Sports Trading should be faced with work and realism, don't think it's easy money. Your emotional control and bank management are two of the cornerstones upon which you should build in order to achieve your main goal: end the month with profits.
You do not need to be a professional trader to work like one.
1st Emotional Control
When I talk about emotional control I'm referring, obviously, to how you control your emotions. Who among us has never had moments of weakness? The answer is simple, we all had them…
It's part of the trader's evolution and I believe some will learn faster than others how to control their emotions. I do not believe in "magical" traders though, those that seem to do nothing wrong and get to the higher levels of trading proficiency on talent alone. I do not believe that.
Every day I try to work on my emotional control, either when I lose or when I win. I had some out of control moment of course, I lost some money, but I grew from that. This is the reason why I placed emotional control as the most important factor: none of the other factors is relevant, for me, without this one.
What advice can I give you? First of all understand that REDs will always be there and you must be ready to take them in stride. Remember that you have already won as well, most of the times probably more than you lost.
You must start by knowing yourself and never get exposed to reds that may put you on tilt.
I know traders that are ice cold and can take their losses and gains without deviating one single inch from their strategy. I also know of other traders that let their emotions take control, reacting poorly to reds or getting too excited with greens, both situations will lead to increased losses.
2nd Bank Management
Bank management is closely tied to our emotional control, this because an emotional lack of control can make us bet more than what we had determined on our bank management plans.
As such, if we have a rigid bank management system and never, in any case, bet more than our bank management allows: by itself this will help us control our emotions.
Place well defined limits on your bank management strategy, if you do so you will be able to react properly to reds/greens.
In my case, I have a very simple bank management system:
- I always place between 5-10% of my bank at stake when I work on a match. On some pre-determined exceptions I can go up to 15%. Never more than that.
If I lose a match, I will recalculate the 5-10% for my new bank and from there I get the limit value that I can risk on the next match.
There are several types of traders at betfair:
- some like to enter the market 1001 times and exit another 1001,
- other place only 1-2 more simple bets,
- others yet combine 2-3 markets with some circus-like techniques…
All of them can make money and all of them may have very valid strategies.
You must search for your own way (where you are better) and after that, work on your analysis, techniques, etc. The important part is for you to always try to learn and grow.
When I analyse a match, I try to search for every little piece of information down to the smallest detail. I sometimes even analyse the referee's history with each team, as well as the average number of yellow cards he hands out per game.
Some of the data that some traders tend to ignore can, in fact, be very useful. This is only my work method though, only like this do I feel ready to tackle a match.
I recognize that are some very talented traders, but I simply believe that the success in trading comes from work and dedication.
Last but not least, you have to set your expectations straight. I think that the mental picture most people have about trading and what it can give us is quite skewed.
Some traders only show profits, rarely losses, dream lives, easy money… It is possible to win a lot of money but that is very difficult to accomplish. Most of the traders will not be able to live that "dream life" we sometimes hear about.
We have to have realistic expectations. Some will only lose money, others will win occasionally and other still will win consistently.
So, don't think that trading is easy money. There are, of course, some traders that win millions but they are extremely rare.
We must always remain grounded, start slowly with the simple objective of just having a positive outcome at the month's end. Only then, if we start getting some wins, will we increase our investment to try and get more winnings.
If you can't win consistently yet, work on that first. Try, for instance, taking out 100-200 euros monthly of betfair, then you gradually raise that value if you can.
Remember, you do not need to be a professional trader to work like one.