A Trader’s Checklist: 12 Essential Questions to Ask Before Your Next Trade

by | Jun 8, 2023

Whatever you trade…

A successful trader minimises these risks by asking and answering a series of vital questions.

This will help you ensure a clear strategy, an understanding of the market, and a control of emotions.

Let’s dive into these questions.

Q 1. Has a Trade Lined Up?

Identifying a potential trade is the first step.

Look for trends, chart patterns, or any other signals that indicate a potential opportunity.

Yuu can also use Smart Money Concepts or price action techniques to pinpoint a trading setup.

Q 2. Do I Have a Strategy in Place?

Every successful trader operates with a strategy.

This could be based on technical analysis, fundamental analysis, or a combination of both.

This will give you the roadmap to tell you when to enter and exit trades.

Q 3. Do I Know Where to Place My Trading Levels?

Determine your entry, exit, and stop-loss points.

These are crucial levels for you to know with your trading strategy.

This will remove the emotions or gut feelings or like I like to say ‘gat’ feelings.

Q 4. Do I Know How Much I Need to Put into My Trade?

Money management is key.

Decide beforehand how much of your capital you’re willing per trade.

This is obviously based on what your CURRENT portfolio is rather than what it was.

A common rule of thumb is not to risk more than 1-2% of your trading capital.

Q 5. Am I Ready to Buy or Sell Now?

Before you pull the trigger,.

You need to be sure you’re ready.

Have all the signals from your strategy aligned?

Do you see the sign to get in?


  1. Do I Understand the Underlying Asset?

Whether it’s a company’s stock, a commodity, or a cryptocurrency.

You need to understand what you’re trading.

You need to understand the factors that influence price movements, which can also give you that extra edge.

Q 7. Have I Conducted Thorough Technical Analysis?

Charts, indicators, patterns, volume or Smart Money Concepts.

Technical analysis is a trader’s bread and butter.

Make sure you’ve analysed the market technically and your analysis supports the trade.

Q 8. Am I Letting Emotions Influence My Decisions?

Fear, greed and ego are a trader’s worst enemies.

Are you trading based on your mechanical and analytical strategy?

Or are emotions driving your decisions?

Q 9. Have I Set Realistic Profit Targets?

It’s important to have profit targets in place.

And they need to be realistic, based on the market conditions and your trading strategy.

Remember, each market has their own trading personality so work with it.

Q 10. Is This Trade Consistent With My Trading Plan?

You need to make sure, your trading setup aligns perfectly with your track record and system data.

Each trade should align with your overall trading plan.

If it doesn’t, it may be best to pass.

Q 11. Am I Overexposed in One Sector or Asset?

If the quantity you choose to trade matches your risk management, you’re good to go.

If you have a smallish portfolio, you might not be able to trade EVERY market.

Some commodities and indices are extremely expensive and too risk when it comes to volume.

If you’re overexposed in one area, you could face higher losses.

Q 12. Am I Prepared for the Trade to Go Against Me?

Even with all the analysis in the world, trades can go wrong.

Are you prepared for this, both financially and emotionally?


By asking these questions, you will at least be prepared for what is to come.


Trade well, live free.

Timon Rossolimos
Founder, MATI Trader




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Trade well, live free.

Timon Rossolimos

Founder, MATI Trader



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