Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy - Trader Behavior

Posted by TopstepTrader on December 14, 2017

There are so many paradoxes in trading. We are quick to take winners off the table and slow to cut losing trades. Why? 

We often know intuitively what we should do, but we don't do it. And then we beat ourselves up for not doing what we knew we should do. It can become a vicious cycle. 

In this week's Trader Behavior, Dan Hodgman joins John Hoagland to explore these ideas and offer traders a way that they can better manage their emotions and trade better. Check it out and leave any feedback in the comments. 

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Topics: Trader Behavior, Performance Coaching, Trading Basics

Trade Better by Paying Attention to Your Competitors - Trader Behavior

Posted by TopstepTrader on December 11, 2017

There is no shortage of participants in futures markets - from actual producers and hedgers to high-speed computers colocated at the exchanges scalping for ticks... and everywhere in between. Thinking about the market as a collection of these different players with different interests can help give you a leg up on the competition. 

In this week's Trader Behavior, Senior Performance Coach John Hoagland and CVO Michael Patak talk about how they break down the market to help predict price movements.

For example, the two talk about the power of the prior day's settlement as a magnate for prices. They present a scenario where overnight traders push prices higher - getting long. If the prices don't follow through early in the U.S. session, the market has a tendency to move back to settlement as those traders get out of their positions. 

Check it out and leave any feedback in the comments. 

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Topics: Trader Behavior, Performance Coaching, Trading Basics

Preserving Mental Capital - Trader Behavior

Posted by TopstepTrader on December 01, 2017

As traders, we think about our P&L and how we can extend our capital. But with so much of trading success happening between the ears. That's why preserving the mental capital when you are not trading well to deploy when you are is so critical. 

In this week's Trader Behavior, Senior Performance Coach John Hoagland is joined by Risk Manager Mick Ieronimo to talk about how traders can preserve mental capital. Mick shares his own personal story about how he had a bias in the Soybean market in the past - costing him money, day after day. He was run down and gloomy, having depleted his mental capital. So, he took time off from markets. 

That afforded him enough time to build back his mental capital and reinstill discipline. Not surprisingly, he says that during his time away, Soybeans kept rising - and he thinks that he ultimately would have blown out his trading account had he not stepped aside. 

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Topics: Trader Behavior, Performance Coaching, Trading Basics

Four Ways to Improve Your Trading - Trader Behavior

Posted by TopstepTrader on November 20, 2017

Becoming a trader is more than just entering and exiting a position. You have to think about each trade and day with the midset of an entrepreneur. That means four things.

First, traders must have a growth mindset - what is it that you can learn today. Second, there is the grit and perseverence that comes from thinking creatively about what you do and the challenges that arise. Third, expand your community. Finally, it's important to know the consequences - which can be both positive and negative. Basically, what is the result of the choices that we are making?

The biggest goal though, as TopstepTrader's CEO Jay Rudman says, is progression. Always be moving forward. There is no destination - only the journey. 

In this week's Trader Behavior, Jay joins Senior Performance Coach John Hoagland to talk about the overlaps between Jay's background in entrepreneurship and Hoag's trading background. 

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Topics: Trader Behavior, Performance Coaching, Trading Basics

Trading with a Separate Income - Trader Behavior

Posted by TopstepTrader on November 09, 2017

Many of the traders in the TopstepTrader program are looking at it as the gateway to becoming a self-sustaining trader in the future. But can having a separate income actually be a benefit to achieving financial freedom through trading? 

The answer is yes. Many young traders in the floor trading days would moonlight elsewhere in order to earn some essential income for the month. TopstepTrader's CVO and founder Michael Patak bartended, something that actually helped him weather the ups and downs of trading. Even an extra $100-200 a week can really take the pressure off. 

So, if you've been looking at your full-time job as a hinderance to your trading, maybe now is the time to take another look at it. Check out this week's Trader Behavior where Hoag and Michael discuss their early trading careers and why a separate income is essential to learning good trading discipline. 

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Topics: Trader Behavior, Performance Coaching, Trading Basics

5 Steps to Trading Your Way to Financial Freedom - Trader Behavior

Posted by TopstepTrader on November 02, 2017

At TopstepTrader, our mission is to help anyone, anywhere earn the financial freedom to pursue their dreams. That is why Michael Patak started the Trading Combine® as a way for traders to safely learn and profit from futures markets - without risking blowing up real-money accounts. 

In this week's Trader Behavior video, Michael and Hoag talk about the five steps that traders need to take to help them on the path to financial freedom: (1) make a trading plan; (2) stick to your trading plan; (3) build the account; (4) increase leverage; and (5) pay yourself. 

The challenge is that these steps seem simple, but they're not. Traders get in trouble when they skip steps - for example, by adding leverage before they've sufficiently built an account up.

Check out the video and leave any feedback in the comments. 

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Topics: Trader Behavior, Performance Coaching, Trading Basics

Trading is Part Art, Part Science - Trader Behavior

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 26, 2017

At TopstepTrader, we view trading as part art and part science. You could give the same chart to two equally-skilled technical traders who have a different view on where the price will go.

That's because there's lots of humans interacting to create the market. So while the market as a whole may be rational, the people behind the markets are not. They are emotional. 

In this week's Trader Behavior video, Michael and Hoag talk about how the trader's mind needs to be creative in order to take in the whole picture. Give it a watch and leave any feedback in the comments. 

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Topics: Market Updates, Trader Behavior

The Three Things Required to Succeed in Trading - Trader Behavior

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 14, 2017

It was great to see Yra Harris' passion for financial markets when he stopped by TopstepTrader on Monday to talk about how to make trading a long-term career. That's the goal for so many people in the TopstepTrader community - so we took the extra time to parse through Yra's advice. He was clear in the three things that are required to succeed: preparation, patience and risk management. 

In this week's Trader Behavior video, Michael and Hoag talk about what they learned from Yra - even though they've each been trading for 15+ years. There are certainly takeaways for traders of all levels of experience and success. Give it a watch and leave any feedback in the comments. 

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Topics: Market Updates, Trader Behavior

This is How You Make Trading a Career: Interview with Yra Harris, a 40-Year Trading Veteran

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 12, 2017

Yra Harris has been trading commodities for nearly 40 years. He started on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), thrived in the transition from the pits to the screens and even became a board member at the CME later in his career.

Yra stopped by TopstepTrader earlier this week to talk with founder and CVO Michael Patak and Senior Performance Coach John Hoagland about how he has stayed profitable in trading for so long. To summarize Yra, he's been successful as a result of three things: (1) preparation; (2) patience; and (3) risk management.

You'll have to hear Yra relay his experiences in this special segment of Trader Behavior. 

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Topics: Market Updates, Trader Behavior

Want to Trade Better? Be Humble - Trader Behavior

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 07, 2017

Why are good traders humble? Experience, for one. After a while, good traders realize that the market is bigger than they are. Once you think you have the market pegged - that you have it all figured out - that's the beginning of the end. You can only last so long (see: Jesse Livermore).

Instead, it's the humble trader - the one that is confident in their position and view but knows beneath it all that the market will do what the market will do - who will succeed.

In this week's Trader Behavior video, Michael and Hoag talk why it's important to keep an open mind and be humble about your trading. Give it a watch and leave any feedback in the comments. 

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Topics: Market Updates, Trader Behavior

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