Keeping a chartbook of trades you have taken might seem like such a random thing to do. A nice to have, for traders feeling nostalgic about past trades, maybe. You might’ve heard people talking about it, but I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t think twice of it and just went on with whatever you were doing.
I’m here to say that such a collection of trade screenshots (sometimes called a playbook or chartbook) is much less trivial. It might even be crucial to your success as a trader.
Let’s try this experiment: do you keep a trading journal? If you answered “yes” here: well done! Now pick a trade from 3 months ago and look at just the numbers. From that data, you can probably see it was a winner of a loser, your R-multiple, stop loss and take profit placement, MFE and MAE and so on.
But without a chart screenshot,
- can you tell what you could’ve done better on this particular trade?
- if you could’ve entered at a better price point?
- exited with more profit?
- if there were chart patterns you missed?
- if that new strategy idea you have would’ve worked out here?
No? That’s where a chartbook comes in. And it’s not even the only benefit of keeping track with chart screenshots.
Since keeping a chartbook, I found it much easier to stick to the good setups and avoid less than optimal setups. I know what to look for, but that visual double check using screenshots of past setups makes all the difference. But let’s first take a step back. What exactly is it?