I have spent much of the afternoon thinking about what to put in my first monthly report. The first part will be a trading review, based on the trade entry sheets that I have done and my more philosophical blog entries. The second will be some kind of economic review. I have spent the afternoon finding data sources to use for this (I cannot get as much as I thought from the Bloomberg website). I am torn between using someone else’s chart book, like this excellent example, and sticking to the original plan of creating my own. The former would be much quicker, but the latter would force the information through my brain — an important consideration in the absence of people to sit down and do this with me.

Is creating a report worth the effort? I think it probably is, if only because it would give me confidence that I am on top of the data. I get dribs and drabs from the newsflow, but it is not easy to disaggregate the impression created by the actual data from the mood of the news source — which is just another sentiment indicator (I prefer the AAII Sentiment Survey, because you can make a graph of it; though I once saw a GMO presentation where they had tracked bullish and bearish words in the FT UK market report).