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Bets and the City: Sally Nicoll's spread betting diary [Kindle Edition]

Sally Nicoll
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"Markets. They go up. They go down. How difficult can it be?"

Sally Nicoll begins her spread betting journey with magnificently misplaced optimism. Join her on this rollercoaster ride to hardened pessimist - and wised-up realist.Funny, frank, factual

Should we be afraid that in the digital era, anyone with a broadband connection and a few hundred pounds can gatecrash the elite world of City traders - even if, like Sally Nicoll, they are numerically dyslexic?

Sally is looking for a source of extra cash to fund a sabbatical while she writes a novel, and decides spread betting is the answer. She tries to open an account with Finspreads - "their web site has the best colour scheme" - only to discover she's been credit blacklisted. Instead of being thankful for divine intervention, she complains to the marketing department and is hired to write an online trading blog.

Bets and the City is based on Sally's enormously popular column for Finspreads. In between the funny bits, there's some really useful information:
- Never take a holiday in Cornwall when you're speculating on sterling against the dollar
- Why you should resist the temptation to be kind to your mother
- Sensible advice from the man who lost $10 million in a single trading session
- Why women make better traders than men
- The simple trade that enables you to turn your computer into a cash register

Sally's romp through the City, combined with her anecdotes of hanging out in celebrity-studded Primrose Hill, will appeal to investors, gamblers, and anyone who enjoys playing with money. And prepare to be entertained by Sally's spread betting accomplice, a Jack Russell called Dow Jones...

Product Description


Day trading: 'I've had a good financial crisis. When markets are falling, spread betting is easy' Sally Nicoll's spread betting career began with weeks of losses. She explains how she learnt to become a successful trader. By Rupert Neate Sally Nicoll's father taught her to gamble on the horses when she was just five years old. "Fast forward to 2004, and I happened to read an article about a couple of people who made £1m in eight weeks of successful spread bets," she says. "It seemed that all you needed was a computer and a broadband connection. I had both." In the early days Ms Nicoll lost money for weeks on end. She says the losses grew because she was too stubborn and would sit on losing positions telling herself the market would recover. "It just meant I lost more," she says. "And I insisted on trading without a 'stop loss', which was a big mistake." Stop loss orders limit the risk by effectively taking the better out of the market if it moves against them. "I remember losing £4,000 over a couple of weeks," she says. "But fortunately my dad taught me that you never gamble with money you can't afford to throw into the gutter, so it's not like I was risking the mortgage money." Ms Nicoll, who has written Bets and the City, a diary of her experiences, decided she either had to walk away or really learn how to trade better. "I've never been a quitter," she says. It is all about research and calculated risk, she explains, comparing spread betting to taking a bet on the Grand National. "Tons of people take a punt on the National and the Derby just for fun. They pick the horses according to the colours, the price or just the nag's name," she says. "Most of them lose. But there are those who do their homework study the form and get the inside scoop on the runners and riders. "They bet selectively and aim to win more than they lose. It's not gambling. It's not investing. It's trading." Although she now researches her trades thoroughly she says the notion that in order to be a good spread better you have to stare all day at dozens of screens showing market fluctuations is a misconception. "Most spread betters have done that, especially in the beginning, but there's no need," she says. "If you're well organised, you can automate your trades by, for example, deciding in advance the price at which you will buy or sell, and place a limit order to specify the point at which you'll take a profit." Ms Nicoll now organises trades at 7am and then forgets about them until she logs on to her account in the evening to discover how much she has won or lost. In terms of individual trades, she has made a lot of money from betting on Apple computers, selling Barclays and buying and selling oil. "Buying, and then selling, oil seemed so easy at times that even Dow Jones my dog could have placed winning trades," she said. "I've had a good financial crisis. When the markets are going down day after day, spread betting is easy. You place sell trades, and I still smile every time I walk past a branch of Barclays." Ms Nicoll says that she rarely gets as excited as she used to in the early days, but only because in the beginning she did not really have a clue what she was doing so every win seemed like a "happy miracle". Now every time she places a trade it is based on research rather than a hunch and she is only prepared to risk 2pc of the money in her account, and she has an exit plan. "When everything goes right, it's not really a cause for celebration," she says. "It's just what was meant to happen." --

About the Author

Sally Nicoll has a ready-made fanbase, and the word is about to spread a whole lot wider. Before squandering her for tune on financial trading and novel writing, she spent 20 year s as an advertising copywriter, persuading people how - and where - to spend their money. She will be actively involved in the marketing of Bets and the City with radio appearances already booked.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 387 KB
  • Print Length: 234 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1905641060
  • Publisher: Harriman House (8 Jun. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003R0KYUG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,850 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Sally Nicoll is a former journalist, broadcaster and advertising copywriter. Her first book, BETS AND THE CITY, a comedy memoir of her career as a professional spread better, was a surprise bestseller. She lives in London's Primrose Hill with her dog - the true hero of BETS AND THE CITY - who has not yet forgiven her for featuring an Irish Setter called Caesar in her fiction debut, a high stakes political thriller: THE POWER BEHIND THE THRONE. Like one of the VERY bad guys in her new book, Sally is a devout supporter of Tottenham Hotspur; she has been advised to keep this quiet, for fear of inhibiting sales from those who follow the other team in North London... but is prepared to take the risk.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Bet 23 Nov. 2006
By Reuben
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the most readable, witty and seriously wise piece of financial advice I've ever read - and I've read a lot! At the same time it's a great piece of entertainment. However, spread betting is not for the mug punter, so if you are a mug don't buy this book. If, on the other hand, you can take good advice and apply it sensibly then you are on to a winner. The way that financial markets operate can sometimes be a little difficult to fathom, but Sally Nicoll explains things in such a clear and entertaining way that you find yourself becoming expert without ever noticing how it happened. And even if you never get around to taking up the spread betting challenge you will have read a great story brilliantly told. Buy it. Enjoy it. It's great.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping very funny read 21 Nov. 2006
I was unable to stop reading this hilarious account of Sally's life in Primrose Hill with retired Reggie and much married Michael. She has been betting since she was 8 she says.

Sally's account of making love to her computer from the luxury of her desk reveals how in thrall she was to forex forays where she constantly was on the verge of losing her all.

Well recommended for a Christmas present.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent book which points out all the rookie mistakes I make. The book doesn't attempt to teach you how to spread trade, but it does help you identify your weaknesses i.e. irrational gambling, lack of a strategy, and most importantly not knowing your markets. Great read and very helpful!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sugar coated pill... 17 April 2009
This book has a title that may make you think....and at times the author encourages you in the deceit....that this is a dumb blonde out of her depth. In fact this is one of the cleverest and most enjoyable lessons in betting you will get. Some bitter lessons, hard won, but delivered in the sweetest of pills.

Technical enough to cover the main points of a complex subject the main points are spelt out by an exemplary teacher. Funny and clever. Read, enjoy and learn.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bets and the City 29 Dec. 2006
If you've ever lived in PH, which I have, this is a witty, warm and fuzzy way to re-live the experience, picture the good old days and reminisce. Sally Nichol is, of course, still lucky enough to live there.

Bets and the City is a clever and informative way of finding out more about on-line trading, this time in the form of spread betting. If you trade through a broker, or on-line, this book is for you. It's good to know there are other amateurs out there, who can do well, can have accidents, and want to make money just like you and me.

But more than the spread-betting thing, this is a romp through a super cool part of London, with many local and colorful characters seen through the eyes of Sally, a woman after my own heart, even though I'm a guy, and all her down-to-earth foibles, frenzies and fecundities as she tries to make a crust, live an artist's life.

Oh, and she's dead right about Camden parking wardens. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is the book I have read in shortest amount of time from cover to cover. I could have given 5 stars if the book was thicker with more stories. Sally Nicoll was describing all her mistakes which any experience forex trader or financial spread better would remember when they started trading first time. I was expecting more of her successes too as much as she mad mistakes and lost lot of money. Before describing more of her successes, the book came to an end suddenly.

The language is bit colloquial but it is supposed to be from a diary and hence perfectly acceptable.

Some of the events are hard to believe. They are like dramas but I will give the benefit of doubt to the author. She almost lost 70% of her money and then inherits a will which puts a condition that she invests £20000 in financial betting!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thanx Sally! 25 April 2007
Never before have I read a book from cover to cover without putting it down! Bets and The City is a fun read. Sally's style of writing is honest and humorous.The characters that accompany her on her spread betting journey add another dimention to it. Since finishing the book I am even more obsessed with wanting to start spread betting myself! Thanx Sally! By the way I have just started reading the book again - It already proves to be even better second time round -similar to watching a great movie more than once - it's amazing how some things only sink in when you see, hear, feel it again! I intended to give Bets and The City 5 stars but my mouse moved ever so slightly the moment I clicked and now I don't know how to change the rating..! I can only hope this doesn't happen when I place by trades :-)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well worth being in the bestsellers lists 25 July 2007
By Sparky
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I received a mailshot from a company that said that making money from options was easy, if only I paid £2,000 for their course. I was gripped and wanted to do it, but finally sense prevailed, and put spreadbetting into Amazon's search engine and noticed this book had more stars than others. So I bought it. (Well it was a great deal less than £2,000). I read the book in one day, and found all the advice very good, and laughed about her dog Dow Jones, and and her friend much married Michael. I haven't started spreadbetting yet, but I no longer think it's the path to instant riches, and have got a plan that probably would be more successful than if I had no plan, and time will tell to see how far I get along it. Thanks Sally.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Missing ends of chapters?
The kindle edition seems to be missing a lot of chapter ends or chapters seem incomplete? Sally says she has placed a bet and then ....nothing, chapter ends. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Sarah J
4.0 out of 5 stars Short, Easy, Enjoyable Read...
This was a short, easy, and enjoyable read. It can be completed in about the length of a long haul flight, so would make a good read to pass the time. Read more
Published 2 months ago by SearchFindBuy
5.0 out of 5 stars 3x13x39 Simple Moving Averages
I have used this simple system for 12 years;

Remember the numbers 3 x 13 x 39 = Profit
Simple daily moving averages of 3,13 and 39 can keep you in and out of... Read more
Published 9 months ago by PC249
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
really good read amusing and educational.
Published 10 months ago by john
5.0 out of 5 stars really enjoyed and gives a balanced view of spread betting!
Great fun to read - written by someone who know exactly what their talking about ! Nicolls is brilliant -
Published 11 months ago by Holness19
3.0 out of 5 stars ok
was an interesting read...short and sweet.
Published 12 months ago by Antonio Navarro
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
brilliant really enjoyable, it did make me smile
Published 12 months ago by paul molina
3.0 out of 5 stars Very funny, but also educational
I read this in 2 days. Could'nt put it down, very funny, but also educational. This book is not going to change your life. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Tony Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book very pleased
Published 14 months ago by EB
5.0 out of 5 stars Spread Betters Unite
A ordinary insight into the world of spread betting, simply told without any frills this will appeal to the person in the street who fancies a dabble at the markets
Published 20 months ago by Bradley Sinclair
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