Keeping a Trading Journal
Where do I Start?
Mildly put, trading journals tend to see their share of controversy. Keeping a diary may feel unnatural, but most successful traders do it! Why so? Mainly because trading is largely about planning and evaluating your plan (strategy) performance, as well as your ability to go through with it (yes, we are looking at our emotions again!)
Different traders choose different journal types. Some enjoy specialised software, some resort to a pen-and-paper method (not recommended for lack of intraday charts in overview), and some construct simple excel tables. Regardless, there are some elements that we can advise for every single trading log:
1. Date and Time
2. Instrument traded
3. Trade direction
4. Prices: Entry price, SL, TP
5. Position size
7. Reason for trade (calculation, someone’s suggestion, gut feeling)
Tips to get you started:
-Start every journal entry before a trade & end it after a trade.
-ALL information is valuable. Be precise in market observations, include visuals of patterns you are observing, and movements you encounter, as well as your actions and reactions.
-Remember you are doing this for you, so 100% honesty is necessary. If you panicked when the market went against you, although your strategy was telling you stick to your guns, forgot to exit a trade, or got into a gambling mood - be true to yourself and write it down. Evaluating your rights-and-wrongs, as well as your emotional states within a couple of weeks time frame can help you draw the right conclusions and up your profits.
Do You Keep a Journal?
Maybe it’s time to give it a shot!