How to keep a Trading Journal

By Adinah Brown

Hindsight is 20/20. You’ve heard that haven’t you? Well, did you know that having a solid trading system can help you get as close to 20/20 vision in foresight as possible? In order to achieve sustained successful trading, you must constantly review your trading performance and activity so you can improve upon them. Keeping a record of every one of your trades, including the details of why you decided to go in, what were the conditions of the market at that moment, how did you get out of the trade and why it turned out the way it did, is a great way to monitor how your trading strategy is performing as well as your ability to stick to the plan. How then, do you keep a trading journal? Here are some tips from the pros:

1. One way to keep your trading journal organized is to keep a daily journal as a file in your computer and name it mm-dd-yy, but each day should be separated into individual trades.

2. At the very least, a journal should include the following details:

· Day ____________

· Date____________

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· Time Open: ____________Close: ____________

· Currency Pair: _____________

· Entry Price: _____________

· Stop Price:_____________

· Limit Price:_____________

· Lots Traded:_____________

· P/L:_____________


3. A picture says a thousand words, so use screenshots to tell the story of your trades, but in order to make the most of the picture, words are still necessary. Make notes on the margin of the photo including additional details and mark your charts to be able to reference them in the future.

4. Include additional photos of intraday action.

5. If you notice any patterns, make a note of them. After a while, you’ll begin to see if these patterns emerge in real time.

6. Include some price action information to provide context to your trades. What was happening an hour or two before you opened a trade?

7. Add information about your emotions as those can often impact your decisions.

8. If you miss a trade, write about the reasons why you missed them. Missed trades are just as important as trades gone wrong.

9. Make notes about market tendencies you notice and make comments on the conditions of the market throughout the day.

10. Better err on the side of too much than not enough details. So, if something has caught your attention, write it down.

About the Author:

Adinah Brown is a professional writer who has worked in a wide range of industry settings, including corporate industry, government and non-government organizations. Within many of these positions, Adinah has provided skilled marketing and advertising services and is currently the Content Manager at Leverate.