The #1 Rule of Trading in 2018

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 02, 2018

It’s a New Year - and there’s definite excitement here about the potential for trading markets in 2018. The second half of 2017 certainly provided some opportunities. Gold first hit a new yearly high before falling more than $100 - then rallying back at the end of the year. The U.S. Dollar’s downtrend continued and accelerated in the final weeks of 2017. And Crude Oil gained above $60 per barrel on the final trading day of the year.

But - all that means nothing if you ignore the number one rule of trading: Always ensure you can trade tomorrow. The moves of today mean nothing if you burn through your capital and can’t capitalize on opportunities tomorrow. Here’s why.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Trading Psychology

The Secrets to Price and Volume - Limit Up! with Todd Horwitz

Posted by TopstepTrader on December 28, 2017

Todd Horwitz got his start trading in the pits 38 years ago. In the midst of that madness, he was able to develop a way of reading the energy of the crowd, finding success. In electronic trading today, that energy translates to paying close attention to price and volume - and ignoring everything else. 

In this conversation with Eddie Horn on our podcast, Limit Up!, Todd talks about the secrets to his trading success: price and volume. But Todd also outlines the great trading mechanics that have helped him stay risk focused. For example, he shared a story of when he kept moving a stop one or two ticks away (hoping the price rebounded) and ended up taking a $2,200 loss. He keeps that chart right next to his desk so he never forgets again.

If you like this episode, please be sure to subscribe in iTunes, Google Play or on Soundcloud

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Topics: Trading Basics, Limit Up!, Todd Horwitz

Mastering Trading Emotions and Improving Performance - Limit Up! with Rande Howell

Posted by TopstepTrader on December 20, 2017

Every great trader works seriously on their mental performance to increase their P&L - without exception. Understanding how the brain is - and is not - suited for trading can allow you to realize how to manage your instinct. 

There's no better person to lay out these factors than Rande Howell - a 15-year trading psychologist who has helped traders, portfolio managers and money managers improve their performance. 

Rande talks about the way that our brains are designed and goes over some exercises that can help us identify in the moment when we may not be making the best trading decisions. As Rande says, it's not about fighting emotions, but embracing them - and then realizing what that typically means for our performance.

Give it a listen - and be sure to subscribe to Limit Up on iTunes or Google Play. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Limit Up!, Trading Psychology, Rande Howell

5 Can't Miss Stories: Real Life Success in Trading

Posted by TopstepTrader on December 19, 2017

Trading isn't easy. Even profitable traders will tell you that they are still working to become better and limit the mistakes they make. 

That's why we work to share insights from everyday traders, legendary investors and our funded traders. Together, these stories paint a picture of what it takes to be successful in markets. Here are five can't miss stories and what they can teach you - just in time to incorporate for the New Year!

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Topics: Success Stories, Trading Basics, Trading Lessons

Turning $2,000 to $70,000 in 1 Year - on the Way to Tens of Millions

Posted by TopstepTrader on December 18, 2017

Randy McKay is a name that many traders have likely not heard of. He is one of the rare breed of trader that was able to find success immediately - without blowing up an account or experiencing many of the challenges that even successful traders face. He was able to turn a $2,000 stake into $70,000 in his first year trading currency futures on the floor. That was a short pit stop to making tens of millions during his trading career.

Here are the three pieces of advice he gave traders in Jack Schwager's The New Market Wizards to improve their performance. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Market Wizards, Forex

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

Inside the Life of a Full-Time Oil Trader - Limit Up! with Tracy Shuchart

Posted by TopstepTrader on December 13, 2017

If you have a goal of trading full time - or just trading more, then this episode of our podcast Limit Up! is a must listen. This week, we dig into the daily routine of Tracy Shuchart, a Crude Oil ($CL) trader. We talk about how she got into the business, what charts she looks at, and the interplay between technicals and fundamentals.

Tracy talks about how much work she does on a daily basis, both before the open and after the close. She also discusses why she has multiple plans when she enters a trade - to try to capture all contingencies. 

Give it a listen - and be sure to subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes or Google Play. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Limit Up!, Tracy Shuchart

How Common Sense Helped One Trader Retire in 10 Years

Posted by TopstepTrader on December 12, 2017

By all accounts, Jim Rogers’ career is legendary. He started trading stocks in 1968 with just $600. In 1973, he co-founded Quantum Funds with George Soros, which went on to generate 4,200% returns over 10 years. (The S&P 500 only gained 47% during the same period.) By the time the 1980s rolled around, Rogers had earned enough money to retire from full-time trading.

But it’s not his reported $360 million net worth that makes him exceptional. At least, it’s not the only thing. What really makes Rogers a standout is his common-sense approach to the markets.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Market Wizards, Jim Rogers

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

The Secrets Behind $47K in November Withdrawals

Posted by TopstepTrader on December 10, 2017

TopstepTrader's funded traders had a great November - even in conditions that were not so easy. They piled up profits and even took out $47,000 from their Funded Accounts™ - just in time for the holidays. 

In this special bonus episode of our podcast, Limit Up!, we talk about what made them so successful. Host Eddie Horn talks with Funded Trader Risk Manager Mick Ieronimo and Dr. Jinnie Cristerna to get their take on how a trading strategy intertwines with psychology to allow for success day trading the markets. 

Give it a listen - and be sure to subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes or Google Play. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Limit Up!, Trading Psychology, Jinnie Cristerna

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