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3 Reasons Not to Trade Over Holidays (+Bonus Turkey Recipe!)

Posted by TopstepTrader on November 22, 2019

coachs playbook

It's time for another rousing edition of the Coach's Playbook! Today Dan, Mick and Hoag discuss 3 reasons why you should unplug and not trade illiquid holiday trading hours. Also, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, they breakdown recipes for some of their favorite dishes including smoked turkey and White Castle stuffing. 

Speaking of taking a break, we'll be off next week, but be sure to tune in every Wednesday after that at 11:30 AM CT for new live episodes where you can ask your own trading questions, and find out what to do with the leftovers. 


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Lack of Liquidity

If you're new to trading futures, perhaps you have not seen the illiquid mess that is your DOM ladder on Thanksgiving night (the markets technically close at 12:00 PM CT on Thanksgiving, but they re-open in the early evening).

As a small retail trader, you should do yourself a favor and stay out of these markets, because they are likely to chew you up. Why?

Increased Slippage

If bad stop-loss fills drive you up a wall in normal markets, be aware that things can definitely get worse. In thin holiday markets, it's not uncommon for large orders to wipe out multiple price levels at once—leaving you high and dry as your trading software desperately chases its way to ever greater losses. 

Easy to blow through "hard" loss limits

It's extremely difficult to make money in these thin markets unless you are trading hedged positions or spreads, and are allowed to take significant heat on the trades. If you're trading small outright positions with a hard loss limit—as is the case in Trading Combine accounts—the markets will likely wipe you out before your trade has a chance to work out. 

Outright vs. Institutional

For the most part, large institutional players aren't participating in overnight holiday markets—they're at home enjoying the time off. Previous levels of resistance and support may go completely out the window without the stability provided by these institutional traders. 

Basically, there's a good chance your normal strategies just won't work. Which ties nicely into the final reason not to trade over the Holidays...

It's a Holiday—Enjoy It!

This is probably the most important point of all—we work hard in this profession and it's important to take time off when you can. Very few of us got into trading just to create a new ball-and-chain. What's the point of making your own hours if the result is grinding it out 24/7?

It's okay not to catch every move. There will definitely be more in the future. Take some time to reflect on your strategies, or even better, spend some time with friends and family. You need to unplug occasionally to grow.

Recipe Links

Speaking of which, eat some good food! Here are a few links to the recipes discussed in the video:

White Castle Stuffing. Sound disgusting? I assure you it isn't. This is an old family recipe passed down from my father. Plus you can eat a few of the extra sliders for a light breakfast. 

Smoked Turkey. Coach Mick emphatically selects smoking as his favorite method for turkey preparation. He claims it's more flavorful than baking or even frying. I'm not convinced, but I'm happy to entertain opinions in the comments. 

Lastly, if you are going to fry a turkey, don't burn your house down. Consider this a holiday public service announcement from your friends at Topstep.

If you enjoyed this, be sure to follow us @TopstepTrader on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel

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Topics: Trader Behavior, Coach's Playbook, Trading Psychology, Futures, Mick Ieronimo, John Hoagland, Dan Hodgman, Jack Pelzer

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