30 trading habits in 30 days – Journal

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30days journal

When I interview an experienced trader for our firm a central question is: what is your review process?

I was at lunch yesterday with a firm trader, who wanted to chat about his recent underperformance.  Over an apple salad covered with blackened chicken, the trader discussed his waning confidence.

I asked, “What is something you used to do in the past that you are not doing now?”

He smiled and replied immediately, “I have to get back to journaling!”

Welcome back to our new series 30 trading habits in 30 days. If you have missed the prior habits they are archived here.

Today we share habit #7 – journal.

One of our partners called a few months ago to discuss firing a trader.  I thought this was premature and agreed to talk and work with the trader.
I chatted with the trader about reasons for his underperformance.  I prodded for him to journal.  He did.  He started making solid money again.

One of our new traders was not performing as well as he wanted.  It was so obvious why to me.  His trade reviews were lacking.  I told him to ask one of the traders from his class who reviews like an all-start to share his trade review.  The picture above is a just a snapshot of a portion of that trader’s daily review work.

I can continue with these anecdotes, but will stop here.  As a professional trader and managing partner of a trading firm, I cannot take you seriously as a trader if you do not journal.  To me this would be like a football player not lifting weights. A pitcher not throwing between starts.  Steph Curry not shooting after practice.  An orthopedist not reviewing x-rays before treating a patient.  A pilot not filing a flight plan before takeoff.  A teacher winging a classroom discussion without preparing.  A VC not doing due diligence before closing.

Each day you should do a detailed trade review of your trading.  This is a best practice to turn into a habit that will dramatically improve and sustain your trading.

Here is the tool our traders use to review their trading.

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