Trade Log & Journal


I analyze my trading in four main ways:

  1. Screenshots and Video of trades when I enter & exit – I use SnagIt, Jing, & Camtasia for this.  I often post these to the blog and Twitter.
  2. A journal – This is a simple word document where  I just write freely on what I’m thinking while trading.  If I make it too structured it only slows me down.  Please see this post for some real journal entries.
  3. A “trading well” trade log.  In this spreadsheet I keep track of whether I traded my plan, I keep track of mistakes & missed trades.  This is entered manually.  I think this is the most important part of my analysis.
  4. A metric trade log.  This is where I track my performance and set my performance goals.  This is entered automatically (copy/paste from broker or trading app).  This has become less important for me as I now just focus on trading my plan.

Trading Well

The trading well trade log has 3 worksheets.  The first is a summary of my results for the week:

The second is where I list all my trades and for each one:

  • which setup it was from my plan (or if it was not a valid setup)
  • if I traded it well
  • how many points I would have gotten trading my plan
  • how many points I actually got
  • notes on the trade

The third sheet is a list of lessons that I’m learning, mistakes that I’ve made.  I keep track of when I make them so that I can focus on  avoiding these mistakes.  For example moving my stops to give it a little more room was a common “sin” of mine.  I’m proud to say that last week I didn’t move my stops at all.  But when one sin is conquered, others appear.  We can never be perfect but we can work on continuous improvement.

You may download a copy of the spreadsheet here:  Trading Well Trade Log


The metrics trade log allows me to export trades from multiple brokers & trading applications (such as X_Trader, Ninjatrader, & IB’s TWS) and paste them into my excel.  The way it works is I export my trades from each platform to CSV or clipboard and then paste them into a conversion worksheet in my tradelog where they are converted into a “standard” format.  I then take the trades in standard format and paste them into the trade list.  After that there is a worksheet to provide the metrics I track.

Here is an example of what the summary page looks like:

The supported platforms are Velocity, Ninjatrader, & Interactive Brokers Trader Workstation.  X_Trader is supported but has a few issues to work out as I don’t really use it and haven’t had time to fix it.  Any other platform can easily be supported by creating a conversion worksheet using one of the existing platform worksheets as an example.

I have prepared a video explaining how the spreadsheet works:

The last tab of the worksheet has a TODO list.  This spreadsheet is not “finished” and it’s not a product.  It may contain bugs or errors in the formulas.  I use it daily so there is nothing major but I do discover little issues while using it.  I’m providing it here as an example for you to use to make your own trade log.

While I may release future versions, I don’t intend to keep releases up to date with every little change I make.  I hope you can understand why, I simply don’t have the time to treat this as a real product.  If you want to buy a “finished product” tradelog, there are several for sale on the internet.  If you want to make your own then I hope you’ll find mine useful.

My Excel knowledge is limited to what I use for my tradelogs & statistics.  If you have any comments or suggestions on how to improve the tradelog I would greatly appreciate it.

You may download the template here.  I’ve left a few trades in there so you can see how it works.  I’ve included a version for Excel 2010 & 97:

Multi-Platform Tradelog Template v0.1

I’ve always tracked my trading but in the past I’ve just focused on tracking the performance.  Since I started investing time to analyze all of my trades and compare them with my trading plan, my trading has improved considerably.  I think journaling and analyzing your trades is crucial to improving.  It takes time & effort and many people do not do this.  I feel if one is not trading their plan they are gambling.  I know because I was gambling for several years.  One can be a profitable gambler.  But a profitable trader can do even better.

I hope you find these excel spreadsheets useful.  If you have any comments or suggestions on how I can improve them, or if you’re tracking your trading differently, please let me know.  I welcome all feedback.

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