Since it's very likely that I won't be trading this Monday and Tuesday (historically, I do terrible when my wife is away and I'm in single parent mode) which essentially means I'm done with January, I decided to take a look a closer look at my P&L over the past couple months.
I've been trying to focus more on process and execution vs. P&L, so although I knew my account went slightly below where I started in December (on a net P&L basis), I wasn't as aware how my other metrics looked.
That's where the reports in Tradervue become so useful. Tradervue is an elegant, powerful, and free trading journal, reporting, and analysis system that's very easy to use and generates the key metrics to help you understand more about your trading performance. And as I've written about in the past, using the "tags" within Tradervue can enable you to create sophisticated reports and analysis of what's working (and what's not) with your trading strategies.
THE 2 MONTH P&L CURVE
The 2nd half of December hit, volume and volatility started to dry up, people actually went on vacation for the holidays, and things got tough. Why didn't I stop? I did quit for about a week, although not by choice, but started trading again the final week of December. I thought I didn't want to get rusty, since once January starts and the volume returns, I'll be ready to get 'em!!
January started, and the first week still felt like the holidays. Oh, low volume is due to the MLK holiday, right? OK, things will get better the following week. Chop chop chop. The 2nd half of January started, and it looked like things are getting better, but it's still not quite like how I remember the markets were back in the "good 'ole days" of pre-mid-December.
Which leads to where I am today, slightly below where I was at the start of December, on a net basis. At least I'm still in the category of "consistently net-breakeven trader!" Yeah! But seriously, just like I have complete confidence to scramble out of a losing day, I know this is just a temporary drawdown, and that I'll be hitting a new highwater mark soon.
It's great to see the other metrics that Tradervue provides. Here are some key takeaways from my trading results over the past couple months:
- I seem to do terrible on Mondays, maybe I'm too anxious to get the show back on the road?
- As the week progresses, I seem to take more daily trades. Am I getting mentally fatigued, therefore more sloppy and less selective?
- What's interesting (or maybe not) is that the less trades I make (see Tuesday), the better my profitability.
- The 6:00-8:00 hours (Euro session) are good, and although I don't take many trades during that time, it's a profitable period. Trades just seem to setup cleaner and work better during that timeframe.
- The 8:00-9:00 hour is deadly. That's the hour I'm off taking my kids to daycare. And there are many times when I'm "looking hard" to get in a trade before I leave the house, or "looking hard" to get into a trade as soon as I return home.
- Lunch hour has poor results...what else is new? Maybe I should truly take that time off and physically leave the home? Or spend more time exercising? I've noticed that my profitability is better when I'm in better physical condition.
- What surprised me was how well I did during the 2:00-4:00 hours. If I had done nothing but trade during those hours in December and January, I would have done relatively well.
Using data from just 2 months and 280 trades isn't necessarily enough for me to make major changes, but at least there are a few areas for me to keep a closer watch. So if the trends mentioned above continue, maybe I'll just take Monday off, or Friday. Or trade the Euro session, and quit trading until 2:00 PM. Or maybe just trade every day from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM. Or...or...or.... Need to track...
We're living in a golden time where we have access to powerful tools such as Tradervue to help traders improve. If you're not already using a trading journal or some other type of method to track and analyze your results, this is a very critical and necessary component to becoming a successful trader.