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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Twice this week, I’ve been noticeably “scared” to enter a trade.
The first time was Monday, when I noticed an opportunity while watching the Market Forecast with TopstepTrader’s Senior Performance Coach John Hoagland. As he does every day at 8:15 AM CT live on TopstepTrader's Facebook page, John brought up the Crude Oil chart. It showed Crude was selling off hard to $51.26, slightly below a double swing low at $51.33 from January 17 and January 28. It was a clear opportunity.
But I missed it.
As the chart above shows, the price even came back to test that level two hours later. You’d think that this would be a great opportunity, but instead it just confirmed my thoughts that the market was “heavy.” The market looked heavy. It looked like the support was going to give.
It didn’t, and with the benefit of hindsight, we see that prices rallied that day $1.50 and have been rallying ever since. Opportunity missed again.