In recent years I have spend hours upon hours trading, betting, calculating, inventing betting systems, buying systems, filling out excel sheets and researching on betting and trading on the net. If I´d been paid one penny for every hour spent I would be a millionaire.
The truth is that I have spend an incredible amount of time losing quite a lot of money.
A couple of weeks a go I had to stop and take some time out from football trading. I needed to ask myself why I was trading, the reasoning behind it and what I really wanted to achieve.
System hopping isn't fun
After some serious evaluation I came to the conclusion that I have been more attracted to the fun of fiddling around with numbers and the excitement of trading, than actually trying to make a profit. I told myself that I was in it for the money, but with deeper investigation, that hasn´t been the truth.
I could go on trading like this forever, changing around systems, losing some more money, just having a bit of fun and treat it like a hobby that, like many others will cost you money as you go along. Fair enough if that´s what you want.
Problem is that it is not satisfactory. With everything you do, you want things to progress and prosper and make things move in a direction.
So with that in mind I decided to set some new goals on what I want to achieve with trading, which is to make a consistent profit, by only taking the very best bets that can be found.
Setting new goals
While this may sound both pretty plain and like a very logical choice, it´s not always easy to recognise your own motives and I do not consider it an easy task, as especially the psychological aspect of trading can ruin even the best plans, not mentioning that we are actually putting money at stake that can be lost.
So in the wake of this new goal setting there was a question that came to mind: what do profitable traders do differently from non-profitable traders?
As members of Goal Profits will know, copy pasting the trading setup from professional trader Kevin Laverick and using all the great tools he´s giving away does not always bring the goods. There´s still a gab, a piece of the puzzle that seems to be missing. But what is it?
And what will I personally need to change in my trading approach in order to become profitable?
Identifying where it goes wrong
Taking time out from trading has meant more time for consideration and time to look at the whole thing; at odds, at possible opportunities, at what other traders do. I have looked at what worked for me in the few spells where I was successful and crosschecked with my behaviour within bad runs.
It has also meant that I haven´t lost anything because I haven´t traded. I have actually made a better profit not trading. If no trading means no profits and a lot of trading means a loss, then there's only a little trading left.
The overall idea behind my thought process has therefore been to scale down on all fronts in regards to my trading activity, as scaling down will only leave few choices and less chance of error.
Now, knowing is good, but it is certainly not the first time I have done a check on myself. It´s just that it never sparked a serious change. So I have still needed to figure out which guidelines to use, to reinforce the right trading mentality and change in behaviour in order to finally get out of jail.
I have already left out systems from my portfolio that I trust and know can make a profit. I have collected only the very best systems in order to gather a portfolio that is simple and easy to overview. These systems are carefully selected in regards to risk/reward and how I like it as a trader.
What others do is not my concern; this is my portfolio.
Spending less time
I have tried to list the things that I am going to change, the things that I think could make a difference. Which is mainly to spend far the most of my time away from anything that has to do with trading and betting.
- I will create a trading plan for every trading day, and if I haven´t got one, then I can´t trade.
- I will pick out the most interesting matches each day from my ten winter leagues and five summer leagues, those that represents most quality on the field, and go into further research.
- I will only spend minimum time looking for selections every day and the low number of systems and leagues in use will hopefully help ensure that I won´t get carried away.
- When I do trade in-play I will only have a very low amount of matches open in my livescore menu from my trading plan.
- I will only do short, planned trading sessions, as in-play trading is a minefield in regards to the temptations of overtrading. Spending time away from stats pages, livescore apps, ongoing matches and research on football in general will be key, in an attempt not to lose focus.
- I will spend more time engaging in other interesting activities.
Getting my head straight
Though it will be hard to completely erase the urge to trade at odd times, I do believe that being conscious about the circumstances about any trading activity and your own behavioural patterns will create a difference in the final output.
- I will be very aware of my motivation for trading and my state of mind before engaging in any kind of selections process or trading session. I need to use my past experience and recognise when I´m forcing a bet for the sake of excitement, opposed to making calm, conscious decisions. If I do not feel collected and focused I will go do something else.
- I will accept that I can´t control when a good bet is on. The good bets should determine my trading behaviour, not any urge to bet. I will be patient, knowing that the they will eventually materialise; later, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, next week. Again, engaging in other activities can hopefully take care of that evil.
- I will dare to miss out. If I miss a trade then thats OK, if I don´t have the time to trade a premium selection then that´s fine too. I will never be stressed about getting in, or feel that I have to trade. There will be tons of matches in the future.
- I will be realistic about what can be achieved over a certain amount of time with a certain bankroll, knowing that I´m not dependend on the potential profits from trading. This will hopefully help me being patient and be more gratefull about a five pound win.
- I will try to be much more relaxed about trading, stop overdoing it and enjoy it when I do. The fun part will come from sitting back, trying to get everything right.
Now this might be a lot of rules and a lot of rambling and the question is: Can I uphold these standards? At least I will not start trading, until the message has sunk in.
Goal Profits member: Mikkel