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Can You Trade Successfully Without A Trading Plan?

When it comes to consistency, unfortunately the only consistency that many traders have is in losing money. Obviously, that’s not the consistency anybody wants or desires. Instead, we want to strive to get positive results in our trading. But even with all the desire and effort, why is it so illusive for so many to get consistent results?

If you look up the word “consistency “in the dictionary, the best meaning for our purposes is the following: a steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc. To put it in simple terms, by sticking to a predefined set of rules we can begin to measure progress. In trading this translates into defining time frames, markets, entry types and having a repetitive process. When done this way, subjective thinking is lessened and objective observation is usually increased.

With this mind, part of the solution to this challenge of gaining consistency is formulating a concise plan, this entails having a viable strategy, a system that has been proven to produce low risk profits. The reality for most new traders however, is that when they initially set out to do this, they learn from what we here at Online Trading Academy refer to as conventional technical analysis.

Now I’m not here to knock all those indicators and patterns that many of you reading this article probably already know. Heck, many years ago I learned these too. However, I quickly discovered that using these patterns never got me in a trade where I assume the lowest risk. If you’ve been reading these articles for any extended period of time you probably know by now that in order to find the lowest risk entry points we must be able to time the markets turning points. This is done by identifying levels of institutional supply and demand.

Unlike most conventional indicators finding where the “big boys” have unfilled buy and sell orders is anticipatory analysis, rather than a lagging indicator. When I mention this in the many sales presentations I do, the two questions that always come up are, “How do you know it will turn there?” and “What if you’re wrong?” The answer is that we don’t know for sure, but the odds are higher than random, and if we’re wrong we lose very little. The other important aspect is that we plan the trade before price touches our zone. Planning the trade and leaving it alone assures us that the emotions of fear and greed won’t interfere with the natural progression of the trade. This of course, is easier said than done, which brings us to the second aspect of planning: Self-control.

Self-control or discipline is the essential ingredient needed to execute the plan. When I talk to would-be traders the emphasis is most often on making money, and avoiding losses at all costs. Rarely do I hear someone tell me that their main focus is on executing a well defined proven strategy. If you think of the implications of always focusing on money, emotions will always play a part in the decision making process. The fact is that you can never make rational decisions when you are in an emotional state of mind, therefore the planning will serve to moderate those impulsive reactions.

As it turns out, planning is everything. Every detail, from top to bottom, because without a plan we will get random results at best, and lose money at worst, and who wants that? If you need help formulating a plan, a good starting point would be to attend one our free workshops held throughout the country.

Until next time, I hope everyone has a great summer


Written by Gabe Velazquez, Online Trading Academy Instructor. Gabe got his start in the markets as a broker trainee for Paine Webber, a mere 3 months before the market crash of 1987. He witnessed the gut wrenching fear of investors during that time period and the wild speculative euphoria of the late 90’s. That experience brought to light the importance risk management plays in trading and investing. In fact, it’s greatly influenced the way he trades today. He spent 15 years as a stock and commodities broker, conducting technical analysis seminars through-out Southern California. After many years of managing other people’s money, Gabe now concentrates full time on trading his own portfolio and teaching. Students will benefit from his first hand experience of daily involvement in the market. He brings with him an acute awareness and understanding of how the markets really work. Articulating this knowledge clearly, succinctly, and with enthusiasm is something students can appreciate. This gift for communicating was honed through many years of public speaking.


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