Trading can sometimes be a circular journey—you're never too high to fall back to Earth. In fact, some of the best traders ever blew it all and were forced to reinvent themselves to find success. Daerin P. from Illinois experienced his own setback when he lost his first Funded Account with Topstep, but he didn't let that be the end of his story. He worked on discipline and risk management and came back better than ever. You can learn more about his journey by reading below.
What do you look for to enter the markets?
Daerin looks to keep things simple by just trading the price action and trying to determine whether the market is trending or range-bound. He believes you can only be in your time-frame, and prefers to make trades based on 5-minute charts.
He started trading the Aussie Dollar back in 1999, but transitioned to the E-mini futures recently because he found them to have "more personality" during the day. Not having to stay up at all hours of the night to monitor the Australian markets was certainly an added benefit.
What happened to your first Funded Account?
"Losing the Funded Account the first time was actually one of the best things that happened to me as a trader," Daerin said, adding that the experience laid bare his issues with risk management and led him to reconsider the way he approached the craft. "I know the chart game is there — it's just the risk management, that's what keeps you in the ballgame."
Why do you trade?
The "why" is the most important question when it comes to trading. If you're just in it for the profits, finding success will be tough sledding. If you don't find the process at least somewhat enjoyable, then please do yourself a favor and find something more fulfilling to do with your time.
Asked why he chooses to trade, Daerin admits that he actually enjoys the lack of control. You don't know what's going to happen next, you can only put yourself in the best position based on probability and control your risk.
"To be a great trader, you need to bring the best version of yourself every day. Most professions you can get by with 50% effort, and you'll still get a guaranteed paycheck. With trading, you're only as good as your next trade," Daerin said.
Obviously this lack of certainty isn't something that appeals to everyone, but for those that enjoy the process of trading, it can be exhilarating.
Why did you choose Topstep?
Daerin joined Topstep as a means of validating himself as a trader. Trading can often times be a lonely endeavor and sometimes it helps to have guide-rails in place to prevent yourself from acting on your worst impulses. Yes, Topstep provides trading capital, but perhaps more importantly it instills discipline and sound risk management skills in its traders.
What advice do you have for other traders?
According to Daerin, the most important thing when you're beginning is not to focus on profits, because that's not really how to prove you're a good trader. The most important thing is to learn how to manage risk and to survive. You have to master the things that are under your control and learn to accept the things that are not.
As far as managing risk, he provided a baseball analogy: a 1:1 reward-to-risk trade is like a single, and a 2:1 trade is like a double. These will be the bread-and-butter trades that grow your account. But you can't be giving up doubles if you're only hitting singles consistently.
"You're not in the business of giving up home runs—you're in the business of hitting home runs," Daerin said.
If you enjoyed hearing Daerin's thoughts, subscribe to our YouTube channel for the latest interviews with TopstepTrader users. And if what you saw here intrigued you, find out more about how to get your own Funded Account with us.