Sally Nicoll Speaks

Sally Nicoll was a journalist, broadcaster and advertising copywriter before she discovered spread betting. She told of her experiences in this latter field in Bets and the City , a comedic memoir which turned out to be a surprise bestseller and transformed her into a cult figure.
Sally was taught about gambling on horse-racing by her father when she was only five years old. She took to spread betting when she read a newspaper article telling how that was how two people had made a million pounds in the space of eight weeks. It seemed to her that all that was needed was a computer with broadband internet access, and she had both.
When Sally began trading, she did not take advantage of a spread betting trial account. At first, she lost money for weeks at a time. Losses grew because she would keep losing positions in the belief that the market would recover. She also did not use stop loss orders, which she acknowledges to be a very significant error.
Sally lost £4,000 in weeks, but fortunately her father had taught her to never gamble with money she could not afford “to throw in the gutter.” She did not dip into her mortgage money. She realised she had to either walk away or learn how to be a better trader, and “I have never been a quitter.”
Spread betting is, says Sally, like placing a bet on the Grand National: some people make choices on the basis of name or colours and lose money, but some people study the form, the runners and the riders and win. It’s all about research and calculated risk. She does, however, differentiate between investing and trading.
The spread betting company Sally favours is Finspreads. She does not believe that a trader needs to spend his or her day staring at dozens of screens. Trades can be automated. She organises trades at 7am and then puts them from her mind until the evening. She has made much money from betting on Apple and against Barclays and oil. She still smiles whenever she walks past a branch of Barclays. She says she has had a good financial crisis, and that spread betting is easy when markets are perpetually falling.
Sally lives with her dog in Primrose Hill in London. She is a fervent supporter of Tottenham Hotspur, but attempts to suppress the fact so as not to inhibit book sales to fans of a certain other North London football team.
Cantor’s spread betting offers you the opportunity to emulate Sally. Unlike her, you may prefer to begin with a free demo account.