5 Important Ingredients required for an Effective Trading Plan: Part 4 – Routine

routineThis is Part 4 of a Special 5 Part series on how to write an effective trading plan. If you haven’t done so, please go through the Glossary at the bottom of the page. For related articles, please see:

Ingredient #3 – Clear Routine

 “The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.”  

– Mike Murdock

Like a 9-5 job, trading is also a career. Traders need to physically and mentally commit themselves to their career activities, just like any other job. The amount of time or the specific time of the day/week is less relevant as every individual has a different trading system, pattern or belief. Hence, the routine you create will be unique and unique to you only.

However, to form a Routine, I definitely recommend that you should consider the following:

Personal Peak

When you identify your trading routine, it should be during a time period when you’re most productive. As a trader, you should really be focusing on finding the trading hours that suits you best. As a guide, the best hours to trade are when:

  • You are most energetic
  • Your mind is sharp
  • Motivation and Morale are at a right level

When a trader is at its best in terms of productivity, the state-of-mind and the body is at its optimum level. For example, you’re probably not going to be trading in the morning if you’re a Night Owl, right?

Market Peak

Of course, you cannot ignore the fact that without the market, you have no chance of executing a trade. Hence, above and beyond that, picking the best Market Hours is also central to your trading success.

Before jumping ahead of your self, I need to emphasise a few things. By Market Peak, I really mean this:

  • The most suitable market condition (incl Trending, Ranging or Reversal) for your system
  • The hours where you understand the market sentiment very well
  • The hours where your Belief System in the market is strongest

Personal Life

Do not forget to include your personal life as part of your daily routine. If you decide to ignore your personal life which includes your family and friends, relaxation and health, you can easily drain away all your energy and self-destruct. This is especially true since trading can be one of the loneliest activities, which provides ample opportunities for self-destruction.

Just to further reiterate, your Motivator must be present in your routine. This could be a form of a simple 2 min reminder from a photo, a picture, or even in person. What ever your motivator is, make sure you keep it at close proximity and include it into your routine.

Putting Them Together

The most important criteria is that you’re Personal Peak, Market Peak and Personal Life needs to be congruent with each other. If you routine supports each other, your Trading Routine will only improve and not the opposite.

Also, there’s no such thing as a one size fits all. So all you need to do is prioritise them accordingly.

Do not rush into making a decision in choosing a trading routine. Always make an effort to learn about the market and the best way to learn is through education and application – in other words, learning it through Experience. If you’re new to trading, just start with one and monitor yourself accordingly.


That’s all for Part 4 of this series. Please subscribe to my newsletters for the next few parts of this series.


  • Trading Plan – a detail plan of one’s trading career. This is essentially a business plan which includes a trading objectives, financial/non-financial goals, implementation and etc.
  • System Rules – A simply a group of specific rules, or parameters, that determine entry and exit points for a given equity. Sometimes also known as Trading Strategy.
  • System Components – different parts of a System which contributes to the main system. For example, Exit Rules/Strategy is a system component.



Thank you and happy trading!


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