Preschool>= Lesson Status ?
Kindergarten>= Lesson Status ?
Elementary>= Lesson Status ?
Grade 1 Support and Resistance Levels
Grade 2 Japanese Candlesticks
Grade 3 Fibonacci
Grade 4 Moving Averages
Grade 5 Common Chart Indicators
Middle School>= Lesson Status ?
Grade 7 Important Chart Patterns
Grade 8 Pivot Points
Summer School>= Lesson Status ?
High School>= Lesson Status ?
Grade 9 Trading Divergences
Grade 10 Market Environment
Grade 11 Trading Breakouts and Fakeouts
Grade 12 Fundamental Analysis
Grade 13 Currency Crosses
- What is a Currency Cross Pair?
- Crosses Present More Trading Opportunities
- Cleaner Trends and Ranges
- Taking Advantage of Interest Rate Differential
- Obscure Crosses
- Planning Around News and Fundamentals
- Creating Synthetic Pairs
- Euro and Yen Crosses
- How to Use Crosses to Trade the Majors
- How Cross Currency Pairs Affect Dollar Pairs
- Summary: Currency Crosses
Grade 14 Multiple Time Frame Analysis
Undergraduate>= Lesson Status ?
- Why Keep a Trade Journal?
- Benefits of Keeping a Journal
- What Should You Record in Your Journal?
- Potential Trading Area
- Entry Trigger
- Position Sizing
- Trade Management Rules
- Trade Retrospective
- Trading Journal Statistics
- Reviewing Your Trading Journal
- Difficulties of Keeping a Trade Journal
- Summary: Keeping a Trade Journal
Graduation>= Lesson Status ?
- Which Trading Style is Best for You?
- Which Currencies Should You Trade?
- What is Your Level of Trading Experience?
- Should You Be a Discretionary, Mechanical, or Hybrid Trader?
- What Kind of Mechanical System Suits Your Personality?
- What is Your Attitude Towards Risk?
- What Kind of Stop Suits Your Trading Style?
Design Your Trading System in Six Steps
The main focus of this article is to guide you through the process of developing your system. While it doesn't take long to come up with a system, it does take some time to extensively test it. So be patient; in the long run, a good system can potentially make you a lot of money.
Step 1: Time Frame
The first thing you need to decide when creating your system is what kind of trader you are.
This will help determine which time frame you will use to trade. Even though you will still look at multiple time frames, this will be the main time frame you will use when looking for a trade signal.
Step 2: Find indicators that help identify a new trend.
Since one of our goals is to identify trends as early as possible, we should use indicators that can accomplish this. Moving averages are one of the most popular indicators that traders use to help them identify a trend.
Specifically, they will use two moving averages (one slow and one fast) and wait until the fast one crosses over or under the slow one. This is the basis for what's known as a "moving average crossover" system.
In its simplest form, moving average crossovers are the fastest ways to identify new trends. It is also the easiest way to spot a new trend.
Of course there are many other ways traders' spot trends, but moving averages are one of the easiest to use.
Step 3: Find indicators that help CONFIRM the trend.
Our second goal for our system is to have the ability to avoid whipsaws, meaning that we don't want to be caught in a "false" trend. The way we do this is by making sure that when we see a signal for a new trend, we can confirm it by using other indicators.
There are many good indicators for confirming trends, but Pipsurfer really likes MACD, Stochastic, and RSI. As you become more familiar with various indicators, you will find ones that you prefer over others, and can incorporate those into your system.
Step 4: Define Your Risk
When developing your system, it is very important that you define how much you are willing to lose on each trade. Not many people like to talk about losing, but in actuality, a good trader thinks about what he or she could potentially lose BEFORE thinking about how much he or she can win.
The amount you are willing to lose will be different than everyone else. You have to decide how much room is enough to give your trade some breathing space, but at the same time, not risk too much on one trade. You'll learn more about money management in a later lesson. Money management plays a big role in how much you should risk in a single trade.
Step 5: Define Entries & Exits
Once you define how much you are willing to lose on a trade, your next step is to find out where you will enter and exit a trade in order to get the most profit.
Some people like to enter as soon as all of their indicators match up and give a good signal, even if the candle hasn't closed. Others like to wait until the close of the candle.
One of the bloggers here in BabyPips.com, Pip Surfer, believes that it is best to wait until a candle closes before entering. He has been in many situations where he will be in the middle of a candle and all of the indicators match up, only to find that by the close of the candle, the trade has totally reversed on him!
It's all really just a matter of trading style. Some people are more aggressive than others and you will eventually find out what kind of trader you are.
For exits, you have a few different options. One way is to trail your stop, meaning that if the price moves in your favor by 'X' amount, you move your stop by 'X' amount.
Another way to exit is to have a set target, and exit when the price hits that target. How you calculate your target is up to you. Some people choose support and resistance levels as their targets.
Others just choose to go for the same amount of pips on every trade. However you decide to calculate your target, just make sure you stick with it. Never exit early no matter what happens. Stick to your system! After all, YOU developed it!
One more way you can exit is to have a set of criteria that, when met, would signal you to exit. For example, you could make it a rule that if your indicators happen to reverse to a certain level, you would then exit out of the trade.
Step 6: Write down your system rules and FOLLOW IT!
This is the most important step of creating your trading system. You MUST write your trading system rules down and ALWAYS follow it.
Discipline is one of the most important characteristics a trader must have, so you must always remember to stick to your system! No system will ever work for you if you don't stick to the rules, so remember to be disciplined.
Oh yeah, did we mention you should ALWAYS stick to your rules?
How to Test Your Trading System
The fastest way to test your system is to find a charting software package where you can go back in time and move the chart forward one candle at a time. When you move your chart forward one candle at a time, you can follow your trading system rules and take your trades accordingly.
Record your trading record, and BE HONEST with yourself! Record your wins, losses, average win, and average loss. If you are happy with your results then you can go on to the next stage of testing: trading live on a demo account.
Trade your new system live on a demo account for at least two months. This will give you a feel for how you can trade your system when the market is moving. Trust us, it is very different trading live than when you're backtesting.
After two months of trading live on a demo account, you will see if your system can truly stand its ground in the market. If you are still getting good results, then you can choose to trade your system live on a REAL account.
At this point, you should feel very confident with your system and feel comfortable taking trades with no hesitation.
YOU'VE MADE IT!
While you are logged into your account,
you can save your progress in the School of Pipsology!
- Mechanical Trading Systems
- Design Your Trading System in Six Steps
- Build Your Trading System in Six Steps
- The 'So Easy It's Ridiculous' System
- Summary: Creating Your Own Mechanical Trading System