Become a better trader by investing 30 minutes in yourself every day.

Become a better trader by investing 30 minutes in yourself every day.

Journaling is often considered mundane, boring, and tedious.

Most traders cringe at the thought of putting time, effort, and energy into journaling or review and reflection practices.

Journaling in fact is ‘the’ most wonderful process to self-discovery and mastery in the game of trading. There’s simply no better teacher than a well-maintained journal for gaining deep and valuable insights into a trader’s mindset.

Let’s look at what kind of journals can a stock market trader keep and what benefits will each journal provide.

Logging all Trades:

The purpose of the TradeLog journal is to record thoughts, trade setups, and ideas. Recording reasons to trade and being deliberate of having considered the possible outcome scenarios. All information like your thought process, trade justification, initial risk-reward assessment can be done with help of charts, notes, or screenshots.

A trader’s mind plays emotional games, and it’s often easy to forget or get attached to a mental bias. Opposing thoughts, ideas, and missing out on details is normal once the event is gone. Such details are best recorded when fresh.

Documenting thoughts and insights leave hard evidence of plans and execution. By outlining the possibilities, studying the gaps, and trade plan in advance, one will ultimately gain deep insights into the thought processes and the justifications that led to entering a particular trade.

Maintaining a Lessons & Learning Journal: 

This is basically used to record and document the primary trade setup, its supporting factors, and the prevailing market structure.

There is always the opportunity to question everything.

What price actions were the candlestick patterns indicating and what was your interpretation before the event. What was the trade outcome?

What factors were missed or not considered that indicated the different outcome?

Did you miss out on studying or analyzing the market structure of the higher time frames?

Maybe shortcuts were taken on managing the risk and reward. Trade outcomes may be speaking that one needs to eliminate low reward risk trades. Or maybe the study of past trades is now showing a possibility and pattern for entering trades earlier. And that too at a lower risk.

The ideas and insights after a trade are closed, may go often on to reveal better opportunities and the potential of eliminating poor trade choices.

Repeated mistakes will begin to show up and adverse behavior patterns become more visible when one studies their trade log and journals.

Market Structure Journal: 

This one can be a gold mine.

Market Structure journal is only intended to record your observations about the structure across various time frames. By looking at the big picture and then zooming in to identify the supply and demand areas, the process of refining skills of correctly reading the market structure gets vastly improved.

There is the need to diligently record all details of the time frames studied and traded.

What structural information was taken into account before entering the trades?

How did the market behave with respect to the studies and what insights does that give one to improve their market structure reading skills? Print the charts or take screenshots. Use a highlighter, color pens, or whatever one is comfortable with. Over time this journaling process will evolve and develop with the trader.

Journaling does immensely help one in becoming better at their craft.

Lance Beggs who’s been the inspiration for this journal calls the Master Structure Journal “an incredibly useful tool for building your intuitive ability.”

In Conclusion

Diligently develop the practice of recording your trades, your tiny and big wins, your emotional experiences, and your reactions. Over days, months, and years you will start to hold better and more accurate accounts of your experiences.

The trader will begin to notice the excellent opportunities captured and those that were missed or were not handled well.

Reviewing and studying your journals over time will reveal the rich information, moments, and patterns that will guide one ahead to refine, improve and get better at it.

Humans majorly make decisions on the basis of past experiences, and making good decisions over time leads to better outcomes.

Whether one writes long-form or uses a bullet journal style of rapid logging. One can make a beginning and refine their way to maintaining an expressive journal, that will capture interesting and immersive details.

If one is serious about their career and success in trading, then their journal can be the best and ultimate guide in their path to being successful in the long run.