Creating a trading plan can be quick and easy or long, challenging and expensive. Let me tell you about how I went about creating my trading plan…so you know what not to do!

When I started my objectives were very clear – make a ton of money and retire. That was really the extent of my thinking. I didn’t have a clue how to do it or what my approach was, I just started buying stocks in companies that I thought were good…companies with names I recognised who had interesting businesses.

  • I did some fundamental analysis – They all had revenue, some even had profits…
  • I did some technical analysis – I looked at lots of squiggly lines on the charts…
  • I convinced myself they were set to take off!

So I bought them … and waited and waited and waited … but nothing happened. At the time I could not believe that after all my “analysis” the stocks I bought didn’t go up. How could the market be so stupid and not see what I saw? Looking back on it I was being self-absorbed and arrogant. This is a common curse of beginners to the financial markets.

Looking back on it I was being self-absorbed and arrogant

Then most of the shares I bought started to fall … this was not right, so I consulted my squiggly lines on the charts (Most people call them indicators) and found a bunch of new indicators that disagreed with the other ones. Now I was confused…

Needless to say I did not have any trading profits to speak of. I tried one strategy after another and continued to slowly lose money until eventually, a couple of years later, I stumbled across one trade that changed it all – it was a trend trade which made a few thousand dollars.

The trend following trade that changed everything

The trend following stock trade that changed everything!

I tried approach after approach until one day I
stumbled across one trade that changed it all!

That was when I knew I found my strategy…everything about the trade and the approach felt right and I knew that was going to be my trading strategy from then on.

Finally, I had something that worked FOR ME!

I would realise later that this is the single biggest key to having a profitable trading plan. In case you are curious, the trading strategy is described here and here.

Gradually over the following years I refined my strategy, figured out some specific and realistic objectives and started creating a trading plan, my own trading plan! – cobbled together at first, but I progressively formalised and refined it. Most of my original plan came from my trading journal that I wrote as I made mistakes and got hammered by the market in one way or another.

Eventually I realised that all the scraps of paper I had notes written on was making it very difficult for me to improve what I was doing, so I started to write it all down in one spot – now I was getting somewhere! Creating a trading plan proved to be one of the best steps I ever took because it forced me to step back and really think about what I was doing, where my gaps were and how to increase my trading profitability.

Creating a trading plan was one of the best steps I ever took

I wrote in this document and refined it and added to it over a long period of time…and then I realised that this would be so much easier if I just had a trading plan template, a complete workbook to go through. I had done some trading courses and read a lot of trading books by that time, so I took my own experience, and I adapted information from many courses and books and started creating a trading plan template for myself – and boy did I have some gaps in my own plan!

I filled in the gaps and produced a pretty good trading plan – even if I do say so myself. That plan has served me well and helped me make a ton of money from the markets.

Creating A Trading Plan Could Have Been So Much Easier!

By this time I had realised that creating a trading plan could have been SO much easier had I just approached it in the right way to start with…instead of taking years it could have taken weeks or even days ! So if you want to save years when creating a trading plan for yourself, here is my number one tip:

Start creating a trading plan TODAY using a trading plan template that is complete and covers all aspects of your trading business

Just by filling in the blanks you will get a lot of it done in a few hours. The rest of the detail will take some research and testing, but it will be years faster and you will get a much better result than you would have going about it the way I did.

If you haven’t got a trading plan yet then click here to learn the types of questions you need to answer in your trading plan or join The Trader Success System do get all the Knowledge, Tools and Systems you need to create a rock solid trading plan and become a successful systematic stock trader!

Having a solid Trading Plan is one of the most important steps you can take as a trader. A stock trading plan is the business plan for your trading. Here are links to my other articles specifically related to drawdown so you can master this important topic:
Having a solid trading plan puts you in an very small and exclusive group of traders who are likely to survive and prosper no matter what the market throws at you... because you have a trading plan to guide you. Read these articles to ensure your trading survival!