Best Trading Journal: The 3 Top Solutions for 2020 Reviewed
Have you wondered why sometimes you spend hours and hours on something, but in the end, it still doesn't click? You take different paths, try several approaches, but you just can't deal with the issue the way you want. It happens in every aspect of life.
The only solution is to take a moment, back-off from the problem, and spent some time analyzing. Go through your methodologies, take a look at the mistakes you've made in the process, and come up with a new, fine-tuned plan. You will be mesmerized by how easy things can get if you don't rush and just focus on the things you've done and the things you can make better.
It is the same with trading. Many traders often spend hours building and fine-tuning their strategies, but, in the end, something still doesn't click. It is pointless to continue doing so if you don't try to find the weaknesses first. The best way to do that is to start a trading journal.
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The Best Trading Journals for 2020
- Edgewonk: Best all-in-one solution with a one-time payment
- Tradervue: Long-term existing trading journal
- Microsoft Excel: Best for individual analysis and programming
1. Edgewonk: The Top Solution Overall
Price: one-time payment of $187 ($197 in a bundle with a trader development course)
Asset classes supported: stocks, futures, FX, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs
If you want the best thing on the market, then choose this option. It is a great combination of a journal and a trades analytics platform.
Edgewonk comes as downloadable software that will surprise you with the depth of its analytics tools. You can take advantage of entry/exit optimization tools, a trade simulator, advanced trade classifiers, trade management evaluation, holding time analysis, and more. It is safe to say that the software has everything you need to get a full picture of your profile.
It also allows you to customize the input information, including adding notes and tags for each trade. But the most exciting feature is the psychological classifiers. You can add information about your mood, reasons for entering/exiting a trade, and more. That way, you can spot patterns related to the success of your trades and their reliance on your emotions and psychological states.
The downside is it doesn't support as many trade platforms and brokers as other solutions on the market.
Proceed reading the Edgewonk review or click here to start your free trial now.
2. Tradervue: The Top Journal You Can Use for Free
Price: a free plan, a Silver plan ($29 per month), and a Gold plan ($49 per month)
Asset classes supported: equities, futures, and FX
Tradervue was one of the first trading journals. We can even say that it was at the core of shaping the niche. We should say, though, that it's functionalities aren't as advanced as the ones of EdgeWonk.
However, it offers one unique feature - it is also a social media platform. Tradervue's users can share their past performance history and analytics with peers from the community. That way, they can brainstorm, analyze, and discuss trades and strategies. You can use Tradervue for free with some limitations.
You won't have access to the advanced charting and analytics features, and you will have a cap of 100 trade inputs per month. However, it is a way better and more convenient tool than keeping your trade history on an Excel spreadsheet, for example. If you want to unlock the full potential of the platform, you should choose between the Silver or the Gold plans, depending on your needs.
It is worth noting that, although Tradervue's platform falls short in terms of design and interface, it has the most advanced integration system. As lined out in the Tradervue review, the trading journal is compatible with more than 70 brokers and platforms. That way, you can import your trades from almost every trading solution on the market.
3. Microsoft Excel: For Full Customizability and Development of Functionalities
Price: a standard license/free
Asset classes supported: unlimited
If you don't want to pay for third-party solutions and want to take full control of the features and functionalities, you can opt to build it from scratch. Microsoft Excel allows for the development of various features. If you don't want to start from scratch, you can get a solid base by using a free spreadsheet template from the web. There is a variety of ready-made templates that you can use as a starting point.
If you choose this option, however, there are two things that you should bear in mind. The first is that it will take you time. If you don't have the necessary knowledge, you will have to get familiar with the financial-related functions in the program, VBA for macros, and more. Also, you will have to spend some time double-checking the template to ensure everything works fine. You don't want your results to be skewed by a small mistake here or there.
The next thing you should be aware of is that you should build the habit of manually inputting your trade history every day. This requires building a habit and maintaining consistency.
Best Trading Journal: Conclusion
The truth is there are plenty of solutions you can take advantage of. The goal of our guide was to do the research for you and narrow down the best trading journals. Instead of spending time browsing the web, now you can simply try the demos of the solutions mentioned above and find which one suits you the most. And if you want to build something on your own, of course, then roll your sleeves up and open Microsoft Excel.
To summarize, we can say that EdgeWonk is a perfect solution for traders who want powerful analytics features at their fingertips. Tradervue is worth a shot if you want a plain functionality, but also the chance to share your history with the community. And finally, if you want to avoid all limitations and build a powerful trading journal system (you can include portfolio analysis, backtesting, and other features), and have the necessary skills, then Excel will do the job for you.
What Is a Trading Journal, and How Important Is It?
A trading journal is a record of your trading activity. Keeping track of your history will make you more prepared for the future and will give you a competitive advantage. We can go as far as saying that it often differentiates professionals from amateurs. How so? Let's take a look at a few examples.
The truth is that what you can't track, you can't improve, and what you don't track, you won't improve. Think of sports, for example. Boxers, footballers, basketball players - all of them watch recordings of their matches to analyze their weak points and improve their future results. Even poker players take notes during tournaments.
Trading journal software is essential as it builds habits for self-improvement. Think about this - you generate lots of data while you trade. Why don't you capitalize on that and extract some useful patterns for analysis?
These tools also help you keep track of your market moves, measure your progress, and serve as a benchmark for trading performance. Journals can be beneficial to both beginners and professionals. It helps beginners build habits and achieve higher success. For professionals, it will fine-tune their strategies and make it easier to deep-dive in detail and analyze.
How to Start a Trading Journal and What Should It Include?
The hardest thing with trading journals is deciding to start and building the habit of maintaining consistency. Afterward, everything comes in place. If you struggle to start your trade journal, picture your end goal, which will probably be becoming a better trader. Try to paint that in numbers - for example, increasing your profitability by X%. It is proven that having a measurable goal boosts motivation and helps you remain focused.
You can start keeping records of your trade history in several ways. A text document, an Excel worksheet, a free or a paid third-party service - you have a wide range of options. To be able to narrow down your choices, let's go through some basic tips on what should be included.
Automated trade history import - this is a very convenient feature that will save plenty of time and effort. The most popular third-party solutions have direct integration with brokers and trading platforms. That way, your trade history can be uploaded with just a few clicks.
Report and analysis tools - these features are the most important ones. The automated analysis of your data will help you derive conclusions and extract essential bits of information about your style, mistakes, market moves, and more. That way, you will be more prepared the next time you trade and will significantly optimize your overall performance.
Advanced features - looking at graphs and previous trades is one thing. Having access to advanced features for backtesting, trade management evaluation, classifiers, trade optimization, and more, can bring your game on a whole other level.
Last but not least, a trade journal should not come at an exorbitant price. In the end, it is just a tool that is intended to help you become better, not lay fundamentals.