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Tip of the Week: Summer is Coming

Posted by TopstepTrader on May 19, 2019

Summer is just around the corner (for all of us trading in the Northern Hemisphere at least), and that means that market conditions are about to change considerably. In this week's Tip of the Week, TopstepTrader's founder Michael Patak explains why trading over the Summer presents its own unique set of challenges. 

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

Trump Tariffs, Leisurely Trade Negotiations Tank Equities (Again)

Posted by TopstepTrader on May 14, 2019

President Trump’s Twitter feed, which has become perhaps the best leading indicator for equities lately, sent a strong sell signal last Friday morning after the President suggested that, “there was absolutely no need to rush” trade negotiations with China. This comes after a week of saber rattling that sent markets into a volatile tailspin.

This bearish setup was confirmed when the President revealed that the administration was still in the process of implementing 25% tariffs on an additional $325-billion-worth of Chinese goods.

The stock market initially took this breaking trade news… not well.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Futures, Trading Setups, E-Mini S&P, volatility

Tip of the Week: Know Your Role as a Trader

Posted by TopstepTrader on May 12, 2019

What is the job of a trader exactly? If you can't articulate what you're supposed to be doing, then you should probably just stay out of the markets altogether. In this week's Tip of the Week, TopstepTrader's founder Michael Patak explains why it's important to "Know Your Role" as a trader.

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

Tip of the Week: Size Down to Size Up

Posted by TopstepTrader on May 05, 2019

Don't be one of those annoying traders who treats the number of contracts they have on at any given point as a reflection of their self-worth. You don't always need to be swinging for the fences. In fact, the truth is that sometimes you need to size down if you want to size up in the long run. 

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

Tip of the Week: Know the Risks and Rewards of Earning Season

Posted by TopstepTrader on April 29, 2019

Most traders learn pretty quick that the release of numbers like unemployment or GDP can cause huge swings in the futures markets, but remember, it’s not just the government that can make or break your day with a few choice words. Case and point, there's a good chance you might get your own revenue projections slashed if you forget about one of the big corporate earnings releases coming out this week. 

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

Meaty Rally in Lean Hogs as China Buys More Pork

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 28, 2019

US Hog Futures prices are surging. While a swine flu outbreak tightens supplies, rising Chinese purchases of US stock are driving up demand. The trend is worth watching because, even if you’re not hogwild about trading meat futures, prices might be driven even higher by the latest developments on the US-China trade front.

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Topics: Market Updates, Futures, China

Having a Performance Coach Gives New Traders a Competitive Edge

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 25, 2019

Before learning how to trade with TopstepTrader, Gabriel, who’s based in Spain, was an entrepreneur who ran multiple businesses. He heard an ad detailing how trading newbies could learn the business and decided to give it a try.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Futures, John Hoagland

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

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

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