Driving to Germany, Oh and no new trades! - December 20, 2010 by Harry

I can’t believe it’s only 5 days until Christmas. Fortunately we had a load of snow here at the weekend. I say fortunately because I decided to brave the winter weather on Saturday to finish my Christmas shopping. Most other, more sensible people, decided to stay at home. This was great news for me as town was half empty and I managed to get my shopping finished without fighting my way through the crowds. We still have food shopping to do, and I’m not looking forward to that but hey, we have to eat so I’ll just have to grin an bare it for an hour or two.


You may remember I mentioned last week that I was organising driving to Germany. Well as of the 4th of December 2010 it’s now a legal requirement to have winter or all season tyres fitted during the winter months to drive in Germany. I only found this out last week and I think I may have managed to get the last set of All season tyres in the UK. As it turns out it was a real stroke of luck with having the snow over the weekend. I got them fitted last Thursday and they are brilliant. My old tyres would’ve been slipping an sliding all over the place in the snow but these grip in and get the job done. I’d definitely recommend them to anyone. I doubt you’ll get any this year but start looking around October next year.


Anyway I’ve yet to mention anything about the topic of this blog, Spread betting. Well not much has been happening today. (Hence the story above). I though I may have the opportunity to move my stop in Punch Taverns over the weekend but unfortunately no such luck. So far today everything is not up to much. The FTSE was up around 30 point or so earlier but it looks like it’s going to close the day flat. No new trades, nothing is taking my fancy.


Thanks to everyone for participating in the forum and leaving comments over the weekend. Spread betting trader, as Offthelip has said, I don’t think you can trade using the old market maker platform if you open a new account. I think CMC are only taking new clients on there new platform, which for them obviously makes sense. I think from a new customer perspective it’s probably best to wait a while before opening an account with CMC. To be fair it has come on in leaps and bounds since I opened a new account with them in August. I personally think there is still a long way to go before it’s up to scratch. When I spoke with them on the phone there was no clear date for when the old platform will be stopped. I think if they decided to stop it too soon they would loose a lot of customers. The guy I spoke to basically said they will no longer be adding new features to the old market maker platform but they will be maintaining it for the near future. I’ll keep you posted as and when new features are added to the new CMC platform. They do have tighter spreads and lower margin requirements than the old platform but I don’t necessarily think this is enough to temp people across. I mean after all, what is the point of tighter spreads if you experience more slippage?


I’ll try and get some time to spend in the forum myself. I need to have a think about some possible solutions for trailing our stop. The trouble is knowing what to do for the best. Still even if we come up with a solution and then decide to modify it, that’s ok. It’s meant as a learning exercise anyway which is what we are all doing by participating.


Right that’s all for today. Hopefully more to report on the trading front tomorrow.


Until next time,
“May the markets be with you!”
Spread betting beginner

Trading Lloyds bank - December 16, 2010 by Harry

I’ve been busy with work yet again today but I did find a little time to research and made one new trade. It’s a super trend buy in Lloyds bank. Buy £1 per point at 69.164 with a stop set at 62. That now gives me a total of 9 £1 per point positions open. Not a massive amount but hey I’m happy enough with how things have been going recently and hopefully it’s a sign of things to come. Sure I’d love to trade more but to do that I need a bigger bank so maybe one day you’ll be reading this blog and I’ll be listing the numerous trades that have taken place that day. Until that becomes a reality I’m afraid you will have to put up with me trading the opportunities that I feel are right for me and fit all my trading criteria. Hopefully you can live with that.


I had a phone call from CMC markets today. A nice chap named Jamie called me to answer the various questions I had. I’ve listed them below as mini a questions and answer session with CMC markets.
Question: “What happens to my position in Northern Foods now they are merging?”
Answer: “The position will be closed out on the day the merger takes place. If I want to open a position in the newly merged company I will have to do this manually.”
I guess when you think about it this seems really obvious. Still it’s that question cleared up.
Question: “Why did I suffer slippage in the new CMC account and not the old CMC account?”
Answer: “The new CMC platform takes into account the volume of stock that is available when the trade is made. At the time my stop was triggered trading volumes were very low which is why I was filled at a worse price than my stop level. The old CMC Market Maker platform does not take volume into account when making the trade therefore I was actually filled at a better price than was available in the market place”


I did speak with him more, mostly about charting and asking why they didn’t hold off launching the new platform until had more features. He answered all my questions well and reassured me that more features were coming in the near future and that the back end of the new system is much better placed for constant improvements and enhancements. I think it was Big Al that said he was put off opening an account with them because of the limited number of instruments that are available. I think he said that they may be adding more instruments in the new year but I can’t remember for sure.


I’ll be keeping my new CMC account for a while longer yet to see how it progresses. The spread and margin requirements in the new account are certainly better than the old marker maker account which is definitely a plus. I’ll keep you posted with new developments from them as and when I learn about them.


Right that’s about all from me today. I think I’ve rattled on enough. I’m working on some new features with some new spread betting companies which I hope to bring to you shortly. So keep checking back for the latest additions.


Until next time,
“May the markets be with you!”
Spread betting beginner

Realising Profits - December 15, 2010 by Harry

My positions in F&C Asset management both stopped out today for an over all profit of £20. Not too bad considering I only initially risked £6ish on the original trade. Obviously these profits are not mega bucks but hopefully one day they will be.


The interesting thing is I suffered slippage yet again in my new CMC account and none in my Old CMC account. Alright it wasn’t a massive amount about 0.3 points but still. It does make me wonder quite what is going on. Hopefully I’ll find out soon enough. They tried to call me today but it rang off before I could answer. I was getting new tyres fitted for driving to Germany in the new year, which is a whole different story.


As it stands I have 7 £1 per point positions open. I happy enough with that until a new trading opportunity presents itself. I don’t really have much else to report today. Hopefully CMC will call me back and I will let you know the outcome of all the questions I have for them.


Until next time,
“May the markets be with you!”
Spread betting beginner

Persimmons Interim Dividend! - December 14, 2010 by Harry

With another day drawing to a close I have a little more time to write a more detailed post.


Persimmon are up to around 425. Woo hoo! Sadly it means nothing to me. As I expected my position stopped out. I’m not disappointed I still made over £50 on the trade, but it’s another lesson that I’ve learned the hard way. Both my positions stopped out at the open of the day. The interesting thing is one suffered slippage, but the other didn’t. What’s really fascinating is that they were with the same company. The first position was with my old CMC markets account and the second was with my new CMC markets account. The first (OLD) position stopped out at 405 as expected, the other stopped out at 401.79. So over 3 points slippage. That’s around 0.8% slippage. Quite a lot when you think about it. Oh and I still haven’t found out from them what’s going to happen with Northern Foods. I have to say I’m not that impressed with them. So why haven’t I moved? Well I said I’d give them until at least the end of the year before deciding and at the moment time is that tight I can’t be bothered with the hassle of with drawing the money and moving it. That said I may look to move part of it back to Tradefair or capital spreads.


I read some of the news for Persimmon and I probably could’ve avoided being stopped out. Apparently their Interim Dividend Payment Date was today. I’m assuming this explains the drop in price. I think from now on I will check each of my open positions for relevant news like this at the end of each week. If I had known about this I probably would’ve committed the ultimate sin of spread betting, lowered my stop loss. Only slightly though, to allow for any dip in price and not be whipsawed out of the trade. Still you live and learn. How I said I still made money from the trade so I haven’t done too bad.


My dimension data position stopped out today. From what I can gather because they were taken over a while ago, today was there last trading day. I was sold out of the position for a £1.40 profit which more than covers the financing charges(only just). Still better than a loss.


I’ve run some quick figures on my open positions list and I’m just about in profit on my closed positions. With the remaining open positions showing a locked in profit of around £20. Maybe this is the beginning of winning ways for me. I still have a very long way to go before I recouped all I’ve lost on my spread betting journey so far, but with time, patients and hard work hopefully I’ll get there. I certainly agree with the statement “Spread betting is a Hard way to make an Easy living”


As far as I’m aware there are still palaces left for my Exclusive reader offer with Capital Spreads. So for any one wanting to open an account with them you can find more information about this offer on my spread betting offers page.


Until next time,
“May the markets be with you!”
Spread betting beginner

A good month spread betting - December 2, 2010 by Harry

Sorry there was no post yesterday. I was swamped with work and when I’d finished I’d had enough of staring at a computer screen. You didn’t miss that much anyway. Obviously the FTSE had a good day up well over 100 points, I just wish I could say the same for my positions.


Most of them were up so I was happy, it would’ve been nice if they’d all risen a little more but hey that’s life. As long as they are going up (if there buys of course) I’m happy. I have not made a new trade for a while and I keep checking but nothing is coming up. I did have my eye on Marstons as it had pulled back close to the super trend stop out but it has risen well so far today and I think I’ve missed the boat. Still never mind another opportunity will be along shortly.


I received my monthly statement from CMC yesterday and I’ve decided to share it with you. Those of you that have an old CMC account will be familiar with the format. If you only have a new CMC account then you probably have never seen it before. Why am I adding it to the site. Well as you know I post details of my trades and this is the proof that they are not a work of fiction. They are all genuine trades. Obviously I’ve removed the important details from the statement like, Full name, Address & account number but all the rest is genuine.


I must point out that this statement doesn’t list all the trades that I make. I trade across several different spread betting accounts and this is just one of them. I also trade with Capital spreads, Tradefair, New CMC markets and TDWaterhouse(Formerly E*Trade). As you will see I don’t trade with a massive amount of funds. I never have. It’s actually a lot less now than it was this time last year. That said I do seem to have possibly found my winning way. If you do the maths on this account it’s up nearly 20% this month. If I could continue at that pace I’d be very happy. That said I’m still down 70% or so since I started spread betting back in February 2009 so although 20% up in one month sounds great if you look at it related to the funds I started with it’s around 3.4% up. Still if I could manage 3.4% a month I’d be very happy.


How I said this is only one account. I have my Debenhams , F&C asset management pyramid , Taylor whimpey, Yell and Dimension Data positions open in various other accounts. I doubt I’ll make a regular thing of sharing my monthly statements mainly because of the extra time aspect involved and if CMC do stop there market maker accounts in new year then the nice HTML format statements will stop and It will take me even longer to add them to the site. That said I’ll see how it goes at the end of the month, but I’m making no promises.


With being busy I’ve not had the time to respond to people over on the forum. I’ll try and get round to that at some point today or this evening. Thanks again to all involved with the new spread betting strategy I think it’s turning out to be an interesting exercise for all involved.


Until next time,
“May the markets be with you!”
Spread betting beginner