Trading Plan Examples

Contributor Image
Written By
Contributor Image
Written By
Dan Buckley
Dan Buckley is an US-based trader, consultant, and part-time writer with a background in macroeconomics and mathematical finance. He trades and writes about a variety of asset classes, including equities, fixed income, commodities, currencies, and interest rates. As a writer, his goal is to explain trading and finance concepts in levels of detail that could appeal to a range of audiences, from novice traders to those with more experienced backgrounds.

A trading plan is a systematic method that outlines how a trader will identify, execute, and manage trades.

Most traders realize that trading in an overly discretionary way can lead to poor results and bad decisions, so they decide to start writing down their criteria for how they’ll trade going forward.

A trading plan is an important component of successful trading, as it adds more systematization to the process and helps to maintain discipline, manage risk, and improve consistency.


Key Takeaways – Trading Plan Examples

  • Trading plans usually include:
    • Objective
    • Market Analysis
    • Entry Criteria
    • Risk Management
    • Exit Strategy
    • Psychological Aspects
  • Objective and Market Analysis
    • E.g., Achieve consistent daily profits through disciplined market analysis, focusing on intraday charts and high-probability setups in liquid markets, while managing risk with precision.
  • Disciplined Risk Management
    • For a day trader, e.g., limit exposure by risking no more than 1% of trading capital on a single trade and employ stop-loss orders to preserve capital to help with long-term trading sustainability.
  • Strategic Entry and Exit
    • Use specific chart patterns and momentum indicators for trade entry, and exit positions based on predefined profit targets or reversal indicators to optimize gains and minimize losses.
  • Learning and Adaptation
    • Maintain a trading journal to log trades, review performance, and adapt strategies based on market changes and personal growth. Helps with continuous improvement and decision-making precision.


Below are examples of trading plans tailored to different types of traders, incorporating aspects of technical analysis, risk management, and psychological considerations.

These are just rough templates, as each trading plan will be specific to each particular trader.

1. Day Trading Plan Example


To achieve consistent daily profits while managing risk through disciplined entry and exit strategies.

Market Analysis

Use technical analysis, focusing on intraday charts (1-minute, 5-minute, and 15-minute time frames) to identify high-probability trade setups in liquid markets.

Entry Criteria

Enter trades based on specific chart patterns (e.g., breakouts, reversals) combined with momentum indicators (MACD, RSI) confirming the move.

Risk Management

Risk no more than 1% of the trading capital on a single trade.

Set stop-loss orders to limit potential losses and use trailing stops to protect gains.

Exit Strategy

Exit positions based on predefined profit targets or when the chart pattern or momentum indicator suggests a reversal.

All positions are closed by the end of the trading day to avoid overnight market risk.

Psychological Aspects

Adhere to a pre-trading routine to ensure mental clarity and discipline.

Log trades in a journal for review and continuous improvement.


2. Swing Trading Plan Example


To capture medium-term price movements in the market over days to weeks, focusing on stocks, currencies (forex), or commodities.

Market Analysis

Employ both technical and fundamental analysis to select trades.

Look for trends in daily and weekly charts, and consider macroeconomic indicators that could influence price movements.

Entry Criteria

Enter trades when price action confirms trend continuation patterns (e.g., flags, pennants) or reversal patterns (e.g., double tops/bottoms) alongside volume analysis for confirmation.

Risk Management

Allocate a specific percentage of the portfolio to each trade, usually between 1% and 3%, and use stop-loss orders to minimize losses.

Adjust position size based on the volatility of the asset.

Exit Strategy

Set profit targets based on key resistance or support levels, or use technical indicators like moving averages or Fibonacci retracement levels for guidance.

Be prepared to adjust exit points based on changing markets.

Psychological Aspects

Maintain patience for the right setup and discipline to follow the plan.

Regularly review trades to identify areas for improvement and manage emotional responses to market movements.

Related: Day Trading vs. Swing Trading


3. Position Trading Plan Example


To benefit from long-term trends in the market, holding positions for several weeks to months, with a focus on sectors or indices.

Market Analysis

Utilize a combination of fundamental analysis (to select sectors or assets with strong long-term growth potential) and technical analysis (to time entry and exit points).

Entry Criteria

Enter trades after a thorough analysis of the asset’s fundamentals, such as earnings growth, industry strength, and economic indicators.

Technical analysis is used to refine entry points, looking for breakouts or reversals on weekly or monthly charts.

Risk Management

Risk a smaller portion of the portfolio on each trade, given the longer-term horizon and potentially larger drawdowns.

Use a wider stop-loss strategy to allow for market fluctuations.

Also, consider the idea of building a diversified portfolio, as position traders hold over longer periods.

Exit Strategy

Exit based on significant changes in the fundamental outlook or when technical indicators suggest a long-term trend reversal.

Adjustments to the plan may be required based on macroeconomic shifts or changes within the specific sector or asset.

Psychological Aspects

Emphasize the importance of patience and long-term vision.

Avoid overreacting to short-term market volatility and stay focused on the underlying reasons for holding the position.

Related: Day Trading vs. Position Trading


FAQs – Trading Plan Examples

What is the point of a day trading plan?

The primary objective of a day trading plan is to achieve consistent daily profits by utilizing disciplined entry and exit strategies, with a focus on managing risk through precise risk management techniques and taking advantage of intraday price movements.

How does risk management differ between day trading and swing trading plans?

In day trading plans, risk management typically involves risking a small percentage of the trading capital (e.g., 1%) on a single trade and using tight stop-loss orders to minimize potential losses.

In contrast, swing trading plans may allocate a slightly larger percentage of the portfolio to each trade (1% to 3%) and use stop-loss orders based on wider market movements or volatility, reflecting the longer holding period and the need for greater price flexibility.

How important is psychology in a trading plan?

Psychological aspects are often covered in trading plans because they help traders maintain discipline, manage emotions, and stay focused on their strategic objectives.

This includes adhering to a pre-trading routine, managing stress, and avoiding emotional decision-making.

Logging trades and reflecting on them can also improve a trader’s mental resilience and ability to stick to the plan.

It might include non-trading activities (e.g., exercise, self-care, etc.).

Why do position traders use a combination of fundamental and technical analysis in their trading plans?

Position traders use a combination of fundamental and technical analysis to identify long-term trends and time their entries and exits.

Fundamental analysis helps in selecting sectors or assets with strong long-term growth potential, and assessing their overall economic and financial health.

Technical analysis complements this by providing insights on market sentiment and potential timing for buying or selling, aiming for optimal entry and exit points.

How should a trader adjust their trading plan?

Traders should regularly review their trading plan to make sure it remains aligned with the markets they’re trading and their personal trading performance.

Adjustments may involve refining entry and exit criteria based on new patterns or indicators, revising risk management strategies to better protect capital, or addressing any psychological challenges identified.

Continuous learning from past trades and adapting to changing market dynamics are key to sustaining success.

What happens if I don’t follow a trading plan or break a rule in my trading plan?

Not following a trading plan or breaking its rules can lead to impulsive decisions, increased losses, and missed opportunities.

Without the structure and discipline a plan provides, traders are more susceptible to emotional trading, overtrading, and failing to manage risk effectively.

This can erode capital over time and hinder the ability to make objective, well-thought-out trades.

Consistently sticking to a trading plan is important for long-term success and growth in trading.

All in all, a trading plan helps with confidence and strategic foresight.

What are exit strategies play in a trading plan, and how are they determined?

Exit strategies are important for a trading plan as they define how and when to close a position to realize profits or cut losses.

They are determined based on predefined profit targets, technical indicators (e.g., moving averages, resistance or support levels), or significant changes in markets.

Effective exit strategies help in maximizing gains on winning trades and minimizing losses on losing trades, which are important for long-term trading success.

How does a swing trader decide when to enter a trade?

A swing trader decides to enter a trade based on a combination of technical and sometimes fundamental analysis.

They look for clear trend continuation or reversal patterns on daily and weekly charts, confirmed by volume analysis and possibly supported by macroeconomic factors.

The entry is timed when price action and indicators align, which for short-term traders suggests a higher probability of the trade moving in the desired direction.



Each trading plan is unique and should be tailored to the trader’s specific goals, time horizon, risk tolerance, and trading style.

Consistently reviewing and refining the trading plan based on market conditions and personal performance is important for long-term success.