Friday, October 12, 2007

Feedback

for some time now I ran into a roadblock in my trading. I was making the same errors again and again and even when I noticed making them within the trade, I overrode any suggestion to myself to admit the error and move on. This resulted in a period of rangebound trading in my account size.
I keep a trading journal for some years now, but due to the limitations of Excel, I couldn't post charts to the daily entries without blowing up the whole spreadsheet to unmanagable sizes.

Starting October I decided to try a new approach: Post all trades made in this blog in near realtime. I have Windows Live Writer open, so posting a position together with a marked chart takes under a minute.
I do normally 2 to max. 15 trades a day, usually 4 to 6, which makes it not to difficult to post the chart and write a short comment.
Often currency trades take longer to develop, so I post in-trade comments as well, when I notice something trade related going through my mind.
And within this one week that I'm doing this now, I already notice changes in my trading. It is a lot easier to remember something, when you can look back and see the comments. Because then the feelings associated with that trade are all back and I know why I did what I did and also what I decided to do different in the future.
Looking at a red or green entry in my tradejournal, even with written comments, never did that to me.

Yes it takes a lot of discipline to do it and there is that tendency within one self to avoid posting losing trades, but always remember: the blog is written for yourself. Maybe someone out there is reading it and it will help him on his or her way. But first it's for yourself to get you along on the way, so don't lie to yourself.
Making errors is human, see it as a lesson you had to pay for, so you can avoid that error in the future.
My problem and I'm not alone in that is taking correct stops. Recognising when a trade setup is not working and taking immediate action. I know, when a trade is not working, but sometimes hope takes over and overrides the feeling to get out immediatly at a small loss only to see the trade run into the farther away stop and taking a big loss instead.
Today I followed the lesson learned on Wednesday, when I made one and the same error three times. I took a small instead of a big stop (5 instead of 20 ticks, which is the regular stop I use), I scratched 2 trades which had been green and came back to breakeven, to be then in the trade which paid for the stop and more.

So if you are a visual oriented trader, trading with chart patterns, you might consider such an approach. Writing a blog is simple, it takes not a lot of time, but it can provide extremly valuable feedback.
You don't need to fear questions, which critizise or question your trade descision, while in the trade. Any comments left by readers of my blog I'm happy to answer, as this sharpens the way I look at my own charts and helps me understand my own trade decisions better.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a word document open and post screenshots and time stamped comment and errata to my daily journal, not sure about posting it to my blog though.

At the end of the day I print out my journal and add it to the annotated charts and file them.

Andrew
www.humblemoney.com