I am sure you are aware of the importance of a number of trading performance documents such as
- your trading plan,
- analysis sheets, and
- reviewing your performance to learn about you and your mistakes.
I always had a number of documents to help me with this
- the grand trading plan, essentially the business plan which included areas such as goals, psychology, motivation, technology, finance, tax and so on. This document was about 100 pages! long. Why? To answer the big questions such as why are you doing this, how much time are you giving yourself, what is your financial vehicle – you are your own investor.
- tactical setup plans. These were 1-2 pagers with details of setups, how to take and manage them. A successful trader needs multiple setups to trade depending on market conditions (eg EU open vs US open, ranging vs trending markets, daytrades vs swing trades). Why? To be completely rule-based and rule emotions out of trade management!
- Trading journal. One for each market I was trading. I never traded more than 4 at a time. I found that was plenty. Trading a market is a lot like sleeping with a woman (or man, if you are female).. if you trade, you know what I mean. Why? To make sure I learn every possible lesson from each trade I took. Ultimately, the goal was of course to waste as little time, money and emotions as possible. You can learn a lot about the importance of journalling from this excellent FT71 webinar.
- Pre-session analysis sheets. Details of short and long-term trends, news announcements of the day. Why? These were 1-2 pagers to (1) help me be objective in my pre-session analysis and (2) not miss anything so I would not be taken by surprise. After some routine in one market I often stopped filling them in every day, but they were always helpful to look back to.
- Weekly review journals. Detailed magazine type self-reviews with weekly P&L, best and worst trade of the week, lesson of the week and so on. Why? These were my own weekly management reports and I often shared them with other traders. Trading is a business and I need to report to myself and fellow traders how well or poor I was doing. Again, the key is to reflect on what you did right and what you did wrong, learn the lessons and be even better next week.
I have posted examples of each type of document for you to download.
May it safe you time, money and pain
Good luck and good trading.