Author Topic: Journals and notes  (Read 99 times)

Gazza

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Journals and notes
« on: October 16, 2020, 09:43:54 AM »
Hello people.

Do any of you keep a trading journal or detailed notes showing what you have traded, why, and the outcome?

I havent, partly because I dont do that many trades but also because I dont see much point in looking back at the past. Once a trade is closed thats it over, I know why I entered it and closed it, whats the point in looking at it again in days/weeks/months time and just torturing myself?

Kaitsu

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Re: Journals and notes
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2020, 11:32:37 AM »
I dont see much point in looking back at the past.
A journal is not much use if it is just a list of historic trades. You can get that from your broker.

But a journal should be something else that has an add-on value. I.e. it is teaching or revealing something to you that is relevant to your future trades. This might be many things, for example:

What time of day are my trades most successful
What timeframes work best with a certain strategy
What are the optimum TP/SL values
What are the main reasons for losing (e.g. fake signal, too tight stops, too distant targets, manual intervention, etc)
Analysing Profit/loss ratios, etc
 
It all depends on what you want to monitor.

For example, some years back,  I used to watch my open trades carefully and often closed them manually to lock in a profit when and if the trade looked vulnerable (a typical, but understandable, Newbie approach). But I noticed that often the trade would have eventually reached its original target anyway. So I added two columns to my journal with a yes/no for manual intervention and yes/no for whether it was a right/wrong decision. I was very surprised to find that in fact my results were generally better when I left the trades alone to work themselves out. Now I tend to leave my trades on a "set and forget" basis and only check in maybe hourly and only intervene if there is a reversal signal given.

But unless there is something to learn that can improve your current trading then I guess it is a bit pointless.

Just some thoughts.
Ships are safe in harbour - but that is not what ships are for......

Gazza

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Re: Journals and notes
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2020, 11:39:07 AM »
Cheers Kaitsu.

The reason I was prompted to ask was that I came across a few youtube fx videos recently where the people showing said they used journals. So I had a search round and downloaded one from Disciplined Trader who seemed a decent bloke.
When I looked at it, it just seemed to be a record (like you say you can see that from your broker) with a couple of added columns to say what your mood was when you traded, how you felt it went, and a score for yourself out of 10. I just couldnt see any benefit

Kaitsu

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Re: Journals and notes
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2020, 02:21:27 PM »
When I looked at it, it just seemed to be a record (like you say you can see that from your broker) with a couple of added columns to say what your mood was when you traded, how you felt it went, and a score for yourself out of 10. I just couldnt see any benefit
There is little benefit from historic detail unless it has some relevance to the present situation. But here again it depends what one is trying to achieve. In the case you mention, it may be the trader is looking to identify the impact of his moods and feelings on his trading results. For example, if one tends to suffer from being undisciplined and impatient then identifying such trades may help to eliminate these traits.

I don't personally use journals very much any more to follow my actual trades. I use them to track and analysis every set-up that fits my criteria whether I trade it or not. I look at the maximum potential profit and maximum drawdown, duration, time of day, etc. In this way I can constantly optimise my trade parameters.

As you say, if it does not help in any way then it is a pointless exercise! :)

A good question @Gazza!
« Last Edit: October 16, 2020, 02:23:21 PM by Kaitsu »
Ships are safe in harbour - but that is not what ships are for......