Review of 2016

The year was a shock to those who backed the favourites in the two big political events of the year, thus demonstrating that nothing is ever "nailed on". I suggested a hedge position for both events should the non-favourites win, which they did and overall the hedge proved profitable. The world is ever more a chaotic place and year by year those who wish to control us, in all aspects of life, find it harder to do so.

The standout book of 2016 is Squares & Sharps, Suckers & Sharks by Joseph Buchdahl. The book should be read by many more than who appear to be reading it. Maybe people don't like to be told how much hard work is required to be successful and prefer their own delusions to the harsh reality. Too many beginner traders enter the exchanges following a viewing of Wall Street or The Wolf of Wall Street and imagine a lifestyle they wish to emulate. Jordan Belfort, really?

Having missed the chance to work in the financial markets (usually through a lack of ability and/or qualifications) some beginners imagine that sports trading will provide them with riches without the hard work. Buchdahl shows in S&S, S&S that whilst most don't make a profit, those that do, put in a lot of hard work and are unlikely to hand their edge on a plate to others. I recommend that you read the book before going any further.

Betfair unveiled streaming this year, whereby their data is pushed to client software rather than being requested. Streaming is a two-edged sword. For manual traders it is more noise and chaos with which to confound and confuse. The only traders who will make best use of streaming will be the algo-bots, able to process and act upon those millisecond updates. Algorithmic trading is the future of sports trading as it is already in financial trading.

Other news emanating from Betfair concerned the premium charge and the differing commission rates some people are paying. Cassini is handling that news more than adequately so I will leave that to him. I won't be discussing my commission rate because it is an integral part of my trading algorithms. Make of that what you will.

Cassini still shines amongst the sports trading websites. I think I'll start calling him the Teflon Don from now on as nothing will stick to him. Like myself, Cassini is never one to shy away from controversial statements but he never seems to get the flak that I get. Certainly, he doesn't get any offers of a chat from The Management for speaking out of line. Obviously, I am not as charismatic as Cassini. However, one characteristic we do share is that we never attract sycophants and fan boys. We don't need anyone to huddle around us when we are feeling a little sensitive.

I can't remember when I first discovered Trader247 but his output is worth reading. His articles are not detailed but he has mentioned to me that he may increase his content following a career change. We shall see. (keywords - pull, finger and out.) Trader247 is the kind of slow and steady algo-bot trader that I want to see more of. Some have poked fun at his small returns and don't appreciate the fact that he is consistently profitable.

If Trader247 was a quant in the financial markets, his manager would be throwing a huge bonus at him, such is Trader247's skill at picking up pennies in front of a steamroller as effectively as any high-frequency trading firm. Only the paucity of volume and market capacity prevents Trader247 from earning more. He has found his technical trading niche and I applaud him for that. I doubt his detractors make a single penny.

Advanced Cymatic Trader is still my software recommendation to those manual traders who have yet to make the jump to algo-trading. The software is as good as any other on the market and far cheaper. Created by Gavin Porter - a fellow computer scientist with a financial market background - the software gives sports traders exactly what they need. ACT was first to offer Position in Queue. Gavin leads where others follow.

For myself, the year has been a good one, with profitable algorithms developed. My new book, Betfair Trading Techniques, has proved popular. You will not find any of my strategies in the book. All I give is a solid foundation on which to research your own algorithmic trading strategies, pointing out the well-worn tracks and showing new avenues that may prove more profitable. I also provide a few tools to aid you in the search for edge.

Some manual traders and their fan boys castigate me for writing as many as 174 articles in the space of 6 years. How does an algo-trader find the time to write an article in 10 minutes, once every 12 days? Many of my detractors write many more articles in a single year and appear unable to leave off Twitter for as much as five minutes with their incessant babble. How do manual traders make any profit at all if they are glued to a screen writing guff on Twitter all day long?

This website gets more page views per day than most of its ilk so I must be doing something right. Curiously, outside of the UK the majority of my readers are from Russia and the United States, which are not countries I would immediately associate with the exchange trading of sports. Thanks to Google Translate I can read what my Russian cousins are saying. All good, I am happy to say. I have always thought that the Russians are a highly educated and intellectual people. Contact me for speaking engagements. I hear Saint Petersberg is nice.

The year 2017 will see me releasing more research. Again, no edge given, just tools for readers to do with as they please. My desire is to flood the exchanges with a new breed of algorithmic bot trader, who may have new ideas and new ways of looking at the trading problem and will take trading to the logical conclusion that I, Buchdahl and others have come to. Fuddy-duddies pushing tired old manual trading techniques can expect to be hounded again, throughout the year.

Predictions? Andy Murray to retain his number one position in the rankings and to win the French Open. With cycling's Grand Tours reducing team sizes to eight riders and Nairo Quintana still improving I think he could well win the Tour de France in 2017. And, more manual traders will turn to algorithmic trading in 2017 to avoid emotional, tired, loss-chasing, miss-timed trades and to take advantage of speed of data acquisition, processing and trading thus freeing up more time to enjoy life away from their monitor screens.

"Where could you get money that you don't give back? Let's go on with the show!"

(Ethel Merman - and in photo)

2 comments:

  1. Hello James, thanks for this wonderful blog and diving into the world of professional Betfair trading.
    I'm one of your Russian readers and would like to know whether there's a chance to buy both of your books in electronic version?
    Because ordering from Amazon is really tough for Russian customers because of possible shipping issues. Shipping could be very very long, it could last even several months or even the parcel could be lost.

    For example, I've bought Kindle version of Wayne Bailey's book after your review and enjoyed reading it.
    Just curious if it would be possible to buy Kindle versions of your books.

    Thanks in advance!

    Sincerely,
    Ilya.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Ilya and to all my Russian readers.

      I am sorry but as with Programming for Betfair there will be no eBook.

      The book comes in a large format that aids reading the code but makes creating an eBook impossible.

      There must be an opportunity there for an entrepreneurial Russian to buy the books in bulk and then deliver them to Russian customers.

      Maybe using a Russian returning home from working in Western Europe to bring as many books as they can carry.

      Good for me. Good for you.

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