When I first started sports trading, I treated it like a 9-5 job.
I did all the usual things you would in a normal job and returned to my out of work activities after the day was over. Fairly quickly I realised that this wasn’t going to work and was a terrible error of judgement. All the best opportunities seemed to occur outside of ‘normal’ hours and therefore I had to shift my working patterns.
Shifting my workload
At first, this was a little tricky, I started doing the odd ‘out of hours’ trading to gradually integrate the shift into my home life. But eventually, it was a permanent fixture and that’s the way it has remained since. This didn’t go down particularly well at home, but soon they realised how important it was and what a significant financial impact it had.
Before long I realised that focusing my trading around key sports events was key. I could earn a lot of money in a short time frame easily and when it was quieter I didn’t need to worry about trading or profit targets so much. If you look at my messaging recently, you should have got the impression on how important Ascot was for me. That was simply because a bit performance at Ascot would replace a months worth of ‘normal’ trading.
Professional traders focus on key periods
On an annual basis, there are these key periods I want to trade well, but that also happens in any specific month. I also focus on individual weeks as well.
Each week each my activity is geared to the weekend. I don’t run training on a Saturday, it would be uneconomic for me anyhow, and I don’t want any distractions. I just want to do a bloody great job of a Saturday. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve only missed one Saturday in the last decade, regardless of what is going on. I’ll even trade them if I am on holiday! Such is the impact and importance of a Saturday for me. A good Saturday will cover many days of the week. Miss it and it will be hard to replace my weekly total.
I quickly realised how critical it was to be around for the opportunities. Missing a key trading period, for any reason, would put a nasty dent in my totals. But it also added to pressure on quieter days. Being around at important times is like a footballer turning up on a Saturday for a top of the table clash. It’s pretty important.
You can see why it is important if you look at the distribution of prize money in racing. This is, obviously, linked to the amount of money that gets traded in the markets and therefore the general potential you have when trading it. It’s no coincidence that I earn more when there is more money in the market.
I’ve missed Sunday off this graph as it’s slightly more complex. If there is a big Irish meeting on that will boost the Sundays. If nothing of note is on, they will be quite small in comparison. Other sports peak around the weekend too, so it’s likely whatever you trade that you will have to put some emphasis on the weekend.
If you are starting out then maybe you can’t do a Saturday? That’s OK as there is plenty of activity elsewhere, but realise that there is ‘gold in them thar hills’. But also realise that that’s no guarantee you will find it. Trading a Saturday can often be quite different from what you see on other days of the week due to the step change in volume and activity you see around key events.
It can take a little getting used to the type of markets you see on a Saturday compared to the rest of the week or at a big meeting. But ultimately if you are serious about trading sports then you need to turn up to the main event. That’s where the core activity should be if you intend to do this seriously.
For more information, have a look at this video from last Summer where I discuss the life of a sports trader and the sports cycle: –