If you’re lost and don’t know how you’re doing after the first week of 2023 trading — you’re missing a critical component to success…
It doesn’t matter where you are in your trading journey, you must know what’s working and what’s not.
And thinking and knowing are two different things…
Thinking you’re good at trading one setup because you had one good trade doesn’t give you all the facts.
That’s why you need data — it doesn’t lie…
And once you know where you stand, you can make adjustments to get better.
So today I’ll give you tips on how to track your trades and what to track.
Plus, I’ll give you an example of how journaling is an essential companion to your data tracking.
How to Track Trades
If you trade breakouts, you won’t track the same information as someone who shorts the first red day.
So think about what you need to include to get the most accurate information that can help you improve.
Some basics all traders can include are:
- Ticker symbol
- The date
- The stock’s float
- Is it a long or short trade?
- Your position size
- The stock’s catalyst
- Your entry
- Your risk or stop
- Result — profit or loss
From there you can add your own individual items. Like the specific setup you traded, the idea behind your trade, and any other notes you want to add.
See how the GOAT, Tim Grittani, develops his spreadsheets for tracking setups here.
Some people like to track their trades and journal in the same document or spreadsheet. But there’s nothing wrong with keeping them separate.
What to Write in Your Trading Journal
The tracking spreadsheet is cold hard data. While your journal will be more like your personal review and thoughts. Record things like:
- What worked that day?
- Why did it work or not work?
- Were you revenge trading after a loss?
- Did you hold past your stop?
Journaling can be an eye-opening experience.
Because the data might show you’re losing more than winning, but your journal might give you the answers to why that’s happening…
If you’re writing that you were nervous about a trade, ask yourself why? Was your position size too big so you sold for a loss before your stop? Meanwhile, the trade would’ve worked…
Or do you take profits too quickly because you don’t want to turn a winner into a loser? Then your losses end up being bigger than your wins.
All of these things can help you adapt what you’re doing to find the right sweet spot for you.
If you really want to kick-start your trading in the right direction — focus on your education and learning from successful traders.
But don’t get caught up trying to copy or compare yourself to others.
Use your spreadsheets and journal to find out what’s working for you and where you need to improve and then focus on that!
Have a great day everyone! See you back here tomorrow.
Lead Trainer, StocksToTrade