Foundations of Trading Part 4: Trade Planning

We make a trade plan, execute, then evaluate to see what we can learn about price and ourselves. Making and documenting a trade plan helps us to clarify what it is were doing and thinking at the time of a trade, it makes us more accountable. A trade plan can also serve the purpose of holding us steady after we are in the trade and subject to more emotional reaction. 

A trade plan is a personal thing that needs to be adapted to you and your trading. Its best to keep it simple. My trade plan just asks a few simple questions and then I take a snapshot of the chart.

  • Why am I entering?
  • Why am I placing my stop there?
  • Why am I moving my stop? 
  • Why am I exiting?

Its a simple question that asks why are you doing what you are doing? Don’t just be technical about this, also answer the questions as honestly as you can.  If you entered a market cause you were impulsive or because the moon was blue or whatever.. write that down. If you are placing your stop real close cause you are scared of risk, write that down. If you jump out early cause you cant take take it anymore write that down. Don’t be embarrassed you have plenty of company including me now and then but you can be one of the few who actually takes an honest look and learns. Here is a recent trade plan of mine that did not get filled.

Shane Blankenship