Curious for those of you that are active in their journaling-do you capture JUST the entry and all the conditions about the trade the second you pull the trigger OR do you capture the entire trade thus showing the entry and the management?
Rather than answering this post, I should be catching up on my journaling, which I have long neglected.
I have been filling out a sheet that has 6 sections:
1) Pre-entry - what was the market doing before I got in, what were the highs/lows, was it trending or in a trading range, what was the set up I percieved 2) Entry - This is what everybody gathers: shares, price, time, comission. I also add how I got in; was it limit, stop or market. I trade a very gappy instrument with wide bid ask spreads so I keep track of how the market behaves as I try to get in. Was there slippage, did I chase the entry? 3) Manage - Where did I place my stop, why did I place it there? Did I move my stop, when/why? What was I seeing/feeling druing the trade 4) Exit - usual stuff, was there slippage 5) Post Entry - What did the markets do after I exited. What could I have done better? Did the trade go my way after exit, or was I glad to be out? If I had stayed in would my original stop have been honored or taken out? 6) Trade statistics - Gross, net, time in trade, time standing by, max favorable excursion, max adverse excursion, end of trade draw down, return/risk.
All the hard data goes into an excel journal. The notes stay on the written page, but are scanned for records. I also keep a screen shot of the day's trades.
I have not done a good job of keeping track of trades I tried to take but missed or hesitated on. An "opportunity cost" journal of sorts. Will work on that
If you look at this screenshot, you can see the dotted purple lines that show where my stops were during the trade. I like the visualization, but it takes forever because I have to do it manually - so I don't.
Some traders take a screenshot at the time of trade to get a sense for what it looked like at trigger time, rather than being "polluted" by hindsight bias that is so apparent after the market plays out. I haven't gotten there yet.