There are many things to consider when trading and for many starting out, there is too much to remember. The best way to ensure that you follow your trading plan and do not cut corners is to develop a routine, preferably written down. If needed, you could write down your routine in the form of a list in a logical sequence, and tick off every item as you complete it. This way you can be guaranteed of completing everything that you should.
You have little hope of developing a routine if you have not developed your trading plan. Your routine will be a logical progression from your written trading plan, and it will facilitate the adherence to your trading plan. You should aim to develop a routine that will guide you through all of the necessary steps and which will stop you getting distracted by other matters.
Decision making heavily influences your trading success. Anything that can help you focus on the important decisions that need to be made should be considered. This is where your written routine or checklist can greatly assist.
One of the advantages of developing a routine is to assist with information management. The amount of information now easily and conveniently available to people is vast. Considering an individual trader can easily be overwhelmed with the amount of information available, your routine will reduce the likelihood of accessing information that is not included or necessary to the adherence to your plan.
As an example, many reputable Internet sites offer market information containing analyst’s reports, company reports and other general news. Traders don’t need to browse all of the available sites that offer such commentary, yet you can easily be distracted and go searching for material that may support your own opinions. Another example is internet chat rooms.
As a guide, your routine might include items like download your data for your charting software (if applicable), review all of your open positions to see if any of your stops have been hit. If some positions are moving well, you may have to adjust the stops to ensure you are in a position to lock in a profit.
You may consider conducting further scans and analysis of the market and place any potential trading opportunities on your watch list, review your present watch list and remove those stocks that no longer meet your entry conditions. You may also include some actions that you perform weekly and monthly, for example inserting all of your completed trades into your record keeping spreadsheet or personal financial software and conduct a systematic review of past trades.
Having a trading plan with a supporting routine that will assist you to adhere to your trading plan, is likely to provide you an advantage over most other traders in the market, and increase your chances of long term profitable trading.