The Benefits of Keeping a Trading Journal

December 7th, 2021

For many traders, keeping a regular trading journal may seem like an unnecessary chore. Maybe you have even felt this way yourself. Keeping a log of your day can seem overly tedious, but Verbal Journal President Anthony Drager says that journaling can be an important step towards confident trading.

In his recent webinar Why Do You Miss Trades?, Drager said one benefit of journaling is it helps you create a record of the past. At the end of a long trading day, especially one that didn’t go as planned, it can be daunting to go back through everything that happened. A journal, regularly kept throughout the day, provides a framework through which you can document your trades and ideas one piece at a time. Without much effort, you can create a thorough record of the day to study later.

Drager also said journaling is an important tool for documenting missed trades.

“Missed trades are important because they’re not documented in a statement,” he said. “Why? Because you didn’t take them!”

But these invisible missed trades can have real consequences! Maybe you missed a trade and it created a lot of emotion that affected the rest of your trading day. Maybe you took a bad trade right after the missed trade because you didn’t want to miss again. It is important to keep a record of these kinds of incidents so that you can review and learn from them.

Additionally, Drager pointed out that journaling can help you build confidence in your pre-market biases or opinions. He said that many traders have a pre-market opinion, but they aren’t fully confident that it will work. Journaling allows you to “review your preview” and see tangible evidence of how your opinions and biases have worked out in the past.

Drager explained that the confidence-building aspect of journaling is most important, but confidence can’t happen without diligent journaling habits. It is the ability to review past decisions, trades and missed opportunities, as well as their outcomes, that can give you the knowledge and confidence you need for consistent trading in the future.

If keeping a regular record of your trading days still seems like too much effort, there are lots of modern journaling tools, many of which are available through the NinjaTrader Ecosystem, that can help make the process easier.

In this short clip, Drager explores the benefits of journaling in greater detail. If you are interested in learning more about how to build confidence through journaling, be sure to check out Drager’s full-length webinar.

If you enjoyed this clip, be sure to also watch more of Anthony Drager’s webinars with the NinjaTrader Ecosystem: Simplicity in Trade Journaling and Reading Order Flow: Understanding WHY.

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