What Is a Trading Journal? Keeping a Trading Journal With Excel


When analyzing trades, you can filter based on these tags or based on ticker symbols, trade duration, date range, and more. Keeping a trading journal is a powerful tool for improving your trading performance. Stock trading is a serious business and it has the potential to earn you handsome gains. However, successful and profitable trading requires well planned stock trading strategies, mathematical calculations, learning about the mistakes and correcting them. The best trading journal is really up to the trader to decide on what they need from a trade journal and the level of depth they seek.

  1. But written notes are much easier to review later than thoughts or conversation.
  2. I can see that I start selling the moment I see red, or the moment I see green.
  3. Note that, in this example, we’ve added a second tab that works like the written document we discussed above.
  4. You’re not going to be able to spot patterns or understand where you’re going wrong if you sugarcoat the truth.

It is used to reconcile accounts and is transferred to other accounting records, such as the general ledger. Without a trading journal, it’s hard to know what’s working and what’s not. If you adjust your strategy, you can’t easily compare it to how you performed before the change.

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Others keep a separate document with more detailed notes and then keep track of the cold, hard numbers in Excel. It makes sense — it’s simple, easy to add numbers and keep track of P&L, and it’s fast. The one problem with Excel is that it’s not really easy to take detailed notes and keep it easy to read. Here’s the crazy thing — before becoming profitable, he actually blew up his account! Check out this SteadyTrade podcast interview, where he talks about how he started using a journal to review his performance after that initial misstep. He used his trading journal to provide insights on his way to $13.5 million in career earnings.

What is a trading journal?

You can see what trades each guru is making in real-time and ask questions to learn more about the strategies in play. The strategy backtester enables you to simulate “what if” scenarios and see how they would have performed relative to your actual trades. An optimization module runs future trade simulations so you can visualize possible ranges of factors like account drawdown and profitability. TraderSync’s trade simulator is a huge differentiating factor for this platform.

That way, you can get a bird’s-eye-view of your portfolio of trades, which can give you some insights into your level of exposure as well as if there’s room to enter any more trades. You can find a free trading journal template in the next section, but it’s also important to learn how to create one. You can customize your trading journal in a variety of formats to fit your trading style and needs.

If one fails to accurately track trades, it becomes hard to judge trading performance. A trading journal provides any serious trader who wishes to make money a tool to help them evaluate themselves objectively. Let’s have a look at the two main reasons why traders do not start a trading journal or fail to be consistent with it. Enter your trades into the journal after you have finished placing stop losses and take profits. This is the most important step and you’ll need to remain consistent and diligent when recording trades. Regular and professional traders can benefit from the many advanced features offered and journal trades from anywhere and any device, thanks to Edgewonk using a web-based cloud server.

I can see how my strategies are performing – like in this ‘low of the day’ strategy. If I dig deeper I can see I had three losing trades and one winning trade. Having discussed the different criteria, you could include in your journal, the table above illustrates how you could organize all this information in a spreadsheet. You can videforex download the template above for personal use from page five of our free building confidence in trading guide. We introduce people to the world of trading currencies, both fiat and crypto, through our non-drowsy educational content and tools. We’re also a community of traders that support each other on our daily trading journey.

They are also a great source to lean back on while setting up similar trades in the future. Any sheet of paper or mobile application where you can fill in the above-mentioned details can be your trading journal. Now, for convenience, Google Spreadsheets or Excel are highly recommended. Columns for each of the above details need to be added and there you go – your new trading journal is ready.


Once you have been keeping a trading journal for a while, you can start to analyze it to identify patterns and areas for improvement. They force me to think through why I am entering and exiting positions and they eliminate excuses. When I’m losing on what seems like every trade, my journal will let me know loud and clear. Despite the blow to my pride, without tagging my trades and using a trading journal, I never would have been able to determine day trading wasn’t right for me. And, even better, thanks to the tagging and strategy honing, I learned a lot about myself as a trader. Here we break down the best trading journal software available for all traders, comparing their features, pricing, and supporting assets.

Learn everything you need to know about what the support and resistance indicators are, how to identify them, how to trade them, and their advantages and disadvantages. Milan is frequently quoted and mentioned in many financial publications, including Yahoo Finance, Business https://traderoom.info/ Insider, Barrons, CNN, Reuters, New York Post, and MarketWatch. If it is quiet in the markets or if there are no new observations worth writing down – there is nothing wrong with skipping it. When you reflect on this trade, you can realize the thought process behind it.

Using Double-Entry Bookkeeping in Journals

If the expense or income affects one or more business accounts, the journal entry will detail that as well. Many traders who are just starting out use Excel to keep a spreadsheet trading journal. However, we’d strongly investing in a good trading journal platform rather than using a spreadsheet. TraderVue offers a free plan that lets you add up to 30 trades per month and includes limited customization and analysis options. Paid plans start at $29 per month for unlimited trade entries.

Once you’ve introspected and identified patterns, you’ll have sufficient confidence and knowledge to make objective decisions. Thus, introspecting and understanding what may have gone right or wrong for you via daily trading analysis can be useful. Getting a long-term perspective of your portfolio, trades, and P&L is critical in assessing the viability of your strategy. Steven Hatzakis has led research at Reink Media Group since 2016 and brings over 20 years of experience with the online brokerage industry. Not investment advice, or a recommendation of any security, strategy, or account type. With TradeZella you can even replay your trades to gain deeper insights into what went well and what didn’t.

A trading journal facilitates this objective ability to review, analyze, and correct trading mistakes when needed. Although we live in an interconnected world, trading can often be an isolating endeavor. Trading journals range from basic pen and paper to all-singing software like TradeZella, with lots of built-in features to help you to improve.

I talk about them further down when we discuss what should a trading journal include. Blain Reinkensmeyer has 20 years of trading experience with over 2,500 trades placed during that time. He heads research for all U.S.-based brokerages on StockBrokers.com and is respected by executives as the leading expert covering the online broker industry. Blain’s insights have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the Chicago Tribune, among other media outlets.

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