"You know it don't come easy"
Although these things are reflected on every brokerage statement you receive, statements basically
report just your account's net gain or loss which is useful only after a significant period of time.
By the time your accumulated statements can tell you something may be amiss with your trading
you could be well on your way to going broke.
I am very serious about the need to keep accurate records.In order to profit, whether you are long or short term oriented, you must win more money on the winning trades or investments than on the losers. This may seem like such an obvious statement that it should be the only thing that matters. I've come to understand that there exists a myriad of other factors that contribute to those who are successful in this endeavor.
Attempting to learn from mentors, from reading "How I Did It" books (this blog included)
or any other way only begins to enlighten an aspiring trader.
Perhaps you've read the books that describe Win/Loss ratios where the idea is suggested that most successful traders pick winning trades 7 out of 10 times or perhaps 6 out of 10 times. I've read that there are successful traders who consistently win only 4 of 10 trades. Other traders have been successful winning with only a 30% win percentage...Although it is statistically possible to gain account equity with low percentages. it must be very stressful on the low percentage trader, especially after a string of losing trades.
You have to be aware that even if you have a strategy that produces a good winning trade percentage, you still must gain more on the winners than you lose on the losers to come out ahead... not only to cover commissions but to cover all the other day-to-day operating expenses a trader incurs.