I think you have outlined to yourself that a public journal is not for you and that is fine.. Even all of your positives had disclaimers("buts") in them ... All is cool.. There is no right or wrong about jounalling.. It is about what you need and feel good about. BTW... I share some of the same ideas as you about distracting questions and comments that are necessary evil in a public journal.
So time to move to the next step of trading.
Seems like to me you need to either find a mentor, join a prop shop, or form a small private like minded group to share ideas about trading, your trading system and your progress. There are pros and cons to all of these approaches.
You seem to have a very sharp mind and and will choose what is best for you.
Best to you.
Note: I do not consider any of the chat rooms or services out there mentors. I am talking about professional traders who are able to coach you for free or for pay. I am not talking about wanna be traders acting like snake oil salesmen.
Last edited by Traderwolf; September 20th, 2014 at 09:45 AM.
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- too much distraction
I agree especially if you are day trading. It means you have to post a review of your trades after you have finished trading. If you are posting your trades at all. You might be posting your feelings or reporting on your discipline.
- much more work to maintain than a private journal
Just post your private journal.
- too much conflicting or outright bad advice
You can choose to ignore it.
- some advice is so confusing, if makes you question your own sanity
Is it confusing or contrary to what you believe? Might it be good advise?
- danger of following a guru
Thatís a choice you as a trader have to make. Does it work for you?
- some people report that the forum influences their trading decisions
This might be a good point. It might keep you on plan. I found when I posted my entries and exits I was more likely to honour them.
- messes with one's psychology and trading is a mental game
Again this might be a good thing in that you realize this is happening. You would have to give a specific example of how this is negative.
added pressure to reply to the comments you don't feel like replying
I found this to be a positive. It is easier to rationalize your decisions to yourself than to others.
- puts pressure on to perform, even though it is anonymous, we all are human and hate looking "bad", for the lack of a better word
I also found this to be a positive. To not look bad you have to have the discipline to follow your plan. If you follow your plan and lose money then you have to take a hard look at your system. Having to rationalize lack of discipline to other trades is a great incentive.
- how many successful traders are actually journaling publicly?
The question that should be asked is how many unsuccessful traders has journaling helped.
- may be it's not a coincidence that successful traders hate sharing their PnL?
I donít think it is anyone elseís business what my P&L is. I report my P&L as a percentage of my capital. If you want to apply those numbers to your capital you can find a dollar figure.
- you end up comparing yourself with others, whether you want it or not, perhaps even subliminally. we are only human
You have to have something to compare yourself to. In my own case I set measurable goals and objectives and give myself a timeframe to achieve them.
As for the plusses;
- keeps you accountable,
Yes you keep yourself accountable. To me this is the biggest plus. Certainly your own private journal will keep you accountable but as I said before it is easier to rationalize your decisions to yourself than to others.
- you get some good advice,
You may get some good advice if you are struggling, however as you said you have to develop your own thing, test it and trade it.
may make you constantly change it instead of sticking with what you know
If your method isnít working you should be changing it. A journal may help you figure out if the problem is the method or the trader.
but what's the value of every day posting?
That is something you have to define for yourself.
Your journal is basically to help yourself become a better trader. You have to ask yourself why you are journaling and what you hope to accomplish. Personally I posted my trades to show that I had the discipline to follow my plan. More for myself than for anyone elseís benefit. I found it helped in that it was hard to rationalize deviating from my plan to a group of anonymous posters and I had to come up with a plan to deviate from.
It is hard to find the Truth when you start your search with a preconceived notion of what the Truth will be.
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Well, don't worry, you won't get a discussion on scalping from me... pro or con ... I am sure some are successful at it and just as sure that the great majority are not.
I will make a comment on why some people like journaling in public.
Actually I will keep the subject mainly why I like to journal.
1. First of all, I am a minority in the trading world it seems. I like long term investing and long term swing trades. Especially after the crash of 2008-2009, the talking heads of the media world shouted that long term holds are no longer viable. I take exception to that. I have been a long term trader basically all of my trading life (10+ years), I have never blown an account, I have lived off of my trading income as my sole income for most of that time period and specifically through that 2008-2009 collapse...I cannot say that now because I now get a tiny income from gov't pensions that covers basically my rent...nothing more.
I don't tremble in fear of losing my fortune due to a next day reversal of price...
So I journal to show that one can be successful as a long term trader, posting a fantasy portfolio with $100,000 start since the middle of Feb/2014. I announce my trades buy/sell sometimes hours before and often the day before...it is a fantasy portfolio but it is as real as you can get.
2. I believe I have a Technical Analysis method that works. I do not hide the charts that I use and if you follow my postings you may learn how to do what I do. Though I rarely get a question on my TA, I am open to discussing how I interpret my charts in greater detail... to me it is like reading an Agatha Christie mystery...the clues are there if you put them together
I also believe that Fundamental analysis has a place.... especially for long term trading. I have a basic grasp of financial reports but I could learn more. (I wish there was someone here that liked to tear apart these reports and educate me) I try to show how I use FA info and how to determine market fluff vs hard info
In short I like to educate... especially the newbie.
3. I hate seeing newbies being taken advantage of. On other websites I would openly shoot down the pumper (I hate pumpers) exposing their lies and misdirection. Thankfully I don't get much of a chance to do that here as this website is VERY well run and such people are exposed by BM and banned... you don't know how pleasant that is.
4. Finally, I enjoy discussing stocks. Most of my TA ideas come from discussions I have had in the past with commentors on my approach to trading. Sadly, this is one aspect I have been missing on this site. I put it down to me being a minority trader here as most are day traders in stocks or options, commodities or futures.
I learn as much from the questions I get as I give in my comments
So in a nutshell that is why I journal publicly. I have done here as Underexposed, I have done it elsewhere as Naamplao.
I will give you a clue as to how to find a good financial blogger (a public journal is really a blog, if you think about it...)
I often look for "expert" opinion..... no not Cramer .... hahaha .... he is a media pumper in my opinion.
But if you want to follow someone. Don't take their blog at face value. If they make a prediction or comment on the fortunes of a company in the past (I like to read their comments from at least 3-6 months ago) Now fast forward a few months...how was the prediction?? Are they consistently good in the past...then they may be ok in the present... if they are not, forget about them... and there are a lot of forgettable analysts .
Anyway this is enough of a rant
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Curious, does any on this forum do their journaling in some type of database program. I was looking at doing some journaling for trading, but was considering entering the information in some type of database (SQL, access, dbase, excel). Would give me the quick power to review my trades just by doing custom filters on the data.
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I use an excel spreadsheet that will give me the following info;
Number of wins, losses, and break even trades plus percent equivalents
Dollar value of the average win, loss and breakeven trade,
Actual Risk Reward ratio
Actual risk (average loss as a percentage of capital) Expectancy per trade
Realized return as a dollar value and a percent of capital.
Spreadsheet can be sorted by trade type to get the info for each type.
Input data is:
Date; price bought; number of shares; price sold; commission
Type of trade (breakout, pullback, bottom fishing, etc.)
However this data only tells you about your trading results.
You should be more concerned about how you accomplished these results.
A spreadsheet that scores each trade on whether you followed your plan would be of more value.
It is hard to find the Truth when you start your search with a preconceived notion of what the Truth will be.
That was more of what I thinking. A spreadsheet or data table that records each trade entry as a function of different parameters. The different indictors that are used to get in and their value at the time of entry.
I could sit down and make a spreadsheet or something, but I was wondering if someone was already using something.
Last edited by sledmt; January 21st, 2015 at 07:13 PM.
Reason: adding more information
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Need help? 1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first. 2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses. 3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make. 4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance. 5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers. 6) Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.
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