Skillsfirst Level 5 Diploma in Financial Trading (RQF) - Module 1 - Trading Introduction
Skillsfirst Level 5 Diploma in Financial Trading (RQF) - Module 2 - Financial Products
Skillsfirst Level 5 Diploma in Financial Trading (RQF) - Module 3 - Economic Principles
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“The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is everything”
Juma Ikangaa – 1989 world record holder for the New York marathon

Take a good look at the above quote as it is very important. Let us explain. When Juma crossed the finish line in the marathon a reporter asked him whether it was the will to win that made him better than the rest. His reply refers to the fact that although the desire to win was his end goal, the effort required by training every day in the bitter cold and rain for months or years without making excuses was by far the most difficult part.

A daily sheet is the integral tool in the preparation to your trading day. After all, would you drive to an unknown destination without preparation or a map to guide the way? Especially if your business and income depended on it? Of course not, as that would be leaving too many factors to chance.

Executed correctly, preparation with the daily sheet gives you an understanding of the trading day you are about to undertake and it should be done first thing every morning before you trade.

Without it you should not trade. The sheet should include information on the previous day’s market movements and a prediction for the opening call. Also included are resistance/support levels with reversal points and any technical patterns you may have spotted, along with targets and areas of interest to look out for in the day’s trading. Furthermore, you will have considered and noted down any economic data releases and your expectation of these.

It is also very important to note the nature of the previous trading day’s trend/action and whether it was bullish, bearish or did it remain neutral. Was this done on large volume? or low volume?

How did other related markets react to your market? Were there any breaking news stories, economic figures or central bank speakers overnight? All these factors will affect the opening call and need to be researched before you enter the trading arena.

The Daily sheet should always include your targets for the day in terms of profit and loss (P&L), round trips, and ticks. This is essential because you need to set yourself targets as without them you will not progress in your trading career.

To conclude your daily sheet, you will want to record the following when you have finished the day:

  • Winners & Losers
  • Biggest Winner & Loser
  • Scratches (breakeven trade)
  • A summary of your trading day (try not to think about just P&L)

To help you develop further it is also prudent to include some areas of the psychological area’s your trading in which you would like to improve on, and perhaps even your mission statement.

You should attach a copy of your day’s trades to your daily sheet so that your trading activities can be reviewed and summarized when the day is over. It is also extremely helpful to print a 1-minute chart and plot your trades on it to recognize the good/bad entry exit point you made, and to learn from them. This is especially important to get the timing of trades right and not just the correct price.

Now you have an idea of what the daily sheet will include it is important to remember that it will form a part of your preparation ritual, and will certainly help you learn the market and develop your trading style. Your daily sheet should be to hand on your desk for your reference at any moment during the day and without having the discipline to complete it, update it and review it, you will probably not have the discipline to make it as a trader. Completing the Daily sheet therefore will become a daily must routine that you should concentrate on; not skip or complete half-heartedly.

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