Spread Bet Professionally: It's Not Fun And Games

Spread betting can be great fun, but it has to be hard work. New traders especially can tend to get easily entangled in the novelty and adrenaline of being engaged in the financial markets, and it can be a exciting and exhilarating way to pass the time. But spread betting as a financial trading tool is so much more important and valuable than that, and unlike gambling, presents viable, credible opportunities for risk to be controlled and managed with a view to generating returns over the long term. When you're engaged in trading the markets, there are a number of factors you should bear in mind to distinguish yourself from 'leisure traders', and to make the most of what the markets have to offer.

Be Ruthless

Being serious about spread betting means being absolutely ruthless, in a calculated, measured way, in order to extract the most from every position. That means sometimes taking non-glamorous positions, or exposing yourself to uncomfortable markets, if that's where the opportunities reside. Sometimes it means holding positions open for longer than you naturally feel comfortable with, or chopping well-researched but losing positions as soon as they start costing you money to keep a tight grip on your portfolio. If you want to succeed, it's important that you treat each opportunity as a professional, with the hunger and drive for a profit whenever possible. The more ruthless you are in position management, the better the results you can expect.

Don't Gamble

The most infuriating bad habit of new traders from the professionals' perspective is gambling. Gambling in this context can be considered to be trading without enough research to make an informed decision. Even if the odd position comes up positively, gambling with financial spread betting is crazy. For anyone that wants to lose their investment capital, gambling is one of the quickest ways to go about it, effectively stabbing blind at the markets in the hope of a profitable position.

As an alternative, trade on measured logic and reasoned research. It might not sound instantly as fun, but it is a whole lot more satisfying to research, identify and profit from your own hard work, rather than hitting and hoping for the best. Indeed, gamblers also expose themselves to significant downside risks, which are far better controlled through a managed approach to the markets.

Research Every Position

Along a similar vein, you need to research every single position and market you think you might trade before risking a penny of your capital. Spread betting may be enjoyable, but that isn't its primary focus - you need to put work and effort into every position you trade in order to make sure you're making the best of every pound risked. Read current affairs, research the markets and look at the graphical pricing data to establish trend directions and whether there are any obvious opportunities in waiting, before taking your exposure to any market. This will help ensure that the trades you do place will be the best thought-out, and the most likely to succeed with all other things being equal.

Guard Your Capital With Your Life

Unlike gambling in an online casino, where you may be happy to lose substantial amounts of your capital in the hope you'll eventually recover it, the approach to capital management for successful spread bettors has to be different. It has to be much more guarded, and traders should try to guarantee the integrity and safety of their capital as far as possible on an ongoing basis. Lost capital is not just a few pounds down in your account - it's lost opportunities for making more money. As the core and probably one of the only assets traders can leverage, capital integrity is a key theme amongst experienced spread bettors who appreciate the professional demands put on .