For some, market participation is all about money, for others it is a lifestyle and for a few participants they see it as a challenge. Why do you participate? Are you “successful” in your endeavor? Would you consider a career as a financial advisor? What about starting a hedge fund? What would part II of your ADV or your brochure look like? What points would you make to prospective clients? How often would you review your clients’ portfolio with them?

I’ll assume that you are managing your own money and as such I challenge you to sell yourself on yourself. It’s not as easy at is sounds. If you have no idea where to begin, start with your trading plan and go from there.

Self-efficacy is a key characteristic of the successful market participant as they are capable of producing quality results. I’m not talking about confidence here as confidence is nonspecific—rather a specific belief, based on prior occurrences of a similar nature, that the task at hand can be mastered.

Bottom line is that you should be confident enough in your system/strategy and yourself that you would have no problem managing other people’s money. If you noticed from the image, self-efficacy has many sources. An honest evaluation of your trade metrics touches on three of the four sources and is well worth the effort.

Numbers, plain and simple as they are, do not lie. I can’t begin to tell you how much an honest, thorough assessment of your closed trades can improve performance. Many online and discount brokerages now offer some sort of raw data or even a “performance” report which can serve as a great starting point. Find what works for you, exploit it, and increase your self-efficacy as a result.