As most of you know, a big part of my trading is fairly passive, ETF index investing, in my retirement account. That and my dividend portfolio combine as the core of my retirement passive income strategy. I do however also have some more speculative strategies such as my long term speculative picks, my long & short tech stocks. I don’t expect to improve my returns every year obviously but I do expect to get better at it over time. I only control so much and while my tech stock picks have been disappointing this year, I do believe that I’ve been trading better. I do still get some things wrong obviously but hopefully when there are lessons to be taken, I’ll be able to learn them.
Trade Diary – Great Concept But Not For Me
I’ve read many interviews with some of the greater investors and many of them agree that it’s key to go back in time, look at trades and try to understand what was done right or not, what could be improved, etc. It makes perfect sense obviously. When athletes try to improve, one of the top ways is going back to look at film, seeing what could be improved. I think most of us would agree that the same is true of trading. The problem is that it’s not as easy to go back in time. If I were to try to write down a trade diary as many of the others guys, I’d like have to write about:
–My trades: why I opened a trade, what the main factors were, why this pair rather than another, what the numbers are, etc.
The reality is that it just seems like a lot of work to not only write these down but then go back trying to look back at trades months later.
This Blog Is A Better Way
I get an opportunity to write down my thoughts, my trades, my opinions on specific stocks, etc. This has enabled me look deep into my trades, find some recurring errors, that did lead me to make some changes in the way I trade. One big change for example has been to not open such positions in the week prior to a company announcing its results. There’s no doubt that my post about Google (GOOG) last week is yet another example of how trading before earnings can go wrong.
Wait, It Gets Better
While being able to get my thoughts out there, and retrieve them easily has been a good way to write my own sort of “trading diary”, the best part without any doubt has been the feedback from all of you. I’m not just saying this. Through comments on the blog but also a lot of interactions on Twitter (@intelligentspec) and answers to my mailing lists, I’ve been fortunate to get a lot of feedback which has helped my trading a great deal. I’m very fortunate to have all of you and I’m truly thankful.
How Do You Learn From Your Trading Mistakes?
Have you bought stocks that you later regretted? Do you look back on past mistakes to see if you are repeating them? I’d love to hear from you.If you liked this post, you can consider subscribing to our free newsletters here