Why You Should Have an Investment Journal

David Fabian

I love to write.  It’s one of the most pleasurable things that I get to do on any given day.  The freedom of opening up a blank page and pouring out my thoughts on ETFs, investing, and life is a liberating experience.  I consider myself lucky to have the time and skill to commit to this endeavor.a-man-holding-a-pen-and-writing

I started a blog with my brother a little over three years ago when we launched our independent investment advisory firm.  Originally, it was a great way for us to express our investment philosophy and create educational content.

This selfishly helps us build our business and cultivate a sphere of influence with like-minded investors. The truly unintended consequence is that it also makes me a better investor.

Let me explain what I mean by that.

Writing allows me to focus on the areas of the market that are most closely aligned with my skill set and investment philosophy. It also allows me to research potential investment ideas, uncover fresh themes, and clarify my thoughts.

??????????????????I can’t tell you how many times I have been digging into a corner of the ETF universe, only to uncover a fund that I didn’t even know existed.  Furthermore, each article that I write goes through at least a few editing cycles so that I really think about what I am saying and how I am saying it.

Writing my investment thoughts down also helps keep me accountable.  Everyone makes mistakes in their investment career.  Writing down the hits and misses allows me to go back and review what worked and what didn’t.  This can also be a meaningful reminder of why I am following a certain path or where the edge is in the current market.

My advice for investors is to start an investment journal.  It doesn’t matter if you are an expert day trader or a buy-and-hold index fanatic.  There is so much to be learned in the process.images

The act of logging your trades, creating a watch list, noting questions to be answered, or simply charting your progress is very influential.  It will help keep you accountable to your own goals and allow you the flexibility to revisit things years down the road that you may otherwise forget.

You don’t have to start a public blog or become Shakespeare on day one.  Just simply start noting the things that you do or that you are considering doing with your investment accounts.  I can guarantee that you will find the process to be advantageous as you make it a regular habit. This is also a great way to start a conversation with your financial advisor to discuss your financial goals.

Until next time,

David Fabian

David Fabian is a Managing Partner at FMD Capital Management, a fee-only registered investment advisory firm specializing in exchange-traded funds. He has years of experience constructing actively managed growth and income portfolios using ETFs. David regularly contributes his views on wealth management in his company blog, podcasts, and special reports.