How Sally Nicoll Wins at Spread Betting

by JT McGee

Sally Nicholl is not yet the most productive spread bettor in the United Kingdom, but her online diary and bestselling account of her introduction to spread betting, Bets and the City, have transformed her into a cult figure in the rapidly-expanding spread betting community. She offers some spread betting tips.

Spread betting is still a major part of Sally’s routine, but she does not trade full-time as she still hopes to establish herself as a writer of fiction. She now has greater wisdom – and success – than the ingénue portrayed in her first book, who did not begin with a financial betting trial account.

Usually, Sally makes around 20 trades each month. She says trading now fits in very well with her lifestyle and that she is winning more frequently. The trick says Sally, is to exercise selectivity and never over-trade. This is in stark contrast to when she began spread betting, and felt she should always be active in the market and so made bets for what she acknowledges were “stupid reasons.” These days, she is much more selective. When she trades, she knows why she is doing it. She has knowledge and is not relying on blind faith.

Sally records her trades which includes the reason for action, which might be something she saw in the news or technical analysis. She says that sizing a trade is critical, and losing is often the result of risking too much on some trades but not enough on others. She never forms an emotional attachment to trades, and when she loses, she cuts her losses and moves on to another trade. Sally says that when she observes a trade, tick-by-tick, she does not use a stop loss, which she thinks would earn her a rap on the knuckles from her coaches.

A devout believer in the power of technical analysis, Sally spends between half an hour and two hours every day perusing charts and performing technical analysis. When she sees something that has the smell of a winner, she will be there when the markets open at 8am in London and 2:30pm in the United States.

Simplicity is key to Sally, and she trades with the trend or follows moving averages. She looks for classic patterns such as bull flags, head-and-shoulders and double tops. She also watches volumes. She is not into obscure things like Elliott Wave, Gann or Fibonacci. When she hears people speak of waves, Japanese poetry is brought to mind, which makes her laugh.

The prices Sally uses are independent of any spread betting company. She uses Sharescope Pro, and says that while it costs £85 a month, it pays for itself, because market intelligence is always worth the money. She is disdainful of the more elaborate software available that generates signals through some magic formula, believing that such a thing could not possibly work.

Sally does not think she will ever be interviewed as the woman who made a million pounds out of spread betting. She spread bets for the “intellectual craic” in the same way that other people do Sudoku or crossword puzzles. She is delighted to have helped other people with her writings. She receives a minimum of five emails a day from readers, and sometimes as many as 20. People thank her for helping them to avoid pitfalls and to make good money. She says she has made every mistake in the book so you don’t have to.

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