20/21: Setting the Goalposts

With GW1 out of the way, we’ve been able to scratch the SportStack itch a little. Both of us can admit to having overtraded a little this weekend, and fortunately we’ve come away in the green. Now though, it’s time to get down to business.

Here we want to lay out some guidelines to keep to as we trade throughout the season. The aim is to maximise profit AND enjoyment, and fortunately the two go hand-in-hand. While we have agreed on each point below, we have each added our own remarks. As our trading journals illustrated, we’ve had quite different journeys so far on SportStack! We’ve written this as advice for ourselves and wanted to share it in case others feel they can learn from it too.

Scale intelligently

While the two of us are trading on quite different scales at the moment, we are both looking to scale up as the season evolves. Traders on all platforms tend to run into trouble when scaling up – the bigger numbers on the screen distort their decision-making and force errors. To counter this, a staking plan that involves allocating a fixed percentage of your balance to each trade should work well. It also helps to focus on the fundamentals of the trade first, and that can tell you how much risk to take.

Dave: I’m currently risking 5% of my balance on a trade as standard, but I am looking to nudge this a little higher before I begin depositing more.

Jay: I generally, don’t use a % plan, I tend to use 300 shares as a base point, as that’s what I’m comfortable with. This does tend to come in around 10-15% of the balance currently.

Don’t be afraid to double down

This somewhat goes in hand with the point above. Having a staking plan is important, and part of that plan should be to allocate more money when you see value. You may have spotted a trade before kick-off, and it looks to be playing out to perfection. That doesn’t make it too late. It skews the risk-reward a little less in your favour, but you have confirmation in front of your eyes of what you originally thought.

We must stress, there is a balance to be found here. Don’t let FOMO or regret push you into a trade, but don’t assume it’s too late to add more risk. If your trade is already in profit, you’ve got a cushion there and proof of it.

Dave: I’ve taken a few trades in-play on this basis lately and they have mostly worked very well. If I see one working out and like the way it looks, I’ll be trying to squeeze more out of it.

Jay: In-play is the only way. I didn’t quite double down on Salah in play (started with 300 & bought another 200 with 10 to go when his price was 5p above his payout) but this proved to work very well! Doubling down on a short when they start well can also work – but again, as always be mindful that doubling down, potentially doubles risk! (also doubles reward too)

Be selective

The world won’t end if you don’t trade a match. There isn’t always value to be found. Sure, it’s fun to take something on so you have a stake in a game – if you’re going to do that, size your bet accordingly. Save the real money for the trades that you think will do well.

Dave: I can’t really add much here; I over-traded the Champions League final in a big way and it cost me a little. Managing a lot of positions is difficult – you can’t assess four trades as well as you can assess one.

Jay: I normally make maximum 3 trades pre kick off – after that, anything that screams out in-play I can trade on. This likely won’t change during the season, as I’ve tried more, and it was a little too much to manage.

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