Earlier this week, the Rose family met up with some friends in a pub for a nice lunch, followed by a hearty walk through the hills and nearby woodland.
When we got there, we realized that we’d forgotten the map, and had no mobile phone signal, so set off blindly into the woods, confident that we’d remember the route from last time we’d been there.
An hour or two later, 4 adults and 5 children stumbled down a muddy hillside, through thick thicket and emerged onto the lane which led back to the safety of the pub, just as darkness approached, and storm Eleanor rumbled in.
It wasn’t quite the walk we’d planned, and I felt a bit stupid for getting lost in a handkerchief-sized piece of Buckinghamshire woodland.
Setting off without a proper route map and plan is the classic school-boy error (and one that I thought I was smart enough not to make!) … yet, it’s the same error that’s made time and time again by traders and walkers alike.
Often, the reason we don’t have a plan for our trading is because we don’t appreciate what’s involved. We might even think we do have a plan, but as soon as we’ve hit a bump in the road, or taken a wrong turn, it all falls apart.
A solid trading plan will have a strategy for how to respond when things don’t go to plan, and that’s the template I want to show you here.
Think of it as a trading plan with a Kendal mint cake built-in.
Drawing up a trading plan, and keeping a trade journal are not the ‘Wolf of Wall St’ image of making money from the markets.
And, in a business fueled with bravado, these are the things that generally get lost and forgotten.
But I can categorically say that you won’t succeed at trading without a plan, and without sound record-keeping.
Sure, you might get the odd success, but you won’t make money in the long term.
That’s why I want to make this task as simple as possible, so I’ve pared down the requirements for a trading plan, and done all the hard bits in creating a trading journal. All you need to do is fill in the blanks.
You can download your FREE trading plan template and trading journal at the foot of this page.
However, if you’re struggling to answer the questions in the trading plan, you’ll find plenty of solutions here on the website …
Things you may need to complete your trading plan
- ready-made trading plans which you can work from
- stacks of trade entry methods
- smart exit strategies
- ways to deal with drawdowns
And, of course the Spread Betting School can also be used to guide you step-by-step through these processes.
And now to the trading journal …
Without good record keeping, it’s impossible for us to build on our successes (and cut losses when we get it wrong).
My trading journal template will enable you to:
- see which trades have produced the best returns, and which aren’t pulling their weight. That way, we know where we should be focusing our attention.
- keep tabs on our overall performance, with at-a-glance win rate and expectancy figures. If these numbers drop off, we can react quickly to limit damage.
- the auto stake calculator on my trading journal gives you a quick tool to work out your stake size, so you should never find yourself overexposed.
And, for me, one of the greatest benefits of a good trading record is to be able to view my long-term performance alongside short-term results. This really helps me through tough trading patches, when I’ve hit a losing run … with a good trading record, I can see when this has happened in the past, and how I’ve recovered from it, and can reassure myself in the long-term power of the system I’m using.
Now, get trading
With these tools in your hands, there’s no excuse not to be getting out in the market, and to start picking up profits.