Who am I and what is Hilsden Trading?
I came to spread betting with no previous experience in June 2007. My background is in IT and Business. I trade as a hobby and I don’t stare at charts all day. I enjoy trading and the analysis. And yes, spread betting is gambling no matter what they say otherwise, but I am very strict with my leverage and keep my stake low. My name is Nick Hilsden and therefore Hilsden Trading was a good title for my analysis website.
So how did I get started spread betting?
I stumbled into spread betting purely by chance. I came to spread betting with no previous experience in June 2007, at near about the height of the FTSE at that time – 6700. It all seemed unreal then with the FTSE and the Dow making record highs most days and I thought – this cannot continue indefinitely. When such news items appear on the mainstream media it normally means whatever they are talking about is about to reverse. Having traded in shares, I thought there must be a way to benefit from my hunch. Not knowing anything about spread betting I clicked on an advert on the III website and became quickly intrigued. I ‘fell’ into spread betting, and started to read all about it online. I bought books and I opened accounts. I read blogs and forums and half the time i didn’t understand what the hell was going on. On the forums everyone seems to make money.
From there I set up an account with Finspreads (as you could trade for 50p a point with them) and bought a few books. I tried a demo account with WorldSpreads, which was fine – I made some “money” but it just didn’t feel like I was learning anything. It seemed just like gambling – $100 a point DOW to go up, oh, I’m down $2000, never mind it isn’t real. With the thought of “only gamble what you can afford to lose” I put £200 in my Finspreads account and I was off. 2 weeks later I had lost my £200. But some of those days I made £20, sometimes £50. Another day I’d lose £90. Hummm, this is harder than it sounds. If I copied trades that others did on forums I always seemed to get stopped out. I soon learned that a lot of what is posted is rubbish!
True to what I thought at the outset 6700 was indeed the peak on the FTSE but I wasn’t making any money from my hunch. I was gambling, and if I got it right I loved it, if I lost I was like “ah that’s ok its only £30 I’ll make that back on the next trade”. But the losses added up and blew my account. I wasn’t even looking at charts at that point – just trying to guess “up or down”. I was crazy and out of control!
I stepped back and decided that I should really read the books that I bought before I start again. I read “The Naked Trader” as my first book. Then “The Spread Betting Handbook”, then a couple of others which were sooo boring. July 2007 I put another £200 in my account and thought this is it – I know what I am doing now. A week later I’d lost my £200. Hummm, this is definitely harder than it sounds!
Ok, just £100 in the account this time and then that’s it, I don’t want to lose more than £500. We then had the credit crunch and huge volatility – some days with just a 50p bet I’d make £100. My account grew. I was holding onto the winners and my account grew to £500. This is it I have got it now. Little did I realise that these were unique times – and for the DOW and FTSE to just go screaming off 100, 200, and 300+ points in one direction was not a common thing. I set OCO orders and when they caught the winnings mounted. Then it settled down and I ended up losing my winnings by trying to trade every move. I was overtrading.
In those few months I learned a lot about myself and the emotions that run through you as you trade. But I was hooked. I had visions of trading from the beach at £100 a point. Maybe one day, but back in the real world I have cut down the amount I trade, I base my trades on chart analysis, support, resistance and trends.
I originally decided to set up a blog to help other new new traders and build a bit of a community, and here it is. It has now morphed into the subscriber model, though there is an active community of posters on the daily posted analysis
Why do this website?
Good question. Well, I have always strived for multiple income streams as I think that’s the key to a good life – if one stream stops then its not game over. I have an IT business as well, my actual trading day to day and of course the subscribers. The subscriber business was going to be my pension for when I am old and grey! To set up a hedge fund/trade other peoples money is a big step as you need to be regulated (of course!) and requires exams etc which I wasn’t really interested in doing. Plus its getting more like a full time job then and the set up I have now is more of a lifestyle. I never feel like I have a “job” in the strict sense of the word with the arrangement I have. I love trading and the freedom it brings, plus the rewards of course and if I can also make more money with other avenues then that seems a good idea to me! I could trade larger stakes of course but then that brings another whole load of stress!
If you have any questions or, comments or would simply like to get in touch with me, please contact me via the site’s chat or comments pages, or follow me on twitter.com.