My Swing Trading Routine

My Swing Trading Routine

When you start out trading, it feels exciting. It has no semblance of work in your mind. Illusionary, you imagine you’ve finally found something that will afford you the independence you’ve so much hankered for and are on your way to the ideal dream world you’ve always craved. Don’t get me wrong, this is absolutely possible but it takes more than what you think.


Some will even excitedly but naively quit their jobs in the hopes of racking in millions of easy monies. Unbeknownst to them, Forex trading is just like any other professional occupation that requires hours of dedication, study, and practice for it to work. It demands the same amount of commitment if not even more. Everything else that tends to paint a contradictory picture to this assertion is just a fancifully dream believe me.


It’s laughable that with every tick as a newbie you’re counting pips and dollars and envisioning travels, cars, properties, and thinking shortly anything you desire will be just a command away.


At this stage, without realizing it, you’re actually trading for the sheer excitement. You think you’re running an ATM. The mindset hasn’t factored into itself the business aspect. At this moment, it’s purely gambling. You see, with business comes management at different levels – purchases (buys/longs), sales (sells/shorts), loss control (Risk management), profit targets, best price considerations, market supply and demand (support and resistance), and all this in this excitement bubble means nothing to you. All that matters is making money no matter how. This unconsciously breeds the habit of gambling. You see, just like others run to the casinos to bet their savings away you’re rushing to the markets to gamble your livelihood away.


With such attitude it won’t be long when you’ll be rudely awakened from this stupidity and shocked into the ever present reality of loss after you’ve blown your account. Its then that you’ll come to the realization that the markets are no child’s play but real serious business. I mean what’s more business than a 6 trillion-dollar daily volume market place where nothing but currency exchange happens!


One of the key factors to successful trading is repetitive routine habits of study, analysis, planning trades and trading the plan. These routines are almost never talked about by traders because they seem so private and personal. Of course each trader has their own unique pre-trading routine. It’s unbelievably taken for granted that everyone has such a routine and hence no need for any to share theirs.


But nothing could be farther from the truth. The vast majority of ‘wannabe’ traders are just gambling with the markets with absolutely no sense of direction.


As a new trader, it’s important that you meet up and talk to experienced traders about this. Trust me, the things you will learn won’t be any less of a little jackpot of knowledge and success prerequisites that might give you the Midas touch with the Forex market. It’s something you won’t just find in any book or on any site as almost every successful trader shies away from it.


Matter of fact, professional traders do different pre-trade exercises until they zero in on one particular practice that then becomes a routine habit, so natural to them they think everyone does it. And as such they don’t see anything special about it and hence no necessity of sharing it


Once this practice becomes a habit, it puts you in control, breeds discipline, prevents you from over trading. As the day opens, you know the pairs to focus on, and how exactly to trade them.





Every successful professional has a particular routine they follow. Nothing happens randomly. Well, sometimes it may, but not as the norm. Professional athletes will often have a routine they follow before every race. Successful people have a daily routine program . And successful traders are no different. There’s no random trade, behind every transaction there’s a meticulous process.


I have about three styles of trading I apply every single day – swing trading, day trading and scalping. Each of these requires a different routine. Today I will focus on the swing trading routine and leave the others for another day’s discussion. Below is a simple process I follow for my swing trading:


Market Scanning


As the clock is winding down towards the New York Close, I open up the charts to see what possible setups are forming. There are a number of charting software you can use. I trade on the MetaTrader4 (MT4) but I like to use the tradingview platform for my analysis. This is especially so because it has better analytical tools.


As you might have realized, different brokers have different candlestick formations on their MT4 platforms. What one broker has on their charts may not be the same as what another broker has on theirs. And there a few reasons for this.


Firstly, it’s in the way different brokers work and make their money. Some are Dealing Desk (DD) brokers and some are No Dealing Desk (NDD) brokers. Different brokers have different liquidity providers which provide them different pricing.


Of course the Forex market is complex and has so many participants in the form of brokers and different liquidity providers. It is not centralized. Every liquidity provider has their own prices which brings about the different spreads charged by the different brokers on the same currency pair or trading instrument.


This in a minor way brings about the difference in the charts provided by the different brokers on their trading platforms. The major cause for the difference in the candlestick formations by different brokers is usually the difference in server time by the different brokers. That’s why you will find a four hour or a daily candle formation completed on one broker’s platform but still forming on the other’s.


Also to note is the fact that some brokers manipulate prices in a ‘stop hunting’ fraudulent exercise, while for some it might be some kind of error.


To avoid the regular occurrence of such, its best to trade with regulated brokers. And even then, they should be a Non-Dealing Desk ECN/Straight Through Processing Broker (STP) Broker as opposed to a Dealing Desk Market maker brokers


Its best to consider brokers whose server time corresponds with the global financial markets. And the New York forex market being the last market to open and close, the New York close charts are the best which run from Sunday 5pm to Friday 5pm (New York time although these brokers may change such opening and closing time during daylight saving time and certain public holidays.


So, back to the trading process, I open up the charts towards the close of the trading day. I specifically go to the Weekly and Daily timeframes. This is done on the Trading view charting software. These long term time frames give me a broader view of the markets.


I then scan the different currency pairs to see if there’s any setup in the market that lines up with my swing trading consideration. This is done from the higher time-frames, mainly the daily and/or the weekly. I usually want to take an eagle’s eyes view of the market by taking a top-down approach, scanning through the bigger time frames for setups and going down to the lower time frames for sniper entries.


While scanning the markets, I look at about ninety different currency pairs/instruments. if there’s no setup on either the Daily or weekly time frames, there’s no swing trading for me that day, I will only focus on day trading.


Chart Analysis


Once I identify a setup from the higher time frames, I analyse each particular setup to the detail. During this process, I will look at market structure, the market phase and stage, key levels of support and resistance, entrancement levels, the trend, price action, and confluence. I’m basically looking for my trading edge. I then drop to the four-hour time frame and apply my swing trading plan.


Currency Pair Comparisons


I look at the different correlations between pairs to see which of the related currency pairs has a better setup.  I’ll check if it meets my trading criteria. If it does, I go to the charts and mark up my zones indicating what I’m looking to see happen before I trade it.


Trade Selection And Management

My trading plan will help me determine if any of those that meet my trading criteria do also simultaneously meet my entry criteria. The trading criteria is just setups that meet my trading consideration, while the entry criteria is simply the application of my trading edge. And by trading edge I mean my conditions of trade entry and these include a confluence of indicators, oscillators, market structure and price action.


If any does, I quickly set my limit orders and walk away from the market to let it do its thing. Remember this is swing trading and unlick day trading, you don’t have to stay on the screen monitoring every move.


These orders include points of entry, stop loss, and profit targets. On intervals through the  day, I keep checking for like a minute once after every about four hours to make any changes or simply manage the trade


Those that are yet to meet my criteria for entry are then included in my watch list of forex pairs/stocks/indices/crypto/ instruments I’m looking to trade that day. Occasionally, I will check to see if any of those on the watch list has shifted to the point where I can set my entry orders.


As for the correlated pairs with similar setups, if I entered one already, I would have to leave the other. However, if the one I entered first has broken above a structural level of support/resistance or supply/demand, I’ll move my stop loss to break-even and then look to trade the correlated pair with the other one already secured and running risk-free without doubling on the risk.


I also look at the economic calendar to see if there are any high-impact news events for the day that may affect particular currency pairs I might be day-trading that day to determine whether I can go ahead and trade them. And if I’m already in them then how to manage them and possibly when to exit them. As for the swing trades, such news events are inconsequential to my trading decisions.


During all this routine, before trades are taken, all the input for the trade is done way ahead of time such as determining the amount of pips to risk and target as well, the percentage of the account to risk, the trade size in terms of lots, specific area of entry, stoploss and profit target, etc. This helps avoid the chaos of figuring out a trade once the lights are green.


There is so much that goes into trading, but it all revolves around the above routine. There are also specific details not mentioned here (reserved as part of the professional course) that define trade entry conditions. You would need to join as a student to have the full details of my swing trading strategy. The next time I will be sharing my day-trading and scalping routines. So watch out for them


Godfrey Kakulu

Your Forex Trading Coach and Mentor

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Godfrey Kakulu

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