4 Steps to Creating A Plan to Plan Your Trading Career

Planning to plan

How long do you think it takes to plan a career?

When I finished high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do in my career. I did some psychology test and I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur but that really means nothing in high school. I had a brief discussion with my parents and managed to narrow down the options that didn’t go far either.

I did well in my A-Level exams (a UK based pre-university education) and went on to a good university. While in university, I spent another 4 years thinking about what I really wanted to do in my career. On top of that, I would spend most summers doing either a work placement or an odd job just to explore my options. Even briefly after university graduation I continued searching before I realised that I wanted to become full-time trader.

In short, it took me a fair amount of time working through myself, my beliefs and my environment to pin point what I wanted in my career. If you too want to become a full time trader, then, I invite you to read on.

1. What do you need to know Now?

Going through my experiences above, I would expect you to be one step ahead of me. Because, if you are reading this now, you have already considered trading as a career – you’ve either considered it very seriously or you an idea that you want to – haven’t you? More importantly, what do you think you need to do today in order to create a plan that will help you achieve that goal or even to bring your trading career to greater heights…?

Yes, today is about creating the plan to plan your trading career and not about writing the trading plan. I’m making this point because, more often than not, traders read about trading plans and they start writing their entry rules, exit rules and some might even start taking action immediately without going through their plans in detail.

The truth is, if this is going to be a serious career, then make sure you get the planning right. You might take a day, a week or even a month to write this plan but, once the plan is completed, all you need to do is to execute the plan for the next few years. Hey.. It took me awhile, unless you’ve started planning long ago, I don’t think you’re ready overnight.

So, now, let’s try again… What do you really need to know now, in order to create a robust and solid trading plan? What information do you need now? What advice do you need now? What do you not know, that you were to know now, would help you achieve those goals easily? And so that when you look back from the future at today, you will have the information that will help you go beyond achieving your trading goals now?

Ps. From a NLP’s point of view, you and everyone else have all the resources to achieve your goals. While some of you might not have direct access to those resources, you have the resources to pin point the information you need to find and gain access to those resources.

2. Creating the Planning Framework

trading frameworkOnce you’ve identified the information you need, now create a framework. What do you need to create first before you can proceed to the next? What areas do you want to cover in your trading plan?

In case you’re struggling, these are some of the areas that you can cover (I have given a better break down of these in my free ebook):

  • Beliefs – Self-belief, trading beliefs and market beliefs. These are all important aspects of your belief system. How can you improve these areas?
  • Money Relationship – As money is an important part of you and me, you need to know why money is important to you. More importantly, how do you view money? Is it a friend, a foe or just a tool?
  • Emotional Awareness – Knowing how you will react to your emotions is more important than knowing how you’ll react to the market.
  • Positive Mentality and Attitude – Confidence is half the Battle Won” by Sun Tzu. Knowing that you can do it and that your trading goals are possible is an important part of trading. Hence, if it’s important, then make sure to include ways to work on it in your trading plan.
  • Routine – This should include a high probability daily and weekly routine for trading and personal life.

Note: The above are only suggestions and not to be used as advise as individual’s circumstances may be different.

3. Allocating Time

Now that you know what you need and you have the framework of creating a trading plan, you should consider allocating time to do it.

When I was going through my career plans, I had to put aside a significant amount of time before I realised what I wanted to do with my career. For some of you, your career path was already laid out for you with your input. If you are one of them, then it is even more important for you to set aside some time to do this because you might not be familiar with the process.

As I write this post, Christmas is just around the corner. For those of you who is reading it now, Great… you have no excuses not to do it. However, if you’re reading this later, make an effort to allocated at least 2-5 days to do this. If you truly are serious about trading for the next few years, then these few days will be your best investments ever.

4. Commitment

trading commitment

Finally, you have everything you need to start planning your trading career. The last and most important thing from now is to commit to doing it and to execute the plan. Use the information, the framework and the time to create a powerful and lasting trading career plan.


If you struggle to create a good trading plan, then this article is perfect for you. By having a pre-planning plan, you are preparing yourself in greater extend and you will be able to create the trading plan that you need for life.

Thank you for reading and I wish you nothing but success.



  • Levi

    December 13, 2013

    Amazing article, thanks

    • Alwin Ng

      Alwin Ng

      December 13, 2013

      Hi Levi, Thank you. Glad you liked it 🙂

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