A New High Water Mark: Performance Coaches' Trading Combine

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 23, 2017

The Performance Coaching team seems have now fully overcome their early struggles and set a new high water mark for their Trading Combine®. Today, the Coaches jumped on the Emini S&Ps, shorting it as it began to fall this morning. The trade was almost immediately profitable and prices never really threatened the Coaches stop. But given the overwhelming trend recently, they did jump out of the trade a couple points early, booking 5.5 points. 

Here's what led them to think that the market was set for a decline when they entered the trade.

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Trading Combine, Trading Basics

Major Futures Market Player: These are the 5 Traits of a Successful Trader

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 23, 2017

This week, in our series of insights from Jack Schwager's Market Wizards, we look at Gary Bielfeldt, a trader that built a fortune and became one of the largest players in the U.S. Treasury futures market. (Read our last post about Tony Saliba's streak of 70 consecutive months with more than $100,000 in gains)

Gary Bielfeldt was one of the largest players in futures markets, honing a specific niche in U.S. Treasury Bonds. But his trading career started the same way many normal futures traders do: with a $1,000 investment in a brokerage account. At the core to Bielfeldt's success is the fact that he "does not believe in diversification," according to Jack Schwager's Market Wizards.

That is becoming a common theme as many of TopstepTrader's funded traders have found success by trading in one or two products. But, Bielfeldt's best advice came on the subject of the traits of a successful trader. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Market Wizards

+$424.52 on the Week: Performance Coaches' Trading Combine Challenge

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 21, 2017

The Performance Coaches have erased (nearly) all of their losses after getting in an early hole in their Trading Combine® challenge. Their account is now at $49,967.05 - just $33.95 below their initial balance. But getting to this level was not easy. 

The Coaches have to deal with the fact that many of their early trades in the day are losers, putting them in a hole right off the bat. In this week's video recap, they talk about how they've approached that, as well as what other traders can learn from digging themselves into early holes. (For three concrete takeaways thus far, check out yesterday's recap.)

Check it out!

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Trading Combine, Trading Basics

Don't Call It a Comeback: Performance Coaches' Trading Combine

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 19, 2017

When setting out in the Performance Coaches' Trading Combine®, the Coaches really wanted to exhibit good risk management techniques in a real-time market. Ultimately, the market does what it wants - and the Coaches can't guarantee that they would see it clearly. But they could guarantee that risk management would be paramount, and we hoped to show its impotance. 

With today's trades, their closing balance is $49,958.09 - down just $41.91 for the challenge. At one point in the challenge, however, they were in a $1,359.70 drawdown and just $640.30 away from their max loss. 

Here are the three things that kept them in their Trading Combine when the odds were not in their favor. 

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Trading Combine, Trading Basics

Blair Hull: The Man Who Stopped the Crash of 1987

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 19, 2017

On October 19, 1987, the equity market experienced its largest one-day decline ever. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22%, setting off a chain of events that took global equity markets lower. 

This isn't the story of the Crash of 1987. This is the story of Blair Hull - the man who may have single-handedly steadied the market and in the process made 50% return on capital in a month.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Market Wizards

Finding a Groove in the Crude: Performance Coaches' Trading Combine

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 18, 2017

The Performance Coaches are in a 3-day winning streak in their Trading Combine®, adding a solid $33.96 to their account balance. It's not a lot - but it's positive, and that's the most important part. The Coaches are in tune with the Crude Oil market, gaining $162.64 today in $CLZ7. Those gains were offset by a loss in the U.s. Treasury Bond. 

Here's how the day played out for them. 

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Trading Combine, Trading Basics

Are Great Traders Born or Made? $150 Million in Trading Profits Gives Us the Answer

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 18, 2017

Is great trading a learned skill or an innate ability?

If this sounds like a question that could be at the heart of a movie, that's because it was. In Trading Places, two brothers that ran a commodities trading firm made a $1 bet on whether they could simultaneously turn a scam artist and criminal into a successful trader and a successful trader into a criminal. (If you haven't watched it, you should!)

But the question of whether great traders are born or made was also the subject of a real-life experiment by Richard Dennis, a Chicago trading legend, and his partner, William Eckhardt. 

Dennis - who had made hundreds of millions trading - believed that great trading was a result of a disciplined approach; a trader just needed to be taught rules and given risk management parameters. Eckhardt believed that traders like Dennis had an innate ability and underlying talent that allowed them to be successful. 

In the end, Dennis was proven right - and he added $150 million to his firm's bankroll in the process. Here's how. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Market Wizards

Taking Advantage of Crude Oil: Performance Coaches' Trading Combine

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 17, 2017

The Performance Coaches caught a strong rebound in Crude Oil ($CLX7) today - netting them more than $270 in profits on the day. After today, their balance is $49,661.49, down just $338.51 on their Trading Combine®

Though they are down on the Trading Combine, they have gained more than $1,000 off their lows having finally caught their stride. They've honed in primarily on one market - Crude Oil - and are working as a team. 

Here's how they identified today's trades, one a loss of $120 and one a gain of $400. 

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Trading Combine, Trading Basics

$0.01 Away From a Great Trade: Performance Coaches' Trading Combine

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 16, 2017

Monday was a slow day in futures markets. The Emini S&P 500 ($ESZ7) was in a five-point range; U.S. Treasury Bonds ($ZBZ7) traded in a 14-point range; and Crude Oil ($CLX7) fluctuated up and down $0.50.

Inside of that, the Performance Coaches saw one opportunity and went long Crude Oil at $51.77 with a stop at $51.62. But unlike two weeks ago when the Coaches were a penny on the right side of the market, today, they were a penny on the wrong side of the market. Their stop was hit at $51.62 - and then the Crude Oil market took off, rising back to $52.

"It was a bit unlucky, but that's the market sometimes," said Performance Coach Dan Hodgman. "Novice traders may think that the market was out to get them or that automated systems were hunting for stops. I think we realize that it's not personal. The market will do what it is going to do."

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Trading Combine, Trading Basics

How This Trader Put Together a 70 Month Streak of $100K+ Gains

Posted by TopstepTrader on October 16, 2017

This week, in our series of insights from Jack Schwager's Market Wizards, we look at Tony Saliba, a trader who put together 70 consecutive months where he made more than $100,000 each month. (Read our last post about the trader who invented card counting.)

Tony Saliba is not a household name. In fact, even if you read Jack Schwager's Market Wizards, you probably don't remember him by name. But you can't argue with performance - and Saliba put together a streak of 70 consecutive months where he made more than $100,000 each month.

But before he did that, he nearly went bust. Then, a switch flipped. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Market Wizards

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