Some of my better trades lately seem to occur after a string of marginal trades which either stop out or seriously underperform.

Mostly because of my rule which says that after two poor trades I need to step aside, clear my mind and reassess the situation.

Time out!


It prevents a downward spiral of emotional revenge trading.

And allows me to return to the market with a new plan. Usually, a plan which waits for a change of structure and takes the first pullback opportunity within that new market regime.

<image: Two trades placing me in drawdown.>

<image: Time out. Reassess.>

<image: Consider the options when price breaks current structure.>

<image: Entry>

<image: Exit>

So this brings me to an idea that may help me cut out some of the more marginal trades.

And perhaps may help you with improving your trade quality as well.

Rather than waiting for two marginal trades to place me in drawdown, maybe I could trade "AS IF" I were already in that situation.

Prior to entry, ask:

  • "Is this a trade I would take if I were in drawdown?"

If so, go for it.

But if not, maybe pause and reassess.

Sometimes it will keep you out of a winner. That's how this game of probabilities works.

But if it's keeping you out of a number of marginal trades then there could well be a positive change to your edge.

If the idea appeals to you, give it a try. But track the impact it has on your edge over a series of "avoided trades".

Prior to entry, ask:

  • "Is this a trade I would take if I were in drawdown?"

<image: This IS a trade I'd take in drawdown.>

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs



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  1. Aaah so I’m not the only one that’s experienced this feeling and this scenario. Thanks for sharing and being so honest. It’s bewildering when a promising entry goes poop… and then you think hang on a minute I can do this so you try again and it goes poop again… Good rule and kinda like basket-ball, if two foul shots failed, you look for a rebound and then setup your next shot.

    1. Hi Bruce,

      Ha ha. I’m sure we’re not the only two who suffer from this problem. In fact, I’d bet there’s not a discretionary trader on the planet who doesn’t occasionally follow one bad trade with a second. 🙂

      The key is stopping it at two though.


  2. Haha I love these “little hacks” can impact huge your balance to moon if implemented properly. Some questions or even some words can be so powerful at times, they can change your brain’s chains all the way. I have a question similar to this. Putting all the balance in one trade never is a subject but asking yourself before the trade
    -“Is this trade worth to be all in if I would?”
    may help a lot 🙂

  3. Hi Lance,
    I love these little changes that make a big difference. The question you propse to use definitely will help me too to develop further to really trade quality setups and leave the rest.
    Thank you for sharing.

    All the best

  4. Have been diligently following all yoiur posts. I will have to remind myself of this favourable market structure every time I think of placing trade out of boredom.

    I am trying to be profibale trading spot FX. Have ben using Bob Volman’s book (Forex Price Action Scalping). His methods seem to be similar to yours. Wonder if you have tried spot FX when starting out or any of your students trading spot FX profitably?

    Thanks Lance.

    1. My journey went from stocks to options to spot forex to fx futures and finally index futures. So yes, I have traded forex. Bob’s method is different to mine, but it’s good. It will work fine. Keep your focus to the most liquid sessions (eg. EUR/UK open or US/EUR overlap). And focus on context – when structure and conditions say to take trades and when they say to avoid them. This is more important than setups. Best of luck.

      1. Thanks Lance. Yes I am following UK opening session.
        US session is harder for me to follow as I am in Sydney with a fulltime day job.

  5. Exactly, Mr. Lance, this view is very important and practical, and asking yourself these questions when entering can be a suitable filter to improve the quality of our trades.
    It has been proven to me many times that waiting a bit longer will make my results positive even if it is low because I will be satisfied with my performance, but unfortunately there are still rush entries that I have to control with aggressive trade management and maybe loss will make me come to my senses!

    Great as always

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