What Separates Trading Success from Failure — A Look Back at Our Funded Traders

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 19, 2018

In 2017, TopstepTrader funded almost 400 futures traders with our capital, providing them risk-free opportunities to profit.

As we fund even more traders this year (we're on pace to fund 3x as many — with 241 traders funded in January and February!), we wanted to share concrete examples of the difference between profitable and unprofitable traders. 

To do so, we went back to the trading data. We tracked average daily profits, average daily losses, largest profit, and largest losses, comparing the traders who were active as of January 1, 2018 with those accounts that were closed in 2017. We grouped traders into two groups: those that were currently active in their Funded Account™ (Group A) and those that broke a rule trading in their Funded Account (Group B).

The results speak for themselves. 

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Trading Basics, Forex, Futures

The Secret to a $2k Week

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 16, 2018

TopstepTrader's founder and chief visionary officer, Michael Patak, joins Senior Performance Coach John Hoagland for a special episode of Trader Behavior. This week, Michael and John focus on a scenario that funded trader Bob R. faced last week  and how proper from management led to a $2,000 trading week.

In the week, Bob had a great day trading on Monday before hitting his loss limit on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Yet because he had set his personal loss limit at $350, he knew exactly what he could possibly lose each day and built that into his trading plan. He came back on Friday knowing that he couldn't lose money on the week (because he was up more than $350) and added $1,000 to his account. In total, he profited $1,950 on the week!

All this is to drive home a point: the way to increase profits is to actually tighten your losses. Bob has just 47% winning days, yet because his winning days are 2.5x his average losing days, he doesn't need to be right all the time to be profitable. Here's how tighter losses actually equal bigger profits. 

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

How to Make More Money Trading

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 15, 2018

TopstepTrader funded 159 traders in February — and we're on pace to eclipse that number in March. It's pretty common for new funded traders to want to get a quick start. But oftentimes fast is slow and slow is fast

It took our funded traders at least 15 trading days to get into their Funded Account™. Now, there is no rush to make money. They have all the time in the world. 

That's why our coaches wanted to make this PSA: the longer you trade, the more you get paid. The key to making a long-term career out of trading is to take your time and grow exponentially. In a year, you can be in a very different position. 

On the other hand, if you try to rush and start trading 10 contracts as soon as you can, your likelihood of survival falls drastically. Here is our coaches' advice. Enjoy.

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

Two Amazing Trading Lessons from “the Cal Ripken of Hedge Funds”

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 13, 2018

Comparing a trader to a baseball legend may seem odd at first. You might be more likely to look for an athlete known for flash, like Michael Jordan, or aggressiveness, like Mike Tyson. However, the aide who described hedge fund manager Monroe Trout in The New York Times as “the Cal Ripken of Hedge Funds” couldn’t have been more right.

Much like The Iron Man set the record for consecutive games played, Trout never missed a day in his 15+ years at the helm of Trout Trading. But showing up is a just small part of Trout’s story. These stats tell the rest:

  • In one five-year period, Trout was profitable in 87% of months.
  • His average annual return during that period was 67%, while his largest drawdown was just 8%.
  • In all months, Trout Trading never had a losing year and posted an average annual return of 21.5%.

Trout’s return/risk measurements are extraordinary, but his methods for achieving them can be followed by any trader. Let’s take a look at a few tactics you may be able to emulate.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Market Wizards, Forex, Futures, Monroe Trout

Turning $90K in Trading Losses into an Opportunity

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 09, 2018

Michael Patak is the founder and chief visionary officer of TopstepTrader. He started trading and promptly blew up three $30,000 trading accounts (for a total of $90,000). 

Not deterred, Michael realized that he was trying to hit home runs — allowing the promise of trading riches to lure him into huge losses. (Of course, trading with a gambler's mentality never works out.) 

In this episode of Limit Up, Michael talks through those early losses, the challenge from his father that turned his trading around and why the pain of those losses led him to found TopstepTrader. Be sure to subscribe to Limit Up on iTunes, Google tPlay or Soundcloud to get the fresh episodes each week delivered to your inbox. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Limit Up!, Forex, Futures, Michael Patak

5 Can’t Miss Posts from February

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 06, 2018

Volatility was the name of the game last month. Big swings may cause a few sleepless nights and anxious days, but they can also be profitable if you’re prepared. A robust risk management plan is the key to navigating the market’s sharp turns. Let’s take a look at some of February’s blog post that can help you get ready for the next wild ride.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Forex, Futures

Not Consistently Profitable? This Will Improve Your Trading

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 02, 2018

In trading, sometimes being stubborn pays off. At least that was the case for Anne-Marie Baiynd, a market technician and trader, who struggled early in her trading career. As she says, early missteps caused her to turn a large fortune into a much smaller stake.

But it was a revelation about her inconsistency that finally helped her turn the corner. This week's Limit Up podcast goes through Anne-Marie's journey into trading, her views on the importance of understanding the market's rythm and flow, and how she finally became consistently profitable. You have to listen!

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, Anne-Marie Baiynd

Tejas from Vancouver Earns a TopstepFX Funded Account

Posted by TopstepFX on February 28, 2018

February has been an interesting month for trading. There was a brief melt-down in equity markets, causing the U.S. Dollar to (at least temporarily) halt its downtrend. 

Tejas from Vancouver has capitalized on that environment to earn a TopstepFX Funded Account. But in talking with him about what made him successful, his perspective proves that trading forex is no different than trading futures: good trading is good trading.

Tejas’ keys to success are similar to what we often hear from successful traders: he started focusing on the actual market trends and became obsessive about his risk management. Here's how he earned his Funded Account.

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Topics: Success Stories, Trading Lessons, Forex, TopstepFX Funded Traders

This is a Guaranteed Outcome from Trading with a Gambler's Mentality

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 24, 2018

Some traders confuse trading with gambling. They start to focus on the winning and losing instead of the decision-making. And that will assuredly lead to ruin — the unfortunate situation where a trader blows up an account.

The same lack of discipline that will allow an account to grow from $50,000 to $1 million in six months will cause it to fall from $1 million to $10,000 six months later. It's almost guaranteed.

If you can't trade disciplined in a one lot, adding size won't help. 

This episode of Coach's Playbook talks about how traders can avoid the gambler's mentality and maintain their bankroll for prolonged success. 

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

30-Year Trading Veteran: This is "The Most Important Concept" to Traders

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 23, 2018

 There are a lot of traders that have been trading for 30 years... but not a lot that have made trading a career for 30 years. That's Brian Lund — who caught the trading bug early in his life. He bought a few stocks before he unwittingly got into a high flier: Adobe. 

Though he saw some early gains, Brian says that his trading only started to take off once he got into technical analysis, finding a style of trading that finally matched his personality. In this episode, host Eddie Horn talks with Brian about some of the tactical lessons that he's learned while trading. From the interview, it's clear that Brian has a process for trading — he knows exactly why he is trading. 

There's tons to unpack here. 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!, Forex, Futures, Brian Lund

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