Think Like A Trader Blog

Monday, 14 September 2015

Mark your Progress as a Trader

Reading Time - 4 Minutes.

Training Course Release Date - 16th September.

This can be a really good way to show yourself that you are improving. I didn’t implement this for the longest time and as a result, I found that even as I was improving I was still angry with myself and frustrated. Because I couldn’t really see the improvements, I was only focusing on the losing trades.

What I did to change this was really simple. I stuck an A4 piece of paper to the wall behind my computer. I have a red marker, a blue marker and a green marker. When I have a losing trade I draw a small red circle on the paper. A breakeven trade is blue. And green for a winning trade. Next to the winning trades I also mark down the risk/reward I achieved.

When I first started doing this I was at best a breakeven trader, meaning I maintained my account with winners and losses. I wasn’t really going anywhere. The A4 sheet was a colourful mix of dots. But I hadn’t really noticed that I was a breakeven trader. Sure, I knew that my account was steady and I didn’t need to add funds, but it hadn’t really clicked in my head. I was focusing on the losing trades when what I should have been doing was congratulating myself for making the transition from a consistent loser to someone who can maintain an account (trust me, most people never make it that far!)

As I progressed I could see it right there on the wall. Green dots with risk reward equalling to more than the losses. Good weeks were right there for me to see. Bad weeks were glaring back at me.

I remember one specific incident where I had built my account to £1,000. I was becoming cocky and certain that this was it, I was on the route to my millions! And of course I blew it in one trading session whereby my rules went out the window and my emotions took over. I can still remember that day very clearly, of putting up the countless red dots on the wall after the day was done. I was left with £167. Quite a loss.

So I turned it into a sort of game after that – this after I had licked my wounds for a day or two! I limited myself to trading the minimum position size of £2 per point. And I was determined to get the account back to £1,000 only using minimum position sizing.

It took a while, but I did it. Now for professional traders that is nothing, but for me it was a huge achievement. And looking at all the green dots on the wall made me feel proud of myself. I still use the same method, although now I mark the trades in a Trading Diary rather than on the wall. I was able to watch myself progress, profitable days turning into profitable weeks, then months.

It was a great feeling and it got me out of my head on bad days or after losing trades. Because I would just look at the wall and say to myself, Stop being an idiot, you can’t avoid the losses, but look how far you’ve come, look at all those winners!

I hope you have a great trading week!

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