Chances of Success…
It’s often reported that around 91-95% of market participants lose over the long-term.
If that’s true, then things don’t look good from the outset… although it’s quite easy to see why the remaining 5-9% make large sums of money.
Being a long-term loser sucks, a lot. So I’ve put this post together to help you on your way to the successful few.
Avoiding the 95%…
In order to avoid becoming one of the 91-95% you’re going to need to do something different. That’s pretty obvious, right?
It’s a good start… and it certainly doesn’t all need to be ‘doom and gloom’. Just by taking it seriously you’ll be significantly closer to the winners pack.
Of that 95%; I wonder how many have sat and watched more than 1,000 hours worth of markets?
If you watch 20 hours a week, that’s nearly a whole years worth of trading. Which isn’t a huge amount of time in the markets…
It can be quite challenging to watch so much around an ordinary job though, there are other options though.
The fastest way of making progress I know is to read, lots. Which is probably another reason why 95% haven’t made it yet, how many books have you read this year? Obviously not all books are of great use, but one is always greater than zero!
People are naturally impatient too. Warren Buffet is known to have said;
the stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient
Trading Betfair and Betdaq is no different.
It took me a hell of a long time to realise, but you only really need one decent trade in each race to make a good income. You don’t even have to know what the entire market is doing, although that can help.
The number one problem, that some can’t ever over-come is discipline and patience. Trading is like a sniper laying in a field, they may lay there for 23 hours of the day just watching and waiting for that clear opportunity. When it arises, boom that’s it!
Trading the betting markets is a little less boring I must admit, but it’s the same sort of approach. Building knowledge and understanding is under-rated, much like the skills of a sniper taking that shot… waiting for the right moment, considering all the factors like the wind, his breathing etc. But of course, the bit everyone just remembers is the shot… or the trade and profit in our case!
Going all hap-hazard in your approach won’t work is what im trying to say, that’s what most of the 91-95% are doing.
Learn from the crowd – Spot Biases
Biases exist everywhere! Humans can’t avoid them…
Watching the crowd (that 91-95%) can offer some huge clues at times. People behave the same way again and again. This is why it’s sometimes possible to use a bias you learnt in the horse racing markets over in the tennis!
Ask yourself ‘why’ – Extra Edges
By asking yourself why something happened or happens it can make things very interesting. And even if you don’t find it interesting, you should do it (if you want to make more money!).
Understanding the ‘why’ part brings the added benefit of being able to see what makes that particular edge efficient. Which means you know when to stake-up and when to ease-off. Also it can spark new ideas for other edges… which obviously means more success.
For each strategy there is usually a polarizing strategy. Knowing why it is or isn’t happening for you at that point in time can offer the opportunity to go the other way.
A great example of this would have been the now retired trainer Barney Curley. His horses were routinely gambled, and everyone knew it. In the market this meant; as soon as the money started to go down there would be a massive free-for-all of traders and punters trying to back the selection that was being seriously bet, a great opportunity.
BUT… when there wasn’t a sausage for one of his horses what happened?
Yup, they would drift like an absolute barge… providing an opportunity in the opposite direction. If you’ve been betting for some years the chances are you would have seen a Curley runner’s crumble or drift like a two legged-donkey in minutes. I’m just sad he’s retired!!
For anyone that didn’t know ‘Why’ the market was behaving like that in them moments, it would have been pretty painful.
Related: Trading Guidance
Commitment – Don’t Stop!
Finally, the one thing that 90% of the 95% of losers aren’t interested in; commitment. I’m talking about, full-on serious focus.
During my journey to profits I almost gave up, several times. If you read back far enough on this very blog you may have seen. The scary part was I almost stopped just before things came good, which made Edison’s quote my favourite;
Many of life’s failures didn’t know how close they were to success when they gave up. – Thomas Edison.
It’s often only the lucky few that strike gold straight away. Not everyone can expect that, but by persisting, recording results and avoiding making the same mistakes twice success is still very doable.
If you want results like that, you’ll need to commit like the rest of the 9%…
Ohh, and avoid the nay-sayers at all costs! They make up a large portion of the 95%
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One of the best post’s you made.
Thats one of the most difficult topics to explain to someone who is starting or only loses money on the markets.
P.S In my opinion lol
Great post Caan, I’ve made it my goal this year to make the pre race horse racing a success.
I know it wont be an easy ride, but hopefully get somewhere near you level sometime this year, im sure it will come with hard work and dedication. Cheers mate.
Extremely early into my bid for making the 5% but the word DISCIPLINE is already blatantly clear !!
I imagine it to be the no.1 cause of failure , even in practice mode you just get sucked into placing to many bets into the market, chasing losses and prices up and down the ladders, still acting like your in the bookies trying to make a fast buck in one swoop. This is clearly a very different game, A long game with long term results, You put it very well in your comparison Caan with the sniper Discipline and patience is definitely the key to success here.
thanks Steve, your entirely right about discipline by the way!
In my opinion there is one factor which is overlooked by all in “The Trading Game”, I can’t remember seeing it mentioned anywhere and that is talent. Nobody would expect to become as good a footballer as Messi, no matter how hard they trained, studied techniques, tactics, nutrition etc.. Having said that, everybody ought to be able to “get profitable” with patience, persistence, and by playing to their strengths. Just be aware that your own personal potential will, almost certainly, be different to everyone else’s
Messi is an outstanding player but there are thousands of players out there with little or no talent making a decent living from football. You certainly don’t need any talent to win at trading, I have plenty of simple automated techniques that make a few thousand each month that anyone could do if they had the discipline to stick to the rules. The same way that teachers manage to get thousands of kids to pass their GCSE’s each year people can be taught how to trade.
With 100% books even random bets should return 100% over time, so we now need to beat commission to get ahead. The reasons newbies don’t beat comms is because they overreact to the wrong signals, chase, overstake all thru lack of discipline and inexperience. Many have winning edges but never know them because they continually switch and change never allowing for variance in their ideas.
Thankfully for us fulltimers the general population are too focussed on get rich schemes to have the patience to realise a simple fiver a race will net them £1000 over the usual 200 or so races per week. Add a few more strings to your bow and it’s not hard to up that fiver to a decent amount.
Great post Caan..
Trying to learn greyhound trading at the moment as I don’t really get much time in the early evenings for the last horse races (if there are any this time of year). Still using the training mode on GT but not sure how “true” it is as my money is technically invisible to the market and therefore would have no influence on it. (if that makes sense). Is the training mode worth sticking with for a while to gain confidence or should I just jump in with small stakes? Also, what screen recording software do you use? I want to record some markets to view later on.
“The fastest way of making progress I know is to read, lots. Which is probably another reason why 95% haven’t made it yet, how many books have you read this year? ”
Interesting post. re your comments above, are there particular books which you would recommend please, for those of us embarking on our trading journey? Which ones would be the most useful please. Thank you, much appreciated.
Great post Caan. Simon, the best book is Caan’s suggestion ‘Trading in the zone’ by Mark Douglas. I have been trading about 18 months now and am just starting to feel comfortable. I had an initial bank of £100 which had gone down to £87 after 6 months, but with a lot of patience and learning, I have built it up to £639. Hopefully, I have turned the corner.
Mark Douglas – Trading in the Zone is absolute gold.
So trading is something I’m thinking of doing in time.I have a few pointers of my own how the market will move and a basic understanding of where to start but as an advocate of research and study before jumping in which book would you suggest reading as a good starting point.?? Thanks
Hi Lance, I have a video about just this…. I’d read them all! They are worth far more than the cost of the books – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BuoI3t8tGY
Another interesting post Caan. I think mindset is an important factor which you have mentioned on many occasions. When I started trading earlier last year (so still very much a novice) I had a great start and made some profits. Around November I had a disaster and lost a big percentage of my bank. At first I thought this wasn’t for me and thought of giving up. Then I thought about the change from flat racing to national hunt, could that be a factor. Could the way I trade be a problem. There are many factors to learn. I tried again and lost my bank and must admit I went off “to lick my wounds” for a few days. I decided to try and think what I was doing wrong and have identified going in play. It’s my mind that’s doing it, I stay in play to complete the trade or hope for more when I should be getting out before the race begins and be happy with that. I have a long way to go and a lot to learn but I try and keep at it while remembering a quote from Barry Mcguigin (apologies if spelt incorrectly) “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog”
after years of trying and trading I have made my own approach which is paying off more than I could imagine and would love to talk to you about it but not on here openly so I have also sent you an email about it …
thanks Gary, I’ll take a look.