Journal Essential


Junior member
39 2
Journals are a requirement for traders, however, if you are not recording p/l data for trades within your system AND p/l data for trades outside your system you are missing the most essential ingredient in a journal.

First you must have a clearly defined strategy that is rigid, so recorded data becomes meaningful. In earlier trading years I perhaps was mildly satisfied with an overall p/l of 20% annualized. Once I separated my p/l for trades inside the system and those outside the system, and discovered trades inside were delivering 65% annualized and those outside were losing money - my trading light went from dim to bright. This was the trigger that moved me from a casual trader to an aggressive one, who understood that a consistent strategy was required for success. This also led me to positive actions that resulted in measurable improvements in my strategy.

I still trade outside my system in an attempt to identify improvements, but all serious money stays within the boundaries of my over all rule set.

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Active member
118 16
Fully agree with you here, when I started I was losing trades, I was around the 50/50 mark overall, it was only when I started to look at 'how' I was trading, I recorded a few extra bits, the two most important for me was the data I got from overall direction of the market and the daily low and high, I saw that in 20 trades I'd got the direction correct in 19 of them! But was still losing, I realised that a good percentage of the time my sl was too tight and if I widened my stop I'd have moved to profit in many many more trades. So I altered my stops and adjusted the volume so I still had a strong r:r and instantly got better results, it was a test of faith sometimes but overall I rode out Tue fear and my trades ended in profit - then like yourself I realised I was losing most playing outside my rules, so I stopped or just lowered my risk right down while exploring 'new' ways.

Volume I found changed dramatically, I went from trade 15 maybe 20 trades a day!! To less then one a day, now I look for a positive of 4 trades per month in my 'system' and play with other ways at low low volumes about 0.1 percent risk.

Happy pips
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