Do you use a form to track your trades?
Yes. We also use the computer by virtue of our real-time service. We always keep our current plays on the real time service. We can put our portfolio of plays that shows the entry price, commission, etc.; what the current price is; profit/loss. We track them, however, with the quotes part of our screen, keeping all current trades at the top. For options trades we have the stock quote and then the option quote under it. That allows us to monitor both the option and the underlying stock it is tied to.
We also keep our trades on paper. We usually write out our order we want to place-we don’t have a pre-printed form, we just do it the same way every time. When we are filled we note that on the order script-exact cost, number of contracts, what the stock was trading for at the time of the fill. All of that is transferred to the computer-probably should just enter it on the computer when doing it, but we like to keep the screen clear when making the trade.
For potential plays, we keep those on the real time online service in a separate batch, grouped by type of play. We can set alarms for certain price and volume points. That helps us track over 75 to 100 potential positions at a time. That is getting pretty sophisticated, and most of you don’t need that level. We just trade a lot. But, while we watch a lot of potential plays, we don’t have 75 trades running at once. Not 50. That would take too much attention. After a day of watching 50 trades, if someone says ‘hi,’ they would be scraping us off the ceiling. We prefer to home in on the few that are looking the best of the best and jump all over them. For example, on a breakout we will write puts, buy calls, buy stock, write credit spreads-not always all of them, but if we like a play and it is working, we will commit to it. We subscribe to the ‘know a few stocks and plays, but know them very well’ theory.
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