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What It Takes to Build a Long-Term Trading Career

Posted by TopstepTrader on September 07, 2018

One of the things that have helped humans progress is the fact that we've been able to build on our sum of knowledge over the course of our existence.

If you are trying to become a better trader — our theme here at Topstep for September (see our other articles) — alone, then you are doing it wrong. You have to learn from other traders. You have to build on their years of experience and knowledge. 

And Linda Raschke is one of those traders that you should know about. Our latest interview with her is action packed with insights.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Market Wizards, Limit Up!, Forex, Futures, Linda Bradford Raschke, September Trading Insights

Turning Trading Passion into Profits: 'Market Wizard' Linda Raschke

Posted by TopstepTrader on August 24, 2018

This week's interview with a legendary trader focuses on Linda Raschke, a futures trader. What is notable about Linda beyond her incredible success? Her passion, work ethic and breadth of experience. She is proof that to be successful trading, you can't be casual.

This is a special interview because our host Eddie turns the mic over to Topstep's risk manager, Mick Ieronimo, who was Linda's student and execution trader before joining Topstep. Mick takes a unique approach, coming at the interview from what Linda taught him. 

In fact, Linda had so much to share that we had to break the interview into two parts. This first part covers: 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Market Wizards, Limit Up!, Forex, Futures, Linda Bradford Raschke

70 Consecutive Months of 6-Figure Profits: Trading Legend Tony Saliba

Posted by TopstepTrader on August 23, 2018

Most people are drawn to trading because of the opportunity to make a great income in a challenging field. When things are going right, trading feels like it's easy money. When things are going wrong, trading causes you to beat yourself up — over and over again.

This week, we continued our August conversations with trading legend Tony Saliba, a man who knows trading's ups and downs (and what it takes to overcome them) well. His trading career spans all the emotions: from nearly blowing up his trading account, to self doubt, to trading 1-lots, to a streak of 70 consecutive 6-figure months. 

To be successful trading, Tony Saliba (@ajsmarketwizard) learned:

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Topics: Trading Basics, Market Wizards, Limit Up!, Forex, Futures, Tony Saliba

Interview with Trading Legend Larry Benedict: How I Built 20 Years of Consistent Profits

Posted by TopstepTrader on August 07, 2018

If you saw Larry Benedict's trading early in his career, you wouldn't expect him to be successful. He couldn't stop losing money. In Hedge Fund Market Wizards, Jack Schwager titled his chapter "Beyond Three Strikes."

But there's a reason that Schwager put Benedict in Chapter 3, right after Ray Dalio — who runs Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world. It's because Benedict has a track record that rivals them all: 20 years of gains. Perhaps more impressive, during the run from 2004 to 2012, his fund returned 11.5% per year net of fees with just a 5% maximum drawdown. (Don't forget what happened in 2008 and 2009 to markets!) 

Topstep's Eddie Horn caught up with Larry in this episode of Limit Up! to talk about his trading, how he's become so successful, what he's learned along the way, and why he launched The Opportunistic Trader as a way to bring hedge fund-like knowledge to retail futures traders. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Market Wizards, Limit Up!, Futures, Larry Benedict, Jack Schwager

4 Secrets to Trading Wealth From a Trader with an 18-Year Winning Streak

Posted by TopstepTrader on August 06, 2018

Imagine that you could have an 18-year winning streak. What would that look like? How would you do it? If you are like Victor Sperandeo, you would focus on avoiding losses rather than making huge gains.

Sperandeo is one of those traders that got their starts playing poker (similar to Blair Hull). Sperandeo knew the odds of each hand and he would fold if he felt the odds were not in his favor and press if he felt they were.

Sperandeo found the way to wealth is “to preserve capital and wait patiently for the right opportunity to make extraordinary gains.” He does this by examining a trade to know what loss he could sustain, being consistent in balancing risk relative to profits, and seeking out superior returns after he has had periods of high profitability.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Market Wizards, Forex, Futures, Victor Sperandeo

Why Do Successful Traders Have Early Failures?

Posted by TopstepTrader on July 16, 2018

What do futures traders Larry Benedict, Linda Bradford Raschke, and Marty Schwartz have in common? Each of them suffered losses that would have sent most traders packing, but ended up being some of the most successful traders in recent memory.

When it comes to the markets, it seems the road to success with paved with big mistakes — especially at the start. Here are a few of our guesses as to why.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Market Wizards, Futures, Linda Bradford Raschke, Larry Benedict

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

9 Incredible Trading Quotes to Motivate You for the Week Ahead

Posted by TopstepTrader on April 09, 2018

Markets are up and roaring for another week — with everyone's ears perked up listening for how the trade war / not trade war situation plays out between the United States and China. 

But while you can't control what President Donald Trump or President Xi Jinping do, you can control your entries, stops and exits. Here are some of our favorite quotes to get you motivated this week.

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

Two Amazing Trading Lessons from “the Cal Ripken of Hedge Funds”

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 13, 2018

Comparing a trader to a baseball legend may seem odd at first. You might be more likely to look for an athlete known for flash, like Michael Jordan, or aggressiveness, like Mike Tyson. However, the aide who described hedge fund manager Monroe Trout in The New York Times as “the Cal Ripken of Hedge Funds” couldn’t have been more right.

Much like The Iron Man set the record for consecutive games played, Trout never missed a day in his 15+ years at the helm of Trout Trading. But showing up is a just small part of Trout’s story. These stats tell the rest:

  • In one five-year period, Trout was profitable in 87% of months.
  • His average annual return during that period was 67%, while his largest drawdown was just 8%.
  • In all months, Trout Trading never had a losing year and posted an average annual return of 21.5%.

Trout’s return/risk measurements are extraordinary, but his methods for achieving them can be followed by any trader. Let’s take a look at a few tactics you may be able to emulate.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Market Wizards, Forex, Futures, Monroe Trout

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