Recent Posts

This is How You Avoid Trading on Tilt

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 19, 2018

Let’s say you’ve done everything right. You know your entry and exit points. You’ve got your stop losses in place. Then the markets open, things don’t go as planned, and you start to lose.

For most people, this creates an immediate and unpleasant physical response: sweaty palms, rapid breathing, and increased heart rate. But the worst part may be how the sudden upsurge of emotion seems to eliminate your ability to think clearly.

Poker players call that “tilt.” Playing (or in this case trading) on tilt is almost always a sign that a losing streak is on the horizon. Let’s take a look at the signs so you can avoid tilt and the losses that come with it.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Forex, Trading Psychology, Futures

What These Traders Wish They Knew Before They Lost Huge

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 16, 2018

Great traders and not-so-great traders likely have one thing in common: they’ve all lost a lot of money trading. Trading is a tough business. And between finding a strategy and keeping our mental game strong, there are plenty of opportunities to falter.

Most traders that become successful can tell you horror stories of how much money they blew through when they first started. But within those stories, you can often find some wisdom to help you succeed. Here’s what three traders wish someone had told them before they lost big.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Forex, Futures, Anthony Crudele, Kenneth Reid, Michael Patak

It's Time to Kick Your Market Bias to the Curb

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 15, 2018

Markets are uncertain and ever changing. If the last two weeks hasn't reinforced that, then nothing will. 

As traders that watch the markets every day, it's hard not to form an opinion on where they should go. It would be very easy to view the recent run-up in equity futures as baffling. It may just not make sense given how sharply they sold off.

But there's one small change that can help you kick your bias to the curb: realize that markets can do anything. 

In this episode of Trader Behavior, Senior Performance Coach John Hoagland and CVO Michael Patak share how they learned to view the market as an ever-changing organism and how that resulted in better trading.

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Topics: Trader Behavior, Performance Coaching, Trading Basics, Forex, Futures

A Trader's Largest Flaw and How to Conquer It

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 14, 2018

If we were completely rational, we would not need rules. We would always make trades according to our plan. We wouldn't need a daily loss limit. And we would recognize when our strategy wasn't working. 

Unfortunately that isn't the case. Our largest flaw is that we are not rational. We don't always act in the best interests of our long-term profitability. 

So how do we save ourselves from ourselves?

This week's episode of Limit Up! tackles just that. Check it out, and 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: Performance Coaching, Trading Basics, Limit Up!

Last Week Changed Everything: Here's How You Can Profit Trading This Week

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 11, 2018

This will be known as the week that the volatility complex blew up. Two major short volatility ETFs literally imploded. XIV — Credit Suisse's short-term short volatility ETF — closed on Monday at $99 per share. As the VIX spiked after hours, the product lost 90% of its value to trade at less than $10 at the open on Tuesday. 

The spike in volatility led to a sell off in equities and the emergence of extreme moves in futures contracts. 

Here's what you need to know.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Futures

Interview with Blair Hull: The Man Who Bought the Low Tick of the 1987 Crash

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 09, 2018

Blair Hull is a trading legend. He bought the market low of Black Monday, 1987. Twice getting shares at the low tick. And though he finds his edge in math-based models (a byproduct of his start card counting in Vegas casinos), he offers incredible insight that every discretionary trader can learn from. 

Blair talks a lot about the importance of education, but he also practices what he preaches. Even after 30+ years in trading, he is constantly looking to expand his knowledge base, including taking courses in machine learning. 

This week's Limit Up goes through Blair's career and his current work at Hull Tactical FundsYou cannot miss it! And 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!, Forex, Futures, Blair Hull

This is the Time to Crush It! Here's How

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 08, 2018

Great traders make entire years' worth of profits during markets like these. The recent volatility is something that many traders have been hoping for. Now that it's here, it's time to capitalize.

If this volatility continues, there is a very real possibility that you will have your best trading day ever in the coming days. But if you don't trade in a risk-minded or disciplined way, then these markets may also be  the death of you.

Today, our coaches are joined by TopstepTrader founder and CVO, Michael Patak, to talk about how you can take advantage of what the market is giving you. They talk about what they've experienced when trading volatile markets and how they've learned to capitalize on what the market gives them. Pull out a pad of paper, you'll want to write some of this down.

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Coach's Playbook, Forex, Futures

Repeated Failures Made This Trader a Success

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 07, 2018

Does this sound like a recipe for success? 

Get fired from your first job as a clerk at the Chicago Board of Exchange. Get a job as a trader and blow through your stake. Get a second chance and blow through that money, too. Get funded by a friend, but blow through so much of that money they cut you off before you can lose it all.

Probably not, but that’s the early path Larry Benedict took before becoming founder and CEO of Banyan Equity Management, LLC, a firm that managed more than $700 million in assets. Despite his less than promising start, Benedict ultimately strung together an impressive 20 years of net profitability as an options specialist in the XMI index on the American stock exchange for Spear, Leeds, & Kellogg.

You might think the moral of this story is about perseverance, but it’s not. The crux of Benedict’s success was his ability to adapt and learn how to manage risk. In days when market volatility spiked and prices are jumping everywhere, the ability to manage risk is what will keep you in the game. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Market Wizards, Forex, Futures, Larry Benedict

4 Immediate Changes to Make to Your Trading in Higher Market Volatility

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 06, 2018

Futures trading firms have to carry a disclaimer: "An investor could potentially lose all or more than their investment."

While that warning seems overly cautious, on days when the Nasdaq ($NQH8) moves 20 handles at a time, it becomes clear why. Price can blow past your stops. If you trade like it's just any other day, you can lose more than you intend. 

Here are four changes to make to your trading to ensure that doesn't happen. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Futures

3 Can't Miss Stories: The Best Posts from January

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 03, 2018

Except for a small blip, markets have continued their trend for most of the month.

Whether you’ve found opportunities depends in part on how well you’ve prepared. Even if you found yourself on the wrong side of a trade more often than you’d like, you can always get back on track.

Take a moment to read three of TopstepTrader’s most popular articles from January, and use the insights to make the most of February.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Futures

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