Monday, October 11, 2010

Journaling: track your way to success

There are many ways to track your trading, you can do it even with a notebook by taking notes on how you trade, the important thing is that you do it, either with a simple notebook or with a good spreadsheet where you'll have the whole information you need to improve your trading at a glance, you might want to track things like:

1- Instrument traded

If you trade more than one instrument, of course you'll want to track which of them is making you more money or the opposite, is losing more, keep track of them.

2 - Time

I like to put a time stamp on my trades to see on which times of day my success rate is higher, I don't know about you, but I avoid at all costs trading around lunch time (EST).

3 - Day of week

This is also really interesting, if you are like me you've noticed you tend to get better results on some days of the week, so why not track them and see what are the best days for you?

4 - Position size (how many cars (or contracts) you trade)

On the last post I mentioned that I tend to trade smaller when I'm going through a losing streak (that does not happen for a long time now), you better have that under tight control.

5- Entry setup

This is also really important IMO: why did you took the trade? Was it a planned trade? Write it down and avoid repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

6 - PnL (Profit and Loss)

Well, if you don't have control over your PnL...

7 - Type of Trade

Was it a scalp? day trade? Swing? Position? Have you ever seen a day trade that "for some reason" became a swing trade, be alert!

8 - Mistakes/ Errors

By writing down exactly what you have made wrong on your last trade will help you avoid to keep falling in the very same pitfalls.

I'm working on a very well prepared spreadsheet including all the information you'll need to successfully track your trades, I'll let you know when it's ready.

Happy trading! Trade well.

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