It's been a while since I talked about sports trading. A number of years ago it was very much in vogue and then it seemed to disappear when the majority of punters realised that greening up on every race wasn't as easy as it first seemed.
Since then there have been a mix of conflicting opinions. It doesn't work, it does work, you can't make much, you can make a living etc...
The question is which of these is true and is trading something that is going to suit you?
Let's start with the question of whether trading still works. The short answer is... YES!
Of course it does, the basic principles of trading don't change. But it is no longer as simple as just watching the weight of money. Back in the days when Betfair was a new medium it was very very easy to trade because most people weren't aware of it. You could do it through Betfair's interface and make a killing.
Then as more people did it and it became more competitive you needed more software. And now you need other indicators aside from the weight of money in order to be successful.
You aren't going to make millions from trading on sports, but you can make a very healthy full time income that is far above the national average. Not only that but it is one of the most risk free ways of betting.
The problem is, it doesn't suit everyone!
So will it suit you?
The first thing you need to ask yourself is...
"Do you have the time to practice and learn how to trade?"
The only way to get better at trading is by trading. Don't get me wrong, you don't need to have every day available (although if you do you will progress faster) but you need at least one day a week you can put aside to solely trading. If you can't do that then this method of betting is probably not going to be for you.
"Do you have a room you can work in with no disturbances?"
And when I say no disturbances I mean absolutely none. Trading requires high levels of concentration for extended periods of time. If you are constantly being disturbed then you won't be able to make it work. If you also have a short concentration span then this is most likely not going to work for you. Be honest with yourself here, there is no shame in this style of betting not suiting you and if it doesn't you have saved yourself both time and money trying something that won't work for you. That is time that can be spent learning how to do something that will!
"Are you happy with small, low-risk and regular profits and not being able to watch the races?"
If you have answered yes to these questions then it is likely that trading may be something that is going to suit you.
It is also possible now to learn how to trade without losing any money because most trading software now offers the ability to paper trade. However as a general rule I advise against doing this for a number of reasons:
- Psychologically you know there is no money at risk and so you do things you may not otherwise do
- Paper trading simulation doesn't actually tell you whether a bet got matched
- When you get in a trade going against you, you don't get the same emotions if there is no money on the trade
I suggest that for learning you start with a bankroll you can afford to lose but a bet size that is just above being totally disposable. What I mean by this is that if losing £100 and making £5 trades gives you absolutely no cause for concern at all, then this is probably too low a bankroll for you to learn with. If the loss of it is affordable but actually you really don't want to have to replace this, then it is probably the right level to start with.
The reason for this is that at least 50% of trading is about controlling your emotions and remaining detached from your trades. If you are trading with money that has no emotional ties if you win or lose then you are not going to be getting these emotions. When you are doing well and increase your bankroll then you suddenly get the emotions of possibly losing and you start acting differently because you haven't experienced these feelings before. I've seen this happen time and time again, don't let it happen to you!
I am putting together a short three piece course on sports trading, which I'm giving away for free. If you would like to be notified of when it's ready then please enter your details below:[ois skin="3-Part Trading Course"]