Distractions while trading: Things you should know

Betfair Trading

Distractions while trading

The reason I came up with this post today was because of someone in Steve Howe’s skype room.

I have his permission and have copied and pasted some of his message so you get the idea:

“Been doing ok since Steve’s course, trading with a £500 bank. Seeing things a lot clearer than I had pre course. Losses being kept to a minimum, still too premature when taking greens but getting a lot of time in front of the screen.

Thursday I’m in the zone and in a trade 2 minutes before the off when the phone goes. I stupidly answer it, and it’s the father in law who is wanting to moan about something or other that I lend a sympathetic ear to. Before I know it I’m £45 in a red before I can do anything. Not too bad you might say.”

Lesson not learnt from above……?

“Friday I’ve got the whole day to trade but the missus has some other new mums round at ours (we’ve got a 7 week old baby), with their kids. I’m in a separate room so it’s not too much bother and I’ve made a small profit coming into the end of the day which I’m pleased with. As I’m trading my last race of the day another visitor arrives, one of the new dads. The missus comes in with him, just as a position goes against me and I’m £100 red before you know it.

I close that trade then try to recover my position with a new trade on the 2nd fav who is coming in (all while trying to talk to the new dad who has just arrived). It’s a 5 furlong sprint that goes in play (I haven’t done Take SP). The price drifts in play immediately as the horse is slow out the stalls and to get to the point I end up with a £372.00 loss on the trade, putting me well down for the day.

I was that stunned I couldn’t say anything but had to make an excuse and sit in the toilet for 10 minutes.”

Distractions: Be Careful When Trading


You have to feel for this person but, you know what…….most of us have been there. It’s part of the learning curve.

Putting this out for everyone to see in one of the Skype rooms takes guts. So fair play to this person. A few of us have responded as that’s what the rooms are for. To help each other out.

This is Steve Howe’s reply:

The positive is, you have been in control, doing the right things. The bad things that happened are easily rectified, the hardest part is when you lose and don’t know why. Make a rule: If this happens again, close the trade and then do what you need to do.

Wise words there from Steve. 

Another members reply:

Pete – we have all been there and its really tough. I had a similar issue when a courier turned up at the door…still haunts me. Now I don’t take any calls, or anything at all when trading – in fact I even send the dog out of the room!

Just knowing that you are not the only one to make mistakes helps an awful lot.

It’s not nice reading stories like this, but knowing you can relate and you have been in the same situation as so many others gives you hope.

It’s an expensive lesson that most of us have to learn. Like the saying goes “you either WIN or you LEARN.”

Distractions while trading can lead to financial ruin. It’s something you really have to take seriously.


Tips to help


Turn off all distractions

Your phone is the biggest distraction while trading. Twitter, Facebook, any social media is a distraction. You don’t need it while you are trading. I have Skype on that’s it, but that is part of my trading, it’s a help not a hindrance.

Set a time for trading

With afternoon and evening racing on in the summer, the days are very long. It’s impossible to stay focused from say 1:30pm to 9:00pm.

Set a time that you are going to trade. And in that time don’t get up to answer the door, don’t use your phone, play games etc stay focused in the time you set for trading. Be that just 1 hour or 2 it doesn’t matter. Your ability to stay focused on one single thing is limited. 

Keep hydrated

Keep a bottle of water with you on your trading desk. I’m not that keen on plain water so I put a slice of lemon in the bottle. That does the trick.

You will get hungry or thirsty while you trade so having a bottle water and a healthy snack with you, saves you getting up and then getting distracted with other things.


Do you have any tips to help limit distractions? Share them with the rest of the community by commenting below! ?



4 Replies to “Distractions while trading: Things you should know”

  1. You have to be ruthless with your trading time. If I need or have to do something, even if it’s making a cup of tea, I simply won’t even look at the market. It’s normally pre planned though, in that when you have an overview of the day ahead, you’d usually work out which markets wouldn’t be of interest due to maybe liquidity, type of race, etc. If you’re serious about doing well, you have to treat it seriously in all aspects. Only my personal opinion of course.

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