The holidays are upon us! This is always a good time to look back at your trading this last year, think about the things you have accomplished, and think about what you want in the coming year. The best traders will be taking time to review their performance for the last 12 months, keeping humility and honesty in the front of their minds.
In 1989, I was working with a trading psychologist named Bob Koppel who first recommended I keep a trade journal. This one recommendation may have single handedly had the largest impact on my trading career. Having the day to day record of your activities, your emotions, and your performance is priceless.
Journaling is an excellent activity in and of itself, but can prove even more beneficial upon reflection. Reading carefully and mindfully through your journey will remind you not only of your successes, but the tougher “learning moments” as well. Let this take you back to those places and times and be very honest with yourself regarding your responses at certain times. How did you respond in the tougher situations? Did you look out for your best interest, or did you “revenge trade?”
Line up your trade log with the days in your journal and you can really feel those days, good and bad, all over again. What a great way to shorten the learning curve. Doing this will truly help you respond intuitively and correctly the next time you find yourself in a similar situation. And if you don’t yet have a journal, I can think of no better New Year’s Resolution!
Let’s not forget to spend time with loved ones and to appreciate all the gifts we have.
- John Hoagland, Market Strategist