Shorting a Market at New Contract Highs

Posted by TopstepTrader on April 30, 2018

Paul Tudor Jones has made his living picking trend reversals. He considers them low-risk opportunities. You may get cut five or 10 times, but with diligence, you can also catch huge moves. 

One of our funded traders, Trisha B., did just that — shorting Crude Oil when it hit contract highs near $70 per barrel. In this week's episode of The Trade, Coach Dan Hodgman takes a look at that trade and goes over some of the mental fortitude that Tricia had to exhibit to ride the trade for more than $1,000 in profits.

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

$5K in One Crude Oil Trade

Posted by TopstepTrader on April 16, 2018

With volatile markets, traders are able to take advantage of some big moves, without having to take on more risk. In this latest episode of The Trade, Performance Coach Dan Hodgman talks about a trade by Alexander K. (Latvia) put on. This trade is unique in a couple of ways.

First, the fact that Alexander had the patience to ride this for $5,000 in profits is unusual. That tells you something about the psychology of choosing a target and then sticking with it when the trade moves in your direction. 

Second, Alexander sold Crude Oil at the lows of the day. Oftentimes, inexperienced traders will look to buy the market at the lows, letting it make lower and lower lows and then puke out the position. Instead, Alexander did the opposite. He didn't fight the market and sold at the lows of the day, capturing a $1 move. By trading 5 contracts, that equated to $5,000 in profits.  

But the best part of Alexander's trading was that he did this all with a personal daily loss limit of $400. Think about that risk / reward ratio: he has the opportunity to make more than $5,000 in a day without worrying about losing more than $400. It will take him 12 max losing days to give back that $5,000 in profits to the market. Those are the types of risk / reward setups that enable long-term success. 

 Here's how Coach Dan breaks down Alexander's trade.

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

Your Best Trades May be Losses

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 27, 2018

In the latest episode of The Trade, Performance Coach Dan Hodgman hones in on a subject that a lot of traders don't talk much about: taking losses. Anyone who has been trading for a while knows that some of the best trades they make are losses. It can be painful, but it's a fact of life.  Even the best traders are wrong at least three or four times out of 10. 

But even though this trade resulted in a loss, the funded trader that made it chose a valid entry, a valid target and a valid stop point. That means that there's a lot you can learn from it.

If you've ever had trouble taking a loss, you have to watch this. Here is Coach Dan dissecting a losing trade. 

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

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 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

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