Building a Winning Trading Plan Template


This article on Trading Plan Template is the opinion of Optimus Futures.

trading plan template

Many experts in trading will suggest, and we agree, that a trading plan is the first step toward potential profitability for a day trader. The following is a roadmap for creating your own unique trading plan. Be sure to download our free customizable trade plan template here to get started.

What is a trading plan template?

Trading is a business like any other. A trading plan template will provide you with a business plan style template to outline your goals, edge, the markets you will trade, and your risk management strategy.

Why it matters

  • A trading plan will provide you with insight into your personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Many successful traders use a plan to increase consistency and performance
  • A plan will highlight deficiencies in your approach/changing market dynamics, allowing you to rethink and structure your strategies appropriately
  • Trading is a business with expenses, understanding your average cash flow and draw-down will allow you to scale confidently

The Roadmap


Setting trading goals is an important part of any trading plan. It helps you to define what you want to achieve through your trading activities, and gives you a way to measure your progress. A way to do this is to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals.

Remember that trading is a long-term activity, and it’s important to be patient and persistent in working towards your goals. It’s also important to be realistic and not set goals that are too difficult or unrealistic, as this can lead to frustration and disappointment.


A trading edge refers to a factor or characteristic that gives a trader an advantage over others in the market. There are many different day trading strategies you can use, and the right one for you will depend on your goals, risk tolerance and personality.

Your trading plan template should outline the details of your setup(s) edge. Some common strategies include scalping, momentum trading, and breakout trading.

It’s important to note that finding a trading edge is not easy, and it may take time and effort to develop. Additionally, even if you find a trading edge, there is no guarantee that it will lead to consistent profits, as the market is constantly changing and evolving. Your edge today may not be an edge tomorrow. Traders must always evolve.


Identify the markets you want to trade. There are many different markets you can trade, including stocks, futures, forex, and options. Each market has its own characteristics, so it’s important to choose the one that aligns with your goals and trading style.

Some traders may prefer the futures market because it offers certain features and benefits that are not available in other markets. For example, futures markets typically offer higher leverage compared to other markets such as the stock market. This can be both beneficial and increase the risk of loss. Futures markets also allow for going long or short, buying or selling, without any special permissions, approvals, or process as is required with most stock brokerage firms. Being able to trade directionally can allow traders to express an opinion easier than in markets that may have restrictions or hurdles on short side selling.

Risk Management

There are several types of risk management strategies that day traders can use to help manage the risks associated with their trading activities. A trading plan should always have a large section devoted to risk management. The key points are position sizing, stop loss placement, and risk reward ratio.


A trading journal is a record of a trader’s trades, including the details of each trade such as the asset, the entry and exit points, the size of the trade, and the result (profit or loss). The benefits of a trade journal include identifying trends, learning from mistakes, maintain discipline, and stay within defined risk parameters based on account size.

Overall, a trading journal is a valuable tool for traders of all levels, as it helps them stay organized, improve their performance, and achieve their trading goals.


Review your progress regularly. As you trade, it’s important to regularly review your progress and make adjustments to your plan as needed. This might include changing your strategy, adjusting your risk management plan, or setting new goals for yourself.

The Bottom Line

A good day trading plan should be clear, concise, and aligned with your goals. It should include a strategy for entering and exiting trades, a plan for managing risk, and a system for tracking and reviewing your progress.

Our template is a great way to start and can be downloaded for free here. When you are ready, Optimus Flow has all the tools necessary to put that trading plan into action.

There is a substantial risk of loss in futures trading. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

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