Trading Toolkits: Trading Journals and Logs Explained

The best strategy for a proficient trading style is to take on trading positions consistently and actively; the second is to keep and track all of your data correctly. Keeping a journal can be tasking and tedious, but you must stick to it for an overall healthy trading experience. 

By
Wilfred Victor
on
March 13, 2021
Category:
Trading Toolkits

Introduction

What better way to keep track of your trading activities than having a trade journal - A trading journal helps you maintain your trading records over some time. It gives you an accurate picture of how you are faring in your trading journey. What to do, what ought not to be done, the best strategies, the best time frame for you, and all of the necessary details that could serve as a solid insight into a successful trading career.

What are Trading Journals and Logs

Trading logs are best described as the qualitative action of keeping a tab on your trading progress. This is achieved by documenting all of your trading activity in some form. Trading in any field is a serious business and will only reward the consistent, disciplined, and goal-oriented player. Trading journals and logs help bring in all of these necessary attributes to a successful trading experience.

Making a trading journal is as important as the trade itself. Be sure to log all of the events that took place when you opened a position. This is necessary for review and backtesting your strategy. Whether as a swing or day trader, a trading journal is needed, regardless of the style of trade, entry, or exit strategies.

Creating a journal is easy, but the effectiveness is in its application which is the more significant part of the experience. The discipline to keep at it will define how successful a trader can get in the future.


How to Create a Trading Journal

There are lots of free trading journal templates available for traders in any market. The trader should be able to create a custom journal and log entry for himself. One that he can readily adjust and is flexible to edit.

Typically, a trading journal can be created using both Ms Office Word Document and Excel sheet (or its Gsuite contemporary of Google Doc and Excel), whichever product the trader finds suitable to his experience.  The Doc file records all of his activities, emotions, psychology, thoughts, the strategy adopted, etc. While the Sheet, on the other hand, allows only entry of data and can contain the following:

  • Entry date
  • Exit date
  • Symbol
  • Position size
  • Entry size
  • Direction (long or short)
  • Stop loss
  • Notional value
  • Take profit
  • Exit price
  • Trading fees
  • Profit and loss incurred
  • Profit and loss percentage (PnL %)
  • Signal
  • Remarks


Why is the Trading Journal Significant?

The trading journal gives you a correct unbiased perceptive on your overall trading experience. When applied and done with the right discipline and motivation, it could significantly improve a trader’s journey. Repeating your mistakes happens often. Potentially putting you in a losing streak or, worst, causing you to blow up your account. You want to check your progress over time, review what you’ve done to keep things in the right perceptive. Modify, add or remove a trading strategy or activity.


Journal Keeping Weaknesses

When keeping a journal, traders should watch out for one or all of the following weaknesses:

  • Late entry: The best practice is to enter data immediately after taking a position. Since the information is still fresh in mind and the motivation is also there. Otherwise, the tendency to keep it hanging over a long period entering into days is present.
  • Correct data: The urge to trump data to feel good exists when keeping a journal. Take note and watch out for this. Incorrect data will lead to inaccurate data analysis and a failed learning attempt and approach.
  • Simplicity: Keeping it short and straightforward will inspire you to do more; making your data voluminous and complex may show a more credible analysis, but over the long run, it may become tasking and boring to take on.

Taking note of all these weaknesses and ensuring they do not cause a lapse in your trading journey will guarantee a high success trading experience.


Concluding Thoughts

The best strategy for a proficient trading style is to take on trading positions consistently and actively; the second is to keep and track all of your data correctly. Trading is a serious business and could fetch handsome rewards over time. Maintaining a journal and looking back in time to get feedback from your trading activities can sharpen your skills as you can easily spot the strength and weaknesses in your strategies.

Keeping a journal can be tasking and tedious, but you must stick to it for an overall healthy trading experience.

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Wilfred Victor

Ace finds himself as a blockchain enthusiast who is focused on growing with the entire crypto sector. He is an energetic and passionate writer who believes that all things are achievable.