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Kevin's TST Combine Journal

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  #191 (permalink)
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Pedro40 View Post
My understanding is that everyone has to do the Live prep, no matter what your Combine looked like. Maybe if you kicked the ball out of the stadium, but TST only loses 2-3 weeks profit making by making you do the Live prep, so that is a small price for them....

I may be wrong, but im fairly certain that it's been mentioned a few times in TST's youtube video's that the live prep is not done by everyone. It is only done when something does not completely sit right with them in the combine report eg:
- A couple large winning days, and then just taking 1 tick winners for the remainder

For the traders who trade consistently throughout the entire combine, the live prep is not done. They're looking for good traders who will stay funded. Not traders who pass the combine by knowing the intricacies of the rules, but cannot stay profitable in the long term.

I'll try find it somewhere on their website, but i've got a feeling it was only mentioned during one of their youtube videos. Perhaps email them to confirm.

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  #192 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
I agree completely and place it in the 'gaming the system' category, which has nothing to do with actual trading capability.

Combine's are useful for teaching skills necessary to be a good trader, if you set them up to be so. If your goal is to just pass the Combine, then that is not the same as having a goal of being a good trader.

Mike

@Big Mike , completely agree. I think the discussion of special tactics and strategies just to pass the Combine -- i.e., to fool TST into thinking you are their kind of trader -- is misplaced. Yes, you can shift the stats a little in your direction, but that's only a good idea if you think that the TST guys basically don't understand trading, so you need to play with them until you can get some of their money to put to use with your own (much better) methods.



Pedro40 View Post
Neither is winners vs. losers duration stats... Nevertheless they measure you by it in the Combine... Actually, 2/3 of the Combine stats are unimportant in real trading....

Pedro, I do not mean to be critical, but have you really thought this out?

Yes, it is quite possible that someone can have a style of trading that does not agree with the TST approach, and yes, it is quite possible that it could be successful.

But these guys were professional traders for a long time. Sure, most (or all) were pit traders, which may have colored their thinking and trading styles; and other types of traders may have other styles and may also succeed.

On the other hand, it's a mistake to think that they put these criteria in because they're just dumb and inexperienced.

For instance, how long you stayed in your winning trades vs. your losing trades is a rough but generally accurate measure of whether you can cut your losses and not cut your winners too soon. Yes, you can have a big and quick gain and close it out profitably, but they want to know about your ability to control your losses, and this is one way to get a reading on it.

So are things like your winning percentages, your max drawdown, etc.

They are looking for a specific kind of trader: not, can you have big winning trades alone, but can you control your losses. They say that again and again, and that's what's in their metrics.

You may think trading is not about what they are looking for, but I take it as something to aim for.

(Disclosure: I have completed one Combine and got a rollover. I was told -- by @Hoag -- that "recovering your costs" is the first thing you need to be able to do to make it in trading. Then concentrate on your winners. I assume they know something about that.)

Bob.

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  #193 (permalink)
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
I may be wrong, but im fairly certain that it's been mentioned a few times in TST's youtube video's that the live prep is not done by everyone. It is only done when something does not completely sit right with them in the combine report eg:
- A couple large winning days, and then just taking 1 tick winners for the remainder

First that's what I thought too, but I can post very nice consistent Combine records from people who passed and still had to do the Live prep. But anyway, this topic is not so important to the main discussion...

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  #194 (permalink)
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bobwest View Post
the discussion of special tactics and strategies just to pass the Combine -- i.e., to fool TST into thinking you are their kind of trader -- is misplaced.

Why would it be fooling them? After all, at the end of the day you still have to make money and be profitable. On the other hand I had a Combine where all my stats were nice (except one) but I didn't make money. So what good those nice stats did for me?


Quoting 
Yes, it is quite possible that someone can have a style of trading that does not agree with the TST approach, and yes, it is quite possible that it could be successful.

No argument from me, I agree....


Quoting 
For instance, how long you stayed in your winning trades vs. your losing trades is a rough but generally accurate measure of whether you can cut your losses and not cut your winners too soon.

Oh, I understand justifications for the stats. But that doesn't mean that in the real word they mean anything. And actually, they don't. You either make money at the end of the timeframe or you don't. Can you pay for anything in the grocery store with a good duration stats? Unfortunately, you can't.


Quoting 
So are things like your winning percentages, your max drawdown, etc.

For each stat I can show you a trading strategy where it works against you. The only stat that really matters in real life is the max. DD.


Quoting 
They are looking for a specific kind of trader: not, can you have big winning trades alone, but can you control your losses. They say that again and again, and that's what's in their metrics.

I understand that reasoning....

Apologies to Kevin, we kind of took his journal offtopic.

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  #195 (permalink)
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Pedro40 View Post

Apologies to Kevin, we kind of took his journal offtopic.


No, that is OK. I asked what would people do, if they were in a similar situation in the Combine. It is a good discussion, and people have raised some good points on both sides.


My only comment is that TST might frown upon the practice, but if it really bothered them, then they could easily create a rule prohibiting it.


For my Combine, I'm hoping to get to a point where I have to make a decision like the funded trader from Malaysia...

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  #196 (permalink)
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Finally a trade today!

I'm getting close to breakeven. Maybe that should be my goal.

Chances of reach the profit target at this point are less than 10%. That's pretty pathetic.









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How many total trades have you taken?

How many total trades did you expect to have taken at this point?

Mike

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  #198 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
How many total trades have you taken?

How many total trades did you expect to have taken at this point?

Mike


Thanks for the question. I have to give an answer in number of days traded, since that is how I added up the combined effect of the three strategies.

Based on past history, I expected to trade in about 28 days of a 43 trading day Combine (65% of days). Each of those days would have between 1 to 3 trades, depending how many of the 3 independent strategies fired off on that day.

At this point, I have only traded on 15 of 31 days, or 48%. So, I am guessing I'll trade for 6 more days, which would give me 21 trading days total. I could have as many as 27 days, but I doubt that will happen.

So, during the Combine I definitely traded fewer days than I expected.

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I couldn't do it.

When I write algo's, I prefer ones that trade thousands of times per year. With such a low trade frequency of 15 per month or so, I would always be convinced of over curve fitting and it would take hundreds of trades to really know whether the strategy is performing as expected in real-time, or 2 years of collecting live trades at this rate.

I guess my view on algorithmic trading is to do something I cannot do as a discretionary trader. And that is primarily speed (obviously not HFT level). So when I write algo's they usually go to that end, and with speed comes higher trade frequency with smaller intervals per trade, again reacting to certain things faster than I could as a discretionary trader, while also setting profits and such far smaller than I would ever do as a discretionary trader.

It seems your algo is really just an extension of your own discretionary trading style?

Mike

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Big Mike View Post
I couldn't do it.


It seems your algo is really just an extension of your own discretionary trading style?

Mike


I guess you could say that, although I really don't have a discretionary style. I do a variety of strategies, whatever tests well.

When I create a strategy, I usually end up wherever it leads me. Usually it ends less frequent trading, and usually overnight holds. The Combine experiment forced me to close at end of day, which I don't do a lot.

But perhaps a more high frequency approach might be better for the Combine. Once they get Ninja working with it, it will be a legitimate option.

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