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Finance Blog: Is There Any Science in Financial Trading?
Financial spread betting has potential for high gains, but why are people generally so unsuccessful at it?

Trading Diary October 2015

1/10/15:The market rise continued, but I was busy most of the day, so I didn't trade. Once the American market opened, the FTSE started decreasing. There were many opportunities in retrospect for profitable trading, but it was only late in the afternoon that I went ahead. I went short at about 3 pm at 6085 and closed 5 minutes later at 6072 for a chunky profit of £26. Afterwards, the market surged back upwards and even breached 6100 again. It would have been nice to have gone short then, but the opportunity passed. By the close of the american market the FTSE had returned to about 6100. This is close to the multi-day moving average so the market is somewhat unpredictable at the moment.

2/10/15:I made two trades in the morning. During the market opening, the FTSE started going up, so I went long at 6112. I closed 5 min later when it looked as if the rise was going into reverse, and picked up a profit of £15. That turned out to be a mistake because after some hesitation the rise in the FTSE continued. I went long again a little later at 6139 but I caught the top of the wave and the FTSE went into decline. Fearing a significant loss I closed £11 in the red, which was a bit silly as the market continued its rise on and off for most of the day. I was out of action for most of the day and it was only late in the day that I realised my mistake in not keeping my trade running for the whole day. I didn't want a position open at the weekend, so I have had to let that go. Overall, with limited trading over the last 2 weeks, I have managed to gain £215.

7/10/15:I have been busy and unable to trade for the last few days. During that period, the FTSE has been generally increasing, but is now very near the multi-day upper Bollinger band. for the moment at least, this is likely to be a limit in the upward direction, so the market may lack direction for a few days, which would take us to the weekend. So, I think I'm now restricted to short timescale trades.

In the morning, the FTSE was rising still and just started to tick up just around 7 am, so I went long at 6338.5. It took a while, but after about 20 min, there was an upwards surge which significantly increased the profit on the trade, so I closed at 6352.5 for a profit of £28. The rise continued for a while, but then retreated only to reverse again. The FTSE is currently around 6360 so the multi-day upward trend may yet be intact. Just as I was writing, the market showed further signs of going up, so I went long at 6370, closing 5 min later for a profit of £29. I'm sure there's more available, but I may just be content for the profit for the day so far of £57......

Once the US market opened, Wall Street rose significantly, taking the FTSE with it. I went long at 6378.3 and the market gradually went up. The profit was starting to look significant after a while, so I closed at 6388.8 for a profit of £21. that was a bit early, really, as the market retraced its steps for a while before surging upwards to 6397. By late afternoon, a downward trend had set in but I missed the trading chances as I was ocupied elsewhere. Total profit for the day was £78: a good return to the "day job" after two weeks holiday in Madeira!

My account is now back over £1700, close to the long term linear trend. However, that trend, equivalent to less than £75 per month includes a period when I was learning the process, as well as some questionable activities during August and September. If I can stay on the straight and narrow, returns of more like £100 per week should be easily possible with relatively low risk (£2 per pt on the FTSE). By increasing the risk, a higher profit should be attainable, but that is some way ahead at this time. My long-term goal is £1000 per month, but we'll see....

8/10/15:The FTSE dropped overnight, but it wasn't clear whether the trend would continue much longer. Accordingly, when the downward trend appeared to stop, I went long at 6322 at about 7.30 am. Unfortunately, after a little while the downward trend resumed, so I closed with a loss of £15. That proved to be a mistake because once the main market opened, the FTSE recovered again. Accordingly, I went long again at 6320 just after the market opened. It was a bit of a bumpy ride, but I was able to close with a decent profit of £19, which wiped out my earlier loss. Thereafter, the FTSE went through a period of indecisiveness. I went long again at 6322.5 at about 9.30am, but nothing much was happening, so I was happy enough to close near break even. After that, the market dropped 10 points or so but the MACD histograms suggested a recovery was on the way by about 10 am, so I went long for a fourth time in the morning at 6312.5. I closed 10 min later for a profit on the trade of £30. I could have waited longer but at the time the market still seemed a bit skittish, so it was good to bank a nice profit. The upward trend has now continued, but the multi-day MACD histograms suggest that a downward movement in the FTSE will start to occur sooner or later, so I may start to look for opportunities to go short. Profit for the morning was £37.

Soon after the US market opened, it looked like the FTSE was on the way down. I got ahead of myself somewhat by going short at 6356. The downward trend was short lived and the market started to pick up again so I closed for a loss of £28, although with more care I might have emerged with less egg on my face. It now looks as if the upward trend in the FTSE may last a little longer.

9/10/15:The FTSE rose overnight and by 6.30 am or so, it was starting to look as if the trend was reversing, as given by the 100 minute moving average. I took out three shorts at different times from 7.30 am to 9 am, opening at 6433, 6416.5 and 6401.5, but I didn't time the trades particularly well, closing at 6427.5, 6412.5 and 6401 for a net profit of £20. The FTSE has since returned to the 6430 level but the multi-day MACD histograms seem to have peaked, so the future direction, is still looking to be down, but perhaps not today.

Late morning and early afternoon, the FTSE continued to rise on and off. At about 11.30 am, the market appeared to have peaked, so I went short at 6445.5. Unfortunately, it stalled there, so I lost confidence and closed for a small profit. By 2 pm, the market was clearly dropping, as indicated by the 100 min moving average and so I went short at 6433. I closed just before 2.30 pm with a nice profit of £18 and I decided to call it a day at that. If I had held either short running, I would now be sitting on a much bigger profit. I didn't want my last trade to be running beyond 2.30 pm, as the US market opens then, and fluctuations in the opening prices can cause random effects on the FTSE. Overall, I'm happy with the day's trades which netted a total of £42. It would now appear that the FTSE is heading down on the multi-day timescale, but with the weekend intervening it could easily go the other way.

12/10/15:With the Columbus day holiday in the USA today, markets were subdued. As I've mentioned before, UK traders seem incapable of working without the Americans holding their hands. In the multi-day charts, the MACD histograms suggest that a decrease is on the way. Last night I went short of the FTSE at 6395, but initially the market moved against me and at one time I was almost £40 down. when the UK markets opened there was a large drop in the FTSE and at one point my position was over £25 up. Unfortunately, I was holding on for rather more and ended up losing almost my entire profit. I regretted closing my position as the market was very volatile early on, and it looked as if the FTSE was dropping again. So I went short a second time. I ended up closing with a £10 loss only to see the markets reverse again. I opened up a third short but managed only a tiny profit of £2. Not a very well judged sequence of trades, but the morning session seemed to lack direction in the end. I was busy for the rest of the day, so I didn't open any new trades. I should have just kept my original short open, as I might have closed it with a £50; profit. Instead I made a small loss.

13/10/15:My computer malfunctioned yesterday: the screen went dark. I traded a little bit, going long early in the morning and a bit later going short once the downward trend had become established shortly after the market opened. I picked up £12 in total, but I could hardly see what I was doing, so I gave up and took my computer for repair. It seems that a replacement screen is needed.

14/10/15:By the afternoon, my computer was ready for collection so I was up and running again by the market close. Unfortunatey, this looks too late now to take much advantage of the FTSE drop that I thought was coming a few days ago.

15/10/15:The multi-day analysis suggested that further falls in the FTSE are possible. When I saw that the markets had apparently peaked near 6300, I went short at 6297.5 just before 7 am. However, this turned out to be a mistake as the FTSE gradually rose. I closed with a loss of £28.60. Later the market reversed again, and I went short for a second time at 6312.5. Timing was not optimal and I could have made a lot more than the marginal profit that I settled on. I might have let the position run longer as by the time the main market opened, a downward trajectory seemed to be occurring. I opened a short at 6308.8, but the downward trend was shortlived, and I made a £15 loss. finally, the market direction seemed to become established at about 8.30 am, but that too was short lived. I went long at 6332.5 and closed before any damage was done! Loss for the morning so far has been £36 and the FTSE seemes to have settled near 6320. This may be one of those days when Technical analysis is less reliable --- perhaps because of lack of market direction or low volumes. Those seem to be the days I lose money and if I'm not very careful, the losses just build up all day. In any case, I'm travelling to Plymouth later today so I may give it a miss for the rest of the day.

Previous Months' Accounts

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