Keeping A Trading Journal
by Thom Hartle
Success in trading the markets does not come overnight. It is probable that the novice who profits early
and easily in his trading career will view the gains as the easiest money he or she ever made. It is also
very likely, however, that the trading newcomer stumbled into a powerful bull market, in his innocence
buying the market, either placing stops very far away or not using stops at all and watching mistimed
entries become profitable only because of the continued strength of a bull market. Emboldened by his
success, the new trader will increase his trading equity and, unfortunately, acquire habits along the way
that backfire sooner or later, returning the easily gained equity and more back to the marketplace.
At this point, the new trader will be forced to conclude that perhaps this trading business is a lot harder
than it appeared at first. The novice has learned a valuable lesson, moving from the blissful but dangerous
stage of not knowing what one does not know to the stage of knowing that one does not know. At least
now the new trader will not be as dangerous to himself.
The novice trader may undertake any number of steps to gain trading experience and wisdom. Of all the
approaches that are possible, one of the best to improve trading technique is keeping a trading journal.