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8 Days, $10K in Profits for a Funded Futures Trader

Posted by TopstepTrader on July 09, 2018

If you've been following TopstepTrader on social media, you've probably seen the name Mykhailio C., one of our funded futures traders from Ukraine. That's because in his first month trading in a Funded Account™, Mykhailio absolutely crushed it.

Trading Crude Oil ($CL) exclusively, Mykhailio averages nearly $550 in profits each day he trades — winning and losing days included. If he maintained that pace, it equates to more than $125,000 in annual trading gains. 

He is profitable on 71% of his winning days. Some of those winning days, as Coach Dan describes in this episode of The Trade, include days where just 20% of his trades were profitable. But that's what's possible with a favorable risk management setup. And that's how you can build an 8-day winning streak into $10,000 in realized profits. 

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Trading Basics, Futures, Trading Setups, The Trade, Crude Oil

$1,500+ Trade: When Overnight Trading Presents Opportunities

Posted by TopstepTrader on June 28, 2018

The best part about trading being 23 hours a day is that it can present opportunities at any point in the day. For many traders that trade futures part-time, that means that the market is there when you have the time to dedicate. 

But you still have to think through your trade. And in this episode of The Trade,  Coach Dan Hodgman breaks down a trade by funded trader Evan L. in Colorado. On June 18, as rumors of tariff and trade disputes stirred, Evan took a short position in the Nasdaq. In that trade, Evan made more than $1,500 in real profits. 

As Coach Dan outlines, everything that Evan did, he nailed spot on — from his use of market dynamics to a target that matched perfectly with major trend lines. In one of his more in-depth analysis, Coach Dan also breaks down other levels in play, as well as additional places that traders would have be "right" to take profits. 

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Trading Basics, Futures, Trading Setups, The Trade, Nasdaq

The Best Way to Bounce Back From a Major Trading Loss

Posted by TopstepTrader on June 20, 2018

Major trading losses are part of the game. Just ask any futures or forex trader. Every one of Jack Schwager’s Market Wizards has a story of a spectacular loss. And chances are that if you’ve been trading for any time you do too.

But what separates the successful trader from the unsuccessful trader is what happens after the loss. The successful traders say, “never again.”

The unsuccessful traders allow their decisions to be determined by revenge trading. They start seeing red – both in their temper and their P&L.

Instead, here is how you can bounce back and learn from your trading.

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Trading Basics, Forex, Futures

Hold on to Your Hats: Summer Trading is Going to be Full of Opportunities

Posted by TopstepTrader on June 07, 2018

Summer trading is usually a grind. Not this year. At least that's not what we're expecting. Between the interest in markets spurred by the surge in volatility that started in February, important trading levels (like new highs in equity futures, and grains markets hitting their peak, the Summer of '18 may present some great opportunities to profit trading. Here's how.

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Trading Combine, Coach's Playbook, Forex, Futures

This is How to Trade a Trend Line Breakout

Posted by TopstepTrader on June 04, 2018

Since making new, all-time highs in January and then crashing 10% in February, the E-Mini S&P has consolidated. As the chart below indicates, it put in lower highs in March and April, but each lower high was also accompanied by a higher low. 

To anyone looking at the daily candlestick chart (shown above) the market was clearly gearing up for its next move. In this episode of The Trade, Coaches Dan Hodgman and John Hoagland revisit the breakout as prices approached that descending trend line on May 7, 8 and 9.

They talk about how they analyzed the market at the time, why it may have been more natural to take a short position as the market approached that line (with a stop above), and why the E-Mini typically doesn't confirm breakouts higher with high volume. 

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Trading Basics, Futures, Trading Setups, The Trade, E-Mini S&P

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

How can the Trading Combine Help You Become Consistently Profitable

Posted by TopstepTrader on May 04, 2018

Why is the Trading Combine® important? And how can it help your trading?

You may know that the Trading Combine started when Michael Patak lost $90,000 in three separate trading accounts. It was only after he put rules around his trading and learned to execute a strategy in a simulated trading environment that he became successful. 

Those rules became the basics of the Trading Combine. In this week's Coach's Playbook, the coaches talk about why the Trading Combine is important to develop consistently profitable traders and how it can help your trading

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Trading Combine, Coach's Playbook, Forex, Futures

Shorting a Market at New Contract Highs

Posted by TopstepTrader on April 30, 2018

Paul Tudor Jones has made his living picking trend reversals. He considers them low-risk opportunities. You may get cut five or 10 times, but with diligence, you can also catch huge moves. 

One of our funded traders, Trisha B., did just that — shorting Crude Oil when it hit contract highs near $70 per barrel. In this week's episode of The Trade, Coach Dan Hodgman takes a look at that trade and goes over some of the mental fortitude that Tricia had to exhibit to ride the trade for more than $1,000 in profits.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Performance Coaching, Trading Basics, Futures, Trading Setups, The Trade

This is the Best Way to Place a Stop

Posted by TopstepTrader on April 20, 2018

If you are trading without a stop, you are playing with fire. Not because the market can move 100 ticks in a second — though it could. But because then, you haven't clearly defined your risk. And without doing that, you are likely to let your market bias keep you in a trade longer than you should be... increasing losses.

That is the kiss of death. 

Just because you should have a stop doesn't mean that all stops are created equal. There are three main ways to set a stop: (1) financial based on the amount of money that  you are willing to lose; (2) static — your stops are the same for every trade; and (3) technical — you use market information to tell you when your thesis is proven wrong. Here are the pros and cons to each. 

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

$5K in One Crude Oil Trade

Posted by TopstepTrader on April 16, 2018

With volatile markets, traders are able to take advantage of some big moves, without having to take on more risk. In this latest episode of The Trade, Performance Coach Dan Hodgman talks about a trade by Alexander K. (Latvia) put on. This trade is unique in a couple of ways.

First, the fact that Alexander had the patience to ride this for $5,000 in profits is unusual. That tells you something about the psychology of choosing a target and then sticking with it when the trade moves in your direction. 

Second, Alexander sold Crude Oil at the lows of the day. Oftentimes, inexperienced traders will look to buy the market at the lows, letting it make lower and lower lows and then puke out the position. Instead, Alexander did the opposite. He didn't fight the market and sold at the lows of the day, capturing a $1 move. By trading 5 contracts, that equated to $5,000 in profits.  

But the best part of Alexander's trading was that he did this all with a personal daily loss limit of $400. Think about that risk / reward ratio: he has the opportunity to make more than $5,000 in a day without worrying about losing more than $400. It will take him 12 max losing days to give back that $5,000 in profits to the market. Those are the types of risk / reward setups that enable long-term success. 

 Here's how Coach Dan breaks down Alexander's trade.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Performance Coaching, Trading Basics, Futures, Trading Setups, The Trade

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