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

This is How You Trade Around Events

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 12, 2018

In the latest episode of The Trade, Performance Coach Dan Hodgman talks about one of our funded trader's trades last Wednesday, March 7. The trade occurred right after the ADP Employment Report, a report that showed 235,000 jobs were created in February — more than the 200,000 jobs expected. 

One might expect a better-than-expected jobs report to cause a sell off in the Ultra Bond (UBM8) since the market might anticipate that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates more this year. However, bond prices failed to sell off.  That could have been the spark that funded trader Craig S needed to initiate a long.

Some parts of this trade were good, while others may be more questionable. Here's Coach Dan's take on how to trade an event after it happens.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Performance Coaching, Trading Basics, Futures, Trading Setups, The Trade, Fixed Income

These are the 3 Rules of Short-Term Scalping

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 07, 2018

In the latest episode of our new trading segment, The Trade, Performance Coach Dan Hodgman takes a look at a successful Nasdaq futures (NQ) trade by Russell B. from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Russell's style is a little different than the other two trades that we've covered. He tends to be short-term minded and keeps very close stops — more of a scalping type trader than a position trader.

Given that his style is a little different, Coach Hodgman talks about what someone who is more of a scalper should think as they put positions on. Russell's risk in the trade was 2.5 Nasdaq points — $100 on a 2-lot. His target was more than 10 points higher, and he was able to eek out a $440 gain in less than 5 minutes. 

Check out the rules we learn in this week's segment.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Performance Coaching, Trading Basics, Futures, Trading Setups, Equities, The Trade

This is How to Ride a Market Wave Higher

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 27, 2018

In this week's episode of The Trade, Performance Coach Dan Hodgman takes a look at a trade by one of our funded traders, Melissa M. in Oklahoma. This is an actual Crude Oil ($CLJ8) trade that Melissa put on in real time — but Dan breaks down why it was a smart trade and what Melissa may have been looking at when she put it on.

In this trade, Dan follows Melissa as she gets long Crude Oil after the prior day's settlement price provided a floor for prices. (Check out this trade related to settlement price.) Then, when prices started to move, they really went. Melissa ended up netting more than $1,000 on the day, adding to gains she already had. 

Here's a minute-by-minute breakdown of that trade using the TSTrader Market Replay feature. 

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Trading Basics, Futures, Trading Setups, Equities, The Trade

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

This is How to Trade an Open Away from Settlement

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 21, 2018

In our new trading segment, The Trade, Performance Coach Dan Hodgman breaks down the logistics behind an interesting setup from last week. The first episode talks about one of Dan's favorite trades — the tendency for prices to move back to the prior day's settlement. 

Looking at Wednesday, February 14, there was a large gap between Tuesday's settlement price and Wednesday's opening prices. The gap was due to the 7:30 AM CT release of January retail sales and inflation reports. Markets sold off hard ahead of the open, presenting Dan with an interesting risk / reward setup.  

Dan takes a look at the E-mini S&P 500 contract and talks about how he would go about analyzing that market at the open. 

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Performance Coaching, Trading Basics, Futures, Trading Setups, Equities, The Trade

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!

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

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Behavior

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 03, 2018

No it's not quite as easy as, "If you believe it, you can achieve it." Trading is hard. But everyone has seen those moments in sports when momentum changes — like when an underdog finally believes they can win or a team that was down and out gets a lucky break and all the negative energy seemingly evaporates. The same can happen in your trading. 

Those moments of clarity are ones to take advantage of. You are in a flow state with the market. That's when your P&L can more than make up for the losing days. 

Senior Performance Coach John Hoagland and CVO Michael Patak talk through it and share how they keep positive energy going. Check it out and leave any feedback in the comments. Enjoy.

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

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