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Daily (personal) trading journal & P&L - Suggestions?
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Daily (personal) trading journal & P&L - Suggestions?

  #1 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Oslo + Norway
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 134 since May 2016
Thanks: 136 given, 50 received

Daily (personal) trading journal & P&L - Suggestions?

Hi all,

As I'm making the progression to live trading very soon, I need to think a little on how to best and most efficiently (also important) document/track my daily trading performance.

How are you guys doing it?

In the past, I did various things, but was never quite happy.

1. I would use Excel to track my daily equity curve, i.e., initial account size, daily P&L and change in account size.

2. I would print daily statements from Ninjatrader. Maybe also broker logs.

Finally, and this might be a separate document, some comments on trades taken and lessons learned, i.e., a debriefing might also be of interest.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

PS: Trade frequency at this point is < 10 trades per day, so I'm not looking to track a huge amount of trades. Fortunately...

Thanks in advance.

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  #2 (permalink)
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  #3 (permalink)
Elite Member
Tampa FL
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra Charts/TOS
Broker/Data: Future Path/TDA/S5
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CenFlo's Avatar
 
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LaissezFaire View Post
Hi all,

As I'm making the progression to live trading very soon, I need to think a little on how to best and most efficiently (also important) document/track my daily trading performance.

How are you guys doing it?

In the past, I did various things, but was never quite happy.

1. I would use Excel to track my daily equity curve, i.e., initial account size, daily P&L and change in account size.

2. I would print daily statements from Ninjatrader. Maybe also broker logs.

Finally, and this might be a separate document, some comments on trades taken and lessons learned, i.e., a debriefing might also be of interest.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

PS: Trade frequency at this point is < 10 trades per day, so I'm not looking to track a huge amount of trades. Fortunately...

Thanks in advance.

Check out the reviews of tradervue.com I still use it and with the Elite Members discount, it's a great deal and a very useful journal platform.

https://futures.io/trading-reviews-vendors/21650-www-tradervue-com-journaling-trade-analytics.html

You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - Wayne Gretsky
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  #4 (permalink)
Elite Member
Wiltshire, United Kingdom
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: Tradovate, Jigsaw Tools
Favorite Futures: US Treasuries
 
matthew28's Avatar
 
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LaissezFaire View Post
Finally, and this might be a separate document, some comments on trades taken and lessons learned, i.e., a debriefing might also be of interest.
Any thoughts or suggestions?

There was an FT71 webinar a few months back where he mentioned that he uses Evernote for journaling. I had never heard of it so had a look at it and installed the free version. That version has an upload limit of 60mb a month. I use it just for a comprehensive daily trade journal and use about a third of that allowance.
Initially I thought Evernote seemed a bit clunky and difficult to use but now that I have evolved a daily diary page that I am happy with, recording: premarket analysis and levels, goals, chart pics and today's important calendar news, market thoughts during the session; and finally post market review and a chart showing all my trades.
I used to write my diary in a handwritten journal but I found it was inconsistent and sometimes a struggle to read back. With Evernote I just duplicate the last page and swap pictures and rewrite the review sections. But the main advantage is that each day I add half a dozen tags to a page (you can add up to one hundred), and then I can easily sort and analyse pages, eg tags for 'Traded Poorly' or 'Missed Trade' or different instruments, days of the week etc. It makes it much easier to be able to look back at particular aspects and see patterns, set specific training goals to work on and generally learn something useful from your journal.

Trading, ideally structured, is a vehicle for expanding consciousness, not damaging it. - Brett Steenbarger
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  #5 (permalink)
Elite Member
Tokyo, Japan
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: IB, IRT
Favorite Futures: ES, NQ
 
jcgtok17's Avatar
 
Posts: 1 since May 2018
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Edgewonk is tailor made for trading. Less than a month in, but I am sold on it. Pre trading prep and post trade journal keeps me from repeating mistakes. Not expensive either (although not free, some of the free things we use are the most expensive, in the end).


Sent using the futures.io mobile app

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  #6 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Oslo + Norway
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 134 since May 2016
Thanks: 136 given, 50 received

Great suggestions, everyone!

I'll be frank and say I was hoping I could be able to do this for 'free'. With a lot of other costs at the moment, I'm interested in reducing overhead.

I might consider staying with Excel for the time being.

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  #7 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Oslo + Norway
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 134 since May 2016
Thanks: 136 given, 50 received


matthew28 View Post
There was an FT71 webinar a few months back where he mentioned that he uses Evernote for journaling. I had never heard of it so had a look at it and installed the free version. That version has an upload limit of 60mb a month. I use it just for a comprehensive daily trade journal and use about a third of that allowance.
Initially I thought Evernote seemed a bit clunky and difficult to use but now that I have evolved a daily diary page that I am happy with, recording: premarket analysis and levels, goals, chart pics and today's important calendar news, market thoughts during the session; and finally post market review and a chart showing all my trades.
I used to write my diary in a handwritten journal but I found it was inconsistent and sometimes a struggle to read back. With Evernote I just duplicate the last page and swap pictures and rewrite the review sections. But the main advantage is that each day I add half a dozen tags to a page (you can add up to one hundred), and then I can easily sort and analyse pages, eg tags for 'Traded Poorly' or 'Missed Trade' or different instruments, days of the week etc. It makes it much easier to be able to look back at particular aspects and see patterns, set specific training goals to work on and generally learn something useful from your journal.

I thought this was an interesting suggestion.

How much time is spent daily to create your journal now that your system is in place? Would you mind posting some screens on how this look?

If not - completely understand. I'm not the best on sharing either...

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  #8 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Oslo + Norway
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 134 since May 2016
Thanks: 136 given, 50 received

I'm looking a bit more into the Performance Summary on NT8. It does seem interesting and offer some improvements compared to NT7. You can for instance plot notes for each day.

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  #9 (permalink)
Elite Member
charlotte nc
 
Futures Experience: Master
Platform: ninjatrader
Broker/Data: NinjaTrader
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I have a few things that I do.

When trading live I use both output windows to print key statistics on a variety of things.
I track all my execution times measuring various key events.
NT has some of this built into their log files, but I measure additional execution metrics.

I have another KPI that measures toxic fills specifically.

I print the price level change data to the output window so I can track my trades relative to each price level and see where my fills hit.

I capture my estimated place in the queue on all trades and print this as well.


I do everything 100% automated, so I don't have to ever analyze why I did something. I am mostly collecting statistics to model execution speed, and seeing how various expectancies are playing out.

Toxic fill rate = X
Scratch Rate = Y
etc.

I just copy it from the output window into notepad, or excel. I have some delimiter logic I use to split everything nicely into columns.


It's a ton of stuff honestly, but without it I would by flying a bit blind and have to reconcile everything manually after the fact.


My advice would be:

1. To get your logs after your trades to see if your execution times were in line with what you were expecting. This is often where you can identify slippage from execution related issues. If you are lagging between Submitted > Working this is on you, your platform, internet. If you are lagging between Accepted > Working, this is on your broker. Some strategies fail if they are not executing within a certain speed threshold, especially if you use limit orders. Know what this threshold is, then optimize for this.

2. Get the price level changes in excel and then reconcile your trades against this based on your execution time stamps. You can learn a lot from analyzing your trades relative to the price level data.

3. As far as organizing everything... If you are looking for free, then just set up a directory on your computer and create a new folder for every day, and file these inside a folder for every month. In each folder, put your notes about your trades, your execution logs, and the excel file with the actual price level data along with your comments.

It's super easy to do all this stuff. I can't speak much to how discretionary trades do pre and post trade prep, but I can help you get off the ground with some of the technical stuff maybe.

Best of luck!

Ian

In the analytical world there is no such thing as art, there is only the science you know and the science you don't know. Characterizing the science you don't know as "art" is a fools game.
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  #10 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Oslo + Norway
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 134 since May 2016
Thanks: 136 given, 50 received


Appreciate the input, everyone.

For now, I think I will do this in Excel:

1) Daily P/L in separate sheet

2) Performance summary from NT8 in one sheet (export from NT)

3) Chart from NT in one sheet with trades plotted and comments.

One sheet per week.

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