So, You Want To Be A Better Trader

Start A Trading Journal

Time and time again I am asked, “how can I become a better trader”. Time and time again I am reminded of what really boosted my own trading success. Starting a trading journal. A journal is a great way to keep track of what you are learning, what you are doing and how you are making your decisions. If you want to remember what it was about why that one trade was so freaking awesome all you have to do is go back into your journal to see. I know one of the most significant things I gained from my journal was accountability. If I wrote it down, and made a trade on it I was accountable. I found myself shying away from risky, less probable trades and guesses and my success rate improved dramatically. Then, after I started blogging and putting my ideas on the web for everyone and their mom to see I got really good because I sure as hell don’t want to do anything stupid here.

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How To Start A Trading Journal

Starting a journal is like everything else, you just have to do it. It doesn’t really matter so long as you are keeping track of yourself. The easiest and simplest method is to use the standard composition notebook, pencil and write it down. Of course, in today’s day and age you might as well use you computer to do it. Start with writing down what your strategy is. Is it based on fundamentals, technical analysis or both? What indicators are you using and how will you derive a signal? After this is set down then you can begin the task of actually looking, waiting and trading on that signal. When you see one, make your trade and write down what you did, what you bought, what the signals were, what you think the risks are, what your target is and most importantly follow it up with how it turned out.

A really great place to start a trading journal is on a forum. Forum are the heart and soul of social trading, trading journals the life blood. The forum here on is a great place to start. The first thing you have to do is join with a simple sign up that is totally free. Once in the forum go to the Trading Journals thread and start a new one. Choose your name carefully as it will be how other traders find you. Your name, something about your strategy or preferred asset are always good choices. Then all you have to do is start. Some ideas for a few of your first posts include things like who you are, the basics of your strategy, and how you intend to manage your account. A really important thing to let us all know is your purpose, are you a newbie trying to get on your feet or are you an experienced trader who wants to build a social following. After that it comes down to adding new posts on a daily or week to week basis, depending on how you trade and your time. Anything you learn and of course all of your trade ideas.

Benefits Of A Trading Journal

I have already hit on how keeping a journal make me accountable. If I write it down then that is what I did, its what I do and I have to live with it. It’s not quite as bad as losing money for real (which also happens from time to time), since you could just ignore or erase it. The real benefit of a trading journal, and the way in which it helps you to grow, is that it allows you to develop your own theories, clarify ideas and learn from what you are doing. After observing an event, taking note of it, forming an opinion, writing it down and doing that over and over again you will be able to clarify your thoughts, hone your ideas and become one with the market. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen something happen in the market, taken note of it with ideas or conjectures only to have my thoughts become reality. I don’t mean that the market read my mind, more like I read the market and it was because of daily, weekly and monthly observations that added up to profits in my head.

The End Result

The end result of keeping journal is being able to trade with effortless ease. I am confident in my analysis, confident in my money management and confident in the market. I don’t worry about what is going on because I know what is going on. When the market makes a knee jerk reaction to news I know it for what it is and buy into it without worrying whether I’m right or wrong. My trading journal has elevated my to the level of a professional. Find out more about me and my trading journal here, Trading With The Geek.

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