For the past three months, I suffered from fear of trading, hesitated a lot and did not really trade at all.
Most of this was due to lack of confidence.
I'm still a rookie trader and still have much to learn. So, I can't really build my trust on years of experience at this point.
Luckily, I track all my trades in great detail.
Over the last weekend, I juggled my numbers and improved my spreadsheet dashboard to better show my current trading results.
And - to my surprise - I'm actually better than I thought! Not good by any definition. But getting there. (As far as one can tell after 20 trades.)
The most important numbers, for me, are:
- Winning %
- P/L Ratio
These numbers show how often I win compared to lose, how much $$$ I gain compared to lose, and how consistently I do this.
Turns out that I currently have an overall winning rate of 32% and a P/L Ratio of 2.5:1, not consistent, though.
On Investopedia I found another great number, the "Statistical Expectancy" or "Average Profitability Per Trade" (Link). This number tells me whether or not (on average) I can expect to gain or lose on any given trade.
My statistical expectancy is 0.75%. So I can expect to make a positive gain on average on all my trades.
Last year, the numbers where slightly better (I started this year with two losing trades, which messed this up a bit).
Especially the positive Statistical Expectancy and the P/L Ratio gave me quite a confidence boost.
But looking at my numbers, I found something else.
If you count in broker fees, I lost $315 last year, in 18 trades.
The broker that I used last year was really expensive (around $15 per trade, $30 in and out of a trade).
Out of boredom, I applied Interactive Brokers' fee structure to all of my trades from last year.
And lo and behold, had I been with IB last year and executed all my trades the exact same way as I did, I actually would have made around $150, instead of losing $315!
(Profit.ly kind of reflects this, because for the trades from last year, the broker fees have not been calculated here.)
There I was, thinking that I'm still a losing trader, when in reality, I was profitable all the time (albeit small). I just reduced my account because of ridiculous fees!
This is fantastic! It means that overall, I am profitable and my average winners are bigger than my average losers!
You can't imagine how happy this makes me!
Now I will use this newfound confidence to improve my winning % even more. If I can get it up from 32% to at least 55% while keeping my P/L Ratio around 2:1, I will be able to scale up soon. And that's when I can start focusing on growing my account.
I love my spreadsheet!
Happy trading to all of you!