Intuition v’s Logic

Posted on Posted in General Rambling, Psychology

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you may have seen an interesting link I recently put up for BBC iPlayer as a ‘must watch’ for anyone learning this game of ours. It was recommended to me via 3 different people over a couple of days so i just couldn’t ignore it after that.

It seemed to highlight several things i often say to people very well and give some back reasoning to it. Over the next couple of posts I’ll attempt to translate it into Betfair trading terms and what you may have already heard me say, if you haven’t already watched it I’d really advise it!

I think learning to manually trade the betting exchanges or probably any other is more to do with the individual than anything else, obviously understanding the markets and how they behave is an absolute must as is having a method of execution that is suitable but until the trader understands their own feelings, emotions and thoughts that underline their behaviour in the markets their likely to be up against themselves aswell as the markets.

One of the first examples Professor Daniel Kahneman gives in the above link is to New York cab drivers, it reminds me directly of advice I’ve given about learning which situations suit the individual more for their trading. He explains how it is more logical for a New York cab driver to work longer days when it’s raining and the weather is bad as customers do not want to walk in the rain to their destination, to score some business and generate a greater income faster they would do best if they worked long shifts on these days! where as on sunny hot days where it’s nice to walk a few blocks picking up business is a lot harder. However what actually happens is the cab drivers slot themselves into the general grind of society based and built upon intuitive decisions, on hotter days they will work long hours to get to their daily target of revenue they may set themselves where as on the rainy days they are more likely to finish earlier due to hitting the target. When you think about this it makes no sense?!

The smart cab drivers are more likely to work longer on the rainy days (who wants to have them off anyway) boost their revenue and then cut the days short when its hot (double bonus!). This reminds me in a way of what I was trying to say in the previous post about the ‘milk isle’.

So how does it relate directly to the markets?

Well think about all the different factors you have with the racing, tracks, horses, going, coverage, big events, times etc. They are the ‘weather’ in our cab driver situation. So sometimes even bothering with certain situations is likely to leave you in the red in the long-term, for me that’s usually the very poor quality irish races that are barely bet on! But some situations suit some more than others.

If you want to refine your previous results to see which courses/race types etc you do well or poorly at My Bet Log can do it via an excel spreadsheet you can download directly from your Profit and Loss section of your account. (no account details included)

The real difference I think is I have learnt to treat each situation individually, I don’t approach every race the same. Learning to adapt and act accordingly is difficult although very rewarding! Those of you that have the Guide will know how I look at things differently. Try mixing it up and missing those you don’t perform well in, maybe even up the stakes in those you do well from! It’s a good time to get it right just now before Cheltenham, particularly if you like to scalp.

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