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How to Dig Yourself Out of a Trading Hole: Jon F. in Arkansas

Posted by TopstepTrader on May 01, 2018

Imagine this: you earn a Funded Account®, and in your first five trading days, you lose $3,127.66. You have a losing percentage of 80% and you are now just $1,372.34 to your Trailing Maximum Drawdown.

What do you do? Do you stick to your strategy or start taking long shots to dig yourself out of the hole?

That's the situation that Jon F. in Hot Springs, Arkansas found himself in. In fact, at his lowest point, Jon got just $620.88 away from his maximum loss before turning his account around.

He was able to stay in the game, and dig himself out of that hole.

On April 4, more than 25 days into his Funded Account, he gained $5,236.80, taking his equity balance to a new high. Two weeks later, he made $4,391.56 on April 24. Now, his account is sitting pretty. Here's how he did it.

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Topics: Futures, Trading Basics, TopstepTrader Funded Traders

The Secret to Trading Success

Posted by TopstepTrader on May 01, 2018

Do you want to know the secret to being a successful trader? Learn how to lose.

Humans, even the ones who take on risky ventures like trading, don’t like to lose. We're wired against it, and we avoid it whenever they can. Unfortunately, that tendency causes most traders to stay in bad trades in hopes of still coming out on top. The opposite is true, too. Everybody wants to take the win when they can, so a lot of traders get out when they should let their profits run.

A big part of successful trading, then, is to override human nature. Doing that takes a lot of practice — and a lot of losing. For the people who prefer not to lose $10k+ just learning to trade, the answer is simulated trading.

Let’s take a look at how a good sim trading program helps you develop as a trader.

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Topics: Futures, Trading Basics, TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Forex

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

Consistent Profitability is a Journey: Interview with a Funded Trader

Posted by TopstepTrader on April 19, 2018

Think you have to trade a lot of contracts to put up four-figure days? Wrong. Sarah S. in Jersey City, NJ made $3,200 her first day trading in a Funded Account®, $1,000 her second, and $3,500 two days later. All trading a max of one contract at a time.

Sarah is the first to admit that these were “unusually” profitable days where she was able to capture the right side of a trend. But still, there’s a lot that traders can learn from this performance.

In this interview, Sarah provided robust examples of the three trade setups that she looks for in trading Nasdaq futures.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Trading Lessons, Success Stories

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

How This Funded Trader is Profiting with Just 31% Winning Days

Posted by TopstepTrader on April 04, 2018

For years, Bob R. (Viroqua, Wisconsin) says he was like Jim Carrey’s character in Liar Liar. He would beat himself up whenever his trades went the wrong way. But even when he was struggling, part of him knew he would be a better trader if he could just change his mindset.

That realization led Bob to work on his attitude and stop trying to be right all the time in his trades. Now, Bob is comfortable being wrong — so long as it's not at the expense of being profitable.

Since earning a Funded Account®, Bob has only been profitable on 31% of his trading days. And he’s profitable on just 40% of his trades.

Those are stats that would sink most traders, if not for the fact that the magnitude of Bob’s wins are much larger than the magnitude of his losses. Bob’s average winning day is 3x the size of his average losing day, and his largest winning day was nearly 5x his largest losing day. With that, Bob has turned from a trader that struggled into one that embraced losses and found a way to be profitable. Here’s his step-by-step guide to making that transition.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Trading Lessons, Success Stories

3 Tactical Differences Between Profitable and Unprofitable Traders

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 28, 2018

Let’s assume you’ve made a number of good decisions as a trader. You’ve selected markets and loss limits that fit your style. You’ve studied the charts and developed a strategy that gives you an edge. You’ve even created a trading plan that supports your long-term goals.

But despite your best efforts, you’ve failed to realize a profit.

Here’s the thing about trading: that's not unusual. Part of your strategy is unique to you, like how you trade the market you trade. Other parts are behavioral aspects that reinforce your approach. Here are three differences that help make traders profitable.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Futures, TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Forex

Your Best Trades May be Losses

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 27, 2018

In the latest episode of The Trade, Performance Coach Dan Hodgman hones in on a subject that a lot of traders don't talk much about: taking losses. Anyone who has been trading for a while knows that some of the best trades they make are losses. It can be painful, but it's a fact of life.  Even the best traders are wrong at least three or four times out of 10. 

But even though this trade resulted in a loss, the funded trader that made it chose a valid entry, a valid target and a valid stop point. That means that there's a lot you can learn from it.

If you've ever had trouble taking a loss, you have to watch this. Here is Coach Dan dissecting a losing trade. 

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

‘You Have to Do Your Homework,’ Says Funded Trader with $4K in Withdrawals in 13 Days

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 26, 2018

Like any trader, Mohammad A. in the United Arab Emirates has seen good days and bad. Since earning a Funded Account®, however, Mohammad has put together some impressives stats. In 13 days trading live with our capital, Mohammad has already withdrawn $4,000 in profits.

But that doesn’t mean he has everything figured out. Mohammad’s average winning trade is slightly less than his average losing trade ($135.36 vs -$147.38) — a statistic that he will work on as he looks to improve his consistency even further.

We talked with Mohammad to find out how he managed to get off to a quick start and how he plans to keep building on his success.

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Topics: TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Trading Lessons, Success Stories

What Separates Trading Success from Failure — A Look Back at Our Funded Traders

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 19, 2018

In 2017, TopstepTrader funded almost 400 futures traders with our capital, providing them risk-free opportunities to profit.

As we fund even more traders this year (we're on pace to fund 3x as many — with 241 traders funded in January and February!), we wanted to share concrete examples of the difference between profitable and unprofitable traders. 

To do so, we went back to the trading data. We tracked average daily profits, average daily losses, largest profit, and largest losses, comparing the traders who were active as of January 1, 2018 with those accounts that were closed in 2017. We grouped traders into two groups: those that were currently active in their Funded Account® (Group A) and those that broke a rule trading in their Funded Account (Group B).

The results speak for themselves. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Futures, TopstepTrader Funded Traders, Forex

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