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Performance Metrics

Measuring your trading performance is much more than just looking at your bottom line and seeing if you have a profit or loss. It should be much more indepth than that when it comes to your trading.  Tonight we look at some possible metrics you could use to measure your performance. 

1. Number of long and short trades
You correlate this to the trend condition of the market to see if you are trading with the current trend or against it. For example in a Bull market trending up we want to trade long only.  If a Bear market is trending down we want to be on the short side.  If a flat or trendless market is range bound we want to have an equal number of long and short positions and go long the valleys and short the peaks. 

2. Number of winning and losing trades
When we are trading well we have more winning trades than losers by a reasonably healthy margin.  When the ratio starts to plunge for more than a short time period we need to reevaluate our trading and our trading strategies. We may be trading against the current market trend and that will need to be adjusted quickly. 

3. Time holding trades
At STHQ we are shortterm oriented traders and we tend to have a relatively short time frame in which we hold trades. Sometimes this works to our advantage and sometimes it does not. But considering our success we tend to believe it works for us more times than not.  Holding stocks too long can tie up funds that could be working in other trades.  If a stock is not moving up there is no reason to own it.  Therefore you should cut your holding time on any stocks that are not moving in the desired direction of your trade.  

4. Time holding losing trades versus winners
It is very hard to make money over time by holding losers.  Eventually the size of the losers becomes greater than the winners so that even a trader who has more winning trades than losers can end up in the red. This is why we are always cutting our losses as soon as the trade goes against us.  If you have a long position why hold a stock that is going down Admit you are wrong and get out of the trade immediately. 

5. Profit/Loss broken down by long and short trades and broken down by market condition 
This tells us if we are trading ranges better than breakouts; whether we are doing better on the long side or the short side.  If our performance is significantly worse in one mode than the other we can then start to examine our trading habits and adjust for needed improvements. 

Always try to include metrics to your trading this will further breakdown why you are successful or where you need to improve.

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