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Trading fast markets


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Updated January 25th 2016 by billbohm
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Trading fast markets

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  #531 (permalink)
Detroit, Michigan
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Ninja Trader
Trading: Futures
 
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What a great post overall. Some points of interest that I am thinking about after reading it:

1. I would be more perturbed by this "technicality" than you are. This is probably why you are a much better trader than me (and many others). All traders make mistakes and you invested a huge amount into TST, it would be nice if they also went the extra mile to support you through those mistakes.

2. Although I've only had a light interest in doing a combine, your experience dissuades me further. Why (and this is strictly my opinion)? TST really sells "the dream" hard (like most vendors in this space) to get as much interest as they can, but ultimately a very very small percentage actually make it to making actual money trading their money. I'm sure the stats on how many make it become live traders and how many of those actually make $1 and how many of those make a living. I'm sure it would be discouraging.

3. Most importantly for new traders (and old) regarding a somewhat parallel issue that your experience really enforces, SIM vs. LIVE trading. No matter how successful you SIM it is only a distant relative to LIVE trading. I've chatted with many traders who openly admitted to me that they never even intended to trade LIVE like their successful SIM. I guess this is why SIM results and LIVE results tend to be quite different.

Thanks again for sharing your experience. I've learned a ton by following you and wish you much much success in your trading and other endeavors.




xelaar View Post
Well today I am officially not a live trader for TopStep anymore.


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  #532 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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TrendTraderBH View Post
What a great post overall. Some points of interest that I am thinking about after reading it:

1. I would be more perturbed by this "technicality" than you are. This is probably why you are a much better trader than me (and many others). All traders make mistakes and you invested a huge amount into TST, it would be nice if they also went the extra mile to support you through those mistakes.

2. Although I've only had a light interest in doing a combine, your experience dissuades me further. Why (and this is strictly my opinion)? TST really sells "the dream" hard (like most vendors in this space) to get as much interest as they can, but ultimately a very very small percentage actually make it to making actual money trading their money. I'm sure the stats on how many make it become live traders and how many of those actually make $1 and how many of those make a living. I'm sure it would be discouraging.

3. Most importantly for new traders (and old) regarding a somewhat parallel issue that your experience really enforces, SIM vs. LIVE trading. No matter how successful you SIM it is only a distant relative to LIVE trading. I've chatted with many traders who openly admitted to me that they never even intended to trade LIVE like their successful SIM. I guess this is why SIM results and LIVE results tend to be quite different.

Thanks again for sharing your experience. I've learned a ton by following you and wish you much much success in your trading and other endeavors.

Thanks for your post. Similar thinking came to my mind as well. But if I look at it as a business venture, I can understand their points. I believe they had stats to prove. Maybe they could be more helpful in the very beginning of live trading, if I have had a good understanding of this larger losing day rule, I am sure I won't be taking so much risk by the end of these 10 days. But it was in there in plan, and it seemed clear to me. Somehow I lost a track of it.

Topstep has its niche, if you get through the hurdles you get a chance to try your hand at live trading free of charge. That is good experience. For me it was good to see my system working live (or struggling) and not paying for losses. But my particular case is not exemplary, as my system was designed around small risk per trade, so ultimately no large amounts were at risk and I could test it live on my own. Actually I did, even if not very extensively. But I did not lose money. However, for systems that require large risk per trade, TST can be a very good call to get comfortable with taking so many risk. As even 30-50 ticks stops even for one contract mean 300-500 usd risk per trade, not something comfortable for most traders who are not yet comfortable with large risks. And talking about risk per trade, I believe most traders try to use very tight stops, hoping to catch this very moment. That is probably one of the reasons so many fail. They try to be alchemists - converting lead to gold. In reality large targets require large risks. Or compensated somehow else, like by possibility of huge slippage on stop, etc. There is always a price.

So I still can see the value of TST for me, just I need to come up with an approach that will justify that hurdles that arise from working with them, like different times zones, harsh rules, etc. We shall see if it works or not.

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  #533 (permalink)
Beavercreek, Ohio
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader; BloodHound
Broker: NinjaTrader Brokerage, Kinetick, Rithmic
Trading: ES, CL, 6E, UB, 6J, 6B, ZS
 
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Well today I am officially not a live trader for TopStep anymore



xelaar View Post
Well today I am officially not a live trader for TopStep anymore. .

They have some hard rules to trade under. Too bad for them, it seems to me TST lost a good trader from a too restrictive set of rules and did not work hard enough to develop and retain you -- a new top trading talent ("TTT"). Losing top trading talent from a 1 or 2x deviance makes the program dubious to me. The program sounds like they wash traders out, not develop and keep them.

Your trading skills are very evident and I have greatly benefited in my own trading from reading your trading journal. So I thank you for taking the time and attention to sharing it with us. And, congratulations again for getting to this level in your trading! You should change your acronym from TST to TTT.

And, the gold market is taking off now. What good timing that is to be so trained and skilled, and free of some silly and burdensome trading restrictions, eh? I mean what was that stupid rule anyway?

Keep trading TTT,

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  #534 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,740 given, 2,565 received


jlwade123 View Post
They have some hard rules to trade under. Too bad for them, it seems to me TST lost a good trader from a too restrictive set of rules and did not work hard enough to develop and retain you -- a new top trading talent ("TTT"). Losing top trading talent from a 1 or 2x deviance makes the program dubious to me. The program sounds like they wash traders out, not develop and keep them.

Your trading skills are very evident and I have greatly benefited in my own trading from reading your trading journal. So I thank you for taking the time and attention to sharing it with us. And, congratulations again for getting to this level in your trading! You should change your acronym from TST to TTT.

And, the gold market is taking off now. What good timing that is to be so trained and skilled, and free of some silly and burdensome trading restrictions, eh? I mean what was that stupid rule anyway?

Keep trading TTT,

Thank you very much for your praise, but perhaps it looks like I am better trader from my journal than I am really. At least I am not typing it from my castle in Monaco or megayacht

Anyway, I felt like I was left out there to elements too. TopStep is not really a prop firm. It doesn't feel like it. It's like they say - a recruiting company for their equity partner. And they hardly guide you once you get the money. They just make sure risk rules are followed. Maybe I am wrong, though, but in the end I did not feel much different from trading completely on my own and listening to ransquawk. But I have to give Eddie a point - he's a great showman and a pleasure to listen.

The rule was that your largest losing day shall not be larger than your largest winning day, based on end of day net P/L. Not in 10 days like I thought but ever. It is just enforced after 10 days. So you are better off starting with a goal aiming for large win days from the start.

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  #535 (permalink)
Beavercreek, Ohio
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader; BloodHound
Broker: NinjaTrader Brokerage, Kinetick, Rithmic
Trading: ES, CL, 6E, UB, 6J, 6B, ZS
 
Posts: 929 since Oct 2012
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The rule was that your largest losing day shall not be larger than your largest winni


xelaar View Post

The rule was that your largest losing day shall not be larger than your largest winning day, based on end of day net P/L.

That's just not a sensible rule to me that a futures trader can be blown out because market GAP'd past stop or the stop was rejected in a sudden price move. Because this happens in the futures market. I have seen it happen 2 or 3 times myself live while trading and I sat there with my mouth wide open staring at the screen wondering how many people got caught at the bottom of a HUGE GAP FOLLOWED BY WRB spike candle and saying oh no, wow. Actually I said something worse than that. And I am preparing myself for the day/time for when it happens to me when I am holding a position open in the wrong direction, like it happened to you. So that rule should be taken stricken, or I wouldn't consider accepting a program that instituted that rule. It has nothing to do with your trading plan or your trading talent. You had to cover because of the restriction. It has to do with sudden price action, and you got caught and covered instead of trading through it like you would have done in your live account and make up the loss.

But whatever you decide to do, please keep your journal up or let us know from time to time what you are doing. You are a great trader.

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  #536 (permalink)
Grand Rapids, MI USA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra Chart
Trading: CL, GC, ES
 
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jlwade123 View Post
That's just not a sensible rule to me that a futures trader can be blown out because market GAP'd past stop or the stop was rejected in a sudden price move. Because this happens in the futures market. I have seen it happen 2 or 3 times myself live while trading and I sat there with my mouth wide open staring at the screen wondering how many people got caught at the bottom of a HUGE GAP FOLLOWED BY WRB spike candle and saying oh no, wow. Actually I said something worse than that. And I am preparing myself for the day/time for when it happens to me when I am holding a position open in the wrong direction, like it happened to you. So that rule should be taken stricken, or I wouldn't consider accepting a program that instituted that rule. It has nothing to do with your trading plan or your trading talent. You had to cover because of the restriction. It has to do with sudden price action, and you got caught and covered instead of trading through it like you would have done in your live account and make up the loss.

But whatever you decide to do, please keep your journal up or let us know from time to time what you are doing. You are a great trader.

BUT, this is trading...and professional traders must take these things into account. A loss IS a loss, regardless if the twin towers came down or not. I am somewhat sympathetic to the situation but, even Xelaar wouldn't blame the terrain on his motorbike wipe-out...and subsequent loss of race. TsT has some serous restrictions/ rules to overcome.. If anything, this example is great education because it shows us just how significant slippage and gaps are in relation to the stop loss size he was using.

Regarding the loss to win size day...I had some reservations with these metrics at first too...but it makes sense that if one is a good trader...their win size should be increasing BEFORE their loss size.. simply because they slowly incremented size and their avg. R:R creates larger and larger wins. This was just a mistake that happened to cost more than just the initial loss. Xelaar, well done in your endeavor here...you have given all of us some great insight into your journey and I give you props for how well you have addressed these "adversities". I have no doubt that had you completely understood the loss day requirements you would have easily accounted for them.

As for the trading hours...man...if trading is supposed to increase the quality of life, then you might need to trade something different...I know I couldn't do what you did for that long. There are thousands of prop firms out there and if TsT truly wants "foreign" talent they will eventually need to set up other market access.

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  #537 (permalink)
Grand Rapids, MI USA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra Chart
Trading: CL, GC, ES
 
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Posts: 6 since Apr 2013
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xelaar View Post
Thanks, Paul. I think I should be more disappointed myself than I am, but probably I am just happy this load is finally off my shoulders for now. It had a high toll on my life.

I agree about the critical issue. And I consider it the biggest issue for any European (and even worse Asian) trader to trade with TST. My thinking so far about a possible solution is that I would trade my own account during European session, and since I will be based on slower setups with larger risk and profits, I will be perfectly capable to trade TST account additionally from 2 to 5-6 PM my time, should any good setup arise. If not - pass the day. That should not be very hard at all. T4 is not suited to trade fast markets anyway, neither the fact as live trader you get only the live DOM, not charts, so you have to look at practice account charts and place trades in live DOM not being able to see them graphically on chart. I had to place 2 sets of trades, practice and live to be able to see the picture. It served me pretty bad in my last trading day where practice trade got closed even with 11 ticks slippage, but live trade was still open without stop hanging there as CME rejected my stop. So I got confused for 2 minutes without realizing it is still open. I though my limit was rejected too. So it is complicated to trade rapidly in this configuration, but with strategy that trades less and there is no big rush to place a trade within a second, that would be a possibility.

Xelaar, was this more an issue with just T4 not being able to run two instances at one time...or a requirement by TsT to not use charts?

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  #538 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,740 given, 2,565 received


TheMetaGame View Post
Xelaar, was this more an issue with just T4 not being able to run two instances at one time...or a requirement by TsT to not use charts?

No, demo t4 and live t4 run well together. It's just inconvenient. Saving a buck on licensing perhaps.

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  #539 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
xelaar's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,740 given, 2,565 received


TheMetaGame View Post
BUT, this is trading...and professional traders must take these things into account. A loss IS a loss, regardless if the twin towers came down or not. I am somewhat sympathetic to the situation but, even Xelaar wouldn't blame the terrain on his motorbike wipe-out...and subsequent loss of race. TsT has some serous restrictions/ rules to overcome.. If anything, this example is great education because it shows us just how significant slippage and gaps are in relation to the stop loss size he was using.

Regarding the loss to win size day...I had some reservations with these metrics at first too...but it makes sense that if one is a good trader...their win size should be increasing BEFORE their loss size.. simply because they slowly incremented size and their avg. R:R creates larger and larger wins. This was just a mistake that happened to cost more than just the initial loss. Xelaar, well done in your endeavor here...you have given all of us some great insight into your journey and I give you props for how well you have addressed these "adversities". I have no doubt that had you completely understood the loss day requirements you would have easily accounted for them.

As for the trading hours...man...if trading is supposed to increase the quality of life, then you might need to trade something different...I know I couldn't do what you did for that long. There are thousands of prop firms out there and if TsT truly wants "foreign" talent they will eventually need to set up other market access.

My fault was to interpret the rule wrongly, that was the biggest problem, not the execution issue. Hoag was actually sympathetic with the case. What you say is correct but only if you never change anything, never adjust to market. This is simply not possible. Gold has changed dramatically and I had to change my risk too, as moves became more erratic on thin volume and scarce participation. In ideal situation that would not change things as I would decrease position, but I was trading with just 1 contract only already, so where to go? Basically I should have been less strict in my trading plan proposal at the beginning and reserve more leeway there.

I am not looking for a prop firm, I just wanted originally to see if I can conquer combine. Going live was a nice bonus. But if I can figure out a way to trade for TST complimentary without disrupting my personal trading and staying by PC too much, I might have a reason to strive to come back.

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  #540 (permalink)
wa/ usa
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: schwab, metatrader, OEC,T4,TDameritrade
Trading: CL ES 6C 6E
 
Posts: 260 since Oct 2012
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Wow, man all I can say is my jaw just dropped. So glad i am done for the day trading wise otherwise there are a million thoughts going on in my head. Its kind of like the 49ers loss in superbowl I just cant get my head around it why they didnt run the ball 4times. If you follow american football you ll get what i am saying otherwise Ignore it.


You were a real inspiration to all of us. Few questions come to mind. Feel free to answer or ignore but knowing you, I ll probably get the answers

"Gold just annihilated that resistance level and gapped quite a lot. Needless to say my stop placement by AOCO got rejected by CME and I was left holding a short in rising market with no stop."

On auto OCO doesnt an OCO become a market order unless you have a limit price in ? Once price crosses your level it should fill, no ?


Do you still plan to trade your own account and what are your future plans ?

I think TST needs to make rules a bit clearer. Not just the one that affected you but there are plenty of other rules that even moderators aren t sure of.

As always thanks for sharing your experiences. Good luck in whatever you decide to do from now on

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