News & Analysis

Making trading choices – A trading journal?

August 30, 2019


We frequently refer both in the articles we publish and the weekly “Inner Circle” sessions we present, to the benefits of a trading journal. However, the reality is that many traders make the choice not to measure trading despite the logical benefits of doing so.

Whether you do or don’t currently, the bottom-line decision you are making is not only whether you do or don’t but how that positions yourself with your trading development.

We would suggest that this overall choice can be broken down into the following three sub-choices. You can make the decisions that are right for you subsequently.


Sub-choice 1 – Measuring your system

You are either making the choice to:
Have certainty on not only whether your trading plan as a whole can create positive outcomes but have evidence to know which component parts of your plan are e.g. indicators you use for entry and exit, comparing strategies you trade, timeframes that work best for you, (and which are not) contributing to such outcomes. Additionally, it allows you to compare what would happen if you change some of the perimeters on your potential results.

You have no evidence as to whether your system as a whole and its components parts are working well to serve you in getting the results you desire. Nor do you can test and gather evidence as to what the impact of nay changes you may make to that system,

Ask yourself…
If I am serious about trading results which choice should I make?


Sub-choice 2 – Measuring you as a trader

You are either making the choice to:
Know the degree to which you are following your plan or otherwise so you can ultimately make a judgement on:
a. Whether your system is working for you (all the points in sub-choice 1 above CANNOT be made unless you are following your plan religiously).
b. What you need to work on in terms of tightening your behaviour e.g. on exits or entry
c. Whether there are certain market conditions which you find difficult or are ill-prepared for (so you can fill any knowledge gaps or avoid in the future).


You can continue to trade as you do, avoiding any self-assessment and growth, and the refinement of your behaviour that may contribute to more positive trading outcomes.

Ask yourself…
If I am serious about trading results which choice should I make?



Sub-choice 3 – Improving your trading (closing the circle)
(let’s assume you are keeping a journal for this one)

You are either making the choice to:
Measure with purpose that has clear follow through into further development and refinement of your trading plan and subsequently your actions. This facilitates the development of you as a trader based on your individual character and trading style.
In practical terms, you ‘close the circle’ with a defined review and develop an action plan based on your review to test and change parts of your plan. This is evidence-based trading!

You can measure for measurements sake to on the surface appear to be “doing a right thing” but in reality, failing to unleash the real power of journaling, that is to make an on-going and continuous positive difference to your trading outcomes.

Ask yourself…
If I am serious about trading results which choice should I make?

In summary, if you have made the choice to read this article to its end you are left with one ultimate choice…to journal or not to journal including the three sub-choices that dependent on which you are making can impact on your trading.

So, for one last time, Ask yourself…
If I am serious about trading results what should my actions be with what I have read in this article?


Our next steps and Share CFD education programme both have indicative trading journal templates to help get you started, and we would be delighted if you could join us. Drop us a line, click on this link HERE,  or give us a call if you want further information on either of these FREE programmes of learning.


Mike Smith
GO Markets

The articles are from GO Markets analysts based on their independent analysis. Views expressed are of their own and of a ‘general’ nature. Advice (if any) are not based on the reader’s personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Readers should, therefore, consider how appropriate the advice (if any) is to their objectives, financial situation and needs, before acting on the advice. Find additional Forex trading education resources here.