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

1 Hour to Better Trading: Here's Your Weekend Curriculum

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 24, 2018

"The most important investment you can make is in yourself." — Warren Buffett

It's another weekend — and after the week we had in markets, you deserve a breather. But don't forget that you can beat out the competition if you make improvements while everyone else is off. 

Included in this week's curriculum: data on TopstepTrader's profitable and unprofitable traders (and what that says about how you can win); an interview with a 30-year trading legend on properly sizing positions so you don't get killed in volatility; and reminders from NinjaTrader's blog about how to trade during highly volatile times.

So here are three resources that will help your trading improve by Monday... all in less than an hour! 

Enjoy. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Futures, Trading Setups, Weekend Curriculum

Become a Better Trader in Just Over an Hour: Your Weekend Curriculum

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 17, 2018

 The weekend is here; markets are closed. But that doesn't mean that you can't work on your trading. 

This week, we put together three resources for you to think about and digest this weekend. Highlights: the story of a funded trader that cut his loss limit down — and how it helped him make $2,000 last week; what a poker champion has to say about decision making; and how one trader built a $900 million fortune. 

Enjoy. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Futures, Trading Setups, Weekend Curriculum

This is How You Trade Around Events

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 12, 2018

In the latest episode of The Trade, Performance Coach Dan Hodgman talks about one of our funded trader's trades last Wednesday, March 7. The trade occurred right after the ADP Employment Report, a report that showed 235,000 jobs were created in February — more than the 200,000 jobs expected. 

One might expect a better-than-expected jobs report to cause a sell off in the Ultra Bond (UBM8) since the market might anticipate that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates more this year. However, bond prices failed to sell off.  That could have been the spark that funded trader Craig S needed to initiate a long.

Some parts of this trade were good, while others may be more questionable. Here's Coach Dan's take on how to trade an event after it happens.

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

Become a Better Trader by Monday in 1 Hour: Your Weekend Curriculum

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 10, 2018

 The weekend is here; markets are closed. But that doesn't mean that you can't work on your trading. 

This is our first in a new weekly recap that's meant to help traders improve over the weekend in 1 hour or less. It's a collection of a few tips, takes and articles — some of which will be produced by TopstepTrader and some not. 

In this week's hour, we highlight the 3 Laws of Short-Term Scalping, the 7 Cardinal Sins Traders Make, and an Interview with Melissa M, a funded trader. 

Enjoy. 

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Topics: Trading Basics, Futures, Trading Setups, Weekend Curriculum

These are the 3 Rules of Short-Term Scalping

Posted by TopstepTrader on March 07, 2018

In the latest episode of our new trading segment, The Trade, Performance Coach Dan Hodgman takes a look at a successful Nasdaq futures (NQ) trade by Russell B. from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Russell's style is a little different than the other two trades that we've covered. He tends to be short-term minded and keeps very close stops — more of a scalping type trader than a position trader.

Given that his style is a little different, Coach Hodgman talks about what someone who is more of a scalper should think as they put positions on. Russell's risk in the trade was 2.5 Nasdaq points — $100 on a 2-lot. His target was more than 10 points higher, and he was able to eek out a $440 gain in less than 5 minutes. 

Check out the rules we learn in this week's segment.

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

This is How to Ride a Market Wave Higher

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 27, 2018

In this week's episode of The Trade, Performance Coach Dan Hodgman takes a look at a trade by one of our funded traders, Melissa M. in Oklahoma. This is an actual Crude Oil ($CLJ8) trade that Melissa put on in real time — but Dan breaks down why it was a smart trade and what Melissa may have been looking at when she put it on.

In this trade, Dan follows Melissa as she gets long Crude Oil after the prior day's settlement price provided a floor for prices. (Check out this trade related to settlement price.) Then, when prices started to move, they really went. Melissa ended up netting more than $1,000 on the day, adding to gains she already had. 

Here's a minute-by-minute breakdown of that trade using the TSTrader Market Replay feature. 

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Topics: Performance Coaching, Trading Basics, Futures, Trading Setups, Equities, The Trade

This is How to Trade an Open Away from Settlement

Posted by TopstepTrader on February 21, 2018

In our new trading segment, The Trade, Performance Coach Dan Hodgman breaks down the logistics behind an interesting setup from last week. The first episode talks about one of Dan's favorite trades — the tendency for prices to move back to the prior day's settlement. 

Looking at Wednesday, February 14, there was a large gap between Tuesday's settlement price and Wednesday's opening prices. The gap was due to the 7:30 AM CT release of January retail sales and inflation reports. Markets sold off hard ahead of the open, presenting Dan with an interesting risk / reward setup.  

Dan takes a look at the E-mini S&P 500 contract and talks about how he would go about analyzing that market at the open. 

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

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