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Kevin's TST Combine Journal

  #41 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
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Advice to Any Combiners

A word of advice to anyone trying the Combine...

Make sure your stop loss is at least 1 or 2 ticks away from your Daily Loss Limit. There is slippage in the Simulator, just like real life.

For example, had I used a 5 tick stop on my second trade today (and incurred any slippage), I would have FAILED the Combine for exceeding the Daily Loss Limit of $500.

As it turned out, I used a 4 tick stop, was slipped 1 tick on the fill, and ended the day down $497.50, after commissions. Pretty close to my $500 daily limit!

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  #42 (permalink)
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I just wanted to say, boy, this guy likes to live dangerously!

2 bucks away from the DLL, now that's what I call risk taking! As you mentioned it could be slippage, or forgetting about the commission, and you are out of the game. I personally always stop at least 20 bucks away from the DLL.
There is simply no point in getting very close, chances are the market won't turn back just right at your DLL...

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  #43 (permalink)
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Pedro40 View Post
I just wanted to say, boy, this guy likes to live dangerously!

2 bucks away from the DLL, now that's what I call risk taking! As you mentioned it could be slippage, or forgetting about the commission, and you are out of the game. I personally always stop at least 20 bucks away from the DLL.
There is simply no point in getting very close, chances are the market won't turn back just right at your DLL...

Yes, "normal" losing days for me should be $430, assuming one trade. The last trade I took today was around 2:30 PM, and there usually is not much movement (hence the small stop loss), but the liquidity is also a lot less (hence the 1 tick slippage).

Thinking about it now, I probably should have just passed on the last trade, too - given that 2 ticks of slippage in EC is very possible.

I think I got away with some bad judgment today...

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  #44 (permalink)
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kevinkdog View Post
A word of advice to anyone trying the Combine...

Make sure your stop loss is at least 1 or 2 ticks away from your Daily Loss Limit. There is slippage in the Simulator, just like real life.

For example, had I used a 5 tick stop on my second trade today (and incurred any slippage), I would have FAILED the Combine for exceeding the Daily Loss Limit of $500.

As it turned out, I used a 4 tick stop, was slipped 1 tick on the fill, and ended the day down $497.50, after commissions. Pretty close to my $500 daily limit!

@kevinkdog

I think if your total losses exceed 500 during a week time period that you will no longer be able to trade the account till the following week. You might want to check to be sure.

Can someone else confirm this is correct?

Robert

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  #45 (permalink)
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Silver Dragon View Post
@kevinkdog

I think if your total losses exceed 500 during a week time period that you will no longer be able to trade the account till the following week. You might want to check to be sure.

Can someone else confirm this is correct?

Robert

I think that requirement is in step 3, once you pass the combine (which in TST terminology is "step 2.").

You can see the weekly loss limit here: Live Trading Room | Trading Program | Topstep Funded Trader


I noticed the weekly requirement for step 3 after I developed my system, which of course may have bigger losses than that in a week, since the daily loss limit = weekly loss limit.

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  #46 (permalink)
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Silver Dragon View Post
I think if your total losses exceed 500 during a week time period that you will no longer be able to trade the account till the following week. You might want to check to be sure.

Can someone else confirm this is correct?

In the Live Trader Prep, which I assume most traders are having to do after a successful combine, there is a daily and weekly drawdown of the same amount. This is also the case for funded traders. This is quite a tough requirement, because if you have a bad day or two at the beginning of the week, even if you don't approach your daily loss limit, it limits your options for the rest of the week.

However, I think it is a good requirement. It has the purpose of "slowing down" a slide. In the past I have had a blow-up kind of day usually after a down day or two, usually not after a few successful days. So, while it's frustrating to have to sit out days that one would be profitable trading potentially, it kind of serves as a cool down period.

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  #47 (permalink)
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No trades today...

I thought I'd share with you some info on the strategies I developed for the Combine, along with how I developed them. If you are thinking about the Combine, or thinking of developing a strategy to meet the Combine's very strict rules, maybe this will give you some help.

First, I created a brand new strategy specifically for the Combine. I started from scratch, rather than try to modify a system I already had.

Why?

Mainly, I wanted to make sure I designed the system with the Combine rules in mind. I know a few people who've taken what they normally trade, and tweaked it a bit for the combine. Or worse yet, they were so confident in their strategy, that they did not even bother to check their strategy against the Combine goals. I think both of these approaches are wrong.

So, I started fresh by first reading the Combine rules and requirements. Obviously, you have to meet all the requirements, or you fail.

Some requirements, like the total profit or the max drawdown, are somewhat out of your control once you develop a system. Even a winning system could fail the Combine, if the trades fall the wrong way. Trading is all about probabilities.

Other requirements, such as max loss in a day, always having a stop, using a non-automated platform (like T4) for order entry, or being out by 4:10 PM ET, are COMPLETELY in your control. Well, max loss in a day is mostly in your control, except for excessive slippage - but you should account for it in your calculations. If you can't meet these requirements, there is no way you'll meet the profit and drawdown requirements.

Therefore, I made sure I read through the requirements 4 or 5 times, and asked TST questions when I had them. For example, TST's "max drawdown" is really "max drawdown of initial captital" not the traditional max drawdown based on highest equity point. That is an important difference when you are designing a strategy.


Next no-trade day I'll talk about some of the key points with the development of my strategies.

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  #48 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing your TST experiences, Kevin. I think it really highlights a way of approaching the combines that we don't often get to see. Kudos for the transparency you are providing.

kevinkdog View Post
Other requirements, such as max loss in a day, always having a stop, using a non-automated platform (like T4) for order entry, or being out by 4:10 PM ET, are COMPLETELY in your control. Well, max loss in a day is mostly in your control, except for excessive slippage - but you should account for it in your calculations. If you can't meet these requirements, there is no way you'll meet the profit and drawdown requirements.

It may have already been mentioned, but you can use Sierra Chart for automated trading within the Combines. I am sure you can with NT as well, but I don't have any experiences with it. My guess is it would be a short learning curve for you before you are up and automatically running with SC.

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  #49 (permalink)
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omni72 View Post
Thanks for sharing your TST experiences, Kevin. I think it really highlights a way of approaching the combines that we don't often get to see. Kudos for the transparency you are providing.


It may have already been mentioned, but you can use Sierra Chart for automated trading within the Combines. I am sure you can with NT as well, but I don't have any experiences with it. My guess is it would be a short learning curve for you before you are up and automatically running with SC.


Thanks for the kind words. I really want this journal to be useful, so everyone please feel free to ask questions.

I was going to use Ninja trader for auto trading, but it is not up and running with the Combine. Ninja provides a nice dll that interfaces between Tradestation and Ninja (so I can use Tradestation to generate signals, then send them to Ninja).

If I end up trading this strategy with my own money, I probably will look to have it run automated - I don;t like checking for new orders every hour or so.

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  #50 (permalink)
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Combine, Day 5


Fairly boring day today. Due to family commitments, I had to exit my short and hour and a half early, and was not able able to take 1 trade, since I was not near my computer. Net impact - saved me 3-4 pips, and kept the day a winning day (maybe it will be important later on, since there is a requirement for percentage of winning days).

Later today I'll update probabilities, as I am now 25% completed with the combine.





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