It’s the beginning of a new month — you know what that means!
It’s time to go back and review your October trading journal.
And quieter days like yesterday are an ideal time to do it…
I usually say Wednesdays are the quietest days of the week. But with the Fed’s rate announcement this week it was especially true in the morning.
Many traders and investors waited to see the market’s reaction to the announcements before taking positions.
But as we talked about this in the morning SteadyTrade Team webinar, some members said Wednesdays are their best trading days.
When there are fewer runners it can make it easier to focus on a few stocks and setups.
Some traders even said they do their best when they retrade the same stock multiple times.
So it’s not about having more stocks and more setups to trade. It’s about knowing what works for YOU. And that comes from tracking and reviewing your data. Here are three important points to know…
Three Important Things to Learn From Your Trades
The purpose of tracking your trades is to have data on your performance. But it doesn’t do you any good if you don’t go back and review it.
You might think that your best trading day is Friday — because you only remember the big runners on those days.
But your data might show you that Tuesday actually produces the most profits.
That’s why reviewing data is just as important as recording it.
Here are three important things to look for in your data…
What Time of Day Works Best For You?
While knowing which day of the week is your most profitable day is good data to have. I think the time of day is more important.
Because days of the week can be random … like I say that Wednesdays are typically slower, but yesterday we had the Fed rate decision. But we don’t have that every week…
So narrowing your performance down to the time of time can be a better data point.
I’m not talking about down to the minute or hour…
That can give you a better idea of which times to focus on. But also which patterns to focus on since they can present themselves at different times of the day…
What’s Your Core Strategy?
I think everyone should have one core strategy — your bread and butter setup. The one that you have clear data that shows you trade it the best.
If you don’t have enough data to know, of course, you have to try a few at first.
But once you see a trend in your date, you can focus on your number one pattern and strategy first.
Then look for other patterns that work for you during your best trading times.
But you can also try out whatever pattern’s working in the market. Because they do go in and out of favor with traders…
One month you could see dip and rips multiple times a week. Next month you might see more afternoon VWAP holds or all-day rippers.
Follow what works for you, but also learn to trade what the market gives you.
What Thoughts Get in Your Way?
A lot of traders think tracking trades is all about numbers … Where you enter, where you exit, and how much you make.
But tracking can also be about your thoughts, thesis, or even the kind of day you’re having.
If you write down your thoughts and ideas behind a trade, you can go back and see if a bias or thought is getting in your way of profitable trades.
Maybe a lot of notes say you wanted to hold for more profits…
Or that you say something on Level 2 you didn’t like.
If you see these comments over and over on your losing trades, it can tell you that greed is getting in the way. Or that you’re not reading level 2 correctly.
That’s all valuable data you can use to improve.
Tracking Trades: Final Thoughts
Trading is very personal to each individual. And your tracking should be too.
That’s why I don’t necessarily agree with using a cookie-cutter spreadsheet from someone else or downloading one online.
Use those as a template, but then edit it to make it more personal to what’s important to you.
Data tells the real story about your trading without your biases or emotions getting in the way…
And as long as you’re being honest with the data you put in, it will show you real ways you can improve your trading.
If you’re still missing a puzzle piece in your trading — consider getting a mentor.
Apply to join the SteadyTrade Team today and become part of a community that will encourage you, but also keeps you accountable.
Have a great day everyone. See you back here tomorrow.
Lead Trainer, StocksToTrade