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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!

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