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Nial Fuller

NIAL FULLER
Professional Trader, Author & Trading Coach

A Simple Plan To Dramatically Improve Your Trading

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By in Forex Trading Articles by Nial Fuller Last updated on | 79 Comments

solutions1Let me ask you a question, and please answer yourself honestly: Do you have a plan of action for your daily trading routine or do you just open your charts and randomly start trying to find trades with no logical guidance behind your actions?

Plans give you a “roadmap” of how to go about getting what you want in life. Not having a plan for something makes it harder, it doesn’t matter what it is. Even if you are planning a family vacation that should be full of enjoyment and relaxation, if you don’t have at least a basic guide as to what you will do each day, it’s probably going to end up being confusing, semi-chaotic and highlighted by fights and disagreements rather than fun and laughter. Planning makes everything simpler and easier to accomplish, and a simple plan can put even a complex or lofty goal within reach.

Today, I am going to lay out a simple plan that you can use to improve your trading. The only “catch” with this is whether or not you have the discipline to stick to it. Most people struggle with discipline in the markets, but simplifying your daily trading routine can make it easier to stay on track and remain disciplined. So, let’s discuss the various components of this simple plan that I’ve designed for you and then next week you can get started following it and see if your trading improves.

Note: The steps below are meant as a basic trading guide or plan to help struggling or beginning traders. If you are serious about using this plan, then you should follow it for at least two or three months and then tweak it as you see fit after that.

Step 1: Trade only major markets

The first step to this simple daily trading guide is to be sure you’re only analyzing some of the major markets. I like to stick to the major forex currency pairs as well as spot Gold, Crude Oil and Dow. Here’s the symbols for the markets that I follow the most frequently and the ones you should follow for this simple trading plan:

EURUSD, GBPUSD, AUDUSD, NZDUSD, USDCAD, USDJPY, EURJPY, GBPJPY, AUDJPY, XAUUSD, WTI, DJ30

That’s 12 markets, more than enough to focus on. If you’re in the USA and you can’t trade spot Gold, Crude or Dow then just focus on the currency pairs I’ve listed.

There really is no need to analyze 20 or 30 markets like many traders do. Besides, if something big happens that really moves the markets, it’s probably going to show up as a price action signal on one of the 12 markets I’ve listed above anyways. If you really want to simplify your daily trading routine, you should scale-back the markets you analyze so that you are just focused on a handful of major markets. The first step in this simple plan is to figure out the markets you will trade and make sure you’re not looking at more than 10 or 12 per day, the list that I use above is suitable for any currency trader to use.

Step 2: Clean up your charts and only trade daily charts

Next, it’s time to get your charts setup. Open the daily charts of the markets I’ve discussed above, or whichever 10 or 12 you want to follow. If you don’t know how to get your charts looking like mine, then read this metatrader 4 tutorial that I wrote, it will help you get all setup.

The second requirement for this simple trading plan is to only look at and trade the daily chart time frames, if you start looking at the 4 hour and 1 hour charts or below, you will have broken your discipline, and I can only vouch that this plan will work for you if you follow it to the T.

Step 3: Pick one setup to trade

This step is critical; you will only be trading one price action signal for this trading routine. Last week, I wrote an article on how to master your trading strategy, I suggest you go read that before implementing the plan I’m laying out in this article. Eventually, you can try learning different entry signals, but for the purpose of this simple trading plan I am designing for you this week, you should only trade one signal. If you start to see that you’ve stopped losing money each month and that your account is growing slowly but surely after using this plan for two or three months, then you can start implementing different entry signals. But, for now, I need you to understand that you have to narrow your focus, remove variables and reduce clutter from your mind and charts to really “turn the corner” in your trading, and the best way to start this process is learning to become a master of one setup at a time.

Step 4: Follow this money management plan

treeFor purposes of simplicity and to show you the power of risk reward, all the trades that you take while following this plan will be set at a 1:2 risk reward. That means, your profit targets will be twice the dollar amount as your risk.

The way to place your stop loss properly is to use the surrounding market structure to figure out the most logical place to put it that gives the trade the best chance at working out but also is not too far away. What this basically means is that you should not place your stop an arbitrary level because you want to trade a certain position size…this is greed, and it will end up working against you in the end. You should have predetermined your 1R risk per trade (this is the dollar amount you risk per trade), then when you find a setup you want to trade you figure out the safest and most logical place to put the stop loss…then you adjust your position size so that you are only risking your predetermined dollar risk amount.

You will place your profit targets with the aim of getting a 2R reward on every trade; that just means two times your risk. However, in placing targets you do also need to consider the surrounding market structure; if a logical 2R reward is not realistically possible because a large key level is in the way, then you might have to reconsider taking the trade.

After you figure out the most logical stop placement you will then adjust your position size down or up to meet your predetermined dollar risk amount. If you need more help on this topic of position sizing, check out this article on risk reward and position sizing.

Step 5: Track your progress in a trading journal

The next part of this simple plan is to make sure you’re recording everything in your trading journal. If you do not have one you can get a trading journal here. Keeping a journal of all your trades is probably something that many traders forget about or that falls to the wayside after a few weeks…but you can’t let it. You NEED the track record created from keeping a journal to make trading feel more like a business and to bring more of a process into your trading routine. The actual process of entering your trades and journaling them will help to keep you disciplined because it reflects back to you your trading results. If your trading results show that you’ve made emotional trading errors like risking more than you knew you should per trade or entering stupid trades that you knew you shouldn’t have…you will see these things in your journal and hopefully you’ll stop doing them.

It’s easy to be lazy and gamble your money in the markets, but when you are forcing yourself to keep a journal of all your trades you will be a lot more aware and conscious of your behavior in the market. If your behavior is that of a gambler, you will then clearly be able to see that YOU are the problem with your trading and that you need to adopt the proper trading mindset to succeed. If your trading journal begins to show a pattern of consistency in following your risk management model and your trading strategy…it will be something you can proud of…few traders have a track record that they are confident in showing to other people or potential investors. You have to use the trading journal as a tool to reinforce positive trading habits and help eradicate negative ones, and you do this by forcing yourself to manually record your trades, think about them and analyze them.

Step 6: Follow the plan

Now, clearly the plan I’ve laid out today will not work if you don’t follow it. You need to be sure that if you commit to this plan you actually follow it. Give it at least two months, and then evaluate where you’re at. Maybe you’ve stopped losing money and are breaking even now, maybe you’ve made a nice profit each month, either way it’s an improvement over losing money each month, and that is the point of the simple plan I’ve laid out here today for you; to get you off the track of hemorrhaging money from your trading account and onto the track of slowly but surely becoming a profitable trader.

Step 7: Challenge yourself

Comfort-ZonePerhaps the best way to think about the guidelines I’ve laid out for you in today’s article, is that they are a challenge to yourself. Many people have trouble completing even the seemingly simplest tasks; reading a book from cover to cover in two weeks, getting to work on time or early each day, exercising three times a week consistently…whatever the task, it can be very hard for many people to stay focused on it long enough to see its benefits pay off. In trading, this trouble with focus and discipline is an even bigger problem than in most other things we do; because in trading your hard-earned money is on the line each day.

To end today’s lesson, I want you to do something if you’re really serious about following this simple plan that I’ve laid out here today. I want you to either print out this lesson and sign the bottom of it as a pledge that you will follow it, or write yourself a little “commitment” pledge and print it out and sign it. Hang this paper on your wall next to your trading desk or put it somewhere where you will see it each day before you trade. The first step to becoming a profitable trader is seeing if you have the discipline and patience to stick to a simple plan like this for two months. After two months, come back and leave me another comment on this article or drop me an email and tell me about your trading results. If you want to learn more about simple trading strategies that can help you dramatically improve your trading results, checkout my Price Action Trading Course here.

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About Nial Fuller

is a Professional Trader & Author who is considered ‘The Authority’ on Price Action Trading. He has a monthly readership of 250,000+ traders and has taught 20,000+ students since 2008. In 2016, Nial won the Million Dollar Trader Competition. Checkout Nial's Professional Trading Course here.
  1. Fanani September 17, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Thank a lot Nial.

    Reply
  2. Dmitriy September 16, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Thanks a lot, Nial!
    That was a truly beautiful lesson!

    Reply
  3. Sunday September 14, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    what to know more about risk management
    if I want to risk 1$ on a pair what will be my lot size and pip value to set as a Stop loss

    Reply
  4. Zinnur June 2, 2019 at 4:34 am

    Important lesson. Thanks

    Reply
  5. Благодарность October 30, 2018 at 3:47 am

    Magnificent article

    Reply
  6. Rahmat February 26, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    Almost every articles content and language from Nial are really giving positive effects including this one.
    So thank you Nial.

    Reply
  7. Olawa February 18, 2018 at 1:01 am

    Nial is my preferred Forex mentor anyday

    Reply
  8. DERRICK February 16, 2018 at 12:54 am

    all i can say is thank you so much

    Reply
  9. Tha Mathabzo Zulu February 15, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    Thank Nial

    Reply
  10. Duncan February 15, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks Nial;

    This was a great post which actually helped me rephrase my thoughts after my losses.

    I am still not very profitable at this stage but every time I lose, I look back to see what I could have done better and learn to minimize my losses maybe exit at a small profit rather than a loss!!

    However; after having read this, I also now appreciate the fact that losses are a part of it as well and I feel less discouraged before taking the next trade than before. Things sometimes are easier said than done – true – but after reading these guidelines, I learn a lot and appreciate it heaps. I am learning a lot and the best part of it is that I am enjoying it.

    Thanks for spending the time to post such valuable guidance!

    Duncan

    Reply
  11. Peter Miller February 15, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Another good lesson. As they say ” life is what you make it “and that goes for trading also, think before you act and know that never one day (or life is ) is the same as the last one, so treat as Nial says each trade as a new beginning. Thanks .

    Reply
  12. rudra February 15, 2018 at 6:24 am

    good one sir

    Reply
  13. Khesiwe February 15, 2018 at 2:14 am

    Excellent article pactice makes perfect I’m going to practice every advice in this article thanks Nial

    Reply
  14. Winston Roy Longbottom February 15, 2018 at 12:01 am

    Thanks Nial, I for one admit that I was influenced by previous success and could not see the next trade through that; I was brought back to reality with some quick losses, however I puuled my thoughts together and looked at my next trade with confidence and considered every possible angle before taking it and I am now back on track. This article has since reassured me of that fact and I must disregard any previous trade before attempting the next. Your articles help keep sanity in the trading game and also leads to further success. Many Thanks. Winston

    Reply
  15. farzad February 14, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Every word in this article is like gold…

    Thanks AGAIN Nial.

    Reply
  16. Olamide February 14, 2018 at 2:03 am

    Thanks Nial. That’s reminds me of a trade some years ago before I quit trading. I bought EUR/USD on $0.05 lots with $20 risk and i made a profit of $183 on that trade so that winning recency bias got into my head and I felt overconfident, then i went ahead to trade $0.10 lots on my next two trades and I lost both. That’s how I gave back the profit I made from that EUR/USD to the market. Fear start to catch me then I reduce my lots to $0.01 which definitely reduced my profit that I would have make on some trade. Though I just came back to the market since two or three years ago that I quit but am still using demo account to test my trading strategies before trying to come back live. Thanks once more.

    Reply
  17. Wandera Moses February 13, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Nial thx for this one also. i have improved alot in trading just by reading your articles. thx alot

    Reply
  18. ampurirag February 13, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Excellent and timely. Thanks Nial.

    Reply
  19. Seiso February 13, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Typical of Nial’s mail’s. I am not in anyway surprised to find this post hitting the nail on the head as it does and so timely as well. I always find Nial’s post as informing, factual and educating like this one. Thanks to Nial, from now I am no longer going to be enslaved to my last trade’s results.

    Reply
  20. Colin February 13, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Thanks for the trading insight. Particularly about training our brains to behave properly.

    Reply
  21. Hettie van der Vyver February 13, 2018 at 5:12 am

    this makes sense!!

    Reply
  22. Thoko February 13, 2018 at 5:09 am

    Well I am a true novice,I have not started trading yet. If I understand well briefly you say if one is a trader one must bury the past.That is my motto
    So I feel l Iam going to do well.

    Reply
  23. Wasantha February 13, 2018 at 4:45 am

    This article explains what happened when I first started trading forex. After reading many of Nial,s writings on the subject of trading I feel that I am expanded in my knowledge and confident about my trading decisions.I really appreciate Nial,s works,

    Reply
  24. kris February 13, 2018 at 2:59 am

    i noticed today after one loosing trade that it can’t reflect, the other running trades .
    After that i checked my emails and i saw your email as first .I have read it and then it was like you would heard what i sayd before It was simmilar to :

    If you just lost, it has no bearing on the fact that your next trade might be a winner.
    If you just won, it has no bearing on the fact that your next trade might be a loser.

    thank you for your work .
    traders mindset ..

    have a nice day.

    Reply

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