How to Define a Trading Mistake

Focus: FOREX

Defining all losing trades as mistakes will cause you to mentally beat yourself up more than necessary, writes Tyler Yell of; instead, take a new view and build your confidence.

Analyzing and trading a seemingly chaotic market seems easy in hindsight yet can be frustrating in real time. Many new traders set out to build or improve their strategy with a defined market to trade and a set of trading rules to follow. However, if after 10 live trades are placed and six turn out losers, new traders often believe they've made six mistakes when most likely they have not.

Multiple Entry Signals Based on Classic RSI Signals

(Created using FXCM's Marketscope 2.0 charts)
Click to Enlarge

As an example, the chart above will show you that there were plenty of good entries that played out to the trader's benefit, but in real-time these were simply higher probability trades based on prior price action. You'll also notice a trade that did not work out well. This does not mean that a mistake was made, but rather that the market didn't play out in the way the trader expected.

So, What Constitutes a Trading Mistake?
One thing that can greatly assist new traders is to focus on the rules of their trading system and to define breaking those rules as the only mistake you can make in the markets. Whether those rules are simple or complex, sticking to your trading rules can help create your edge in a market where no one knows exactly what the closing price will be for the day.

Why is this approach one we recommend you take?