Analysis of a day trader halfway into the year

As a fledgling trader (7 years now and I’m still learning) It’s always good to sit down and take stock of where you’re at. Some people do it on a weekly, monthly or even a quarterly basis. It depends on how many traders you take I suppose and how much info do you want to trawl through. Me, ½ year as I look for longer term trades and I have a full-time job.
Why do we do this? Well it’s good account management for starters. First question is “Was is profitable?” If yes then you have a great plus point on your self-analysis. You’re one of the 15% profitable retail traders out there. If you are a losing trader or even a break-even trader it’s time to look back at each trade and take a hard look at the reasons why you took the trade. Was it sized correctly? Were the reasons for the trade correct? Why did the trade go against you? If you can identify those issues then you will be on the right path to fixing those problems and in turn gain a profitable account. Hindsight can be a double-edged sword. This is where you have to be brutally honest with yourself and your self-critique.

So, let’s take a look at some of the trades I’ve taken which have led me to a rather good first half of the year. It has NOT been plain sailing. If you have read any of my previous articles you will know of my makeup and mentality which leads to the battles within myself every day. This is not traders anonymous but it’s a very important background into my decision making. Also showing I’m far from perfect.
This has been a real eye opener exercise for me. What I think were areas where I was trading well were in fact not quite so good. I had a few surprises and a few boo boo’s which I knew about.
I took 569 trades of which 395 were profitable. 569/395 So a little over 69% winning trades.
Here is the breakdown on the pairs I traded;

(Trades taken/winners – total profit/loss)

  • AUD/JPY – 2/2 – Profit
  • AUD/NZD – 9/7 – Profit
  • AUD/USD – 8/6 – Loss
  • EUR/AUD – 2/2 – Profit
  • EUR/CAD – 6/4 – Loss
  • EUR/CHFf – 14/11 – Profit
  • EUR/GBP – 4/1 – Loss large
  • EUR/JPY – 9/7 – Profit
  • EUR/NZD – 2/2 – Profit
  • EUR/USD – 24/14 – Loss
  • GBP/JPY – 10/9 – Profit
  • GBP/USD – 36/29 – Profit large
  • Gold – 15/8 – Loss medium
  • WTI – 9/5 – loss
  • NZD/USD – 10/7 – Profit
  • USD/CAD – 34/20 – Profit large
  • USD/CHF– 1/0 – Loss
  • Dxy – 8/3 Loss Very Large
  • USD/JPY – 28/21 – Profit
  • USD/MXN – 14/10 – Profit Huge
  • Dow Jones – 324/225 – Profit large

That’s the trades taken/winner ratios. Means nothing if I wasn’t profitable. Many traders can say they have ratios like this but the losers have huge losses which trump the winners. So where am I profit wise come this time of year? 100% up. Surprised? I am! What is even more surprising is which pairs it is has come from. Having doubled my account, it makes working things out quite easy.

So, let’s start with my losses and mistakes;

  • AUS/USD was a small loss. 1 trade did that where I went quite big on a major level quite recently. Gave it a chance to roam but hit my stop.
  • EUR/CAD similar reasons to the above. Strange one though as Cad is one of my better pairs, which means Eur is a currency I’m not picking well. Work to do then.
  • EUR/GBP was a fat finger trade and went in way, way too big. In the trading room they all knew about it. Very annoyed I was as well. If I had let it run I would have seen large profits but I managed my account and got out. It was how I recovered.
  • EUR/USD This surprised me. Smallish loss but Eur seems to be my problem area.
  • Gold. I played a few levels but couldn’t get it right.
  • WTI. A pair I study a lot but just haven’t traded it. There was one big loss on the books which hurt but overall nothing to be disheartened over.
  • DXY. The worst of the worst. Shocking trading, shocking management and I doubt very much I’ll trade it again this year. Lesson learnt.

Now for the profits. A lot of pairs were small profits. Some stood out for me;

  • AUD/NZD is a lovely pair to trade and I seemed to get it right.
  • EUR/CHF My history with this pair is well documented and I don’t like sitting on it for long. 1 very good trade in there which put this pair in the green.
  • GBP/USD This was the real profit surprise for me. I had no idea I had done so well on Cable. It wasn’t just 1 or 2 strong profitable trades it was consistent good ones.
  • USD/CAD This would have been even better if it were not for my bad trading over the break of 1.3050 a few weeks ago. A pair that I’ve been hitting right and hopefully will continue to.
  • USDMXN Not for the faint hearted. I have had to wear some pain on this and I would have ballsed my year up if it had exploded to the topside pre-election. However, playing to the short side with the epic carry I have done well and this pair has contributed towards 40% of overall profit. That number raised my eyebrow too.
  • Dow Jones. This was a very sobering read. I went through all my trades. Before I did this, I thought this was the main contributor to my profits. How wrong was I. Yes, I’ve had some 1000+ pip winners but I’ve gambled on this market. Trade sizing is the big issue, thus, the gambling. 324 trades!!!

Ok, so in summary. Bottom line very good. Winning ratio, very good. Gambling? Yes. Making good analytical well sized trades yes. Over the next 6 months I need to iron out the bad, off the cuff, gamble trades. Let some trades run further and be brave with those. We all need to continually refine our trading, selves and outlook. The market never stands still so why should we.

David Terrell

Trading Pilgrim and founder of the Thomas Jordan Fan Club.
Philosophy: "If you like gambling and adrenaline rushes in your life, do base jumping, not trading"
David Terrell

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