“Sometimes you need to slow down to go fast.”

One of my favorite quotes from quite possibly the most thought provoking books I have read in a while.  Provocative for traders as well as life in general, if you haven’t read “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson, do yourself a favor and pick it up.

This quote resonated me as I was reviewing my trading stats for the week and reflecting on progress I had made in several areas.  I am a firm believer of what gets measured has the ability to be altered, and analyzing your trading results is one of the biggest favors you can do as a trader starting out.  I started doing this years ago and, now as a full time trader, it is that much more relevant to understanding where my opportunities lie and where I am strong.

Here is a snapshot of what I am talking about:

This was taken from analysis early in my trading career a few years ago as I worked to understand where my strengths were and where there were opportunities for me to improve (this was a monthly snapshot when I was trading part-time).  A couple of thoughts were pretty glaring from this:

Positive thoughts

  1.  Shorting clearly came easier to me
  2. I was much more adept at holding onto my shorts longer and/or adding to them appropriately

Thoughts on opportunities

  1. average size of win cannot equal average size of loss
  2. need to hone in on a more A+ setup, as clearly I was taking too many plays
  3. maybe I should just stick to shorts

🙂  That last point I was mildly serious on…Fast forward a few years and my win percentage for longs has improved to 72% and my average size of the long is much more in line to how I perform on the long side.

Slowing myself down to maintain a stat log provided such a learning opportunity. Without measuring, how do you know what needs to improve, right?  If you aren’t tracking your progress and are new to trading, I would encourage you to do so.  Reach out if you need help with building a log, happy to share mine with you.

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