If there is one lesson you should learn, and learn early, especially when you are a beginner trader, it’s reviewing your trades. It sounds tedious, and you probably know a lot of traders who only pay attention to the difference in their end-of-month P&L versus the beginning of the month, but trust us.
Reviewing your trades in your first two years as a trader will make a huge difference long term.
As the saying goes, you don’t know where you are going until you know where you’ve been. It couldn’t be more true than in trading.
Just because you had a positive day or a positive month, doesn’t mean you know what you need to know. In fact, not knowing how you got there, is a key contributor to taking losses, and giving back all your gains later on. Remember a lot of this trading game is psychological.
I could go on and on about how to do it, but if you are trading, you already know how. You can use a good old-fashioned spreadsheet, or you can use an online service like Tradervue (free and premium options) that can help you track your trades, and give you a lot of insight and data into your performance.
You won’t know which stocks give you the most trouble unless you have been tracking your trades.
What to Track
Like I said earlier Tradervue tracks all sorts of cool details about your trading.
Views such as journals, trades, and reports will allow you to fully enjoy the ability to review everything you could think of (data-wise) about your trading.
The are so many details you probably never considered. For example:
- Trade Distribution by Day of Week
- Performance by Symbol Top 20 / Bottom 20
- Winn/ Loss Ratio
- Cumulative Drawdowns
- Multiple Statistics
And the list goes on.
I don’t want to make this a full-on endorsement for Tradervue as there are plenty of alternatives. As I said, I also use plenty of our own trade tracking spreadsheets that I’ve made and added to over the years.
The point is to figure out what works for you and you’ll be alright. If you want to treat trading like a business (and you should be), then tracking performance, reviewing your trades, and learning from your past trades, are all standard operating procedures.
You don’t have any excuses, just get it done.
Follow my free 4-step roadmap to gain the insights you will need to:
- Develop consistency
- Make trading into a career
- Succeed for the long term
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