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Analyzing trades: Past vs Future
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Analyzing trades: Past vs Future

  #1 (permalink)
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Analyzing trades: Past vs Future

New poll created on forum homepage, please vote there and discuss here.

How much time do you spend analyzing past trades vs future trades?

Mike

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  #3 (permalink)
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How much time do you spend analyzing past trades vs future trades?

Mike

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I spend a lot more time analyzing past trades, probably 80/90% of my time. IMO, a "future trade" is kind of a play on words, what's a "future trade?" If a future trade is identifying levels in the market where I might place my stop, entry and target, prior to taking a position in the market, then I'm certain I spend more time analyzing past trades. I've learned much more from analyzing my past trades (facts) than I have trying to analyzing the future direction (guess) of the market. I might spend more than an hour dissecting a winning trade after the market has closed. But the funny thing is, I might spend the whole weekend dissecting one or two losing trades. I learn much more from my losing trades than I do from my winners. Why did this trade not work out like the last several trades which were basically the same setup, was it the time of day, did I miss a news release out of China or Greece, should I put China and Greece economic news on my watch list or was it breaking news that no one could have seen coming? Did I fail to have all my refresh data loaded on my chart since I last closed down my charting program, (I've done this) and did this missing data cause my indicators to chart incorrect levels? Did I check the Holiday schedule, was I unaware of an early close in Asia or Europe? Were my manual calculations correct, did I mark these levels appropriately on my chart? These are a few of the questions I ask when reviewing past trades, and many more.

Future trades reside in the great unknown, the future. I can look at a chart that has 2 years of past data 15 minutes prior to the open and say to myself, if price goes here I'll do this, if price goes there I'll do that. Then after the open when price moves to one of these levels I can't take the trade because Germany (or someone) is going to release economic data in 5 minutes and my risk on the trade is much much greater at this particular moment in time. I believe analyzing future trades is done on a moment to moment basis and therefore I spend very little time looking at yesterday's chart(s). I guess to me, future trades are not in the future at all, they're right now. I might sit and wait an hour or two watching the market unfold, but when the time to take the position arrives, I probably spend less than a minute analyzing the market. My opinions are based on my experience as an intraday Euro trader, a longer term trader may have the exact opposite outlook on analyzing their trades.

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Most days I create a chart with my sup/res, trendlines and setup annotations. There I compare what I should have... and what I did. That's my normal past analyzing section.

I know my setups. All well known and simple stuff.

My interest is in the part when all things come together (sup/res, trendline, setup, (vol)). By watching the markets (live) my aim is to feel the market there and to act.
Often I make a note with the time/date/instrument to go over the same selective period of interest in playback mode a few days/weeks later when it is out of my memory. That's my most valuable past analyze.

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Right now of the time not spent trading roughly 49% [another other 49% spent looking at charts trying find some sort of commonality among price patterns (in a static chart, or price action in replay) that eventually deliver a selected reward/risk ratio, the remaining 2% working on the trading plan, meaning -100% having a life outside trading ].

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Poll closed, results:

Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).


Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.

Reply With Quote
 
  #7 (permalink)
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Wow after looking at the poll I am very much in the minority. I spend twice as much time if not more looking at past trades and my journals notes than I do looking for a set up. I thought other people would do the same, guess not. I can find set ups easily, they just form on charts. Either its there or it isn't, but trades I have taken I can learn more by reviewing them and dissecting them. At least that's what I am trying to do. I am a firm believer in not making the same mistake twice.

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Personally, I spend a lot of time looking at past trades. I also spend a lot of time looking for future trades, but as an equity trader, I'm sifting through a lot of potential symbols looking for setups that might be forming, or unexpected activity.

Re past trades, there are two kinds - losers and winners.

For losers, as long as I'm trading my plan, and not fooling around with my stops, then they weren't too bad. I can analyze why I entered the trade, and I can think about if my stops were in the right place and my risk was appropriate...but in the end, it was a losing trade, and I expect some of those. So I will look at whether there were conditions that made it less likely for this trade to succeed - and I'll look at my execution of the trade to make sure I didn't make it any worse than it had to be. Did I misinterpret what I saw on the tape? Too much volatility and I got shaken out? But in the end, this losing trade shouldn't have cost a lot (if it did, I have something to think about.) And - I try to consider whether this was a bad trade, or just a losing trade.

For winning trades, I feel I can learn a lot. I mentioned it in my webinar, but I like to go through the trade again, review all of the information I had at the time of the trade, and consider my decisions. How could I have done better? How could I have made more money?

If I sold some too early, I try to think about why. I'm very prone to this - I get nervous, and I like to "lock in" profits. I can't help it. So I consider that when thinking about how I could have done better. I know I have an irresistable urge to take some off, so I embrace that. Assuming I do take some off, where could I have added back on? Could I have done it, emotionally? What were the signals I could have seen that would have helped me do it? Was my size appropriate? Could I have traded it larger, and still keep risk reasonable? I visualize that. What would it have felt like to have 2000 shares on, instead of 500?

All of the above requires a lot of notes made during the trade, so I can re-live it later and learn from it...so I do my best to make those notes as soon as I can, while I'm thinking about it.

Anyway, just some random thoughts...

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