KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid

One of the first lectures I remember from my days at university was a tutorial in which the professor introduced me to the KISS principle.

My professor's Canadian accent still resonates around my skull. "Keep It Simple Stupid, he said and I have never forgotten those four words.

Essentially, the more complicated you make a trading or betting rule the less it gets used and the more chance it has of failing or not doing what you expect it to because of variance.

Occam's razor states that something should be as simple as possible but no more so. Start with a simple hypothesis and test its validity. If it doesn't work then forget it.

Build upon your learning, step-by-step and introduce new knowledge incrementally. Don't assume you can crack any problem in one go.

I have been working on betting markets since I was a child. Numbers have always fascinated me. Now, in my forties, I am still learning new things.

Each day I try to go to bed having learned one new thing. I set my self goals and create simple tasks to get me closer to those goals. There is no legal way to get rich quick. Even a bankster gets caught, eventually.

I have a stack of scrap paper on my desk and I am constantly doodling ideas. I test those ideas statistically and programatically such as with Monte Carlo methods.

Systems are tried in "practice mode" and when I am certain that I have an edge then I trade with that new system, keeping things as simple as possible.

Markets move fast and simplicity gets you in and out of the market with a profit or a small loss. Over-thinking leads to panic and big losses. Your research needs to be systematic and your order execution too.

A simple strategy will 'fire' more often than a complex one and so there will be more data to test it with. My best trading strategies are amazingly simple and so they fire many times a day and create a lot of data to evaluate. I can then set my profit taking and stop loss levels correctly and lock in a nice edge.

Keep It Simple Stupid!