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

Profitable Scalping: New Funded Trader, Darya (Omsk, Russia)

Posted by TopstepTrader on August 21, 2017

Trading Lessons from Darya's Success:

One trade is all it takes:
Unlike Graham's 47 days, it took Darya just 16 days to meet her Funded Trader Preparation profit target of $1,500. On 14 of those days, she placed just one trade, with an average winning trade size of $109.25. Being so controlled, she was able to make winning trades nearly 79% of the time.

Control the size of losers:
Risk is often a common theme in our funded trader blog posts, but Darya took that to a whole different level. Her average losing trade was just $25.52, less than a quarter the size of her average winner. Her largest losing trade was just $42.36. She immediately cut losers when they didn’t work out. Her average duration for a losing trade was just 3 seconds (that’s less time than it took you to read this sentence).

Vary contract size with confidence:
Darya was comfortable trading four contracts, but would frequently cut that size in half - presumably based on her confidence in the trade. While it makes sense for some traders to always default to X contracts, for Darya, varying contract size worked well.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders

Patient Profits: New Funded Trader, Graham (Lafayette, Louisiana)

Posted by TopstepTrader on August 18, 2017

Trading Lessons from Graham's Success:

Patient profits:
It took Graham 47 trading days to pass Funded Trader Preparation, during which he battled back from a negative $1,388.40 balance - within $600 of his max drawdown - to make $3,311.83 in total profits. Graham knew that there’s no reason to force the market to give you profits. He took his time, stuck by his rules and successfully made it to the destination.

Dealing with commissions and fees is a challenge:
Graham was consistent in his trading size - always two contracts. But he was in and out of the market much more than many of our other funded traders. He paid an average of $72 in fees and commissions each day while trading nearly 40 contracts. His net daily P&L during Funded Trader Preparation was $70.46 after commissions. Put another way, of all the profits he made from the market, more than half was eaten away by commissions and fees.

You can be profitable with a sub-50% winning trade percentage:
Graham was only profitable on 41.36% of his trades, but he was profitable on 49% of days. With an average winning day of $380.55 and an average losing day of $226.70, he stayed on the right side of the ledger.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders

Killing Crude: New Funded Trader, John (Winona Lake, Indiana)

Posted by TopstepTrader on August 16, 2017

Trading Lessons from John's Success:

Ride a hot streak:
John has kicked off his Funded Account, just 10 days in, by racking up $3,473 in profits, an average of nearly $347 per day. Though he’s profitable just 59% of the days, his average winning day is crushing his average losing day: $839.84 compared to losses of $391.40.

Have a goal that's larger than the money: John said that a motivating factor behind his learning futures is that he wants to learn to trade full-time - a move that would allow him to spend more time with his family. He understands that trading is a marathon, not a sprint and consistency is key.

Don't try to be right 100% of the time: John eventually wants to be right on 60% or more of his trades, providing a realistic target for him to hit. Futures traders that think they can be right on every trade are setting themselves up for failure.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders

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