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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

5 Steps for Creating a Great Trading Plan in 2018

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 03, 2018

A trading plan is critical to trading success. Not having one doesn’t make profits impossible, but it does make it extremely challenging to be successful over the long term. A trading plan provides focus, peace of mind, and constraints to allow you to realize when you need to switch something up - whether that’s trading a smaller size or taking a break from markets altogether.

 Watch our coaches talk about creating a trading plan in this episode of Coach's Playbook. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Trading Plan

The #1 Rule of Trading in 2018

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 02, 2018

It’s a New Year - and there’s definite excitement here about the potential for trading markets in 2018. The second half of 2017 certainly provided some opportunities. Gold first hit a new yearly high before falling more than $100 - then rallying back at the end of the year. The U.S. Dollar’s downtrend continued and accelerated in the final weeks of 2017. And Crude Oil gained above $60 per barrel on the final trading day of the year.

But - all that means nothing if you ignore the number one rule of trading: Always ensure you can trade tomorrow. The moves of today mean nothing if you burn through your capital and can’t capitalize on opportunities tomorrow. Here’s why.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Trading Psychology

The Secrets to Price and Volume - Limit Up! with Todd Horwitz

Posted by TopstepTrader on December 28, 2017

Todd Horwitz got his start trading in the pits 38 years ago. In the midst of that madness, he was able to develop a way of reading the energy of the crowd, finding success. In electronic trading today, that energy translates to paying close attention to price and volume - and ignoring everything else. 

In this conversation with Eddie Horn on our podcast, Limit Up!, Todd talks about the secrets to his trading success: price and volume. But Todd also outlines the great trading mechanics that have helped him stay risk focused. For example, he shared a story of when he kept moving a stop one or two ticks away (hoping the price rebounded) and ended up taking a $2,200 loss. He keeps that chart right next to his desk so he never forgets again.

If you like this episode, please be sure to subscribe in iTunes, Google Play or on Soundcloud

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Topics: Trading Basics, Limit Up!, Todd Horwitz

The Coaches Pick Their Favorite Holiday Movies - Coach's Playbook

Posted by TopstepTrader on December 21, 2017

Trading doesn't have to be all work and no play.

This week, as markets slow down, the Coaches talk about their favorite holiday movies - from Home Alone to the classic Trading Places. There's an intense debate over whether A Christmas Story is the best holiday movie of all time. The vote seems to be 2-1 against Hoag, who has never seen it. 

Let us know what your favorite holiday movies are in the comments. And don't say Die Hard.

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Coach's Playbook

Mastering Trading Emotions and Improving Performance - Limit Up! with Rande Howell

Posted by TopstepTrader on December 20, 2017

Every great trader works seriously on their mental performance to increase their P&L - without exception. Understanding how the brain is - and is not - suited for trading can allow you to realize how to manage your instinct. 

There's no better person to lay out these factors than Rande Howell - a 15-year trading psychologist who has helped traders, portfolio managers and money managers improve their performance. 

Rande talks about the way that our brains are designed and goes over some exercises that can help us identify in the moment when we may not be making the best trading decisions. As Rande says, it's not about fighting emotions, but embracing them - and then realizing what that typically means for our performance.

Give it a listen - and be sure to subscribe to Limit Up on iTunes or Google Play. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Limit Up!, Trading Psychology, Rande Howell

5 Can't Miss Stories: Real Life Success in Trading

Posted by TopstepTrader on December 19, 2017

Trading isn't easy. Even profitable traders will tell you that they are still working to become better and limit the mistakes they make. 

That's why we work to share insights from everyday traders, legendary investors and our funded traders. Together, these stories paint a picture of what it takes to be successful in markets. Here are five can't miss stories and what they can teach you - just in time to incorporate for the New Year!

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Topics: Success Stories, Trading Basics, Trading Lessons

Turning $2,000 to $70,000 in 1 Year - on the Way to Tens of Millions

Posted by TopstepTrader on December 18, 2017

Randy McKay is a name that many traders have likely not heard of. He is one of the rare breed of trader that was able to find success immediately - without blowing up an account or experiencing many of the challenges that even successful traders face. He was able to turn a $2,000 stake into $70,000 in his first year trading currency futures on the floor. That was a short pit stop to making tens of millions during his trading career.

Here are the three pieces of advice he gave traders in Jack Schwager's The New Market Wizards to improve their performance. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Market Wizards, Forex

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