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How To Keep a Trade Journal

Keeping track of past successes and failures is important for a trader of any proficiency. Whether you are a novice just getting started in your trading career, or a seasoned pro in the market going back and reviewing past trades allows us to work out the details of any profitable trading plan. One of the easiest ways to record your trades is through keeping and maintaining a trading journal throughout the trading week. This may be a difficult task at first but consistency is important, and can be made easier by having a premade trading journal to log.

Sample Trading Journal

  • Day ____________

  • Date____________

  • Time Open: ____________Close: ____________

  • Currency Pair: _____________

  • Entry Price: _____________

  • Stop Price:_____________

  • Limit Price:_____________

  • Lots Traded:_____________

  • P/L:_____________

The selections you choose to record in your trading journal may vary from person to person. If you don’t know where to begin you can find a sample journal above. I would recommend that at minimum you include the currency pair (such as the EURUSD), open/close prices, and p/l (profit and loss) for tracking purposes. Remember the template of your journal should be something that can be easily filled out throughout the trading day. This way when it is time to review your past trades you have the important details to do so.

Also be sure to include a notes section under each trade. This will be a miscellaneous section that will allow you to record information including what prompted you to enter into a trade. Other information to record may include what indicators were used (CCI, FIB lines, RSI, Etc), market conditions (range, trend, breakout) or any other information that may become useful when reviewing past trading successes and failures.

How_To_Keep_a_Trade_Journal_body_Picture_1.png, How To Keep a Trade Journal
How_To_Keep_a_Trade_Journal_body_Picture_1.png, How To Keep a Trade Journal

Running a Report

If you choose to keep a trading journal it is very useful to know how to run a report. Traders using the FXCM Trading Station will find the report function at the top of the trading platform. After clicking the report tab you will see a popup menu that will allow you to customize your parameters. You can select to run a statement for the life of the account (Since Open) or choose a custom period using the From and To dropdowns.

The last selection is the format drop down. This allows you to select how the report is displayed on your computer. Reports can be run in HTML (web), XLS (Spreadsheet), or PDF (document) formats depending on your preference. Once all of your settings are how you like, feel free to click the “Run report” button on the bottom of the report menu. When your report has been created you can begin running your analysis and studying your trading progress.

---Written by Walker England, Trading Instructor

To contact Walker, emailwengland@fxcm.com. Follow me on Twitter at @WEnglandFX.

To be added to Walker’s e-mail distribution list, send an email with the subject line “Distribution List” towengland@fxcm.com.

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