Developing a forex trading plan is an essential step to achieving a successful forex trading experience. Trading with a clear and inclusive plan can make the whole difference between making and losing money in the forex market. A trading plan helps the trader to execute trades through a systematic approach, supported by market analysis while taking risk management and psychological factors into consideration.
‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!’Benjamin Franklin
What is a Trading Plan?
The forex trading plan is a comprehensive and strategic approach to follow based on goals, trading strategy, and risk level. It is a decision-making method for a trader that helps in deciding what to trade when to trade and determining the size of a trade. It is simply a designed framework that guides the entire trading process.
Trading plans are usually personalized to better suit individual trading objectives. There is no absolute plan to be followed, however, there are different aspects to consider when developing a plan. These aspects include trading goals, risk tolerance, investment capital, psychology, the motivation for trading, trading tools, and risk management rules.
A trading plan should be distinguished from a trading strategy, which is more focused on when to enter and exit a trade. A trading strategy will be based on market technical analysis or fundamental analysis to enhance trading profitability and minimize risk exposure. The trading strategy is a part of the overall trading plan.
How to Develop a Trading Plan
You have to do your own research and create a plan that suits your individual trading objectives. Remember that the strategy you choose for trading will have a key effect. A new plan should be tested first to make sure you are on the right track. You can test your plan on a demo account before applying for live trading. Continue testing it regularly, to measure your success by sorting out what works and what does not work for you.
To create a successful Forex Trading Plan, follow these easy steps
1. Define your motivation
Outlining your motivation for trading is a crucial step in developing your plan. Ask yourself why you want to trade and what you want to achieve. There are two connected sets of motives which includes financial and psychological motives. Financial motives can be clear and objective while emotional motives can be misleading. Remember that these motives are always generating conflict for traders.
2. Set the trading goals
Define your trading objectives and set realistic goals. Remember that the goals should be consistent with your trading strategy, investment capital, and risk management rules. There are 3 types of goals, outcome goals, performance goals, and process goals. Use always advanced methods to set your trading goals efficiently.
3. Know what type of trader you are
It’s important to acknowledge what type of trader you are. The plan you create should depend on your trading style, strategy, personality, and knowledge. There are different trading strategies including swing trading, day trading, scalping, and position trading. You just need to know which category you belong to.
4. Evaluate your market knowledge
Your plan depends on which market you trade. For example, a forex trading plan will differ from a stock trading plan. Assessing your knowledge of the market will reflect on the plan you create and the strategy you’ll decide to adopt. Traders should always be able to value their forex trading plan by exploring effective strategies. according to expert research, by utilizing a multiple-testing framework, traders can avoid misguided strategies and make more informed decisions. Two sigmas are no longer an effective way to determine the efficacy of trading plans, hence why it’s essential to rely on other methods as well.
5. Keep a trading journal
Keeping a detailed trading journal will help you identify what needs to be improved and what you should stick to. A trading diary should include trade details including size, entry and exit points in addition to targets and risks. Writing down your decisions and emotions will also be a huge assist. The more detailed a journal is, the more insightful it is.
6. Select a risk-to-reward ratio
Setting your risk limit is essential to protect your capital, especially in a very dynamic market like the forex. Some traders prefer to take on lower risk in the beginning, while some prefer higher risk hoping to make bigger profits. It’s totally up to each trader to decide. However, it’s advised to trade with a low risk-to-reward ratio, a preferred risk-reward ratio would be 1:2. This means that the potential profit will be at least double the potential loss. For example, if you’re risking $100 on a trade, the potential gain should be $200.
Why is Trading with a Plan Important?
Developing a plan to serve as a guiding framework is very crucial to achieve consistent profitability in trading. It is pretty much like a road map that keeps you on track to your trading goals. A good plan will help you in taking rational trading decisions, by sticking to its rules. The benefits of having a plan also include:
- Discipline: having a plan with a predefined set of rules will help you maintain discipline in trading by sticking to these rules, and keeping you from letting emotions control your trading decisions.
- Trading with ease: by sticking to a plan, you won’t feel stressed as you know what should be done. A clear and precise plan lays out all the needed criteria that must be met before making a trading decision.
- Performance improvement: keeping a journal of your trading activity is a key component of a successful plan. It helps in assessing the performance of your strategy, thus improving the weak points to enhance your trading performance.
- Objective decision-making: since trading success is basically based on taking the right decisions, having a plan can help in making objective trading decisions, which will give you more confidence with less emotional engagement.
Professional Tips and Hacks for Trading Plan
Professionals always have advanced knowledge in trading which they collected over years of experience in the currency trading market. We have collected a set of tips and hacks to follow while placing your orders.
- Avoid trading in unpredictable, unsteady market environments.
- To avoid potential losses, it is imperative to exit any trade position as soon as the Moving Averages (MAs) begin to move in an opposing direction.
- Aim to make 10 ticks of profit on each trade. If you’re trading one lot, that’s 10 tics; two lots mean 5X2, and so forth.
- If you are looking to open a trade, it is important to pay attention to the short-term trend and ensure that momentum is on your side.
- Prior to the public announcement of significant economic information, take profits and exit positions.
- Avoid trading in the 10 minutes prior to class finishing for maximum success.
- Get out of a trade without delay the minute you think it could be going in the wrong direction.
How does a forex trading plan help with trade performance?
A precise plan can help by identifying expected outcomes, setting realistic goals, and understanding the risk profile, which in turn defines the trading strategy and style. This helps to eliminate emotional decisions. However, formulating a trading plan is just an initial step to what comes next. Having a plan allows the trader to track the trading performance.
Can I adjust/change my trading plan?
Absolutely! Any forex trading plan is totally customizable to each phase of your trading journey. The more experienced you become, the more chances you’ll apply to your plan. Through trading, you’ll learn more about the markets and yourself as a trader. A plan should change based on changing market conditions and with the changes in your own trading skills. You might also find that your entries, exits, stop loss targets, and profit targets all change when your trading goals change.
Is using a forex plan guarantee success?
The truth is there’s no magical recipe or a specific plan that guarantees success in trading. However, a good trading plan can pave the way for successful trading and avoid possible risks. Having a plan can make it easier to enhance your trading skills over time and get closer to becoming a successful trader.