Video your trading with screen recording software

Videoing my trading has helped me hugely. It means I can track what I am doing well and not well, I can analyse how different markets behave. I often watch some of the previous day's trades before starting my afternoon's trading to get my mind focused and ready for the first race.

The software I use is free because it's Open Source software, it's called CamStudio ( Apparently the best software available is Camtasia Studio ( which has a free trial but is then $299 to buy. It has loads of features but the only one it has that would be useful to me for recording my trading is the animation on the cursor when you click the mouse button. For $299 I'll do without!

One thing that wasn't good was the filesizes it generated - about 250mb for 6 mins of video. However, thanks to Google, I found out that you can use these things called codecs which are alternative methods of compressing video files and are legally free to download. I use one called Xvid MPEG-4 codec and now a 10 minute file is about 22mb and the quality is much better. I can record 2 hours using less than 300mb. I could probably tweak the settings further but I'd rather spend the time trading!

Disclaimer: Proceed at your own risk! I didn't know one end of a codec from my elbow before doing this and it was all fine, but obviously I'm not a computer nerd so you may have a different experience - don't blame me if it goes wrong! I'd recommend creating a System Restore point first as a good way of undoing anything that doesn't work, and of course, you have a backup of your computer files, right?!

For anyone wanting to download, I think the codecs are available at quite a few different sites. I used
and did a custom install to just install the Xvid codecs (there are so many in the package that some of the other codecs may well cause conflicts with other software installed on your computer. Apparently codec conflicts are a common cause of software crashes, so just install the one you want). Obviously this is only for Vista users, but the identical codec is also available on the same website in an installer for Windows XP.

I didn't used to be able to run screen recording software because I used an old laptop which wasn't up to the job. I recently bought a Dell Intel Core 2 Duo laptop for £400 and it has been well worth the investment. With my trading software running as well as some websites, it still runs at under 50% processor load when I'm trading and recording the screen.

I find it very motivational to watch back some of my good trades as well as learning from the poor ones. Part of the reason my average profit per trade has increased is because when I reviewed my winning trades I realised I was leaving huge amounts of profit on the table - i.e. getting out of trades way way too early.

Yesterday my best trade increased my trading bank by 13% fully greened-up. If I could do more trades approaching that level and some better, then over a good afternoon I should be able to easily hit my target of increasing my bank 100% even with a strike-rate of 75%. This wouldn't always be scalable to the stakes that the big traders are using other than on Saturdays and other high-volume markets - I only use a few hundred, but this strategy suits me far more than risking thousands to make smaller percentages.


  1. Hello there,

    I accidently erased your comment earlier on my blog! Fat fingers on my blackberry! Apologies! Thankyou for taking the time to write a comment, if you have time to re-write the comment, I would appreciate that greatly, I shall look after it this time!!
    I'm also a big fan of recording my trades, there's so much going on in my mind I miss things, and sometimes rush into an entry, and on review I'm like "what made me think the price was gonna spiral there?!" It's also nice to sometimes look back and agree with my entry/exit.

    Be well

  2. Hi jace,

    I agree! It's funny how differently opportunities can appear upon review. Sometimes it's down to being in the elusive "zone" as Mark Douglas would put it.
    I'll repost my comment although I can only half remember it!

  3. Hi,

    Thanks for the info on the codecs. I had tried camstudio before, but gave up with the huge file sizes. The Xvid MPG4 one certainly is better.