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If you only knew that by writing down a few numbers you could easily become a Star Trader…

 If you only knew that by writing down a few numbers you could easily become a Star Trader…

You can become a star trader

Trading can be a daunting activity. Your emotions are on the edge, your money is in the line and your beliefs about the market are your best weapon to try to take a bite of whatever instrument you are trading and succeed in this ultra-competitive business.

Anyone could just enter a trade and be successful once or even a few times. But to keep being successful for the long run you’ll need consistency and the only way to achieve this consistency is to understand and analyze what you are doing and why you are doing it.

I don’t mean that you must have a strategy, which you should have. I also don’t mean that you must have your emotions in check, or trade with a stop loss, limit your position sizing or any of all this things that you should also have and be aware of their importance.

One of the key components of your trading success and your trading business as a whole, is to keep a Trading Journal

I know it can be cumbersome and boring, specially if you scalp or make many trades a week or a day. Because every time you trade you will have to remember to enter all this little data in a chart, I know it is not the funniest thing to do. But if you plan to make your trading into a serious business and eventually make some money or even a living out of it:

You MUST start keeping a Trading Journal.

This journal will prove amazingly useful after a few weeks and, even better, after a few months. You will have invaluable data on why and how your performance went, you will have a snapshot of your victories and defeats that will help you enormously understanding how your system performs on the long run. So, for example, if after six months of trading a specific system you find out that you had six loses in a row and then your system kept on performing with normality, you will know what to expect and the next time you have a few losing trades in a row you will not get discouraged, angry or emotional about it, and start to see it as “normal”, since this behavior will be within the parameters of your trading system. This will help you also to define your position sizing and find the overall expectancy of your system.

Other advantage of your Trading Journal is that from the moment you start taking note of every trade, you will stop entering impulsive trades (or at least you will do less of them), since everything will be on record, which will make you think twice about entering or not entering a trade. You must remember that good trading is about good habits, and your Trading Journal will be your self-control on the way you are handling those good habits.

You don’t need to make it any complicated and a few parameters would be enough to retrieve all this vital data to understand and improve your trading habits. I will provide a Trading Journal Sample where you can download a spreadsheet with parameters that works for me, although you can ad as many as you want if you need more info, just don’t make them overly complicated and remember that you will need to keep this spreadsheet by your side and enter the info EVERY time you trade. After a few weeks of doing it, it will become second nature and you will not even think about it anymore.

Trade, demo please, for a few months with the journal and use ONE or maximum TWO systems that you backtested and feel they could work for you and let me know how you did with the journal. I am sure you’ll have tremendous insight on your personality as a trader, and how to make the system work for you.



12 thoughts on “If you only knew that by writing down a few numbers you could easily become a Star Trader…”

  1. Gabriel

    Hi again!
    Thank you for your trading Journal but MT4 do it for us better and easier , I think its better attach a pic of the trades with complete reasons of Enter and Exit with the emotion of that moment.

    1. forexlife01

      HI Gabriel, thanks a lot for sharing your opinion. I know that journaling can be a hassle and mostly could be automated, but I would not recomend to leave it to MT4 or any self generated report, since we are not keeping this data just for the sake of looking it further in time, but also to beter understand the moment we are living in the present and understand the reasons behind our trading in the future. The act of doing it by hand will allow you think twice and it will help you realize if you are trading for the right reasons in the right setup and, in my experience, will help you enormously to achieve consitency in your trading.
      All the best,

  2. Rod Babka

    Hi Paul
    I have read your book and will read it again. I am looking for a break down of your trading journal. What each cell represents and where to gather that data. I do have a practice account and still learning my way around.
    Rod Babka

    1. Hi Rod, I am happy you are finding the book usefull; take some time to watch the videos too, I believe they’ll help you very much and let me know if I can be of any assistance.

  3. Thanks Paul.

    I have added the criteria from my trading plan to my journal. That way I need to actually enter if that criteria is met (Y/N) before I take the trade and I can’t kid myself in the moment, or in the future when I look back, that I was following my trading plan perfectly if I wasn’t. It also shows clearly if I try to veer off track too.

    1. Hi Steve,
      I am glad you find the idea of the journal useful. I believe it’s one of the best tools to keep your emotions in check since it helps you a lot to stick to your rules. In my trading it really makes a difference. Let me know if I can be of assistance.

  4. Luis eduardo

    Hi!, Actually I’m reading your book. but I can’t find Trading journal sample.
    I made one, but I want your sample to compare.
    Your book is amazing (until now, je je je)

  5. I am already enjoy reading this. I have been trading and losing for quite a long time, 4 years I would say. I haven’t made much of a profit. I believe that is because of my emotions toward the money. After I read your book until this Trading Journal section and some more on the website, I think that’s what I missed out the most. I am stubborn but I will try this and to see if I can reach my goal.

    1. Great to hear you’re finding the book useful Richie!, let me know how you doing with your trading.

  6. samantha

    Hello , I love your book. I’m glad I read it and will read it again. I’m looking for the journal link 🙂

    1. Thanks a lot Samantha for reading my book and posting your comments. 🙂 let me know if you have any questions.

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