UPDATE: YOU CAN TRACK YOUR TRADES BY EXPORTING A CSV FILE (WHICH I NEVER KNEW) THIS SAVES ME SO MUCH TIME!!!!
JUST GO TO 'MY TRADES' > 'EXPORT TRADES'
You will get a lot of columns you don't need but you can delete them and organize the same way! Which is exactly what I'm doing!
If there's one thing I've learned in the last two years, it's this...
Track your trades
I never realized the importance to this until I actually did it and after you do it, you'll wonder why you've spent so long trading without doing it.
When I say track your trades, here is how I lay out my excel. It's simple and shouldn't take you long. Currently, I track 1 month of trades per day. I'm nearly done tracking all 520+ trades I've taken.
Columns in Excel:
Trade Date, Ticker, Setup (THIS IS CRUCIAL), Size, Entry, Exit, P/L%
If you can get the time stamp, even better!
Profit.ly gives you the ability to review your trades so take advantage of that feature. When you're writing your trade comments, actually write them! Now that I'm actually tracking trades, I've found that merely writing 'Test', etc. is USELESS when it comes to tracking.
What helps is explaining what the actual setup is that you took. Was it an intraday breakout? a pre-market high breakout? pattern #5? What was it?!? This matters!
Why does it matter?
It matters because 6 months from now when you're struggling in the trade game and want to get better, you want to know where you're going wrong and WHY! You also want to know what percentage of the time a particular setup works. This will help give you more confidence when you take those setups in the future. Also, trade setups can be hot and cold. For example, the last two weeks, the p/m hod breakout pattern I typically look for hasn't been coming around. Why does that matter? Because the percentage of time that works will go down! How are you going to know that the percentage is going down? You guessed it, ding ding ding, by TRACKING YOUR TRADES!!! Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! The market works in waves, it does what it wants, when it wants...not when you want. Sometimes setups work, sometimes they don't. So YOU have to be the equilibrium, compensate and ADAPT!
I realize that a lot here may still be new and that's ok! You can still track your trades even if you're paper trading.
In the beginning I didn't take the time to do it, I regret not doing it sooner. Don't be that person! Track your trades! You'll appreciate the time you've taken to track after you do it.