Nikhil O. in Illinois, U.S.A. got off to a troubled start in his TopstepFX Funded Account®.
In his first three days trading, he lost more than 70% of his overall cushion — losing $930 of his overall $1,300 account loss limit for the $200K Trading Combine®.
But he turned that around, and five days later, his overall P&L was $325. In another week, he built a nice base of profits that led to more than $4,100 in withdrawals.
So what’s his secret? No secret — just a lot of hard work, lessons learned and dedication.
The real lesson is that Nikhil is just like you. He has a full-time job, but a passion to make a living trading. And to reach that goal, he’s working on maximizing his trading strengths and minimizing his weaknesses, which is why TopstepFX is a great place for him.
We recently sat down with Nikhil to talk about his journey trading and what he would tell other traders in the TopstepFX Trading Combine. Here’s what he said.
1. Always, Always, Always Set a Stop.
Nikhil attributed some of his recent success to the fact that he was consistent in using stop losses and being thoughtful about them. “Don’t buy the myth of stop hunting,” he said, referencing a misconception that many traders may have. His point: the market is bigger than you — and it isn’t out to get you.
Traders that are less successful may tend to move stops when a position moves against them. More often than not, Nikhil cautioned, that trader will continue to lose money.
You may remember the time you moved your stop and the market went in your favor, but you likely forget all the times that you just continued to lose. “You get burnt nine out of 10 times, but you remember the one,” he added.
2. Trade with the Trend.
Nikhil built his $4,100 in withdrawals through a strategy that relies on multi-timeframe analysis. Specifically, he takes his preferred chart time frame — say 15-minute charts — and then goes to a 1-hour or 4-hour chart to identify the longer-term trend. (Whatever the time frame you trend off of, you go to one or two time frames longer to get the trend.) Then, he’ll rotate back to the short-term time frame to find the right entry point.
Nikhil’s favorite setup includes looking for specific candlestick setups, like a bullish engulfing candle. From there, he set his stop at a point where it would prove his thesis wrong. If the trend plays out, he’s handsomely rewarded. If it does not, then he has his predetermined stop and can look to get into another trade.
(Go here for more on trend trading.)
3. Know Your Strengths, Weaknesses and Goals.
Nikhil admits that he was a bit lucky in his trading. With a strength of identifying trends, he was able to catch much of the U.S. Dollar’s recent bull run. But he also credits his work on being patient, a self-identified weakness. Nikhil says that by being patient, he can capitalize on major market trends — riding those waves before getting out.
What keeps him moving forward? It’s the fact that he knows where he wants to go. His goal is to trade full time. But he’s not in a rush to get there. He says that being successful for the long term will require continuous work. And he’s not afraid to put in the time.
As for the $4,100 withdrawal, Nikhil says that he’s going to use it to pay off some debt and continue working on his trading.
Do you think you have what it takes to earn a Funded Account? Start trading now.