I think we can all agree its pretty important to track your trades in some way, right? In this post I am going to discuss why you should be hand journaling NADEX trades. I started this website with the goal of improving my accountability. So after a month of hitting it hard, I looked back over my performance. I only posted 4 days of actually trading with 3 others stuck in draft, I can’t even remember those trade details.

I have been trading the DAX and the FTSE for over a month now and working on this website. Besides the difference in my demo account total I really didn’t have anything to show for it besides a few blog posts. Before I had started trading I read about how important making a journal of my trades was. In my other life I am an internet marketer who runs SEM traffic for companies so I know how valuable data is for making decisions. After three months of taking trades. How many had I actually logged? Zero, that’s a right big fat ZERO!!! So after some self reflection and data ninja magic here are some reasons I found why you should hand journal NADEX trades.

1. There is no automated trade journal.

2. NADEX Raw data isn’t friendly for trade journals.

3. Hand journals give you custom data.

4. If you hand journal every trade you will take fewer trades.

5. Hand journals help develop trading discipline.

6. Hand journals tell you what works and what doesn’t

 

Grab Your Free Trading Journal

 

1. There is no automated trade journal service specific to NADEX or binary options.
I looked around for something automated that so maybe I could import my trades into it from NADEX directly. TraderVue.com and Profit.ly wasn’t a fit. They are designed for stock, futures or forex traders. I looked at FXjunction and few other services but nothing works with NADEX. I even toyed with the idea of building a service for a NADEX Trade journal and chatted with Darrell Martin about it. But that would not solve my immediate problem. Why hadn’t I logged any trades.. I mean I know better right? The simple reason is lack of discipline, I was being lazy.

 

2. NADEX Raw data isn’t friendly for trade journals.
Since I hand not logged anything I decided to pull all my trades since the account began to see what data observations I could get from it. I mean all my trades were logged right? So, why should I have to enter them in excel by hand when I can export them?  In the NADEX web app you have 2 options for data. Order History and Transaction History. Being a bit of a data hound I looked over the NADEX raw data I to see what I could do about applying it to create a journal.

 

NADEX Transaction History Data
The transaction data gives the least usable information

 

I agree trying to hand journal NADEX trades may be a bit time consuming but after I have pulled the data from NADEX and looked it over its not really that use able without a lot of clean up. NADEX really could add some more data segmentation or maybe an ability to tag your trades in the platform. The contract cost is another issue. If you have been taking a lot of trades it can be confusing to say the least.

Order History Data
The NADEX Order History data carries the most detail but still needs to be parsed.

 

3. Hand journals give you custom data.

Hand journals solve this problem because you can enter the trade and data as you see fit. You can also add dimensions that Nadex doesn’t know. Like a column that denotes strategy, spread or binary or another that denotes an ITM ATM or OMT strike taken. Was this an Iron Condor, A News Trade? Did you start at one level then close for a loss only to buy a different strike again closer to expiry for a win? Raw data doesn’t tell these stories.

NADEX TRADING LOG..xlsx Google Sheets

Also I realized that part of the reason I hadn’t logged any trades was I never had my trading log open. I decided that probably instead of doing it in excel I should try using Google Sheets. That way its stored in the cloud and accessible anywhere. Here is a good NADEX trading log at Apex Investing to upload to Google Sheets.

Beyond using that log you could try building something in Google Sheets. There are ways to build a dashboard that will analyze your data. You could download the .csv from NADEX clean up the data. and copy paste into google sheets. Here are a few articles on it.

http://www.benlcollins.com/spreadsheets/dynamic-dashboard-in-google-spreadsheets/

https://fatcatapps.com/dashboard/

 

4. If you hand journal NADEX trades, you will take fewer trades.

If you think about it keeping a hand journal also allows you to be more accountable and most likely will slow down your trading since you have to take the time to log each trade as it happens. To new traders this sounds counter intuitive but its actually a positive. Usually the excitement of trading causes new traders to over trade. The more you trade the more opportunities to have to take a loss or a profit. As a trader you should be in the business of making money by protecting your capital and decreasing your risk. The more you trade the more you risk. What if I told you I can make just as much (if not more) on 1 or 2 trades a week than you can trading 5 or 10 times a day? I have found the less you trade the more profit you keep. Plus I really don’t want to hand journal 10 trades a day when I can just journal 10 a week.

 

5. Hand journals help develop trading discipline.

It should go without saying that limiting yourself to fewer trades daily will go a long way towards developing more trading discipline. You will be more likely to stick to your rules when taking a trade. If you hold yourself accountable to your trade planing that is. Repetition is the price of knowledge and by tracking every trade you will be creating muscle memory of sorts, it will begin to feel natural to hand journal NADEX trades.

Trader T
6. Hand journals tell you what works and what doesn’t 

You don’t know where you are at unless you know where you have been. Einstein said “Insanity is doing thing same thing over and over again while expecting different results” What are you best times to trade? Is bull or bear trades most profitable for you? Whats is your most profitable trading instrument? What instrument has the highest winning percentage for you? These are questions that can all be answered in a hand journal of NADEX trades.

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These 6 reasons make a compelling reason to start keeping a hand journal or spreadsheet of your trades. If there are some other reasons I missed let me know. If you have a good solution to an automated NADEX trade tracker I would love to test / review it.

Now its your turn, What are some reasons keeping you from hand journaling your trades?
Dustin Donham

Dustin Donham

Webmaster / Trader / Marketing Guy at Forex Forge
Dustin is a humble student of the markets, traveler & all-around badass. When not trading he works with private clients to improve their online marketing efforts. Fo sho.

He enjoys outdoor activities, a perfect day for him would be a trek to remote waterfalls followed by a some whitewater paddling or a bike trail ride.
Dustin Donham

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