Frequently Asked Questions About The Trade Log
Yes and no. You can enter your trades manually on your own customized input page. You decide what factors are important to you and you design your own Trade Log using our pre-selected options or add your own parameters.
You can also import your trades directly into the Trade Log, so you don't have to manually enter them one by one. Right now there are two formats we import: MT4 Forex Tester
We also offer a Software Development Kit (SDK) so programmers can create their own import wizard for their own brokerage platform.
No, not at all. The Trade Log is actually a database, not a spreadsheet.
We love spreadsheets − don't get us wrong. We're actually quite expert in working with them. But we have seen a lot of problems in trying to use them for trade journals:
1) They are cumbersome and ugly, so you are not inspired to continue using them − and soon stop.
2) If you are not a spreadsheet expert, it is easy to mess things up and use incorrect equations.
3) It's easy to put values into the wrong cells... especially when you're tired after trading.
3) There is no error checking to make sure you haven't entered a wrong value.
4) It is not easy to associate trade screenshots with each unique trade − let alone several.
5) When a spreadsheet gets large, it gets cumbersome to work with and slow.
6) When you're ready for analysis, you have to sort your entire spreadsheet to extract meaningful data.
7) It's hard to print reports about parts of your data (like just one strategy) without printing everything.
8) You can't easily publish the results of a single trade to share with a fellow-trader.
We could go on and on about the problems about spreadsheets used for Logs. Trust us! We've solved each and every problem we encountered when we went to the format of the database that we use for the Trade Log.
Yes, the Trade Log holds as many screenshots for each trade as you would like.
And there is a function to export your trade as a PDF that includes all the details you recorded about the trade, as well as half-page pictures of the screenshots you included. The PDF makes it easy to share your trades with friends or mentors, or keep a notebook going too.
Storing a ton of screenshots will not slow the Trade Log down at all. The Trade Log runs efficiently because the screenshots are not directly stored in the Log itself.
The screenshots are gathered into a separate data folder and the database upon which the Trade Log is built points to the screenshots to bring them up for your instant review. The database can hold a virtually unlimited number of these very small references without getting bogged down at all.
No, the Log doesn't take screenshots itself. But almost all charting packages now contain that feature within them. If yours does not you can use a program like Snagit to take them.
Within the Trade Log, as you're inputting the data about that trade, you click the + icon to add that screenshot to the Log. Then a standard dialog comes up and you locate that screenshot you just saved. Then you can toss the original image file away, because the Trade Log then stores it with a unique name in a unique folder of its own, so that it can always associate that screenshot with that trade.
Not directly. Because videos can get very large and take up a lot of your disc storage, we recommend that you store them on a cloud server, such as Amazon S3 or Google Drive or use a service such as Screencast to store your videos (they have good software to take them with too). Then you store the URL address of that video you've uploaded to your cloud as a parameter within the Trade Log, so you can easily pull it up from there.
The Trade Log has a special parameter type called URL so you can access your cloud movies from within the Log. You can also store movies on your own hard drive and set a pointer within the Trade Log to bring them up for you. Yes, we've tried to think of everything.
Taking your own videos is a wonderful idea. As one of our trading buddies says: "No one will teach you more about trading than you can teach yourself". And to break down each of your trades and talk to yourself about it is very, very fruitful.
One of the things that annoyed us was trying to compile the statements from multiple brokerage houses at the end of our tax year. It is painful beyond belief, isn't it!?! Particularly because each broker has its own style of reporting. We've had complicated tax years trying to deal with up to five different brokers.
So we have created a solution in the Trade Log. At the end of any period - day, week, month or year, you can run a summary report and view all your accounts combined together, so you can get a picture of how your overall trading is going. You can generate one standard style of report, even if you run each broker separately, so that at tax time you and your accountant do not need to spend time figuring each format out separately.
All your recording and computations are done in your native currency, which you choose at the beginning on the setup page. We have made it customizable for taxes, as well as strategies and other things you may want to track. We have a few tax considerations that we know about that we have pre-programmed in already, such as the 1256 for U.S. citizens. Otherwise, there will be blank lines where you can set up your own tax code names and the program will ask if you want to use them as you enter your trades.
The Forex Smart Tools Trade Log is designed to automatically import your trades from your account history (for MT4 brokers). You will be able to select which accounts or sub-accounts you want to select, so if you have other trades going and do not want to import your EA ('Expert Advisor') trades that would be easy to select by simply choosing which accounts to import or not import.
The Trade Log is also well-suited to selecting just specific EA strategies and analyzing how they are doing. If you are running many EAs at once, this is the best way to pull them apart and compare them.
The Trade Log accommodates both Spread Betting brokers and traditional brokers. See each account independently, or combine your results for all brokers at once.
Spread betting is often accomplished on brokers' platforms that ask for trade sizes to be entered as amount per pip or amount per point. Both the Calculator and the Trade Log can work with this format. Within the Trade Log, you create accounts and designate them as 'spread betting' or 'standard, mini, micro or unit lots'. Based on that selection, the trade input page is instantly modified to display the position size in the correct format.
Within the analysis page, each report you run will show your trade size appropriately as well. You can even create reports that combine your traditional and spread betting brokers in one view.
Notice in this screen shot the column "AMOUNT/PIP", as spread betting traders would require.
(The Advanced Calculator also supports the use of spread betting.)
The Trade Log does not automatically maintain floating profit / loss, because it does not directly communicate with a live price feed. We wanted to make it as uncomplicated as we could and that would be the only situation within the function of the Log that would require an ongoing live feed, so we decided not to go that route.
That being said, it is easy to do a quick tally of net profit or loss by simply putting in the approximate prices you see right now in your charts as the exit price for each open trade. This is always easy to modify as the trade progresses, and can be input without putting in a closing time. Then the analysis page can quickly show you the net sum of all your open trades - that's a feature we do have built-in.
It's theoretically possible, because some of our broker import wizards are based on importing csv files - but the layout has to be very specific and exacting. We have a SDK (Software Development Kit) we offer, so you or a programmer friend could look through it and see if you can match up your data to those same specification, or create your own wizard from the examples to import your spreadsheets.
Another possibility: depending on who your broker has been for those trades - if it's MT4 you could generate a report with those trades from the past and import them directly from the broker's report.
No, you import your broker's statement to bring trades in. The Forex Smart Tools Trade Log is designed this way because we offer the sophisticated option of being able to group trades together into an allocation bundle. We could design the Trade Log to bring each trade in live, but letting you bundle your trades as you conceive them is a whole other matter. With the Trade Log you have total control over how you think of trades - because you bring in trades from your statement, rather than having it work on auto-pilot automatically.
As an example, you might scale out of a trade in 4 parts. Your broker will report those to you as four individual trades, and if the Trade Log just brought all your trades in automatically, then you'd also have four separate trades. Compare that to allocation breakdown that the Trade Log now offers you. As you bring in your statement you can tell the Trade Log that all those four trades are really the legs (or parts) of one trade.
All your results are then calculated on the whole trade and hold all four scale-outs as one. This is much more true-to-life. We don't always give you the simplest solution - but we always try to give you the BEST solution to be able to truly evaluate how your trading is going and how you can improve and be more profitable.