Betfair trading has often been described as battling back and forth. Two steps forward, one step back as they say (hopefully that way around).
It’s a common issue that has plagued us all at one point or another. A momentary slip of discipline, excitement or anxiety can turn a healthy green into a gut-wrenching red. The secret, if ever there was one, is to smooth out these frantic peaks and troughs (both good and bad). The steady tortoise wins the race and all that…
But how do you do it?
Mastering Consistent Returns: The ‘Aha’ Moment
I first became very profitable sometime toward the end of the summer one year. It was around the same time I really started to get stuck into ‘analysis’ and ‘mindset’. I remember this because shortly after my results skyrocketed flat racing was done for the year. It was pretty frustrating because it felt like I’d just cracked it in time for less races per-day.
It’s interesting because my average race result hadn’t changed much. Just that losing trades happened far less, and when they did, it was only for a couple of quid at a time…
So how why did this happen?
I put it down to the following two reasons. First, I had been screen-recording my own trades and going back through profit and loss downloads (available on your account). You’ve probably heard of the following loop before:
Activity – Record – Analyse – Critique – Implement.
This was exactly what I was doing, even though it was in a somewhat disorganised fashion at first. I realised that certain setups were where I was excelling, and others failing. Now I didn’t stop trading the ones where I was underperforming, I was just more cautious. Of those where I was doing well, I had a bit more confidence.
I believe this was critical looking back, and almost certainly helped with the second ‘reason’. The KNOWING definitively (through looking at results data) is very different to thinking I knew where I was going wrong. It allowed me the confidence to pick and choose the right battles, reinforcing confidence where it was due.
Tip: Download your last 3 months P/L into excel, apply data filters and work out where it is your trading goes wrong – then stop doing it.
Consistency is king, which means your mindset has to be queen, so to speak. New traders (myself once upon a time too) find reasons to blame the market, the strategy, other people using the exchange, Betfair themselves and many others. But really, it’s their trigger finger…
Tip: similar to downloading your results, take a little time analysing your own behaviour. What sets you off? What has you doing something daft? – now stop doing it.
It’s important to have a focused Betfair trading strategy but being in the right head-space is crucial. You can’t analyse your current trading if you behave erratically and consistently change what you are doing. Trade the market for what it is (rather than what you want it to be).
Watching previous trading sessions can be extremely helpful to get yourself in the right frame of mind. I still do it for the bigger meetings like Cheltenham and Ascot. It becomes a bit much if you do it every day, but I would certainly recommend it for the more important race meetings. If you aren’t a video pack subscriber, check out this video on YouTube before you begin…
Following price data, making comparisons and reacting quickly is highlighted well in this video although you can’t see on thing – my mindset.
Think about the mistakes I didn’t make, and how I behaved when I was anything less than confident in the position. This subtle difference makes a huge impact on overall results. Knowing which trading setups I am confident in and which I am not is part of the advantage sure, but I still keep a tight reign on that trigger finger.
Want to improve your trading? See the Original Pre-Race Trading Guide Here