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Interview with Steve Ward, trader performance and psychology coach

Hello, Steve! We are glad to have an opportunity to talk to you here, at the Riga exhibition. You have large experience as a consultant and as a coach in different companies. Tell us please about the most memorable moments of your career.

— First of all, I would like to say that I am a lucky one to get such an interesting and many-sided trading experience. One of the most memorable events was the working for one London company in 2005, the year I got acquainted with the world of trading. Working for that company gave me a lot. At that time, I had no idea about financial markets and was wrapped up in it. Later, I was working for the leading investment banks and had a chance to  meet the first-string traders. It was a great experience, really! In recent years, I was duty bound to travel to Europe and the Unites States a lot. I communicated with many traders from all over the world. Some of them trade from home, other – through banks, funds or energy companies. Each trader's story is unique. As you can see, every year in my career is full of memorable events.

Very interesting. What does being a trading coach mean? What do you focus on, fundamental or technical analysis? What are your main principles?

— I focus on the trading psychology and performance. I do not impose trading instruments and strategies on traders and do not show the right time for trading. I try to teach them to achieve good results by their own efforts. You can make an allusion here to sport. Training a sportsman, it is important not only to sharpen his skills, but also to teach him to produce good results regardless of the consequences. I try to teach them to be confident, focused, to take right decisions and manage risks. I put greater emphasis on productivity and trading psychology that are not always pertained to technical and fundamental analysis. I leave the latter two to those who specialize in it. Usually, I teach those people who have already had trading experience, those who understand that success depends not only on fundamental and technical analysis, but on trader's own skills and personality as well.

You were the keynote speaker at many European and world-class Forex events. What can you say on that matter?

— To begin with, I should notice that I am lucky to travel around the world, and the world is diverse. For example, Latvia is different, and so its people are. Undoubtedly, the traders from all over the world have something in common, but every nationality has its own unique features. Once, I was invited to give a speech at a conference in Japan. That was my first time in the Land of the Rising Sun, and I was totally fascinated. I got acquainted with many interesting people including coaches. I cannot say that this conference is somehow special for me, because every such kind of event is offbeat. Kaleidoscope of countries, new people, seasons... It was nice to participate in this conference as well. Besides, It is my first time in Latvia.

This is your first lecture in Eastern Europe. What is the main difference between Eastern and Western Europe? Does it root in people's mentality?

— Poland, I guess, is the closest country to Latvia in mentality where I have worked. You cannot understand the locals for 90 minutes of the presentation, of course. Yes, there are some cultural differences. While traveling in different countries and regions, I have to bear in mind some peculiarities of mentality and apply special approaches to trading as well. For example, there are some tough traders in Poland that prefer acting the way they think is right. Working with them, I had to choose a softly-softly tactics trying to make them think that everything was their idea. But in general, there are not so many differences concerning trading. A trader's ego regardless of the country is clearly shown on Forex. Traders all over the world have something in common. In my opinion, even difficulties the traders face are mostly the same. Perhaps, there are some exceptions as any rule has.

What would you like to say to those who did not attend today's conference?

— To those who did not attend today's conference, I would like to give some recommendations. At the beginning, allot your time for training, developing skills, improving knowledges, and getting trading experience. All that is extremely important to create your own strategy which will be effective particularly to you, because not all of them are universal and work efficiently for everybody. Moreover, the risk management is vital. Here are all three key points. If you have experience, your own strategy, and skill in managing risks, you will be able to take level of the psychological trading. You need to see how important the latter is. Read more about trading psychology, be open to new information, keep on learning, sharpen your skills in practice. By the way, there is a bunch of books on trading psychology that I would like to read as well. Plus, learn how to manage your thoughts and feelings. You do not have to quash them as the traditional psychology prescribes. Do not go against your thoughts and emotions, on the contrary, listen to them. I want you to remember one thing: react not to your emotions, but to the market movements.

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