Trade Plan

Last updated June 2017

This plan should be read at the start of each week. This is a constantly updated plan, as I achieve these goals I’ll rewrite the plan and reset my goals. This will also be how I measure my progress throughout the year. The idea is my short-term goals lead me to achieving my medium term goals. My medium term goals lead me to achieving my long-term goals.

My Trading Rules

  1. Only trade a tested strategy. This is the only way I can reliably measure and then improve my trading.
  2. Enter the market when you see a signal. Don’t let opinion cloud your judgement – you can trade probabilities if you don’t take set ups.
  3. Always use a stop loss when taking a trade Never place a trade without putting in a stop loss. Not more than 20 pips off the high or low. It’s better to get stopped out and re-enter than give away pips.
  4. Always define exits before trading. Set limit orders for exits and monitor them.
  5. Never risk more than 1% on a trade. Until I’m comfortable risking more – 1% is my limit
  6. Never risk more than 2% on correlated trades. Limit your exposure to any one currency or market
  7. Never risk more than 3% at any one time. You need breathing room before the next rule kicks in.
  8. After a 10% drawdown, trade at minimum position size. Build your confidence back up before trading normal position sizes again. You’ll know when you’re ready.
  9. Temper elation, resist feeling deflated. You’re not a rock star trader after a few winners and you’re not the world’s worst trader after a few losers.
  10. Record everything. Journal each trade, do monthly reviews and log your trade history. Only through analysis can you identify how to improvement.

What is my approach right now?

  • I trade the DST strategy.
  • My focus is on trading the strategy as well as possible, win or lose. (If it stops working this is the only way I’ll know.)
  • I trade the EUR, USD, GBP, JPY, CAD & AUD and the crosses. I also include the FTSE, Gold and Oil.
  • I trade the daily and 4H timeframes, however I will use the weekly and monthly timeframes for targets and the hourly timeframe for better entries.
  • My position size is determined by my risk tolerance, currently 0.5% – 1%.
  • Generally the better the entry, the tighter the stop, the better the RR
  • Where appropriate I’ll scale in and out of trades
  • Everything gets logged


  1. My trading week starts Sunday evening.
  2. Each Sunday I check the monthly and weekly charts for set ups, trends, support and resistance zones and mark up any points of interest.
  3. I then start my regular daily trading tasks at 7/8am, Mon – Fri.
  4. My first task is to manage any open trades (limit orders etc).
  5. My second task is to do my scan of each market
  6. Set ups get listed with a note on the timeframe. I’ll add an * if the set-up is close to ready
  7. Price alerts are set for levels where the set-up becomes tradable
  8. Alarms are then set for reminders to check price action ASAP
  9. I do a quick review of trades and set ups at 10pm

What are my short-term goals? (end of July 2017)

  1. Take at least 60% of the tighter DST signals.
  2. Have a flawless month of risk management (no over or under leveraging)
  3. Have a profitable month

What are my medium-term goals? (By the beginning of Feb 2018)

  1. Stick to the DST approach for a year
  2. Get my balance up to £10,000
  3. To think like a trader. This will happen when I can answer yes to the following:
    • I instinctively think about risk reward first
    • I never rush into a trade without first considering what the trade is worth
    • I never move a stop outside of my risk tolerance.
    • Putting on a trade is like sending an email (my heart rate doesn’t change)
    • I don’t feel the yo-yo of emotions. I’m not elated with a string of winners, I’m not down when I have a string of losers.
    • I’m comfortable trading a 30% win rate strategy.
    • I let the market come to me. Missing a trade won’t bother me.
    • I can successfully hedge positions.
    • I can successfully add to my trades.

What are my long-term goals? (by Feb 2023)

  1. Grow my account to £100,000

What are my very long-term goals? (Within 10 years)

These need better defining, but ultimately:

  1. Be in a position to mentor others
  2. Work with other traders on projects
  3. Be good enough to be considered ready to manage someone else’s money
  4. Have a good enough track record to be considered employable as a trader

Discipline & Mindset

  • Open every trade with a mindset that the market can go either way and give back all of your profits and accept this is normal
  • Losing trades will happen, controlling them is what will lead to success. Remember it’s not uncommon to get 3 or more losers in a row before a trade sticks. Hold your nerve! The winners will pay for the losers in the long run. You are the casino now!
  • Don’t be tempted to brag. You are not a superstar trader after a good day and you are not the world’s worst trader after a bad day
  • Never underestimate the value of taking a break even when things are going well. The markets will be there when you come back refreshed.
  • Remember that some trades will look to be doing well than kick you in the balls, that’s trading and you can’t predict it.

    XAUUSD 4H Chart – 26 June 17. Sudden price moves against your position will happen.