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Today and maybe occasionally in the future, I've decided to do something a bit different -- something a few columnists (including me!) should do a bit more.

I decided to do a self-examination, looking back exactly one month ago, to see if what I put down in that day's charts had any relevance whatsoever to what actually happened in the future.

Frankly, I didn't know what I'd find. I honestly picked the "one month ago" date at random, so I was hoping I scored slightly above "pathetic."

You can see the results below. I pride myself on being a fair grader, and I came in with a realistic B- average. Hey, not too shabby in this market.

So, today, a look back at

Altria

(MO) - Get Report

,

Gillette

(G) - Get Report

,

Blue Rhino

(RINO)

,

Rent-A-Center

(RCII) - Get Report

, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Gold and Silver index, or XAU, and

3M

(MMM) - Get Report

. (The original chart is shown first, then the new, graded version.)

Charts produced by TC2000, which is a registered trademark of

Worden Brothers Inc.

And that is the final word from Pyle Middle School, where if you want to play high school sports and haven't focused on that sport until now, forget it. Want to play soccer for the first time as a ninth grader? Good luck, because everyone else who shows up has at least three years of experience. Ditto for swimming, volleyball, lacrosse, etc. Why, I know a few ninth-grade swimmers who already have Olympic qualifying times. In fact, just about the only sports that kids don't start until they're in high school are crew and cheerleading. A sad state of affairs, if you want to know the truth.

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Gary B. Smith is a freelance writer who trades for his own account from his Maryland home using technical analysis. At time of publication, he was long Altria, although holdings can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Smith writes a daily technical analysis column for RealMoney.com

and produces a daily premium product for TheStreet.com called

The Chartman's Top Stocks. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to send your feedback to

Gary B. Smith.