Robbie Burns
Robbie Burns's columns :
29/03/2005ISA Shares
13/03/2005Trading Patience
28/02/2005The Bear Necessities
16/02/2005Stock Market Psychology Seminars
01/02/2005Share Imagination
19/01/20057 Deadly Stock Sins
10/01/2005Happy New Year
21/12/2004Stock Picks 2005
13/12/2004Suspended Shares
29/11/2004Share Teasers
12/11/2004spread-betting-secrets >>
03/11/2004Nervous Nineties Stocks
28/10/2004The Naked Trader Thread
25/10/2004UK Retail Stocks
15/10/2004New Stock Research Tools
08/10/2004Look at the Whole Picture
29/09/2004Vanco and Bullen Energy
13/09/2004Market Psychology
31/08/2004New Stock Issues
20/08/2004Trading Volume Codes
12/08/2004Dire Markets
04/08/2004Company Research Tools
27/07/2004House Prices and Covered Warrants
20/07/2004Rocky Stock Markets
13/07/2004Company Research
05/07/2004Recovery Plays

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Robbie Burns – The Naked Trader

Robbie has been trading full-time since 2001. His book "The Naked Trader" (which also has useful information on how to use advfn) has become one of the biggest-selling finance books, reaching the top 150 books on Amazon - order it here. Trades made for Robbie's website have amassed profits of more than £300,000. You can read about his buys and sells daily at



Want to know the secrets of how to win at spread betting?

Yes, me too!

No, OK, I'm going to reveal the secrets right now, just for you… and right from the horse's mouth.

After all, who better to find out how to win than from a spread firm Market Maker who gets to see all the winning accounts?

Luckily, I met a top boss from a spread betting firm at a dinner recently and even more luckily, he was a bit sloshed. As I was sober, I thought, "Here's my chance".

I was very interested in finding out what makes a spread betting winner…and a loser!

I asked: "So what are the trading patterns of the people who win and what about the people that lose."

His answer was rather revealing.

He said: "The people that win don't trade as much as the people that lose!"

He seemed convinced this was the key to not losing your shirt.

The next secret he let me into was: "Winners are often those who ask for spreads on firms I've never heard of rather than the FTSE 100 companies…"

Hmm. Interesting! Looks like those who've done their research on some of the smaller companies end up in the money.

And another secret…

"Winners often go flat".

He doesn't mean winners go on a diet, he means they simply close down all their trades, take profits and losses and simply have a few days without a trade on their account at all.

"It seems to refresh their brains and clear things out," he said.

He also explained that sometimes a big winner can turn into an equally big loser.

"I've seen winning accounts turn into losing accounts because the trader gets overconfident and starts playing with much bigger stakes," he told me.

What about shorters and buyers, I wondered. Which trades make the money?

"Shorters have definitely made more money since 2001," he said. "Of course that's because the markets have mainly been going down."

"In 2001 most people were long. Then moving to 2003 it was 50/50 long and short. We've moved into more people being long again now."

He also revealed that those who hung onto trades for too long tended to lose out.

"Spread betting is a short-term tool," he said. "Those holding onto positions for too long often make a loss."

"In the trade we call these positions short-term trades than went wrong!"

So maybe that'll help you before you go plunging into too many trades.

I just hope the chap I spoke to doesn't come after me for a fee for using his quotes.

One other thing to note from his comments… as most of us get it wrong his comment that most people were long now probably means....

it's time to start selling up and getting into shorts very soon!

I've cut a few positions this week, because like the man said, the losers overtrade and I've been taking profits.

My wife is due to give birth any minute, which is another reason for me to cut them, as time will very likely to be limited!

However I have plenty of what I consider excellent shares that will go up nice and steadily and they include Dyson, Havelock Europa and RPC.

Let's hope a good year-end rally materialises. I think it will, but next year doesn't look good (only my view).... man the lifeboats and make sure you have a spread bet account to get those shorts open!

You can read Robbie’s daily market comments together with his latest buys and sells at his website

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