Finding a Groove in the Crude: Performance Coaches' Trading Combine

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 18, 2017

The Performance Coaches are in a 3-day winning streak in their Trading Combine®, adding a solid $33.96 to their account balance. It's not a lot - but it's positive, and that's the most important part. The Coaches are in tune with the Crude Oil market, gaining $162.64 today in $CLZ7. Those gains were offset by a loss in the U.s. Treasury Bond. 

Here's how the day played out for them. 

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Trading Combine, Trading Basics

Are Great Traders Born or Made? $150 Million in Trading Profits Gives Us the Answer

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 18, 2017

Is great trading a learned skill or an innate ability?

If this sounds like a question that could be at the heart of a movie, that's because it was. In Trading Places, two brothers that ran a commodities trading firm made a $1 bet on whether they could simultaneously turn a scam artist and criminal into a successful trader and a successful trader into a criminal. (If you haven't watched it, you should!)

But the question of whether great traders are born or made was also the subject of a real-life experiment by Richard Dennis, a Chicago trading legend, and his partner, William Eckhardt. 

Dennis - who had made hundreds of millions trading - believed that great trading was a result of a disciplined approach; a trader just needed to be taught rules and given risk management parameters. Eckhardt believed that traders like Dennis had an innate ability and underlying talent that allowed them to be successful. 

In the end, Dennis was proven right - and he added $150 million to his firm's bankroll in the process. Here's how. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Market Wizards

Equities Up Again, Crude Rolls

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 18, 2017

Crude Oil ($CLZ7) rolled over this morning - so make sure you are trading the most liquid front month - December. 

Gold ($GCZ7) sold off again overnight, falling from $1,290 to hit lows at $1,278.60. The price has since bounced - and the product is trading just below $1,285 as some market participants seem to be covering shorts after a $20 sell-off in two days. 

In other products,  Crude Oil is up $0.35 on the session, trading near highs at the moment. Meanwhile the Euro ($6EZ7) is also near its session highs and once again trading above $1.18 again. 

On the equity front, it shouldn't be surprising that equities are once again reaching all-time highs - with the Emini S&P 500 ($ESZ7) hitting highs at 2562.25 this morning. 

Performance Coach John Hoagland runs through all these contracts with insight on important levels and where opportunities may emerge.

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Topics: Market Updates

Taking Advantage of Crude Oil: Performance Coaches' Trading Combine

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 17, 2017

The Performance Coaches caught a strong rebound in Crude Oil ($CLX7) today - netting them more than $270 in profits on the day. After today, their balance is $49,661.49, down just $338.51 on their Trading Combine®

Though they are down on the Trading Combine, they have gained more than $1,000 off their lows having finally caught their stride. They've honed in primarily on one market - Crude Oil - and are working as a team. 

Here's how they identified today's trades, one a loss of $120 and one a gain of $400. 

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Trading Combine, Trading Basics

What's Behind Gold's Sharp Sell Off

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 17, 2017

The story of today is Gold ($GCZ7). The metal saw a strong overnight sell-off that brought it from above $1,300 per ounce to below $1,290. And now the pressure is really on. Prices now may be targeting $1,281 - though it's unclear whether there will be interest throughout the U.S. session given the already large move. 

In other futures markets, Crude Oil ($CLX7) is flat ahead of this week's roll. And the Emini S&P 500 ($ESZ7) seems to be contemplating a run at its all-time highs, last hit yesterday. 

What opportunities are out there to take advantage of today? Performance Coach John Hoagland runs through equities, Gold, Oil and the Euro to give you insight on today's markets and levels.

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Topics: Market Updates

$0.01 Away From a Great Trade: Performance Coaches' Trading Combine

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 16, 2017

Monday was a slow day in futures markets. The Emini S&P 500 ($ESZ7) was in a five-point range; U.S. Treasury Bonds ($ZBZ7) traded in a 14-point range; and Crude Oil ($CLX7) fluctuated up and down $0.50.

Inside of that, the Performance Coaches saw one opportunity and went long Crude Oil at $51.77 with a stop at $51.62. But unlike two weeks ago when the Coaches were a penny on the right side of the market, today, they were a penny on the wrong side of the market. Their stop was hit at $51.62 - and then the Crude Oil market took off, rising back to $52.

"It was a bit unlucky, but that's the market sometimes," said Performance Coach Dan Hodgman. "Novice traders may think that the market was out to get them or that automated systems were hunting for stops. I think we realize that it's not personal. The market will do what it is going to do."

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Trading Combine, Trading Basics

How This Trader Put Together a 70 Month Streak of $100K+ Gains

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 16, 2017

This week, in our series of insights from Jack Schwager's Market Wizards, we look at Tony Saliba, a trader who put together 70 consecutive months where he made more than $100,000 each month. (Read our last post about the trader who invented card counting.)

Tony Saliba is not a household name. In fact, even if you read Jack Schwager's Market Wizards, you probably don't remember him by name. But you can't argue with performance - and Saliba put together a streak of 70 consecutive months where he made more than $100,000 each month.

But before he did that, he nearly went bust. Then, a switch flipped. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Market Wizards

Markets Open, Reach Fresh Equity Highs, Repeat

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 16, 2017

Equity futures once again hit fresh all-time highs on Monday, with the Emini S&P 500 gaining 0.2% to 2557.50 at its peak. The previous high was  a point lower - a level the market hit on Friday. It seems like markets are meeting some levels of exhaustion, but any pull-backs have been exceptionally shallow. 

As for other markets, Gold ($GCZ7) and Crude Oil ($CLX7) futures are trading higher on the session, with Crude Oil trading above $52 per barrel. The U.S. Dollar is trading slightly higher against the Euro ($6EZ7) as well. 

Where should you position yourself this week? Performance Coach John Hoagland goes over these markets to help give you an edge.

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Topics: Market Updates

The Three Things Required to Succeed in Trading - Trader Behavior

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 14, 2017

It was great to see Yra Harris' passion for financial markets when he stopped by TopstepTrader on Monday to talk about how to make trading a long-term career. That's the goal for so many people in the TopstepTrader community - so we took the extra time to parse through Yra's advice. He was clear in the three things that are required to succeed: preparation, patience and risk management. 

In this week's Trader Behavior video, Michael and Hoag talk about what they learned from Yra - even though they've each been trading for 15+ years. There are certainly takeaways for traders of all levels of experience and success. Give it a watch and leave any feedback in the comments. 

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Topics: Market Updates, Trader Behavior

Performance Coaches +$325 on the Week in their Trading Combine Challenge

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 13, 2017

The Performance Coaches are finally hitting their stride in their Trading Combine®. This week, the Coaches added nearly $325 to their balance - their second great trading week in a row. After being down more than $1,350 at one point, the Coaches are now down just $450 in total. 

Their journey has shown the critical role that proper risk management plays in trading. They have been profitable on just 39% of trading days and 35% of trades over the 23 days they've been active in markets. But since their average winning trades are nearly 80% higher than their average losing trade, they are able to stay in the game. 

In this week's video recap, Coach Dan Hodgman talks about their overall progress, some takeaways from the week and how the Coaches are catching their stride. Check it out!

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Trading Combine, Trading Basics

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