A Day in the Life of a Successful Trader

This article in The Trader’s Pendulum Series discusses A Day in the Life of a Successful Trader to move you from hobby to business in your trading. In the last article we discussed habit 10 which promoted adding balance to your trading life. Your mission in developing these habits is to get out of the Technical Trader’s Trap and transform into an Entrepreneurial Trader and get out of hobby mode. By now you have completed the Scorecard (www.fxtradersedge.com/scorecard) and are ready to get down to business.

A Day in the Life of a Successful Trader

  • The 8-Step Routine

Successful traders plan their activities to maximize their days. They organize their daily life with clearly defined trading times; they keep themselves abreast of the latest developments in the markets and, in general, major events from around the world; they relentlessly analyze the market; and they have plans for trading and trade the plan. See the trader’s roadmap in the diagram below.

life of a trader 2

There are eight things that most successful traders do every day. This “routine” is presented as follows:

  1. Read the News to get the “Flavor” of the Day

Successful traders begin their days by reading news commentary, for example on websites specializing in their traded markets. Many of the investment banks offer professional reports by market strategists. Traders read strategies to get a sense of how the fundamentals from around the world might impact the markets.

  1. Choose the Currency Pairs/ Stocks/ Futures to Trade

Once they get the flavor of the day, successful traders then decide what to trade. During this process, traders typically check out the instruments that they are familiar with, and take a quick look at cross-market analysis, again to determine the market sentiment in other global markets that might affect their own.

  1. Plan the Trade

Now the traders will perform their analysis on the markets they decide to trade. They will determine the trend, choose the direction of the high-probability trades, choose the trade setup to trigger their entries, and evaluate the setups with a list of confirmations.

  1. Fill out the Trade Plan

The traders will determine, based on their trading system, whether to buy, sell, or do nothing against the best trading opportunities they have selected. They will use their trading systems to provide entry and exit points for the trades. For each trade, the entry price, stop loss, and profit targets are clearly defined.

  1. Execute the Trade

Pulling the trigger is as important as setting up the trade. When it is time to execute the trades, these traders do not hesitate. They just do what their analyses and trade plans dictate.

  1. Manage the Trade

Successful traders manage their trades after they place their entries, stop losses, and profit targets in the trading platform. They have solid trade management strategies that aggressively protect their accounts.

  1. Perform an End-of-Day Review

At the end of the day, successful traders will perform an end-of-day review. They measure and evaluate their personal performance according to these benchmarks:

  • Did I follow my plan?
  • Did my emotions get in my way when I traded?
  • Were these high or low probability trades based on the confirmations?
  • How successful were the trades?
  1. Take Personal Time

When all these are done and the trading day is over, the traders will then enjoy the rest of their day. Regularly, they also take time out for themselves or to be with their families. Successful traders have their planned trading times in their calendars, and they stick to their plans. They structure their work-life, so that they can balance their personal time with work.

If you’re interested in adopting these habits and working through the business planning template for Habits 1 – 10 discussed in this article series, the book is a detailed blueprint for you to follow and make your own. The book is also supplemented by a companion website with downloadable tools.


If your mission is to become a trader or investor who stays out of the Technical Trader’s Trap, then take the leap to grow into an entrepreneurial trader.

I created the FX Trader’s EDGE Coaching Program modelled after the “10 Habits of Successful Traders”, which is the title of my newly published book by Wiley.

Excerpted with permission of the publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc. from The Trader’s Pendulum: The 10 Habits of Highly Successful Traders.  Copyright (c) 2015 by Jody Samuels.  This book and ebook is available at all bookstores, online booksellers, and from the Wiley web site at www.wiley.com.

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