The market is changing every moment and it’s extremely important to track everything you do in a stock trading journal.  I have a few different journals where I keep track of strategies I’m monitoring and future concepts I want to develop. In fact, I’m one of those that has stickys all over and at the end of the day I gather them and document the ones that are important so the idea or symbol isn’t lost.

I even get into the habit of taking screen shots of charts that I keep in a desktop folder with the date and what it was I was specifically looking at. This proves to be a useful reflection strategy that allows you to look back into a window into your previous thinking and psychological processes, where you can then take that experience and convert it into future learnings to see how certain stock indicators react at certain key moments. Having that static picture with annotations really helps you develop into a great chart technician.

Now before you get overwhelmed with the idea of having to journal or take notes on your trading, remember that it doesn’t have to be a daily activity. To each his/her own and do whatever feels comfortable, but at least try it for 30 days to see if you find value, even if you only make notes 2-3 times per week. I’m quite sure you be able to see development as to what areas you are making progress or what areas you’re possibly stuck in. I don’t know how many times I remember a symbol that I wanted to go back and look at and if I didn’t have my notes it could just as easily get lost.

One other key point to be made here is you can’t compare yourself or your performance to anybody else. This is a primary mistake that a trader can make that causes them to trade outside of their plan if they aren’t achieving the results that the either want or think they should be having. You’re job is to be you, which involves you determining what type of trader you want to be and creating a trading strategy around that personality. Don’t unintelligently copy other role models trading styles, as not everybody is cut out to be a momentum trader or a long term trader. You have to become the best trader that you can be, because if you try to trade outside your trading style you will ultimately sabotage your trading results.

Remember to please share this post and if you have an experience with journaling you’d like to share I know that I would like to hear about it and others could benefit as well.

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2 Responses to “Importance of a Stock Trading Journal”

  1. Abdul Rahim Says:

    Usually I will print the articles or charts that will serve as a trading aid to me and compile them in files for future reference. I agreed that everyone trade differently. Sometimes according to market condition, I will take a high beta trade myself. I know some of my friends who trade on low gear and that also with fear. I can’t stomach this kind of style. Well, you are what you are. NICE PHOTO Jeff. I guess must be a seaside chalet far far away from tar balls.

  2. Zen of Trading Revisited Says:

    […] like to suggest an 11th and that would be keeping a trade journal of some sort. If you don’t know where you have been it’s impossible to know where you […]

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