Sunday, 1 February 2015

Never Give Up

Happy Birthday to me! It's 4 years to the week since Centre Court Trading began, so I'm treating myself to (extra) Ben and Jerry's today. I've not posted for a while. With a pregnant wife (who I'm praying won't start doing something weird like dipping gherkins into my precious icecream), house move about to take place and planning for a potential career change, I have had pretty much zero time for anything which doesn't involve my family. I'm still trading and still keeping an eye on all things in the trading and tennis world - I'm just more of a lurker these days.

Unfortunately, my Skype Sessions have had to take a back seat, as I've been working the graveyard shift on the Australian swing which ends today with the Australian Open final (which I feel Murray is under-priced, as he could definitely win today. If Djokovic plays as he did against Wawrinka in the semi, I'm 100% certain Murray WILL win!). They may well return again but if you are waiting for the next session, I'm unsure when it will be as I'm very short of time to plan them.You can still buy my Sultan Tennis Trading Guide though, which contains videos of my live trading.

As this is an unusually quick post from me, I thought I'd show you something that couldn't be more apt for my trading journey, over the past 4 years in-particular (Thanks to Mark Iverson for tweeting this originally, have been waiting for the right time to use it!):

Plus probably my favourite tennis-related YouTube clip of all time (call it my gift to you for reading over the last 4 years!): Indian Wells tournament owner Larry Ellison left completely dumbfounded by the whooping Andy Murray is getting at his own tournament (and as one of the world's richest men, it must take something special to dumbfound him like this!)

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Australian Open 2015

Happy New Year!! The tennis season officially begins next week but there's already tennis available to trade, courtesy of the Mubadala Exhibition which starts today with Andy Murray kicking things off. It's a time of New Year's Resolutions of course and for many of you that will no doubt involve some trading goals. Mine are simple this year: to (almost) hit the Super Premium Charge. After that, I really am not sure what I will do. Since my last post, I have gained a ball, some chain, an oven and a bun! My whole world has been turned upside down, so any previous life goals I had, have needed to be re-assessed. Nothing is black and white for me anymore.

This time last year, I knew what my immediate future held. I was a single guy with no responsibilities. I had enough disposable income to do pretty much what I wanted to within reason, no one to answer to, no debt and a plan to just keep doing what I was doing. Now, I have a mortgage,  other people to think about, fiscal responsibilities, a joint bank account, DIY to perform (though I'll probably pay someone else to do it!), in-laws to placate and a whole raft of future plans that need to be set in motion.

Reading all that back, I know it may seem as though I'd like my old life back but I can assure you, nothing is further from the truth. I would rather be there for the birth of my first child than backpacking across Peru - there's no contest! My single days are done and I'm happier than I've ever been in my entire life. Much of that is down to the success I've had with trading. Without the money I have from trading, I would never have been able to afford to get married or to have supported a family. But now I have to weigh up what the best move is going to be for me as well as my family - and that's a huge weight on my shoulders, I don't mind admitting.

I can't tell you the amount of respect I have for people who trade for a living who have a family too. I always knew I was lucky getting into trading whilst I was still single and had no responsibilities but now I truly understand the added pressures involved. My advice for you singletons out there is this: start learning how to trade NOW - don't leave it till you have REAL responsibilities!

Paula Kania

I have to say that one thing I will not miss if I retire from trading is the Australian swing. Four weeks on Antipodean time means two weeks struggling to stay awake from midnight through to around 8am (sometimes longer) and another two weeks after the swing struggling to get my body-clock back on European time. But for those two weeks in the middle, encompassing the Australian Open itself, I actually find them a very enjoyable experience. It's probably my favourite Grand Slam, despite being the most low-profile of the 4. This is because it never gets rained off like the other 3 (2 of which don't even have roofs on any court), the crowds are the most vocal, colourful and "footballesque" by a long way, with most nationalities represented and the tennis itself I find tends to be of a higher quality because it's at the start of the season and players tend to be fitter and more eager. Also, it's the Slam that history shows tends to throw up more surprise finalists and semi-finalists than any other. So it really is well worth trading despite the obvious inconvenience of the time difference. I also find working in the peaceful calm of the early morning, very therapeutic.

I'm always quite surprised at how strong liquidity is even around the 4-5am mark, when you might think it would tail off dramatically. I'm always well acclimatised to those hours after two weeks of trading Australian tournaments, so this also helps to make the tournament enjoyable. That is the biggest advice I can give if you want to trade the first slam of the year: try to stay awake till the very early hours for at least a couple of days before the tournament starts, so your body gets used to it. If you dive in and try to trade past your usual bed-time on day one, you will struggle for the first few days and the worst thing you can do is trade when tired - never, ever fails to destroy your decision making skills and in turn, your bank!

Good luck with your Antipodean trading and I'll see you bleary eyed on the other side in a few weeks. I'll leave you with a great tennis joke I heard recently (even though it's 18 months old)  from one of my favourite stand up comedians, Scotland's Kevin Bridges. It's right at the end of the video, from 6:13 (begin from 5.11 for a football joke too!). Start the year as you mean to go on - with a laugh!