Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Millions by the Minute

I recently spoke with a professional gambler regarding my Tennis Trading Academy. He claimed to be very successful, earning hundreds of thousands a year from a simple football strategy he devised but wanted to diversify more and learn how to trade. What he couldn't understand, was the mentoring aspect that I was offering as part of my Academy. As a straight gambler, he didn't see what else needed to be learnt other than how to use the strategies. Of course, trading is not as simple and straightforward as straight betting. I've often said to myself that I wish I had a betting strategy instead of  a trading one because it would make life so much easier!

The difference between making money straight betting and trading (particularly in-play trading) is like night and day. I'm sure every trader who has read this blog at some point has wished the same. Imagine how great it would be if all you had to do was  a bit of research before placing a bet and then just walking away to go and do whatever you like for the rest of the day - job done. That's basically what this successful gambler says he does and what  a life that must be! When I was struggling and learning to trade, every single time I went through a bad period, I would start to devise some sort of straight betting strategy (which always failed miserably). Why? Because I knew it would make my life far less stressful than what I had to go through when attempting to trade in-play.

The hardest part of trading to conquer is the psychological element. Having to make split second decisions, react to fluctuating market prices and stay disciplined when your losing position deteriorates or when your winning position reverses before your very eyes, is what makes or breaks a trader. None of that comes into the equation with straight betting. You just bet and leave. I don't think there is a single trader out there who doesn't wish they could make the same money straight betting as they do trading.

The skills that need to be acquired to successfully trade in-play, do not come naturally to us humans, and that is the main issue. A member of my Academy sent me the following link to a great programme aired on the BBC this week "Traders: Millions by the Minute", which is an insight into people who trade financial markets in London, New York, Chicago and Amsterdam. Within the show, there is also a section showing complete novices being taught how to trade, something I can relate very well to! But for those who don't understand why trading requires a lot more in terms of skill-sets and  is far harder to learn that straight gambling, this programme will show exactly why.

 Caroline Wozniacki & Serena Williams

Putting all the many extra technical aspects that you need to learn aside (such as learning about market price movements) it all boils down to one thing - human emotions. That is what makes it so difficult to be successful at trading and that is why my mentor service is such an important part of my Academy. Following a set of entry and exit points might seem simple and therefore does not warrant a great deal of learning but when those entry and exit points involve  fear, greed, impatience, anxiety, over-confidence, stress and a variety of other emotions in a fast-paced, decision-making environment, plus the vital ingredient of money and it becomes obvious why so many fail to do what on paper might appear relatively simple.

Whilst it would be great to have a simple straight betting strategy to make big bucks, I will always maintain that trading is the way to go. Particularly with the tennis markets, in-play is where the liquidity is and in-play is where you'll find the ability to make thousands with just one relatively quick trade. The options for strategies are almost limitless, whereas with straight betting, things become far more restricted. On the one hand, that is part of the problem with trading; there are so many options available, that traders end up veering away from the planned route and end up like a deer in the headlights. But those extra options are also what enable a greater variety of techniques for making money - you just have to learn how to take the correct route and stay on it. Plus, I really wouldn't fancy stressing over the result of a match for 2+ hours, when I can be in and out of a trade in a few minutes and able to reduce my liabilities to far less scary amounts. So in theory, although it sounds as though betting would be better (and certainly easier to learn) I would take trading any day of the week.

The second episode of "Traders: Millions by the Minute" is aired on 22nd September, 9pm BBC 2.

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