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Retaining accurate records is of such a high importance it cannot be stressed enough.

 

Exercising discipline is vital when implementing your trading system regardless of it being technical or fundamental, so too is the subject of Money Management which should include keeping a diary. Without following strict fiscal rules you are limiting your chances of survival long term. Disciplined sound money management rules should be written into your trading plan and clearly define what percentage of your account is available to risk per position and decide how many lots to buy, a diary should be able to assist with risk management.

 

Keeping an accurate account of your trading activities has a positive effect on your psychology. You can view your past history to evaluate where to fine tune or implement a new trading system as trading is a business and should be treated as such. Much like a shop retains sales and inventory records so should a trader.

 

A trading diary is a valuable tool to be used to aid the direction of your trading activities.

 

Capital preservation is paramount to your long term survival; ignore at your own peril.

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I used too, now I just keep a Log.

 

Mysticforex, what information do you keep in your log & what tool do you use? For example, do you record your trade type, instrument, amount of funds spent, your thoughts & emotions at the time?

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Diaries can form as many bad habits as they do good...besides just being time consuming...plus they can be depressing to read if one is having a string of losses. My theory is don't sweat it....a loss is a loss. Get over it...each day awake to a new opportunity. You can drivel..drovel...whine..cry...scream..holler...analize..beat yourself over the head...learn from it..the day of the loss but then forget the thing and start the next day with a fresh mind, with a fresh opportunity. Why write all about it and reread it months later. You done learned the lesson..why pour salt in the wound..forget it...be done with it. No need to work yourself up into a tinsy again...what..if...senarios...etc...learn the day of the pain and then move on. All punishment has bigger impact when closer in time to the infraction. The markets will punish you when you are wrong. Learn from that ..the same day... and walk away a better trader. All this navel gazing BS does little good...my opinion but again never listen to what i say and of course never do what i do!

 

I don't need a diary to trade successfully! Do you?

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I used to keep a trading diary but now i dont. At the start keeping trading records seems very exciting but after sometime there's no fun keeping records.

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A trader needs to find what works for them in order to succeed. When beginning it is especially important to record positions and thoughts as it provides a focal point which over time can become internal. Personally I find retaining records keeps me focused as it is an extension of my trading system without using my diary my day wouldn't feel complete. Much as a local store owner monitors and tracks their inventory, as a trader I do the same. It works for me.

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Mysticforex, what information do you keep in your log & what tool do you use? For example, do you record your trade type, instrument, amount of funds spent, your thoughts & emotions at the time?

 

 

Spiral paper notebook and pen. No. No, and no.

I also keep a legal pad on the desk to scribble ideas or anything I think may be worth watching.

Right outside my office door is my executive washroom. I have a laundry hamper there. I keep my emotions there too.

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Spiral paper notebook and pen. No. No, and no.

I also keep a legal pad on the desk to scribble ideas or anything I think may be worth watching.

Right outside my office door is my executive washroom. I have a laundry hamper there. I keep my emotions there too.

 

 

Yep what ever works. I like the idea of keeping emotions in the laundry. :cool:

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A trader needs to find what works for them in order to succeed. When beginning it is especially important to record positions and thoughts as it provides a focal point which over time can become internal. Personally I find retaining records keeps me focused as it is an extension of my trading system without using my diary my day wouldn't feel complete. Much as a local store owner monitors and tracks their inventory, as a trader I do the same. It works for me.
......i sometimes make little tiny notes on the chart during live trading...do you think the broker can read my notes? :rofl: :rofl: Edited by Patuca

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I did keep a journal when starting out... about a 18 months worth. The journal included notes about the market, my attitude, things I did wrong... how well I executed. It also included marked up charts with notes about trades and entries. It was a time consuming task, but one that I found valuable in learning to deal with all the stupid crap you do as a noob.

 

There were some days, after getting cut to ribbons, that it was difficult to stay objective, but you learn more from those days than the good days. For me... taking the time to write caused me to actually look at what went wrong. Better that than just saying..."piss on it"... then going off to soak my head in a bottle of scotch. (ha) I often did that too, but only after the journal entry.

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......i sometimes make little tiny notes on the chart during live trading...do you think the broker can read my notes? :rofl: :rofl:

 

I do the same. It's a terrific time keeper of my actions.

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I did keep a journal when starting out... about a 18 months worth. The journal included notes about the market, my attitude, things I did wrong... how well I executed. It also included marked up charts with notes about trades and entries. It was a time consuming task, but one that I found valuable in learning to deal with all the stupid crap you do as a noob.

 

There were some days, after getting cut to ribbons, that it was difficult to stay objective, but you learn more from those days than the good days. For me... taking the time to write caused me to actually look at what went wrong. Better that than just saying..."piss on it"... then going off to soak my head in a bottle of scotch. (ha) I often did that too, but only after the journal entry.

 

Agree, recording actions but can be time consuming but when beginning it forces you to be honest with yourself ..... if you truly desire to be profitable. I found it reduced my sabotaging.

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Agree, recording actions but can be time consuming but when beginning it forces you to be honest with yourself ..... if you truly desire to be profitable. I found it reduced my sabotaging.

 

True enough. Trading does require an honest assessment. The requirement resides in honesty and being true. It's so easy to tell lies... for a time. Keeping records keeps you honest,

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I keep both an electronic journal which tracks the trades, setup types, time of day, day of week, and runs analysis.

 

In addition, I keep a handwritten journal where I write down how I feel before, during, and after a trade (assuming the trade is long enough that I can).

 

Funny thing is, the times I am most afraid or nervous are usually the quickest winners. Now I start to want to be scared instead of confident before getting filled. (This only applies on a backtested, forward tested, positive expectation method that I have been trading).

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Yeah handle, what you mention about when you are feeling afraid/confident - I think that is universally how trading works for us humans. The same thing happened to me when I was scalping. Interestingly, when I moved out to higher timeframes such as swing trading, the feelings of afraid/confident heavily diminished and a new feeling rose called disappointment. I think this may be due to how quick the positions play out. In scalping the trade is done and then off to look for the next one - it is much more immersive and perhaps the shorter duration and increased frequency taps into our more primal reflexive feelings.

 

BTW, what is the software you use for journaling?

 

With kind regards,

MK

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Yeah handle, what you mention about when you are feeling afraid/confident - I think that is universally how trading works for us humans. The same thing happened to me when I was scalping. Interestingly, when I moved out to higher timeframes such as swing trading, the feelings of afraid/confident heavily diminished and a new feeling rose called disappointment. I think this may be due to how quick the positions play out. In scalping the trade is done and then off to look for the next one - it is much more immersive and perhaps the shorter duration and increased frequency taps into our more primal reflexive feelings.

 

BTW, what is the software you use for journaling?

 

With kind regards,

MK

 

I use Ultimate Trade Analyzer from a company called NetPicks. Been using it for a couple of years and I think it's great. There are a lot of different areas for reviewing the trades, such as time of day wins and losses to expectancy and stats.

 

Tony

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I like keeping track of trading days, whether you call it a diary or a journal is inconsequential. I think it is important to document the days happenings as a way to improve yourself. Every trader has room for improvement, and that is what separates professionals from non-professionals in my opinion.

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