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Trading fast markets

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  #201 (permalink)
 PandaWarrior 
In the heat
 
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Congratulations: A huge accomplishment.


Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #202 (permalink)
 Cashish 
Miami FL USA
 
Experience: Advanced
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Well Done, and good luck in your future.

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  #203 (permalink)
 josh 
Georgia, US
 
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Congratulations xelaar!!

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  #204 (permalink)
 tihfa 
detroit, mi
 
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xelaar,

congratulations and most importantly many thanks for sharing your experience. it is tremendously encouraging to demonstrate to newbies like myself that it can be done.

Best of success,
tihfa

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  #205 (permalink)
 mrmuggins 
manchester, england
 
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PandaWarrior View Post
Congratulations: A huge accomplishment.


However, PandaWarrior has highlighted something you may not have thought about - namely slippage on GC with larger contract size. Have you factored this into your breakout methodology. As you know, GC can gap 50 ticks intraday.

Well done though.

Regards,

Dudley

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  #206 (permalink)
 xiaosi 
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
 
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From my experience trading GC and CL live, getting a fill on the entry is not an issue with a stop order. Its getting out that gives you slippage, and its not usually negative. When they sweep the whole depth the first couple of levels are swept and then there can be a massive run that even the data can't keep up with. By this time your either in the trade or not, slippage happens as the sweeps take out your exits....

XS

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  #207 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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PandaWarrior View Post
Congratulations: A huge accomplishment.



Thanks, Panda. The key to my strategy is finding clusters of large stop orders, usually stop loss orders of trapped traders and reversal/breakout stop entry orders. Usually it is zones where conventional technical analysis tells people where to put their stops. So your worries about stops in your own journal are well-placed, dealers and large participants often push price to these levels to get fills on large quantities on limits without slippage. To cut story short, when price gets there it triggers some stops orders that start eating through limits and trigger next, and next. This is called cascade stop liquidation and can be as little as 3-5 ticks or as large as 50. Usually this move happens withing a couple of seconds. In earlier part of my Combine I was going for larger moves and this initial pop just provided me a very low risk entry where I could move stop to BE and let it ride or hit BE. At later part I did not get much continuation before a pullback to entry, so I start going to these pops exclusively, finishing for small pips but with high probability and very low risk.

1500 in fact is just two trades, one good for 600 and one for 1150, both done with 15 cars, i.e. 4 and 7 ticks. Second trade was good for 30 on this initial pop but I had a fixed limit at 7 as I just needed 7 to complete Profit Target and smaller you go higher the probability to get it. This explains very short time of trades. 0 seconds is not correct, but since T4 only reports in seconds, not milliseconds, it can't display correct duration.


In regards to the fills and slippage. Yes, I do have this concern but there are two considerations to it:
1. Orders are held at exchange, so there is no time delay between receiving price feed, sending order and executing it, so the time-based slippage should be almost non-existent unlike in forex where orders are held at broker and feed is usually driven from ECNs
2. I place my orders at the beginning of the "pop-zone" where there is usually a huge number of limits, if you check my videos you will see before price triggers a large quantity of opposing limit orders appears, as those who have stops there try to stop the move from triggering them, these limits provide liquidity necessary to fill my stop. After the pop started a large quantity of stop market orders eats fast through the limits, so if you place your order arbitrary in the middle of the move to happen, you may get slipped quite a bit. The move can be compared with the move caused by news release but with an important difference: before the scheduled news release market participants remove their limit orders and the book look very sparse, thuse getting slipped on bracketing the news is inevitable, even though not necessarily deadly, I traded news on futures and it does work if you get low latency setup. However this approach that I use now can be compared to unscheduled news event, where market is caught off-guard, liquidity is present but suddenly a burst of order flow goes through the book.

Hope this answers the question. If anybody curios about concepts that I use I recommend to read first a bible of markets "Trading&Exchanges" by Larry Harris published by Oxford Press for basics of market internals, price discovery, liquidity, exchange matching mechanisms, etc. Another great book about the principles of Order Flow Trading by Daemon Goldsmith "Order Flow trading for Fun and Profit". Also check out Jigsaw trading website for some free material. I am doing several videos for Peter Davis on trading fast markets with Jigsaw tools that I used last two weeks in my Combine trading, so check out those too when they are out.

In any case shout a question here should you have any.

PS I was just shocked and awed once got my morning fix of news in bed by what has happened in Oklahoma. My thoughts and prayers with families hit by this horrible tornado.

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  #208 (permalink)
 ratfink 
Birmingham UK
 
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Congratulations and thanks for the fascinating description of your unusual approach,
Cheers and Best Wishes for your changing future!

Travel Well
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  #209 (permalink)
iankotze
thabazimbi limpopo/south africa
 
 
Posts: 27 since Oct 2012
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You have put up some very good numbers! You showed patience and discipline and I for one am looking forward to learn more about your approach. Looking forward to working with you.

As a side note, the most slippage I ever experienced in the Gold with the live account at TST is 8 ticks with one contract. Usually slippage is not a problem.

Take a week off and relax, stay patient with them as it will take some time for them to set up the account, about 2 or 3 weeks in my experience.

Great stuff!!!

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  #210 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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iankotze View Post
You have put up some very good numbers! You showed patience and discipline and I for one am looking forward to learn more about your approach. Looking forward to working with you.

As a side note, the most slippage I ever experienced in the Gold with the live account at TST is 8 ticks with one contract. Usually slippage is not a problem.

Take a week off and relax, stay patient with them as it will take some time for them to set up the account, about 2 or 3 weeks in my experience.

Great stuff!!!

Thanks, appreciate it. 8 ticks is not bad, if you were hit by a large move cause by either news, or huge liquidation. I think during this violent multi-day sell-off a month ago I have seen spreads around 20 ticks, so the slippage could be immense if yours stop order would be trapped!

Thus said I was once hit by 70 pips slippage based on 70 pips spread in Forex market around NFP release. That was a day of PAIN

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  #211 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
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I have received an email from Scouting telling me that my Combine results will be reviewed to determine whether Objective was met and I should be contacted by one of the Scouts within 1-2 business days. Now with the run over I feel somewhat lonely and purposeless. And desperate to try my strategy live. I am contemplating to move some funds to my futures broker and try it live on my own, but at the same time I don't want to mess around until I know about the review of my results and what will happen next. If I am issued with LivePrep or even go Live there is little sense in my own live account as I can't trade both mine and TST same time in a way I trade (requiring extensive trade management).

I have made a video for Jigsaw Trading and once Peter will have it up on his Youtube channel I will share a link here.

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  #212 (permalink)
 jmsUK 
Manchester, Greater Manchester, UK
 
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@xelaar

That reply is good news and tells you that the process is underway, though lacks any encouragement or feedback (to be

expected). It's just going to be a hard wait but will give you some time to think about and do OTHER things, while you

recover and get ready for the next stage. The next stage will be amazing and with your attention to detail, you will be able to

float to another level.

Good for you.
JS

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  #213 (permalink)
 podski 
Belgium
 
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Xelaar,

You can expect some stick from your winners vs loosers time in trade. Take it on the chin and listen to what they say. My guess (purely based on listening to the guys on webinars ... no experience and I don't know anyone that has dealt with them) is that you will need some sort of prep ... or another combine.

In any case .. it will be what it is. Let's see.

On the more serious matter of you jumping in live. That is testosterone messing with your head. When lions and all sorts of wild animals get too much of that they start spending much more time out in the open. Then they get killed.

Think about that ... maybe you just need to get to the gym a little and work it off and think strategically about the TST feedback and your next steps.

All of your (and mine btw too) next steps should be about making the right decisions .. and not about making money !!

p

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  #214 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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I have to completely disagree with testosterone thing. What I need to do before spending any more time on perfecting this strategy is to make sure it works live just as well as it works on demo. Obviously some slippage will occur, this must be measured, accounted, stats collected and appropriate changes taken with regards to stop loss size, trade management practice, etc. It can't be done on demo, only live. So going live with 1 car makes only sense to continue this road.

With regards to holding time - I think they will be able to see for themselves it comes from just a couple of lengthy losers, as I explained. Here is the problem with trusting these stats 100%: I have much much less losers than winners, so even if I take one longer loser (still very small tick count, just market stopped moving and stuck in 5 tick range!) it affects my losing holding time a lot, on the other hand if I take a longer winner, because I have much more winners than losers it will affect my overall winning holding time very little! So what does it tell us? Nothing. There is a merit to these stats and you have to start from somewhere but it's not all be all. Most of my losers are in fact break even trades stopped at a couple of tick loss or at break even that slipped and became a loser. What does it means for overall picture? Nothing. Market moves fast one moment and slow another. If I would have a winning time 5 seconds and losing time 5 minutes - it would be a warning sign and meant I kill my good trades immediately and hope and pray my losers will return. This is not the case. In this case I would also have inverse relation to winners versus losers size, and I have an opposite - my winners almost twice larger as losers even after these "almost-breakeven" trades counted in.

Another Combine? I won't go that route. I did benefit a lot from taking this Combine for sure. But doing same thing over again yields no benefit to me, but wastes time. Pedro40 put it very well in his thread: to trade their 150k Combine you just need 20k at your broker and that is it. 15 for the margin and 5 for the max draw down. I think even less is needed since I did not start swinging 15 cars in Combine but 1 and I would do it when move to trading live as well, since around 1000 is needed for another car to be traded in margin it makes sense to limit yourself with only a margin good for 3-5 cars and just earn the right to use more by simply gaining profit that will be used as a margin. Thus said something like 10k is absolute maximum required at broker to simulate my approach.

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  #215 (permalink)
 podski 
Belgium
 
Experience: Intermediate
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xelaar View Post
I have to completely disagree with testosterone thing. What I need to do before spending any more time on perfecting this strategy is to make sure it works live just as well as it works on demo. Obviously some slippage will occur, this must be measured, accounted, stats collected and appropriate changes taken with regards to stop loss size, trade management practice, etc. It can't be done on demo, only live. So going live with 1 car makes only sense to continue this road.

With regards to holding time - I think they will be able to see for themselves it comes from just a couple of lengthy losers, as I explained. Here is the problem with trusting these stats 100%: I have much much less losers than winners, so even if I take one longer loser (still very small tick count, just market stopped moving and stuck in 5 tick range!) it affects my losing holding time a lot, on the other hand if I take a longer winner, because I have much more winners than losers it will affect my overall winning holding time very little! So what does it tell us? Nothing. There is a merit to these stats and you have to start from somewhere but it's not all be all. Most of my losers are in fact break even trades stopped at a couple of tick loss or at break even that slipped and became a loser. What does it means for overall picture? Nothing. Market moves fast one moment and slow another. If I would have a winning time 5 seconds and losing time 5 minutes - it would be a warning sign and meant I kill my good trades immediately and hope and pray my losers will return. This is not the case. In this case I would also have inverse relation to winners versus losers size, and I have an opposite - my winners almost twice larger as losers even after these "almost-breakeven" trades counted in.

Another Combine? I won't go that route. I did benefit a lot from taking this Combine for sure. But doing same thing over again yields no benefit to me, but wastes time. Pedro40 put it very well in his thread: to trade their 150k Combine you just need 20k at your broker and that is it. 15 for the margin and 5 for the max draw down. I think even less is needed since I did not start swinging 15 cars in Combine but 1 and I would do it when move to trading live as well, since around 1000 is needed for another car to be traded in margin it makes sense to limit yourself with only a margin good for 3-5 cars and just earn the right to use more by simply gaining profit that will be used as a margin. Thus said something like 10k is absolute maximum required at broker to simulate my approach.

xelaar

All I am saying is wait patiently for the TST feedback. They will be unemotional about it and do this more often than you.

Whatever they have to say will be useful and you (and we) can all learn from it.

So .. be patient .. stick to your guns .. the markets will be there in a few days !!

You can make your decisions based on the feedback of a coach/pro .. who will certainly have insight and experience.

You are right on the calculations for the 150 .. for sure.

p

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  #216 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
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Absolutely, this is what I am going to do anyway, wait for them! I said it is tempting to go live myself now (I deliberately withdrew from my live account with AMP before starting Combine prep, not to be distracted from the process and to use money elsewhere), but I first need to know the result of this long exercise. I spent over a month on Combine itself, and around 1 month in preparations and development before that. So after putting 2 months of hard work of 10+ hours of screen time on most days, I deserve to know the result before doing anything else!

Thanks for your comments, though, I do find them very informative and supporting.

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  #217 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
Site Moderator
Ilsede, Germany
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Broker: Rithmic / CQG / Ninja Trader Brokerage
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xelaar View Post
I spent over a month on Combine itself, and around 1 month in preparations and development before that. So after putting 2 months of hard work of 10+ hours of screen time on most days, I deserve to know the result before doing anything else!

Well, I'd totally agree on that. And from my point of view another Combine wouldn't be justifiable in your 'case', I wouldn't take it either.

Maybe they're going to ask you to do an LTP because of ONE parameter in your stats which doesn't perfectly meet the requirements, but I'm sure that in this case you may discuss that topic with John or one of the other scouts.

So, for now we're all waiting patiently for the result...

All the best to you and your family, do yourself a favor and give you a short break from trading and just take a few days completely off.

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  #218 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
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To kill some time and thank my supporters for their help, here is a video I have done for Jigsaw Trading about using order flow in fast markets with the benefit of Jigsaw trading tools for Ninja Trader.


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  #219 (permalink)
 bobwest 
Site Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
Experience: Advanced
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I want to second everyone else's messages of support, and, for perspective, just add the fact that TST is looking for profitable traders in order to add to their own business's profit. They want to know that backing someone looks like a good investment, and that's what they care about. So when they find someone with a very consistent track record in the Combine, that is what they are looking for.

I do not think you have anything at all to worry about.

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  #220 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
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podski View Post
You can expect some stick from your winners vs losers time in trade. Take it on the chin and listen to what they say.

I don't know why that stat would count for anything, that is first completely irrelevant second you are allowed to miss one. Not to mention depending on the strategy, some types will always have longer loser duration anyway.

So no chin holding needed...

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  #221 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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PandaWarrior View Post
Congratulations: A huge accomplishment.


@PandaWarrior, to see how it is really possible check out the video I just published here, go to last 5 minutes to see how 40 ticks can be done in less than a second. These trades are my bread and butter.

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  #222 (permalink)
 podski 
Belgium
 
Experience: Intermediate
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xelaar View Post
@PandaWarrior, to see how it is really possible check out the video I just published here, go to last 5 minutes to see how 40 ticks can be done in less than a second. These trades are my bread and butter.

If you can make 40 ticks in zero seconds ... imagine how many you can do per hour

p

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  #223 (permalink)
 hadamkov 
Prague Czech Republic
 
Experience: Beginner
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Better late than never.

Congrats!!! Keep going .

H.

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  #224 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
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podski View Post
If you can make 40 ticks in zero seconds ... imagine how many you can do per hour

p

-40?

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  #225 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
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I have got an email from John Hoagland. Basically it's the same story as anybody else's: they are prepared to provide me with a live trading account pending my performance in LivePrep. So no news here. LivePrep must adhere to Junior Trader trading plan, which is standard, with distinction I have to trade minimum 10 days within 60 calendar days, my profit target is only 4500, DLL is 3000, WLL is 3000, MaxDD 4500.

I supposed to get a call from them, maybe tonight, I hope I will be able to convince them to make a slight change to the plan, since it cripples a bit my own risk management which I believe is more superior than theirs when used with my trading approach. Especially this rule about starting trading day with x lots and only increase or add when daily net profit is above 1000. That will essentially kill my opportunities to make money, because I only have few setups per day, and if I spend them all on small lot shots, when I get ammo finally it inevitable suggests I should take more shots but by this time likely good setups are already done and I might face a situation where I trade high quality setups with smaller position and take a loser from a worse setup on larger position. I am fine with this rule as long as word DAY there is replaced with work WEEK throughout the whole paragraph.


Quoting 
At the start of my day I will trade only _____ lot(s) and will only add to my position or increase my
size if my total Net P&L is greater than $1000.

I understand the reason of this requirement but it is suited for discretionary traders, not system traders like I am, and it's intention is to allow trader to tune-in into the market and assumes trader take substantial number of trades through the day and his win probability is around 50%. In my case it does more harm than good, as I take few trades, tune-in is non-existent as each trade is totally a separate event, and trying to correlate result of previous trade with risk parameters of next trade is totally artificial and has no substance and only can reduce profitability.

We shall see how the interview goes. I am ready for this challenge and sure I won't fail it, unless market will get totally unsuitable for my approach, in this case most probable failure scenario is having a losing day larger than a winning day, I obviously can get a losing day maybe 1000 usd and if market gives me chuckles instead of bucks I might not get to the figure on a profitable day, especially being curtailed on position size.

I honestly have to say at this point, this is more and more just a challenge for me, seeing so many restrictions can be maddening but ultimately they channel your efforts to build yourself into a better trading shape, given that you really commit yourself to it. I take it like a personal challenge now that I need to pass to say I did it. After going through so many barriers I can see how one can easily get the necessary discipline and self-confidence to trade his own money.

I think this is the ultimate paradox that TST faces every day: people who pass all their quests with success are the ones who most likely will leave soon as they feel confident to trade on their own.

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 josh 
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xelaar View Post
I have got an email from John Hoagland. Basically it's the same story as anybody else's: they are prepared to provide me with a live trading account pending my performance in LivePrep. So no news here. LivePrep must adhere to Junior Trader trading plan, which is standard, with distinction I have to trade minimum 10 days within 60 calendar days, my profit target is only 4500, DLL is 3000, WLL is 300, MaxDD 4500.
...
I honestly have to say at this point, this is more and more just a challenge for me, seeing so many restrictions can be maddening but ultimately they channel your efforts to build yourself into a better trading shape, given that you really commit yourself to it. I take it like a personal challenge now that I need to pass to say I did it. After going through so many barriers I can see how one can easily get the necessary discipline and self-confidence to trade his own money.

I wish you much success. When I passed the combine it was not my first attempt, but I had very good stats on the combine that passed. 90% winning days, zero drawdown from initial balance, and very good stats otherwise. When it shifted to the live prep, the week down time I had messed me up quite a bit, because even though I tried to trade with purpose, I got out of rhythm. Also, the weekly loss limit really was quite a challenge, even though in the combine I never had a weekly drawdown at all. These influenced me, and I take 100% responsibility for them of course, but the live prep was just not the same mentally for me. I hope you do great! The requirements are actually much easier in a way, so go get 'em tiger!!

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 xelaar 
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josh View Post
I wish you much success. When I passed the combine it was not my first attempt, but I had very good stats on the combine that passed. 90% winning days, zero drawdown from initial balance, and very good stats otherwise. When it shifted to the live prep, the week down time I had messed me up quite a bit, because even though I tried to trade with purpose, I got out of rhythm. Also, the weekly loss limit really was quite a challenge, even though in the combine I never had a weekly drawdown at all. These influenced me, and I take 100% responsibility for them of course, but the live prep was just not the same mentally for me. I hope you do great! The requirements are actually much easier in a way, so go get 'em tiger!!

Thanks! Actually maybe you can clarify: in the rule I quoted, do they mean by "total net PL" this day's PL or the total PL since the start? If second, I can only applaud for this rule, my own rule is tougher.

I also feel it can get a bit under my skin but luckily or not I will have to take days off during this run due to my family circumstance so inevitably I will get my cool-off days, which is always good.

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 podski 
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xelaar View Post
I have got an email from John Hoagland. Basically it's the same story as anybody else's: they are prepared to provide me with a live trading account pending my performance in LivePrep. So no news here. LivePrep must adhere to Junior Trader trading plan, which is standard, with distinction I have to trade minimum 10 days within 60 calendar days, my profit target is only 4500, DLL is 3000, WLL is 300, MaxDD 4500.

I supposed to get a call from them, maybe tonight, I hope I will be able to convince them to make a slight change to the plan, since it cripples a bit my own risk management which I believe is more superior than theirs when used with my trading approach. Especially this rule about starting trading day with x lots and only increase or add when daily net profit is above 1000. That will essentially kill my opportunities to make money, because I only have few setups per day, and if I spend them all on small lot shots, when I get ammo finally it inevitable suggests I should take more shots but by this time likely good setups are already done and I might face a situation where I trade high quality setups with smaller position and take a loser from a worse setup on larger position. I am fine with this rule as long as word DAY there is replaced with work WEEK throughout the whole paragraph.



I understand the reason of this requirement but it is suited for discretionary traders, not system traders like I am, and it's intention is to allow trader to tune-in into the market and assumes trader take substantial number of trader through the day and his win probability is around 50%. In my case it does more harm than good, as I take few trades, tune-in is non-existent as each trade is totally a separate event, and trying to correlate result of previous trade with risk parameters of next trade is totally artificial and has no substance and only can reduce profitability.

We shall see how the interview goes. I am ready for this challenge and sure I won't fail it, unless market will get totally unsuitable for my approach, in this case most probable failure scenario is having a losing day larger than a winning day, I obviously can get a losing day maybe 1000 usd and if market gives me chuckles instead of bucks I might not get to the figure on a profitable day, especially being curtailed on position size.

I honestly have to say at this point, this is more and more just a challenge for me, seeing so many restrictions can be maddening but ultimately they channel your efforts to build yourself into a better trading shape, given that you really commit yourself to it. I take it like a personal challenge now that I need to pass to say I did it. After going through so many barriers I can see how one can easily get the necessary discipline and self-confidence to trade his own money.

I think this is the ultimate paradox that TST faces every day: people who pass all their quests with success are the ones who most likely will leave soon as they feel confident to trade on their own.

Hi Xelaar,

Well done ! If you go for this you will be able to do it and work within whatever agreed params there are. I saw your video. Very informative.

Have a think about it and sketch out the params that you feel are acceptable, show them your video and explain them the method. If you get to speak one-on-one with John it will be interesting to see what he says about the method and how that fits. The contract can be changed over time of course.

This is ultimately where the clash between individuality and corporate risk management happens. It's a classic story that happens every day in many businesses. You seem like a talented individual with a lot of knowledge and are even able to share that so certainly have value for an organization. On the other hand TST need a single manageable process.

The questions you need to consider are

a. an I work out any sort of acceptable deal
b. will I learn, lets say over a period of 12 months, anything about risk mangement and the markets from TST
c. will working within this structure make me better, not just as a trader but as a team player for my own business, will I learn about how to manage other traders, the infrastructure required
d. it is clear that within the TST structure once you have a framework and earn money that you can change the params and up the risk or just change the working structure. It all depends on track record and a cushion of cash in the bank. That said ... the main question is ... will you be able to earn a living ?

p

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 josh 
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Thanks! Actually maybe you can clarify: in the rule I quoted, do they mean by "total net PL" this day's PL or the total PL since the start? If second, I can only applaud for this rule, my own rule is tougher.

They mean "today's P/L" -- in other words, if you make $1000, then you can increase your size that day. But at the start of the day, you cannot trade more than X contracts.

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 Big Mike 
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Nicely done.

Let us know how the interview goes.

I admit to not reading your journal very closely, but just saw you are an algo trader. Do you have a post that describes what platform you develop on and any testing methodologies?

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 xelaar 
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josh View Post
They mean "today's P/L" -- in other words, if you make $1000, then you can increase your size that day. But at the start of the day, you cannot trade more than X contracts.

Thanks, this is what I understood too. This is crippling.

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 Big Mike 
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BTW, funded or not I think the lessons are useful.

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 xelaar 
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Big Mike View Post
Nicely done.

Let us know how the interview goes.

I admit to not reading your journal very closely, but just saw you are an algo trader. Do you have a post that describes what platform you develop on and any testing methodologies?

Sent from my Nexus 4

Mike, I am not an algo trader. I am a manual system trader with a healthy dose of discretion. It means I get an idea, find suitable parameters and market conditions, test it, build a system with well-defined rules and trade it. On opposite from pure discretionary traders who look at the market and generate a setup on fly from thousand of different parameters and ideas that cannot be properly tested and edge to be found because no setups are ever the same.

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 Big Mike 
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xelaar View Post
Mike, I am not an algo trader. I am a manual system trader with a healthy dose of discretion. It means I get an idea, find suitable parameters and market conditions, test it, build a system with well-defined rules and trade it. On opposite from pure discretionary traders who look at the market and generate a setup on fly from thousand of different parameters and ideas that cannot be properly tested and edge to be found because no setups are ever the same.

A mechanical trader.

I just got hung up one your last post wording. No biggie.



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 xelaar 
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podski View Post
Hi Xelaar,

Well done ! If you go for this you will be able to do it and work within whatever agreed params there are. I saw your video. Very informative.

Have a think about it and sketch out the params that you feel are acceptable, show them your video and explain them the method. If you get to speak one-on-one with John it will be interesting to see what he says about the method and how that fits. The contract can be changed over time of course.

This is ultimately where the clash between individuality and corporate risk management happens. It's a classic story that happens every day in many businesses. You seem like a talented individual with a lot of knowledge and are even able to share that so certainly have value for an organization. On the other hand TST need a single manageable process.

The questions you need to consider are

a. an I work out any sort of acceptable deal
b. will I learn, lets say over a period of 12 months, anything about risk mangement and the markets from TST
c. will working within this structure make me better, not just as a trader but as a team player for my own business, will I learn about how to manage other traders, the infrastructure required
d. it is clear that within the TST structure once you have a framework and earn money that you can change the params and up the risk or just change the working structure. It all depends on track record and a cushion of cash in the bank. That said ... the main question is ... will you be able to earn a living ?

p

Thanks, P

This was my original purpose - to learn both from the process and from experience trading for TST (if I get there). Trading is a lonely business and you can hardly learn from anybody if you trade from home, unlikely in most other businesses and professions where you have peers around and grab some their knowledge and learn from their experience. That was what I wanted to do: get experience trading for a firm, see how it works, how they manage it, get a proper risk management structure around, accountability and reporting.

Ultimately I can back myself as I did before, my previous trading endeavors were successful and profitable. However you can only get so far if you are isolated. So this is more about earning experience than living for me. At least for the moment. Still I need this to make money to justify my work.

Long-term I don't think I have any interest in it, I am a loner by nature, but would like to see trading as a business rather than profession, therefore getting experience in this field is very valuable.

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 xelaar 
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Big Mike View Post
A mechanical trader.

I just got hung up one your last post wording. No biggie.



Sent from my Nexus 4

Closer to that, but I wouldn't call it this way. Setups are mechanical but there is a lot of preconditions and trade management relies totally on immediate order flow.

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 xelaar 
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Having been thinking about it some more now, I understand that conditions aren't the best now to do LivePrep or even go Live due to other commitments that are arising. However, I still have lots of free time on many days, and after being deprived of trading after finishing the combine and dying from boredom, I think this LivePrep can be at least taken as a developmental stage. What I don't like about is that they said they will refund my Combine fee after I finish LivePrep. Does it mean they won't refund me if I fail? That wasn't anywhere on the website once I signed up. Or they just use it a motivator to take LivePrep seriously, just like original Combine?

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 DarkPoolTrading 
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xelaar View Post
Having been thinking about it some more now, I understand that conditions aren't the best now to do LivePrep or even go Live due to other commitments that are arising. However, I still have lots of free time on many days, and after being deprived of trading after finishing the combine and dying from boredom, I think this LivePrep can be at least taken as a developmental stage. What I don't like about is that they said they will refund my Combine fee after I finish LivePrep. Does it mean they won't refund me if I fail? That wasn't anywhere on the website once I signed up. Or they just use it a motivator to take LivePrep seriously, just like original Combine?

As far as I understand, anyone who is net positive for a combine and has passed the scouting criteria will receive a refund / free rollover to do another combine. So in your case im sure you will get refunded or given another free combine regardless of the outcome of your live trader prep.

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 xiaosi 
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Now that was a sweep Xelaar! 80-88!

Perhaps we should start a Gold Trading thread now....

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 xelaar 
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xiaosi View Post
Now that was a sweep Xelaar! 80-88!

Perhaps we should start a Gold Trading thread now....

Sure but why limit ourselves to Gold? Crude, Gas, maybe DAX maybe even TF or NQ. Just Order Flow Trading.

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 xiaosi 
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xelaar View Post
Sure but why limit ourselves to Gold? Crude, Gas, maybe DAX maybe even TF or NQ. Just Order Flow Trading.

Oh for sure, i agree there are lots of markets with some nice setups in the depth. I just prefer CL and GC because i know them best at the moment...

NG is best during the pit session, the DAX has its moments though.

I'm happy to share any little setups is come across.

XS

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 podski 
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xelaar View Post
Trading is a lonely business and you can hardly learn from anybody if you trade from home, unlikely in most other businesses and professions where you have peers around and grab some their knowledge and learn from their experience.

That right there is the sentiment that has launched a thousand books and is certainly part of the futures.io (formerly BMT) Manifesto (Mike doesn't do this to get extra sleep ... judging by the times of day his Nexus is busy !). I also think it is why people like Al Brooks and Linda Bradford Raschke do what they do.

futures.io (formerly BMT) is a kind of facebook for traders. Shamebook for some, Tradebook for others, Sharebook for everyone. TST bundles up that human need of feeling being part of something together with a knowledgeable support group and .... funding from the founders and other partners. Quite clever really if you can find the talent and the Combine is pretty good at that. Not impossible but full of nasty little hurdles.

Interesting stuff really.

p

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 bobwest 
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xelaar View Post
I supposed to get a call from them, maybe tonight, I hope I will be able to convince them to make a slight change to the plan, since it cripples a bit my own risk management which I believe is more superior than theirs when used with my trading approach. Especially this rule about starting trading day with x lots and only increase or add when daily net profit is above 1000. That will essentially kill my opportunities to make money, because I only have few setups per day, and if I spend them all on small lot shots, when I get ammo finally it inevitable suggests I should take more shots but by this time likely good setups are already done and I might face a situation where I trade high quality setups with smaller position and take a loser from a worse setup on larger position.

I have probably missed something about your method, but it appears that, according to their rule, you can set the minimum x that you start out with, so it does not have to be so small that you can't get a significant return. Why not set it high in the beginning?

The answer is probably simple, but I don't see how you are restricted to small lot shots, just that you can't ramp it up quickly from whatever your initial number is....

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 bobwest 
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xelaar View Post
Trading is a lonely business and you can hardly learn from anybody if you trade from home, unlikely in most other businesses and professions where you have peers around and grab some their knowledge and learn from their experience.


podski View Post
That right there is the sentiment that has launched a thousand books and is certainly part of the futures.io (formerly BMT) Manifesto (Mike doesn't do this to get extra sleep ... judging by the times of day his Nexus is busy !). I also think it is why people like Al Brooks and Linda Bradford Raschke do what they do.

I have to say that these two statements have cleared up something that has puzzled me, which is why a successful trader would share their work -- it's to be not isolated. Sure, there are other motives too, but it makes trading less a lonely business, even for those who think of ourselves as "loners".

Thanks.

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 xelaar 
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bobwest View Post
I have probably missed something about your method, but it appears that, according to their rule, you can set the minimum x that you start out with, so it does not have to be so small that you can't get a significant return. Why not set it high in the beginning?

The answer is probably simple, but I don't see how you are restricted to small lot shots, just that you can't ramp it up quickly from whatever your initial number is....

I will certainly try that, the ideal would be to change this rule from daily to weekly time frame, but unlikely to happen. I will try to get that x to be set at 7 lots, but I think they will push it low to 3-5 maybe. We will see.

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 josh 
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xelaar View Post
I will certainly try that, the ideal would be to change this rule from daily to weekly time frame, but unlikely to happen. I will try to get that x to be set at 7 lots, but I think they will push it low to 3-5 maybe. We will see.

You will be talking to John, and he is a really nice and reasonable guy. If you explain that your strategy really works best when using the full 15 lots, then perhaps you two can agree to this.

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 FKtrader 
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Hi Alex,
First sorry for the late reply to congratulate you ab finishing your combine.
IM a lazy person and little egoist and i realy start to change now especially after reading all this very good stuff which you share with us and bc of you im planning to start a journal here.
I personally know a person who was funded by TST and he is a member here too and i can say without hesitation that your style of trading are equal or little better than his.
It will be a shame if you don't get funded man.
Thanks my friend for all the great job and i hope you the best of luck.
Cheers
Adam ribica

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 jmsUK 
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josh View Post
They mean "today's P/L" -- in other words, if you make $1000, then you can increase your size that day. But at the start of the day, you cannot trade more than X contracts.

@josh,
Thanks for this information and well done getting through the Combine. Are you good to get funded now? I remember reading that you didn't do so well in the LivePrep-was that a previous one?

In regard to the rule, "you can only trade x no of contracts..", am I right to assume that x = maximum trade size? Presumably can start smaller if desired? TIA
Regards
JS

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 josh 
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jmsUK View Post
@josh,
Thanks for this information and well done getting through the Combine. Are you good to get funded now? I remember reading that you didn't do so well in the LivePrep-was that a previous one?

In regard to the rule, "you can only trade x no of contracts..", am I right to assume that x = maximum trade size? Presumably can start smaller if desired? TIA
Regards
JS

I'm currently not working towards a TST combine--and yes, that is maximum trade size. For example, if you have a max size of 10 contracts, then the rule might be "only trade 4 contracts until the profit is $800 dollars, at which point you may increase the size to 10."

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 xelaar 
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Finally had a conversation with Hoag. He's a nice guy, agreed, but it's hard to haggle with him on requirements and numbers. I understand that he has a rule set that is quite rigid to work with.

Well, as it laid out, LP does make a sense, as Hoag put it, it mimics live trading requirements for Junior trader. I would like a bit more freedom but I can work with what they gave me.

Basically it is a standard trading plan that can be found on their web with following numbers filled in:
1. Trading hours - we haggled but the best I could get was from 6AM to 3:10 PM, I understand why it is so - for Junior Trader there is a limit from 7AM, because someone is monitoring performance live. I can live with that.
2. Start a day with 5 lots until 1000 usd is built. That is bit crippling, I wanted at least 7 but it is what it is.
3. Max number of consecutive losers when in negative before pulling the brakes for a day: 3. That is what I offered, and I am fine with it.
5. Max draw down from daily profit high before quitting: 50%. It is fine again, and smart. I would cut probably earlier.

All in all, it would slow my process a bit, especially lot limited to 5 on most days, but again there are up to 40 trading days to trade and only 4500 to be gained, so no drama whatsoever. With 15 cars I could do that on one good day. And what to do after?

I plan to start LP on Tuesday.

This stage took a bit of time, I expected it to be somewhat faster, but have they got 3 traders to put to LP this week only that I know and maybe more. All in all I am ok with it, given that it mimics live trading environment rules, so a good chance to adjust and get used to.

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 Daytrader999 
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Thanks for the update Alex, and bottom line I think you can live with that framework pretty well.

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 DarkPoolTrading 
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xelaar View Post
1. Trading hours - we haggled but the best I could get was from 6AM to 3:10 PM, I understand why it is so - for Junior Trader there is a limit from 7AM, because someone is monitoring performance live. I can live with that.

Congrats. Sounds like you should be able to work within what's been decided. And plenty of time to do it in.

Could you please explain a bit more on your point regarding trading hours. I plan on doing the combine in the near future. But because I trade from South Africa and trade currencies (6B), I trade during the US overnight session for the most part, and then only the first 3 hours or so of the US session. Are you saying that wouldn't be allowed? Trading the full US session would be impossible for me. Im asleep

Thanks.

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 xelaar 
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
Congrats. Sounds like you should be able to work within what's been decided. And plenty of time to do it in.

Could you please explain a bit more on your point regarding trading hours. I plan on doing the combine in the near future. But because I trade from South Africa and trade currencies (6B), I trade during the US overnight session for the most part, and then only the first 3 hours or so of the US session. Are you saying that wouldn't be allowed? Trading the full US session would be impossible for me. Im asleep

Thanks.

The thing is when you go live you cant trade before 7am ct. So there is no point trading at different time in LP since it called to mimic junior trader conditions. Once Senior you have much more flexibility, after all its your money you will be losing It can be hard with currencies but if you can stick through LP and JT you could trade your comfort hours later. The reason for this requiremebt is live account monitorin in JT phase.

Also you only can trade your combine instruments in LP.

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 kevinkdog   is a Vendor
 
 
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xelaar View Post
Finally had a conversation with Hoag. He's a nice guy, agreed, but it's hard to haggle with him on requirements and numbers. I understand that he has a rule set that is quite rigid to work with.

Well, as it laid out, LP does make a sense, as Hoag put it, it mimics live trading requirements for Junior trader. I would like a bit more freedom but I can work with what they gave me.

Basically it is a standard trading plan that can be found on their web with following numbers filled in:
1. Trading hours - we haggled but the best I could get was from 6AM to 3:10 PM, I understand why it is so - for Junior Trader there is a limit from 7AM, because someone is monitoring performance live. I can live with that.
2. Start a day with 5 lots until 1000 usd is built. That is bit crippling, I wanted at least 7 but it is what it is.
3. Max number of consecutive losers when in negative before pulling the brakes for a day: 3. That is what I offered, and I am fine with it.
5. Max draw down from daily profit high before quitting: 50%. It is fine again, and smart. I would cut probably earlier.

All in all, it would slow my process a bit, especially lot limited to 5 on most days, but again there are up to 40 trading days to trade and only 4500 to be gained, so no drama whatsoever. With 15 cars I could do that on one good day. And what to do after?

I plan to start LP on Tuesday.

This stage took a bit of time, I expected it to be somewhat faster, but have they got 3 traders to put to LP this week only that I know and maybe more. All in all I am ok with it, given that it mimics live trading environment rules, so a good chance to adjust and get used to.


For restricting the trading hours from 7 AM - 3 PM, because that is what they do with real money, I understand why. But, they should enforce the same rule for the Combine, too.

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Pedro40
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How do the LP rules apply to more than 1 instrument are traded? Let's say if I trade 3 different things, the max. 5 cars would mean all 3 instruments together, I assume?
Or the max. number of consecutive losers being 3, if I lose twice in oil then I switch to gold, my allowed losing time is 1 only?
I figure you might don't know the answers, but someone who have been in the same situation might and post the answer here...


kevinkdog View Post
For restricting the trading hours from 7 AM - 3 PM, because that is what they do with real money, I understand why. But, they should enforce the same rule for the Combine, too.

Good point. One of the newly funded traders had 20 hours long trades, and obviously impossible scenario with their Live trading rules...

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 xelaar 
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I think he had to compromise for the LP.

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 xelaar 
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Since during out conversation with John or in email exchange with him and Erin there was no mention of any NDA of LP details or reports, I plan to continue posting my detailed progress here with LP reports. I had been asked by Big Mike to do a webinar on my experience and any other topic I chose, so if you are interested in something shout it out here, there is no point talking about something people care not about hearing.

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 DarkPoolTrading 
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xelaar View Post
The thing is when you go live you cant trade before 7am ct. So there is no point trading at different time in LP since it called to mimic junior trader conditions. Once Senior you have much more flexibility, after all its your money you will be losing It can be hard with currencies but if you can stick through LP and JT you could trade your comfort hours later. The reason for this requiremebt is live account monitorin in JT phase.

Also you only can trade your combine instruments in LP.

Thanks for the reply. However this is not stated anywhere on their website. In fact on this page it is specifically stated: "Products below can be traded in the Combine during normal electronic trading hours unless otherwise indicated": Trading Futures: FX, Oil, E-mini S&P 500 | TopstepTrader

I am very confused because from my understanding they pull a report of the day's performance at 3:10pm CST each day. At that time you need to be flat so they can pull the report.

I find it "interesting" that they want to force traders from around the planet to trade the US session, especially in markets such as currencies which are firstly, 24hours, and secondly like the 6B their main trading hours are during the UK session.

Anyway, I dont want to derail your journal. Ill contact tst in the ask me anything thread about this.

Well done again. Good luck.

Edit: I think this may just be because you are trading gold. On the permitted trading products page it specifically limits the times you can trade certain markets. However I see there is no limit for currencies:
https://help.topsteptrader.com/knowledgebase/articles/182814-what-are-the-permitted-trading-hours-

https://www.topsteptrader.com/PermissibleProducts

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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Hi you can trade Combine all these times as specified, certainly. It's that you can't do that in LiveTraderPrep. And we both with Kevin explained the reason: because you can't trade outside of 7AM-310PM CST when live with them, during Junior Trader period. It has nothing to do with instrument or liquidity, it has to do with the fact that a real person will be sitting there and looking at your account performance real life, making sure you won't do too much damage to their money. And since they are in Chicago, nobody wants to sit and watch at 1 AM. Once cushion is built they will let you trade any time you want withing Globex session making a break at 3:10 PM. Gold has restrictions of its own because of liquidity concerns. But again it has nothing to do with LP and JT restrictions.


DarkPoolTrading View Post
Thanks for the reply. However this is not stated anywhere on their website. In fact on this page it is specifically stated: "Products below can be traded in the Combine during normal electronic trading hours unless otherwise indicated": Trading Futures: FX, Oil, E-mini S&P 500 | TopstepTrader

I am very confused because from my understanding they pull a report of the day's performance at 3:10pm CST each day. At that time you need to be flat so they can pull the report.

I find it "interesting" that they want to force traders from around the planet to trade the US session, especially in markets such as currencies which are firstly, 24hours, and secondly like the 6B their main trading hours are during the UK session.

Anyway, I dont want to derail your journal. Ill contact tst in the ask me anything thread about this.

Well done again. Good luck.

Edit: I think this may just be because you are trading gold. On the permitted trading products page it specifically limits the times you can trade certain markets. However I see there is no limit for currencies:
What are the permitted trading hours? ? Help & Feedback Center

Trading Futures: FX, Oil, E-mini S&P 500 | TopstepTrader


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 xelaar 
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I have posted some trade ideas in my journal, since they are outside of Combine-related activity.

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 Ddawg 
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xelaar, Enjoyed your trading journal. I think your post about trading for small targets on choppy days and letting it rip when conditions are right is spot on. Now to figure that out early before I get chopped to shreds LOL The new addition to your family was a nice surprise. Congrats....Best wishes to you and your wife.

Ddawg

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 xelaar 
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Hi
I'm not really concerned about choppiness provided volatility js grand. Its low vol days when one trading of must be satisfied with small gains. Trend or no trend makes no big difference.

Got my lp account ready. Trade tomorrow I will.

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Bharatiya
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Congrats on your success & all the best for your live prep.

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 garyboy275 
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Sorry if this has been asked earlier but do you get your money back once you pass your combine ?

Again good luck for future

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 xelaar 
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garyboy275 View Post
Sorry if this has been asked earlier but do you get your money back once you pass your combine ?

Again good luck for future

Hi
Yes, but if you pass good enough to go further they will refund by tge end of LP. I dont like it but tge idea apparently is that many still fail at LP so money will be used to roll over to a new combine.

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 jmsUK 
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Good trading when you start the LP.
I guess you have the mornings off now
BTW, if you did your Combine again, would you have traded ONLY the 0700-1500 CDT?

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 Zwaen 
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xelaar View Post
I hear what you say. I think the biggest mental issue for me is when trade is happening desperately not wanting to get a loser instead of small winner. Thus taking small winners. Sometimes it prevents from taking a loser for sure, but also kills huge winners, and never prevents true losers from happening - those that never show any profit, triggering and then reverting to hit SL. Need to distance myself from "I want to be a winner" attitude. Need a more spectator approach.

A little late to the party, but your journal was/is a nice read. I liked this remark, deserves to be repeated!

One of my worst enemies are my own false assumptions
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 xelaar 
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jmsUK View Post
Good trading when you start the LP.
I guess you have the mornings off now
BTW, if you did your Combine again, would you have traded ONLY the 0700-1500 CDT?

I would do the same, but most of the setups were close to or during Comex. Doesn't make significant changes.

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 Silver Dragon 
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@xelaar

Keep it real!! Good luck with the live prep!

Robert

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 wxsim1 
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what is a live trader Prep?

thanks

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 vijidas 
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wxsim1 View Post
what is a live trader Prep?

thanks

see below:


xelaar View Post
I have got an email from John Hoagland. Basically it's the same story as anybody else's: they are prepared to provide me with a live trading account pending my performance in LivePrep. So no news here. LivePrep must adhere to Junior Trader trading plan, which is standard, with distinction I have to trade minimum 10 days within 60 calendar days, my profit target is only 4500, DLL is 3000, WLL is 3000, MaxDD 4500.

I supposed to get a call from them, maybe tonight, I hope I will be able to convince them to make a slight change to the plan, since it cripples a bit my own risk management which I believe is more superior than theirs when used with my trading approach. Especially this rule about starting trading day with x lots and only increase or add when daily net profit is above 1000. That will essentially kill my opportunities to make money, because I only have few setups per day, and if I spend them all on small lot shots, when I get ammo finally it inevitable suggests I should take more shots but by this time likely good setups are already done and I might face a situation where I trade high quality setups with smaller position and take a loser from a worse setup on larger position. I am fine with this rule as long as word DAY there is replaced with work WEEK throughout the whole paragraph.



I understand the reason of this requirement but it is suited for discretionary traders, not system traders like I am, and it's intention is to allow trader to tune-in into the market and assumes trader take substantial number of trades through the day and his win probability is around 50%. In my case it does more harm than good, as I take few trades, tune-in is non-existent as each trade is totally a separate event, and trying to correlate result of previous trade with risk parameters of next trade is totally artificial and has no substance and only can reduce profitability.

We shall see how the interview goes. I am ready for this challenge and sure I won't fail it, unless market will get totally unsuitable for my approach, in this case most probable failure scenario is having a losing day larger than a winning day, I obviously can get a losing day maybe 1000 usd and if market gives me chuckles instead of bucks I might not get to the figure on a profitable day, especially being curtailed on position size.

I honestly have to say at this point, this is more and more just a challenge for me, seeing so many restrictions can be maddening but ultimately they channel your efforts to build yourself into a better trading shape, given that you really commit yourself to it. I take it like a personal challenge now that I need to pass to say I did it. After going through so many barriers I can see how one can easily get the necessary discipline and self-confidence to trade his own money.

I think this is the ultimate paradox that TST faces every day: people who pass all their quests with success are the ones who most likely will leave soon as they feel confident to trade on their own.



xelaar View Post
Finally had a conversation with Hoag. He's a nice guy, agreed, but it's hard to haggle with him on requirements and numbers. I understand that he has a rule set that is quite rigid to work with.

Well, as it laid out, LP does make a sense, as Hoag put it, it mimics live trading requirements for Junior trader. I would like a bit more freedom but I can work with what they gave me.

Basically it is a standard trading plan that can be found on their web with following numbers filled in:
1. Trading hours - we haggled but the best I could get was from 6AM to 3:10 PM, I understand why it is so - for Junior Trader there is a limit from 7AM, because someone is monitoring performance live. I can live with that.
2. Start a day with 5 lots until 1000 usd is built. That is bit crippling, I wanted at least 7 but it is what it is.
3. Max number of consecutive losers when in negative before pulling the brakes for a day: 3. That is what I offered, and I am fine with it.
5. Max draw down from daily profit high before quitting: 50%. It is fine again, and smart. I would cut probably earlier.

All in all, it would slow my process a bit, especially lot limited to 5 on most days, but again there are up to 40 trading days to trade and only 4500 to be gained, so no drama whatsoever. With 15 cars I could do that on one good day. And what to do after?

I plan to start LP on Tuesday.

This stage took a bit of time, I expected it to be somewhat faster, but have they got 3 traders to put to LP this week only that I know and maybe more. All in all I am ok with it, given that it mimics live trading environment rules, so a good chance to adjust and get used to.


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 garyboy275 
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I downloaded their platform last night and wanted to get used to it before I made up my mind to do that Combine (I was leaning towards it).

All I can say "WHAT A HORRIBLE P.O.S." I can see traders not used to it failing due to errors and such. I had listened to one webinar earlier and heard someone say they wont even try it unless they added Ninja Trader to their combine and I was wondering "well, familiarity with a platform shouldnt be a problem-the guys just not comfortable with new platform". But I am all the wiser now. Its like going into battle with a sword when the other side has machineguns.

Anyways, sorry for my rant but I have new found respect for those of you who pass the combine.

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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garyboy275 View Post
I downloaded their platform last night and wanted to get used to it before I made up my mind to do that Combine (I was leaning towards it).

All I can say "WHAT A HORRIBLE P.O.S." I can see traders not used to it failing due to errors and such. I had listened to one webinar earlier and heard someone say they wont even try it unless they added Ninja Trader to their combine and I was wondering "well, familiarity with a platform shouldnt be a problem-the guys just not comfortable with new platform". But I am all the wiser now. Its like going into battle with a sword when the other side has machineguns.

Anyways, sorry for my rant but I have new found respect for those of you who pass the combine.

Nothing personal, but I always find funny when people are complaining about tools saying they can't do this unless this and that. I took 2 weeks trial to learn the platform, got my questions answered by using the manual and asked Tim Fry a couple of questions. Even despite limitation I love this platform for its effective simplicity. You hardly can trade that fast as on T4, it keeps all logic on server so the speed is unbeatable so as reliability. It never failed for me during my almost 2 months of everyday trading. Can't say as well about Multicharts and Ninja. I feel I would certainly trust T4 trading my own live money than to Ninja for example. I only have a similar level of trust in OEC proprietary trading platform.

I smile when I hear people are saying I will wait when they add Ninja, etc.
Just my IMO.

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  #274 (permalink)
 jmsUK 
Manchester, Greater Manchester, UK
 
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xelaar View Post
It never failed for me during my almost 2 months of everyday trading. Can't say as well about Multicharts and Ninja. I feel I would certainly trust T4 trading my own live money than to Ninja for example.

Reassuring. Thanks for that

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  #275 (permalink)
 josh 
Georgia, US
 
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garyboy275 View Post
I downloaded their platform last night and wanted to get used to it before I made up my mind to do that Combine (I was leaning towards it).

All I can say "WHAT A HORRIBLE P.O.S." I can see traders not used to it failing due to errors and such. I had listened to one webinar earlier and heard someone say they wont even try it unless they added Ninja Trader to their combine and I was wondering "well, familiarity with a platform shouldnt be a problem-the guys just not comfortable with new platform". But I am all the wiser now. Its like going into battle with a sword when the other side has machineguns.

Anyways, sorry for my rant but I have new found respect for those of you who pass the combine.

Don't you think the hour or so you spent with it is not really sufficient time to determine that it's a "Horrible POS"? There are several things about it that I do not like either, and I do not use it regularly. However, with many thousands and millions of dollars running through the floor of the CME, they all use either T4 or XTrader. I'm not saying that means that these programs are necessarily better than what you prefer, but many professional traders use this "Horrible POS," so maybe it has some benefits, enough to justify trusting millions of dollars to its operation?

If T4 is a sword, can you tell me which platform is a machine gun?

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 bobwest 
Site Moderator
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Just to add to the T4 vs. Ninja (or whatever) discussion, I have simply used Ninja for my charting and entered the trades in the T4 DOM. No problem. Very simple.

You do give up Chart Trader and ATM, both of which are convenient. But if you can trade effectively with them, you can trade effectively without them.

You also have to get familiar with the settings for T4 and how to do things; not everything will be what you think at first. Just read the extensive help and ask questions if you need to (there's a platform Q&A on their Squawk Radio site most days).

I think it really is just a matter of getting used to it.

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 garyboy275 
wa/ usa
 
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josh View Post

If T4 is a sword, can you tell me which platform is a machine gun?

Have you tried OEC ? I am not a fan of Ninja Trader since I ve never used it myself -I was just quoting someone and what my thoughts were during the webinar. Trading CL with T4 especially today--goodluck with it. Imagine when its really flying on #'s or some news.

As far as making money and justifying it with Millions of $$ flowing thru it--my simple answer is sometimes you dont know any better. I personally have gone thru with it on many things-such as charts, platforms, instruments etc.

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  #278 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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garyboy275 View Post
Have you tried OEC ? I am not a fan of Ninja Trader since I ve never used it myself -I was just quoting someone and what my thoughts were during the webinar. Trading CL with T4 especially today--goodluck with it. Imagine when its really flying on #'s or some news.

As far as making money and justifying it with Millions of $$ flowing thru it--my simple answer is sometimes you dont know any better. I personally have gone thru with it on many things-such as charts, platforms, instruments etc.

OEC is next best. But I did have few troubles with freezing charts. But it is real good. If you are a swing trader and use different OCO profiles, OEC is as good as Ninja, faster, more stable and it is free too.

T4 is for traders with more simple trade management. There it's crazily fast, reliable and unbeatable. But sure it doesn't have bells and whistles. I had to compromise my trade management a bit too, I would prefer to close a part of my position fast instead of flattening out, by fast I mean real fast within a second, but it's not as easy in T4, hence I flatten.

I believe people who need more than T4 offers use Sierra.

BTW, not sure about your problems trading Crude with T4, I trade gold with it, and can't believe how great it works.

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 garyboy275 
wa/ usa
 
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How hard can the combine be ? Max drawdown during the first hour did hit $550 or so. Trading only max 3 lots.


Anyways, congrats on your conbine and keep us posted on LP. Goodluck

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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garyboy275 View Post


How hard can the combine be ? Max drawdown during the first hour did hit $550 or so. Trading only max 3 lots.


Anyways, congrats on your conbine and keep us posted on LP. Goodluck

Looking forward to your funded trader interview soon.

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 bobc635 
Tucson
 
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I am will start my combine next week. I start with one contract as well and add, but not as soon as you. I like to add at around 30t and move stop to BE+ a few for the new entry price. I trade CL and GC, and will probably focus on GC for the combine. I watch the candle OHLC, Bollinger Bands and GOMI CD to make my decisions to enter. Good luck to you!
Bob

xelaar View Post
Here we go. I applied for a Combine yesterday and today is my first trading day. I have introduced myself in my first thread now moved from Elite to regular forum, so if you are interested - feel free to check it out. It also includes my pre-combine practice with both methodology and CTS T4 platform.

I am a momentum trader. I like to go with the flow and be done fast. I don't like to nurse winning trades and I despise keeping losing trades on a life support. So I trade with a small stop and large target, not being afraid to be wronged by the market even if it continues to move my way after stopping me out. It's not about direction only, much more important is anticipating volatility and timing the trade.

I am not married to a trading system or an instrument. I use what suits me best and what works best at the moment. I have found success previously trading news releases on Forex market, being consistently profitable. I could still do it, but I have chosen to move up to the professional arena and not be a subject of brokers' manipulations and tricks they play constantly in retails FX, having heated conversation with brokers confiscating profits and promising to have an FSA Ombudsman to go after them. Enough is enough. I traded different styles from 3 pip scalps to trades off daily charts with 500 pips stops. I am most comfortable however with intra-day trading and with fast trades that prove you wrong or right without unnecessary delay. Thus momentum trading in fast moving markets.

The reason I am taking a Combine is first and foremost I want to test myself as a trader, I want to force myself to improve my discipline and patience, and I want to place myself into a more professional atmosphere than trading from home lonely staring at charts and having zero accountability. I love very strict risk management of Combine and I believe it will improve my trading. I also wouldn't mind getting funded with a larger account, since I prefer not to put together a sizeable trading capital myself at this point, having other financial commitments. Perhaps when I am funded and if I like the way it goes I will look at option to trade both PTP and my own funds.

I believe there are two type of people in markets: analysts and traders. First group is much more populous. Most people with technical degree and analytical skills and mindset naturally assign themselves into a first group. These people concentrate on what market did before and trying to find out what it will do next. They find all the reasons to support their argument. They also find all the reasons why they are wrong and they wrong often enough. Another group is traders. These people trade what they see, not what they think. Paralysis by analysis never applies to them. I had started in the first group like most people, having a masters degree in IT and natural aspiration for analysis. It took me a long time to cross the border and get into a second group. I am by no means is master trader and I do have lots of faults like impatience, periodical lack of discipline. However I understand them and control them as much as I can.

Trading plan.
It is very simple. I trade with momentum. I start my day by doing a basic top-down analysis from daily to trading time frame. I mark major support and resistance zones and channels. I don't use any predictive indicators or oscillators. I use EMA 21 for general guidance and I use zig-zag for anchoring and knowing sizes of rotations and legs. I trade normally from just one chart but currently I use a secondary chart with range bars and Keltner channel to look inside bars of my main chart.
I have decided to trade Gold for the Combine, because this is the most appealing market right now with shocking volatility and huge swings. I have chosen 2 minute GC chart as my trading chart and 2 ticks range chart as my peeking-inside-candles chart. I use EMA21, 50 ticks zig-zag and volume on my 2 minute chart and 20/20/4 Keltner channel on my 2 tick range chart.

I have just one setup. I establish the direction of market sentiment by comparing recent rotations on 2 minute chart, which must be at least 50 ticks in size (zig-zag does it for me). I want to see a current rotation to be in the same direction as a previous one, so to play a reversal of sentiment I need to see one rotation completed before I will enter on next one. My trigger bar is a large 2 minute bar with little or no wick in a direction of sentiment. For current volatility is should be 20-30 ticks tall at least. During quieter times I would settle for at least 15 ticks. I enter with a stop market order 2 ticks above high or below low (for up and down markets respectfully). My stop is 10 to 20 ticks wide depending on volatility.

Normally I use 10 ticks even if market making large swings. I only opt to 20 ticks if price discovery is malperforming and spread is jumping, like it was last two days. I still try to decrease my exposure as soon as possible by reducing stop and putting to break even as I am 10 ticks in profit. If I use 20 ticks stop I use 2 times smaller position size. That simple.

I strive to trade less. This method allows me to take just few trades per day. I look to trade 3 to 5 trade per day tops and maximum 3 full stop losers. Then I just stop. Even if I had winning trades that day I stop after 3 losers, as it means either I can't read the market or market is too erratic.

I target 50 to 100 ticks depending on recent rotation sizes (I look for no more than 70% of rotation). I look to add to a winning trade once it is at BE and I have a new signal - another strong closing bar. Therefore I never risk more that just 1 position.

For 150k Combine I have chosen 5 cars position as my base position. Relatively large DLL can be deceptive and the Max DD is only 1.5 time of it, so it's foolish to risk a full DLL per day unless a sizeable cushion of profit is already established. Certainly not at the beginning of Combine. I will start first day with 1 contract positions striving to make some cushion to move to 2 contracts per trade. If I have a losing day and I stopped myself, next day I go down one car on my base position until my cushion is re-established that day or later. I will only trade maximum of 7 cars as a base position by the second half of the Combine when a large profit is already there, allowing for 1 scale-in. Normally I will use 5 cars as a base and allow 2 scale-in 5 cars each. (In reality last one will be just 4 cars as T4 has funny ways of calculating exposure but I don't care). This tactic will allow me survive much longer than I would with an inflexible position sizing.

20 day Combine required average of 800 usd net per day profit. In reality it can be as low as 400 as you can trade 40 trading days, not 20. But let's leave as a backup plan. My ambitious target is to look for 3100 usd per day target at which I stop trading. This figure assumes I trade with 5 cars base position size, I have 50% winning day rate and my losing day is 1500 and I need to make 800 per day, therefore 3100 will cover 1500 of losses and still make 1600 per two days. This is of course very simplistic approach and I do plan to have much less losing days than 50% and have few or non 1500 losing days, but I need to put some sort of boundaries in place.

Here I am, hope you weren't bored to death by reading it and let's enjoy this ride together!


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  #282 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Huge volume, two day's worth packed into one. Several trades, one really good, took 30 ticks out of it, around 60 was available, but TP was hit in a blink of an eye. Was using 3 and 5 lot position sizes. Can't complain, though, nearly half of LTP target is there in one day.




Was working on complimentary setups, looking very promising.

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 vijidas 
london
 
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xelaar View Post
Huge volume, two day's worth packed into one. Several trades, one really good, took 30 ticks out of it, around 60 was available, but TP was hit in a blink of an eye. Was using 3 and 5 lot position sizes. Can't complain, though, nearly half of LTP target is there in one day.




Was working on complimentary setups, looking very promising.

That's awesome! can you post your chart with trade setups you took please. thanks.

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 garyboy275 
wa/ usa
 
Experience: Intermediate
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xelaar View Post
Huge volume, two day's worth packed into one. Several trades, one really good, took 30 ticks out of it, around 60 was available, but TP was hit in a blink of an eye. Was using 3 and 5 lot position sizes. Can't complain, though, nearly half of LTP target is there in one day.




Was working on complimentary setups, looking very promising.

Can I ask you why you chose the 150k combine ? 30k is a joke for loss limit for crude and gold but 50k and 100k are ok too if you are going to be trading 5-10 lots. I am leaning more towards the 50k but 100k doesnt look bad either. The smaller profit goal should be a consideration, no ? Or are you thinking of when you are trading live you want to trade bigger ?

Thanks

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 tinkug112 
Vizag+india
 
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change your experience level....

Trading Experience: Intermediate ????


xelaar View Post
Huge volume, two day's worth packed into one. Several trades, one really good, took 30 ticks out of it, around 60 was available, but TP was hit in a blink of an eye. Was using 3 and 5 lot position sizes. Can't complain, though, nearly half of LTP target is there in one day.




Was working on complimentary setups, looking very promising.


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  #286 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
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garyboy275 View Post
Can I ask you why you chose the 150k combine ? 30k is a joke for loss limit for crude and gold but 50k and 100k are ok too if you are going to be trading 5-10 lots. I am leaning more towards the 50k but 100k doesnt look bad either. The smaller profit goal should be a consideration, no ? Or are you thinking of when you are trading live you want to trade bigger ?

Thanks

Very good question nobody asked before and it took a lot of consideration and thoughts.
Two factors and you named them both: large dll and large size to trade live.
First gives you the highest chances to do rollover among all combines if you are disciplined enough and not swinging all 15 cars from the start. My plan was to start with just one and add after winning days. It worked and also comoletely removed the pressure about not hitting dll or max dd. You can do similar with 100k combine but why settle for less? 150k is toughest to win but easiest to roll over if your target no1 is not to blow it, which minecis. I simply traded it like real money. It worked nice in the end:-)
Second factor you named right - why trading for peanuts. I can fund myself but TST gives a lot of structural benefits, tight risk management and social aspect. If I have uo pay a profit split it better be from tge highest numbers otherwise game is not worth it.
And a third, I did not consider it at the beginning but worth thinkin about - yoy have to built same cushion with both 100k and 150k combines, 10k, and it is faster to do with more firepower.

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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vijidas View Post
That's awesome! can you post your chart with trade setups you took please. thanks.

And your wish shall be granted!


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 vijidas 
london
 
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xelaar View Post
And your wish shall be granted!


Many thanks for the wish xelaar Your journal is exciting, very encouraging and motivating. Keep it up.

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 podski 
Belgium
 
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Hi Xelaar,

Listening to John Hoagland on a recent webinar (Post Trade Analysis: )

One of the things that is clearly his belief about traders , and he qualifies to have beliefs ... it seems he is specialized in not only "trading" but also "traders", is that in the long run he likes to see how they perform with about a 50% win rate.

I'm not challenging you or saying your system isn't the best thing since sliced bread or anything, I am interested in and also challenging you to discuss your risk management ideas.
  • How are you monitoring slippage on your stops - you have mentioned that this is one of the bigger risks that you want to know about in real time?
  • Getting filled in real time is certainly one of your risks , how are you monitoring that ?
  • What does your system look like with 50% wins ?

If John comes to you and says (cue gravelly voice):

"OK Xelaar. Nice job. Great Combine, great to see that people on Big Mikes are watching too. Great approach to the LP. You had a couple of good days. Very encouraging and I know that you have put a lot of work into this. Let me tell you though, and I don't mean to be in any way dismissive of your efforts, I've been working this floor man and boy, and there is little evidence to suggest that there are 90% traders out there. Show me how you will manage risk with what is in the end my money and yours when you are winning about half the time with some horrible slippage. I want to see you succeed and I don't want you to be discouraged or blow out of our strict risk management parameters too early".


I think that not only for John but also for you that having this picture in your mind will allow you to punch hard. So far you have not had to take one on the chin ... but knowing that you can is very empowering !

Thanks for sharing with the group - you are an example of what can be done. We've seen the trades and now show us where the confidence comes from. Absolutely delighted with your progress man !

p

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  #290 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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Hey Podski, thanks for the very interesting post.

I do respect John a lot and his experience and wisdom, but all people usually see things from their perspective. John as far as I understand is a discretionary trader and always been exposed to an environment of discretionary traders and pit scalpers. I can clearly see why he's challenging any traders with high win rate percentage. Because it can account to a streak of luck and very favoring market conditions, since even longest Combine is only covering 2 months of trading at most, so they have to work with quite limiting data set to draw conclusions.

I did quite a bit of pure discretionary trading and it is not my thing. As I told Mike I am a systems trader. I do apply discretion, mostly when to use it and when not to. The system I trade now is also very discretionary in regards to targets and exits. But very stricts with entries and risk. I traded different manual systems I developed over several years. None work forever. But why would you think anything should? Nothing stays same forever in our lives. Things change, even most fundamental ones. My approach to trading is to find what works now, test and do stats, optimize, and start trading it, by slowly getting in, using profits as cushion to trade more. Once profitability fades - scale out and stop. Constantly look to tune things, adopt to changing environments.

The longest I traded one set of setups was 1.5 years with very slight changes. Very very profitably, with win rate above 80%. Most trades were just above scratch so if you count them in, my risk-reward was probably little bit above 1:1, but if you cut out all slightly above or below 0 trades, you get 3-5 to 1 trades. Yeah sometimes maybe 5-10 trades per months, but very profitable.

Another system also traded for a run of around 10 month, very profitable, but in the end it completely collapsed. I cut it once it stopped looking good, first by slashing risk to 25% and then to 1% and run it for some time to see if it recovers. It did not. But the run was excellent and very profitable.

Markets always bring opportunities, imbalances, imperfections. I aim to trade them with both high win rate and high risk reward. Maybe there wouldn't be so many of them, and maybe you can't trade them just as well on multi-million dollar account, but this is the reason they exists - if one can trade it with 1000 lots, they will be exploited and removed from existence very fast, by HFT firms and hedge funds.

But if you want to examine my system in regards to its win-reward ratio and profitability with just 50% win rate - you can easily do it yourself, my report is available.

But let me help: I did 130 trades during the Combine, average winner is 343, average loser is 216, in case of 50% win ratio, we have 65 winners and 65 losers, or 127x65 = 8255. It's up to you to decide whether it is good or bad.

I don't get what type of conclusion this sort of exercise should bring, because it's just one setup, developed for favoring market conditions. I have 3 others in testing now. Once I have enough data they will go either live or in LTP.

John refers to discretionary traders, who strive to trade every day and every market. I beg to differ, I strive to trade when I see an opportunity, not when I want to trade. Here is a huge secret revelation: I don't like to trade. I like money and lifestyle that comes from trading. I like the mental aspect of developing ways to beat the market, see it succeeding, winning, thriving. But not the actual trading. I don't like to risk money. But I have to, to win. Trading is not my hobby, I have hobbies elsewhere and trading is not among them. It's business. J.O.B.






podski View Post
Hi Xelaar,

Listening to John Hoagland on a recent webinar (Post Trade Analysis: )

One of the things that is clearly his belief about traders , and he qualifies to have beliefs ... it seems he is specialized in not only "trading" but also "traders", is that in the long run he likes to see how they perform with about a 50% win rate.

I'm not challenging you or saying your system isn't the best thing since sliced bread or anything, I am interested in and also challenging you to discuss your risk management ideas.
  • How are you monitoring slippage on your stops - you have mentioned that this is one of the bigger risks that you want to know about in real time?
  • Getting filled in real time is certainly one of your risks , how are you monitoring that ?
  • What does your system look like with 50% wins ?

If John comes to you and says (cue gravelly voice):

"OK Xelaar. Nice job. Great Combine, great to see that people on Big Mikes are watching too. Great approach to the LP. You had a couple of good days. Very encouraging and I know that you have put a lot of work into this. Let me tell you though, and I don't mean to be in any way dismissive of your efforts, I've been working this floor man and boy, and there is little evidence to suggest that there are 90% traders out there. Show me how you will manage risk with what is in the end my money and yours when you are winning about half the time with some horrible slippage. I want to see you succeed and I don't want you to be discouraged or blow out of our strict risk management parameters too early".


I think that not only for John but also for you that having this picture in your mind will allow you to punch hard. So far you have not had to take one on the chin ... but knowing that you can is very empowering !

Thanks for sharing with the group - you are an example of what can be done. We've seen the trades and now show us where the confidence comes from. Absolutely delighted with your progress man !

p


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  #291 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
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I think I have found a leading topic for the webinar Big Mike had suggested. I would like to talk about my view of trading, system development and its utilization, approach to risk and importance of understanding market microstructure for ANY type of trading, from investing to HFT.

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  #292 (permalink)
 josh 
Georgia, US
 
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xelaar View Post
I think I have found a leading topic for the webinar Big Mike had suggested. I would like to talk about my view of trading, system development and its utilization, approach to risk and importance of understanding market microstructure for ANY type of trading, from investing to HFT.

Sounds good, should be interesting!

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  #293 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
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Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Very slow day, volume traded was above average but little movement during the pit session. I had few resting orders on and none triggered while I was away. Got one trade late, it moves 4-5 ticks my way and quickly reversed. Manually closed, old habit, but lost just 2 ticks (due to spread). -125 on the day. No more setups.

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 garyboy275 
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Am I right in assuming that LP has to be completed on same instrument that you passes combine on? I thought I read something somewhere along those lines. if that's the case it sucks cause everything else incl es and esp. cl were really volatile

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 Daytrader999 
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garyboy275 View Post
Am I right in assuming that LP has to be completed on same instrument that you passes combine on? I thought I read something somewhere along those lines.

Yes, that's correct.

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 garyboy275 
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Daytrader999 View Post
Yes, that's correct.

Was that in webinar or is it on website? Can't find it on website maybe I am not looking in right place

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 Daytrader999 
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garyboy275 View Post
Was that in webinar or is it on website? Can't find it on website maybe I am not looking in right place

I remember that it was mentioned somewhere in this thread and in one of the webinars, but AFAIK it is not particularly mentioned on their website.

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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Narrowly dodged a bullet today. I made 900 but after traded realized I did not roll over to August contract. I was wondering why volume is real low today and decided due to end of the month. It was low but still tradable. Then I found out it rolled to August. Hoag contacted me by the end of the day. They let me go with it but took away todays profits. I think it's fair. 3 days in seven to go. Easy to bring another 2500 with no sweat.

My live account is funded and I plan to start live testing tomorrow.

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 bobwest 
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xelaar View Post
My live account is funded and I plan to start live testing tomorrow.

I;m curious about what you mean by your live account is funded? Is that your TST live account? (I'm always looking for more info about how they are doing things. )

Keep up the good work and the journal, you're doing great.

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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Oh, I should have clarėfied I meant my personal account

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