One of the important parts of formulating a trading plan is a bit of self-reflection. I know, it’s not exactly something that we envision when we look at stock traders, but a good trader knows himself very well and whatever plans a trader has are based on his knowledge of himself and what he’s capable of.

Let’s take a look at how your trading plan can be improved if you focused on your strengths and took a good stock of your abilities. First, let’s start with what you know: what is it that you have knowledge about or are interested in? This is where we start to lay the foundations of your trading plan. For example, you know about medicine or chemistry, and you have a definite interest in those fields and keep yourself up-to-date on the latest things happening in the field. This knowledge can be easily parlayed into something that will help your deals. For example, what chemicals would be in demand if certain inventions or products are released? Won’t chemical company stock rise with increased demand? That’s just one way that personal interest in a particular field can help shape your trading plan.

Another one of your strengths you should focus on is your current resources. Are you solvent? How much money can you safely invest in the market? Taking stock of your personal finances can help determine your trading capability and help shape what trading plan’s going to be. I mean, if you had a spare hundred thousand dollars, that would definitely be a good nest egg to start with rather than ten thousand dollars. You can be more daring with your trades, while if you had less money, you would seek to avoid risk above all. That is, at least, until you have made a tidy profit besides your capital. Your resources aren’t just your money. They’re also the tools you’ll be using for trading. These affect your chance of getting the latest stock information and what chances do you have for doing something about it. A simple computer with an internet connection is a lot different from just having a TV with Bloomberg and your broker on speed-dial. You definitely should have a different plan for each particular situation.

The next thing you should take into account when fixing up your business plan is your basic personality. What sort of person are you? What type of deals would you be okay with? How much money can you emotionally lose? These questions are the most important because these will help shape a trading plan that you will be comfortable with. If you’re a risk-taker, you would probably be willing to push things to the limit, letting that stock rise high before selling or the share price to go low, hoping for that sudden rebound. Risk-taking personalities should be taken into account into the trading plan, but they also have to be reined in – too much risk and you’ll end up bleeding money. The opposite is true for the worrier, the guy who doesn’t want to lose a cent. The stock market has a certain amount of risk and your trading plan should reflect that, giving you a bit more latitude when you start buying or selling.

Remember these three things when making a trading plan and you’ll be able to stick with your plan through thick and thin and, hopefully, to a profitable future.