7 Exchange Trading Tips to Survive Winter:

7 Trading Tips

The most painful time of year to be a newbie: changes in scheduling.

I’m sure many haven’t even survived it. Putting them off trading permanently…

It shouldn’t be like that though, in this post I’ll give you a few tips for a smoother transition.

Know What’s Coming…

Most intermediate level traders will be aware of the changes…

But do you really know all the in’s, out’s and characteristics of the winter racing?

As always, knowledge is power. The uneducated get delivered pain fed to them in the times of change. Planning ahead, and knowing what to expect, as it comes, is a real bonus. If this is the first time you’ve traded through this transition, I hope this point saves you a few quid. Being unaware altogether is like lambs to the slaughter.

In my first year of being a full-time Betfair trader I remember getting my heels clipped. Being on a high from the flat, and new to trading all day (instead of just the evenings) it spooked me a little.

Another good reason to plan ahead: it’s help confidence, which is a large contributor to consistency.

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Make Strategy Changes Really Fast:

Seeing and understanding the changes is vital. But acting on them is too.

As the saying goes; knowing is not enough, we must do.

Situations and characteristics change, the best traders do too – moulding to the opportunity like jelly.

Like I said above, markets change and it’ll always leave some feeling like a failure all of a sudden. The chances are that’s simply not true. It’s just what you were doing needs a slight modification. Trading Guide readers will know exactly what I mean, but you can’t expect something like market liquidity and when it’s at its peak (or not) to change, but your application to return the same results.

It just doesn’t work like that. Good traders adapt to the market, rather than trading what they want to see.

There’s several different horse racing trading strategies here. Some will excel under certain conditions more than others…

Acknowledge & Accept

But other than focusing in on the most profitable angle, it’s worth taking a moment to be humble.

There are two very important elements to this point;

  • Less liquidity means less opportunity to win, which also means it’s easier to over-stake and lose. Taking a couple of quid less isn’t going to kill you, and is absolutely worth it if it means you’re managing the risk effectively.
  • Mindset is key, so by being grateful with results (and stress-free) is a positive thing. Boldly pushing on to increase returns is wicked, but by accepting the markets are a little bleaker at times you’ll avoid the moments of madness that can put you back a day, or worse.

The advice is simple:

  1. Fully accept that winning is half the battle. Avoiding losses is a smoother path to overall success.
  2. Lower expectations and feel out the changes, are they going to affect your approach? If so adapt, quickly.

And also, enjoy the changes! Sometimes the thinner markets can make learning that bit clearer.

Maximise Time Usage

Trading isn’t like manual labour. It’s not always down to how hard you graft (although hard work always pays eventually).

Use the extra time afforded through less racing well. Of course that could mean time with the kids, a break away or just chilling out. But each year the thinner markets and quieter period is the ideal chance to double down on the learning. Reading that one sentence, or making the right observation can be a real lead-in to an ‘ah-haa’ moment. It reminds me of that famous quote:

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.

Aside from September – October racing, there is a similar period in January – February. Getting used to the differences and how to use your time best will be just of much use then…

Scheduling Plans

You’ll soon see just 16 races on some days. If it snows, even worse. Sometimes none…

Get up to date with the BHA Schedule  and decide which points of the week or day are going to be most beneficial to trade. When can you fit a few races in comfortably? and what can you expect from them realistically in advance.

BHA Schedule

In the first year I was learning about trading, this really threw me off course. Cancellations, all-weather racing and just being very different to the flat cards left me feeling a little lost. Don’t dwell, or waste the time, plan ahead!

Review Performance Consistently

How do you know when you’re succeeding?

Obviously the bank balance will grow. But an integral part of improvement is keeping it real. Knowing how you’re performing, where you could possibly improve. What’s currently working well for you, where you make mistakes regularly etc.

But if you’re not keeping some kind of record, or reviewing your activity, you can’t truly measure the success.

Everyone does this in totally different ways. It depends on the individual. One of the most helpful things I did before I began to succeed was keeping track of my own trades, by recording them. I’d sit and watch back for hours (when there was no evening racing in the winter).

Doing this may seem extremely tedious at first, and in truth, it is. But reviewing my own progress on a day, the trades that went good and bad made it that bit easier to realise the next time I was about to make a foolish mistake.

Remember: the profit or loss of a trade does not define your level of performance.

A little confused by that last line? I’m just trying to say; just because you made a profit, doesn’t mean it was a good trade. You could have just been lucky. On the other hand, a loss doesn’t make it a bad one.

It’s important to consistently remind yourself of this. By all means, give yourself a hard time on the occasions you ‘got away with it’ but won, and big yourself up when you did the right thing but lost. Forget the money.

Interaction Learning…

I’m profitable, hurrah! “Job done” said no successful trader ever.

It’s not surprising the best traders I’ve ever encountered don’t just care about the cash they make. It’s the process (like I said in the last point).

In order to get all that you can, to become as successful as possible and consistently grow, you have to keep learning. I’ve dipped over the last few months by my own admission, but I’m often reading and learning. Sure, I enjoy it too but I do it because I know the best investment is always through extra knowledge.

Longer readers will know the biggest leap in results I ever made came when I started to focus on myself. Aside from the market information, knowing when you are starting to ‘flag’ or feel ‘impulsive’ is massive.

Prevention is the best cure.

I mean how easy is it to throw away a heap of profit in the markets for some crappy reason? The market doesn’t care, it’ll take that green in a heartbeat. Half the battle is not letting that happen!

Related: Trading Guidance

10 thoughts on “7 Exchange Trading Tips to Survive Winter:

  1. Just about to embark on the full time journey myself. Really interesting advice , thank you.
    What would you advise regarding screen recording software ?

      1. I’m looking for something simple and free ( don’t mind paying a little if it makes sense from a simplicity perspective) that I can use to record and watch back my trades. Are there one or two that you would recommend ?

  2. OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) great for capturing not just broadcasting, is free and open source only needing a little help setting it up. Plenty of YouTube videos if you need help using it.

  3. thanks guys – one last question – i am using a mac but am using windows via parallels in order to run software so i’m guessing that will allow me to use all suggestions above in windows ?

    1. update: upon investigation imac’s have Quicktime Player built in. A few clicks was all it took to start recording my trades.
      Only done about a dozen so far but a real eye opener when you can sit back and observe what you were not observing at the time. One thing that jumps out for me immediately is that once a position is open i have been zoomed in and absorbed by that runner and that position. The move that i want will of course be influenced by the movement of the other runners and if they do not move in the correct direction then this is a signal to exit. I am finding myself “willing” the market to move where i wanted it to move at the time of entry rather than seeing what is in front of me me now and adjusting to what happens once i am in a position.

  4. I’m about to start trading part time through the winter I can pick when i trade other than Saturdays is there any other day which is a better trade day I do a lot of other exchange related low risk trading iv started to follow you and watched your links Im very keen to start trading all your insight is a huge help I have a question about Betdaq as I’m going to start small to reduce risk as I learn to trade would it be better to use Betdaq or should I first learn my trade using betfair with it having higher volume of users?

    1. Hi Richard, it depends on how you approach the markets although I would advise targeting Wed/Thurs nights at Kempton for those trading in the winter months outside of core hours. With regards to exchanges you’ll find success on Betfair a lot easier with the liquidity. Although Betdaq has big benefits with the lower commission and no premium charge, although something you’re not worried about at this stage im sure.

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