She begins, “One of the very first things I stumbled upon as a key to my success as a trader was the importance of keeping a trading journal. In this journal, I tracked each of the trades I was taking from a technical standpoint and it led to the unique system of market analysis that I use to this day.”
Now, even though you should recognise the use and benefit of a trading journal, it doesn’t mean one has to have one in order to become a successful trader. However, it’s definitely something you should consider, especially if you’re not a successful trader as of yet. What it will help you understand is your reasoning behind each trade at that time, and why it went wrong. It’s all about hindsight, and using that hindsight to your benefit.
She continues, “As I studied, analyzed, and reviewed my journal over the years, paying particular attention to each of the charts I printed out for the trades I was taking, something began to stand out. I noticed that there were many times throughout the trading day where the market had a greater propensity to stall, reverse, or even just break out from a trading range, than during other times of the day. I began to realize that when I started to take positions and exit positions with strategies triggering in tune with these intraday periods that my overall success was substantially higher.”
So, as you can see, here she explains the major outcome of her paying attention to her trading journal. Notice the timeframe – YEARS. This, my fellow traders, is what you call dedication. You don’t become a successful trader overnight. Pay attention to what she’s saying – she spent years, not only trading, experimenting, messing up, trialling and testing, BUT also in keeping a trading journal. I know many traders who start a journal and then after a few months, (or even a few weeks) just don’t bother with it any more. Here however, Toni Hansen demonstrates what it takes, I congratulate her on these efforts.
In fact Toni feels so strongly about a trading journal, that she decided to write a book about it.
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She mentions: “I actually spent the better portion of last year writing a book that was released this winter. This book focuses on how I approach a trading journal, as well as how you can work such a journal into your lifestyle and develop the discipline to interpret and apply the information from your journal to begin to make immediate improvements in your trading. I was pleased to learn that this book, Simple Steps to Trading Discipline, won the silver medal in the Axiom Business Book Awards in the investing category and will be featured in the August edition of SFO Magazine. You can pick up your own copy at a discount off the cover price at my website: http://www.tonihansen.com. ”
Now, I personally haven’t read or even bought the book, so I can’t exactly pass judgement on it. However, needless to say, getting advice about trading journals (and a whole lot more) from an experienced trader can only be a good thing.
To read the entire article from Toni, just visit the link below (a definite good read!):