Planning is critical for any trader, regardless of the style they employ. A well-designed trading plan can help maintain discipline and improve overall profitability; it also provides a framework that allows you to work toward long term goals. This article will discuss five key aspects that should be included in your forex AU trading plan.
When creating your trading plan, it’s essential not to use other people’s plans as templates because every trader is different; one size does not fit all. It’s also helpful to begin by writing down what time frame you are most comfortable with before outlining each area separately.
For example, someone who only wants to trade short term would have very different criteria from those seeking longer-term investments.
There are several ways to create a successful trading plan, as outlined below:
Define your goals and objectives
As mentioned previously, every trader has different criteria reflected in their plan. Some questions you should ask yourself: What is my time frame? Am I comfortable risking 2% of my account on any given trade?
What is my ultimate goal—am I trying to build up enough money to leave my job and become an independent trader? These questions help you decide what’s essential for you and include such factors in your trading plan.
Some other tips on defining your goals
- Do you want to make money or cut your losses?
- How much time are you willing to put into this endeavour daily, weekly, and monthly?
- What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?
Define your trading style
Do you want to be an intra-day scalper of the EUR/USD pair, or do you prefer holding positions overnight with the AUD/USD pair? Knowing what style best suits you will focus on the correct times for each strategy.
Another aspect that needs consideration is knowing how much risk each trade involves so that too much aggressive trading doesn’t lead to bankruptcy. For example, I know that I am most comfortable trading GBP crosses, so now I can focus my time on EUR/GBP and GBP/AUD.
Define your risks
An essential element of any good Forex Trading Plan is to define the risk factors undertaken when making each trade. For beginners, it’s easier to limit maximum losses to 2% of their account balance (or even less), regardless of the size of the position.
Expiry times also need defining; for example, if you are a day trader, do you want to roll your expiries over every three hours or at the end of each trading session?
Manage your money well
Perhaps one of the essential steps in creating a well-designed forex trading plan is to manage your money well. By this, I mean divide your capital into separate trading accounts so that if you have a bad run and lose some of your original accounts, you have a second or third account where your money cannot be touched.
It helps prevent the ’emotional blackmail’, which is dangerous for traders who become aware their bank balance will affect their lifestyle outside of Forex. As a rule of thumb, it’s recommended that you never risk more than 2% on any given trade – even if this means setting aside 10% from your overall monthly profits as pure ‘play money.
Set goals and targets
Finally, once you’ve defined all the parameters of your trading style, chosen timeframes and got an aerial grip of your money management, you should be ready to set goals and targets. A target is where or what price you think a currency pair will hit before the end of any given time frame (i.e. H1 = 1 hour; D1 = daily; W1 = weekly)
Clear goals can help you avoid losses and stop over trading before it’s too late.
A goal is more like a specific event that must occur before the time expires – i.e. if GBP/USD falls below 1.5500, then I need to sell my position for a profit. It’s often said that goals are targets with a deadline. Regardless of whether one uses targets or goals, they allow traders to have some fun along the way and measure their success against someone else’s trading performance.