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Tip of the Week: Play Small Ball

Posted by TopstepTrader on June 23, 2019

Not every trader needs to be swinging for the fences like an early-2000's Barry Bonds. Because frankly, I'm not aware of anything at the pharmacy that will turn you into a monster trader. Odds are you'll find it much easier to succeed by staying scrappy and just trying to get on base like future Hall-of-Famer  Ichiro Suzuki.

In this week's Tip of the Week, TopstepTrader's founder Michael Patak is talking trading and baseball, and explains why every trader should learn to play a little small ball.

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

Tip of the Week: Every Victory Counts

Posted by TopstepTrader on June 17, 2019

Booking a huge winner isn't the only way to be victorious in trading. Sometimes scratching a trade or getting out of a loser can be just as big of a win. Even choosing not to trade at all on a certain day or at a certain time can be its own victory. It's easy to get down on yourself focusing on all the things that could have gone better. You should also be keeping track of all the things you've done right.  

In this week's Tip of the Week, TopstepTrader's founder Michael Patak explains why you should savor every victory in trading, no matter how small.

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

Tip of the Week: Always Have an Out

Posted by TopstepTrader on June 10, 2019

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Obviously, we can't control where the market moves, but we usually do have control over where, and when we get flat. Never put yourself in a position where you don't have an out.  Not having a target or time-frame for a trade is often how a minor setback becomes a 5-alarm dumpster fire.

In this week's Tip of the Week, TopstepTrader's founder Michael Patak explains why it's so important to always have an out. 

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

Tip of the Week: Stay Focused

Posted by TopstepTrader on June 03, 2019

In trading, just as life, it's easy to get distracted.  There are so many things in our environments screaming for our attention. It sometimes feels like there are too many screens, too many flashing lights, too many responsibilities. It takes tremendous discipline to block it all out and simply concentrate on the task at hand.

 In this week's Tip of the Week, TopstepTrader's founder Michael Patak somehow acquires a baseball hat during the opening credits, then explains why it's so important to stay focused. 

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

Tip of the Week: Every Day is a New Day

Posted by TopstepTrader on May 28, 2019

There's an old Chinese proverb that says the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is today.  Now, there is some disagreement about whether this wisdom actually came from ancient China, but there's no doubt that it's good advice. It perfectly encapsulates the kind of mindset you need to be successful in these markets.

It doesn't matter if you made or lost a bundle yesterday, all that matters is how you approach the trade today. In this week's Tip of the Week, TopstepTrader's founder Michael Patak reminds us that everyday is a new day. 

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

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

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

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