What Is a Deal Blotter?

A deal blotter is a trader's record of all the transactions executed on a given day. The deal blotter contains basic information pertinent to the transactions for the day and serves as an audit trail of transactions and is helpful to review if a particular trading strategy utilized was successful.

The Basics of a Deal Blotter

The deal blotter would include both opening and closing positions initiated by the trader for the day. Depending on the type of security being traded, the blotter might include the following:

If a trade was filled as a result of an order, the blotter might include the type of order filled, such as market, limit, stop-loss, or take-profit orders. For review, a market order fills the order at the next available price in the market. On the other hand, a limit order is set a predetermined level and is only filled if and when the security trades at the level specified in the order.

Deal blotters are used by compliance departments and regulators including the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to detect regulatory violations and illegal activity.

The Benefits of a Deal Blotter

In a trading firm with several traders, the sum of the positions on all of their deal blotters at the end of the trading day would indicate the firm's net position at the close of the market. Of course, today, firm's use computers to update positions in real-time but paper trade blotters are still used as a backup by some traders.

The trader can customize the details to be shown on the blotter. A broker uses a blotter to keep a record of all transactions in the event of any issue with a trade. A deal blotter enables traders to analyze and monitor their trades quickly and efficiently. A blotter can be used to improve a dealer's trading techniques and strategies. At the end of a trading day, traders can use the blotter to review how well they performed.