Like many aspiring traders, Tim Wilcox entered the trading world knowing nothing about it. Nonetheless, he was convinced that it was the fast track to wealth and that he could do it. This wasn’t just his gut feeling, it was endorsed by the ad’ in his local Exchange & Mart which read, ”. . . some (people) have just made up to £32,500 in 28 days, and so could you”. Excited, he paid several hundred pounds for a large binder which, supposedly, contained everything he needed to know to trade options. That was back in late 1998. Surprise surprise, Tim never traded a single contract and quickly came to the conclusion that perhaps he’d been a tad hasty in his conviction that trading was the easy option – forgive the pun.After a fallow period of a few years and a handful more courses, the penny finally dropped in early 2002. He realised that the market gobbles up amateurs like him and spits them out again before breakfast! To stand even a slim chance of survival in this game, he had to treat trading as a business. This means he had to acquire the appropriate tools and learn the necessary skills.Tim focussed on the U.S. equities markets and, in early 2003, he enjoyed some success. He grew his account by 26% over a 3 month period – day trading the evening session via a spread betting platform - whilst working as a landscape gardener by day. This led to overconfidence which - in turn - led to an inevitable 'blow up'. Tim made the classic error of letting a day trade gone wrong turn into a swing trade which then went catastrophically wrong - losing 70% of his account on one stock. (For the record, it was ERTS.)Time to go back to the drawing board with a particular emphasis on risk management! Tim became very aware of the fact that books, magazine articles and message boards etc. all seemed to be singing from the same song sheet on the subject of trading plans. Quite simply, you’ve gotta have one! However, he couldn’t find anyone or anything that explained in any real detail how to go about writing one. The ‘Trading Plan Template’ is the result of this quest.From then on, Tim continued to trade U.S. equities markets right up until the 2008 financial crisis. At the end of that year as a full time day trader, Tim was struggling to make a consistent profit. However, unlike his earlier blow up, he had utilised sound risk management principles which ensured that his account remained intact, enabling him to fight another day. For most of 2009, he took a complete break from trading. In autumn that year, he joined the T2W staff as Content Manager and returned to trading with renewed vigour, and started trading U.S. index futures in 2010.