Update Jan 30, 2011: I merged & updated the content of this post into my Trade Log & Journal page.
I thought I’d write a quick post about how I’m tracking my trading in relation to my plan. This isn’t easy to do as there is always some discretion involved, but this is designed to catch major mistakes and eliminate them.
I’ve posted about this before but the summary is I just write down my thoughts about the trade as it happens. I make screenshots if I need to. It can’t be too time-consuming or distracting but it’s important to record my thoughts and why I do what I do.
I record my trading with Camtasia so I can review it later. This means if I miss something in my journal (like a screenshot) I don’t have to worry about it, I can fill it in after the session. I used to save these but then I put the review off and often never reviewed them. To fix this, I have a new rule that I can’t save the file. I must review it after the session and then delete it.
This is the excel I’ve made available. I just paste in the trades and it’s automatic.
Plan Specific Tradelog
This is new. What I do is enter each trade, the result if traded by my plan, the actual result, and any notes. I total the results for the day. I do it in ticks so I can combine all markets. The tick values are not the same but that is not important. The goal is to have all green & zero difference in actual results vs. the plan. Here is an example from this morning:
What I’m really focused on is the “Entry in Plan” and “Traded Well” columns. I’m confident that if these are green (true) then the P/L will be positive. I think tracking whether I traded well will be much more useful than calculating expectancy and other stats.
This is a weekly summary of the Plan Specific Tradelog. It looks like this:
Each session I copy any “lessons learned” from my journal to this spreadsheet. I track the violations. This will help me to see what mistakes I’m repeating.
All that means I”ll be spending a lot of time pre-paring and reviewing my performance, which is really important. I must learn from my mistakes.
I’m going to track all of this week-by-week. At the end of each week, if I traded well and was profitable, then I’ll increase my size. If I don’t trade well or I’m not profitable, I’ll decrease my size.
My goal is to have traded well this week and made money, if so I’ll trade 2 contracts next week.