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Trade Better Now: Your Weekend Curriculum

Posted by TopstepTrader on June 02, 2018

Regardless of how things turned out last week, next week is a mystery. What are you doing this weekend to get better at trading?

Luckily, TopstepTrader has you covered. Here are three resources that will make a huge impact on your trading next week, but take less than an hour to check out. 

“A peak performance trader is totally committed to being the best and doing whatever it takes to be the best." — Dr. Van K. Tharp

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Topics: Trading Basics, Forex, Futures, Trading Setups, Weekend Curriculum, John Hoagland

The Most Important Metric in Trading (Hint: It’s Not Your P&L)

Posted by TopstepTrader on May 29, 2018

Metrics can be a lifesaver for a trader. Without a way to evaluate your strategy, each trade is little more than a roll of the dice. Yes, there’s an element of chance in the markets. But you can’t depend on things going your way if you want to be consistently profitable.

Certainly there are a lot of metrics that are interrelated that will ultimately bleed into the bottom line. But, as we have talked about in the past, if you are only focused on your bottom line, you are going to have a tough time trading.

So what’s the best metric to look at? The risk-to-reward ratio. Broken down, this tells you how much you lose on an average losing trade versus how much you gain on an average winning trade. Other metrics, like your net profit / loss, may make your feel good, but your risk-to-reward gives you information you can use to actually get and sustain that healthy account balance. Here’s how.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Trading Basics, Forex, Futures

Jack Schwager: Secrets of the World's Best Traders

Posted by TopstepTrader on May 24, 2018

No one has studied the world's best traders like Jack Schwager has. That's why it was incredible that he dialed into the Limit Up! studio to share his  insights. 

Among these insights, Jack said that the best piece of advice he received was to “know where you’re gonna get out before you get in.” That advice came from Bruce Kovner, a trader that built a $5.4 billion fortune (here's how).

Check out this interview and be sure to subscribe to Limit Up on iTunesGoogle Play or SoundCloud to get the fresh episodes each week delivered to your inbox.  

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Topics: Trading Basics, Limit Up!, Forex, Futures, Jack Schwager

The 3 Hottest Opportunities in the Forex Market

Posted by TopstepFX on May 23, 2018

The following was written and emailed to TopstepFX subscribers on Wednesday, May 16. To subscribe, start an account at https://app.topstepfx.com/register.

Heading into the summer, you might not expect this to be one of the most active times for the forex market. But in 2018, you can't make that assumption. 

Between the U.S. and China in a trade war — or trade dispute, depending who you ask — overall market volatility is staying high, presenting lots of opportunities to capitalize on. The GBP/USD has come $0.10 off its high, while the EUR/USD is down $0.08. 

The recent surge in the U.S. Dollar is among one of the three opportunities for forex traders to take advantage of. Here they are all the opportunities and why.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Forex, Currency Pages

3 Lessons After the Greatest Trade Ever

Posted by TopstepTrader on May 22, 2018

Yesterday, we talked about hedge fund manager John Paulson, who made what was called The Greatest Trade Ever. And just as that trade had three important lessons, so does John Paulson’s performance a decade after it was made.

While Paulson’s firm made money for a bit, some of his top funds have not done well in the meantime. For instance, Paulson’s Advantage Fund was down double digits for three years. The Paulson Partners Enhanced fund fell 35% in 2017.

In total, Paulson may have lost more of his investor’s capital since 2008 than he made in his $15 billion run. That’s because money poured in and his performance changed. Here are three lessons you can learn from his reversal of fortunes.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Market Wizards, Forex, Futures, John Paulson

3 Lessons from the “Greatest Trade Ever”

Posted by TopstepTrader on May 21, 2018

One series of trades — $15 billion in profits. That’s what Wall Street Journal reporter Gregory Zuckerman dubbed The Greatest Trade Ever.

If you don’t know the reference, we’re talking about when Hedge Fund Manager John Paulson made a series of calculated bets against the subprime mortgage market starting in 2006. The bets took his hedge fund from relative obscurity to household name, earning himself and his investors windfall profits.

To put it in context, there were single days where Paulson made $1 billion in profits. Here are three tactical lessons that you can learn from Paulson’s execution of the Greatest Trade Ever.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Market Wizards, Forex, Futures, John Paulson

5 Steps to Trading Your Way to Financial Freedom

Posted by TopstepTrader on May 18, 2018

TopstepTrader’s mission is to empower anyone to earn the financial freedom to pursue their dreams. That’s a lofty goal – but it’s about providing opportunity. It's up to individual traders to earn the results. 

As we’ve said 1,000,000 times, trading is about money management. If you are looking for a vault of gold or to ditch your full-time job within months, you are (probably) looking in the wrong industry. Instead, if you are looking to regain some of your freedom and to spend your day doing something you are more passionate about, then you have the right attitude to succeed.

Work hard and take these five steps towards trading your way to financial freedom.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Trading Basics, Forex, Futures

5 Ways to Know When You're Ready to Trade Live Capital

Posted by TopstepTrader on May 17, 2018

We recently discussed how sim trading is the secret to trading success. But you can’t stay in the virtual world forever — not if you hope to make money as a trader. So how can you know it’s time to start trading for real?

The key is consistency. In simulated trading, you get the practice you need to turn your actions into routine. The more your actions become routine, the better chance you have of responding to pressure in a positive way.
It’s a lot like what an elite athlete does. Take, for example, LeBron James hitting a last-second shot to win a playoff game. He makes the basket as easily as if he’s in his backyard.

You’re not working on your three pointer when you’re sim trading, but you are practicing the habits of a successful trader. Here are the five key habits you have to develop before you trade live capital.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Trading Basics, Forex, Futures

Why Traders Set Unrealistic Expectations... and How to Improve

Posted by TopstepTrader on May 16, 2018

"Trading is the hardest way to make easy money." — Michael Patak

Have you set a goal to make $1,000 trading? Because of leverage in futures, many traders have made four-figures in a single trading day. But averaging four figures — the equivalent of $250,000 annual salary — is another story. 

When TopstepTrader's Founder and CVO Michael Patak started trading, his goal was to make $1 million a year. That year, he lost $30,000. It was only after he reset his expectations, found out how much he had to make to sustain a living as a trader ($100 per day), and focused on small gains that he became successful.

As he says in this episode of Trader Behavior, "I decided that if I can't make $65,000 trading, then I have no business doing this every day." 

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Topics: Trader Behavior, Performance Coaching, Trading Basics, Forex, Futures

The Making of a Risk-Minded Trader

Posted by TopstepTrader on May 15, 2018

Being hyper focused on risk is not something that comes easy to a trader — even an experienced one. It's a skill that every trader, if they hope to be successful over the long term, has to develop. That's why this conversation with trader and risk manager Mick Ieronimo is so interesting. 

Mick got his start trading as a clerk in the grains pits on the floor before trading with a proprietary trading group and then handling execution for "Market Wizard" Linda Bradford Raschke's hedge fund.  

In this interview, Mick gives insight into how he first became interested in trading, what it was like working for Raschke and how he developed into a risk-minded trader. 

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

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