2014 was definitely not my best year. Fortunately nobody beloved died or became serious ill, but beside it was one of the most disappointing years in my life.
First of all I was scammed. I lost almost 60'000 Euros... It's still very difficult to understand how people (with a normal life) can do this. I learned that you can't trust (almost) nobody in sportstrading. It's a lonely business, and everybody is looking for the own advantage.
After I sold my appartment I lived for a while with a guy (no I am not gay, was just to reduce the costs :-)). Without a reason he finished the contract by email! Really a strange guy, he is not working and sits the whole day in front of the TV. I think he lives from the social system of Switzerland. In the end I was happy to not living anymore with him, but beside the scammer he was the second big disappointment.
I changed the job in the beginning of the year. I worked part time as a CFO in a small company. The main reason for this change was my planned trading career. I wanted to have time for it. The company started the year with 17 people. More than the half of them quitted or were fired. The enterprise is in financial troubles and I don't expect a turnaround.
Trading was not succesful. Mistakes, impatience and bad money moneymanagament led to a five digit loss over the year.
I am sure that 2015 will be a better year. I made some decicisions after the disappointing 2014. Sultan asked me a year ago why I want to be a trader with my income. I told him that I like more liberty and that I love trading. After one year I know that the price for this liberty is (too) high. If you work 50% as a normal employee, you are neither fish nor bird. My salary was inadequate and the tasks were boring. With my background I should work on management level and not as a gofer. Beside I couldn't trade as much as I wanted. Often I missed the best matches. I was impatient during the times I was trading, because I had not the time and skills like a professional. In general trading is stress, you don't have paid holidays, pension fund and you never know if you win or lose. Latest with the premium charge I wouldn't have any chance to earn what I can with a normal job.
I bought a new appartement. At the end of the year 2015 it should be finished. It gives me motivation to know that I will live again at a nice place. Even a comeback with my wife seems possible. I recognized that a relationship is hard work and probably I gave it up too early. During the desastrous year I recognized who is on my side and who is against me.
Well to come to an end of this post... I decided to stop trading as a profession. I will return to a normal job which has more advantages I thought one year ago. A lot of traders have not my possibilities on the job market. So it would be a waste of (not earned) money and time to continue with trading. Cassini works beside and is successful on the sportsmarket. I try to go on his path.
I will keep the blog, but the target is not anymore to become a professional trader. I just do it for fun and without any stress. I expect to start a new job at the beginning of April or May. So I can start the tennis season still as part time trader, but with less pressure.
With the Davis Cup win of Switzerland (Yes we did it!!) the tennis season is over. So, it's time to write a review of the trading year 2014. I can divide it in three stages.
The end of the year 2013 was quiet disappointing. I couldn't succeed at the Sultan's Trading Academy, and I was clueless about tennis. So I decided to switch to NBA trading. The first months of the year I traded basketball. After a promising start things turned bad in the early spring. Beside I didn't like to stay awake the whole night to watch some big guys playing with a ball. I decided to return to tennis...
In May I was contacted by a guy. He told me that he is a professional sportstrader. At this time I was without big hope to succeed, and I was happy to meet "an expert". I trusted him and we traded together (over Facebook messenger). I transfered big money to his account for beeing part of the trading team which work with a self programmed software. Unfortunately he was just a liar, and he scammed me. I met in the wrong time, the wrong person. If I would meet him earlier or later, it would not happen. After he was not willing to pay me the money back until the beginning of November (despite he promised it like two or three times), I made a final stroke under this bad story. Shit happens in life (I am healthy, have good friends and a nice family... so the financial damage is not the end of the world), and I am sure that 2015 will bring some nice developments in my life.
With a reader of this blog and meanwhile a good friend, I started a serious project (Ultimo) about tennis trading. We collected data, wrote a strategy guide and are improving our trading skills on the market. We are not yet over the mountain, but the progress is obvious. The discipline rised, the strategies are proven by Sultan (we have like a Sultan+ guide) and the data collection gives us a good overview about the patterns in the market. So far we documented around 200 tennis matches, more will follow in 2015.
I would say that the 2014 was a rollercoaster like you are looking for at tennis matches. Unfortunately you don't wish that in your personal life. I am sure that the worst part is over. Beside trading happened some unpleasant developments as well. I don't want to go in details, but there were serious problems at my part time job and my living situation after I sold my appartment. Both topics will be solved in 2015. More you can read in my next post, where I will write a preview for 2015.
Disappointing ATP finals find their end with the withdrawal of Roger Federer. I expected more fights and more volatility in the market. At least the tournament showed that I am on the right track. Despite the low number of momentum changes, I didn't lose much. Without the mistake, which I made in one of the first matches (Djokovic vs. Cilic), I would end in the green zone.
In general I recognized two problems: Overtrading and the lack of compounding. I added in the strategy guide a chapter about reinvestments. It's a good mix between trading save (no compounding) and aggressive. In my opinion is necessary to work with the greens. If you just leave the trade after a break, you don't make enough money to cover the matches without the expected swings.
The second problem was too much speculation. I hoped for some surprises, but they didn't come. It's a typical form of overtrading. Instead of waiting for a better scenario, I layed some big favourites. Especially in the case of Djokovic is better to wait. Even a price of 1.10 can implode after a break. Fortunately Nishikori fought back, but instead of making a huge profit (waiting for a better price), I just make some bucks. Earlier in the week I lost even more with Nole. I was confident that Cilic can give him a fight, but it was a onesided match like many more. Unfortunately the stop losses didn't work, so i lost the whole stake...
Excluded the Davis cup and some challenger tournaments the season is over. At the start of the year I hoped for the real breakthrough in 2014. To be honest, I am still waiting for it. I am happy with the development since September. With the start of the project "Ultimo" things began to go in the right direction. It's still a long way to go, but after the (scamming) lowlight in the summer, I see light at the horizon. The 2015 will be the decisive year!
The best tennis players of the world (excluded injured Rafa Nadal) are playing this week the final tournament of the year. You would expect a lot of exciting matches with close scores. So far the ATP tour finals were disappointing. It seems that the season was (too) long for some players. Cilic is completely out of shape. Raonic is serving so bad like never before this season. Murray seems tired of the last six weeks, where he played a lot of matches. Berdych had his worst match this season in the opener against Wawrinka. Stan continues with his up and down season. After a strong performance against the bird, he was looking (after a great start) awful today. Only Federer and Djokovic play on a good level. I am quiet sure that they will be in the final at the end of the week.
The mentioned matches didn't bring good trading opportunities. In such times you have to cut losses or even better to stay away of the markets. I made some mistakes, but in general I am happy about my discpline. Only once I lost more than I should. I underestimated the downfall after a break... so my stop loss orders were useless.
If the needed swings are not coming, it's important to stay patient. I guess that this week was tough for more experienced traders as well. The only halfway tradeable match was Nishikori vs. Murray. There I made a small green. It would be bigger if the Scot would win the second set.
Right now I am thinking about entries during a game. So far I executed the strategies like Sultan. He doesn't open a trade while they are playing. I recognized that there are scenarios, where you can find value during a game. For example when the loss of set is almost priced in, and a player has one or two breakpoints for a second break. Of course you lose two or three ticks when the leader breaks, but if not, you have almost unlimited upside potential. Value is value and it doesn't matter, when it occurs. If you limit your entries to the end of games, you limit your opportunities. It would be like you only buy stocks in the beginning of the day or week... in the reality you buy or sell them when the price is good.
It was a tough (trading) year so far, but finally the hard work and suffering seem to pay off. I focused last week on the tennis tournament at Paris-Bercy. I traded almost every day and the result looks quiet promising:
One year ago I was a member of Sultan's Trading Academy (STA). In a review I would say, I was not ready at this point. To be honest, I would say the STA is nothing for rookies. It's hard to understand his value approach without a decent market and player knowledge. It can open doors, but you should not be disappointed, when you don't succeed. It needs a lot of hard work and own reasearch to make the breaktrough.
Unfortunately I met in the spring 2014 the wrong person. Instead of hard work (I do now) I thought there is a free lunch. In the end I had to recognize that I was a victim of a big fraud. If you like to succeed, you have to do your own research. Since two months I work with a partner in a serious project (http://brucelaytrading.blogspot.ch/2014/09/project-ultimo.html).
We recognized that the Sultan strategies are a really good base. Actually I didn't want to use them anymore because I was not successful. Our analysis showed that I failed mainly because of the lack of market knowledge. Unfortunately this part is not that well described in the guide.
What did we do? We implemented a huge database with different information about price levels, scenarios and outcomes. Now value seems more "visible". We know the situations which have a good risk-/reward ratio. Beside we added some new strategies to the package of Sultan. All together we are talking about 20 (Sultan has 14). In the beginning it was looking like an overkill, but now it's getting more and more clear when you have to execute which one.
All in all I am very happy with the progress. The profit of 56 Euros seems not that much. Like some readers supposed I lowered my stakes. Before I worked with ten time bigger stakes and the "business model" shows that factor 100 is possible in the long term. How sounds 5'635 Euro profit in just one week?! I would say fantastic!
What are the next steps? We are implementing a trading controlling to improve our trading skills. In the end it's (almost) all about experience. The professionals are talking about 10'000 hours on the ladders to have the necessary knowledge to succeed. I feel more and more that this is true. Every week my confidence is rising. Beside the controlling we will concretise the strategy guide. Here I see the biggest lack of Sultan's trading guide. He is referring to value, but the description of the most common scenarios is completely missing. For him this is not a problem (because is in his mind), but for a third party it's evident.
Until the end of the year I will keep the low stakes. I look forward to the next season. First time I feel really ready for it. Perhaps there is one exception... unfortunately of all things I am a bit afraid of ATP Grand Slam tournaments. With five setters I don't have much experience. Perhaps I will focus at the Aussie Open at the WTA competition until I feel more confident with five set matches.
Until then there is much time to go with some highlights: ATP World tour finals, Fed Cup final and Davis Cup final between France and Switzerland.
This is the 100th post of the year! Time for a review? Not yet, I will wait until the end of the year. There are still two months to go, one of them with some tennis highlights. Especially for Switzerland and Roger Federer will come interesting weeks. Can he be the oldest number 1 ever? Will Switzerland win the Davis Cup for the first time?
In the last weeks of the tennis year I will work on the strategies. There are still some issues with a bad risk-/reward ratio I have to figure out. Lately I started to accept losing trades. I stopped to hope for a turnaround. The word "hope" doesn't exist anymore in my trading vocabulary. In the book "trading in the zone" was mentioned the fear of losing a trade. In the past I often lost more than I should because I was afraid to exit with a negative result. Now I can close a trade (normally after the first set), and I am not interested anymore in the final outcome of the tennis match. At least not, when there is not a new trading opportunity.
I am still searching for the edge. I think this is the hardest part to become a professional trader. Sultan changed his strategies, and after a while he became successful. I tried his approach, but it didn't work for me. Probably his (biggest) edge is the good feeling for tennis matches. I am looking for a strategy where I can trade more the charts (market) than the players. In the end it's probably a mix of both. The game selection should be part of the trades, but in general the strategy should work without a "crystal ball". If the hit rate is "only" based on a good selection of the games, the variance can be huge. The best tipsters have bad runs and latest with the premium charge, a system without a real edge will not work anymore. The best tipster can't beat a 60% disadvantage...
Until the strategies are stable, I will not document my trades at mybetlog.com. The following weeks are good to make a fine tuning of the approach. At this stage I can trade with small amounts. The crucial point is the risk-/reward-ratio. If a hit rate of 30-40% it's enough to make profit, the pressure is a lot smaller than with a need of 80%. At this point I am working at the moment.