UTPs (Universal Trading Principles) are a set of trading rules you must not break. They cover entries, exits, strategies, and risk management. They form the backbone of your trading plan. Repeat these rules everyday, like a mantra, until you can recite them in your sleep. This will make you a successful trader.
1. Don't leave money on the table - I move my SLs to breakeven and lock in profits as the trade goes in my direction. The first rule of trading is to protect my trading capital. Without my capital, I am out of the game and cannot be a trader. So I do everything possible to protect it.
2. I scale in and out of trades - If my trade idea seems to work, I add to my position. If my trade doesn't work and approaches my SL, I am reducing my position. I am ALWAYS adding to working trades and NEVER to losing trades. This is how the most successful traders trade, and this is how I want to trade.
3. Final TPs - My final TP is based on horizontal S/R levels, weekly or monthly highs and lows. I confirm that markets are mostly ranging, i.e. my final TPs are always based on the normal distribution (e.g. weekly or monthly ATR). My TPs need to be REALISTIC.
4. Technicals are used only for entries and exits. The direction of the market is determined by fundamentals. I never trade against the fundamentals.
5. Position sizing - My stop-losses are always based on sound technical levels. My position size depends on the size of the stop-loss and the percentage of my trading account I want to risk on any single trade. I never risk more than 2% on a trade, and cut the risk-per-trade to 1% after a series of three losing trades.
6. Trading is a probability game - I acknowledge that successful trading is about probabilities. I don't know whether my next trade will be a winner, but I do know that I have a good chance to be in profit after the next 10 trades.
7. Trading is as simple as you make it - Fundamentals support my trades, but everything can happen (including a change of fundamentals and sentiment). Risk management prevents higher losses. There are always new opportunities. My goal isn't to be right, but to follow my UTPs.
8. Weekly journal reviews - I don't measure trading success by the profits I've made or the number of winning trades. My success is measured by how strictly I followed my UTPs. To review my trading, I am performing weekly journal reviews and try to identify any trading patterns that have a negative influence on my bottom line.