The reason to set targets is to be able to close a trade (either automatically or manually) whenever the predicted profit target is reached. Some traders may feel that setting a target limits the possibility of a maximum profit. In order to avoid the greed taking over your senses, it might be better to set slightly longer term targets, let’s say weekly.
Experienced traders don’t just wake up in the morning and say, let’s make 25 pips today and that’s it. Setting a target should not be based on thin air. The prediction should be derived from your trading system, which includes lots of parameters and overall past experience. Every day the market is full of surprises. In order to give a optimal estimate of the target, a forex trader should evaluate the situation and decide whether to let a trade run longer or not.
Consider target as a monitoring tool of your success; however do not get caught up in making a specific amount of cash per week or month. It is important to monitor your trading performance, and in case the numbers fall under the red line, you will know that something needs to be fixed.
The problem with setting daily targets is high expectation, eagerness to trade and a possibility of overtrading in order to achieve the goal. A trader might consider taking marginal setups rather than waiting patiently for a profitable trade. After all, quality is what matters, not quantity.
Long term targets (such as quarter or annual) might be much more useful for a forex trader. This way the weekly and monthly target ranges can be integrated to ensure the longer period targets. Besides, keep in mind that even very good strategies can have bad months, let alone weeks and days! Without considering all the factors, you contribute to the increase of a failure rate.
Setting profit targets depend on the trading style and strategy a forex trader uses. Some traders prefer not to use profit targets at all, because it goes against the all-known rule “cut your losses short, let your profits run.” By using the targets, a trader may take the profit and watch the market continue on. These traders develop a very strong discipline which involves letting the winning trades run with a trailing stop. This increases the chance to maximize good trades and not miss a good ride.
Despite all, profit targets are useful to many forex traders. Since the market is full of opportunities, it might not be such a bad idea to snatch the profit when it is right under your nose, rather than taking a risk of losing not only the possible profit, but all other funds in the account!
Last, but not least, what can be used to determine possible profit targets? Here are some of ideas:
1. Use trend lines, fibo expansion tool, previous highs and lows values
2. Measure method that is used with chart (price) pattern
3. Improve with experience! With knowledge comes great understanding of a market and possible outcomes. Be patient, learn and practice.