We’ve talked for quite a few years about tracking your trading results in “groups of trades”. And using the stats from those groups to drive your growth and development.
(If you need a larger copy of the original flowchart image, I believe this was the first article it appeared in.)
It can be very tempting to tweak our strategy following a particularly frustrating loss. But the fact is that an individual trade (or even two to three trades) is usually insufficient data to make informed changes to your plan. See this recent article – https://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-business/one-trade-does-not-provide-enough-data/
So we track our performance in this manner to take the focus off individual trades and let us see how our edge plays out across a larger series of trades (20 absolute minimum).
A series of trades small enough to provide regular and frequent feedback – but large enough to be approaching some way towards statistical significance.
The changes you make following your review may not provide the desired change. Sometimes they will require further amendment. Sometimes they’re sufficient, but you just can’t see it yet as conditions may have changed and you need to see this play out over a larger period of time. And sometimes they take you in a completely wrong direction.
Progress is rarely linear and rarely smooth!
And that can lead to incredible frustration.
I was chatting by email with a trader last weekend who has found himself in this cycle of frustration, having completed the last couple of series with little obvious progress.
But then he did this…
He is continuing now with renewed confidence, commencing this next series with some ideas for improving the size of his average win. And hopefully making that final push to positive expectancy.
We often get so caught up in the day-to-day or week-to-week battle, that we lose sight of our long-term progress.
I’m reminded of this article from a few years back – https://yourtradingcoach.com/trader/trader-motivation-hacks-number-1/
And the central message from that article…
Don’t forget to pause occasionally to look back and see how far you have come. You might just be amazed at how far it is.
Progress is rarely linear. And rarely smooth.
So be kind to yourself.
And maybe each quarter or half year you could seek out a nice confidence boost that comes from seeing your longer-term progress.
Take some time out to pause and compare your performance from the last six months with the six months prior to that.
If you have seen progress – congratulations! Confidence boost achieved!
If you have not seen progress – congratulations! Wake up call achieved! It’s time to pause the day-to-day grind and step back to recheck your premises. Whether it’s a flawed strategy or poor execution or simply an ineffective plan for growth & development, you now have a chance to find the problem and correct it.
Pause and check your progress. There is nothing to lose, even if it shows no progress at all.
But maybe… you might just be amazed to see how far you have come.