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TST Combine Journal


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TST Combine Journal

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  #11 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Georgia, US
 
Experience: None
Platform: SC
Broker: AMP+CQG
Trading: ES, HSI, Nikkei
 
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indextrader7 View Post
Actually now that I think about it, I can just click a limit entry somewhere above price and it's practically a market order like I want, and it will also trigger the OCO. Sorry for answering my own question here, but thanks to you for providing the steps to get there!

Using marketable limit orders, as you describe here, is almost necessary IMO on a volatile contract like CL. Even for ES, I never click "Buy" or "Sell" -- for CL it's just an accident waiting to happen. There is never a reason entering a position to accept the market's best price; always better to put a limit on what you will accept. Happy trading and good to see you!

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  #12 (permalink)
San Francisco
 
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Good luck sir.

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  #13 (permalink)
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Boomer34 View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience with this...I am looking forward to following along.

Quick question, as I am not familiar with TopStepTrader...what is the goal of the Combine? They fund you similar to a prop trader?











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  #14 (permalink)
Bay Area California
 
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indextrader7 View Post
Thanks a lot Silver Dragon,

I noticed that function, but I have a problem. Most of my entries I literally click the buy or sell button as opposed to entering some limit on the actual DOM. When you click the buy or sell buttons, the Auto OCO does not work even if you have it highlighted. Do you know a workaround? Actually now that I think about it, I can just click a limit entry somewhere above price and it's practically a market order like I want, and it will also trigger the OCO. Sorry for answering my own question here, but thanks to you for providing the steps to get there!

Hope you stick around and continue to add valuable feedback here. Thanks again.

You can also open the "contract ticket" under preferences. Which DOES work with auto OCO.

and If exit with "flatten" there is also a setting to pull all orders.

.
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  #15 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Another day getting my feet wet in CL. (Still just sim trading getting ready to start the combine)

I had one of those days that is quite close to being a monster winning day, but instead was a small loser. Just didn't get the continuation on one trade I was looking to really move for me.

-16, BE, -10 on three positions today. -26 ticks

The first trade was a mean reversion type trade, not a bad entry/idea, but I (like yesterday) had it go in my favor 15 ticks, but I was targeting the lows in the 80's... ended up taking -16 at my orig. stop level. In hindsight I should have scratched it when the bull candle engulfed nearly the last 3 strong bear bars.... (we'll get to how I plan on improving later)

Second trade was a beauty turned breakeven... I realized we had started an uptrend, and got in on the first pullback, the market rallied 30+ ticks from there, broke resistance, and gave a nice pullback I doubled the position on a hammer candle off the new support level. No continuation from there and my average fill BE stop was hit below the support level. Oh well, I'm fine with that. That trade will work out huge sometimes and breakeven other times, which is not a bad recipe for a positive expectancy.

Last trade was really an orderflow/feel trade. Looked like we might head down to the 20's so I got short, but no follow through there. -10 stopped.

Here's the chart:





One thing that I used to do really well was take partial profits at nice locations. For various reasons, I had gotten away from doing that. I'm going to get back to doing that, and still allow the other half a real chance to run or BE. Keeps me sane, and evens out my P/L on both ends.

I made a mistake yesterday... my P/L was actually +$620 after commissions fwiw.
Today my P/L is -$1,120

The relevant stats for the Combine are now:

Winning Days: 50%
Win %: 50% (4 winners, 4 losers)
win:loss ratio: 9.8 to 11 which is 0.9
winner: loser hold time: haven't calculated yet
net P/L: -500
max DD: -$1,120

 
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  #16 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Practice day 3

Finally, some really nice looking moves in CL today, and I was there to capitalize.

+13/+31, -4, +17, +12 = +47 average ticks per contract

Trade 1: We had broken down from overnight lows, but stalled out below the swing low at .60. I got in a few ticks before the actual breakout occured, had partial profit target around two small congestion areas at .82, and trailed out the rest when we turned around at the 97 fig.

Trade two: What a heart breaker! I was bullish from that large push up, so I did not participate in the 100 tick run down, I was then bearish, so I took a scalp entry at .22 on a small pullback. It stalled for a minute and I scratched the trade for -4 ticks, then it dropped 60 ticks in two minutes... without me on board. Oh well my good friend from GREENBOW ALABAMA would say,



Trade 3: A similar setup to the first trade of the day. I don't typically trade counter trend often, but today I just had a good feel for those moves. Exited on the stall after the push up.

Trade 4: Went for a short scalp trade, and exited for a quick +12. I had to be somewhere shortly after that, so I couldn't sit around and wait for the real move.




Over the 3 practice days this week, it's been ok. I haven't gotten any large winners in yet, but those come from time to time. If I make sure I stay disciplined and don't allow any loser to get larger than it should, then everything else kinda takes care of itself.

The relevant CUMULATIVE stats for the Combine are now:

Winning Days: 67%
Win %: 58% (7 winners, 5 losers)
win:loss ratio: 12.9 to 9.6 which is 1.3
winner: loser hold time: winners held longer
net P/L: +$1,300
max DD: -$1,120

 
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  #17 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Several people have been asking me why I chose the specific combine I did (150k, 20-day).

Yes it is the hardest one, I know. It also carries the most upside potential as well. There are a number of metrics I used to make the decision, and keep in mind that the ultimate decision made has more behind it than simply numbers on a spreadsheet. Certainly my ego, competitiveness, and other emotional/psychological factors played a part. Although, the numbers play a large role as well.

Here's how I analyzed the combines:

First I looked at an outright risk/reward ratio, if you will, based on the simple profit target and max drawdown. This is not unlike analyzing any individual trade's R:R.



As you can see, I immediately figured I had found an "arbitrage" opportunity!

Next I looked at ok, what would be the straight-line daily ticks required to beat each combine. (I realize this is an unrealistic measure in itself, but even if I did the analysis properly with winning and losing day, the effect for this purpose is the same).

Note: The ticks per day calculation uses the MAXIMUM number of days you have to complete the combines, which is twice of what the MINIMUM number of days the combine lists in its title.

IMPORTANT FOR ANYTHING TRADING RELATED: Also, In order to calculate ticks required to win, we have to be assuming some number of contracts traded. @Big Mike would be proud to know that I built this plan from the risk up (hey, i like that phrase) copyright IT7.... meaning I adjusted each combine's number of contracts to be traded, based on an equal number of ticks to reach the max DD point. It can't be perfect, but each combine's max DD in ticks ranges from 100 to 150 ticks. So, once you even the playing field in terms of risk, you can then begin to compare profit targets and it's apples to apples.

Here's the combines in the same order as before, but graphed for daily ticks required to win.



As you can see, the easiest by the first measure, is the HARDEST by this new measure..... befuddled.

So, they all have roughly equal ticks to wiping out (max DD).... and we took a look at the ratio of profit target to max DD, as well as ticks per day to succeed... I also looked at ticks per week, and the outright number of ticks required to succeed over all, and I also looked at how much income each account, once funded, would pay out at 60% initial payout. Maybe I should not look at this, but this is a job decision, and I don't know anyone that doesn't make a job decision without considering the pay for the role.

Here's tables of data with pay ranges at the bottom





OK....

Ultimately, the decision comes down to the fact that the chosen 150k, 20-day combine has a required ticks per day of around many of the much smaller accounts, with an equal or even slightly higher ticks to max DD. The pay is the highest. It represents quite a challenge, and the competitive factor is certainly there.

Long post, but it lays out my thought process for those interested. Maybe it helps others in their decisions too.

If there is something that I am really missing here, don't be afraid to point it out. It will be most welcomed.

 
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  #18 (permalink)
Temecula, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Ninja
Trading: CL
 
Posts: 146 since Sep 2012
Thanks: 91 given, 172 received

Thanks for laying out your thought process. I have been pondering things too on which combine I might try and the draw down on the 30k accounts was too low for my trading style. One thing I was not considering is the 10 or 20 days is the minimum and not the max. For some reason that kind of skipped my brain and your last post opened my narrow eyeballs to see what I was missing.

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  #19 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Mumbai, India
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: ChartNexus
Trading: Stocks, Commodities, Futures
 
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indextrader7 View Post
Several people have been asking me why I chose the specific combine I did (150k, 20-day).

Certainly my ego, competitiveness, and other emotional/psychological factors played a part. Although, the numbers play a large role as well.

Here's how I analyzed the combines:

First I looked at an outright risk/reward ratio, if you will, based on the simple profit target and max drawdown.

As you can see, I immediately figured I had found an "arbitrage" opportunity!

...the combines graphed for daily ticks required to win....

As you can see, the easiest by the first measure, is the HARDEST by this new measure.

So, they all have roughly equal ticks to wiping out (max DD)....

and we took a look at the ratio of profit target to max DD, as well as ticks per day to succeed...

I also looked at ticks per week,

and the outright number of ticks required to succeed over all,

and I also looked at how much income each account, once funded, would pay out at 60% initial payout.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to the fact that the chosen 150k, 20-day combine

- has a required ticks per day of around many of the much smaller accounts, with an equal or even slightly higher ticks to max DD.
- The pay is the highest.
- It represents quite a challenge, and the competitive factor is certainly there.


The above snippets, essentially the gist of your reasoning, shed light in mathematical terms of why the 150k 20-day combine seemed the 'right choice' (I intuitively felt that this combine was yielding me the best results, and now I really know why).

Thanks @indextrader7 for this analysis.

My 150k 20-day minimum combine is scheduled to go live very soon and your post has cleared up the murky waters!

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  #20 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012


I've moved to April CL today.

I'll be starting out with an expectation for using a range bound strategy, until we get above 96.40 or below 95.80.

Longer term chart shows us also in a range. We're consolidating at the bottom of that longer term range, so the expectation is to eventually get quite bullish, but I won't be forcing that expectation in my trades, especially since it's a longer term view than I really trade.


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