10 Best Practices that Improved my Trading + Investing Performance

Ever since I started investing + trading, I've adopted a few practices which I feel improved my performance. Here's a summary of what works for me:

1. Have a notebook to write your FA and TA notes. It can be digital if you prefer but for me I like to have it on paper and I wrote it down on my previous company's notebook as if to tell myself that this is a path of no return and I had indeed left for greener pastures. 

2. Have a notebook to take down notes of your trades/investments, predictions etc. I write down the date and time of my purchase, include charts, pricing, reason for buying, stop loss and the emotions as I make the purchase or sale regardless of whether it is a paper trade or not.

I review this notebook when my day is over to serve as a reminder of how the day went and what I should look out for in the days to come. I keep notebook 1 seperate from notebook 2 for easy reference. 

3. Have an Excel file with a built in fees calculator for quick checks on whether to pull the trigger and a copy of the trading calendar so you know which days you can play hooky. I use a Numbers app built by ACCICB but really any version goes as you can customize it to suit your needs.

You may want to put in messages like Trust yourself, Don't listen to XXX etc inside in red and in bold block letters as a warning to yourself before you pull the trigger. 

4. Have a ruler and your stationery etc at a specified place in your home and work from there. If you work outside, you may get distracted and make the wrong decisions and live to regret it. But if you have to make buy or sell orders outside, do organize yourself and more importantly your state of mind before pulling the trigger.

5. Have alerts for you to scan the charts /& prices + pull the trigger if you don't wish to trade throughout the day but prefer to do morning or evening attacks.

6. If you do No 5, you would then have time throughout the trading day to read your annual reports, do chores or whatever you fancy. If you don't then you'll be glued to your screen except for toilet  breaks.

There's no one system fits all so find out what works best for you. For some, watching the prices go up and down can be too much to stomach and clouds the brain hence decision making is marred.

7. Some people find the news useful, some do not so again it's your take on what works best for you. I like knowing what news or rumours are going in the marketplace as it could be opportunity knocking but if you find yourself swayed too much by it then maybe you should not read it, at least until after market hours. Same principle applies for analysts reports, blogs etc.

8. Have symbols, alphabets or emoticons placed beside the company's name/ticker in your Watchlist to serve as a quick reference whether today it's in the buy or sell zone, what candlestick it is, when's earnings out etc as it makes scanning through your list a whole lot easier and faster.

9. At times if you didn't placed a stop loss, you may have to make the difficult but necessary decision of taking losses so that you get back at least some of your ammo which can be put to better use. I think to come to the realization and accept the fact that we can't be 100% right all the time but if we are more right than wrong all the time, we are already winners in all sense of the word.

10. Lastly I do some other activities such as playing games, exercise etc to relieve stress or take my mind off things...and it has been said that sometimes it's best to go for a holiday and come back rather than keep on being stressed out at the triggers that have been pulled and second guessing your investments. 


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment! ;)

  2. Joyce,

    I see you are a pen and paper person like me too!

    I've a notebook I carry with me - to jot down fleeting trading ideas, investing thesis, etc.

    Eh... What's your ruler for???

    To beat the crap out of ACCIB for "stealing" your trading ideas?

    Don't tell me you print out your charts and manually draw trendlines?

    1. Haha that's a good idea for the ruler...I didn't thought of that! Nah I don't print out the charts... Save $$$ so I save it online... Actually ACCICB uses the ruler to look at slopes etc...I just use a piece of paper as a ruler...haha

    2. OK...


      I see you guys are deep into the voodoo technical stuffs...

      First thing that popped into my mind when I read ruler was Gann Angles...

      I'm more price action.

      Although I do take a peek at the monthly, weekly, and daily charts to get a quick perspective ;)

    3. Voodoo reminds me of the song Black Magic Woman by Santana.... ;)

  3. I am going digital in keeping investments records, etc etc
    Searching for the info later, is just a click of button.

    Records on paper over time, will grow and continue to grow till it is taking up every little corner of your room. Especially so when you have so many paper records of investments statements and advices received, insurance policies, bills, etc etc

    Speaking of stationery, l want to add that it is important to bring along power banks with you especially when you running long hours errands outside home or office.

    It is true that certain blog or news site only makes you more confuse. ACCIB made a wise move on his decision with cnbc.

    Technology is here to stay so it is sensible to make full use of it so that we can achieve and doing more; and hence spending the rest of of the day to chill.

    1. Hi Money Honey,

      ACCICB is like you except for his trading diary which both of us keep it paper based. Other than that it's all digital which makes more sense but I kinda like writing something down as i find that it requires more focus and has a sense of seriousness for me as compared to typing.

      It's true...filing is something that most people dread...so far no need for power banks as we have more than one portable device as back up.

      I guess I read for information, entertainment and I find CNBC kinda intense so I never liked it...we free up CNBC for lifestyle channel instead! Haha


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