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Kevin's TST Combine Journal


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Kevin's TST Combine Journal

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  #31 (permalink)
New York
 
 
Posts: 5 since Mar 2013
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Kevin: Thanks, very interesting!

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  #32 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Cleveland Ohio/United States
 
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No trades today. All trades so far are shown at bottom (maroon chart is 6PM-7AM, black chart is 7AM - 2PM)
******************************************************************************

Why Combine?

I thought I'd share with you why I am doing the Topstep Trader Combine.


As a trader, I live in near constant fear that strategies I trade today, that work today, won't work tomorrow. Well, constant fear is a little strong, but it is always in the back of my mind. And maybe, my current strategies will last for years and years (some have), instead of breaking tomorrow. But I feel the need to continue to create new strategies, which also happen to get better the more I develop.

I also worry that maybe I am just doing everything the wrong way (or in a sub-optimal way). I read and see people on the Internet that claim trading is easy, that they are raking in thousands a day with little effort, etc. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. I don't know (although I have my doubts). But I do know that their claims of success make me wonder if I am doing things right, because for me, trading is anything but easy. "Trading is the hardest way to make easy money" is what I tell people. And the few times I thought trading was easy were inevitably followed by a humbling drawdown!

So, I am always on the lookout for ways to trade differently than I do today. Maybe it is discretionary trading, or order book trading, or different markets, different styles, etc. Maybe there is an "easier" way out there, and maybe there isn't, but I have to look. (As an aside, one big benefit in trading different styles etc. is in the diversification aspect. I am a huge fan of diversification. It really does smooth the equity curve.)

That is why I am doing the Combine. To compete, I had to create a strategy from scratch that met strict criteria. Some of the conditions are meaningless to me personally (I could care less if I win more than 50% of my trades), but it was a new way of thinking/developing for me. I really had to expand my comfort zone on strategy development to create something for the Combine.

In the end, passing the Combine would be really nice, but with the strategies I am trading, I know there is a good chance I won't pass. And that is OK, since I still might trade these strategies with my own money, and I now have a much better, focused technique for developing intraday strats.

So, pass or fail, this has been a great exercise. I think the strict rules they have for the Combine can benefit most traders out there, even if you don't even test them in the Combine.



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



kevinkdog View Post
I also worry that maybe I am just doing everything the wrong way (or in a sub-optimal way). I read and see people on the Internet that claim trading is easy, that they are raking in thousands a day with little effort, etc. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. I don't know (although I have my doubts). But I do know that their claims of success make me wonder if I am doing things right, because for me, trading is anything but easy.

I hear ya on that man. For all we know, you and I could be the best traders on earth, but we'll probably always wonder where we stack up to a certain extent.

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  #34 (permalink)
Phoenix, AZ
 
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Kevin-

Listened to your webinar about the TST combine on Youtube. I've been practicing and doing combines on TST for 7 months. Just wanted to say that your emphasis on having a tested plan that can have a decent chance to pass all of the TST metrics really hit home with me. I've thought of these things more intuitively lately... but your webinar really showed me that I need to be very objective about my approach. Concluded that I have to be very patient and only take trades that have a favorable probability of picking 50% winners, avoiding max drawdowns, avoiding other rule-breakers, etc. There's no point in playing the game (TST combine) if you're not trying to avoid breaking the rules (game over) at all costs. You're right to only trade 2 to 4 contracts in my opinion. Yes, it makes it hard to hit the profit target but it keeps you in the game w/ a chance to pass w/ a few strong days and then tight risk control on the other days when you're mostly chopping around.

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  #35 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Cleveland Ohio/United States
 
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Ezeboog View Post
Kevin-

Listened to your webinar about the TST combine on Youtube. I've been practicing and doing combines on TST for 7 months. Just wanted to say that your emphasis on having a tested plan that can have a decent chance to pass all of the TST metrics really hit home with me. I've thought of these things more intuitively lately... but your webinar really showed me that I need to be very objective about my approach. Concluded that I have to be very patient and only take trades that have a favorable probability of picking 50% winners, avoiding max drawdowns, avoiding other rule-breakers, etc. There's no point in playing the game (TST combine) if you're not trying to avoid breaking the rules (game over) at all costs. You're right to only trade 2 to 4 contracts in my opinion. Yes, it makes it hard to hit the profit target but it keeps you in the game w/ a chance to pass w/ a few strong days and then tight risk control on the other days when you're mostly chopping around.

Thanks for the comment. You packed a lot of good points into your first futures.io (formerly BMT) post!

You describe exactly how I'm playing the Combine "game." My primary profit strategy (Strategy #2) actually has no trade profit target - if I get 1 or 2 big winners from it during the combine, I'll probably be OK profit wise. The other 2 strategies should contribute a little profit, but they are really intended to boost other metrics (like win %, max drawdown, etc).

If I don't get a runner like that, I probably won't hit the profit target, but hopefully I'll meet the other rules (which in my book will be a partial success).


Good luck on your Combine!

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  #36 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Cleveland Ohio/United States
 
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No trades for the Combine on Thursday 3/28. Over the long run, there should be trades on about 70% of days, or around 28 days for a 2 month Combine (40 possible trading days).

So far, I've traded 3 of 7 days. On days I do not trade, I almost always place orders that are not hit (two days have been within a few ticks of being hit).


When I get to 5 days completed, I'll update my chances of passing the combine requirements, based on actual performance to date. I'll be using the spreadsheet you can find earlier in the thread.


Have a great Easter weekend everyone!

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  #37 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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Combine, Day 4 of 20


Not a good day. 3 signals, see below. 2 were losers, 1 was a winner. Guess which trades I took?


If there was no daily loss limit, I would have taken all 3 trades, but still would have lost on the day.

For the middle trade (the profitable one), my system stop, if hit, would have knocked me out (over $500 daily loss). So, I did not take the

trade (that was per my plan). That was the right decision (although that trade ended up only taking 2 ticks of heat).

OK, so I have at least 16 days left, and $2500 in profit to make. It is going to be tough...

At this point, I'll do the only sensible thing: follow my plan exactly, just as I have been doing.








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  #38 (permalink)
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kevinkdog View Post
OK, so I have at least 16 days left, and $2500 in profit to make. It is going to be tough...

Unless you have some self-imposed limit, you have more than 16 days left--it's a 20 day minimum, with a 60 calendar day limit, so you have about 40 trading days total to meet the objectives. So you actually have about 35 or so trading days available for you to trade, as long as you stay within loss parameters.

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  #39 (permalink)
mumbai maharashtra/india
 
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kevinkdog View Post

At this point, I'll do the only sensible thing: follow my plan exactly, just as I have been doing.



This is the only thing you need. Follow your plan. keep controlling risk.

Best of luck.

-Jinhar

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  #40 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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josh View Post
Unless you have some self-imposed limit, you have more than 16 days left--it's a 20 day minimum, with a 60 calendar day limit, so you have about 40 trading days total to meet the objectives. So you actually have about 35 or so trading days available for you to trade, as long as you stay within loss parameters.

Yes, you are correct.

Based on the histories of the systems I developed specifically for this Combine, I believe I will trade 16-24 more days in what is left in the 2 month period.

An interesting question: what will I do if my system doesn't give me 20 trading days in the 2 month period? Will I take non-system trades just to hit the 20 day mark? I don't know...

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