Did you make any New Year's Resolutions?
Here is one related to trading - resolve to keep a trading journal and update it every day with every trade. Make a list of questions to answer about each trade, and put them into a template so you can go through and quickly answer each one...the more you simplify it, the more likely you will keep it up day after day. Here are my recommendations for questions:
1.) Why did I enter the trade?
This should cover the setup and what you saw to make you go long or short.
2.) Why did I exit the trade?
Was there a predefined target? (hint - there always should be!!!) Did you exit early because you saw something in the price action that made you think the move was over?
3.) In retrospect, would I take this trade again?
Now that you are looking at it after-hours, was it a good trade (regardless of the profit of lack of)? If the answer is no, explain why.
Of course you want to include the entry time, entry price, what your stop was, what your target was, exit time, and exit price. And always take a screen shot of the chart.
Again - keep it simple. Create a "Trading Journal" folder on your desktop and keep your notes in a single Word document. Save each chart as a .jpg and name the file with the symbol and the date for easy reference.
If you do this one thing it will probably improve your trading tenfold in 2009. The problem is, we all know what we should do - but rarely do we actually do it. Make the commitment today that you are serious about your trading, and as a result you will keep a trading journal and document every trade in 2009.
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