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Kevin's TST Combine Journal

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  #211 (permalink)
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kevinkdog View Post
That is good advice, and I'd certainly consider it, but I have to trade 20 days minimum, and I'm only at 16 now.

Oh I forgot about that, you are right. Now you see, when I said earlier that you should throw in a quick one tick winner on days when you don't have a signal, that was good advice, because beside helping your winning days% stat, it would have counted as a day traded....

But anyway, just make sure you trade 4 more days and roll over...

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  #212 (permalink)
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I thought there were not going to be any entries today, but at 3:30 my 3rd strategy kicked out a buy signal.

Of course, I took it. It went absolutely nowhere - there was very little trading volume - so around the specified exit time, I placed a limit order to exit with a 1 tick profit. It was hit, so my trade shows a winner, but the Tradestation strategy trade shows a 3 tick loser.

That means: A NEW EQUITY HIGH !!!!!!! (by a whopping $7.50)

So, 3 trading days left until I have to make a decision (assuming I am still profitable): Do I quit the Combine and roll it over, and try again? Or, do I try to hit the $2,000 profit level?

I'll make that decision as I get closer, but I'll go with the highest expectancy outcome (just like trading!).


The bigger question, assuming I do rollover, will be "should I go with the same strategies, should I change them, or should I keep the existing ones and just add a 4th strategy?"

If and when I get to that point, I will detail my thought process in this journal, along with my decision. I can tell you that, as of right now, I do not have a suitable strategy to just plug in as #4. Maybe I should work on one just in case...








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  #213 (permalink)
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I hope it was 3:30 PM EST time, not CST, Combine is not allowed to be traded between 3:10 to 5 PM.

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  #214 (permalink)
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xelaar View Post
Oh my.. Kevin, trading with TST Combine is prohibited between 3:10 PM and 5 PM, so you opened during the time no trades can be open. I am afraid rollover is not an option anymore

My trade was 3:30 - 4 PM Eastern Time, so I am OK.... the times you mention are Central times.

You scared me there for a minute...

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  #215 (permalink)
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I did not realize it until now, but with the stats I have so far, for the 3 remaining trading days I have in the combine, I could actually take a quick 1 tick loser trade ($17.50), and still have positive equity. I also believe that I'd meet all the other stats (win %, % winning days, win duration vs loss duration, etc.).

So, I could do the above and qualify for a rollover.

Or I could trade as I normally have been, and see how it all shakes out.


I'm really debating this one.


On one hand, it is totally within the rules, so there is nothing illegal about it. And, the whole idea of this exercise is "to pass the Combine and stay funded." By taking three days of 1 tick losers, I'd be taking the highest probability way to give myself another chance to pass the Combine. Let's face it, at this point I'd have to average over $200 each day for the rest of this Combine to pass - that's just not going to happen. So, my best chance of passing a Combine is by attempting another Combine. My trading up to this point has basically given me that chance.

On the other hand, taking the easy way out feels a little "icky" to me. It is within the rules, but somehow it doesn't feel totally right to me. It reminds me of my 2006 World Cup trading championship. Towards the end of the year, I was in first place. My dilemma was: do I continue trading normally, or should I shut it down and let someone else out-perform to beat me (as opposed to me falling out of 1st place because of my bad trades)? I decided to trade normally, and it worked out OK.

Maybe for me the question becomes: "is it better to take advantage of the rules to rollover to another Combine, or is it better to feel good about how I traded, realizing this could cost me a chance at a rollover?"


If anyone from TopStep cares to weigh in on the issue, I'd love to hear thoughts from the rulemakers. What would they recommend? Would I be treated differently during evaluations if I took the little losers?


For now, I will trade as usual. Honestly, I'm just not comfortable with either choice. Neither alternative feels totally right to me...


Please feel free to weigh in on this.

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  #216 (permalink)
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What is your goal?

To pass the combine? Or to learn how your strategies perform in the environment of a combine?

Which is more important?

And if you fail the combine and no rollover, how will that affect your future plans with regards to future combines or learning environments?

Mike

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  #217 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
What is your goal?

To pass the combine? Or to learn how your strategies perform in the environment of a combine?

Which is more important?


Mike

Very good questions. Originally the goal was to pass the Combine, and at the same time provide a different way to incubate the strategies I created - that is, to see if the strategies performed as designed. If the strategies perform well (ie in similar manner to their backtest), even if I did not pass the Combine, I might still trade them live.

So, assuming the TST simulator is accurate (it seems much more accurate with limit fills than other sims I have used), I've at least shown that the strategies more or less perform as designed, although the jury is still out on whether I'd trade them with my own money (a second Combine would help in that regard, but it is not necessary).

That means both of my original goals are partially or completely unfulfilled.




Big Mike View Post

And if you fail the combine and no rollover, how will that affect your future plans with regards to future combines or learning environments?

Mike


It sounds silly, given I knew at the outset that I only had about a 50/50 chance of passing the Combine with the strategies I developed, but I actually never really thought I'd fail. Unwarranted overconfidence, I now can see. So, I had no future plans if I failed. Didn't need 'em. That leaves all options open, in a weasely sort of way...

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  #218 (permalink)
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Personally, I avoid tweaking strategies in the middle of a test run. So if you consider the entire combine experience to be a test run, I would let it run its course.

But, if you plan to do a second combine, then it would probably be a smart decision to save $300 or whatever by intentionally taking a dive in this combine in order to get the rollover.

Mike

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  #219 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
Personally, I avoid tweaking strategies in the middle of a test run. So if you consider the entire combine experience to be a test run, I would let it run its course.

But, if you plan to do a second combine, then it would probably be a smart decision to save $300 or whatever by intentionally taking a dive in this combine in order to get the rollover.

Mike


Thanks for the solid advice. If I do the rollover, one thing I definitely have to consider is adding in the "live trader prep" requirements that Josh mentioned in his TST thread. No sense passing the Combine, and then not being able to pass the Trader Prep.

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  #220 (permalink)
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My 2 cents is that if you used the quick way to get the rollover (which is both legal and ethical), you wouldn't have the same knowledge or experience that you would have if you just tried to trade well.

Eventually, you'll want to know whether your system trades well... might as well find out now.

(And here's a practical point: I was at 0 P/L today in my Combine, after clawing back from an earlier net loss. It would have been a slight positive except for 1 tick slippage in the last trade up to that point. So I decided to "throw in" a quick profit... I got a tick, but decided to go for 2 after the previous slippage. Naturally, the trade then went south and I waited in vain for it to come back. I ended up negative for the day and that sunk my stats.

The moral could either be, don't count on those "thrown in" profits, or it could be, just take trades when the setup is right. Either way, I learned something. Now I'll trade without worrying about outcomes. And, of course, I'll have to pay for the next Combine.... oh, well.)

Your choice, of course. Whichever way, I hope you keep up with your work on the Combine. Very good job so far.

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