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Trading journals for tracking progress and correcting mistakes

by Lee Mark

There are various reasons why a person would write a journal. This is something that will never go out of style, even when technology is already widely used. Some people write personal journals like diaries because they want to preserve a memory in detail. For traders, they should write journals even if they do not want to. Actually, it is always up to the trader whether to keep a journal or not. However, smart ones do because it keeps track of themselves about their trading. Journals show where they went wrong, so they have a chance to correct and improve that. Journals show them if they are having progress in terms of their trading performs.

How relevant is a journal for a trader?

Trading journals might seem like a light deal for some, but they are pretty effective. They instill discipline and consistency that results in better profits for those who make an effort to write them. Journaling also tells us a lot about a person’s discipline. Why else would students bring notes and papers to school to use their phones, tablets, or laptops? If we think about it, journaling on devices is also acceptable, but the personal touch and details of writing are also helpful for other people’s learning progress.

Why won’t others use a trading journal if it is that effective?

Others have a hard time starting, while others have a hard time keeping it up. For others, it is because they think that their trading transaction history from their broker is enough. However, it does not include why or how you entered in the first place or exited. So, that transaction history is not too relevant when you want to track your performance. From all the trades you have made, you will most likely not even remember all the details from start to finish — not unless you have a photographic memory! Unlike when you keep a journal, you can revisit the things you wrote anytime, just like how you would review for a test in school. As we have said, journaling will tell a lot about a trader’s discipline.

Trading journals and the traders themselves

A trading journal is like a book about your style, ways, and thinking where you are the author. You will be surprised to know yourself, your psychology, the way you trade in the past, today, and even in the future. For instance, you are trading a EUR/ USD currency pair because you are trying to be disciplined about your plans and methods even when you are doubtful. Everything about it shows and feels like you are about to lose in the middle of the trade. You got emotional and panicked, so you decided to close the trade to avoid further damage, only to find out that the price turns out the way you expected it to be initially. Had you followed your plan, you would have made hefty profits. If you did not take note of your mistakes, you would not be able to correct them, let alone track your progress.

Grab a pen and start today

Start testing your discipline today and start your journal. A successful trader starts with discipline and hard work.

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