This Is the Stock Trading Checklist You Need Before Entering Any Trade

Traders need to be organized and have questions in mind before entering any trade. This will allow them to stay disciplined, adhere to their trading plan, and develop confidence in their decisions. Having a list of questions to answer beforehand will make sure that traders go through all the steps they need to take before they commit to a trade. Starting out on the right foot is important, and having a checklist can help ensure that happens.

This checklist details what you should consider before you make a trade. Let’s get started.

Key Takeaways🔑

Understanding the market trend is crucial for constructing effective trading strategies.
Support and resistance levels can be a valuable guide for initiating trades.
It’s important to use various indicators, understand your risk-to-reward ratio, and always have an exit strategy in place.
  1. Contents

    Identify Between a Trending or Trading Range Market

Experienced traders should know that following a stock’s overall trend can lead to more successful trades. This is because when a stock is in a strong trend, it is more likely to continue in that direction. Traders should assess whether the stock market is moving in a consistent direction and decide if they should join in with the trend to construct their trading strategy. The trend is your friend when trading.

When a range-bound market occurs, the price of a stock fluctuates between two predetermined levels. The upper level is the resistance level, and the lower level is the support level. When a stock is range-bound, it will move back and forth between these two levels, unable to break through either. This creates a trading channel, and traders may use this to make profits by buying at the support level and selling at the resistance level.

When trading in the stock market, it is important to consider the prices and their relationship to trading ranges. Utilizing oscillating indicators such as the relative strength index (RSI) and Stochastics can help determine if the stock is currently in a trading range or trending market. A trading plan that considers whether the market is in a range or trending phase is paramount to achieving success.

  1. Check for Nearby Support and Resistance Levels

Before entering any trade, it is important to evaluate the stock’s price action and identify any key price levels that could potentially impact the trade. This includes looking for potential support and resistance levels, as these levels may affect the stock price. This can help traders make better decisions and increase their chances of success in their trades.

When the price of an asset reaches a certain level and stays there, it can be seen as a sign of stability. Trend traders can use this as an opportunity to initiate a trend, while range traders may use it to take advantage of price fluctuations in the short term. Support and resistance levels can be used to identify both the beginning and end of trends and potential profit or loss opportunities.

  1. Confirm the Price Action with Indicators

Indicators can be a great asset in making high-probability trading decisions. Having a few indicators align with your trading approach is important. Overcomplicating your charts with too many indicators can make them difficult to read and interpret, so keep them neat and straightforward.

It is important to diversify the types of indicators used for trading. Instead of relying on just one type of indicator, such as volatility indicators, one should combine different indicators. For example, you can combine a momentum indicator, like the Relative Strength Indicator, with a volatility indicator, like Bollinger bands. It is important to verify that the signals from the indicators agree before executing any trade.

  1. Understand Your Risk-to-Reward Ratio

The risk-to-reward ratio measures the potential profit relative to the potential loss from a trading position. Traders should strive for a ratio in which the potential gain is greater than the potential risk, such as 1:2 or better. This means that a trader can risk half of the possible reward that can be earned if the trade is successful. Considering the risk-to-reward ratio is crucial when making trading decisions.

  1. Invest Only What You Can Afford to Lose

Before investing money in a trade, it is important to consider how much of your available funds you are comfortable risking. It is not advisable to put all of your capital into one trade or to use too much leverage, as this can lead to an overconfident attitude which can be dangerous.

By controlling the amount of capital employed in any single trade and setting stop orders to ensure that the maximum amount of money at risk is no more than five per cent of the total account value, traders can avoid overexposure to the markets.

  1. Check for Economic Events That Can Affect the Trade

Before making any stock trades, it is important to stay updated on the economic data that could affect stock prices. This includes things like Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Consumer Price Index (CPI), and Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI). By monitoring these economic releases, traders can be better informed and make more informed decisions.

  1. Guarantee a Sound Emergency Exit Strategy

Always be aware that trading is risky, and there is no guarantee that you will profit. To protect yourself from major losses, it is important to have a plan in place in case your trades turn out differently than expected. Set stop-loss orders that limit losses by selecting a specific price level to close the trade if the market moves against you. There are many ways to determine the stop-loss price, such as using support and resistance levels, Fibonacci levels, and the low of previous candlesticks. 

  1. Make Sure You Are Following Your Trading Plan

Before executing any trade, ensuring it fits with the trading plan is important. This plan should be well thought out and must be followed closely. It is not wise to make decisions that do not align with the trading plan, as this will lead to inconsistent results and an overall frustrating trading experience. Before placing each order, it is important to review the trading checklist to ensure that the trade can be executed correctly.

Disclaimer: As day trading grows, more people strive to make money online and add to their income. However, success in trading is rare; only ten per cent of traders can make a profit. You can increase your chances of success by following the checklist above, yet no guarantees of profit are promised.

5 Confirmations to Make Before a Trade

These points are the crucial confirmations you must make before a trade. These generally apply to all traders, including stocks, forex, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and commodities.

  • Catalyst

A catalyst can be seen as a turning point in trading a particular financial asset. It can be something positive, such as the announcement of a new product, or something negative, like a change in regulations. By recognizing the events which cause shifts in the stock’s price, investors can make better decisions on whether they want to purchase or sell the asset.

Investors in the financial market have a few options for catalysts that could spark an increase in stock prices. Mergers and acquisitions can occur when a larger company buys up a smaller company, potentially driving up the stock price. Revenue and earnings growth can also be a factor when a company’s earnings and sales are climbing. When a prominent investor or company purchases a large number of shares, the stock price could rise due to the perceived confidence in the stock. New products from a company, such as a pharmaceutical or technology company, could also be a catalyst due to the potential of the product. Finally, earnings reports can cause a company’s stock to fluctuate drastically.

Before deciding to buy or sell a stock, evaluate potential catalysts that could affect the stock’s price. These could include an increase or decrease in dividends, a new investigation by federal authorities, a decision by a central bank, or technical indicators. Carefully consider why you believe the stock price will go up or down before executing the trade.

  • Relative Volume

Volume is a key factor to consider before entering a trade. It is essentially the amount of the financial asset exchanged in a certain period. Trading on higher volume benefits investors, indicating more liquidity and greater market activity.

A pump and dump is a situation where a stock’s price is artificially inflated by a few people who are trying to make a profit by selling it for more than its true value. In this situation, the stock’s price is rising, but the amount of shares being traded is limited, indicating that only a small number of people are behind the increase in price.

Relative volume indicates how much activity a stock is seeing compared to its historical levels. For instance, if a stock has an unusually high volume compared to what it normally trades, it could suggest a heightened level of interest in the company.

It is possible to view the amount of activity for stocks and other assets over a period of time. This data is typically available on most free stock market sites. It is wise to check the volume of activity before investing in an asset, as this indicates how much people are buying and selling the asset. It is also important to understand why the volume is occurring, as this can inform your decision on whether or not to invest.

  • Stop Loss

Before making a trade, it is important to consider the potential risks involved. Think about what could happen if the trade does not go as planned, and decide on the points at which you will exit the trade if it does not turn out in your favour.

When trading, you should consider different levels of risk that you are comfortable with and set stop-losses that will not let you lose more than three per cent of your account in a single transaction. Some of these levels should be determined by your own psychology, and some should be based on scientific Fibonacci retracement numbers.

  • Technical Levels

Before entering a trade, it’s important to analyse the technical levels of the asset. You can look at the chart and compare the current levels to historical data. This can give you a sense of the momentum of the asset and allow you to make educated decisions about whether or not to enter a trade. 

Additionally, use technical indicators such as moving averages, VWAP, and Bollinger Bands to confirm your analysis. By doing this, you can ensure that you have a high probability of entering a successful trade.

Using moving averages as trading indicators involves monitoring the relationship between two different time periods. Specifically, traders monitor the crossover between a shorter moving average and a longer moving average. When the shorter moving average crosses above, the longer one, it can be seen as a signal to buy, while a crossover below the longer moving average is seen as a signal to sell. By watching for these crossovers, traders can use moving averages to identify potential buy and sell opportunities.

Volume-Weighted Average Price (VWAP) is another well-known indicator used by traders. If an asset’s price exceeds VWAP, traders may enter a buy trade. Additionally, traders may use Bollinger Bands to open bullish trades when the price rises above the middle line. It is important to ensure that important technical levels confirm any trading decision.

  • Target Areas

When buying or selling a financial asset, it is important to have a target area in mind. This could be an area with a prior high or low point or a spot where a Fibonacci level is located. Additionally, it could be where you plan to exit the trade and take your profits. Having a target area in mind is a key part of trading decision-making. Setting a goal price is a critical step that should never be overlooked as it serves as a benchmark to strive for.

Pros and Cons of Having a Trading Checklist 👍👎


  • Enhances discipline and adherence to trading plans
  • Helps mitigate risks and losses
  • Encourages comprehensive market analysis


  • Requires constant update and adaptation to market conditions
  • May not cover all potential scenarios
  • Does not guarantee profit

Trading Element Significance
Trending or Trading Range Market Helps in deciding whether to join the trend or exploit the trading range.
Support and Resistance Levels These levels can impact the price action and, in turn, the success of trades.
Price Action Indicators Essential for making informed, high-probability trading decisions.
Risk-to-Reward Ratio Provides an understanding of potential profit versus potential risk in a trade.


Having a comprehensive stock trading checklist is essential to implementing a successful trading strategy. By reviewing the various components of a stock trading checklist, such as researching the company’s fundamentals, setting a stop-loss order, and understanding the risks associated with the trade prior to entering, traders can be better equipped to make informed decisions and thus increase their chances of success. Ultimately, having a comprehensive stock trading checklist is a critical component of any trading strategy.

Olymp Trade is one of the best platforms for online trading in the financial markets for professionals and novices alike. If you want to navigate the Olymp Trade platform, get the best trading tips and tactics, and learn more trading checklists, we can help! Visit our website today!

Q&A on Trading Checklist 💡

  • Q: Why is a trading checklist important?
  • A: A trading checklist can help ensure a disciplined and systematic approach to trading, reducing the likelihood of impulsive decisions.
  • Q: What’s the significance of understanding a trending or trading range market?
  • A: This understanding can guide your trading strategy – whether to go with the trend or exploit the fluctuations in a range-bound market.
  • Q: How can support and resistance levels be beneficial?
  • A: These levels often act as barriers to price action, potentially signifying points of entry or exit for traders.
  • Q: What role do price action indicators play?
  • A: Indicators can provide insight into market trends and potential future price movements, assisting in trading decision-making.
  • Q: Why is considering the risk-to-reward ratio crucial?
  • A: The risk-to-reward ratio offers insight into the potential profit relative to the potential risk from a trading position, which can help in managing risks effectively.

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Bart Bregman

Full time day trading, and helping out with Olymp Trade wiki in my spare time to create an awesome platform for beginners. I'm a digital nomad that travels the world while working from everywhere!

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