End-of-Year Trader Checklist

Trader Checklist

It’s that wonderful time of year when we set new goals and look back at our accomplishments over the last 12 months.

What are you most proud of in 2019? 

Did you get a promotion? Did you spend more time with your children? Did you beat the S&P 500 or manage your portfolio with more confidence?

Whatever you were able to accomplish, give yourself a pat on the back. Little wins add up!

Now, it’s time to get to work for the new year. That means not only looking back at what worked, but looking forward, setting goals, and coming up with a plan.

As you mentally and financially close out 2019, be sure to check off these end-of-year trading tasks.

☑️ 2019 Assessment

This is the time to look back at your trading performance. Make note of your best investments and worst performers. Sitting these trades side by side can offer great insight.

Did you follow your trading plan? Be honest; sometimes we fall off track. Ask yourself, “was I really disciplined when following my plan?”

If you did struggle, think about your plan. Maybe you need to revise your exit strategy. Perhaps you need to make a stronger commitment to take small losses when a trade doesn’t go your way or more closely follow the Trade Triangle signals based on your trading style. Make adjustments and vow to stick with it in the new year.

Did you stick to your plan? If so, awesome!

Sticking with a plan helps to reduce emotional decisions. It doesn’t always mean that you’ll have a stellar year, but it does mean that you’re making rational and properly planned decisions.

☑️ Harvest for Losses

Take a good look at your open positions. Are you holding a toxic stock?

Tax-loss harvesting is a way to shed non-performers by “realizing” the loss. This practice offsets gains from your top winners.

Learn more about tax-loss harvesting.

☑️ Rebalance Your Portfolio

Keeping your portfolio balanced requires regular rebalancing. Not only will your financial goals and risk tolerance change, but bullish years like 2019 can upend asset distribution.

If you intend to only allocate 70% of your portfolio to stocks and stellar performance pushes stocks to account for now 80%, you may consider selling your equity positions and buying other assets like bonds.

Look at the composition of your portfolio to make sure it’s aligned with your target and that your allocations change as your goals change.

☑️ Revise/Add-To Your Watchlists

What’s on your watchlist and why?

Review your watchlist(s) and decide if these position prospects fit with your trading plan or still fit your watch criteria.

If you don’t have a watchlist, use MarketClub’s Smart Scan to come up with some fresh ideas:

  • Scan for ETFs with 52-week lows to utilize a sector-rotation strategy.
  • Pull stocks with +85 Chart Analysis Score to closely watch stocks with strengthening trends.
  • Filter for futures with -100 Chart Analysis Scores to look for rebound signals.

Watchlist Scanning

With MarketClub, a simple click will scan for new opportunities and help you create your watchlist(s) for the new year.

☑️ Calendar Check-Ins

Trading Check-In Calendar

Take a moment to schedule regular portfolio check-ins throughout 2020. A simple “Portfolio Review” on your calendar every quarter is a great reminder to take a macro look at your portfolio.

Do you need to do an intra-year rebalance? Is your portfolio diversified in non-correlating markets? Take a high-level look at your holdings every three months to stay on top of things throughout the year.

☑️ Set Your 2020 Goals

It’s time to set your portfolio goals for 2020!

Do you want to beat the S&P or seek a 15% annual return? Do you want to make more confident trading decisions or stick to your trading plan? What about learning to trade options or digging deeper into ETFs?

Set your goals!

In 2020, I WILL: 

  • _________________________ by _________________________
  • _________________________ by _________________________
  • _________________________ by _________________________

So, maybe you want to: 

  • Make confident long-term trading decisions by following MarketClub’s monthly Trade Triangles
  • Better diversify portfolio by investing in at least 7 non-correlating markets
  • Regularly check portfolio balance by doing a high-level review on 3/1/2020, 6/1/2020 and 9/1/2020.

Set your plan before the ball drops. Setting goals (even those that seem small) is the first step to creating an actionable plan.

2020 is going to be a ride.

While there are many factors in play – Brexit, the trade war, a possible recession – MarketClub’s technical analysis, charting, scanning, and signaling tools will help you both spot warning signs and find opportunities. 

Learn More About MarketClub

Cheers to a wonderful 2020!