Wednesday, 4 June 2008


The Betfair forum frequently features posts asking "should I go full-time?" and seeking advice. Quite often, these posts are from people who signed up to Betfair in the last few months. Possibly they have got lucky and think their luck will last for ever, or they have a system that has performed well, but more likely they are looking to impress with the implication that by asking the question, they are Mr. Big Shot. Anyway, here are some of my thoughts on the subject.

First off, why trade full-time? Why not trade evenings and weekends? There are plenty of trading opportunities, and a full-time job is not something to give up in a hurry. A job is not just about the paycheck - there are benefits and retirement income to think of, plus most jobs are at least somewhat social in part, and of course most people will be earning a lot more in the future once they have put in the hours (or years).

Why does it matter what other people do? If you have an edge, then you will be able to make trading pay. If you don't, then you are gambling, and the odds will catch up with you sooner or later. Anyone seriously considering full-time trading should be aware that systems don't always work for ever. The market is always changing and edges can disappear overnight. It would be a downer to quit your job on a Friday, start trading full-time on Monday only to find that your system no longer worked. A good trader would need to be able to adapt quickly and have some kind of a backup plan.

For sure, some people do make trading pay, at least for a while, but it is not an easy way to earn a living. I trade part-time, and over the last two years have matched my regular income, but it is stressful enough doing it as a hobby. I can't imagine how stressful it would be if it were my only income source.

I know one guy (see The Experiment listed under other blogs) requested his hours be reduced so that he could spend more time trading, and that might be a reasonable option, but in general, until you have a solid few years of profitable trading behind you, I would be very hesitant to say that full-time was the way to go. There's plenty to be made part-time.


Anonymous said...

Good Stuff Cassini.

I wrote this before I read yours.

Graeme Dand said...

Hi Cassini.

Been too long since I last commented on here mate!

Sorry to read that last month was a bad month for you. I'm sure you'll get it back sooner or later, so no worries there!

I've been reading a fair few blogs recently concerning the subject of full-time trading. What I would say is that I would never reccomend to anyone that they should reduce their hours at work or think seriously about full-time trading until they have a proven strategy on Betfair that has allowed them to make a decent income for a while.

I tried my best to reduce my hours at work and start trading with only 1 month of Betfair experience and I regret it now to some extent. I've now returned to work full-time and trading the odd race at night and trading on a Saturday and I'm managing to earn a decent income, so I tried to do too much too soon.

If things continue as they are, next March I'll think about reducing my hours again and I fancy I'll do quite well with 12 months experience behind me.

Time will tell though....

Cassini said...

Hi Graeme, thanks for the comments. I've been reading your blog regularly and it seems you are doing very nicely for yourself. Congrats, but don't get carried away with it. Yes, last month was bad for me, but I was overdue a losing month, so just as long as it turns around in June I'll be ok. I'm still up on the year so I try to look at the big picture.