Set Your Trading Cock-Pit For Success

Posted on Posted in A Geeks Toy Pro, Horse Racing

My Trading Desk…

Betfair Trading Courses

I’ve been meaning to get around to this post for some time, its something I’m asked about fairly regularly. Just this week it popped up again on the blog so at last the answer to the following question is yes!

‘Have you written an article on what you recommend on setting up your trading station?’

Trading stations can be a bit of a personal thing I think, as everyone likes to set up in a different way for different reasons. The biggest reasons for differences being due to what your trading, understandably if you trade in-play on the horses, over a mater of minutes. It’s not all that likely you’ll have the same set up as trading something like Big Brother over a few weeks!

The above is my current set up, a bit messy I know. I kind of just got everything into the office as quick as possible when I moved in, earlier in the year. It’s just stayed that way since, really should tidy up.

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Trading the nags pre-race mainly I find this works well for me. It’s a long way off what I had when I started out a little over 5 years ago now, back then I just had a laptop. It wasn’t as swish as the one in the image above either by all accounts. I didn’t even have a desk either, I started on the dining room table… If you’re at that stage now, I’d advise doing exactly what I did. Reward yourself with a little upgrade, bit-by-bit as you start to profit. Knowing everything sat in-front of you is paid for by the markets is a positive reminder when you have a crap day.

My Setup In Numbers

  1. Top priority, black-out curtains or blinds. Trading with unwanted glare in the background or reflecting off the screen isn’t good for focus or concentration. Can get a pretty bad headache too if you just carry on. If spending a fair bit of time in front of the screen, may as well be comfortable, right? Maximum concentration and focus is important all the time.
  2. Main screen – the biggest of the two (23″). Not a lot to say other than the bigger the better, like I said earlier though at first a laptop will suffice.
  3. Second screen – have this one on a dual monitor mount, hence you can’t see a base. This is often more of an information screen for me, with the main one being my trading ladder screen.
  4. TV (32″) – I like to have a nice sized TV to watch ATR and RUK, when they mess about with the camera angles at post time I can still make out the runners.
  5. Back-up laptop – not essential, but helpful. I usually leave the Betfair website open on this while trading, on a separate connection. Just in-case my main machine or internet connection die, these things only ever seem to happen when I have a couple grand exposure in the market so it’s a decent back-up plan.
  6. Landline phone – Good back-up for a Saturday afternoon when Betfair goes down, and I need to call the telephone betting desk to close any open positions… although they’re about as useful as tits on fish so, maybe not all that essential either!
  7. Gamer pad – helpful for programming hot-keys within Geeks Toy, and playing games of course.
  8.  iPad mini box – lazy man’s way of making sure the screen is at the right height. In all seriousness though, if you’re at the screen trading a lot its important to be comfortable. It’ll stop the odd silly mistake creeping in.
  9. The Snowball – the life and business of Warren Buffett – Trading inspiration! also doubles up as something to read on a Saturday afternoon when Betfair goes down…
  10. Comfy chair – had this one quite some time, comfort is key.

Other than the main things you’ll see a few other bits. Whiteboard above for notes, although I cleaned it down before taking the snap. Sky box, a must if you’re doing this full-time or a lot. Online feeds are also available.

Are a few other things too you can’t see, on the wall to the left I have a few framed photo’s and motivational quotes. I find keeping myself motivated is helpful. And a huge stack of the racing post on the floor. I’m not so sure reading through the RacingPost a lot has helped although I’ll take anything I can from reading them and see where it takes me. Some of the best things I’ve found have happened by stumbling across them by accident, usually looking at something else.

Obviously all this is over-kill for most, but I think building up your environment around you is a huge part of trading. Depending on everyone’s situation its different, but if you have a busy life and family. Trading from the dining table or living room is going to be a hell of a struggle, them sort of environments are tough to concentrate in.

The Minimum

It’s quite possible to start out with just a laptop and make a few quid, especially on a Saturday afternoon when channel 4 is on. If you don’t have access to RUK or ATR and Sky, you can use the Betfair live feed after matching a £5 bet. The additional information can really help when it comes to making a decision in the markets, not having information and understanding is effectively putting the blinkers on. When I make a mistake now, it’s often because I didn’t notice something elsewhere.

You can see some other traders setups HERE on the Geekstoy forum.

Related YouTube Video: Setting a Profile

5 thoughts on “Set Your Trading Cock-Pit For Success

  1. Hi Caan, Re- Cock-Pit Lay Out.
    Good post. It’s always nice to see what a pro uses.
    In your old set up, your “ladder” was was mounted portrait style in what seemed to be a modified screen.
    Why did you change to a conventional lay out?
    The gamer pad with hot keys was an interesting and original idea, can you please tell us which hot keys you use?
    As [ IMO ], once you have got to grips with the basics of trading, I believe it becomes a 90% mental thing in your head to keep going forward, I thought your avice to give your self little rewards with the markets money was spot on, thanks for that.
    John

    1. Hi John,

      Sure… I got a larger screen, in fact im not even sure it is 23″ might be bigger. The vertical screen was helpful for trying things inplay as you can see more market depth. Hot keys, all the usual, cancel bets, hedge, centre ladders 🙂

      Completely agree with the mental thing being 90%

  2. I am using just a laptop now like you where when you first started, but find it hard to understand what’s happening with all the runners at the same time with just the one screen. Did you fit the market overview box on the screen, along with a few ladders? I can fit 4 or 5 ladders on the screen, then have a different window for market overview, then yet another window for the betfair live video. It makes it hard for me to be quick with spotting opportunities I feel. Any advice?

    1. Sure Callum, I used 3 ladders initially. Although when I could made the use of a seperate TV too. Less screen space isn’t ideal, although not impossible.

  3. Hi Caan,
    I’m looking at improving my set up currently trading on a laptop hooked up to the Tv by HDMI in front room(I don’t how much longer the misses will put up with it and its uncomfortable),
    Just wondering about your hardware, did you custom build your computer? I’ve seen online that a run of the mill standard PC will be sufficient but I’ve had issues with is CPU usage when recording my trading, running geeks and streaming on my laptop, I don’t mind splashing the cash but I’ve been explaining to friends about what I need and all the talk of SSD hardrives and motherboards all goes over my head and seems a bit much £1000 up not including 2 x monitors(I live outside the UK, and there is no PC world with customer service round the corner) as I am only banking between £2-6 a day while trading at the moment, I understand this is an investment due to my work at the moment don’t want to go too far but I don’t also want to be upgrading in a couple of years either.

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