This is How to Master a Trader's State of Mind

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 19, 2018

If you believe it, you can achieve it. OK, that's a ridiculous sentiment - but it bears some truth. Your state of mind is incredibly important to your trading performance. No, that doesn't mean that you can wish the market higher, lower or sideways. 

But if you come into the trading day thinking that there's no way you can dig yourself out of a hole you got in, for example, then you might as well not even trade that day. You have little shot at profits. 

How do you improve? Senior Performance Coach John Hoagland and Mick Ieronimo talk through it and share how they've kept a positive (but realistic) state of mind. Check it out and leave any feedback in the comments. Enjoy.

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

The Basics of Algo Trading - Limit Up! with Jared Broad

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 18, 2018

Michael Lewis wrote a best-selling novel about the money pouring into trading technology - and in his analysis, he decried the stock market as being "rigged." There are likely few serious traders or market participants who would agree with that - but sometimes it can feel as though our trades are out of our control. We get slipped, don't get filled or prices "hunt" our stops. In the moment, it can feel like it's us against the trading machines. 

So, we brought in Jared Broad from QuantConnect to give us the basics on trading algorithms and quant strategies. Jared describes algos not as malicious all-knowing beings, but as trading rules solidified in black-and-white code that executes no matter what. There's no discretion involved at all. Sometimes that is great - and sometimes it can cause its own problems. 

After the interview, our view is that quant investing is only going to grow in prominence. But it's not going to squeeze out the little guys. We're largely competing on different timetables and in different ways. 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: Trading Basics, Limit Up!, Jared Broad, Quantitative Trading

4 Ways to Profit from a Successful Routine

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 17, 2018

The best performers in the world all rely on routines. They are not winging it. Tom Brady, five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback and four-time Super Bowl MVP, goes to bed every night at 8:30 PM. He reportedly wakes up at 5:30 AM to get to work watching game film and working out.

Routines provide consistent feedback and increase performance. In any area you want to excel, you have to develop a routine. It's as simple as that. 

Trading is no different.

To get you started, here are four tips for creating a routine that will help you become a successful trader.

Watch our coaches talk about developing a successful routine in this episode of Coach's Playbook. 

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

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

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