Every trader needs a trading journal to help them take the idea of trading from simply being a hobby to being a real business. Here at The Forex Army, we have developed one of the most advanced trading journal spreadsheet that will definitely solve all your needs, especially if you use MT4 to trade.
This excel trading journal was designed to work with MT4 because it can automatically import all the necessary trading details directly. However, if you do not use MT4 to trade, it is equally useful.
Now, one of the main questions I am usually asked is why should I keep a trading journal? Aren’t the built-in reports usually enough in helping me determine what I am good at trading and what I need to avoid? The short answer to this is simply : no.
Like every successful business, you need to know what are the strengths you can build on and the weaknesses you can avoid to maximize your profitability and success of being a full time Forex trader. Let me show you an example of how a trading journal would help a normal business :
Say you run a bar. You keep a detailed tracking journal of all transactions that take place. At the end of 3 months, you realize that you are losing money on this business and are considering closing the entire business. However, before you do that, you decide to take a look at your detailed tracking journal to see if it can provide you any insight.
Optimize your trading hours
Problem : During weekdays, evenings are your most profitable timing. However, you have insufficient staffs to handle your customers and hence the turnover of customers are usually too long and people get turned away by your queue. You also notice that 90% of your staffs are sitting around and doing nothing for the earlier part of the day.
Solution : Hire less staffs in the morning and channel your resources to the evenings to have faster service and turnarounds.
Trading Equivalent Solution : You are focusing too much energy on trading in the earlier part of the day when there are little opportunities. By the time the bulk of opportunities arrive in the evening, your other commitments don’t allow you to attend to them.
Optimize your currency pair selections
Problem : Asahi Dry is your most popular choice of beer and you usually run out of them. Customers do not wish to order other types of beers and hence choose to leave earlier for another bar joint for their favorite beer.
Solution : Stock up more on Asahi and channel more of your inventory space to it. Perhaps cut down on Carlsberg and Heineken beers which are causing you to lose money.
Trading Equivalent Solution : You realize that AUD/USD makes you the most money and other currency pairs like EUR/USD and USD/JPY are causing you to lose money. So channel more of your account trading margin to AUD/USD and focus less on the other currency pairs.
Optimize the currency pairs you trade based on the time of the day
Problem : You realize that during the mornings, instead of beer, people are looking for coffee. You have to turn away many of them because you don’t have any coffee to offer them.
Solution : Start focusing on your coffee offerings in the morning instead of strictly sticking to beer.
Trading Equivalent Solution : Instead of strictly looking at GBP/USD every morning, you realize you could make a lot more money ‘serving’ other currencies such as NZD/USD and USD/CAD.
From these examples above, you can see that instead of closing down your bar, you can simply optimize it and it would be en-route to being profitable. The same works for your trading journey. You might have experienced losses for the first 3 months, but if you really analyze your trading behavior, you would better understand what went wrong and how it can be optimized. The above examples are just a couple of ways you can optimize your trading. Our TFA Trading Journal is much more comprehensive and can help you achieve so much more in improving your trading.
This sounds very tedious and tiring, is there an automated method?
The beauty of our trading journal is that it is built entirely on excel. We are able to harness the incredible powers of excel and allow you to directly import your trading records into our spreadsheet and from there, we let excel crunch the numbers and generate the beautiful reports. All of this is done automatically as previously, when it was done manually, we noticed a lot of traders choosing not to update their trading journals frequently enough and this often led to inaccurate entries when they try to recall how they traded for the day. With this automated function, we have seen many traders’ performance improve as they are able to track, optimize and improve their trading much more.
Alright, say I put in all this effort. What is the end goal?
You can see from the table above that with an initial investment of $5,000. You can reach great returns if you trade consistently and profitably. Ideally, here at The Forex Army we aim to generate about 1% to 1.5% a day which is about 20% to 30% monthly. We have had people who generated more, but for starters we can target that amount. This would bring us to $44,000 to $116,000 by the end of the year. That is more than most people’s annual wages.
The key thing to note here is that you need a trading journal that carefully monitors your progress as you trade. Our Trading Journal offers this in the best manner possible by not only tracking, but helping you to optimize.
Cool, what other features are there?
Let us explore some of the key features of our TFA Trading Journal. We’ll go through in detail on how it helps you improve your trading and how to use it. The first one we’ll be looking at is how our trading journal is able to improve our currency pair performance.