Reflecting on My Q4 2013 Performance

It’s about time to call 2013 a wrap, but before I do, gotta do my quarterly performance review.  Let’s see what kind of mistakes I made, and how I can do better for 2014.

As always, I’ll start off with the raw trade stats. Here it goes:

No. of Trade ideas: 8
Trades Triggered: 6
No. of Wins: 3
No. of Losses: 3
Trades ideas not Triggered: 2
Win%: 50%
Average gain per winning trade: +0.17%
Average loss per losing trade: -0.22%
Q4 Blog Performance: -0.03%

I felt I did better in this final quarter in terms of putting in more prep time (which improved my win/loss ratio and my directional bias skills), but I felt I was lacking in terms of trade management.

One of the most difficult things about short-term swing trading–which is very true for me–is timing. I still feel like I don’t have enough experience to time certain aspects of my trading well: entries, trailing stops, etc.

There are times where it made sense to hold on to a winning trade to max it out, but then I would trail my stop too tight to take me out before the real move.  And there were other times when I held on when I should have cut out with a smaller profit ahead of big events instead of letting it stop out at a loss or breakeven.

And as usual, there are times when I’m too conservative with my entries by waiting for a retracement, and then the market runs away in my bias direction.  Of course, that can work the other way as well.  And maybe a part of the trickiness with timing is due to the continued uncertainty and constant stream of news events, which is something I don’t think one can ever truly master.

Overall, I think my focus is still not at a level to what I think is needed for shorter-term swing trading, which is why I’ve decided to play longer-term trades for 2014.  Again, I think my fundamental bias skills are pretty good, but handling the short-term noise and uncertainty of weekly events has made swing trading a bit difficult for me. I think if I focus more on my strengths, I’ll have a better chance of improving my performance with longer-term trades, especially since it seems like market behavior is returning to the old days where currencies traded more on fundamentals rather than risk-on/risk-off sentiment.

So, here are my final stats for 2013:

No. of Trade ideas: 42
Trades Triggered: 35
No. of Wins: 13
No. of Losses: 22
Trades ideas not Triggered: 7
Win%: 37.14%
Average gain per winning trade: +0.36%
Average loss per losing trade: -0.40%
2013 Performance: -3.74%

Another down year in my journey to consistent profitability, but I won’t let it get me down.  I know it’s a long, bumpy road in which I feel like I have a few more years until I get “good.” And at this point it’s not even a question of knowledge or skill, but more of consistent focus and execution that holds me back.  If I learned anything this year, it’s that trading really isn’t that difficult–it’s the constant need for discipline that makes it really, really tough.

Well that’s it for my review and reflection.  Thanks for checking out my blog and I hope it helps motivate you to create your own trade journal to develop and improve your own trading skills.  Take care and good luck in 2014!

  • ForExchange

    Hi,

    i find your analysis and blog very informative! I wish you also a great 2014.

    Do you have a statistic from your performance if your remaining 7 ideas would have been triggered? Would it make your performance positive?

    Greetings

    • Pipcrawler

      Thanks for your comments ForExchange and good luck to you too in 2014!

      As far as my non-triggers, they were all Fib retracement plays that ended up going in favor of my directional bias–just didn’t reach my entry orders All would have been winners, and if I managed those trades well, it definitely would have altered my 2013 performance positively.

  • https://twitter.com/EmanuilValkov WaterWay

    LOL man ,…
    Have you considered, that what makes Tiger Woods so good ain’t waiting for a good weather, nor saving for a better sticks… maybe is just freaking lots of practice, any time, at any conditions, with anything he has at hand…?
    And I mean practice, in its full quantitative meaning.
    Braking down 35 actual trades, that makes 2.9 trades a month.
    Or else said, less than 1 trade (0.72916) every week.
    5 full trading days + 2 service days* = 0.7 trades executed !?

    I understand that HFT or even day-trading may not be your thing, but until the results start coming the way you like it, is good to keep an open mind, right ?
    Now look, I did find this Awesome article – http://2ndskiesforex.com/strategies-for-forex-trading/forex-articles/trading-like-sniper-really-means/ , and I believe it can be helpful going forward.
    I have relationship what so ever with the site nor the author himself, but that doesn’t make it less valuable.
    Go through it, tell me what you think…

    • rehmatkhan

      quiet interesting article and i use the same techniques believe i am very successful although i am new and un experienced

    • Pipcrawler

      I agree Waterway. The only way to get to Carnegie Hall is to practice :) I’ve changed up my trading over the years, but like I mentioned in my post, a big part of my problem is focus and discipline. Until I can start executing consistently well, I’m gonna stick to fundamental trading techniques and practices. But I’ll keep an open mind and check out your link. Thanks!

  • https://twitter.com/EmanuilValkov WaterWay

    will be nice to have an “EDIT” icon on my replies in case of typos ,…
    (as it is the case right now)…
    but why bother making it useful, right ,…?
    you know that’s a good point, so pass it on , “please” …

    • Pipcrawler

      Thanks for your feedback WaterWay…I’ll definitely send that over to the web geeks when they get back in the new year :)

  • adamkhang

    thanks for your post, you give me more confident for next year comming 2014. really eager to trade.

    • Pipcrawler

      Thanks for checking out my post and your comments adam! Good luck in your journey into trading and hope to see more of your comments here!

  • savvypips

    great write up!
    I don’t ever miss your quarterly reflections cos there’s so much to learn from it.keep up the good work,as you journey towards complete mastery of the uncertainties in the foreign exchange.
    I know you will get there and am cheering you all the way!

    • Pipcrawler

      Thanks for the kind comments savvypips! I’m cheering for you as well and wishing you the best for your trading in 2014 and beyond!

  • Pradip

    All year you trade 42 and loss 22 and 13 win trade but end of year loss -3.74 money so what is meaning of betting forex trades?

    • Pipcrawler

      Hey Pradip, I’m not sure I understand your question, but I think you’re asking, “why trade forex?” For me, I still believe it’s the best way for little guys like myself to get into market speculation or investing. Sure I had a loss, but it was small and it’s a small price to pay to develop and improve my skills, which I believe I did. I believe when I do get “good” it’ll be worth the years of practice. :)

    • https://twitter.com/EmanuilValkov WaterWay

      well… good luck with the “betting”…
      as of the loosing,
      if a reasonable amount of time was dedicated to “doing your own thinking” , (similar to) the following top-down conclusion would be in place (which itself could completely disregard the existence of this reply).
      knowing what to do<–knowing what not to do<–doing what should not be done
      the actual doing of what should not be done, leading to the consequences that follow it, creates a lasting impression and urge for avoiding repetition of the undergo consequences, a.k.a. – Learning By Doing.
      If your questions is, why trying to bicycle since someone has already fallen 13 times,well…persistence,stubbornness,call it as you will. the only thing that matters is the bottom line result – bicycling or walking.
      If all this sounds too pity, just recall Bruce Lee – A wise man can learn more from a foolish question,than a fool can learn from a wise answer.
      I believe, the way you grapple with this reply can tell a great deal of yourself and how you handle volatility on the quotation board and in live as a whole.
      Peace.

      • Pipcrawler

        Thanks again WaterWay for you thoughts…very deep stuff. Don’t worry, I’ll never stop asking questions on how I can improve and do my best to do the right things, the right way, at the right time. Good luck to you in 2014!

  • MercPip

    Pipcrawler, thanks for your daily updates they really aided me in building my own market perspective, I’m a forex newbie, I discovered that I have a high trading libido (urge to trade every potential trend setup) which is off-course has been catastrophic at times. Overall a trade with a seal like mind set very much aware that I hunt in the FX Ocean with ferocious sharks, so timing is everything.
    @Waterway your spot on.

    • Pipcrawler

      Thanks for your comment MercPip! Of course, you should be taking all of your valid setups, but it does take time to refine the method, which means for most, we’ll be taking more trades than we should in the beginning of our trading journey. Good luck to you bud!

  • liliku

    I agree with you too tight sl lost your gut and less entry, your technical skill is very good. Don.t hesitate to pull the trigger Merry profit and happy new year.

    • Pipcrawler

      Thanks liliku! I’ll definitely make some adjustments for this year starting with my GBP/CAD idea in my newest update. Check it out if you get a chance!

  • chaudhry28

    Pipcrawler whats your idea about cable it would be bearish or bullish in 2014? i am new in forex market i have already lost alot of money now i am trying to have safe trades :)

    • Pipcrawler

      I think GBP is one of the more attractive major currencies, so I’ll probably be buying it if the story remains the same and when the market gives me decent prices. The Bank of England’s first meeting of the year is this week, so I’ll have to wait and see what they say before making any moves.

      If you’re new, I usually suggest taking it slow by demo trading until you get your trading and risk management methods down first, then trade with a very, very small live account. But since you say you’re already in a trade, I’ll just say to go with whatever you decided what your stop is on that trade. What ever it may be, I’m sure you have a good reason to pick that level.

  • Christopher Drosos

    hello, i wuld like to give you 1000 euro in order to make them 10.000.
    when can we start?
    thanks :D

    • Pipcrawler

      Hahaha thanks for the vote of confidence, but I’m still a far off way from trading other people’s money. Plus, the best thing is to do is to learn this on your own, even if it’s for long-term investing.