Trade The Journey

Trade The Journey

The Beauty of an Excel Trading Journal.

Top of the Afternoon. The third quarter of earnings began, with banks at the forefront. Most banks have started to distribute their excess holdings set aside for default protection. Companies that reported recently have continued to top-earning estimates.

Analysts are predicting another bull-run in the making. One good way to gauge risk sentiment is by tracking Cryptocurrency. Risky assets tend to perform well when sentiment is positive, and people see good times ahead.

Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan, and Citigroup all beat the earnings estimates. Yields help the financial sector. Yields on the five and ten-year bonds trended up sharply while the thirty-year yields proved to be the laggard.

Yahoo Finance Earnings Calendar:

Finally, the Fed has solidified its stance on tapering towards the end of the year, hinting at the latter part of November. Inflation continues to remain on the minds of consumers but not enough to stop them from spending evidenced by the positive retail sales report. Crude Oil futures trended above $82 and seemed to be on a nice upward trend, displaying future inflationary pressures.

In April, the oil future price was under ten dollars, but that was during the height of the Pandemic. I wish I had the foresight to make a purchase.

As the holiday season nears, how will the already strained supply chain fare?

The Indices gapped up toward the end of the week.

Russell: Ended above the 50 SMA but fizzed out close to the resistance level of $2317. The support level is $2139.13.

S&P 500: Gapped above its 50 SMA, $4430.38 served as resistance during the week, and on Friday, $4481 became the new level for a test on Monday. $4288.88 is listed as support.

Dow Jones: Gapped above the 50 SMA, and the 50 SMA acted as a dynamic resistance level. I think the Dow Jones may drift towards its all-time highs again.

Nasdaq: Barely gapped above the 50 SMA on a slight push-up. A significant gap on Thursday appeared after the Nasdaq drifted sideways for the last two weeks. Rising yields could have played a part in the motion.

Could the all-time highs for the indices move higher to establish this bull-run as one of the most incredible runs of all time?

If so, what does that statement imply about the future pull-back the markets will inevitably face?

Spreadsheet Journal:

This week ended my third week of using Excel as a trading journal. In the past, I used the old-fashioned method of writing down each trade and chart observation. Other besides the hand pain, the system worked well.

The only cumbersome part about the journal-keeping process was flipping back and forth between pages and reading my writing. Excel has changed all of this.

The spreadsheet includes the indices, my portfolio, trading journal, and option worksheet containing formulas. All of the data is continuously updated using the real-time data (RTD) function. My previous posts detail the process of linking Think or Swim data to Excel.

Think or Swim must be open while the Excel spreadsheet is for the data to be imported. This RTD function also allows for option data like the greeks and probability functions to be transferred to Excel.

Excel has proved to be beneficial for my trading. Below is a picture of my current trading journal in Excel. With each trade, I modify the spreadsheet to make it easier to use.

My goal is for the Excel trading journal is to maximize the time I have available for chart review.  For instance, the daily and weekly resistance/support levels are there to see without opening the chart. I also added the S&P sector to correspond to the stock I am trading.

I also included spreadsheet functions to complete some of the math involved in positional differences. The most important section of this spreadsheet is the box labeled “Why did I put on the trade”.

After awhile, I’ll be able to see some of the triggers that inspire me to place a trade.

The last two functional parts that need work are the price change and the option pricing formulas.

GEO daily chart:

As evidenced by the spreadsheet, GEO retreated back to $8.31 which was Wednesday’s close. I wondered why the price retreated to that level and decided to investigate. $8.31 is an important reference level on the daily chart.

The 20 SMA looks like it’ll cross the 50 SMA this coming week.

As you can see, all of the information is on the same page and available for me to analyze without a chart. Deciphering the charts is more of an art than a science although it’s likely both. I look to look at charts without looking for anything in particular.

Sometimes labels can serve as biases and having a bias can hinder your ability to be flexible.

I made two adjustments for this new options trade, select a date for the spread farther out and avoid limiting myself to vertical credit spread. So for this trade, I purchase a call debit spread.

A debit spread is ideal when you are bullish on the stock and want to place a bullish trade without the outright cost and risk of just a call option. I purchased the $9 call option and sold the $11 call option. I paid $0.30 ($30= 0.30x 100 shares) with a potential profit of $170.

The spread had a delta of 27 but also had a gamma 25, so I felt a slight chance of this spread ending in the money.


Time will tell but according to Theta, time will cost.

Cash-Flow review for the week:

I upheld my spending plan and avoided potential cash-flow crunches during the week. I label a cash-flow crunch as a period when my checking and saving accounts are depleted and I withdraw from an investment account to survive.

Too many cash-flow crunches can hinder the best plans and deplete your investment accounts slowly. As they, small leaks sink the ship. This coming week, I plan to continue to spending wisely.

Grade: C

Reason: Continued progress.

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