In this edition of Trader Talk, I catch up with UFT member Josh who has been profitable with his football trading since 2019 and does a ‘high 4 figure‘ profit (monthly average) with his best month hitting 5 figures.
But what is remarkable about this talk is how it sounds like becoming profitable at football trading helped transform him as a person and is helping him live the life of his dreams.
We talk about that, his other income streams, his favourite strategies, the COVID affect on his trading, his outlook on life, the future and much more including how he uses football trading to fund his travel dreams.
Very fun read.
Go grab yourself a nice cup of tea, coffee or a cold beer and lets get into it!
Hey Josh. Many thanks for sitting down for this interview for the Sports Trading Life readers
But from what you said in the notes, it sounds like an interesting journey.
Tell me a bit more about how you got into football trading.
Hi everyone. My name is Josh, just turned 30 and was working as a floor manager in M&S (Yes, Marks and Sparks!) before I got into football trading.
I sort of fell into football trading because I was so bored with my job looking back. On Saturday’s I found the only thing that kept me going was to check on my Saturday acca where I was constantly trying to win 6 figures just so I could quit my job!!
I had dreams of all 20 legs lets coming in (yes 20!) and me just walking out of the door at 5 in the afternoon and giving my store manager the middle finger on the way out.
Never happened of course but it was a sign that I hated my job and I needed a change sharpish.
Interesting, so did you get into football trading from accumulators?
No! funny enough I just followed my mates with the accumulators and followed some Twitter accounts that suggested some. I never looked more into betting at that point.
But I was always looking online for ways to make money and I tried it all at some point. Affiliate marketing, Ebay, Amazon, Dropshipping, Forex and so on. I dabbled in all of them.
I had been working in retail since a teenager and I was tired, no way I was doing this for the rest of my life!
Anyway, it was being in a Forex group that someone mentioned horse and footy trading so I looked further into it and dabbled with that too. You could call me the dabbler at that point!
So from there how long did it take you to be profitable?
As you can probably guess I had no focus. I deposited some money in Betfair, tried lay the draw, made some money then lost some money and gave up for a few weeks before coming back and trying a new strategy I had heard about.
I was doing that same with everything and thinking back it is no surprise I was just going around in circles. Set up an ebay store, sold some stuff, got bored, tried something else and so on.
If I had a time machine I would tell myself to pick one thing and focus on it but I was trying to do it all and also work my dayjob at the same time.
I thought Forex was going to make me rich but struggled with Forex majorly and decided to focus on dropshipping and football trading in the end and I still do both today.
To answer your question mate, I think it was around 2 years of going in circles before I was profitable but this was all my own fault.
When I actually FOCUSED, I think it was around 3 months then I had a profitable month and haven’t looked back since.
So you are profitable every month now?
Not quite every month. My first profitable month was December 2018 and my next losing month was in June and July 2019 when the main leagues stopped and I was trading leagues I shouldn’t have been. Then March, April and May 2020 was 3 losing months in a row during the start of the pandemic, worst time of my life.
But I like to think when times are normal, I can be profitable. I do still feel like I am at the start of the journey or on some lucky run but it has been good run for a while now I guess 😀
Interesting, we will cover that later. What do you think were the mistakes that held you back?
I am a different person today and I think because I hated my job I hated my life and this reflected in the results I got from everything, even meeting women! I was in a rush to make money at everything I tried and when it didn’t arrive straight away I would try something else. I saw profits people were making in Forex and thought I could do that right away which was a big mistake, same world in football trading. You guys might think Psychoff has big green screens but you haven’t seen anything in the Forex world with the lamborghinis etc.
I hear it is the same in the Crypto world but I just don’t understand enough about any of them to make any coin at it.
It was only after watching a lot of personal development videos on Youtube that I began to calm down and realise the importance of being patient.
Around what point in the journey did you join Ultimate Football Trading and how did that help you?
I think I knew about football trading since 2015 so it was a few years before I joined UFT. Like I said, I was dabbling and dipping in and out of it.
I followed a lot of the forums, joined some telegram groups and learned what I could in there for free but looking back there was so much conflicting advice that left me even more confused about the best way to do things.
I was also stubborn in that I didn’t believe you needed a “course” to help you learn something like this and you could find what you needed on Google.
I refused to pay to learn and assumed it was all a scam so when you first sent me an invite to join UFT I sent you an email telling you as much as you might remember. I was probably a bit rude in my email but that was a reflection on where I was in my life at that point in time, you were polite in your response to me.
Anyway, I dabbled even more and thought I could learn by myself and about 6 months later of trading football (and horses, cricket etc) I realised I was 3k in the hole and still didn’t really have a clue about the best direction.
So next time you opened and I said f*ck it and took the plunge.
I figured I already lost 3k and wasted 6 months. You can always make more money but you cant make more time.
When I actually got the course, the thing was I knew HOW to trade and the strategies in the course were not anything hugely different from what I knew, the big difference was having the framework and now I had the focus. As well, as just knowing I was now going in the right direction was huge for the mindset and keeps you on the right path.
Being in forums and groups you get one person telling you (for example) lay the draw is the best strategy, then another guy says its dead and you just don’t know what to do!!
That is not knocking anyone in there but I think everyone thinks that works for them is what everyone else should be doing and it is not quite that simple.
Interesting. So you knew how to trade football technically but just needed something to get you to the next stage?
Pretty much yes. I had known about it for 2 years so I wasn’t a beginner to it but something hadn’t clicked.
It was the same with Dropshipping. I was trying to learn it all via Youtube but those videos can only get you so far.
I paid for a Dropshipping course around the same time and even though I knew most of the info, just having the framework and a mentor to call on was priceless.
I began my own drop-shipping business around this point and started trading football more seriously, keeping records etc. Just the spreadsheets from the course were a big gamechanger for me as I could see where I was going wrong.
Overall, this was all a big turning point in my life as I let go of my ego a bit.
I know we are focused on football trading here but I am sure some readers are wondering what a “dropshipping business” is, can you explain how it works?
The way it works is I set up a website selling certain products via a service like Shopify. I sell the item on the store, then automatically order the item from somewhere else to “dropship” to the customer.
I never have to stock anything, I just pocket the difference. And you will be surprised that this is what most of the big brands do, nothing shady in it.
This is all now automated so you just have to set it up once then get customers to your website via ads and social media. I work with an ads guy on it and we have a popular Instagram page with around 14k followers now and growing which has been amazing.
It is a great lifestyle business since I don’t have to be anywhere physically to do this, similar to football trading.
Very cool, I get you probably want to keep the store private but what sort of items do you sell?
Yes I would like to keep my store private for sure but the best items are the high ticket items. My initial mistake with this business was trying to sell cheap things like iPhone covers which really aint worth it to make about 50p a sale after all the costs.
When I focused on selling ONE high priced item was when the business started to take off and this was only majorly in 2020, funny enough the pandemic boosted this business even more.
Sounds good, if you want to share anything with me about it I would be interested to know for sure!
So I assume you quit your job as your business and the football trading started to take off?
Not really actually.
I knew at the start of 2019 that I wanted to quit my job by the end of the year. I am single so I didn’t need to consult with anyone on this I just wanted to save up 3-6 months of living expenses before I quit. You need this as a buffer.
When I made this decision I was only making a few hundred a month from the football trading and similar from the dropshipping. Nowhere near the money my dayjob was pulling in but I figured I had to just rip the plaster off and do it. Fear of the unknown was keeping me in my job and maybe holding me back?
Anyway, even though I was planning to leave handing in my notice was not easy and I kept putting it off every week. You make excuses about “one more months pay” then I can quit and so on.
Until one day, the general manager pulled me into the office and told me she was moving my department to one that I knew was going to be even more stressful.
So as she told me the news and asked me if it was OK, the words kinda fell out my mouth and I said “Actually, I would prefer to hand in my notice.”
She looked stunned, then asked if it was because I had got offered a job somewhere else.
I said “Actually no, I just want to quit.”
Her face was an absolute picture but she had no choice but to pull out the forms and let me fill out my notice.
That conversation escalated quickly!
Technically it was true that I didn’t have another job lined up or a way to fully replace my income but I felt like this was the stars aligning me to finally do this. I had been profitable 6 months in a row so I thought this wasn’t a fluke anymore.
I skipped out of the place that day and instead of jumping on the bus home, I walked all the way home (a good 45 minute walk!!) but my head was spinning and I felt like I was walking on air as I knew it was the start of the rest of my life.
Sounds cool, how did things develop after that?
I had my emergency fund but I also had a decent bank of 5k to move forward with in football trading too and I no longer had as much fear which sounds strange. I knew I could always move back in at my mums if things went really bad. Haha!
I decided to really scale things up in both businesses, my logic was go big or go home.
I thought that if I scaled up and failed then with my strong CV I could get another job quickly but I wouldn’t want to fail 1 or 2 years down the line since then that gap in the CV is harder to explain.
I think my BIG eureka moment was that I had been living an “average” life for my whole life by now, so why not try and be more than average? Why not try and make the type of money I could probably never make in M&S?
I now had the time and the freedom to try this and I might only ever get one chance at this since in my later life I might have a family to think about it.
I was never a risk taker before but something had flipped inside of me!
I am loving hear about all of this. So lets hear about the football trading side of things and the type of strategies you trade with? Is it just football that you trade?
I do mainly football but I was doing well at the tennis before the pandemic so looking forward to get into that again soon.
My style of football trading is a lot more like my personality these days. I like to go for the low risk but HIGH reward strategies.
Go BIG or go home.
From the course the main methods and approaches I liked were all the reloaded methods, the System X, and the Jackpot. I started out with these risking around 20-40 quid to potentially lock in £100+ or so. But this has graduated to me aiming to lock in £1000 or so.
I absolutely LOVED the Goal Machine X method that was released recently, that was right up my street. I have my own methods all along these lines now and looking forward to trying similar in tennis.
At the end of the day, I am a bloke who is happy taking the smaller losses then getting that big win. When I do get it I stop for the day, like If I hit £1k profit I finish and I do something else with my time. I do this because I used to watch the clock so much work but now I am my own boss in this I can clock off early when I want.
For those wanting more details, my risk-reward ratio is usually a minimum of risking 1 to win 2, but the higher the better, risking 1 to win 5-10 when possible. My returns must always be in the multiples is my personal rule.
The key is like you said, remove risk as soon as you can. Especially on those longshot trades. Keep giving yourself another go at it until it comes in.
With these sorts of strategies I assume you have losing runs and losing days, how do you handle those? How often do you withdraw profits?
Yes not every day is profitable, tell a lie most days are not profitable!
I usually have a few days in a row of small losses then you get a blinder of a day and pocket a few grand. I can see why people would hate to trade like that but it is important to do what you feel comfortable with doing. And it is important you are still trading when those days happen. It can be easy to give up in those losing runs.
I get through it by having my own experience of how these things can turn. I am perfectly used to seeing my bank tick down over a few days before some BIG wins come in.
I also think concentrating on my business helps with the trading and balances things out.
Funny enough, even in dropshipping you have losing days where maybe we spent money on ads and didn’t make enough sales to cover costs. Sometimes a customer refunds which can be a huge headache in this sort of business and we lose money there. But I know that usually by the weekend there will be a really good day which covers those losses and more.
There are ups and downs with almost any sort of business in life. Having these 2 income streams helps keep me sane since if there is a bad day in one, the other usually has a good day to balance it out. Not often they both have a bad day, if they do I have to reach for a stella!!!!
Its about where you are at the end of the month, not at the end of the day!!!!
I like how you put that into perspective regarding losing days.
How is a typical trading day for you? Do you follow the live pictures or use just the stats?
These days it is ALL in play for me.
I was one of those who would sit for hours researching all the matches then the match would kick off and it would go crazy and nothing like I predicted.
A big learning point for me was deciding to do NO research and only follow the live stats.
If the live stats look good, I will try bring up a stream but sometimes the stats are so obvious that I will get involved based only on that.
The stats don’t lie as they say!
Like if I want to use Relay Reloaded it is easy to just look for winning teams that are not the dominant one, even if they were the pre match fave or not.
Like this one recent was a perfect relay reloaded, if you know the method go look at the in-play stats for this and you will see it was a golden opportunity. I never watched any of it, just used the stats but the stats told me a lot.
But apart from that I mainly just sit down at my desk, turn off other distractions and analyse the markets and the matches. Even if a match is on TV I won’t watch it until the stats tell me what I want to see, then I might turn it on.
I guess my match reading sucks so I need to see the facts first!
By the way, this season I have been experimenting with using in play guru to give me telegram alerts based on what I look for which has been good and frees up a bit more time to um ….. do nothing during the lockdown but might be handy for the future! Lol
What are your feelings about the premium charge?
I considered it a badge of honour and felt good when I got the email about it. I have thought about doing some trades on Betdaq but with my luck they will probably all lose and all my winners will be at Betfair which isn’t great for the weekly extra charge.
It is what it is and im not sure why people get hung up on it? You only pay it if you are winning, like the way you only pay higher taxes when you make more money.
So how has life been since you made left your job and began doing this as for your main income?
Y’know, the funniest feeling of all was the first Monday where I had no work and I hadn’t set an alarm. I woke up at around 9AM with a heart attack thinking I was late for work, started grabbing my clothes and then it dawned on me that I didn’t need to go anywhere. And not having to set an alarm clock anymore has been the best thing of all I think!
But I remember when I quit my job my mum was worried and I told her it was temporary and even in my mind it was. And you never know, it might still all blow up in my face but I wouldn’t swap the past 2 years for anything (besides the pandemic!).
So to help her relax, the first thing I did was paid for her and my dad to have a weekend to themselves at a nice hotel in Bournemouth beach. It wasn’t hugely expensive and this might not sound like anything special to most but it meant a lot to them and it felt great to be able to say it was all on me.
Then the summer of 2019 when the season finished and it was around my birthday when I was finally free from my day-job, I withdrew about 3k from my Betfair account and booked a flight to New York City. This was all on a whim when I realised I didn’t have to put in notice or “ask” anyone for permission I could literally just go.
I was having a drink with a mate who had been there loads of times and I said I wished I could get out there and he looked at me and said “whats stopping you?” He was right!
I remember booking my ticket on that same Saturday night for a Tuesday flight with my hands shaking doing it on my laptop. Sounds silly I know.
I had never been to America before so I wanted to fulfil this dream while I could. I also wanted to stay in Manhattan even though it was pricey but I found a good deal for a room in a hotel in Midtown Manhattan on a website.
When I turned up, and I guess because it was close to my birthday they upgraded me for free to a HUGE 1 bedroom suite that had amazing views of the city. I thought there was some mistake as there was no way I could afford it but they insisted.
I looked it up online and the suite was $3000 a night!!!!!
I felt like Kevin out of Home Alone 2 if you remember that movie.
Anyway, it was summer so no football to trade and you can’t trade in America anyway but I could run my dropshipping business from there and it just so happened we had a really good week and it was a life-changing realisation when I came back from a week in NYC and actually had MORE money than when I left.
From someone who had been breaking his back trading time for money all his adult life this was mind blowing!
Love hearing this, very inspiring. And you mentioned you did similar things afterwards?
Yes, I got the travel bug after that and since I had the freedom to do it I travelled to a few places to work and trade while I was there. Either I would fly somewhere after a really good month profit wise to visit somewhere new or if it was a country I could trade in then I would I would just take my laptop and trade football over there from my hotel in the day then go out at night or if it was somewhere hot I would work in the morning then be the pool in the afternoon and do some trading at night.
It is headache trying to find which countries allow football trading. I booked a weekend in Rome after seeing that Betfair was legal in Italy. Only to get there and find I could not login. No big deal and glad it was just a weekend.
But I went mainly all over Europe, the big cities Paris, Madrid, Barcelona. Lots of places I could do the stadium tours mainly ?
My challenge with every trip was to make enough money to cover the trip when I was on the trip itself. Most go on holidays and come back broke but I wanted to do the opposite!
I was planning to expand on the places to visit and maybe go to Latin America or Asia until COVID put a stop to that in 2020 but I am ready to go again once this is over!
Writing this sounds like I am bragging but it is really the opposite as I hope others can discover the NEW world that is out there. I would never have believed things like this were possible when I was working 40+ hours a week, if you didn’t turn up you didn’t get paid a lot of the time and if I ever took a holiday I was still paying it off months later.
Even if you can’t make it at football trading there are SOOO many options now where you can be your own boss and work from where-ever you want.
Sounds amazing mate.
Talking of the pandemic, how did that affect your football trading?
I remember the shock of every league shutting down, it happened slowly over a few weeks before suddenly there was nothing left apart from Belarus.
My online business also had a big drop and I was bricking it for a bit. I was starting to wish I could have had some of that furlough money that I might have been given at M&S. It was the only time I ever doubted my decision really.
Anyway, for the lockdown my football trading went absolutely to SH*T!
Only the Belarus league was going and this just didn’t fit my strategies. I think that I lost a grand trading those matches over the lockdown period before things started to return.
The only thing that kept me going was my dropshipping business began to surge about a month into lockdown as people ordered more things online. This shows the importance of multiple income streams like you have spoken about yourself. I would have been seriously bricking it otherwise.
When the football returned I was nervous about it but it has been even better. My strategies do well when there are SURPRISE results and there has certainly been a lot of those.
So I am doing good during the chaos, now is a good time to save money before we can live our lives to the full again so I am happy to do that and also look to expand into other online businesses. Saving and learning is my current activity during this latest lockdown.
What do you see yourself doing in the next 5 years from here? How long will you trade football?
I will keep trading football until I can no longer make worthwhile money or I lose my edge. I have said if I have 4 losing months in a row I might call it a day since that means it is unsustainable. I came close during covid but that doesn’t quite count! ?
I know this isn’t what many want to hear but I don’t believe you should expect to be able to trade football profitably forever, always have a back up plan. If I am still doing it in 5 years then great, if it doesn’t work out I have other things to fall back on. For now it is working well though.
Probably the most secure thing anyone can do is build a business, so my next plan will be to look to sell my own product rather than dropship a product, you can make bigger profits this way but this is a work in progress. I have a strong passion for the products I am selling and I can see myself growing more there.
But there are so many possibilities out there
Any businesses where I can make money without being in one place is what I am interested in! (Unless it is Forex!)
Brilliant, I am loving the philosophy Josh.
So tell me about your most memorable match you traded?
Probably the Liverpool-Barcelona Champions League tie when Barca were 3-0 up on aggregate. I remember lots of the members did well on that and so did I. I approached it like a System X trade and made a nice 4 figure amount.
Then I think the next day? (all a blur now) I did the same on the Ajax Spurs match and pocketed another 4 figure profit.
This was memorable as I was going through a bad run at this point and doubting everything as usual but it just proved to me how these wins definitely DO come when you are patient.
What about your WORST mistake?
Nothing much stands out in particular but I did blow a few banks in the start. Usually upping my stakes trying to chase the big wins and going bust that way.
I can’t remember the match but I remember it being 2-2 at half time so I thought with 4 goals in the first half then there MUST be at least 1 goal to come.
So I layed the half time CS with the rest of my bank for like 1k after a really bad run. Somehow it ended 2-2!
Chasing losses never ends well!
Why do many go wrong or fail at football trading and what do you suggest to help them?
I still don’t feel like I am in a position to be giving advice, if I am still profitable in 5 years then maybe! Haha
But I can say what has worked for me so far.
Being in a good MENTAL place to start learning. Trying to rush and make money to quit your job won’t work, trust me!
Also, find the strategies that YOU are comfortable with using and stick to them. I followed others doing Lay The Draw and trying things like Fireball at first but they didn’t fit my style and personality.
I eventually found my fit but this won’t be the same for everyone. Do what you are comfortable with.
I would also say find the WORST part of yourself and cut it out. We all have demons, so find those and get rid of them. For me, it was that I hated my job and felt trapped, once I cut that out I became a different person. For others, it might be discipline, ego, fear, selfishness, insecurity,.
Find what it is and cut it out!
Many thanks for taking the time Josh!
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