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Why are the Best Trading Opportunities Scary?

Posted by Mark Meadows, TopstepTrader on February 14, 2019

Twice this week, I’ve been noticeably “scared” to enter a trade.

The first time was Monday, when I noticed an opportunity while watching the Market Forecast with TopstepTrader’s Senior Performance Coach John Hoagland. As he does every day at 8:15 AM CT live on TopstepTrader's Facebook page, John brought up the Crude Oil chart. It showed Crude was selling off hard to $51.26, slightly below a double swing low at $51.33 from January 17 and January 28. It was a clear opportunity.

But I missed it.

As the chart above shows, the price even came back to test that level two hours later. You’d think that this would be a great opportunity, but instead it just confirmed my thoughts that the market was “heavy.” The market looked heavy. It looked like the support was going to give.

It didn’t, and with the benefit of hindsight, we see that prices rallied that day $1.50 and have been rallying ever since. Opportunity missed again.

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Topics: Futures, Trading Lessons, Trading Basics, Forex, Emotions, Performance Coaching

Equity Bull vs Bear Debate: The Weekly Review

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 08, 2019

There were some big moves in equity markets this week. The run higher that started right before the New Year finally hit a snag. And now the chart looks like it might be creating a lower high — at least that's what our Market Analyst Mark Meadows has to say. That's not good for equity bulls. 

But not so fast, says Senior Performance Coach John Hoagland. He thinks that there are some areas of repair lower in the charts, but that the path of least resistance is higher. Here's the debate. 

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Topics: Futures, Trading Lessons, Trading Basics, Weekly Review

Trading Legends: Keys to Building My Trading Fortune

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 03, 2019

Are you looking for the best, most concise trading advice that you can find. Then look no further — we have you covered on this Best of Limit Up! episode. Over the year since the Limit Up! podcast launched, Topstep has talked with millionaire (and billionaire) traders and 'Market Wizards,' distilling their experience into actions and routines that you can implement in your trading.

In this episode, Topstep’s Eddie Horn walks listeners through prior conversations with five trading legends — Jack Schwager, Brett SteenbargerLinda RaschkeTony Saliba and Larry Benedict. Combined, these guests have taken untold fortunes from futures, options and forex markets. And now they'll share with you those key factors that helped them do it. 

Limit Up! is also available on iTunesGoogle Play or Spotify, where you can subscribe to get fresh episodes each week delivered to your inbox. 

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Topics: Limit Up!, Forex, Futures, Jack Schwager, Linda Bradford Raschke, Tony Saliba, Larry Benedict, Brett Steenbarger, Market Wizards, Currency Pages

The Weekly Review: Powell Forces Bears into Hibernation

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 01, 2019

The Federal Reserve meeting proved to be the event of the week. By not only reiterating their cautious approach, but also walking back quantitative tightening, the Fed put a bid under markets. Whether this is enough juice to get equity markets moving to new all-time highs is an issue for debate. 

In this week's Weekly Review, Mark takes issue with the idea that the Fed has to support equity markets, while Dan continues to drink the Kool-Aid and call for more accommodation. Check out their reactions to how futures markets moved this week. 

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Topics: Futures, Trading Lessons, Trading Basics, Weekly Review

This is the Equity Curve of a Trader with $27,000 in Profits Over 46 Trading Days

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 28, 2019

2019 has seen a couple new funded traders get off to red-hot starts. We talked a couple weeks ago about how Gabriel F. in Spain added $26,000 in profits in 33 trading days

But it's not just Gabriel that has been able to add big profits to his trading account recently. Bill M. in Illinois gained nearly $27,000 in profits in his Funded Account® over 46 trading days. And their two trading styles could not be less alike, proving that you can make money in a multitude of different ways. 

Whereas Gabriel sticks with Crude Oil and equity futures, Bill trades anything and everything. He's held positions in currencies (Australian Dollar, British Pound), metals (Copper, Gold), energies (Crude Oil, Natural Gas), agriculture products (Live Cattle), financials (Ultra Bond) and equities (Dow, Nasdaq, S&P 500, Nikkei). 

Also different: their reward-to-risk ratios. Gabriel had a perfect 2:1 reward-to-risk ratio; Bill's average winning trade is actually less than his average losing trade (+$471.82 vs -$571.65). To stay profitable, Bill has nearly 70% winning trades and 57% winning days. And, critically, he never loses too much on any one day — his largest winning day is $4,776 vs. a largest losing day of $1,550. 

Here's a closer look at Bill's equity curve, which is a beautiful lower left to upper right pattern. 

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Topics: Futures, TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Risk Management, Trading Lessons, Trading Basics, Success Stories

The Weekly Preview: Fed and Jobs Take Center Stage

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 28, 2019

This is going to be an action-packed week in futures and forex markets thanks to some major macroeconomic events: Wednesday's Federal Reserve announcement and Friday's Non-Farms Payrolls and Unemployment Reports. 

Mark, who believes that the bottom in equity futures and the risk-off trade is not yet in, debates with Dan, who believes it is, about how these events might drive the next big move in markets. Here's how they're approaching the week. 

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Topics: Futures, Trading Lessons, Trading Basics

What it Takes to be a Profitable Trader

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 27, 2019


In 2018, TopstepTrader funded more than 1,020 futures trading accounts with our capital. Behind all of those accounts was one risk manager: Mick Ieronimo. Mick saw the behaviors and trades that powered successful traders, as well as those behaviors that were common among unsuccessful traders.

In this must listen-to episode of Limit Up!, Mick discusses all of these things and what he has learned as a trader, both independently and with 'Market Wizard' Linda Raschke, and risk manager with TopstepTrader. 

Limit Up! is also available on iTunesGoogle Play or Spotify, where you can subscribe to get fresh episodes each week delivered to your inbox. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Limit Up!, Forex, Futures, Mick Ieronimo

The Worst Trade Paul Tudor Jones Ever Made and How You Can Learn From It

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 18, 2019

As we progress along our trading journeys, it’s important to never stop growing and improving. Sometimes, the best way to do that is to take the time to learn from one of the greats. As part of an ongoing series on notable traders, we’re taking time to talk about one of the most recognized names in the space: Paul Tudor Jones.

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Topics: trading mistakes, Cotton, Risk Management, Trading Plan, Trading Lessons, Paul Tudor Jones, Market Wizards

Looking Back, Moving Forward: A Review of 2018 at Topstep and Preview of 2019

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 18, 2019

We know, we know. These "new year" themed posts are supposed to come out at the beginning of January, not in the middle of it. But since our traders have been so busy getting ready to crush it in 2019, and we had so much to reflect upon in 2018, we decided to give you a break from all the themed posts out there.

Break's over.

2018 was a banner year at TopstepTrader for a whole host of reasons. In case you missed some of the milestones, we broke it all down, and are incredibly excited to give you a glimpse of what's on the horizon.

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Topics: TopstepFX, TopstepTrader, TopstepTrader Company Updates

Notable Trades: Learning from a $600 Scalp in Crude Oil

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 16, 2019

Our traders are making big and small moves every single day to boost their earnings and further cultivate their trading skills. Every now and then, a trade stands out to us as particularly smart. It’s not always about the most profitable trades, but ones that demonstrate discipline and steady insight. This week's notable trade is a perfect example.

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Topics: trading strategy, scalp, Crude Oil, PDH, PDL, momentum, Risk Management

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