Off course one of the most essential things to do when you are trading stocks is keeping track of all of your trades to be sure that you are profitable. You have to know how well your strategy is going and what trades have made you money and which didn’t. So you can optimize your strategy to become more profitable. You can decide to use Profit.ly to keep track of them. Which I highly encourage as it is a good thing to be transparent about your trades. But I do prefer to have it somewhere in a spreadsheet where I can do some more analysis of my trades. I’ve taken Michael Goodes spreadsheet and did some tweaking myself, so that the commissions of every trade are calculated in it. It is now set it up for both of my brokers, Suretrader and TD Ameritrade and for me it’s the best way to track your trading performance. The variables I want to have in my overview are off course the ticker, buy and sell price with the dates of the trade. Out of those inputs I want to have my profit or loss calculated. There is a difference in the formula when you trade long or short. So I added a column to specify that as well. As commissions are a big part of trades, especially with a small account, I want to see how much commission a trade costs. And to see how much less my profits are because of the commissions. I add a column where I can specify which broker I used for the trade. And the sheet calculates the commission for that broker for the trade and uses this to calculate my profit. As you can see by the two short trades in the overview below the gross profit is the same, this is calculated with the buy and sell price. But the real profit differs from the broker, as TD Ameritrade has more expensive commissions than Suretrader. Now it calculates my profit specifically per broker, long/short trades, including and excluding commissions and percentage-wise.
Feel free to take look at my template here, if you want to use it yourself please create a copy for yourself. Here is a link to my template (Google Docs)