5 Questions with a Funded Trader: Risk and Reward

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 16, 2018

Fernando V. in New Jersey has been trading for five years, but things have just recently clicked. After our interview, one thing struck us: he is simultaneously very comfortable with high degrees of risk - trading around events that move futures - and also paranoid about losses - placing stops at consistent levels. It seems that the second aspect may be why he’s been doing well in his Funded Account. In fact, in November and December, he was able to make $7,500 in withdrawals.

We recently caught up with Fernando to talk about how his trading is going and advice that he would have for others in the TopstepTrader program.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Success Stories, Trading Lessons

Mastering Stress, Anxiety and Trading - Trader Behavior

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 13, 2018

Stress and anxiety are inevitable parts of trading. As traders, we're trying to predict the future. And by definition, the future is unknowable. But there's a difference between normal stress and axiety and debilitating levels of those emotions. Too often, we let that difference be our P&L. 

In this week's Trader Behavior segment, Senior Performance Coach John Hoagland and Chief Visionary Officer Michael Patak talk about ways they've learned to recognize and then overcome stress and anxiety in their trading. 

Tip for improvement: Get involved in a trading community (like TopstepChat). Being able to ask for advice, get objective help and realize that most other traders have struggled with your same issues go a long way toward relieving the stress and axiety you may feel. 

Check it out and leave any feedback in the comments. 

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Topics: Trader Behavior, Performance Coaching, Trading Basics

Market Alert: Euro Breaks Through Major Resistance

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 12, 2018

Euro.jpgIn European trading, the Euro (EUR/USD) broke through major resistance from the September 2017 high at 1.2090 on a spot basis. The move marks the second consecutive jump higher that has seen the price gain from the mid 1.19s.

In the front-month futures contract ($6EH8), the price has rallied from 1.1981 to 1.2180. (Futures contracts trade at a premium because interest-rate differentials are factored into the delivery date.)

Does this move present an opportunity? Or is it in its waning days? 

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Topics: Market Updates, Forex, Futures

This is How You Increase Trading Performance - Limit Up! with Raman Chadha

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 11, 2018
Raman Chadha.png

For our 10th podcast - we lined up someone really special. It is a must listen. 

Raman Chadha is the founder of the Junto Institute, a place where growing startups and high-performing entrepreneurs turn to take their business to the next level. Since trading - at its core - is a business, Raman's insights are invaluable to achieving your potential as a trader in 2018.

Raman outlines why community is so important in life (and particularly trading). That's why TopstepTrader developed resources like TopstepChat, which includes Squawk Radio, and the Community Forum.

Raman also suggested that traders spend more time on awareness - and less time on feeling like they need to fix a problem. The Junto Institute even created an "emotion wheel" to help you identify your emotions - all without judgment. (Check it out.)

Be sure to subscribe to Limit Up on iTunes, Google Play or Soundcloud to get the fresh episodes each week delivered to your inbox. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Limit Up!, Raman Chadha

How to Have Your Most Successful Year Ever - Coach's Playbook

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 10, 2018

Getting in the groove is an important part of trading. Momentum builds on itself and confidence grows. Yes, we're in tune with the market. Yes, we got lucky a few times. But we also did the blocking and tackling right.

In this episode of Coach's Playbook, our coaches talk about their most successful trading years and how they managed themselves and their books.

They share five lessons that were key to their success: (1) create behavioral awareness; (2) balance sitting in a losing trade with the opportunity cost of missing other trades; (3) prevent bad days from getting worse; (4) create accountability for yourself; and (5) be there when the market moves.

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Coach's Playbook

4 Don’ts from a Trader Who Could Move the World's Largest Futures Market

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 09, 2018

You might think Tom Baldwin, investor and founder of the Baldwin Group Ltd, got lucky. In 1982, he left his job as a product manager for a meat-packing firm and leased a seat on the Chicago Board of Trade with just a $25,000 stake. Six years later, he was one of the largest individual traders of Treasury Bonds ($ZB), often trading as many as 20,000 contracts - $2 billion face value - in a single day. And he did this with absolutely no trading experience.

Sounds pretty lucky, right? But here’s the rub: traders have to make their own luck.

Read on for Baldwin’s four tips on how to do just that.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Market Wizards, Tom Baldwin

Lesson from a Funded Trader: Stick to Your Plan

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 08, 2018

Mauricio J. in Colombia originally thought TopstepTrader was something only professional traders might find useful. But since joining, he’s used the lessons learned in the Trading Combine® to earn a Funded Account™ and begin profiting in markets. Since earning a Funded Account in early October, he has withdrawn $5,323 in profits.

Critical to Mauricio's success has been the fact that he only trades actively two or three hours a day, using the rest of the time to back trade strategies and work on his performance. 

We caught up with Mauricio to learn more about his experience, what lessons he would share for other traders, and how he plans to meet his short-term and long-term goals to be a consistent trader and spend more time with his family. 

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Success Stories, Trading Lessons

In Trading, Being Wrong Ain't So Bad - Trader Behavior

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 06, 2018

Warren Buffett has two rules to investing: 1) "Never lose money;" and 2) "Never forget rule No. 1." While Buffett is inarguably one of the best investors of all time, but these two rules are more hyperbole than anything else. In fact, in trading, we have a different No. 1 rule: always ensure that you can trade for tomorrow

Trading will involve losing money. It will involve being wrong. But that isn't so bad. In this week's Trader Behavior, John Hoagland and CVO Michael Patak talk about why they learned to embrace being wrong in trading - and how that helped them progress in their trading.

Tip for improvement: When you take a loss, change your thinking to: "OK, good. I just paid the market for information." Then take that information to make more money later. Since trading is so mental, changing your thinking can do a lot toward improving performance. 

Check it out and leave any feedback in the comments. 

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Topics: Trader Behavior, Performance Coaching, Trading Basics

5 Steps to Improve Your Trading in 2018 - Limit Up! with Mick Ieronimo

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 05, 2018

Trading success is all about progression - at least that's how Mick Ieronimo, risk manager at TopstepTrader defines it. 

In this conversation with Eddie Horn on Limit Up!, Mick identifies the five steps to improve your trading in 2018. It all starts with setting realistic expectations and not jumping in full on from the start. Mick and Eddie talk about their experiences trading - and how they've learned some of these steps the hard way. 

You have to find some time this weekend to listen! And please be sure to subscribe in iTunes, Google Play or on Soundcloud

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Topics: Trading Basics, Limit Up!, Todd Horwitz

Bitcoin, the Nasdaq, Treasuries - It's Bubblicious

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 04, 2018

It's easy to get wrapped up in headline-grabbing financial commentary. For those of us who live and breathe  trading, it's hard not to have a strong opinion on long-term market trends. Nowadays, you can't go far without hearing that Bitcoin, equities and Treasuries are in a bubble. 

Instead of getting wrapped up in the hype, Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager Cliff Asness argues that the mainstream understanding of bubbles is wrong. He thinks too frequently "bubble" is synonymous with "expensive": "The term bubble should indicate a price that no reasonable future outcome can justify." 

Is Bitcoin a bubble? Are there future scenarios that could justify the current price? Imaging that might require a bit more of a discussion and understanding of cryptocurrencies. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Futures, Bitcoin, U.S. Treasuries

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