New Year Betfair Trading Reflection
Reflection is a key part of a successful trader's learning processes, like with any other profession, we have to take time to analyse and assess what has been going on over the past year. I did a blog post last week about new years resolutions, if you have not yet seen it check it out in the blog section on site.
This week I have been thinking about what I wanted to change for the better in my life, the usual stuff cropped up - manage my time more efficeintly, spend more time with loved ones and get healthier in the new year. One hobby I have is that I play tennis, when fit I try to play 3-4 times a week. However, for the past 6 months I have been struggling with a groin problem (not in the way that John Folan does) but since a bad tear in the summer it has never really healed. I keep on playing as I love the game but I can only really last about an hour on court now before it flares up significantly. At 30, I do not want to spend the rest of the time I can still play at my best level injured. So, I finally looked up a local physio and went to have it checked out.
So what big deal, most people who play sport will have done this and this story is pretty mundane right? Yes, but I had been putting off something that would obviously benefit me for over 6 months, crazy when you think about it.
This got me thinking, what do traders put themselves off from doing that would obviously help them? There are a few things I can think of:
- Putting in the hard yards - How many people trade for a month on and off and decide to pack it in, not willing to put in the training required.
- Lack of initiative - I had to make the effort to go and see a physion in the same way traders have to go and search out the best information and things that will help them.
- Not being patient - Instant gratification is not really possible when learning a trade or skill, I wanted to be on court all the time but knew treating my injury properly would mean taking time out. It is the same with many traders, they want the instant profits and won't take the time to learn their craft.
So here are two pieces of advice I once got from a successful trader who works as a course bookmaker on the racing circuit.
- Price up an event before you look at the odds - do your research and work out what you think odds should be. If they surprise you then they could be wrong and worth taking on.
- People spend thousands of pounds on education for careers, so why treat this career differently? Your down days are your education, if you learn to apply the mistakes and lessons learnt.
Good advice right? Well they have helped me over the years, so much so that I remember them to this day! (This advice was given to me over 10 years ago).
Meanwhile at the treatment table, I was told my back was so out of place that it was putting strain on my leg muscles and that is why my groin tore. I then basically had my back beaten up for an hour as the physio tried to loosen the joint back into place.
Since then my back has been in real pain but I am really pleased as I know it is helping me to get healthy again. This got me reflecting again, why is it that after a medical procedure we can feel good about pain? The answer: We know it will benefit us in the long run. Yet the pain we suffer trading often leads to people quitting before they have even really given it a good go, we fail to see how the pain of failure can benefit us in the long run and drive us forward with more strength than ever.
May seem obvious to some and good on those who already realise this, why am I saying all of this?
No Pro or Semi-Pro trader I have ever known has had a smooth ride along the way. Even the naturally best traders had to work hard to get to where they are now.
As a final thought, remember that the mental side of this game is just as important as learning the market and developing your trading skill level. Reflect regularly and put things into perspective, you can use your everyday life as a guide.