I risk losing it. The craving for this dream will psychologically make it more difficult for me to achieve it. I know that, ironically, it will cause the loss of the very thing I want to achieve.

Living in the moment

Done well, the Buddhist practice of meditation is to enter the state of being in the present moment; or what some refer to as the now. In the present moment there is nothing but calm and serenity. Negative feeling such as regret, guilt and shame (states of suffering) come from the past, whilst fear, anxiety and worry (states of suffering) come from the future. In the now however, there is nothing. Furthermore, in the present moment we have a greater understanding of ourselves. We become observers of our own thoughts and feelings – a state of self-awareness. In the calm of the present moment we can identify what is going on in our minds and effectively manage those thought and feelings rather than blindly being slaves to them.

An experience therapist who I used to worked with once said to me, “Humanity has never been as far as it has come today. Every present moment is new ground for humanity, and how privileged we  are to be here to experience it. Don’t let the present moment pass you by.” I’ve never forgotten those wise words.

Now I’m not suggesting we should sit at our trading desks, with our legs crossed and our eyes closed while we trade. I’m open to most suggestions but I think even that would be beyond me! But what I am trying to convey is that by being in the state of now, i.e. in the calmness of the present moment, it provides us with the psychological environment where we can focus and perform to the best of our ability with the minimum of distraction from our minds. Our enhanced self-awareness from being in this state will help us manage any feelings of disappointment after a losing trade, and as importantly, euphoria following a winning trade. It will help to keep us grounded.

Trading Psychology – The Elephant in the Room

During my time sports trading, I have often heard experienced trader talk about the importance of trading psychology. I have never been against the concept per se, however for quite some time did not understand or appreciate what they were trying to convey. It was the elephant in the room – or more accurately in my head. I knew it was there, I knew it must be important (otherwise why would the experienced traders keep talking about it?) but I was not sufficiently willing to actively understand the notion. I felt that as long as I had a strategy that appeared to work, then all the other pieces of the trading jig-saw-puzzle would just fall into place. How wrong could I be!

Devising a trading strategy that you believe in, have confidence with and has a proven track record over time is obviously essential. Although without the correct psychological mindset in place within which the strategy will be implemented, it’s like casting seeds onto the road. Put another way, the correct psychology of trading is the fertile ground for my trading strategies. The environment within which my trading will grow. Without which my trading will be doomed to failure.

As with many things in life, we often don’t appreciate the scope and significance of a subject until we start to understand it. In fact, more often than not, the more we learn the more we realise how much there is to learn. However, to get the learning process ball rolling, we must be willing to, a) see value in the topic, and b) commit ourselves to understanding it.

Now the topic of trading psychology is huge, and way beyond the scope of this blog (and me!) to covey in a single post. Although I will almost certainly return to the subject – given its importance – in future blogs. You only have to type in ‘trading psychology’ into Amazon to see how many books have been written on the subject by far better authors than me.

However, by way of a brief summary, I thought I would provide what Mark Douglas describes as The Fundamental Truths, which underlay the mindset of successful traders by way of a useful check list.

  1. Anything can happen.
  2. You don’t need to know what is going to happen next in order to make money.
  3. There is a random distribution between wins and losses for any given set of variables that define an edge.
  4. An edge is nothing more than an indication of a higher probability of one thing happening over another.
  5. Every moment in the market is unique.

Failure to put the above in context of the subject of trading psychology as a whole, risks lessening their true value. However, I find it a useful reminder that I use before I start trading each day – I have it pinned to the wall above my trading screens – to help set me up for the trading day and keep me on track throughout it.

Win or lose, it’s always worth a reminder!

Trading Vidoes

After losing my (trading) way in the last few days, I decided to go back to basics. I watched several videos by Peter Webb of Bet Angel this morning to help re-set my mind. I find they help me to confirm how trading can be and that it is possible to be successful at this most difficult undertakings. In fact I have decided to watch a few of these videos everyday before I start trading to help me ‘get into gear’ for the trading day.

One of the videos I watched referred to be benefits that can be gained from recording your own trades. So I decided today to put it into practice.

I downloaded some free video screen software from Screen-O-Matic.com, dug out a headset with a microphone which had been residing in my garage for several years and started to record each trade with my narration.

Wow, what a difference!

I found that verbalising the thoughts that had previously only been inside my head during each trade enormously beneficial. And my trading results for the day bear testimony to that. Expressing my thought about each trade, appeared to give me a clarity that I had not experienced before. And by committing it to video, it gave each thought, view and decision added purpose. Now I always knew that the principle purpose of recording trades is to enable you to review them at a later date – which I will do – however the immediate benefit for me was the process of making the recordings itself. I would encourage any trader to do the same.

An example of one recording of a trade today was the last race at Haydock, which can be viewed here.  Apologies for the quality of the video. On my PC it is crystal clear, however on YouTube it is less so. Something I will have to address for future videos

I only used small stakes, as I didn’t want to suffer the consequences of being distracted by videoing my trading for the first time, however all-in all I was more than satisfied with the results.

So, what have I learnt? 

  1. By recording, and more importantly verbalising my thought processes during my trades, I trade better and more consistently.
  2. It gives me the ability to review my trades and see where I made good decisions and where I made mistakes.
  3. By sharing my recordings with others via this blog and Twitter, and receiving feedback for other traders, it removes the ‘secrecy’ of what I am trying to achieve.

 

Post Holiday Blues

Yesterday was my first trading day following a family holiday. It did not go well!

Results were disappointing – not disastrous, but I was down on the day. This was particularly disappointing as I came back in a very positive frame of mind having read Trading in the Zone by Mark Douglas while away, and after having reasonable trading results before we left.

So what when wrong?

On reflection, I don’t think I prepared myself properly before I started trading. I felt ‘rusty’ and ill prepared for the day ahead. I didn’t feel that I was connected to the markets (in a similar way I felt when I started trading) and as a result, often found myself on the wrong side of the market and lost in the noise. I likened the feeling to that when I had to write my first assignment at university after a holiday break. I had almost forgotten how to write. The only difference between writing and assignment and trading is that if you write a poor assignment you get a low mark, whereas if you trade badley you lose money!

Anyway, the day left me feeling rather deflated, so rather than allow the negative thoughts to churn around inside my head, I thought that it would be more useful to write them down in my new blog. After all, that is the reason I set it up in the first place.

What have I learnt from this experience?

  1. Be aware that a break in trading can leave me out of touch with the markets and the trading process.
  2. Following a break of more than two day, I will reduce my stakes for the first trading day until I am ‘in the grove’ once again.
  3. By failing to prepare I am preparing to fail – Thank you Benjamin Franklin!
  4. When trading is not going well STOP. Assess the situation, identify the problem and only start again once I have  made changes to my understanding of the markets and my mindset.
  5. Understand that one poor trading day is not a disaster.
  6. Failing to learn from a poor trading day is a missed opportunity to learn more about the markets and myself.
  7. Use my blog to process my thoughts and feels (positive and negative) rather than allowing them to run around inside my head.

 

Why The Intuitive Trader?

Trading intuitively is a concept I picked up from the book Trading in the Zone by Mark Douglas. An excellent book that I would recommend every trader to read at least once in their trading career. For me it is my trading nirvana, and a way of trading that I am endeavouring to achieve.

As Douglas describes, it is the equivalent to having obtained the black belt in martial arts. Where you are so ‘in tune’ with the process that it becomes automatic. The simplest example is that of driving a car. No longer do you need to consider the basic processes of driving – accelerator up, clutch down, change gear, clutch up, accelerator down etc. etc. You just focus on driving safely and anticipating situations that may need your attention. The mechanical processes of trading just happen automatically allowing you to trade on another level. One where you have an intuitive ‘feel’ for what is happening in a market, and because of this, what is likely to happen next.

Now don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t always mean that you are going to be right every time you place a trade, however in my view it provides a significant ‘edge’, and one that will provide sustained profit over time.

I have watched many of the YouTube videos by Peter Webb of Bet Angel and can clearly see and hear the intuitiveness in the way he trades. Peter has been sports trading for many years and obviously has a deep understanding of the way the markets function. He appears to trade like he breaths; many of the processes are so automatic that they free his mind to focus on other issues that require his immediate attention.

So, an intuitive trader I am not yet, however that is my ultimate goal. As I mentioned before, my trading nirvana. Interestingly I Googled nirvana whilst writing this post to check on the definition. In Buddhism, nirvana refers to “…a state in which there is neither suffering, desire nor a sense of self…” which I can also relate to trading. Perhaps another topic for a future post!