"If nothing else, this tournament will be useful to wave in the faces of anyone who starts whinging about equal pay."
I'll be back in January ready to begin my final 6 months of sports trading. It's been an incredible year for me - the year when I feel as though I finally reached the level that I was trying to attain. When I began learning to trade, I always wanted it to become my sole source of income but I never wanted riches; just an amount equal to what I was earning in my "normal" job. But that goal changed when I started to have greater belief in what I could achieve. Seeing the amounts that certain other well-known traders were making, made me think that I was being too modest aiming for a standard wage. As I improved, I could see the potential was there for me to scale up to far bigger amounts than I'd previously imagined and over the last 18 months, I have been hitting those amounts - and in 2015, I aim to go even higher.
Whether I hit the super premium charge or not doesn't particularly bother me. The sadistic part of me would love nothing more than to stop trading a penny before the charge kicks in, so Betfair don't get their grubby mitts on any more than 20%. In fact, as I write this it is suddenly dawning on me - that would be the perfect way to bow out from trading! So my aim for 2015 is this: to stop trading just before the super premium charge is about to be taken. OK, it's kind of cutting off my nose to spite my face but the fact is, it's probably going to be a close call as to whether I hit the charge before I go away travelling anyway. But I actually exceeded my projections for 2014, so who knows. There is a possibility I might finish trading as soon as May or April.
That's the thing about trading. You can plan all you like but you never know what the markets have in store for you and you never know just what life has in store for you. If you'd told me last January that I would be getting married at the end of the year, I would have laughed in your face - I didn't even have a girlfriend back then! But in December, that is exactly what will be happening. So whilst I will be aiming to go full steam ahead with my trading till July, I have a lot more on my plate in 2015 than I did in 2014; 6 months of backpacking to organise, a move to a new house with my new wife and most importantly (and scarily!) a new career to plan for! So I will have very little time to spare and maybe that will mean I can't trade as much as in previous years, but that's just how I like it. When I go back a couple of years and think about how my life was utterly consumed by trading and trading alone and how that almost sent me insane, this kind of all-consuming life is far superior; busy for the right reasons. It's what I have worked so hard for and what I'll continue to work hard to maintain in 2015.
Some traders have asked me why I would want to give up the life I have as a trader and the income stream it generates. The answer is simple - there are more important things in life than money and those things motivate me far more than the green stuff. I guess that's much easier to say when you have it already. However, when the main focus of your day is trying your hardest to stay focused, then surely something is not right. I need to make that change for my own personal fulfillment. I can also see now that even trading part-time would be a struggle. When I finish for the day in whatever new career I've chosen, why would I want to then spend my precious free time staring at a screen, trying to stay focused, when I could be enjoying time with my wife and getting on with the life I'd worked so hard to build? Which is exactly what I'm going to do for the next few weeks.
Enjoy the Christmas period, don't forget to check in on the International Premier Tennis League which starts in a few days and I'll leave you with my favourite moment from the 2014 tennis season; Victoria Azarenka making a complete tit of herself as she sings Happy Birthday to "best friend" Gael Monfils. The best thing about it is not the hilariously bad singing but the desperation which seeps from her every pore as she literally begs the crowd to join in. A cringeworthy and transparent attempt to try and gain some of the popularity she lacks compared to other top players. Enjoy!