Forex Trading Plan: Having No Plan Is a Plan to Lose

Aug 18, 2020 03:39 AM ET
Forex Trading Plan: Having No Plan Is a Plan to Lose

You should have your own forex trading plan, which you must update from time to time as you learn new things and gain some experience in the forex market. Having no plan in trading means you are planning to lose. Or, in other words, if you fail to plan, then you have already planned to fail. So, if you want to be successful in forex trading, you need to have a plan. Read on to know about the benefits of a trading plan, what all goes into it, and how you can create one.

forex trading plan

Irrational market needs rational behavior

A forex trading plan informs you about what you need to do, why you need to do it, when you must do it, and how you should do it. It also incorporates your trader personality type, risk management strategies, personal expectations, as well as trading systems.

With a trading plan, you can minimize your trading mistakes and losses. It also curbs any impulsive or irrational trading decisions that you might take due to your emotions or biases in that specific moment.

Furthermore, a trading plan helps you better deal with market uncertainties, which can drastically affect your emotions, making you anxious, nervous, scared, or upset. Thus, you should have a plan for different forex market actions.

Trading plan building step-by-step

Trading plan building step-by-step

An ideal trading plan should include every action, which can ensure that you don’t make any rash trading decisions. It also includes the personal goals and styles of a trader. The trading plan you make must include the profit targets and stop-loss prices in order to know particular exit points for every trade.

Remember that making a trading plan and methodology takes time, research, and effort. You should have a written trading plan made by you and not copied from someone else. Otherwise, it will not suit your personal trading characteristics since no other trader is exactly similar to you.

Here is a step-by-step guide that can help you create your own trading plan.


create your own trading plan


Step 1: Evaluate your craft and experience

You must know your skills and test your trading system in various ways, such as by using paper trading, live trading, etc. Your trading plan should show your personal skillset, trading style, and personality.

Step 2: Tune your mindset

You need to mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for the day. This includes feeling well physically, getting enough sleep, checking your emotions, etc. If you feel irritated, angry, or distracted, it’s better to not trade that day; otherwise, you can make irrational decisions and increase your chances of losing. Traders have a routine before they start their day, which prepares them for the day. You can create one for yourself that can make you ready for trading. Plus, you must ensure that there are no distractions where you trade as getting diverted can result in losses.

Step 3: Are you ready for some Risk Management?

Your risk level is the amount of money from your portfolio that you can risk in a trade. You can decide your risk level as per your risk tolerance and trading style. Even though the risk level can differ for everyone, ideally, it should range from 1% to 5% of your trading portfolio. This means you should stop trading when you lose this much amount on any given day. You can then start trading the next day.

Step 4: Have a target

Your trading plan should incorporate your specific trading goals, including practical risk/reward ratios and profit targets. You need to decide your minimum risk/reward ratio. A lot of traders follow the 1:3 risk/reward ratio; that is, the reward is a minimum of three times the risk.

For instance, if your stop-loss is $1 for each share, then your profit should be $3 for each share. Additionally, you must set your weekly, monthly, and yearly profit goals as a specific percentage of your trading portfolio or in dollars. Make sure you re-evaluate these profit goals regularly.

Step 5: Your research routine

Before you start trading every day, you must check the news on major events worldwide, including the global markets and the level of S&P 500 index futures. Index and commodities futures can help you to create a vision for a trading day. The sentiment of the market participants is fairly displayed in global indices’ ups and downs.

Never take an unnecessary risk since the macro or company report can make the market more volatile. Trading experts trade as per probabilities and do not gamble. If you trade ahead of a crucial data coming out, then welcome to gambling. You would never know the reaction of the market to that report and that doesn’t look like trading with the plan.

Forex rule #1: Adapt or die


Trading Plan

After creating a trading plan, you should tweak it from time to time as per the changing market conditions and your enhanced skill level as a trader. You should not change your trading plan every time you hit a rough patch or suffer from a loss in the financial market.

However, you can alter your plan if you come across better trading or investing method. Plus, you must update your trading plan every month as per the changing market conditions. In order to change your trading plan, you also need to change your risk profile as per the changing market structure.

For this, you must assess your plan periodically, particularly when there are changes in your finances. Your changed plan should include new trading ideas while eliminating the bad ones. The changes you make must be done incrementally so that you can carry out trades based on the changes and review them in order to develop new adaptations.

Moreover, this is the reason why you should not use automatic trading systems, which use the same techniques every day. An adaptive trading plan can get you positive and consistent results in the long run.


Having your own trading plan and sticking to it is important for forex trading. Even though there is no guarantee of success in the financial markets, you can increase your chances of earning profits and minimizing losses by creating a detailed trading plan. A trading plan must suit your trading style and personal goals. And, in order to keep up with the changing market conditions, you must adapt your trading plan weekly or monthly.

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