The ‘Traders Mind Journal’ originated as a concept in 2018. I had long realised that trading psychology was the most important part of my continued success, and that my process driven, and analytical approach helped my trading to be consistent. I was very much a believer in planning, task lists, and journaling. This involved the standard online recording of trading data, and then at the weekend reviewing, analysing, and reflecting on it, before using this data to formulate the next weeks plan and to visualise the trading week by mapping out different scenarios that could happen - building upon my analysis.
This meant that I would be thinking about my mindset and psychology around my weeks trading, and planning for the coming week, however I realised that I was not actually recording any psychological data or any physiological information. I had the insight that the core principles that I considered to have the biggest impact on my trading were not being recorded properly - I was relying on recollection, which at best was spotty and worst, inaccurate.
Everything I was doing for my physical trading I wanted to implement for the psychological side of my trading. I wanted to apply a structure, analytical and process driven approach to my psychology, as I was doing for the trading data, and so the idea of the trader’s mind journal was born.
I wanted the journal to be in paper form. I believe that writing on a physical piece of paper has huge benefits; I was already doing this for any mistakes that I made through the trading day. It allowed me to recognise my errors, and it also took the error off my mind through the process of writing it down. Doing this meant that more of my mental capacity was freed up for trading, and I would save any worrying, analysing, and reflecting until after the trading day, which I found extremely beneficial.
In thinking about this psychology journal, and its format, I decided that I wanted to have structured questions each day, week, and month, and to provide poignant markers that I could reflect on and apply directly to my trading. I also wanted the journal to flow through the daily recordings and preparations, to a weekly check in, to an overall monthly review of psychological performance. I also wanted these actions to be a continuous learning experience.
With the initial idea in mind, I spoke to my good friend and trading performance coach Steve Ward. We met in a very empty central London hotel bar, on the eve of the UK’s first Covid-19 lockdown, where I explained to Steve my idea and vision for the journal. I asked him if he would be willing to Co-author the journal, and he very kindly agreed to do so.
Each week we came together to formulate and write the journal. I think it is fair to say that we both found this a challenge –for me this was predominantly not having any writing experience and, for Steve even though he has written many books, the decisions on what content to keep and which to leave out, and the mapping out of an intuitive, simple, and effective journey was a real challenge.
From the beginning the journal was for me very much a passion project, to produce this journal primarily for myself, but as time progressed it started to take on an organic life of its own and slowly but surely grew into the product we have today.
Over an eighteen-month period Steve and I have written, put together and revised the journal to try and provide the best possible content, the most relevant information, and the best user journey that we can, with a focus on helping traders to improve their performance.
I hope that we have been able to produce an informative, intuitive, trading tool that will compliment peoples trading, which focuses on the psychological side of trading the markets, and which will help traders across different markets, and of all experience levels, to improve their trading performance.