Standardizing Trading Result Reports

Discussion in 'Journals' started by MartinWeinberg, Aug 21, 2002.

  1. I think it would be beneficial if we standardized how we report trading results on EliteTrader.

    Every so often, someone will post that they made $1000, lost $800, etc.

    Unfortunately, this only tells us 2 things:
    1. Whether they simply won or lost
    2. How much their personal P&L was affected.

    Is this number gross, or is it net after commissions? Heck, it's easy to be gross positive when scalping, but you have to trade well to also be net positive. What was the position size? Making $1000 on a 100 share position is much more significant than making $1000 on a 750 share position. How many trades were involved? Was it just one trade? Or was it a series of trades?

    Without factoring these questions into the number, the dollar amount alone is not helpful to readers.

    For example, let's say a group of traders are all using the same strategy every day and want to compare notes. This can be very helpful to all involved, providing a gauge on performance. By reporting the results in a consistent, complete way, traders who use different position sizes can compare notes effectively.

    I welcome feedback and discussion on this topic, especially suggestions for what would make the most sense. To start things off, I propose the following:

    1. All numbers reported should be net after commissions, bullets, etc. Why? Because you can't deposit the "gross" amount in the bank. You earned what you earned. Anything else is just fooling yourself. In addition, consolidation and competition have made commissions fairly even across different firms.

    2. All numbers should be expressed as points instead of dollars. For example, if someone earned $500 (net, of course) on a 1000 share position, they would say that they made either "50 cents" or ".50". So would the person would made $50 on a 100 share position. Their accomplishments are mostly equal, and should be measured as such.

    What if a particular strategy involves a group of trades, either in one stock or a group of stocks?

    1. Subtract commissions and fees from the gross
    2. Divide the total shares by the number of trades (both opening and closing positions) to get an average position size.
    3. Divide the net dollar amount by the average position size. This gives you the final answer.

    So...what do you think? Would this be beneficial, or doesn't it matter? Do you agree with the proposal outlined here, or do you have an even better idea?
  2. Martin,

    You mention the word shares throughout your post.

    I'm assuming your comments are directed toward the journals by stock traders...

    just in case it was also meant for the Emini Traders posting their journals...

    those that use this Trading Journal are simply doing such to get feedback on their strategy of the trade.

    Their looking for insights into their entry or exit points. Their looking for tips on how to trade a certain pattern more profitable.
    Their looking for feedback on how to successfully trade a strong uptrend, downtrend, tight-trading to manage the emotional aspects of their trading.

    Simply, I don't think those that are currently posting journals are looking to spend all night posting what you want to see them post.

    Thus, I think just posting Long 1 contract @ a particular price or exiting 1 contract at a particular price along with a chart example is enough for me.

    Many that are posting their journals are beginners. It's hard enough for them to post charts and screen shots of their broker statements.

    Lets assume your not a beginner and have extra time after the market to post such information you suggest should be posted...

    Can you post a trade journal yourself and tell us exactly what your suggesting others to do?

    In fact...tell us how much time you spend every evening or morning (if your in Europe) posting such info you just suggested?

    Can you yourself do such for a week and then tell us if it's a pain to do such?

    Also, the most active journals are via Emini Future traders.

    Here's my suggestion...these are JOURNALS...not statistical work...

    therefore, I don't think its practical to do what you suggest.

    If you I mention such info yourself for about a week and tell us how much time it takes and if it detours you away from the original purpose of most journals via their opening 1st posts.

    For Huios opening 1st post in his journal and compare that to what you suggest.

    His first paragraph is such...

    This is a journal, not about trading, but about me, Huios, becoming a trader. I chose to do it online to make me more accountable to it (I hate journaling) , and to allow others to give constructive criticisms...

  3. Thank you for your feedback. I am not suggesting that it is important to post results, or that it is even pertinent to every thread.

    To clarify, my intent was this...

    Of the stock traders that were going to post results anyway (and there are many that do on EliteTrader), it would be helpful if we all did it in the same manner.

    And to answer your question, yes, I keep a personal trading journal where I log gross, net, win/loss percentage, R-multiple and expectancy by strategy. Once I set up my initial Excel workbook, I can typically do the whole process rather quickly. The whole thing takes me about 10 minutes. I find it to be well worth the time invested.
  4. CalTrader

    CalTrader Guest

    With all due respect ..... I really do not think that anyone has time to post their trading activities in detail. Morover why would they do this ? Helping others with a few suggestions is one thing: nobody would (or should) post the equivalent of their trading books to a public board, or reveal these things to anyone - unless there is a legal and/or fiduciary requirement.
  5. I was referring to the posts that people are already making .

    I'm not suggesting that people ought to post results, but sometimes they do. It would be more helpful if they did it in a similar manner.
  6. Martin

    I only post NET never gross.

    Who cares about gross if commissions eat you alive.

    I also talk in cents.....

    I made .50 (net again) and during the summer trade 1000 shares = $500

    After summer is over it will be double or 2000 shares....