Lesson 6: The 20 Components of a Successful Trading Plan
Lesson 6: The 20 Components of a Successful Trading Plan
In our last lesson we finished up our discussion on trading journals with a look at the important things to look for when reviewing past trades. In today’s lesson we are going to discuss how to handle trading like a business with a discussion of how to compile a trading business plan.
One of the leading causes for the failure of many businesses is their lack of planning. I think most successful people would agree that if you want to be successful in life and business you need to have a plan for how to obtain that success, set goals to meet along the way, and then work on executing your plan and meeting your goals.
Trading is no different from any other business in this sense and it is my opinion that those who fail to plan out their trading like a business are doomed to failure as well. With this in mind it is important to have a written business plan for your trading just as you would for any other business. Below are some of the things which should be included in that plan, most if not all of which you should now have a good understanding of if you have watched all of our lessons up to this point.
What are your reasons for wanting to become a trader?
What do you hope to gain from trading? Be specific here. If the possibility of making a lot of money has drawn you towards trading then list out how much money you want to make from trading and what you plan to do with that money if you make it.
What are the things that are going to separate you from the large majority of traders who fail?
What are your biggest weaknesses?
How do you plan to address your weaknesses and leverage your strengths?
How much time can you devote towards actively following the market?
Do you plan to day trade, swing trade, position trade or a combination of the three? Does your choice here reflect the time you have to devote to the markets?
What market or markets do you plan to trade and why?
At what times throughout the day are you going to spend actually trading, researching trades, and then learning about the market?
What are your criteria for entering a trade?
What are your criteria for exiting a trade?
What is your money management strategy?
How will you know if one of the pieces of your strategy stops working?
After identifying that one of the pieces of your strategy has stopped working what will you do to address it?
What trading software and equipment you will use to trade and how much is it?
What Broker/Brokers will you use?
Do you plan to add money to your account and if so where is that money going to come from?
If you are profitable do you plan to reinvest profits or withdraw some or all of them?
If you plan to trade full time how you will support yourself if you aren’t profitable right away.
How much money do you plan to start to trade with? Does the math work out when considering taxes, all costs, living expenses and your initial trading balance?
As you can see, just as with any business, there are many things to consider before jumping into trading. From my experience however those who actually take the time to think about and write down the answers to each of the above questions have a much higher chance of success than those who do not.
That’s our lesson for today and this completes the InformedTrades.com basics of trading course. I hope you have had as much fun and learned as much from our first trading basics course as I have from putting it together.
In our next series of courses we are going to be covering the basics of trading all of the different markets that are available to traders starting with the basics of forex trading so we hope to see you in those lessons.
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WEEKLY HIGH IMPACT NEWS:
23:30 JP- CPI 28-Oct Fri
12:30 US- GDP
14:00 US- University of Michigan 30-Oct Sun
00:00 RZ/GB Clocks turn back one hour
Today has seen bond yields remain at elevated levels into the release of preliminary U.S. 3Q16 GDP. Fixed Income markets have started to worry that interest rates might not remain at near-zero levels forever. Equity and forex markets are nervous as a result.
Friday sees U.S. preliminary 3Q16 GDP. Following September Advance Trade data Wednesday, CNBC said its tracking of private GDP estimates (due Friday) have been raised substantially to 3%+ from about 2.5%. The latest Atlanta Fed GDPNow forecast for 3Q16 GDP Thursday was 2.10% from 2.00% on October 19.
Thursday saw the first estimate for 3Q16 UK GDP. This was first broad snapshot of how the economy has performed since the Brexit passage vote. GDP grew by +0.5% vs. estimates for +0.3%. This was another nail in the coffin for a BOE rate cut in the near term. Gilt yields closed at 1.257% +10.8bp.
Markets continue to try to reconcile the prospects for a Fed policy tightening in December with Yellen's new notion of a high-pressure economy. Odds are the Fed will hike rates before putting policy on hold again for most of 2017. Fed Funds futures have zeroed in on roughly 70% odds (69%) on a rate hike. It looks to me like the hawks and doves have reached a deal. The hawks get a December token rate hike in return for the doves getting a steady monetary policy next year.
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