5 Minutes With A Trader: Nicola Trader

The whole point of this section is to give a broad coverage of interviews from traders at all different levels. I interviewed Nicola who I know through Twitter (which is how I have come to

The whole point of this section is to give a broad coverage of interviews from traders at all different levels. I interviewed Nicola who I know through Twitter (which is how I have come to know a lot of traders).

Nicola trades part-time alongside his job which, due to the nature of his work has to keep his identity private through social media. He is extremely friendly and helpful on his feed, giving people positive words along the way.

Although he trades only part time, he manages to more or less match his full-time salary on a monthly basis.

Please give a brief introduction to yourself

My name is Nicola and I am Italian. My normal job is in Marketing and Sales. I do love sports and travelling. I lived in different part of the worlds – right now I am in London which is definitely my favourite city. Oh and I speak 3 languages.

My favourites hobbies are listening to music, watching football games and going out with friends (even with trading there is not lot of free time).

What was your first introduction to trading, be it financial or sports orientated?

I originally wanted to find a good trader in the financial markets to mentor me. I realised it was hard for me to learn about financial so I thought about finding someone that is a good trader with the view to give them some money to invest. During this research I found that some companies had corporate accounts for betting with Asian bookmakers – this was the beginning of everything. I was shocked, but when I realised it was true I started to get interested in sports betting.

Starting with the same idea for financials, I found some good tipsters. While using some of them I was immediately able to get some money. I bought a laptop (999 Euro) after few months and started to get the confidence that was possible to make money with betting.

When I realised that it is hard to find a tipster that makes profit in the long term, I started to study betting myself, thinking that if they make money, I can do as well.

During my this process of learning I discovered Belfair around 2 years ago and the fact that was possible to do trading on sports. Before this I had no idea about it.

How long have you been trading and how long did it take from first hearing what trading was to giving it a go yourself?

After discovering sports trading I immediately realised that it would take too long to test a strategy and make sure that it works long run. The idea was to find a mentor. Very lucky, I meet and Italian that was betting full time and he was willing to teach me about betting and trading. That was a real help. Online you find all kinds of strategies but nobody tells you what stats you need to look for in order to find value.

The mentoring has been very helpful. But even with a mentor, you need to find your own strategy that suits your own style according to your psychology.

After one year with help of mentoring (plus reading blogs, forums and chats with other traders) I have been able profit from football trading.

After the first year I started with horse racing as well. This also took me a year to be in profit. Harder than football because you need to learn all by yourself. Some videos on YouTube helps.

After 2 year of trading, I don’t make enough for wages. However I come close every month.

When you first tried trading, was it something you instantly knew you would be interested in, or did that feeling grow on you over time?

When I first started, the idea was to make a small second income. I really had no idea that it was possible to make lot of money. So I was thinking ‘I do like football and I watch it every weekend, if I can make 400 euro a month I will be happy’.

I then started to discover blogs and sites from traders like Paulo Rebelo, Peter Webb, Caan Berry which is when I realised that it was possible to make lot of money from trading.

I had problems with lack of discipline and revenge trading. However my paper trading was always very good. I decided to take it seriously and invest many (and I say again many) hours testing strategies, recording videos of my trading, analysing data, watching videos and reading blogs.

What are your preferred trading sports and why?

I think trading sports is much easier than Financial as you have so much information for free. For example, you know everything about injury, motivation – you can watch the game live and see what is happening. In financial you have no idea about that companies.

I do personally think that I can do financial as well but only for long term investment and that means keeping money locked in an investment even for a few months. If you think instead in horse racing every 10 minutes you can start again and invest again the same money – that is a huge advantage from my point of view.

Have those always been your preferred choice or have you dabbled with various markets and found these best suit your personality traits?

I did test all the strategies you can find online for football. When I say all I mean all. After almost a year of trading I did download my P&L in a spreadsheet and I did analyse the strategy I was profitable and where I was losing money.

I found that I was very good on first half & second half goal markets & laying the correct score. My strike rate for lay 0-0 correct score in second half was really high. So I did decide to focus only on those kind of bets.

On the other hand, I was very bad on match odds – a market that I do not touch anymore. I added over time pre-match trading on match odds and correct score markets. In most of the strategies I use, I lay first. I discovered that from the psychology point of view I prefer to lay rather than back. So even for horse racing I am always looking for horse that drift so I can do a lay to back pre-race.

How have you found your progression within the markets from when you first started out to where you are now? Has it been a struggle throughout or are there certain aspects which you found relatively easy?

When you start you focus on the strategy. You missed the fact that you need to focus on yourself. You are the only one responsible for your results. When you start to realise that and you start to be disciplined and thinking in long term the result will change completely. The real change for me has been in my mind set. I always trade the market the same way, but now I am disciplined. This means I do have a plan and some rules and I do follow them. In additional I am not obsessed to get results in a short period of time. I try to see results for the next 3 years rather than the daily results.

I think that the real key for trading is this: before you start to study trading, you need to start studying yourself / how you react in certain scenario / how you can improve your self-control / your attitude to risk. This can be a great help for trading. If I have a look at my paper trading since I started will not be very different than the way I trade today. But if I see the way I was thinking back then to how I do now, I know that has changed completely.

What one area do you feel you need to improve on that you feel will take your trading to the next level and how will you look to achieve that?

Discipline is always work in progress. My strategies are all based on the fact that some scenarios need to happen in the market, so it is always about waiting for the right opportunities. Sometimes it is very frustrating spending many hours alone in front of a screen and the mistakes are just around the corner. So for me stick to a plan and avoid any unplanned trades is the real key.

In order to improve I try to write some rule on a notebook and try to read before start trading. Sometimes I do meditation, visualising myself respecting the rules of my trades.

Every trader has different ways of ensuring that their bank is protected and grown, whether it be yoga, staying hydrated to even a beer to help them relax. Do you have any rituals in order to ensure you maximise your productivity in the markets?

Usually after a loss I do have a long walk. Like to go out in the park and think about the mistakes I have done. Prefer to stay away from my PC as I know that the willingness to recover can be dangerous. Sometimes after a losing run I do start to have doubt about my strategies so I do go back on the old P&L and confirm to myself it has been a profitable strategy. With horse racing if I see that I am not performing well, sometimes I trade a couple of races only and then stop, waiting for a better day.  Write down a trade and the reason why I am doing the trade is helpful as well.

Finally, time to pass on the inspiration. What websites, mentors, books, people have helped you along in your trading journey that you would recommend other newbies should go and check out?

For newbies, remember that you are the key to succeed in trading before going to look for help on strategies, tips, etc. Please make sure you know yourself, why you are trading, what is your reaction if something happens and are you disciplined! You will find many solutions by just analysing yourself first.

In additional you can follow: Betangel forum/twitter/YouTube, the badger videos on youtube for horse racing, Paulo Rebelo website (onlinebettingacademy.com), goalprofits.com (you need to pay for it but there is a chat services where you will learn a lot from other traders, inplaytrading.com (same as goalprofits.com), CaanBerry twitter/YouTube.

Book that I suggest you read:

Trading in the zone – Mark Douglas

Market Wizards – Jack D. Schwager

Sport trading on Betfair – Wayne Bailey

You can find me on twitter @sportstraderit and check the people I follow. They are all good sports trader and you can learn a lot from them. Most important they are all willing to help if you have any questions.

Happy to say that many of my followers contacted me to thank me because they started making profit after following some of the strategies I tweet.



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