Set and Forget Trading – How to Really Maximize It

Let’s face it – not everyone has the ability to sit down for hours a day building their trading skills. Many of you have full time jobs, families, etc., yet still want to participate in the market.

If this is you, I generally recommend using set and forget trading strategies to trade the market. This is done by using rule based systems for to find your entries, exits, stops, & take profit levels. The ‘rules’ save you time as you just have to spot the conditions for a legitimate setup, then put in your order.

The problem is, the more popularized version of this ‘set and forget‘ style is to set your trades and then ‘walk away’. Perhaps you go read a book, golfing, or hang out on the beach. This is a completely ridiculous idea which actually harms your learning curve.

In this article, I’m going to share the major flaw in this method, then explain how you can accelerate your learning curve.

Walking Away – The Major Flaw
Let’s say you only have 2 hours per day to analyze & trade the market. According to the more popularized version of ‘walking away’, you spend say 30 mins to find your setups, put your trades in, then do something else.

Why does this harm your learning curve? Because you already have two hours set aside for trading. If you walk away after 30 minutes, you are missing out on 1.5 hours of screen time and an opportunity to build your skills.

I know what you are thinking – if you have no more trade setups, why sit at the charts?

Wow – great idea. So if I’m not actually in a golf tournament – I shouldn’t practice my golf swing? If I’m not playing a live baseball game, I shouldn’t go to the batting cage, or work on drills, or throws? Ridiculous – and I hope you can see this as well.

practicing forex trading 2ndskiesforex
What You Can Do Differently
Perhaps your strategy trading pin bars with trend. You have no more setups for the day as you’ve put in your one trade. Does that mean you cannot increase your screen time or learning process? No, have two hours, so USE IT. How so?

Get Trade Interceptor or Forex Tester 2 where you can go back historically to any point in time & trade price action doing live forward simulation testing. Trading pin bars with trend, open up a daily chart several years back on your favorite or weakest pair. In testing mode, it will move the actual bars at a speed workable for you & of your choice.

Anytime you have a pin bar setup that meets your qualifications – trade it the way you normally would your real system. This will give you both increased reps and screen time – both of which will enhance your learning curve. In an hour of live forward simulation trading, you could actually trade 30-50+ pin bars.

What will this do? It will;

a) enhance your pattern recognition skills
b) build neural networks in your brain to recognize high probability setups using your strategy
c) give you more practice and execution using your method, which will
d) when it comes to live trading, increase the chance you just pull the trigger with less emotions or analysis paralysis

By Comparison
What does the person who ‘walks away’ from their computer, gain during their remaining time? Nothing! They build no screen time, have weaker neural circuits for making trading decisions or pulling the trigger, let alone pattern recognition skills.

Yet the trader who practices that extra 1.5 hours doing live forward simulation trading will improve at a much faster rate.

A Top Professional
Just recently, I got a perfect reinforcement of this from a top professional. Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks in this generation – perhaps top 10 of all time. He’s 37 and is still playing at a top level.

Yesterday he was in a high intensity back and forth game that went down to the last two minutes to decide the winner. He’d score – then the other team would score, quarter after quarter, both taking the lead at some point. He just scored the 4th touchdown of the day to take an 11 point lead. What was he doing right after this? Take a look at the photo below.

peyton manning reviewing plays 2ndskiesforex
Is he ‘walking away‘ watching the time go by till his next drive? Nope. What is he doing?

Looking at the plays they just made on the winning drive. He’s looking at the formation of the opposing defense, analyzing what he could exploit, what mistakes they are making, etc. This is maximizing your time.

He’s one of the best ever, yet he’s not ‘walking away‘ from the game. He’s engaging in it every moment he can, looking for patterns, reviewing plays, looking to spot what he missed earlier.

This is what you should be doing if you are trading set and forget strategies – using every moment you have. Each practice trade you do on Forex Tester 2 is like an extra lap on the track. Who do you think gets faster and more conditioned? The person who does 2-3 laps per week, or the runner who does 30+ a day? Rhetorical question – but had to ask.

So don’t be a ‘lazy trader’ and just ‘walk away’ as you’re just losing valuable screen time to do more laps. Utilize your time to the max. Trading, is just like any skill as you need practice, lots of screen time, & a successful mindset.

By doing using your time doing live simulation testing and reviewing trades, you are accelerating your learning curve, creating stronger neural networks for trading, and building screen time which is critical to trading success.

*Make sure to share your comments, whether you agree or disagree. And if you do disagree, please make sure to share why as I value different points of view on this.

Buddhist, Trader and Philanthropist

I'm Chris Capre, Founder of 2ndSkiesForex. I help traders of all levels change the way they think, trade and perform. As a professional trader, I specialize in trading price action. As a teacher, my passion lies in showing you how to re-wire your brain for successful trading. Want to improve your edge right now? Visit my Price Action Course page.

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  • ferb

    Great article again Chris, thank you.

  • Gabriel

    I guess one could say that ‘set and forget then walk away’ strategies are for those who care only about the money and not about learning to trade. It’s almost akin to ‘make money in your sleep’ or ‘we do the work and analysis for you so you don’t have to’. Those pitches make me cringe.

    • Well, I would disagree that its for those who only care about money. If you do care about money, and the skill – you put more effort into it. I think its for those who want an ‘easy’ way out, which is called Trader Fantasy land.

      But yes, those pitches should make you cringe.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • ApexPredator

    Hi Chris, MT4 has its own simulator, all you have to do is press Ctrl + R and customize the settings. Whats wrong with this option?


    • Hello Apex,

      Does it have all the adjustable features as Forex Tester 2?

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • Hello Chris,

    Does forex tester allow you to switch between the time frames while testing one pair?

    If yes then I’ll definitely get this software!

    Kind Regards


    • Hello Mantas,

      Yes it does – you can change to any time frame, along with any interval as well, meaning you can look at a 1hr chart, but have the bars update on the close of every 5 min bar close. So 12x for each 1hr candle. On top of that, you can choose the speed at which it churns out the 5m candles, so quite useful imo.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • Eno

    Fabulous article Chris. Forex Tester 2 has immensely improved my skills in the past two months. I can’t recommend it enough to anyone who’s looking to improve their trading.

    • Hello Eno,

      Glad to hear – and yes, if used right, it can definitely help improve your skills.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • ApexPredator

    Hi Chris,

    Probably not, I dont use it because it can take up a large amount of resources on my computer, not very efficient.

    Its mainly for testing EA’s, whereas FT2 allows you to individually place orders and review afterwards.

    I want to go for FT2 soon.


  • Simon

    Couldn’t agree more Chris. Nice to correct some mis-information from other price action “authorities”

    • Hello Simon,

      Indeed there is a lot of mis-information shared by such ‘authorities’ which actually hurts people’s trading. So hopefully this gives a more amplified and expanded approach to trading set-and-forget strategies.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • Marc

    Well, on this article you say snf is bad on your other article 4h and daily you recommend it… seems strange to me

    • Chris Capre

      Hello Marc,

      There seems to be a misunderstanding of what’s being said in this article. Nobody is saying Set and Forget is bad. What we are saying it the popularized version of it isn’t helpful to your learning process.

      What we do suggest is very specific things to do IF you are going to use set and forget trading, and how you can maximize it (hence the title).

      Hopefully this clarifies the differences and what is being communicated here.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre