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Biology Set You Up to Fail at Trading

Posted by TopstepTrader on September 09, 2018

You love trading. And you may think you were born to do this. You weren't. No one was.

In fact, everything about our biology is working against our success. Think about it. What are the traits of a successful trader. A successful trader is cool under pressure. She's disciplined, not fearful. She's focused on long-term growth, not short-term excitement. 

And that's not us. Our brains and biology are hard wired after tens of thousands of years as hunter / gatherers. But that doesn't mean that we can't learn a new mindset. That's what today's lesson is about — awareness and understanding of our trader's mind, so that we can better succeed at trading. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Limit Up!, Futures, Forex, September Trading Insights, Rande Howell, Trading Psychology

This is How You Avoid Trading on Tilt

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 19, 2018

Let’s say you’ve done everything right. You know your entry and exit points. You’ve got your stop losses in place. Then the markets open, things don’t go as planned, and you start to lose.

For most people, this creates an immediate and unpleasant physical response: sweaty palms, rapid breathing, and increased heart rate. But the worst part may be how the sudden upsurge of emotion seems to eliminate your ability to think clearly.

Poker players call that “tilt.” Playing (or in this case trading) on tilt is almost always a sign that a losing streak is on the horizon. Let’s take a look at the signs so you can avoid tilt and the losses that come with it.

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Lessons, Futures, Forex, Trading Psychology

My Experience Blowing Up a Trading Account

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 01, 2018

You'd be hard pressed to find a successful trader that hasn't blown up a trading account. Paul Tudor Jones. Ray Dalio. Both have. It is clear that early struggles are a common theme among traders that are successful in the long term. In fact, early success may be more detrimental than helpful for trader development.

Dr. Kenneth Reid had both. He recalls the day that he made more than $5,000. And the day that he lost more than $30,000. That math doesn't add up, and he ended up taking a $130,000 loss.

This week's Limit Up goes through Dr. Reid's struggles and his quest to find out why he had an addictive trading habit. Check it out, and be sure to subscribe to Limit Up on iTunes, Google Play or Soundcloud to get the fresh episodes each week delivered to your inbox. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Limit Up!, Kenneth Reid, Trading Psychology

The #1 Rule of Trading in 2018

Posted by TopstepTrader on January 02, 2018

It’s a New Year - and there’s definite excitement here about the potential for trading markets in 2018. The second half of 2017 certainly provided some opportunities. Gold first hit a new yearly high before falling more than $100 - then rallying back at the end of the year. The U.S. Dollar’s downtrend continued and accelerated in the final weeks of 2017. And Crude Oil gained above $60 per barrel on the final trading day of the year.

But - all that means nothing if you ignore the number one rule of trading: Always ensure you can trade tomorrow. The moves of today mean nothing if you burn through your capital and can’t capitalize on opportunities tomorrow. Here’s why.

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Topics: Trading Lessons, Trading Basics, Trading Psychology

Mastering Trading Emotions and Improving Performance - Limit Up! with Rande Howell

Posted by TopstepTrader on December 20, 2017

Every great trader works seriously on their mental performance to increase their P&L - without exception. Understanding how the brain is - and is not - suited for trading can allow you to realize how to manage your instinct. 

There's no better person to lay out these factors than Rande Howell - a 15-year trading psychologist who has helped traders, portfolio managers and money managers improve their performance. 

Rande talks about the way that our brains are designed and goes over some exercises that can help us identify in the moment when we may not be making the best trading decisions. As Rande says, it's not about fighting emotions, but embracing them - and then realizing what that typically means for our performance.

Give it a listen - and be sure to subscribe to Limit Up on iTunes or Google Play. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Limit Up!, Rande Howell, Trading Psychology

The Secrets Behind $47K in November Withdrawals

Posted by TopstepTrader on December 10, 2017

TopstepTrader's funded traders had a great November - even in conditions that were not so easy. They piled up profits and even took out $47,000 from their Funded Accounts™ - just in time for the holidays. 

In this special bonus episode of our podcast, Limit Up!, we talk about what made them so successful. Host Eddie Horn talks with Funded Trader Risk Manager Mick Ieronimo and Dr. Jinnie Cristerna to get their take on how a trading strategy intertwines with psychology to allow for success day trading the markets. 

Give it a listen - and be sure to subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes or Google Play. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Limit Up!, Trading Psychology, Jinnie Cristerna

How to Make 2018 a Better Trading Year - Limit Up! with Rich Friesen

Posted by TopstepTrader on December 06, 2017

As you look back on trading in 2017, you probably are coming to the same conclusion as most traders out there  - I made progress, but there is so much I could've done better had I just ... 

The second guessing usually revolves around our mental lapses over the year. Had I just cut that one trade early. Had I just instituted a more strict Daily Loss Limit. Had I just taken a few days off.

Often times, we know what is the right thing to do - we just don't do it.

In the latest episode of Limit Up!, host Eddie Horn talks with Rich Friesen of Mind Muscles about how the mind is built and what we need to do as traders to implement change and trade better. Give it a listen - and be sure to subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes or Android Play. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Limit Up!, Rich Friesen, Trading Psychology

Real Life Billions: How to Trade Well by Embracing Your Emotions

Posted by TopstepTrader on December 05, 2017

Denise Shull is the inspiration behind the Wendy Rhodes character on Showtime's Billions. In Billions, Wendy is the glue that keeps hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod from falling apart. In one episode, she connects his $400 million loss to how he treated his dying friend, clearing his head and allowing him to get back to his primal instincts - making money.

In a less dramatic way, that's what Denise does. She says that the prevailing image of an emotion-less trader predicting the market's next turn is a bad myth she's on . Instead, traders need to embrace their emotions in order to trade well. 

In this episode of Futures Radio Show with Anthony Crudele, Denise gives so much insight about the human brain and how traders can move past those emotional roadblocks to make better trades - and ultimately, to profit. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Trading Psychology, Futures Radio

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