HERE is an exercise that my own trading coach Steve Ward taught me. I may be paraphrasing, but to the best of my recollection these are his exact words:

“Tom, you will never make the progress you want, if you don’t go back and review your old trades. On your losing trades, you have to ask yourself if you could have done things differently. Was the entry well defined? Was the stop in the proper place? On winning trades, you have to ask yourself if you got out too early, too late or timely. Could you have added to the winning position, rather than just sitting back and watching the trade?”

Today I traded euro-sterling, and I bought it at £0.8793 with a stop at £0.8775. The entry was perfect, for about a minute, then the market sank lower. It spiked lower to £0.87743, then reversed hard up, and is now trading at £0.8820. So I got stopped out on a spike by half a pip, and it is now sitting exactly where I would have liked it to be. In my diary, I noted calmly that, since I was trading with the daily and the four-hour time frame, I probably needed to have a slightly wider stop than I did. Otherwise everything was fine. It was just one of those trades that didn’t work out. I also took a snapshot of the before/after chart, for reference. I have learnt more from reviewing my old trades than from any book or any course I ever took. Happy trading.

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l In my last two articles, I wrote about a trading setup, and named it after Eva Mendes, simply because it is as near to perfection as they come. However, I understand from her solicitors that she took offence. I wish to publicly apologise for my inappropriate gesture, which was well intended. I have nothing but admiration for her work and character and the setup was simply a reflection of that.