Record Keeping

I decided to go back to look at ALL my funded trades from last year and this year on the ES. There was something I remembered a friend of mine said to me more than a year ago about being honest with yourself and analyzing one's data and knowing your exact bottom line.

What I'm learning is anywhere where I am highly successful in my life, I'm highly organized. Trading is a business and it must become highly organized as I want to be extraordinarily successful. As one who has made lots of money, some really stellar trades, but also some real big doozy trades, it is emotionally taxing to be on such a wild rollercoaster ride.

Someone said probably more than a year ago that trading and consistently making money in the market once you know what you're doing and have the mental/emotional fortitude to do it can be quite boring. They used the words "consistently making profits". Thoughts that raced through my head were taking some huge profit daily would NOT be boring. How could that be?

Anyway, I pulled up every single trade and the details and began organizing, going through all the stats. It doesn't look all that pretty.

What I'm doing now every day is making sure my Excel spreadsheets, Trade Navigator (my trading software) and my broker's daily statements that all of them jive. This means reconciling every trade and every penny to the dot. No exceptions. There isn't a penny added or taken away without being accounted for.

As I now have things organized and not in some dreamy, obscure way to mask things through statistics (I used a lot of statistics in my engineering career, so I know how to make anything look good, almost), I decided to keep things simple.

When I revamped my trading strategies in Mar'09, I notice there is greater consistency in my trading. My average costing trades have gone down in magnitude by 60%. However, my average profitable trades have also.

Average Costing Trades
Mar'09 = <$194.64>
Apr'09 = <$107.29>
May'09 = <$94.08>
Jul'09 = <$77.88>

Goal: less than <$40.00>

The trend of the average costing trades is decreasing, so that is a wonderful thing. Praise God!!! However, I wonder if I'm being too overly cautious, which is reducing my profits, too?

Now you probably want to know what my profitable trades average is, right?

Average Profitable Trades
Mar'09 = $57.81
Apr'09 = $68.75
May'09 = $41.55
Jul'09 = $46.79

Goal: greater than $100.00

Perhaps I'm more overly cautious about having costing trades, as I've noticed I'm taking profits quicker overall, and those are typically smaller profits. So, I'm readjusting. Only half of July is over, and there is another 10 more trading days left. Let's see what I'll be doing.
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