Keeping an Excel Spreadsheet of Your Trades

Filed under: Learn Forex Trading |

You might often hear about how important it is to keep a written record of all your trades. Some of you might skip past this, thinking that it is unnecessary – or that you are different or special, and that you don’t need to. And it might be the case that some very successful traders do not need to keep records. But for most people, record keeping is essential so that you can track your progress and make adjustments to your trading methodology and money management.


Figure 1.

It is best to keep a record of your trades in an excel spreadsheet. The software is very flexible and will allow you to display your data in a number of ways. Personally, the most important part of my excel spreadsheet is the cumulative profit and loss. From this, I can work out what my maximum drawdown has been, and adjust my bank accordingly.


Figure 2.

If you look at Figure 1, you will see how I currently keep my records. At the top, I have the date (which I’m a little slack with!), buy/sell (B/S), the forex pair, the timeframe (TF), the risk reward scenario (RR), the profit/loss on each trade (“LEVEL” means ‘level stakes’), the cumulative profit/loss, and some notes. These are all a personal choice and many traders make a more detailed report. But as MT4 keeps a detailed record of all trades, I don’t find this necessary. As I said, the main reason I do this is for creating a graph of my cumulative profit/loss (see Figure 2). From this, I can see my maximum drawdown, and if it is too large, I can start to risk less on each trade. At the moment, I risk 1% of my bank on each trade, with a minimum reward of 2% of my bank. But this again, is a personal choice. I hope you can start to see some of the benefits of record keeping from this, and I will be back tomorrow with another forex article.

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