What is a Trading Plan?

Now that you’re about half way through college, here’s one piece of advice you should always remember.

Be your own trader.

In other words: Don’t follow someone else’s trading advice blindly! Just because someone may be doing well with their method, it doesn’t mean it will work for you. We’re all in different situations in life, and we all have different market views, thought processes, risk tolerance levels, and market experience.

Have your own personalized forex trading plan and update it as you learn from the market.

Muscle man

With rock solid discipline, your trading could look like this.

Developing a Trading Plan and sticking to it are the two main ingredients of trading discipline.

But trading discipline isn’t enough.

Even solid trading discipline isn’t enough.

It has to be rock solid discipline.

We repeat: rock solid. Like Jacob Black’s abs.

Plastic solid discipline won’t do. Nor will discipline made from straws and sticks.

We don’t want to be little piggies. We want to be successful traders!

And having rock solid trading discipline is the most important characteristic of successful traders.

A trading plan defines what is supposed to be done, why, when, and how. It covers your trader personality, personal expectations, risk management rules, and trading system(s).

When followed to, a trading plan will help limit trading mistakes and minimize your losses. After all, “if you fail to plan, then you’ve already planned to fail.”

A trading plan removes any bad decision making in the heat of the moment. Your emotions can consume you when money is on the line, causing you to make irrational decisions. You don’t want that to happen.

The best way to prevent it from happening is to minimize (notice we did not say eliminate) thinking by having a plan for every potential market action.

With the right currency trading plan, every action is spelled out, so that in the heat of the moment you don’t have to make any rash decisions. You just simply stick to your trading plan.

Before we continue, we have to quickly distinguish the difference between a trading plan and a trading system.

A trading system describes how you will enter and exit trades. A trading system is part of your trading plan but is just one of several important parts, i.e., analysis, executions, risk management, etc. Since market conditions are always changing, a good trader will usually have two or more trading systems in his or her trading plan.

Trading systems will be covered more in-depth later on in the lesson, but we thought that it was important to point out the difference between the two upfront to avoid any confusion.

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  1. What is a Trading Plan?
  2. Why Do you Need a Trading Plan?
  3. Justified vs. Unjustified
  4. Getting to Know Yourself
  5. Motivation and Goal Setting
  6. Risk Capital
  7. Lifestyle Considerations
  8. Expectations
  9. Daily Pre-Market Routine
  10. Weapons of Choice
  11. Stick to the Plan
  12. Summary: Developing a Trading Plan