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Tip of the Week: Manage Your Expectations

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 24, 2019

Expectations are everything. Trading is so difficult because there is so much opportunity. But if you expect to take advantage of it all the time, that could be setting yourself up for a fall. In this week's Tip of the Week, TopstepTrader's founder Michael Patak talks about managing expectations. 

This is coming from a guy who got started trading as many of us do — thinking he was going to make $1 million+ in year one. That didn't happen, and instead, Michael's trading floundered while he lost $90,000 over three trading accounts. Fortunately, that served as a wake-up call that led him to focus on more realistic expectations. 

Here's Michael's take on managing expectations.

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Topics: Trading Lessons, Futures, Michael Patak, Tip of the Week

EUR/USD at Huge Inflection Point: Reversal Imminent?

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 21, 2019

Did you see that move in EUR/USD yesterday?

Since hitting a low in early March, EUR/USD has been on a tear, gaining eight out of 11 trading days. Heading into yesterday's Federal Reserve meeting, that put the price pushing up towards some critical resistance.

To make things more interesting, the FOMC went ultra-dovish in their statement, backing away from any interest rate increases in 2019, downgrading the outlook for growth and setting an end date for its quantitative tightening. That hit the U.S. Dollar hard and has EUR/USD threatening to reverse a year-long downtrend. Let's take a closer look.

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Topics: Forex, EUR/USD, Currency Pages, TopstepFX

A Magic Number for the S&P 500… 2800?

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 21, 2019

Market predictions are all over the map after the jaw-dropping fall and rebound in the S&P 500 over the past six months. Some believe the market’s 14% swoon in the fourth quarter 2018 was unjustified given that the U.S. economy remains strong.

Others worry that, after a 13.3% year-to-date rebound, the market has rallied too fast given recent signs that the economy and earnings growth are slowing. The net result is an environment where price action remains headline-driven, with several key levels to watch heading into Q2.

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Topics: Market Updates, volatility, economic data, economic data reports

Constructive Price Action as Crude Oil Bubbles

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 18, 2019

Crude oil is moving to its best levels in months, and an upward trend channel on the chart suggests there’s more room to run.

After falling sharply in the final few months of last year, prices hit a bottom in the Christmas Eve Massacre before a sharp move higher in the first two months of this year. The new mantra as the uptrend takes shape has been “buy the dip” and stands in stark contrast to the bearish sentiment that beset crude oil prices in late 2018.

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Topics: Futures, Crude Oil

Tip of the Week: Set a Personal Loss Limit

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 18, 2019

In this week's Tip of the Week, TopstepTrader's founder Michael Patak points out something that we all must accept: setting a personal loss limit. Whether that's a daily loss limit, weekly loss limit, or overall loss limit, as traders, we don't have unlimited funds and need to realize when things are not going our way. A loss limit is the way to do that.

Instead of viewing a loss limit as something that constrains performance, we have to realize that it actually enables good performance. Losses happen in trading, but you can't let a loss get out of hand and endanger your future in this business. 

Here's Michael's take on why every trader should have a personal loss limit.

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Topics: Trading Lessons, Futures, Michael Patak, Tip of the Week

CME to Launch Micro E-mini Futures in May

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 14, 2019

Smaller versions of popular stock index futures contracts are on the way. CME Group announced this week that it will list Micro E-mini futures in May. The new products will equal one-tenth of some of the more popular stock index futures contracts today and these new vehicles are intended to make index futures trading more accessible to individual investors.

And before you ask, we know what you're thinking: Will TopstepTrader offer some of these new indexes if and when they become available?

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Topics: Futures, E-Mini S&P, CME

British Pound Volatile Ahead of Monumental Brexit Vote

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 12, 2019

On Monday, the British Pound shot 1% higher. Those gains were magnified in the Asian and London trading sessions before the pair sold off sharply. Coming into the office Tuesday, futures and forex traders in the U.S. will see that move nearly fully reversed, with the GBP/USD trading at 1.3060, down from a high near 1.33 in overnight trading.

Tuesday's move came as U.K. Attorney General Geoffrey Cox offered a legal opinion that may make Prime Minister Theresa May's plan less likely to pass today when it comes up for a vote. Ahead of that key vote, here is what to look for as you trade the British Pound. 

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Topics: Forex, GBP/USD, British Pound, TopstepFX

Tip of the Week: Have a Trading Plan

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 10, 2019

In this week's Tip of the Week, where TopstepTrader's founder and CVO Michael Patak shares one of the most important lessons to any trader. Make. A. Trading. Plan.

Trading plans are critical to any trader's success. They require that you put in thought ahead of actually opening up your trading business (aka live trading). In Michael's first trading plan, he wrote down what products he was trading, his daily loss limit, his target profit and what he was going to do with the money he made. That last point may be unique to Michael, but he believes that you should always connect your work trading to real life. That will stop you from risking too much in any one day or letting profits slip into losses. 

Here's Michael's take on why every trader should have a plan.

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Topics: Trading Lessons, Futures, Michael Patak, Tip of the Week

Jobs Report Week: Tracking Treasuries and What to Look For

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 05, 2019

Friday’s payroll data could shake up a Treasury market that has already been reeling lately. Expectations are for another strong report, but nowhere near the 304,000 jobs added in January. Treasury prices are trending lower ahead of the report — a sign, perhaps, that some expect another upside surprise in the headline number.

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Topics: U.S. Treasuries, economic data reports

Huge Week Ahead for Forex Traders

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 03, 2019

We have a HUGE WEEK for markets ahead. Take a look at the economic events that are poised to move forex markets in the next five days:

  • Monday, 10:30 PM ET: Reserve Bank of Australia
  • Wednesday, 10:00 AM ET: Bank of Canada
  • Thursday, 7:45 AM ET: European Central Bank
  • Friday, 8:30 AM ET: U.S. February Non-Farm Payroll Report

Here’s a look at how all these events may shake out in the market.

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Topics: Trading Lessons, Forex, Currency Pages, economic data, European Central Bank

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