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Profitable ETF Trading Strategies: the operations order format of structured trading

The military’s five paragraph field order is a template for trading success. By adapting this powerful template, you will have an outline of required information to ensure that your plan is complete.

The five sections are: situation, mission, execution, support, command and control. 

Let’s take a quick look at the contents of each of these with respect to a trading context. 

Situation: this is where the trader considers his own personal strengths and weaknesses, the characteristics of the market he is trading, the normal behavior of his trading target, and the psychology of those who are taking the other side of the trade. When complete, this information provides all the context that the trader needs to establish a narrative for the trade. 

Mission: a concise statement of the task and purpose of the trade. It describes the particular pattern or system that you will employ and the purpose for taking the risk of entering the trade. It is a short powerful justification and articulation of your trading edge. 

Execution: this begins with a short narrative of how you see the trade working and how you will know when you have success. I have described this before as the intent of the trade. This section also includes identifying critical phases and important decisions and coordinating instructions along the way. It may include a description of various trading scenarios that may unfold depending on how price action emerges once you are in the trade. 

Support: in many cases this will be standing operating procedures and does not have to be articulated for every trade. This is true the more that your trading takes on a habitual pattern which uses standard support hardware and software to execute the trade. This should also include the supports to your physical , mental and emotional states which are so essential to successful trading. 

Command and control: in this section we are concerned with our decision-making and decision support system which will allow us to execute appropriate actions at the right moment based on environmental cues. 

Framing the plan for each of your trades in this manner will help you develop the consistent discipline to execute precisely according to plan. It will become a way of life and an unconscious habit that can strongly support your trading practice.

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