3 Tactical Differences Between Profitable and Unprofitable Traders

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 28, 2018

Let’s assume you’ve made a number of good decisions as a trader. You’ve selected markets and loss limits that fit your style. You’ve studied the charts and developed a strategy that gives you an edge. You’ve even created a trading plan that supports your long-term goals.

But despite your best efforts, you’ve failed to realize a profit.

Here’s the thing about trading: that's not unusual. Part of your strategy is unique to you, like how you trade the market you trade. Other parts are behavioral aspects that reinforce your approach. Here are three differences that help make traders profitable.

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

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

‘You Have to Do Your Homework,’ Says Funded Trader with $4K in Withdrawals in 13 Days

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 26, 2018

Like any trader, Mohammad A. in the United Arab Emirates has seen good days and bad. Since earning a Funded Account™, however, Mohammad has put together some impressives stats. In 13 days trading live with our capital, Mohammad has already withdrawn $4,000 in profits.

But that doesn’t mean he has everything figured out. Mohammad’s average winning trade is slightly less than his average losing trade ($135.36 vs -$147.38) — a statistic that he will work on as he looks to improve his consistency even further.

We talked with Mohammad to find out how he managed to get off to a quick start and how he plans to keep building on his success.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Success Stories, Trading Lessons

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

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

Racking Up Four $1K+ Days in February: 5 Questions with a Funded Trader

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 05, 2018

Melissa M. from Stillwater, Oklahoma doesn’t fit the stereotype of a trader. When she started trading back in 2010, she was a single mother with two young children, a full-time job, and a degree in microbiology.

At TopstepTrader, she found a way to explore her passion for trading. Now she’s putting up numbers other traders would envy. Just last month, Melissa posted four $1,000+ winning days, including a three-day streak where she gained $2,829. She hasn’t yet withdrawn from her Funded Account™, but she sitting on a very healthy account 24 days in.

We caught up with her for an interview to talk about how she did it — and why she believes she is more successful trading live now than in the past. 

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Success Stories, Trading Lessons

TopstepTrader Funds 159 New Traders in February!

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 28, 2018

In January, we were thrilled to fund 82 traders. In February, traders capitalized on market volatility to earn a Funded Account™. Just how many? 159!

To celebrate this milestone, TopstepTrader's CEO Jay Rudman and CVO and founder Michael Patak took to Facebook Live to talk about what made these traders successful, discuss recent program updates and answer questions. 

Check out the video below!

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, 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

5 Lessons from TopstepTrader’s Funded Traders

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 30, 2018

Successful trading is a continual process. But at TopstepTrader, we are in a fortunate position of backing more than 1,500 traders with live capital in a Funded Account™ — some of whom have become successful and some of whom have not.

Over this time, the traders that have been consistently profitable have done similar things. At a high level, they obsessively manage risk. They also ensure during the drawdowns that they are able to trade when the market starts fitting their trading strategy. 

From a more practical level, they do these five things. 

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Trading Basics, Futures

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