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Why Is It So Hard To Stick To A Trading Plan?

August 23, 2018
BY Emma Richards

Beginner forex traders are typically advised to create and stick to a trading plan that is designed to meet their trading goals. However, one of the biggest challenges facing new forex traders is their inability to stick to a plan. This issue not only affects newbie traders, but is also a defining character trait of many losing forex traders. In this article, we cover some of the most common reasons why traders struggle to stick to their trading plans.

Fear Of The Unknown

Most traders who do not stick to their trading plans are driven by the fear of their trades not going according to plan. Faced with such a scenario, most inexperienced traders panic and take actions that are not in line with their trading plan.

In order to avoid making trading decisions driven by panic, you should always plan for all possible outcomes before initiating a trade. Statistics prove that most trades do not go according to plan, and having a full understanding of how your trade might unfold can help you adequately prepare for any potential shocks. This includes making sure that your take profit and stop loss orders are set appropriately.

Solution: You should always set a stop loss level in case the trade goes against you, while at the same time you should plan for profit taking levels when the trade goes according to plan.

A Prolonged Winning Or Losing Streak

Another reason why traders might not stick to their trading plan is when they have a string of either profitable or losing trades. For example, most inexperienced traders would become overconfident after a string of winning trades, which could lead them to discard their current trading plan in favor of taking higher risk trades.

The opposite is true for traders who experience a string of losing trades, a situation which might lead them to start doubting the effectiveness of their trading plan. This could lead to them abandoning a well-designed trading plan and start making trades with higher risk profiles.

Solution: Regardless of how successful or otherwise you have been recently, you should not change your trading plan too quickly. You should understand that even the best trading plans can encounter losing streaks. Be patient and stick to your carefully designed trading plan.

Lack Of Compatibility With Your Trading Plan

In some cases, a trader might find it difficult to follow their trading plan due to a mismatch between their trading personality and their trading plan. For example, a trader might have many commitments that do not allow them to spend the entire day trading, yet they might be following a day trading system. There is a high likelihood that this trader will not follow his chosen trading plan due to time constraints, and would perhaps have been better served using a swing trading system.

In another example, a trader might be following a reversion to the mean strategy, yet his trading personality would be better suited to following trends. In this instance, the trader would be better suited switching to a strategy focused on keeping track of market trends.

Solution: Before you start trading, analyze your trading personality before selecting a trading plan that is aligned with your strengths.

Lack Of Belief In The Trading Plan

As a trader, you must fully believe in your trading system so that when your trades do not go as planned, you do not start distrusting your strategy. In many cases a trader will start out following their chosen trading system, but as they experience losing trades they let their emotions take over, leading them to deviate from their initial trading plan.

It is easy for most traders to understand the concepts and principles that they should use in order to initiate winning trades. It is one thing to be familiar with the principles however, but an entirely different matter to apply the same principles in your actual trading.

Solution: Make sure to thoroughly test your forex trading plan in order to build your trust in the system. By testing your trading plans on several demo trades, you will learn to trust your trading plan even when you encounter a losing streak.


Not sticking to your trading plan is a major reason why traders often encounter significant losses. Therefore it is essential to stay disciplined and stick to your well-thought-out trading plan through all the ups and downs of the market, in order to increase your chances of success.

About Exness

Exness Limited is an international, award-winning retail forex broker founded in 2008. With a deep understanding of traders’ needs, the forex company provides accessible, stable, and reliable brokerage services through the use of modern trading and investment technologies.

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