I get many emails from up and coming sports traders and there are many common themes within them.
One particular theme is people completely misunderstanding how you should actually be using strategies when trading.
Here is an example of an email I had recently… (Names have been hidden to protect the innocent)
“I need your advice to find a strategy that definitely works. Recently, I bought xxx strategy and have been using it but with no luck. I used it the first weekend on every match that fit the criteria and made good money but then did the same thing the next week and lost it all. Then the next week I made some more money only to lose it all again the next week! I have traded over 100 matches now and I am very frustrated!”
I have not seen this person’s trades but I am going to take an educated guess that he is simply…
Not being selective!
It sounds like he learned a strategy and just applied it blindly to every single match that vaguely fit the criteria.
If that is your attitude to trading then do not be surprised when you lose.
The main reason you really need to do your research and cherry pick your opportunities is because trading blindly does not work.
You might feel you have a strategy that works in the long term and you can apply it to certain types of matches. However, do you only trade the matches you are around to trade? It is physically impossible to trade EVERY single football match on the in-play coupon so where do you draw the line?
Do you decide to only trade on the days when you have time? If you are trading blindly then this is pointless since you might decide to trade only on a day when all those trades go against you and leave you with a loss. The day when you do not get involved is probably the day which will put you back in profit. Unless, you can physically find a way to trade EVERYTHING then trading blindly will not work, no matter how profitable your strategy can potentially be.
Perhaps you could automate the strategy but then you also need to decide which matches to apply it to. Do you stick to only premier league? Or maybe there are opportunities in all the leagues? However, what if Betfair crashes or there is not enough liquidity on certain matches? You might end up missing out on vital winning trades because of this and this might be what leaves you in a loss at the end of the month.
In an ideal world, it would be great if we could find a strategy that could make us money that requires zero effort or thought process to execute.
However, life is not that simple.
The harsh truth is that you will actually have to do some research or at least watch a match closely if you do want to do well with sports trading. I actually have not heard of anyone just blindly applying a blanket strategy to sports trading and making easy profits that way, every professional I know does the hard work. Some find their edge in pre-match research whilst some are best finding opportunities by watching the event unfold themselves.
The main take away from this article should be that you really need to put in work to find your opportunities.