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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

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

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

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

Tip of the Week: Always Trade for Tomorrow

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 03, 2019

This week, we're launching a new video series: Tip of the Week, where TopstepTrader's founder and CVO Michael Patak shares lessons he's learned in more than a decade of trading — and more than 7 years of funding proprietary futures traders. 

 This week, Michael talks about how he found and learned to embrace his trading mantra: Always Trade for Tomorrow. Even though it sounds so simple, it cost Michael $90,000 in blown-up trading accounts to learn this lesson. That's because ego, excitement and passion all cloud a trader's judgment as they are in the midst of a losing battle.

Here's Michael's take on the first Lesson of the Week: Always Trade for Tomorrow.

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

Turning $90K in Trading Losses into an Opportunity

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 09, 2018

Michael Patak is the founder and chief visionary officer of TopstepTrader. He started trading and promptly blew up three $30,000 trading accounts (for a total of $90,000). 

Not deterred, Michael realized that he was trying to hit home runs — allowing the promise of trading riches to lure him into huge losses. (Of course, trading with a gambler's mentality never works out.) 

In this episode of Limit Up, Michael talks through those early losses, the challenge from his father that turned his trading around and why the pain of those losses led him to found TopstepTrader. Be sure to subscribe to Limit Up on iTunes, Google tPlay or Soundcloud to get the fresh episodes each week delivered to your inbox. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Limit Up!, Forex, Futures, Michael Patak

What These Traders Wish They Knew Before They Lost Huge

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 16, 2018

Great traders and not-so-great traders likely have one thing in common: they’ve all lost a lot of money trading. Trading is a tough business. And between finding a strategy and keeping our mental game strong, there are plenty of opportunities to falter.

Most traders that become successful can tell you horror stories of how much money they blew through when they first started. But within those stories, you can often find some wisdom to help you succeed. Here’s what three traders wish someone had told them before they lost big.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Forex, Futures, Anthony Crudele, Kenneth Reid, Michael Patak

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