How to Analyze Your Trading: 7 Questions with a New Funded Trader

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 11, 2017

Derrick M. in Saskatoon, Canada has been trading for more than five years, but just recently caught his stride. Though Derrick passed the Trading Combine® three times before passing Funded Trader Preparation™, he just recently earned his first Funded Account™. 

We asked Derrick what changed in his trading that helped him complete the Trading Combine and Funded Trader Preparation on his third try. Here's what he had to say about that - as well as three pieces of advice he has for traders going through the Trading Combine or Funded Trader Preparation.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders

How to Be Profitable with 45% Winning Trades: New Funded Trader

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 05, 2017

Three Trading Lessons from Fred's Success:

Profitable with a 45% Winning Trade Percentage: In Funded Trader Preparation, Fred N. from St. Charles, Illinois, was wrong more often than he was right. But his winning trades were double the size of his losing trades - $255.83 vs -$122.36 - that he easily stayed profitable. As a result of the discipline to keep losses small, he was profitable on 70% of his trading days, making an average of $658.32 on those, while losing an average of $446.11 on his losing days. 

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders

3 Pieces of Advice on How to be Successful Trading Futures

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 03, 2017

Charles B. in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho has been trading in a Funded Account™ since January 2017. Throughout nine full months trading our capital, he has maintained a winning trade percentage of 47.5% and winning day percentage of 51%. 

Yet, he has managed to be consistently profitable because his average winning trade is more than double his average losing trade - at $354.98 vs a loss of $153.59. 

We asked Charles for some advice he'd give to other traders who are still looking for success. Here's what he said:

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders

New Traders Can Succeed in Markets: New Funded Trader, Alexandra (Orlando, FL)

Posted by TopstepTrader on September 26, 2017

Three Trading Lessons from Alexandra's Success:

New traders welcome: Alexandra has been actively trading markets for less than a year. But she demonstrated in the Trading Combine® and Funded Trader Preparation™ that she has the right temperment and outlook to be a profitable trader. Among her greatest self-identified strengths: discipline, motivation, focus and patience. With that blend of strengths, Alexandra will be unstoppable. 

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders

Risk Without Discipline Will Result in Failure: New Funded Trader, Jason (Lena, WI)

Posted by TopstepTrader on September 13, 2017

Three Trading Lessons from Jason's Success:

Perfect the art of disciplined risk: We talk about managing risk - a lot. Jason succeeded in the 150K Trading Combine® and Funded Trader Preparation™ by perfecting a risk-tolerant strategy. What made his strategy different from maverick traders is that he was also disciplined. On days when Jason lost money, he took a large hit - losing $582.32 on average. But those days were far exceeded by his winning days, where he added on average $1,536.70 to his account. Being profitable on just 53% of trading days, the fact that his gains trounced his losses meant that he was overall adding $539.52 in his account each day. That’s great discipline.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders

How Trying to Make $20 Turned into Losing $1,350: New Funded Trader, Anthony (Warwick, NY)

Posted by TopstepTrader on September 11, 2017

Trading Lessons from Anthony's Success:

Learning the perils of going outside your trading plan: In the Trading Combine® that led to his Funded Account™, Anthony was just $20 away from his profit objective. Then, Murphy’s Law took hold. “I made $950 in one day on my Trading Combine, and I normally would have called it a day. But I was just $20 short of my profit target. For $20 I stepped outside of my trading plan and the losses piled up quick. I went from up $950 to ending the day -$400.”

Successful trading is a journey: We all have grand expectations that we will become the next Paul Tudor Jones, but in reality, profitable trading is a long process of learning and, unfortunately, losing. Anthony, who has been trading futures for more than five years, said that he first started a Trading Combine years ago. But he “took a break from TopstepTrader to re-evaluate myself as a trader.” Sometimes a break is all you need to change your mental approach.

Embrace volatility: Anthony realizes that volatile - or moving markets - are a trader’s best friend (so long as you aren’t married to a single market view or position). Anthony looks at a 1-minute timeframe to see those moving markets and where he might take advantage. Here’s Anthony summarizing his view: “Volatility and trend is a trader's friend. I look for opportunities in moving markets. My mantra is the stronger the trend, the bigger the opportunity.”

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders

August Trader Highlights - Funded Traders Take Big Checks, Long Winning Streaks

Posted by TopstepTrader on August 31, 2017


John F. from Winona Lake, Indiana withdrew $1,400 this month from his Funded Account™ after he gained $3,473 in just 10 days


August proved to be a busy month for our funded traders - with many of them putting up solid performances. With liquidity coming back to the market in September, we’re expecting good things from our community:

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Monthly Highlights

Don’t Surrender Gains: New Funded Trader, Steven (Fort Collins, Colorado)

Posted by TopstepTrader on August 31, 2017

Trading Lessons from Steven's Success:

Don’t give up your gains: Steven had a strong day to start his Funded Trader Preparation - gaining $2,141.20 on his first day. Instead of using that to trade more and larger, Steven made sure that his first responsibility was to not surrender those gains. As such, his low balance was $0 and he was able to move into a Funded Account in 10 trading days.

Don’t force it: Steven had a number of large gains during his Funded Trader Preparation - days where he gained $4,056.96, $2,141.20, $2,091.68 and $2,124.80. But he wasn’t always looking for a home run. If the market wasn’t giving him what he was looking for, he didn’t force anything. That’s probably why his highest losing day was just $562.68.

You can trade on a short timeframe and be successful: One of the other notable takeaways from Steven’s trading was that he tended to trade on a short timeframe - just a few minutes. His average winning trade was just over 7 minutes, while his average losing trade was 6 minutes, 39 seconds.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders

Don’t Let Losing Trades Define You: New Funded Trader, Peter (Eagan, Minnesota)

Posted by TopstepTrader on August 28, 2017

Trading Lessons from Peter's Success:

Two to three contracts is plenty of size: Peter kept his contract size to two or three at a time, despite the fact that our scaling plan in the 150K Funded Trader Preparation™ would allow him to trade up to 15 contracts at a time. With two or three contracts, Peter was able to rack up an average gain of more than $500 per day he traded. (Learn more here about setting realistic trading expectations.)

There are a wealth of market opportunities:
Peter traded an average of six times a day - proving that there are plenty of opportunities throughout the course of a trading session. Many traders hold onto losing positions hoping that they will work out, instead of cutting losses and finding a new opportunity.

Don’t let losing trades define you:
Peter had a losing trade on 20 of his 22 days in Funded Trader Preparation. However, he kept these losses small - to an average of $93.93 versus gains on profitable trades of $173.26. Peter realized that you will have losing trades and that you can’t let them define you. As a result, he was profitable on nearly 83% of trading days.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders

Winning Trade Size Must Beat Losing Size: New Funded Trader, Robert (St. John, Indiana)

Posted by TopstepTrader on August 23, 2017

Trading Lessons from Robert's Success:

Watch your average winning trade vs average losing trade: On the TopstepTrader Dashboard, we provide a lot of valuable information, including the average size of winning trades vs. losing trades. Robert stayed on the right side of that equation, even though he only had a winning trade 46.89% of the time. His average winning trade was $155.01 versus an average losing trade of $116.52. That allowed him to still be profitable on 64% of days.

Don’t make it harder than it has to be: Robert’s average daily P&L during his Funded Trader Preparation was $382.49, yet the intraday swings were much, much higher. He gained as much as $5,846.44 in a day - and lost as much as $2,765.60, just enough to keep him inside the daily loss limit for the $150,000 account.

Know which products you trade well: Robert was particularly challenged by trading in the Ultrabond ($UB), which caused him to have some of his largest losses. It was trading the Ultrabond that caused Robert to lose $1,740.95 and $2,557.07 on two separate trading days. Conversely, he more than made up for those losses in Crude Oil, with days where he made $4,657.72 and $5,713.68. 

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders

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