Oct 2: What Would You Rather Do: Read About Someone Elses Day Trading, Forex or Currencies Success or Experience Your Own

by David Jenyns on October 2, 2005

You can draw some useful parallels between running a business and Day Trading, Forex or Currencies trading. For instance, most successful businesses keep statistics on everything from their conversion rate, to their average dollar sale, to the number of people that come in the door.

Businesses do this to keep on top of how they are doing on a day-to-day basis and businesses must first take score before begining to improve on that score. Using a Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan in your trading works exactly the same way.

Now that youíre looking at Day Trading, Forex or Currencies trading as a business, you need to learn some valuable statistics about your system so you can improve itís performance. You would use a Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing method. You canít improve your system unless you have something to measure it against. How could you expect to improve your trading unless you knew what it was you were looking to improve? You can discover these measurements and other valuable information about your trading system, by using a Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan.

There are two ways that you can use a Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan to back test a system. You can do it manually, which can be a drawn-out and labour-intensive process, or you can do it with the aid of some software packages. Unfortunately, I recommend you do it by hand when you first start out. Youíll get a much better feel for your system, and youíll understand exactly how using a Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan works in all its intricacies. Once you have the Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan and the in-depth knowledge, you could look at finding a software package that does it for you.

There are a few major statistics on your Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan that you need that you will uncover through back testing. The first statistic you need to become familiar with is the R multiple principal. R stands for risk, the risk you take on any trade when you enter the market. The R multiple of a trade is the ratio of the profit or loss compared to the amount of money risked to make the profit or loss.

Therefore, if you risk $200 dollars in your initial purchase, and you make a profit of $1,000, you have made five times the amount you risked in the trade. You have an R multiple of five. This statistic gives you a good idea of the relative size of your profits to your losses. You can compare the average size of your winning trades with the average size of your losing trades.

The next statistic youíll find useful is your win to loss ratio. This is how many times you get a winning trade in proportion to how many times you get a losing trade. For example, if you had ten trades, four of those trades were winners, and six were losers, your win to loss ratio is simply four to six. This is your hit rate; youíll get 40% of your trades correct.

With these two simple statistics, you can calculate the average size of your profits and of your losses, multiply these figures with your win to loss ratio, and calculate on average how much money you make with every dollar you risk.

For those of you who think this sounds like a too much work, particularly using a Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan that you need to do to uncover these statistics, consider this scenario: Imagine yourself trading a system that you knew had a win to loss ratio of 60/40. You made profit on every six trades and lost one out of every four. How do you think you would feel, where would your confidence level be, after you traded the system for a little while and you received a string of 11 losses in a row?

Now, you know that this system has a win to loss ratio of six to four. Would you have the confidence to open another trade if your system brought up another buy signal after getting 11 trades wrong?

Unless you use Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan to back tested your system, I doubt that your confidence level will remain high. That trading system may be a fantastic profitable system. However, since you didnít use your Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan to back test it, you donít know that historically this system received up to 13 losses in a row, but was still profitable.

Hereís another point you may not have picked up unless you used your Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan. Once youíve set your money management rules and you begin to trade, you will likely experience a string of losses. Countless times, Iíve had clients who get disheartened by this fact because they donít understand the nature of setting good management. If youíre adhering to the rules of cutting your losses short and letting your profits run, because youíre cutting your losses short, those trades are going to last for a shorter amount of time.

This means once you begin trading the odds of getting losses early in the game are much higher than getting a winning trade. This is particularly true when you consider that many successful trading systems run on a 40/60 win to loss ratio. However, you will never know the intricacies of your system unless you use a Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan and back test it.

Using a Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan, will help you to understand what works and what doesnít. It will give you the statistics to gauge the effectiveness of your trades. It fills in your scorecard, and allows you to make improvements. But, you shouldnít simply believe everything Iíve told you. Instead, you need to prove it to yourself by using some Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plans and back test your system.

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David Jenyns is recognized as the leading expert when it
comes to designing profitable Stock trading systems.

Discover the “secret formula” of trading that anyone can use
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