May 312010
 

Update – I have a new journal that I’m working on and will be making it available real soon.  Please check back.

Everyone talks about the importance of a trade log and/or journal for trading.  I can’t tell you how many times I started one only to quit because it was too much work.  So after many different attempts, I think I have found a good solution that works for me.  The key is to have a minimum of manual tasks and automate as much as possible.  I do this in three steps which are explained in this video and in the text below.

Step 1: I do all my daytrading with the Ninjatrader DOM which keeps track of the performance for me.  I can generate performance results with just a few clicks.  I can separate performance by instrument, by DOM strategy, and/or account (real or sim).

Step 2: I copy the wins & losses into an excel spreadsheet so that I can track my progress each day.  I do this for a couple reasons.  First I trade European & US futures so I have to convert euros to dollars to get a total for the day (Ninjatrader does not do currency conversions in its P/L).  Second I include my swing trading results.  My swing trades are executed through Interactive Brokers and don’t appear in the Ninja account performance report.  They could if I traded them through Ninjatrader but I prefer IB’s TWS for swing trades.

Step 3: I write down my thoughts on each trade along with a list of the criteria that was met for the trade (per the trading plan).  I note any mistakes I made so that I can review them at the end of the day and again before the beginning of the next trading day.

This last step is new for me so we’ll see how that goes.

Here are the excel templates: Trading Log & Journal.

I hope you find them useful and if so please let me know.

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