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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

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

Huge Week Ahead for Forex Traders

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 03, 2019

We have a HUGE WEEK for markets ahead. Take a look at the economic events that are poised to move forex markets in the next five days:

  • Monday, 10:30 PM ET: Reserve Bank of Australia
  • Wednesday, 10:00 AM ET: Bank of Canada
  • Thursday, 7:45 AM ET: European Central Bank
  • Friday, 8:30 AM ET: U.S. February Non-Farm Payroll Report

Here’s a look at how all these events may shake out in the market.

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Topics: Trading Lessons, Forex, Currency Pages, economic data, European Central Bank

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

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