When I started trading, I had no idea what a trading journal was. I used to think trading was the most difficult thing in the world.
I read everything: from blog articles to books; I watched everything: from Youtube videos to online courses.
Nothing worked. I was overwhelmed and I felt stupid.
Do you feel the same when you try to trade? If you do, I’ll suggest you start with a trading journal. That helped me A LOT to understand the stock market and opened my eyes to everything else I had learned before.
Did you have a diary when you were a little girl? A place where to keep your secrets and write in whenever the world felt like shit?
If you did and you had the opportunity to read your own diary years later, you could see how that boy you simply LOVED when you were 15 was terrible, right? When we look from a distance, things seem a lot clearer and easier to understand.
A trading journal does that to you. When I started one, it was like I saw everything I had studied under a whole different perspective, I could now understand how success happened in trading – and, after the journal, I started making the DOUBLE of money I made before!
What is a trading journal?
It isn’t a regular journal where you write your calendars and your to-do lists for the day.
The trading journal I’m talking about is this one: a system where you can see and track every move on your trading account: it tells you if the moves you made in trade were “Loser” or “Winner” moves.
The trading journal I used for myself is named Edgewonk. On their website, they provide a list of benefits of their journal, which are:
- They help us develop more discipline with their instant-feedback tools
- They optimize trade management for better decisions in our trades.
- They perfect stop placement to avoid stop hunting and stop runs
- They increase the size of the “winners”, which are the profits, by tweaking trade exiting
- They evaluate and improve trade exits for a higher win rate
- They understand risk management with our performance simulator
- They customize your journal to your own strategies, methods and markets
On this image, you can see how a trader can change when using a trading journal – a hint: I had graphs similar to the first one; now I’m definitely closer to the second.
The problems I was running into
Before relying on a trading journal, I used to run into several problems like the following:
● Exiting too early when in profit
When we don’t know something, we get scared. Whenever I got a few pounds of profit, I would quit the trade.
I used to scalp and day trade because I was too insecure and impatient.
I would think “well, I can already buy a good lip gloss with this profit I made”. I’d find excuses, anything so that I wouldn’t risk losing something I knew I had.
● Stop losses
Since I wasn’t tracking my trades and didn’t know much about it, I had some real loose stop loses. I used to lose more than I should because I felt like:
“Well, I’m already losing money, how bad can I become?”
I became worse. I was losing more money than I should. I started stopping by 15% loss – which, for the scalper and day trader I was, was BAD.
So, every day I bought a share and the share went down, I would sell ONLY when I had lost 15% of the money I put there in the first place. I didn’t know stop losses are really important for the trader and I didn’t realise their importance until I tracked my tradings using a trading journal.
● Need to measure
If you don’t track and measure your trades, you’ll fail. I’m sorry, ladies, but that’s a MUST.
Tracking will give you safety to see the opportunities.
If you feel insecure, all you need is discipline. If you need discipline, well, then you’ll need a trading journal like me. I tried to track by hand, on Excel… Eventually, I gave up and started journaling.
● Getting trading feedback
When we try to learn without a teacher is like it’s twice the effort, right?
I was trading, but I didn’t know if I was doing it right, if the earnings were by luck and if the losses were just bad luck.
I had data, but I had nothing else to back me up and give me some insights on how I could improve. A trading journal did that for me.
So what did I do with a Trading Journal?
Well, as I told you, I used Edgewonk. It’s a trading journal designed specifically to tell me what in the bloody hell I was doing wrong.
I was also in a trader development program because I saw some flaws I had that the trading journal might not help.
Within a few weeks, I’d changed my strategy. It was like when I had my first baby and I used to rationalise to make him eat: it didn’t work, so I started tricking him into eating.
Did it work? Hell yes!
Changing strategies worked in trading as well: I started by making fewer trades, no more scalping. Scalping was, for me, the least profitable trade, because I was an amateur, and scalping is for the ladies who already know how to play.
I started to experience more day trade and short swing trade. By using this strategy, I improved win rate. This went up almost 10% over a couple of months.
Do you remember the sad part where I said I lost tons of money?
It reduced the size of losing. These went down 6% within a month, and then down 15% over 3 months.
I had 25% extra profit in 3 months. Girl, imagine earning 25% MORE, with TRADES, and spend it on clothes?
Ok, but just imagine! This money shall not be spent, because this cash will be compounded and increase unbelievably in a matter of months.
It can happen to you too!!!
The trader development program helps you understand how you trade – and educates you how to apply self-correction while using feedback in Edgewonk.
I used Edgewonk for free during the 1-month free trial and I simply fell in love with it!
The really crazy thing, it was a one-off fee under $200! Literally paid off within the first month.
Too good to be true?
Well, there’s no free lunch!
If you’re married or have a lifelong partner, I’m sure one day you had HUGE expectations, but you realised, after all, nobody is perfect, right?
The same thing with the trading journal you’ll have to make some effort for it to work:
- Have to put some time in it – after all, you’ll learn how to use a new platform;
- You need to be honest with yourself– to know what you’re good at, what works, what doesn’t;
- Continual improvement and self-reflection is a must.
- You’ll become more disciplined – a benefit of using a trading journal, but still something you’ll have to learn
A risk-free trading journal
As I said, a trading journal will prevent you from losing a lot of money – almost the same way it does not to bring your kid to a supermarket.
Be a risk-free trader: track it all. I’m sure you’ll make as much money as me, and you’ll develop that discipline and self-evaluation needed in the trading environment.
What are you waiting for? Become the better trader you’ll ever be! Start by signing up to Edgewonk’s free trial.