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Thread: Tips for analysing your trading journal

  1. #1
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    Tips for analysing your trading journal

    Hi traders! I want to share some useful principles that will help those who journal their trading. By the way - who is not jouraling yet, believe me - it's very valuable habit you can develop in your trading.
    Trading journal can be divided on 2 parts: Narrative part and statistical part. Narrative part of your jounal contain your thoughts about market, about your trading, about your current psychogical state, some refections about your strategy and trading plan. As for statistical part of trading journal, it comes to analysing numbers. If you know what is normal for your trading, you can compare your current performance with the benchmark. For example, if you know that over the time you were making 5-10 trades a week (and that was ok for your trading plan), but now you are trading more frequently, it may be the sign of overtrading.
    For analysing your journal from statistical perspective, I would advice you to keep an eye on the following parameteres:

    1. Frequency of trades:

    Overtrading can be more harmful than undertrading, but both tendencies are harmful. Whereas undertrading (when you do less trades than usually) "freezes" your equity curve, it also has nothing to do with profitable trading. Trading involves risk taking (concious risk taking, of course), and if you don't take risk, you will not probably have gains.
    But, of course, if reduced number of trades occurs as a result of optimization, when you remove "junk", it is a good sign. If you increase your patience and improve your trade selection, it should be consideres as a positive sign for your trading.
    So, parameter itself can't tell anything about your performance - you should know what you have done to achieve this parameter. Consiousness and honesty is the best companion here.

    2. Aggressiveness of trading:

    Also, there is second parameter that makes sence - aggressiveness. If we analyze frequency of our trading, we may notice that trading activity is distributed in non-linear mode. There are days when we trade more, there are days when we trade less. The goal is to understand what triggers us to trade more/less and track actual correlation between aggressiveness and profitability. If there is no correlation (say, frequency is not influencing your performance) or negative correlation (the more you trade the less money you make), then you should make analysis - WHY are you trading more in some cases? Reasons can be either psychological (performance anxiety) or market-driven (you think that during some market condition you MUST trade more) or both. Your challenge here is to understand connection between your beliefs and your actions - in a nutshell, to understand WHAT drives you to trade more. Statistics will help you to understand whether it makes sence or not. We often think that we know our trading and our personal strentghs, but in reality we don't always know it - numbers don't lie - they show you real picture.

    3. Preferred trading instruments (biases) and destination:

    If you analyse your trading, you may discover that you tend to make more trades on specific currency pairs. For example, you have 5-6 major trading instruments, but make 80% of your trades on 1-2 instruments - say, EURUSD or GBPUSD. This approach can be effective in case you are trend-following position traders and capture large swings. But in short-term trading if you are trading more on some instruments and undertrading on other, in may create an effect of "episodic trades". Every trading approach is robust only during a series of trades, single attempts to "trade-off a setup" may cause a random distrubution of results. In short-term trading, there is much randomness and uncertainty, and one single trade doesn't make sence on most cases. According to my personal experience, stability in trading occurs only if you are ready to be make required series of trades, instability occurs when you are trading "occasionally".

    Good luck!

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  2. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Value trader View Post
    Hi traders! I want to share some useful principles that will help those who journal their trading. By the way - who is not jouraling yet, believe me - it's very valuable habit you can develop in your trading.
    Trading journal can be divided on 2 parts: Narrative part and statistical part. Narrative part of your jounal contain your thoughts about market, about your trading, about your current psychogical state, some refections about your strategy and trading plan. As for statistical part of trading journal, it comes to analysing numbers. If you know what is normal for your trading, you can compare your current performance with the benchmark. For example, if you know that over the time you were making 5-10 trades a week (and that was ok for your trading plan), but now you are trading more frequently, it may be the sign of overtrading.
    For analysing your journal from statistical perspective, I would advice you to keep an eye on the following parameteres:

    1. Frequency of trades:

    Overtrading can be more harmful than undertrading, but both tendencies are harmful. Whereas undertrading (when you do less trades than usually) "freezes" your equity curve, it also has nothing to do with profitable trading. Trading involves risk taking (concious risk taking, of course), and if you don't take risk, you will not probably have gains.
    But, of course, if reduced number of trades occurs as a result of optimization, when you remove "junk", it is a good sign. If you increase your patience and improve your trade selection, it should be consideres as a positive sign for your trading.
    So, parameter itself can't tell anything about your performance - you should know what you have done to achieve this parameter. Consiousness and honesty is the best companion here.

    2. Aggressiveness of trading:

    Also, there is second parameter that makes sence - aggressiveness. If we analyze frequency of our trading, we may notice that trading activity is distributed in non-linear mode. There are days when we trade more, there are days when we trade less. The goal is to understand what triggers us to trade more/less and track actual correlation between aggressiveness and profitability. If there is no correlation (say, frequency is not influencing your performance) or negative correlation (the more you trade the less money you make), then you should make analysis - WHY are you trading more in some cases? Reasons can be either psychological (performance anxiety) or market-driven (you think that during some market condition you MUST trade more) or both. Your challenge here is to understand connection between your beliefs and your actions - in a nutshell, to understand WHAT drives you to trade more. Statistics will help you to understand whether it makes sence or not. We often think that we know our trading and our personal strentghs, but in reality we don't always know it - numbers don't lie - they show you real picture.

    3. Preferred trading instruments (biases) and destination:

    If you analyse your trading, you may discover that you tend to make more trades on specific currency pairs. For example, you have 5-6 major trading instruments, but make 80% of your trades on 1-2 instruments - say, EURUSD or GBPUSD. This approach can be effective in case you are trend-following position traders and capture large swings. But in short-term trading if you are trading more on some instruments and undertrading on other, in may create an effect of "episodic trades". Every trading approach is robust only during a series of trades, single attempts to "trade-off a setup" may cause a random distrubution of results. In short-term trading, there is much randomness and uncertainty, and one single trade doesn't make sence on most cases. According to my personal experience, stability in trading occurs only if you are ready to be make required series of trades, instability occurs when you are trading "occasionally".

    Good luck!
    Good post and thany you for your tips

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  3. #62
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    I am really aggressive with my style of trading, unfortunately it did not go down well because I lost my first copyfx account, now I have opened another one to trade, great tips that have been given here, if they are followed, I guess we can have a very fruitful Forex trading journal where many traders can actually come and learn something of importance from our experience.

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