I was doing some work on a Trend Jumper trade plan for the British Pound Futures (6B/BP) and decided that it’d be a nice idea to share some of the work I’ve been doing in an Excel Trade Log at the same time.
Netpicks already has a fantastic free trade log tool available for Excel in the Ultimate Trade Analyzer. If you aren’t aware of this tool, I strongly suggest you watch the YouTube video – Backtesting Secrets Revealed with The Ultimate Trade Analyzer.
Although the UTA is great, I decided to approach this from scratch.
So why bother if there’s already such a fantastic tool available?
Well there are a number of reasons, but there are two primary factors:
- it allows greater flexibility
- it’s an excellent learning opportunity.
Learn Not Just Trading Skills
Learning Excel over the past few years has forced me to learn a number of skills. All pretty simple to a seasoned user I’m sure, but when you’re just starting out, it’s not necessarily always so straight forward and it certainly can be daunting.
But really all it takes is a little determination, good use of YouTube videos (I can’t recommend the ExcelIsFun YouTube channel enough) or Google searches and practice – which is why a real life example is such a fantastic opportunity to put your skills to work and find solutions to problems by learning new tricks.
- pivot tables
- data analysis pack
- named ranges
Not only those but also the many formulae available, their nuances and the syntax to make them work.
To someone who’s already heavily technical in their work, I’m sure this is a simple task.
But for everyone else, it takes a bit of time and effort in order to get up to speed. However, once you’ve attained a degree of skill, you’ll see just how worthwhile the effort has been.
Track Anything To Measure Progress
So having the skill level to create a decent trade log or for that matter, anything, is clearly going to be helpful in tracking your progress and identifying patterns in results for example.
But what this does is it opens up a whole world of options for you to track.
If you want to track specific types of trading error for example to see how much each is costing you, just add a column and once you have enough data, a pivot table will give you what you’re looking for.
If you want to compare your trading results by time of day, it’s simple enough to use either a FLOOR or CEILING formula to group trades so that you can make a useful comparison by 15mins, 30mins, 60mins or by AM/PM for example.
Learn by Example
Even when you have a video with someone who’s clearly highly skilled at Excel, if what they’re trying to do is different from your objective, it’s always going to be far more difficult to understand how to incorporate their techniques into the task at hand.
So by having a trading spreadsheet for you to poke and prod, the use of specific formulae and other methods used to achieve certain features, I hope will be a little bit easier to get to grips with – and if not, then you can always use the trade log as a trade log template!
Take a look at the spreadsheet in the attached file: –
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