Sunday, 17 April 2011

End of the Rollercoaster Ride

Something has clicked within me this week. It's as if everything suddenly came together all at once and I completely finally grasped exactly how to trade. When I start each day now, there are no real question marks or worries at the back of my mind. I know exactly what I'm going to do in any given situation. I am not paper-trading any new system in the hope it will produce better results. I'm not looking at what anyone else is doing. I'm not worried about making a mistake or having an off day. I don't panic when the market turns on me and I don't sit there like a deer in the headlights. I don't even consider chasing back a loss at any point, no matter how large it is. There is a strange, zen-like quality about my whole approach to trading these days. It all sounds a bit profound! But seriously, something has altered within me, something I can't quite put my finger on.

I guess it's just a new-found self-belief that has come about because I'm finally comfortable with what I'm doing. I look at the ladders each day and watch the never-ending sea of money floating around and I say to myself 'some of that is going to be mine today!'. I truly believe that and I haven't been wrong yet! It doesn't scare me anymore, the fact that I might miss out on some of it or see my own notes get swallowed up within it. Even when I've had good periods in the past (though they never lasted longer than a week), I didn't feel like this. I would usually either get over-excited and over-confident, rush ahead of myself, start day-dreaming about riches or I would start to get anxious and nervy, waiting for that 'tipping point' where the cards would collapse. Not any more. There is a calmness and patience about my trading that I've never experienced before. I feel as if there is nothing about the trading world that can phase me now. Whatever the day throws up, however bad it might get, I know that I am equipped to deal with it. I guess that's the biggest difference - I TRUST MYSELF. I've never been able to honestly say that before. I would really be interested to hear from any traders who have also experienced this feeling. I remember reading a blog entry by a trader months ago, where he wrote 'When I am trading, if you were watching me, you wouldn't know if I was winning or losing at any time.' I have always aspired to be that cool and confident and neutral when trading. I don't think I'll ever be quite that robotic, as I'm a passionate person who struggles to hide emotions. You'd certainly be able to tell whether I was winning or losing but the gap between the two has shortened considerably in recent weeks.

I know it's only been 3 weeks since I started producing consistent results. I'm not saying I'm 100% there as a successful, consistent trader. But I truly believe that the emotional rollercoaster is over. My trading this week has done much to prove this. I started shakily. The transition from the American clay (which is apparently crushed bath-salts!) to the softer European clay, was noticeably different. I'm sure that's why someone like Ryan Sweeting could win a tournament on US 'clay'. I doubt you'd see him getting far in a tournament like Casablanca alongside proper clay-courters like Starace and Andujar. There are far more breaks of serve, longer rallies and less aces, as seen in Monte Carlo this week. It took me a day or two to adjust my strategy and it cost me at first. But once I'd done so, I was producing my best ever week of trading on ATP - I have hardly missed the ladies at all! I could have easily been thrown off by the difference from the harder courts but the bad start didn't phase me and I got better and more confident as the week went on. I honestly think that I will never again dip into a nasty slump. I'm enjoying tennis trading once more and I'm looking forward to continually improving my consistency. Whether I will make enough to one day visit the Monte Carlo Country Club for the week - that's another matter entirely!


  1. Hi Sultan,

    I's so nice to hear a success story! A lot of these blogs just end one day and it doesn't take a genius to work out what happened!

    To be successful long term, you need an "edge". Many people get mistaken about what that is (partly because they don't have one) but that is the only way to long term success.

    I think a lot of people are confused in their trading and it takes them a good couple of years to actually work out what they are doing wrong and figure a way to do it right.

    I would just like to use your excellent post to say a few words of my own if I may?..

    If you are a trader in the real sense of the word then you are not simply a gambler who takes a guess and minimises his loss if he gets it wrong.

    You are a cold, miserable money grabbing monster who's every single entry is a carefully considered position to be leveraged against later in the event.

    You are not betting on which player/team will win a match or even win the next point, you are buying and selling money in a financial market and the sport or rather the scoring system for any particular sport is merely the medium through which you do it.

    Once you have come to terms with this, I agree that the weight that's lifted from your mind is near quantifiable!

    You no longer get stressed when you lose because you know that the outcome of individual trades is irrelevant as long as they were good trades in the first place.

    This is the key to becoming a successful trader and your remark about the guy who says you couldn't tell if he was winning or losing is the ultimate aim for any trader and that's what you should be looking to emulate.

    If the trade is good, it doesn't matter if it loses as long as it was a GOOD trade!

    I hope that helps mate. I don't like to just drop by on peoples blogs for link exchanges but would much rather contribute as I can to the authors message.

    GOOD LUCK with this. You deserve success for the hours you have spent talking of your upset and devastation let alone the hours spent trading!

    A great read as always and I will keep coming back.

  2. Cheers Guru. I think a key factor in my turn-around has been the fact that I went back to keeping a record on paper, of each game and what I SHOULD have won or lost if I followed my strategy properly. It showed that every single day I was producing win after win after win. But I'd ruin it by not limiting my losses enough on the few occassions where I didn't win. Once I realised that the wins would always keep coming, they would look after themselves, I changed my priorities to managing red positions. That's when I stopped worrying about losing.

    I knew that with my system, a win was never more than a game or two away. So I made sure that when I was in a losing position, I stopped sweating on it and redded up and didn't even bother attempting to cut it down. I started just shrugging my shoulders, leaving the game and moving on.

    Another key factor was that I began to accept my mistakes. So when I didn't follow my strategy and it went wrong, I would just get out straight away and instead of berating myself, just accept that every now and then, I am going to slip up. I realise now that I am never going to trade perfectly every game. I will have lapses and I will make stupid errors. It's how I react to them that will make or break me. I always was able to handle a loss if I'd done the right the thing, it was when I had done the WRONG thing that I went beserk. That has changed. The perfectionist in me has taken a back seat!

  3. Sultan, please tell me ,you are a full time trader now paying your bills and all from betfair trading ?

  4. I've been full-time for a while but I had a secondary source of income and a lot of savings for most of that time, which helped a lot.


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