About: Diary of a Spread Bettor

About Me

My name is Jeffrey Roberts. I created this financial betting site, and continue to administer it. My goal is to master the art of stock market trading by learning and narrating my research and experiences.

I am a journalist by trade and a stock market trader by choice and use spread betting as my trading medium. I took the plunge after finding that my fund managed ISAs had fallen in value by almost 50% a few years ago. I cashed them in and decided that if my money was going to go down the swaney, then I’d rather it was me losing it than some overpaid ‘star’ fund manager – and I haven’t looked back since! I have tested a number of tactics with spread betting, from holding short term-positions for just a few days to buy-and-hold for several months. I have been trading spread betting for some years as part of my spread of leverage across a number of stocks and prefer to swing trade. Like everyone I stumbled at first. I over-traded at first, held losers to long, sold winners too early (same as everyone I guess). Now I trade much less, and give things more space to breathe – try to swing or position trade rather than day trade, I cannot watch the screen all day so this is the only way to go really.  In any case, I feel there’s some wisdom in sticking to what’s worked for me in the past!  That could change in the future along with circumstances, but I can’t see me ever switching over.

I also ride horses, play poker, and spend the majority of my free time sitting outside in my zero gravity chair, relaxing and tending my horses, and allowing my mind to drift to the softer tones of ordinary life.

Good Luck and Good Trading



About this Site

The idea behind this website is not to try to teach you how to be a financial wizard or how to trade stocks. Here you will not read which stock to buy or when, nor will there be a trading system or advice guaranteeing success. In fact, no fixed and profitable system can exist other than your own. Making money in financial markets requires capital, experience, knowledge, a lot of common sense – and some luck, too. It is not simple, definitely not automatic, and if you don’t know how to do it, I can’t help you.

What I am trying to achieve is to point on some common errors and wrong practices, and therefore to show ways of avoiding to lose money. I want to tell you how the market does not work and what you should not do, and in this I might come in conflict with some well publicized misconceptions, dubious strategies and false systems.

Trading tools that used to be available only to skilled market professionals are now accessible by small investors. Most people can open accounts allowing them to trade in stocks, currencies, options and futures, to take both long and short positions and to use leverage using spread betting or CFDs. These tools are available, but it doesn’t mean that traders know how to use them, or that they are optimal for your trading skills and background.

Despite the abundance of financial media, small investors are often left puzzled and unable to understand what is driving the market and moving the prices of their favorite securities. Media is usually wrong in their predictions and capable of explain an event only after it takes place, and even then they often miss the substance, thus providing no help.

When browsing financial message boards is it easy to see how most posters are uninformed about a number of strong market forces, in particular those caused by arbitrage activities. Near options expiration dates the boards are full of complaints about ‘crooks’ who ‘keep the stock price down because they want call to expire worthless’. When a company issued convertible bonds and the stock price predictably falls, it is commonly – and wrongly – explained by future dilution of shares. And when there is a stock-for-stock merger, fall in price of acquiring company tends to be explained by new loans, reduction of available cash or adjustment of different P/E ratios. Usually none of these statements are true.

Of course I will also strive to provide you with straightforward information on the ins and outs of spread betting plus useful tips to get the most out of it. And by the way, all information presented here is free of any charge.


This financial betting guide was published on the basis that no guarantees of earnings were given. Trading on financial markets is speculative and you should not trade with money you cannot afford to lose. No support or financial advice is provided by the author.

Although every endeavour has been made to provide the most accurate and innovative trading strategies, there is no guarantee of future profitability and the publisher does not promise verbally or in writing that you will profit from trading financial markets. The author and his agents are not in any way liable for your activities or trading resulting from information obtained from this manual or associated information. Ultimately all investment decisions are made by you.

I am not an IFA and have no professional experience in investment research. Anything written here should be taken with a degree of healthy scepticism and shouldn’t be taken as investment advice. I would also emphasize that, as I am an average small investor, I am operating with far less information than is ideal.

Use only capital that you can afford to lose.