Advanced Reports – drawdown (MAE)

We’ve added Quick Report presets for a couple of popular reports on the Advanced Reports tab that we often get questions about.

Trade drawdown in R

This one shows Position MAE, otherwise known as drawdown, plotted in terms of R:

The X axis here is just an index, meaning the trades on the chart are spread out across the X axis.

Let’s think through this. R is the maximum risk you indicated you would allow in a trade. So if we see trades with a drawdown beyond -1.0R, that means you may not have honored your stop, and perhaps broke one of your trading rules.

The size of the bubbles are proportional to their P&L – so large red bubbles have a larger loss. However, seeing smaller dots (or even green dots) below the -1.0 line in this case isn’t necessarily a good thing – in all of these cases, you let your loss in the trade run in excess of your predefined max risk.

Trade drawdown – stop analysis

Here, we look at Position MAE, in $ terms:

We’ve looked at this report before, but it’s now much easier to get to.

In the example here, we can see that any trade that ran against us more than $150 ended up being a loser. And in fact, almost all of the trades that ran more than $100 against us ended up losing, with few (and small) exceptions. So, we can say from the data that for the trades where we had looser stops, had we used a tighter stop of $100 (or $150), we would have done better overall.

Armed with this knowledge, we can now dive into the data and do some further analysis.

And more…

There are hundreds of possibilities you can look at in the advanced reports – definitely experiment with them, and see your data in a different light. For example, here we’re looking at Position MAE in R, plotted against our R in $:

It’s similar to the first report, but a bit of a different view. We can see the trades that we let run below -1.0R as before, but now we can see just how big our R value was for each of those trades. So here, we can see that for R values over $60, we generally respected our stops; for R values below that, we often exceeded the amount of risk we had planned.

Simple stop analysis

A couple of weeks ago, I was having a conversation over email with someone who was trying different stops and wanted to evaluate their effect on his performance. After thinking about this a bit, I wanted to mention a quick and dirty way to see whether using wider stops is effective for you.

To create the following chart in Tradervue, I went to Reports, clicked the Advanced tab, and selected:

  • X-axis: Trade open date/time
  • Y-axis: Position MAE
  • Scale data points by trade P&L – checked

On the horizontal axis we’re plotting the trades against time; this doesn’t matter too much in this case, I just wanted to make sure we spread them out over the chart. On the vertical axis, we’re plotting the position MAE. This is the maximum interim loss we experienced in each trade. And finally, the size of each point represents the P&L of the trade. Green is a win, red is a loss, and the relative size of the point represents the magnitude…so big and red is bad, and big/green is good.

During this period, I was typically using stops on my positions that represented a total of $40 of risk. I was, however, experimenting with using larger stops for some trades.

So how did it go? Well, if we look at the -$40 line, all of the trades below that line were trades that had wider stops, and thus moved against me more than $40 at some point during the trade. I know this with certainty since, if they had stops of $40 or less, they would not have moved against me more than $40.

Looking at the trades below the -$40 line, I see that there were a couple of wins (these would be trades that moved against me more than $40 during the trade, but turned around and became winners), but many more losses.

So in this case, we can see at a glance that in these particular circumstances, widening my stops to more than $40/trade was not effective. Not at all!

This is, of course, a very simplified way to look at your stops, and there are many more factors you may want to consider…but this gives you a quick view of what actually happened, and may allow you to make some decisions more quickly.

[Advanced reports used for this post are available for all silver and gold subscribers.]