I understand what you mean, it’s a kind of trading diary. It should be really helpful but its hard to make reliable conclusions about trading mistakes or correct trades analyzing them separately, because losses are essential part of trading and trying to eliminate them can lead you the wrong way in developing the strategy. If there is a “natural percentage” of losses inherent to the strategy you can estimate it only on distance. Single trade won’t show that. That’s why statistical data matters and the bigger is sample the better.
You are absolutely on the money @ontario - at least in my opinion!
I just wrote about this on another thread, which I guess could be relevant here, too:
"Many of us veterans have tried many times to explain that losses are not a bad thing - they are the inevitable and integral part of a business/profession that deals in probabilities.
You will never avoid losses entirely nor should you even try to avoid them!!! They are the “overheads” of our business in the same way as any other business has costs to manage in order to make profits.
And the emphasis is precisely and squarely on managing your losses, not trying to avoid them.
You cannot be a trader and make profits from your trading unless you are active in the markets - we all know that. But if you are in the markets then every trade you take has a probability of success and a probability of a loss. The sole aim of trading is to ensure your gains exceed your losses in the most optimum manner.
A loss is only a negative function if the trade was taken/retained for the wrong reasons. Reasons such as contra to method entry rules, too large exposure, moving/removing stops in the hope that it will “come right eventually”, intuitive/spontaneous trades without justification, revenge trades, doubling up to retrieve a loss, etc, etc.
But when a trade is put on according to one’s pre-set rules and parameters then those that lose are totally within expectations and anticipated accordingly.
So how can such losses be ok?
That is the realm of risk/money managment. An issue that is clearly ignored by many new traders. The overall aim is to ensure that you know your overall ratio of losses to gains as well as how much are losses compared to those gains. e.g. if you know from testing/experience that you normally win 60% of your method’s trades and that you normally lose about 30 pips compared with an average gain of 60 pips then you know that you should make a consistent profit over a period of time.
You need to risk losses in order to chance winning.
This is only a very basic overview of the concept but the underlying aim should be not to fear losses but to control them as part of your overall strategy."
Each trader decides whether to record his deals or not. There are several opposite opinions on this issue. However, keeping a journal or diary is considered good and useful practice. Personally, I record all my transactions in the sheet and additionally make screenshots of these transactions. Retrospectively looking through my transactions, I understand how I am progressing and what gross mistakes I made at the beginning. This is especially true for home traders who do not have the possibility of peer discussion and analysis of transactions. Perhaps over time, as the growth of professionalism, the need for this will disappear, but at the beginning of a career it is very useful. I am more than sure that we should not neglect this practice.
Yes off course, cause of if I took records then I will be informed about my trade. How much I am going to have profit/loss. Always try to keep records it will be much helpful for your analysis.
Now that’s a seriously cool journal. I used Trello in the past, but never thought to use it as a journal. Are those just screenshots you’ve added to the card for each pair/trade?
You should upload that image so we have it forever, for future readers. I see you do a lot of “checking in”. Do you trade full time?
Thanks @Snorolaxfx… I like the journal but didn’t think it was so spectacular… you’ll be blown away if you checked out @MikeWolski’s SPREADSHEET on his
COMPLETE CURRENCY DYNAMICS thread right here on BP. That thread is roughly four months old and I don’t think he’s missed a day without updating it. I’ve also read through a sizable portion of his My journey journal…from demo to live…and beyond thread, it’s huge!.
That was what encouraged me to start somewhere as well. You can find the image below. Feel free to get in touch as well if you need any details on how I use it.
I can attest to that thread.
I tend to take screenshots and note good bad trades. It’s always good to be reflective
Trading journal can help any trader to understand how he has performed over some specific periods in conducting trades. However, while making trade execution decisions further, a trader should try to recognize whether his performance is well going or not. This is how a trader can make investment decisions according to his strength and weaknesses.
I use a google sheet to record everything.
Screenshots are a good idea.
I record my trades on a ticket. I record trade date, strategy, entry, exit, stop loss, take profit, position size and brief journal info as trade proceeds. Then I record exit and how it exits. Some tickets I have to fill out later in fast moving markets like yesterday after FOMC statements.
Now I will review these on the weekend for various reasons—sometimes to tweak a strategy.
i am recording my trades since day one. at first i used to do it on paper, but now it’s mostly on google sheets
definitely on the recording side of things, I have as tools:
a Track Record (Excel based). Of course, the dates, pair traded, entry, stop, exit, L/S, strategy type, then comes the 3 MOST important single data for any trade: Was it fully according to plan (not mistake of any sort): 0 or 1, R collected (how many pips you cleared / original risk in pips), cost of mistakes in R (if you did not follow your plan, how many Rs did it cost you.
Those last three variable gives something so important to improve as a trade, it tells you how efficient you are at following your plan, what is your average R expectancy per strategy, and how much you lose when you do not follow your plan.
Without this, your whole analysis will basically be based on how much money you make or lose, without knowing the why and how to improve.
A trading journal (word document), with picture of the trade at entry, assessment of the trade, picture of the trade at exit (and potentially a while after). The graphs of exit will show hoe I have taken positions out (scaled out) and how I trailed the stop (the management of the trade). Ultimately any lesson learnt or emotion that comes up will figure on that document.
Both tools complete each other, as they allow to detect patterns, trend in the way we trade and make quantitative analysis, whilst still dealing with the needy greedy of each trade, our methods and the human dimension of trading.
Nice one here @Leo_FX_Trader, if we all managed to see trading as much more than just staring at the charts, I’m sure the failure rates will reduce dramatically… I have a journal I use also, similar to yours, and it’s been really helpful.
It seems like a lot of work though if you’re trading shorter timeframes, do you trade the daily charts or shorter?
Hi @macilme thank you. Recently I had a sample large enough to extract all my mistakes, and therefore looking at 10 different types errors that are recurring in my trading, by focusing on implementing the right behaviors instead of these that could be the end of self sabotage and therefore the start of profitability.
On the time frames, you are right, probably more work with the faster time frames. My niche is the 15mn time frames (entry and management), with the idea to ride 60 and 240mn trends. Doing so, it usually takes 1 to 3 hours to find and enter, and when things goes well within 6 hours I am either stopped out or in a risk free trade, and ready to ride the trend. So my trading cessions require 2 to 3 hours of work, additional 3 of close monitoring and after that the trades can live on up to a few days. I trade the 26/28 most liquid pairs (usd, eur, jpy, cad, aud, nzd, chf).
It could be possible to trade as you suggest, the daily charts - probably look at it once a week but I would need to trade a lot more pairs to compensate the reduction of signals (I specializes on 2/3 strategies, which is compensated by the number of signals the fast time frames give, and would need more instrument if I trade slower time frames). Daily charts are believe are less stressful and need less work, but I am not super patient and can focus quite a bit when it is for few hours, but diluted focus needed for daily charts would probably not sit well with me
I just began considering taking notes for each of my trade and then this post…
The comments has also gone further to enforce my convictions
Yes, no question about that. The purpose of the journal is not only to keep financial record, but moreover, keep record of MISTAKE you made, and to learn why in order to stop reoccurrence.
Simple as that, but deep as that.
Let me rephrase THAT for you…
Do “YOU” think …it is important to records all of your trades…???
Will “YOU” …do it in a spreadsheet …or in a journal… ???
What do “YOU”… think should be in “YOUR” trade journal…???
Think …my young Padawan…THINK !!!
Only YOU…have THE answer…!!!