Keeping a trading journal allows traders to keep a record of their trades, thoughts, and feelings throughout the day. Trading journals are a great tool to have and making your journal as thorough as possible will give you details that go beyond the statements and profile statistics most brokers will give you as you go through your trading journey.
Your journal should include what market conditions were like at the time, if you were feeling distracted or not, and if you made mistakes while trading. You can also record strategy ideas as they come to you while you trade and having a journal can lead to any missed trades. Having a journal can allow you to go back at the end of each week and or end of each month and review what you did, notice any common problems, and spot your strengths. These weekly and monthly observations can help you exploit your strengths and highlight the areas you need to work on. Being diligent in this routine will help you not only become a better trader but help you become profitable. A trade journal will allow you to receive important feedback on your performance and show you patterns unfolding on what works and what you should change.
All the professional traders that are making a lot of profits, like the head trader I have learned from, Shawn Lucas, have kept a trade journal that they refer back to continuously learn from their mistakes. Having each trade documented and written out when the ideas and trades themselves are fresh is so important for your growth as a trader. Doing so in the moment is important because you will not remember details a day or even a week later, so journaling while you trade is very important. While journaling, keep documentation of any adjustments as you go along so you can be aware of any changes you need to make in future trades.
The purpose of a trading journal is to accomplish these three key elements; you want to both have and execute a good trading plan, you want to ensure you have a good trading system as apart of that plan and you want to always review and improve your trading performance and plan. Learning from The Apiary Fund and Shawn Lucas has taught me the key elements you need to make sure you are successful while trading, and you are able to be profitable. I hope this helps give you insight on why it’s so important to have a trading journal and why it can help your growth as a professional trader! I wish you all the best of luck.