Learning to be a Better FX Trader

01/16/2013 3:29 pm EST


Jennifer Thornburg

Founder, piptoring.com

Jennifer Thornburg shares some of ways that help improve her trading and better understand her trading.

My guest today is Jennifer Thornburg, and we're talking about the skills necessary to become a good trader, specifically a good forex trader.  So, Jennifer, you've been through this a lot and acquired these skills.  What would you point out as kind of maybe the most important ones to have?

Well, I am at an Expo and I have to tell you I learned to trade.  I am self taught by going to Expos like this one and learning, meeting awesome people, and learning strategies from books and classes that I took just like everybody else that's here and I have to say that the best skill that you can have to be a trader, it might surprise you, it has nothing to do with trading. 

It has to do with how well you can take notes, so I keep a notebook and I do my greatest learning and my greatest trading when I read my own notes, so sharpen up your pencils and get a blank notebook and keep track of every trade that you take and don't read your notes until two weeks goes by because it takes about that long for you to disconnect from what you were thinking at the time and in the moment. 

You go back and you read your notes and it's amazing what you can learn about your own trading and how you can highlight what was working and what wasn't, where you were inconsistent and do more of what's working for you and do less of what's not working, so I think my best skill is that I keep really good notes everyday about what I am doing and then, even more importantly, I go back and read them.

Alright, so I can imagine you put in your entry price, maybe an exit price, or things like that.  What else do you like to put in those that really help you get an idea of whether it was a good trade or not for you?

I put in my reasoning for entering the trade and my reasoning for exiting the trade and what the strategy is that I am trading.  If I exit the trade early, which is something I do a lot, I take notes about why I did that and what I was thinking at the time and what my market analysis was, what I was anticipating was coming, what I was setting up and then what I actually did, and I learn really a lot about trading and about my trading in particular, which is the most important thing because it's individual. 

You know, no two traders trade exactly the same and I was really surprised to go back and read through my own notes and say some of the stuff I was doing was brilliant and was great and then other stuff was just terrible and I could start to see it more objectively and start to change my practice so that I got repeatable results as time went forward.

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