So as another year draws to a conclusion, thoughts turn towards resolutions for 2013. But what about 2012? Most people tend to forget or fail at sticking to their New Year's resolutions but I recorded mine in this post. Did I stick to them?
1. Continue to trade only when I feel there is value
I can't lie, I've not always taken good value, quite often taken borderline value and sometimes taken poor prices. However, these instances are few and far between. As the months have gone by, I've become better and better at only entering the market when the value has screamed out at me. I've learnt that whenever I get an instant gut feeling on a price, I should take it, as I'm usually right and on the flip side, I've learnt that if I am deliberating over whether to enter or not, that's a signal that I shouldn't bother. I'd say that 90% of my trades have followed this rule, which means there is still room for improvement next year!
2. Trade without any monetary goals or time-limits
This was not a problem at all until the last few weeks of the tennis season. I stopped setting any monetary goals years ago but sometimes, it's hard to ignore what is in the back of your mind. Sometimes, you have a figure that you'd like to achieve, maybe a personal best or an amount you need to pay for something. No matter how much you tell yourself it doesn't matter, you still become obsessed with hitting that figure. As the season came to a close, I started to trade with a figure in mind that I wanted to hit and it completely messed with my head. That was in October, which despite a few days of dreadful trading where I risked too much, I still managed to attain my highest ever monthly profit - but would've been far higher if I hadn't been so greedy!
3. Continue not to look at my P&L until the end of each week
This is never an issue - it's fully ingrained in me not to look and so I never do. I will normally check on the Sunday but I have left it for over a week on plenty of occasions. One of the best moves I ever made, as previously, my eyes would flick constantly to my balance at the top of the screen and it would affect everything I did with my trades.
4. Move as much as possible over to Betdaq once the Geek's Toy purple is released
Errrmmm.......! To be honest, after the fuss I kicked up in January over Betdaq not attempting to lure tennis traders over during a Betfair outage, I haven't even thought about the purple place. I feel let down by them still. However, with the premium charge looming, I may be tempted to check things out for next year.....
5. Take time off from trading more often, when required
Whilst I haven't had any sort of holiday or long break from trading (deciding instead to take 5 or 6 weeks off during the off-season and not trade any other sport) I have definitely been much better at taking small breaks. That just means not trading when tired or when my head hasn't been right. I could improve on this though, there have still been occasions where I've lacked focus but still forced my way through a session. Overall though, I can't remember any incidents where I've seriously messed up due to over-trading and considering how prevalent that was last year, it's a giant step forward.
6. Continue to work on keeping those frustration levels low
Massive, massive improvements in this area - but still a long way to go. Gone are the days of punching walls, kicking furniture, straining muscles and smacking my own head! The red mist doesn't descend anymore and cause me to do irrational things. But I still get frustrated at little errors. October in particular, was a month where I did start to lose the plot and return to some bad old habits but I quickly realised and nipped it in the bud. Something to always keep an eye on but hasn't been a real issue.
7. Eradicate my impatience
Yikes! Not even close! I think I'll always be impatient. The key is to temper those feelings. I'd be doing even better if I could just stay patient, it undoubtedly costs me money every month. Usually it's due to forcing a trade with not enough value (which ties in with number 1) because I'm desperate for a win or because it's just been quiet. Usually, it goes wrong! I did however, accept that 2012 was not going to be the year when I hit the kind of profits that would enable me to go pro again. I think once I accepted that, it enabled me to trade with less pressure and just enjoy my profits and consistency. Hopefully next year, I can hit those profits and this will no longer be an issue.