Do you record your trades?

Do you think it’s important to record all of my trades? Do you do it in a spreadsheet or a journal where you write every detail that happened? What are the things that I should include in my trade journal? Thank you in advance.


i try to record but i’m not the best at it…i get daily log sent by the broker so i go through that


One of the most important things you can do if you want to really improve and not repeat mistakes but repeat your wins.

I have a Trading Notebook that has such things as dates, opens and closes of trades, profit, time trade lasted profit targets and most importantly the stop loss and R value.

I also have a Trading Diary that has screenshots, strategy, emotion and such.

I find this is the best way to analyze my discretionary trading.


Do a lot of brokers offer this service?

i think so, check in the settings section in your brokers portal once you log into your account

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I’m going to check it out. Thank you.

Thank you for your reply. I want to create a detailed trading journal but I was wondering if the amount of effort to be exerted will be worth it. I might spend more time completing every entry then reviewing the entries more than trading.

It is best to keep the record of the trades in order to avoid the mistakes and any discrepancies. You can download the account history from your trading platform as well and save it for future purposes.

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I will be trying, mainly for the automatic price charts feature.

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I certainly think you will find it useful. If you are competent with Excel then there are some good spreadsheets to use in this thread which you can modify to suit what you need. There are also links to some other types of journals, too:

free excel trading journal

The main point of the journal is to provide data on whatever you want to quantify. It might just be a record of your P/L and/or trading statistics, but it can be a lot more.

For example, you could add columns such as:

  • Was trade according to method yes/no

  • Reason for exit: targit hit, stop hit, manual close, reverse signal, etc

  • Which trading session: London, NY, Asia

  • P/L according to: currency pair, commodities, indices, etc

For example, Some years back I used to close a lot of my trades manually according to how price movements were evolving. But then I carried out an experiment and monitored all those trades to see if they would have hit my target if I had not manually “interfered”. I added a “Yes/No” column to my journal to record this. After a few months I was surprised to find that actually over 50% of those trades would indeed have continued to eventually hit my original target if I had not prematurely closed them.

So I refined and reduced my discretionary interference and, as a result, my target hit rate improved noticeably.

The whole point of a journal is to provide you with some form of analysis of your trading. If it is not doing that then it is not a lot of use. But on the other hand, the process of writing up a journal does have some side benefits, too. It will help make you more disciplined and consistent in your trade entry/exit process and it will help restrict the temptation to intuitively jump into a trade without thinking.


I used to write all of my trades down but I’ve stopped now as I didn’t find it very useful

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And i guess from that, that you are therefore a consistently profitable trader now that no longer needs to analyse or further optimise your trading. Congratulations! :thinking:

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Not at all! I just found myself getting ready obsessed with recording everything I did! I still scribble things down now but try not to have a formal ‘system’ or spreadsheet so I don’t start getting obsessed again!

That is the point I tried to get across in my post. That recording trades should have a purpose and that purpose should be clear and pre-determined - even if it is only one aspect of one’s overall trades.

For example, if you are trying a new strategy or a tweak on an existing one, then it is worthwhile analysing what is/is not working and why This helps to keep one on a path of systematic development with one’s progress and not just trying one thing then jumping to another as so many people often do.

It is not just a case of writing down a long list of “in price” - “out price” - “P/L”.

One can also extend such a journal to provide “what-if” scenarios when analying one’s trades. E.g. what would have been the maximum drawdown/profit on trades from a specific strategy. This can help in optimising target and stoploss levels.

Without knowing where one has already been, it is that much harder to see where one should be going……

It is a lot of effort, but the rewards are invaluable - if you know what you are looking for from it! :smiley:

…and, of course, one needs at least a minimal data set for accounting purposes! Although the broker statements are often sufficient for that if one doesn’t wish/need to monitor it regularly.


I record religiously. I have a different spreadsheet for every setup I use.


i saw this kind of thread in Fx factory, by the way recording every trade is a part of professionalism and very supportive to ensure knowledgeable trading life. my trading career , i try to record my trade but cant continue at all.

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yes , from my first day of trading i have been recording my trade . it makes me more discipline than before.

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I do mine in spreadsheet and it is very vital you do so, because it helps you keep track of your success rate. And most important it helps you know where to improve and exposes bad decisions you have made.

ooo i like the idea of taking a screenshot of the trade entry, great tip that

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MT4 records all the trades already, so no need for any additional work.