Experiencing a financial loss hurts, but experiencing a loss when you could have avoided it is gutting.
This is why I’ve compiled my top 5 mistakes that are easy to avoid. This isn’t cliche waffle, these points are extremely important and easy to action. Some aren’t so obvious and Cheltenham is just around the corner so take note. Failing to make the relevant changes now only leaves you with yourself to blame.
Okay so the first might sound cliche, but let’s apply it directly to horse racing trading…
(1) Consistency, Consistency, Consistency.
Being consistent is helpful in all walks of life, but it’s the most common mistake horse racing traders make. It’s my belief that many don’t think about consistency in the right way when it comes to Betfair trading.
To give you just a few alternate examples:
- Race types
- Date & Time
- Market Status
- Operating Environment
All of these variables contribute to different trading situations. You shouldn’t attempt to trade them the same, see the Cheltenham market volumes below.
Attempting to do so would be lunacy. You need to consistently apply the right trading methods to the right situation, which means you need to adapt at times. Or at the very least, know the difference so you don’t get burnt. It’s also a lot better for your sanity.
Now take that line of thinking and apply it to the other bullet points above. Does a Monday trade like a Saturday? An all-weather race in February like a Cheltenham group race in March?
Applied to ‘market status’ you need to be thinking about the different time-frames to trade. Morning to afternoon trades are not the same as the last 4 minutes before post. Give yourself a chance, just focus on one or two sets of variables and be as consistent as possible. This is directly relative to point #3 discussed in just a moment.
It’s not just betting market consistency you need either. Think about your real-world environment, physically. Is that consistent? For example, trading on a Friday afternoon when the house is empty is very different to a Saturday afternoon when the family are running riot!
(2) Human Behaviour
It’s everyone’s number one weakness; being human.
I’ll keep it brief as I don’t want to intrude on the video pack course’s mindset module, but you need to find some ways to keep your emotions in check whilst trading. Removing anything that prompts irrational behaviour is a good idea. For example, if you’re experiencing relationship problems, turn your phone off while you trade.
You can’t stop yourself from being human any more than I can. However, you can shape your environment and be very aware of emotional triggers. Take a little time to think about how you react to a losing trade, does it set you off? If so, create a checklist or post-loss routine that’ll bring you back to a rational decision-making state.
I could quite literally write a book on this point alone, emotions are massive. Don’t let them rule your trading.
(3) Proper Accountability
People who gamble often struggle to hold themselves to account. Firstly, I wouldn’t recommend being one of those people. No matter how hard it is to swallow the truth, it’s an absolute must.
There are people who refuse to hold themselves accountable and there are people who just aren’t keeping track. New traders often fall into the second bracket, and it’s the worst. Make sure you keep track of results and apply as much consistency to them as possible when checking back.
Failure to measure your wins and losses effectively is like sailing across the ocean without having a destination…
This was a revolutionary moment for me in the early days. I realised there were some situations where I was killing it and others where I was failing miserably. Without clarity in record-keeping and holding myself fully accountable it looked like I was just about making a profit. By focusing on the setups where I excelled and treading carefully in others I was able to accelerate progress.
(4) In-Play Temptation
This point should require little explanation. Pre-race trading can be successful, and so can in-play trading. However, they are two totally different mediums.
Don’t be tempted to trade in-play in order to recoup a pre-race loss. We’ve all done it, and none of us should have. In my experience, this nearly always happens off the back of a pre-race loss. Think about it logically, it’s just daft, a total gamble, it’s chasing…
In-play trading is more erratic, high-pace and risky. You might get away with it once or twice but like laying an outsider, that one time it goes wrong – it’ll blow your bank.
(5) Trading Perspective
Finally, lest face some facts here. The kind that not everyone is willing to address…
Successful trading is the process of winning more often than you lose through the use of an advantageous ‘edge’. It doesn’t mean you will win every time. In fact, it means the complete opposite – accept it.
Taking losses and being wrong is part of the game. It doesn’t necessarily fit well with us as humans, but it’s true. Learning to accept and embrace the losses will really help you cut them shorter which massively enhances the bottom line. It’s not just about winning but losing as little as possible too. Remember to be realistic in your expectations and you’ll feel less frustrated overall, thus supporting the logic from point #3.
Hopefully this short run-down of avoidable issues will help you do exactly that. Let me know what you thought in the comments below.
Want to improve your trading? See the Original Pre-Race Trading Guide Here
These facts cannot be over-emphasised enough. If you consider your trading as a business you probably think twice about making these mistakes but I think at the beginning it’s always difficult without the experience of making errors. If you see this as a long term thing and account a year or so for learning rather than making money then I think you win in the long run
Thanks Caan for highlighting these topics