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Trading fast markets

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  #501 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
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Why the changes vs what worked during combine?

Sent from my LG Optimus G Pro

Few reasons:
1. Summer - much less opportunities, opportunities that present themselves are mediocre mostly and result overall in around breakeven results, because moves are small, and slippage is present and account for significant part of the move, because of low liquidity and participation
2. I want to capture more ticks with less staring at screen, hence going for more swingy approach, plus it means I can utilize my allocation of buying power better, as I can get better return in $ per each contract used

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  #502 (permalink)
 Jyrgen 
Tallinn, Estonia
 
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Hi Xelaar, I just have a quick question about how you test your new setups. It seems to me that for you the time between coming up with an idea and actually implementing the new setup to your live trading is fairly short. How long does it usually take you to start trading a new idea. I'm curious how the usual data collection phase looks like? How big sample size are you looking at before moving to sim and eventually putting real money on the line?

I'm interested in the testing process for short term trading ideas as I'm testing a couple of setups myself right now and it seems to be a never ending process for me as a I keep on thinking that I don't have enough data yet.

PS! I have silently observed your TST adventures and I'm very happy that you have decided to keep on documenting your everyday trading after the combine. Keep it up!

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  #503 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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Jyrgen View Post
Hi Xelaar, I just have a quick question about how you test your new setups. It seems to me that for you the time between coming up with an idea and actually implementing the new setup to your live trading is fairly short. How long does it usually take you to start trading a new idea. I'm curious how the usual data collection phase looks like? How big sample size are you looking at before moving to sim and eventually putting real money on the line?

I'm interested in the testing process for short term trading ideas as I'm testing a couple of setups myself right now and it seems to be a never ending process for me as a I keep on thinking that I don't have enough data yet.

PS! I have silently observed your TST adventures and I'm very happy that you have decided to keep on documenting your everyday trading after the combine. Keep it up!

Well I can only guess how you decided the time between introducing an idea and taking it live is short. But it certainly not so. Here is a thing with testing and doing all data mining for any short term trading ideas: if it takes you many months to get through this process before taking it live, you can effectively forget it. Most of short-term trading ideas are based on market inefficiencies, that present themselves most of the time, but their period of existence is fairly short: from months to days. That is because many HFT firms are also hunting for them, and it takes them much faster to do all the data mining and take it live.

Another thing is a lengthy back testing. It makes no sense in my humble opinion just because market changes all the time and these inefficiencies are only present within a certain time window. All backtesting will give you is that over the period of years you would lose you all account. Shorter the time frame of potential trade, shorter the back test period should be.

It presents a dilemma how can you judge when you have to stop and move on to the next idea, instead of trying to persevere and weather the storm. I think this is a hardest part and one either can have a mathematical answer or a gut-feeling answer. I have been through many of these ideas and while not all were successful in the end, overall I was very profitable even as many people lost money with them, as they trying to "persevere" far too long and gave back all the profits and much more.

Market has a certain feel. This is the beauty of short term charts and watching price action and order flow unfolding. You feel the beat. And as any doctor can notice when patient's heart beat starts to go wrong, attentive trader can get a good feeling market is changing as well. If same is true for longer term traders, they might notice it unfolding through months or even several years, for short term trader this may happen during the day and more than once in most extreme cases.

So to answer to you - I don't have a really formal process. I look for charts for last few weeks, notice an opportunity, mark failed and succeeded setups, pen overall results, scan some more charts and look to do forward testing for 2-3 weeks before taking it live with very small risk. The problem of very long testing is that by the time you complete it and move live the setup might already expired and you will never get out of drawdown. My approach is to start live trading sooner but only with a small risk and build up any increase of risk based on profits already collected.

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  #504 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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To add a bit: I see many people are entering markets with academic or engineering backgrounds (I have one too) looking to excel in it using their scientific prowess. By doing so they mostly are looking to find certainty and something stable they can rely on forever, or at least for years to come. This is the biggest fault in my opinion: there is no certainty in markets, there is no stability in trading and there will be no consistent income from trading. One month you can make a killing, another month you will crawl on you belling home crying. If people want to make it in trading they have to realize it and accept it. I think books of Nathan Thaleb are pretty good to give some good clue about the randomness of this whole thing.

I see thorough backtesting only as a search of consistency that just isn't there. Not saying it worthless, or no good system can come out from it. Just that it won't bring that consistency one is looking for. Markets change. Systems, setups and trading must do too.

That's why no any mechanical/automatic system ever made huge success in trading and took all the market's money. Great algo house we hear about like Medallion Fund from Renaissance Tech have hundreds of people constantly looking for inefficiencies and adjusting countless algos for the changing markets, retiring outdated and bringing on new. I personally welcome automation a lot, but I don't believe in any algo that can work efficiently for any long term without very deep and constant human intervention.

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  #505 (permalink)
 xiaosi 
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Algo or HFT trading is on the decline, they're all arbing away their edges...what will be next?

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  #506 (permalink)
 Jyrgen 
Tallinn, Estonia
 
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Xelaar, thanks for a thorough reply. This definitely provides me with a new point of view as I've always looked at data mining and backtesting from the so called academic or engineering side trying to find a setup that I could rely on for years. Definitely something for me to ponder about with my tests.

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  #507 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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xiaosi View Post
Algo or HFT trading is on the decline, they're all arbing away their edges...what will be next?

I think mechanical trading is fading away in general, as smarter and smarter universal algos will remove inefficiencies with the speed of light. This process will of course diminish any returns for these algo firms but also render short term trading as more useless. I think that discretionary trading will be more and more on the rise, taking into account more and more variables including fundamental, news, technical, etc

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  #508 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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Today's testing





You may notice few changes. As I am working on a different setup now, I don't need these range bar charts, and can have instead two traditional charts on screen. I also work with a larger risk, up to 25 ticks. I was given approval to use a strategy with a larger risk as well by TST.

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  #509 (permalink)
 TheMetaGame 
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xelaar View Post
I also work with a larger risk, up to 25 ticks. I was given approval to use a strategy with a larger risk as well by TST.

Hey Xelaar, just wanted to let you know I also work with around 25 ticks on GC, depending on volatility. I rarely take a full bar loss though as I'll pull the trade if I think I am wrong. Best of trading to you on this next development.

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  #510 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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More from yesterday.





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  #511 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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Basically here is the latest development in regards to my strategies:
1. I keep my momentum/stop liquidation strategy with very small stop reserved only for days with above average volume and strong momentum and directional market. I feel that only during days like that I can generate consistently good risk-reward using small stop of 5-6 ticks and targeting 30-50 or so ticks profit. During shallow market like we have for last 2 months bar few days, it generates break even trading because slippage eats up significant part of profits (low liquidity).
2. During other days I look to implement different type of entry within the same order flow framework:
a. During range days - fading stop run area, expecting price action to collapse on liquidity vacuum and return back and overshot the break out level; the hard part here is judging how far breakout can go before collapsing, yesterday I used 7 ticks from the level, one trade went only 4 ticks into red, another 11 ticks, but with 20 ticks stop all was safe, so I plan to use 20-25 ticks as a base stop and profit equal to that but once the spike is over and 1m candle closes I will tighten stop to remain past the extremum and look to adjust profit target within the price action structure
b. During trends on low volume days - I will look for strong levels, allow break out to happen and will look to enter on limit order on a snap back price action to the breakout level, having an entry few ticks prior to the level and using 20 ticks stop, which will be truncated as a little bit of price action develops and reasonable stop zone will be present.


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  #512 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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Oh, and I am ending all the scalping experiments like micro-breakouts out of blocks of compressed price action (Volman-style), scalping Keltner channel, etc. It's not very profitable, spends a ton on commissions and is extremely draining emotionally. To celebrate that decision I removed range bar chart from my trading setup and have only 1m and 5m charts on. As I grow my cushion I look to trade more and more swing-based approach, but all intra-day.

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  #513 (permalink)
 iqgod 
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xelaar View Post
Oh, and I am ending all the scalping experiments like micro-breakouts out of blocks of compressed price action (Volman-style), scalping Keltner channel, etc. It's not very profitable, spends a ton on commissions and is extremely draining emotionally. To celebrate that decision I removed range bar chart from my trading setup and have only 1m and 5m charts on. As I grow my cushion I look to trade more and more swing-based approach, but all intra-day.

I know this is your journal but I just wanted to add that I have found Bob Volman's approach EXTREMELY profitable. It also took out the stress from trading once I got used to it. To my amazement 10-tick scalping was the holy grail for me. I know intraday swinging is the best approach for TST but Volman is where I learnt to manage my trades best.

Please continue what works for you without getting distracted by my comments.

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  #514 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
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iqgod View Post
I know this is your journal but I just wanted to add that I have found Bob Volman's approach EXTREMELY profitable. It also took out the stress from trading once I got used to it. To my amazement 10-tick scalping was the holy grail for me. I know intraday swinging is the best approach for TST but Volman is where I learnt to manage my trades best.

Please continue what works for you without getting distracted by my comments.

This approach works definitely better on euro than on gold. I just found euro being dead for most of the time lately, and going even for 10 ticks during dead market is often very challenging. Very recently euro became very active so perhaps it works much better, I stopped scalping euro in January 2013 after about 2 years working on it and trading euro on short term basis one way or another. Glad it is working for you. I just want to take a couple of trades per day and be done.

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  #515 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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Today gold was very challenging to trade. Low volume day but what was expected to be a typical range day turned out to be a grind and push day with unstoppable move up. I had several good entries on demo. I did only one live trade, late in the day, and was glad to get out with 1 tick profit. In the end it would yield about 30 ticks profit after and hour and a half, but the entry was too off the high and price rotated way too close to my stop, so I wanted to get out ASAP. Tomorrow will be a better day.





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  #516 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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Today




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  #517 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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My biggest fail on Friday was inconsistency in trade management - I cut some trades short and let others hit stop. I will devote next week completely to improve my consistency and hold to the target or stop whatever it is. Not to say I will foolishly expect predetermined stops and targets to be optimal, I will adjust both to the price action structure: stops to the swing low and high and target to the end of space, swing or trendline.

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  #518 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Sazon, actually losses I talk about are from my main. Combine winning strategy. Market participation is low. It doesnt work.

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  #519 (permalink)
 Sazon 
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xelaar View Post
Sazon, actually losses I talk about are from my main. Combine winning strategy. Market participation is low. It doesnt work.


ok...i figured that was the case which is why I removed the post..just trying to be helpful

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  #520 (permalink)
olaag
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I'd like to take the combine and I really like your trading method. Is it possible to have you as a mentor by remotely shadowing your trading?

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  #521 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
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sorry, @olaag, I don't take apprentices, but you can find a top of information, examples and screenshots in this theme as well as links to free videos I published including one presentation/webinar on order flow.

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  #522 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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Today was an interesting day for a monday, volume was almost in a range of normal and comparing to any weekdays of last 5-6 weeks it's been very good.

I only made two live trades and few more on demo. A day in black on both.






I missed an opportunity of a wonderful vwap trade that would gone well over 100 ticks.

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  #523 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
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I have pretty much formalized my updated trading plan with regards to current market conditions and live execution complications. I will post it some time later here. Still the same ideas and principles, but different ways to enter, different approach to stops.

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  #524 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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Well today I am officially not a live trader for TopStep anymore. Yep, been kicked out. It's been a tough period to get started with rather hard conditions to implement during holiday markets. I have been doing ok, was in a plus, but at some point realized my setups weren't working without participation, no stop clusters to hunt. Basically treading water. So I came up with a bit different approach based on the same idea of significance of key levels in gold. It got approved as risk was different from that stated in my approved initial trading plan. Unfortunately it could not come at worst time, as we got some moves last week in gold with relatively weak volume but very directional. Unusual at least. And the worst came as on Thursday Obama dropped a tape bomb about cancelling exercises with Egypt which sent the gold high like a blast. I wasn't doing good that day, but it wouldn't be a catastrophe if I wouldn't decide to short market with a limit order based on previous failure to go higher in the range (sweet idea, would do that again), and using AOCO in T4. 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. Sure I did close it but lost 36 ticks as opposed to planned 6.

Even though I did not hit even 25% of my Max Drawdown nor I got any close to DLL, I messed up stats with regards to the rule that your biggest losing day should be lesser than your biggest winning day. This rule is enforced after 10 days. That happened on day 11. I did not realized it counts backwards, I was mistakenly under impression I would have to post larger winning in next 10 days. My mistake. So this is over for now.

A piece of advice for anyone who's passed combine and getting ready to trade live: don't start too shy with stops smaller than normal and taking profits smaller than normal. If you do and then you decided to scale up you will have a risk your increased position or risk will result in a loser that is bigger than winner you previously achieved with taking smaller risk (dollar-wise). If you do so you you are fried after 10 days moratorium unless you post a larger winner within these 10 days. So even though a good trader should not really strategize and pay attention to stats thinking that good trading will sort itself out, that is not necessarily true when you trading with TST, as you need to be always aware about few rules that can bite you hard in the very beginning if you don't build a solid risk approach right from the beginning keeping this rule in mind.

As for now, I don't see much point either do another combine (I have 3 combines left, as a former live trader I am entitled to 2 free 10 day combines and I have another free combine as CTD student), before I get more confident with a different approach to risk and entry style, and that will likely to happen in second half of September.

As in regards to my combine-winning strategy, it certainly works but I grew tired of trading it. I had to start at 2 PM my time (7 AM CST) as junior traders aren't allowed to start earlier, and sit in front of PC for 5-6 hours straight, as my setup dictated close attention and placing order only when starts align. During LTP and later live trading stage I became a prisoner of my house, not leaving it for days, gain weight as I was unable to go out for a run or a ride on bike being glued to screens, and still I usually would have to struggle with what was left as better moves happened around my noon, at least those that were tradeable.

This is certainly a point to consider seriously if I want to do another combine and if I want to trade again live for TST. I will check out with Hoag later too see if that would be possible provided I have a strategy that benefited from earlier setups.

For now I plan to limit my trades to 1-2 per day and use larger stops, trying to capture bigger moves on failures. I won't be trading breakouts per se, as most of them fails and comes back and there is no way of knowing if they will continue in the break out direction of reverse. Trading reverse is more sensible as it is more probable. My idea will be taking a trade with up to 30 ticks risk, reducing it when possible and hold to get at least 50-60 ticks, if market permits - more. That should remove any influence of slippage, spread and any execution issue, which I have seen live quite some.

Another small piece of advice to combiners: if you plan to trade volatile instruments such as gold, gas and perhaps even crude and base your strategy on using small stops (like less than 10 or so) and hitting small targets basing your edge on high hit rate - think again. Slippage and execution issues when trading live will reduce your edge so much you would be glad not to lose money. My strategy did work live but frankly I became very bored as after slippage and smaller summer moves I was getting just few ticks left at most cases to collect, so it felt like a charity work - you sit for many hours straight every day and you win so little. So think again.

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  #525 (permalink)
 podski 
Belgium
 
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Xelaar,

Don't beat yourself up in any way. It has been a real education.

Many different markets have been murderous in the past weeks in just the way you say. Lots of fake outs. You get mugged by your own enthusiasm. Then you miss the big move. I know that the FDAX has been just like that.

Your methods are sound and your risk management good. Market condition detection is very important.

You also raise a crucial issue, at least for me. Trading a market from your afternoon to your nighttime is an extra strain that your brain and family can do without in my opinion. Let me rephrase that. Trading a market from my afternoon to my night is an extra strain that my brain and my family can do without.

Take a break, catch your breath, take a closer look at the DAX ..

p

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  #526 (permalink)
 JGSmith 
Lübeck, Germany
 
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Your last post was a very interesting read. I don't trade the combine, and never plan to, but I found what you had to say to be a fascinating look into your trading mindset.

I am looking forward to seeing what you decide to do in the future. Take some time off and enjoy the freedom of not being connected with a firm for a little while. Allow yourself to enjoy life for a bit before you get back into trading. It will make a huge difference.

Good job for going for it. I celebrate the risk!

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  #527 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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podski View Post
Xelaar,

Don't beat yourself up in any way. It has been a real education.

Many different markets have been murderous in the past weeks in just the way you say. Lots of fake outs. You get mugged by your own enthusiasm. Then you miss the big move. I know that the FDAX has been just like that.

Your methods are sound and your risk management good. Market condition detection is very important.

You also raise a crucial issue, at least for me. Trading a market from your afternoon to your nighttime is an extra strain that your brain and family can do without in my opinion. Let me rephrase that. Trading a market from my afternoon to my night is an extra strain that my brain and my family can do without.

Take a break, catch your breath, take a closer look at the DAX ..

p

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.

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 xelaar 
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JGSmith View Post
Your last post was a very interesting read. I don't trade the combine, and never plan to, but I found what you had to say to be a fascinating look into your trading mindset.

I am looking forward to seeing what you decide to do in the future. Take some time off and enjoy the freedom of not being connected with a firm for a little while. Allow yourself to enjoy life for a bit before you get back into trading. It will make a huge difference.

Good job for going for it. I celebrate the risk!

Thank you, I am looking forward to continue journaling here, now even more so, as I will be developing a strategy for my personal trading and possibly to pass a combine again focusing on trading less but for larger gains.

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 Market Sniper 88 
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xelaar View Post
Today was an interesting day for a monday, volume was almost in a range of normal and comparing to any weekdays of last 5-6 weeks it's been very good.

I only made two live trades and few more on demo. A day in black on both.






I missed an opportunity of a wonderful vwap trade that would gone well over 100 ticks.

Hi xelaar

Can i ask what charts you are using here? They look nice and clean.

Thanks and good luck in the future.

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 xelaar 
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Hi xelaar

Can i ask what charts you are using here? They look nice and clean.

Thanks and good luck in the future.

Hey, MS88
it is CTS T4

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 TrendTraderBH 
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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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 xelaar 
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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.

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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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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 xelaar 
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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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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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 TheMetaGame 
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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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 TheMetaGame 
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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)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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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)
 xelaar 
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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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 garyboy275 
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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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 xelaar 
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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

Hey, in regards to AOCO, the issue was not with stop skipped, the price moved so fast, CME server was unable to set OCO orders into the book after the original limit order got triggered. I think price has almost gapped 30-40 ticks, filling my limit and rejected a related AOCO in a blink of an eye. Should I put a limit and another stop market order behind it manually it would work, but still would slip maybe 20 ticks. It was that bad.

I plan to regroup for now, get my head clear, decide how I want to trade from now on. I had invested quite a lot of time with TST, started first in February with first interest and since then set on a route to develop a suitable strategy. Now with this part of my life past me, I need to find if I want to continue day trade futures at all. I had spent so much time with gold by now, I have learned it pretty well, so it feels kinda bad to start looking for something else to trade actively. We will see. I think I will come back to swing trading currencies little by little and maybe gold too, spot, not futures. Futures-wise, time will tell if I want to continue this road further. Good solution for me would trading my own capital in currencies and spot gold via Forex, and if my method would suffice for another Combine, why not to take it. Then I can won't put TST trading as my priority like it was to that date, but as a supplementary trading. If I am done with scalping (which is what I aim for) I can see no trouble taking trades in both my account and TST account. Their contract states no trading private accounts but I am told it is not enforced (I wonder how could they and why) and many live traders do trade their own accounts. At least successful ones.

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xelaar,

to quote Nietzsche, "was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker" and I am sure you have taken and will take a lot out of the situation, even though they kicked you out. Maybe you are just not meant to trade with them. I am sure you are a very good trader from what I have seen. Your honesty is very refreshing and your journaling is a great gift and inspiration to all fellow futures.io (formerly BMT)lers.

Thank you,
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 xelaar 
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ABCTG View Post
xelaar,

to quote Nietzsche, "was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker" and I am sure you have taken and will take a lot out of the situation, even though they kicked you out. Maybe you are just not meant to trade with them. I am sure you are a very good trader from what I have seen. Your honesty is very refreshing and your journaling is a great gift and inspiration to all fellow futures.io (formerly BMT)lers.

Thank you,
ABCTG

Thank you! Definitely it was above all a very good experience and I am grateful to TST and Hoag personally for it. I invested my time and gained experience. They took a chance with me and lost some money (not much).

Funny part is I am pretty confident if I start combine now with same method I will likely pass it in 10 days. But how good is it for me? Do I want it? Doing same thing again and again with same results is a sign of madness, if to believe Albert Einstein.

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 ghl123 
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xelaar View Post
Good solution for me would trading my own capital in currencies and spot gold via Forex, and if my method would suffice for another Combine, why not to take it. Then I can won't put TST trading as my priority like it was to that date, but as a supplementary trading.

Good luck with your journey @xelaar, you have done great work.

Just this point is still attacking my head, if someone can trade his own capital and win (or loose) 100%, why would go for combine with 60%?

I'm in this position, and don't have an answer really.

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 xelaar 
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ghl123 View Post
Good luck with your journey @xelaar, you have done great work.

Just this point is still attacking my head, if someone can trade his own capital and win (or loose) 100%, why would go for combine with 60%?

I'm in this position, and don't have an answer really.

Think about it as a free leverage with a couple of get out of jail cards. It changes if you have to chose either trade for them OR for yourself, but it is simple if you don't have a capital to risk or you can trade both. I did trade exclusively for them, but I was reviewing an option to trade it alongside my own capital later. But it required a lot of attemption as setup develops and when in the trade. It would be impossible to trade two account with this style.

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 AdamGG 
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If I remember correctly... the song goes 'this is the end, my only friend ...the end....
I understand that the challenge is a a good exercise but the actual desire of TST to maintain and further develop a stable of traders is a little cloudy in my mind's eye. Good (consistent) hedge funds get around 15% return, a good consistent trader bringing in better than that would be in demand in my view.
Maybe 'The End' is your friend...
Best of luck!

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 Ddawg 
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Wow, I am blown away xelaar !!! Surely did not seem like you were in any trouble whatsoever, and then BAM!!! I am sorry to hear that a market event like this blew you up.

You had shown such focus and consistency, I too can't help but think that they should have figured out a way to keep you. I mean seriously, there are only 5% winning traders out there, and to just dump you??? I would have to say that it almost seems like they are trying to create failures with their program rather than successes.


Best wishes to you in whatever endeavor you should choose. I believe your grit, determination, and focus will bring you through to success.

Ddawg

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 Big Mike 
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Big Mike View Post
Why the changes vs what worked during combine?

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xelaar View Post
Few reasons:
1. Summer - much less opportunities, opportunities that present themselves are mediocre mostly and result overall in around breakeven results, because moves are small, and slippage is present and account for significant part of the move, because of low liquidity and participation
2. I want to capture more ticks with less staring at screen, hence going for more swingy approach, plus it means I can utilize my allocation of buying power better, as I can get better return in $ per each contract used

Just a reminder to everyone that @xelaar wasn't trading the same way he was during the combine.

This is a good lesson about how changes can affect you, and about how hard it is to be consistent with an ever changing market.

Mike

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iankotze
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OH damn, I am very sorry for how it turned out. You know I am a big fan of your work.
I too had some difficulty with the trading hours, I also like gold much better during the European session. Had to reinvent myself a few times with TST. I lost two accounts with TST before due to rushing things or lack of patience.

Anyhow, I think you should just take a break and cool down a bit. I do believe we will be working together again soon. Next time just add a simple slow and cheap market like the dow for a backup, it is the best thing I have done this time around.

Thanks for the great journal, you will be back better than ever soon.

Ian

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 Big Mike 
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Do they publish these trading hour restrictions ahead of time?

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iankotze
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Do they publish these trading hour restrictions ahead of time?

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Mike, the answer is no. Unfortunately things change a bit once you go live. I think there has been some discussion to bring things closer inline still to what is expected once trading on the live account.

There are restrictions on size, for instance I don't think anybody can trade a 15 lot out of the gate, you first need to make cushion before you can do that.
Also there is a rule to be flat for economic numbers, it used to be like that in the combine but they have changed it so you can trade during numbers, but in the live account this is not possible.
Trading hours I am not very sure about, you need to get approved for the hours you intend to work but I guess it is favored that you trade US session hours out of the gate so you can be monitored.
Then there is the weekly loss limit and also the 10 day review where you best be positive in your account or things like the largest losing day vs winning day that caught Xelaar out comes into play.

I do think scalping is not the way to go here but one must be comfortable taking base hits. Base hits not being scalp trades with very tight stop losses but rather 2 points stop and target ES, 20 ticks Dow, 15 ticks CL and Gold, that kind of thing. Once live there is a great emphasis on building the account slowly and grinding it out. No expectations for big days but a lot of focus on protecting down side risk.

As long as the account is positive you don't have much to worry about from their side. Just keep trading well and make some money. I think getting to the senior traders level requires a lot of patience and control. You best forget about the money you put up in the combine and the time frame you did it in and shift your attention and focus to sustainability by being very patient with the rate the account grows and focusing on just trading to your best ability. Don't rush it as you are no longer required to make a certain amount of money in a certain amount of time. Trade small, trade less. Keep your losing days very small and very limited in number and you should be fine even if it takes much longer than what you would like.

Once a senior trader there are no more rules as such and you can do things differently if you wish, this is probably not such a great idea but the option is there for you to trade different markets, times, sizes or whatever.

It is a very long hard road to consistently make money in the futures market.
Ian

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 Big Mike 
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Obviously they should provide all the live restrictions upfront, since most people are doing this to get funded - something I disagree with but cannot change. I think people should be doing it for discipline and risk.



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 garyboy275 
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Big Mike View Post
Obviously they should provide all the live restrictions upfront, since most people are doing this to get funded - something I disagree with but cannot change. I think people should be doing it for discipline and risk.




"I will not hit my loss limit (per day or per calendar week).
● I will not hit my max drawdown.
● I will not add to a losing trade.
● I will not hold positions into major economic releases.
● I will adhere to the trading hours.
● I will close my position(s) by 3:10 PM CST.
● I will not hold a position into the electronic close.
● 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 $500 or $1,000.
● I will stop trading for the day if my Net P&L is greater than $500 or $1,000 and my total Net P&L has
pulled back 50% off my high watermark (realized Net P&L high of the day).
● If my total Net P&L is negative for the day, I will stop trading if I experience 3 losing trades in a row.
My largest winning day will be greater than my largest losing day (realized end of day Net P&L). (Enforced
after 10 trading days)

● I will have a winning day percentage greater than 40, in the event that I hit 50% of my max drawdown
(realized end of day Net P&L)"

All these above are part of the trader agreement and requirements once you get funded.

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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Big Mike View Post
Just a reminder to everyone that @xelaar wasn't trading the same way he was during the combine.

This is a good lesson about how changes can affect you, and about how hard it is to be consistent with an ever changing market.

Mike

That is correct, Mike. However, I did not blow up, as I mentioned. I did not get even to 25% of maximum draw down and less than 30% of weekly drawdown. All I did I posted a losing day that was larger than my previous largest winning day, that was on day 11 and this rule is enforced after day 10. That was an error on my part in terms I did not realize I have to look backwards for the largest winning day, and was sure I could post a larger winning day in next 10 days. Of course, after I lost extra 30 ticks on that mess with rejected stop, that would be problematic as well. Not impossible, but hard.

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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iankotze View Post
Mike, the answer is no. Unfortunately things change a bit once you go live. I think there has been some discussion to bring things closer inline still to what is expected once trading on the live account.

There are restrictions on size, for instance I don't think anybody can trade a 15 lot out of the gate, you first need to make cushion before you can do that.
Also there is a rule to be flat for economic numbers, it used to be like that in the combine but they have changed it so you can trade during numbers, but in the live account this is not possible.
Trading hours I am not very sure about, you need to get approved for the hours you intend to work but I guess it is favored that you trade US session hours out of the gate so you can be monitored.
Then there is the weekly loss limit and also the 10 day review where you best be positive in your account or things like the largest losing day vs winning day that caught Xelaar out comes into play.

I do think scalping is not the way to go here but one must be comfortable taking base hits. Base hits not being scalp trades with very tight stop losses but rather 2 points stop and target ES, 20 ticks Dow, 15 ticks CL and Gold, that kind of thing. Once live there is a great emphasis on building the account slowly and grinding it out. No expectations for big days but a lot of focus on protecting down side risk.

As long as the account is positive you don't have much to worry about from their side. Just keep trading well and make some money. I think getting to the senior traders level requires a lot of patience and control. You best forget about the money you put up in the combine and the time frame you did it in and shift your attention and focus to sustainability by being very patient with the rate the account grows and focusing on just trading to your best ability. Don't rush it as you are no longer required to make a certain amount of money in a certain amount of time. Trade small, trade less. Keep your losing days very small and very limited in number and you should be fine even if it takes much longer than what you would like.

Once a senior trader there are no more rules as such and you can do things differently if you wish, this is probably not such a great idea but the option is there for you to trade different markets, times, sizes or whatever.

It is a very long hard road to consistently make money in the futures market.
Ian

Well, Ian, you summed it all. BTW, always enjoyed conversations with you in tst room. Gonna miss it!

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  #556 (permalink)
 xelaar 
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Ddawg View Post
Wow, I am blown away xelaar !!! Surely did not seem like you were in any trouble whatsoever, and then BAM!!! I am sorry to hear that a market event like this blew you up.

You had shown such focus and consistency, I too can't help but think that they should have figured out a way to keep you. I mean seriously, there are only 5% winning traders out there, and to just dump you??? I would have to say that it almost seems like they are trying to create failures with their program rather than successes.


Best wishes to you in whatever endeavor you should choose. I believe your grit, determination, and focus will bring you through to success.

Ddawg

Well, there are rule to be followed. I did violate one of them. So all is legit. It was equity partner's decision, Hoag was sympathetic with my case. I am sure I can win another combine with same method and get funded again (if they decide so, this is discretionary, not automatic), but in this case I will have to stick with one and one method that wins that combine. This is where I feel uneasy and not sure I want to put this limitation on myself. As Mike said, if I stuck with the method I traded most in combine and one I have started trading live for TST with, I would be still live and funded and most likely would already hit first threshold to allow trading more size. So it was a misjudgement on my part, where I introduced different risk profile for trades (not something totally new or untested), that put larger risk on any day comparing to my previous days, hence putting a larger losing day.

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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There is something I want to share about trading success in general, reinforced by TST adventure: the most important thing that contributes to your trading success is consistency. You need to do things in a very specific manner, that you tested and believe is working. In order to be able to do that, you need to write a trading plan that outlines your setup(-s), market state, etc, and need to file a trading log that will help you to remain consistent with trading plan, as you will review your log daily and weekly and see if you deviated from your plan. If you are capable of doing that, the rest is just technicality and can be mastered by 10 years old.

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xelaar View Post
It was equity partner's decision, ... As Mike said, if I stuck with the method I traded most in combine and one I have started trading live for TST with, I would be still live and funded and most likely would already hit first threshold to allow trading more size.

1. Who was the equity partner? Has this been identified?

2. I disagree with Mike. You must have discretion to trade and not be hemlocked into one trading strategy.

I move for a motion for reconsideration to the unidentified equity partner. Xelaar was just starting out in the combine and had played by the rules given him, slowly building up the account, ergo, he was building small winning size days up until the WRB gap that knocked him out. Xelaar knows that scalping is not the way to trade gold, and prefers to position trade to build up large account balances. But he has been trading within the confines of the rules set forth in the program and I believe in everyone's opinion given on this trading forum that Xelaar deserves to have this decision reconsidered and allow Xelaar to rejoin the funded program. We need a 2 strike rule on this one.

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  #559 (permalink)
 xelaar 
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jlwade123 View Post
1. Who was the equity partner? Has this been identified?

2. I disagree with Mike. You must have discretion to trade and not be hemlocked into one trading strategy.

I move for a motion for reconsideration to the unidentified equity partner. Xelaar was just starting out in the combine and had played by the rules given him, slowly building up the account, ergo, he was building small winning size days up until the WRB gap that knocked him out. Xelaar knows that scalping is not the way to trade gold, and prefers to position trade to build up large account balances. But he has been trading within the confines of the rules set forth in the program and I believe in everyone's opinion given on this trading forum that Xelaar deserves to have this decision reconsidered and allow Xelaar to rejoin the funded program. We need a 2 strike rule on this one.

No that wasn't, I don't care really but I have some ideas. I uderstand you guys are frustrated by this example, but just use as it is, example, if you make a good plan ahead using my experience you will be much better off to avoid similar situation.

As for me, I can now enjoy the rest of the summer. Work on more swingy approach asking for larger profits, and will come back to live trading mid-September after a week of sailing. I have been chained with TST for many long months, time to enjoy freedom again!

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 cmmichaels 
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xelaar View Post
There is something I want to share about trading success in general, reinforced by TST adventure: the most important thing that contributes to your trading success is consistency. You need to do things in a very specific manner, that you tested and believe is working. In order to be able to do that, you need to write a trading plan that outlines your setup(-s), market state, etc, and need to file a trading log that will help you to remain consistent with trading plan, as you will review your log daily and weekly and see if you deviated from your plan. If you are capable of doing that, the rest is just technicality and can be mastered by 10 years old.

Sorry to hear about whats happened xelaar but no doubt this is now the start of an even better period in your trading. The above is an excellent post that I have taken a lot from so thank you, looking forward to reading about the next chapter in your trading.

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 Silver Dragon 
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@xelaar @iankotze Thank you both for the glimpse of the man behind the curtain. Its been enlightening.

Robert

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 Disciple 
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Thanks @xelaar for your posts and journal. Its sad to have worked for so long and been so successful for it to have ended the way that it did.

I have appreciated what you have shared and have no doubts you will be back bigger and better.

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iankotze View Post
Mike, the answer is no. Unfortunately things change a bit once you go live. I think there has been some discussion to bring things closer inline still to what is expected once trading on the live account.

Ian and Xelaar, new rules were just released Wednesday night.

Changes effective August 28, 2013

Dear Recruit,

We are making important modifications to our Combine and Funded Trader Rules. These changes will go into effect for new accounts starting August 28, 2013.

Under the new Combine Rules, we've eliminated all performance metric requirements, converted the Max Drawdown rule to a Minimum Balance and increased the Overall Winning Day Percentage requirement by one day. Beyond that, we've revised the Funded Trader Rules and lowered the requirements to become a Senior Trader, enabling those traders to withdraw profits sooner.

If you have any questions about these changes, please tune into Squawk Radio tomorrow, August 22 at 11:00 AM CST for a live Q&A session with our Director of Scouting, John Hoagland. Our broadcast will be open to guests all day, starting at 8:00 AM CST.

As always, if you'd like to be considered for funded status under different parameters, talk to one of our team members about a Customized Combine proposal by calling 312.252.9490. The Minimum Balance conversion will apply to all Combines evaluated under a Custom Objective.

Trade well,

The TopstepTrader Team

---- So this is good news

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 DarkPoolTrading 
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jlwade123 View Post
Ian and Xelaar, new rules were just released Wednesday night.

Changes effective August 28, 2013

Dear Recruit,

---
---

---- So this is good news

@jlwade123, make sure you do the maths behind every rule change. Don't just take emails like this at face value thinking it 'sounds good' or makes things easier.

Case in point, one of the new rule changes is to implement the minimum balance clause detailed here

In summary, your maximum drawdown trails your maximum end of day account balance until such time as you've reached your maximum drawdown in profits. Only then do you start building more of a cushion. eg:

In a 50k combine your maximum drawdown is $2000. Under the current rules if you were to end day 1 of trading up $1000 your balance would be $51 000. You then have a 'cushion' of $3000 until you reach your max drawdown. ie: $51 000 - $3000 = $48 000

Under the proposed rules, in the same combine after being up $1000 at the end of a day your balance would still be $51000. BUT,..your minimum now trails your max balance and remains at the original $2000. Meaning that your new maximum drawdown is now $51000 - $2000 = $49000. This continues until such time as you've made more than your max drawdown in profits.

What this results in, is essentially instead of being able to build a 'cushion' straight away by moving away from your max drawdown. You actually remain extremely close to your max drawdown until you've made that amount in profits. Only then do you start building a cushion.

Another recent example of where most traders seemed to take rule changes at face value instead of doing the maths behind it was the change from a 'minimum number of days' format to a discreet format, eg:

Using a 50k 20day combine as an example, under the previous rules you had to trade a minimum of 20 trading days in a 60 calendar day period. In 60 trading days there are typically +-42 trading days. The profit target was $5000. So you had 42 trading days to make $5000. An average of 5000 / 42 = $119 per day.

Under the current rules since the change to a discreet format, you only get 20 trading days in a 60 calendar day period (ie: not a minimum of 20 trading days, but a discreet amount). Using the same 50k 20 day combine example, the profit is now $3500. Most traders seemed to think this was great because they took it at face value. Do the maths. An average of $3500 / 20 days = $175 per day is now required.

Both the prior rule change and this one are making the combine incrementally more difficult (and in my opinion more removed from simulating a live trading environment. The rules should better simulate live trading which was the case a few months ago - but that's another discussion). Do the maths on all rule changes.

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 Big Mike 
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
@jlwade123, make sure you do the maths behind every rule change. Don't just take emails like this at face value thinking it 'sounds good' or makes things easier.

Case in point, one of the new rule changes is to implement the minimum balance clause detailed here

In summary, your maximum drawdown trails your maximum end of day account balance until such time as you've reached your maximum drawdown in profits. Only then do you start building more of a cushion. eg:

In a 50k combine your maximum drawdown is $2000. Under the current rules if you were to end day 1 of trading up $1000 your balance would be $51 000. You then have a 'cushion' of $3000 until you reach your max drawdown. ie: $51 000 - $3000 = $48 000

Under the proposed rules, in the same combine after being up $1000 at the end of a day your balance would still be $51000. BUT,..your minimum now trails your max balance and remains at the original $2000. Meaning that your new maximum drawdown is now $51000 - $2000 = $49000. This continues until such time as you've made more than your max drawdown in profits.

What this results in, is essentially instead of being able to build a 'cushion' straight away by moving away from your max drawdown. You actually remain extremely close to your max drawdown until you've made that amount in profits. Only then do you start building a cushion.

Another recent example of where most traders seemed to take rule changes at face value instead of doing the maths behind it was the change from a 'minimum number of days' format to a discreet format, eg:

Using a 50k 20day combine as an example, under the previous rules you had to trade a minimum of 20 trading days in a 60 calendar day period. In 60 trading days there are typically +-42 trading days. The profit target was $5000. So you had 42 trading days to make $5000. An average of 5000 / 42 = $119 per day.

Under the current rules since the change to a discreet format, you only get 20 trading days in a 60 calendar day period (ie: not a minimum of 20 trading days, but a discreet amount). Using the same 50k 20 day combine example, the profit is now $3500. Most traders seemed to think this was great because they took it at face value. Do the maths. An average of $3500 / 20 days = $175 per day is now required.

Both the prior rule change and this one are making the combine incrementally more difficult (and in my opinion more removed from simulating a live trading environment. The rules should better simulate live trading which was the case a few months ago - but that's another discussion). Do the maths on all rule changes.

Please cross post this in the AMA and review threads on TST and have a discussion with Mike Patak about them. I've found he is usually quite receptive.





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@jlwade123, make sure you do the maths behind every rule change. Don't just take emails like this at face value thinking it 'sounds good' or makes things easier.

I thought it was an improvement, on its face, so I put the post up. Thanks for the clarifications.

TST states traders can negotiate customized parameters. So, it would be advisable for anyone considering joining the program to understand these particulars and negotiate something that best suits their trading styles so they can be successful.

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Pedro40
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I find the rule that made Alex to get kicked off extremely strange. (and remember I have been criticizing their parameters for months, and finally they are dropping them)

So let's say a trader makes more or less $400 8 times out of a 10 day period but loses $500 twice, then he is kicked off??? Doesn't matter that he still made 2.2K??? Or this rule only applies if one goes negative?? If it applies anytime, it is really a senseless rule...

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 xelaar 
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I find the rule that made Alex to get kicked off extremely strange. (and remember I have been criticizing their parameters for months, and finally they are dropping them)

So let's say a trader makes more or less $400 8 times out of a 10 day period but loses $500 twice, then he is kicked off??? Doesn't matter that he still made 2.2K??? Or this rule only applies if one goes negative?? If it applies anytime, it is really a senseless rule...

Pedro, it's only when negative. If positive - account gets disabled for 24 hours.

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 xelaar 
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Ian and Xelaar, new rules were just released Wednesday night.

Changes effective August 28, 2013

...

---- So this is good news


I think it is good news. At least makes Combine more like trading live, so you come prepared. Also makes sense psychologically - once you are up certain amount, you can only go down to 0 and end where you started not losing any of your capital. Certainly makes sense for TST but also a good practice for anyone trading their own capital.

As for me, I have decided so far I won't be working on another combine strategy or put very specific effort to get back to funded status with TST. What I will be doing is working on my strategy and look to start taking it live myself gradually. If forward testing goes well, I will start trading it in parallel in Combine with aim if I get funded with them again to trade it side by side with my own stuff. I won't make TST live trading my primary objective anymore, but if it can work as a good supplement - why not. I will be focusing on more position-based approach, so I should have not problem to put orders in several platforms as I normally should have 5-15 minutes to put orders after I get a posible signal.

Working exclusively for TST does not make much sense for me financially nor socially - staying by PC till the night my time was pretty hard and drained me emotionally and actually forced me to come up with some plan to trade more to justify time spent. This was wrong, and I should have better incentives. Let's see how it will develop.

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What I will be doing is working on my strategy .

Buy higher, sell lower....

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 xelaar 
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Buy higher, sell lower....

Not anymore. Fraking tired of having rejected orders and collect my jaw from the floor after seeing the slippage. There are better ways.

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 xelaar 
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I have found a really really good market inefficiency that would even work if all setup taken blindly, but can sometimes create consequent losers and consequent losing days. I am looking out to find a way to enter these trades more intelligently, it might be similar way to how Pete Davis trades. This is not just gold related, works well on 6E too, also on Forex.

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 isla 
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Hello xelaar
Are you referring to pullback-based approach described in the E-mini course?

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 xelaar 
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Hello xelaar
Are you referring to pullback-based approach described in the E-mini course?

Can't say I studied e-mini course (I assume you mean JT ebook), just quickly glanced over it. I don't refer to anything. Just thinking out loud. I am obsessed with levels. This is what I moved to do with TST but got hammered by the largest losing day rule. In effect, it is crippling, because I started with a strategy that makes very small losers but during the slower markets make also small winners. So this rule actually was pressing me hard to revert to scalping. I am just so glad I am totally over it.

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 isla 
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I've been following your journey for some time now and think you did a great job passing the combine. I experienced similar problem with volatility on ICE Brent when I moved from trading 1 to 2 lots and it just stopped moving for couple of weeks. It was enough for me to get chopped and to lose conviction in my approach to scalping it.
I gradually switched to trading 6E with jigsaw tools so will happily contribute if I can.

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 xelaar 
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I've been following your journey for some time now and think you did a great job passing the combine. I experienced similar problem with volatility on ICE Brent when I moved from trading 1 to 2 lots and it just stopped moving for couple of weeks. It was enough for me to get chopped and to lose conviction in my approach to scalping it.
I gradually switched to trading 6E with jigsaw tools so will happily contribute if I can.

Please go ahead. I am interested to know how order flow reading works for you in 6e, given only 5 levels on DOM and bit artificial/arbitrage type of volume (as futures currencies are arbitraged against must larger spot market).

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 xelaar 
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Looks like any attempt I make at daytrading futures ends up in venturing into scalping, as I just can't justify most other approaches from risk-reward perspective. I will keep working on a rock-solid consistent strategy for a longer term approach, but most likely it will be aimed at Forex. The biggest issue I find in futures is inability to scale position precisely, so every time I naturally fall to using fixed stops approach which only good for pure momentum strategies, hence scalping. I can't get any sense from statistical point of view of most strategies that will require totally different risk ranging 2-3 times with no relation to probable success of the setup (which I don't believe can be established anyway, since any single trade is irrelevant in statistical sense and at best can be counted on as 50% chance).

I would be interested to hear your take on this issue and how any of you who are successful with it combat it. As for me, I will keep working on my swing trading strategy, but will be back to momentum trading futures. I will be focusing on GC and CL to have a better one to chose from based on their movement during the day.

It may sound silly after all these statement about scalping, but I just can't make any other sense. It might be that more stable markets where big differences in volatility are not typical (like ES, treasuries) fixed stop can make some sense. Like in Mack's strategy. However, I can only wonder how Vance is able to pull it off on Crude with 15 tick stops.

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Looks like any attempt I make at daytrading futures ends up in venturing into scalping, as I just can't justify most other approaches from risk-reward perspective. ... I would be interested to hear your take on this issue and how any of you who are successful with it combat it.

Xelaar, I day trade for income on the short term scalp 3 minute charts and I put up some credit options over the weekend on weekly options for income.

But I always look for good position trades to enter 1 lot contracts on and find huge moves this way.

1. For day trade income trading, I use the Slow Hand method (Vance Virgil); which is like the Price Action Al Brooks method.

2. For long-term position trading, I set up a chart of the 5 EMA, 8 SMA cross. I also have a 21/to 55 EMA cross on the same chart. The I squeeze the chart together so I can see much more of the data and really see the trends better and clearly defined higher highs and lower low areas on the chart. When I scrunch the chart together, I can see all the position entry locations much better. I wait for a pullback to the 55 EMA and set my entry in the trend direction here at this point. For best probability, you can wait for the 21 to cross the 55, and the 5 to cross the 8. But then you are just trend trading. I usually don't wait, and get in when price crosses over the 55 and retests the low. I set the stop placement 25 ticks below the low point and this is usually enough to allow stop hunting to end and for the trend to resume. First pullbacks to the 55 EMA are the best ones to find.

3. I can then use fibonacci levels on these trending markets to anticipate the next areas of support and resistance. This helps me add on to positions or exit.

4. For ranging markets, I usually stay out, unless, if it is a good range like the Euro had been doing, I just use a stochastic oscillator and trade the ranges for daily day trading.

5. I also pay attention to ATR settings as there are several strategies I use to trade these ranges, including volatility trending strategies for when a range can reverse back to a trending market. This is the Bruce Babcock ATR method for reversals.

Stop management is key to trading long positions, you must be prepared to hold a contract overnight (pay maintenance) and put your stop behind last swing highs/lows; and or tuck it behind the 55 EMA and away far enough from the stop runs when you first enter. Don't ever take a position trade unless a trend is already clearly defined. Getting in on new trends is what I strive for, but the trend must already be in place with one clearly defined HH or LL. I leave my stop in place and don't move it up to take profits until the next area of HH or LL is established. Then I tuck it behind that next level. I love finding these longer term trades to make. It is like treasure hunting.

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 xelaar 
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Xelaar, I day trade for income on the short term scalp 3 minute charts and I put up some credit options over the weekend on weekly options for income.

But I always look for good position trades to enter 1 lot contracts on and find huge moves this way.

1. For day trade income trading, I use the Slow Hand method (Vance Virgil); which is like the Price Action Al Brooks method.

2. For long-term position trading, I set up a chart of the 5 EMA, 8 SMA cross. I also have a 21/to 55 EMA cross on the same chart. The I squeeze the chart together so I can see much more of the data and really see the trends better and clearly defined higher highs and lower low areas on the chart. When I scrunch the chart together, I can see all the position entry locations much better. I wait for a pullback to the 55 EMA and set my entry in the trend direction here at this point. For best probability, you can wait for the 21 to cross the 55, and the 5 to cross the 8. But then you are just trend trading. I usually don't wait, and get in when price crosses over the 55 and retests the low. I set the stop placement 25 ticks below the low point and this is usually enough to allow stop hunting to end and for the trend to resume. First pullbacks to the 55 EMA are the best ones to find.

3. I can then use fibonacci levels on these trending markets to anticipate the next areas of support and resistance. This helps me add on to positions or exit.

4. For ranging markets, I usually stay out, unless, if it is a good range like the Euro had been doing, I just use a stochastic oscillator and trade the ranges for daily day trading.

5. I also pay attention to ATR settings as there are several strategies I use to trade these ranges, including volatility trending strategies for when a range can reverse back to a trending market. This is the Bruce Babcock ATR method for reversals.

Stop management is key to trading long positions, you must be prepared to hold a contract overnight (pay maintenance) and put your stop behind last swing highs/lows; and or tuck it behind the 55 EMA and away far enough from the stop runs when you first enter. Don't ever take a position trade unless a trend is already clearly defined. Getting in on new trends is what I strive for, but the trend must already be in place with one clearly defined HH or LL. I leave my stop in place and don't move it up to take profits until the next area of HH or LL is established. Then I tuck it behind that next level. I love finding these longer term trades to make. It is like treasure hunting.

Hey, thanks for that insight. This is very similar to the general concept I apply to longer term trading too, but as I said, I do have a problem with inability to keep risk on each trade constant. Unless you trade an account at least 100-200k and more, there is no way to scale position properly. So you can end up taking 1% account risk on one and 1.5 or 2% on another. It is especially true for smaller accounts.

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Hey, thanks for that insight. This is very similar to the general concept I apply to longer term trading too, but as I said, I do have a problem with inability to keep risk on each trade constant. Unless you trade an account at least 100-200k and more, there is no way to scale position properly. So you can end up taking 1% account risk on one and 1.5 or 2% on another. It is especially true for smaller accounts.


I am waiting for new pullback to 55 EMA in Gold. Then, I will set my stop below this point and try and capture the resumption of the upmove in this market.

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 GFIs1 
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Hi @xelaar

Thanks for your profound journal. Got some insight into the "hidden mines" of combines
aka changing rules when least expected
Of course - as there are more trading strategies than traders - such a dense rule construct
which is not easily being overlooked is at least a heavy handicap.
First for us Europeans the trading time and instruments are difficult to choose. Then the
trading style has to be adapted to the "rules". Both things may differ to our own trading
style and in ONE critical phase may lead to a bigger loss than previewed.

Nevertheless I am subscribing to trade after OWN rules and to invest time and money
what one can overlook and afford. So one does not take risks because of a given timeframe
or a externally given rule set that may interfere with some weaker markets at time.

Good pause and wishing you great trades!
GFIs1

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 xelaar 
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I am waiting for new pullback to 55 EMA in Gold. Then, I will set my stop below this point and try and capture the resumption of the upmove in this market.

I like this idea. Another example how limiting trading futures is for a beginner trader or one with limited accounts.
I would like to do a similar trade in XAUUSD, in spot market.

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 xelaar 
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Hi @xelaar

Thanks for your profound journal. Got some insight into the "hidden mines" of combines
aka changing rules when least expected
Of course - as there are more trading strategies than traders - such a dense rule construct
which is not easily being overlooked is at least a heavy handicap.
First for us Europeans the trading time and instruments are difficult to choose. Then the
trading style has to be adapted to the "rules". Both things may differ to our own trading
style and in ONE critical phase may lead to a bigger loss than previewed.

Nevertheless I am subscribing to trade after OWN rules and to invest time and money
what one can overlook and afford. So one does not take risks because of a given timeframe
or a externally given rule set that may interfere with some weaker markets at time.

Good pause and wishing you great trades!
GFIs1

Thanks, I agree with what you said. Thus I will be looking to build my own strategies on my own rules, markets and times. Then I will give it a chance at another combine so I can trade it as a complimentary.

I plan to look now into FDAX for London session and GC and CL for US session, that I have decided to return to momentum scalping and stop trying to get into swing trading with small stops available with limited accounts and day trading margins.

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Hi RAA - thanks for the great journal with detailed trading information that you have provided. I have some good back tested strategies in gold, with a similar approach to what you have been using.

I've also passed the combine and live trader prep and am currently a live trader with TsT, but I find their trading requirements restrictive, and I am looking for outside funding so that I can fully implement the strategy that I have developed.

If you have any leads on funding please let me know. I'm happy to provide additional information as needed.

Thanks.

Matt

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If you have any leads on funding please let me know.

I have thought about starting a hedge fund for traders using crowd funding resources.

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 xelaar 
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I have thought about starting a hedge fund for traders using crowd funding resources.

The problem here would be regulatory and cost of entry. Traders would have to have broker's licenses and hedge fund could not advertize and could not solicit non-qualified investors. This is not a problem outside US of course. There are lots of money managers in forex world, some of them are very big.

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 xelaar 
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Did some extensive scalping today with DAX in the morning and Gold in the afternoon. On both instruments I have been nicely up before going down into red. I have to say I can clearly see some profitable trading patterns there, just one must filter signals quite efficiently, AND limit time of scalping to only most active hours.

I would consider these hours for next days' trading: 0900AM-1030AM CET for DAX (GMT+1), 0730AM-0930AM CST for GC (GMT-6)

I believe if I gradually get proficient at setups and in filtering them I can get consistently profitable with this type of trading. I use only limit orders to enter on pauses at levels, and I use miniscule stops because I want to be out right away if I am wrong. Since these are not breakout trades, slippage is not present on entry, and stops generally produce small or none slippage, because they are not located in zones of high volatility, like it happened with my fading key levels setups.

I don't see any point in counting losing trades before I stop, I believe drawdown in $ is much more important, so trading with 2 contracts for scale out, I would consider stopping for a day if I hit 300 $ loss limit, and stopping for a day if I hit 500-600$ profit.

I plan to formalize entry rules within next few days, getting more firsthand real time experience.

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I plan to formalize entry rules within next few days, getting more firsthand real time experience.

Good deal, keep us informed of the new rules and how you do. Volatility is picking up for sure.

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I heard the news late, and sorry to hear what happened Xelaar. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences in live combine also. It sounds like the live combine trading adds on more external stresses and constraints not making it seem that more palatable than a regular stressful job. Doesn't sound good to me they drop you and then make you have to re-qualify for live trading. I would think a forced sabbatical from trading for their clients would be more reasonable. Maybe a few days, weeks or months. Or even three strikes to give some leeway for singular accidents like the slippage that happened in your trading. Traders and their EAs get away with much greater drawdown and long stretches of consistently bad performance on places like zulutrade and myfxbook which was certainly not the case in your live trading. Anyways, best of luck in the future.

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  #591 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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Cloudy View Post
I heard the news late, and sorry to hear what happened Xelaar. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences in live combine also. It sounds like the live combine trading adds on more external stresses and constraints not making it seem that more palatable than a regular stressful job. Doesn't sound good to me they drop you and then make you have to re-qualify for live trading. I would think a forced sabbatical from trading for their clients would be more reasonable. Maybe a few days, weeks or months. Or even three strikes to give some leeway for singular accidents like the slippage that happened in your trading. Traders and their EAs get away with much greater drawdown and long stretches of consistently bad performance on places like zulutrade and myfxbook which was certainly not the case in your live trading. Anyways, best of luck in the future.

Thanks, Cloudy, but don't be sorry. Rules were known in advance, I made it slip, but honestly I am not disappointed at all. I was very happy to finish the Combine from the first take, pass LTP and get to funded status. It was like a winning a contest. I am a competitive person. But for me trading live with TST was bit like trading in a straightjacket. You can see moves before but can't join before 7 AM, you can see an opportunity but as it wasn't initially in your trading plan you take take it. And finally if you haven't strategize upfront, you can't allow any changes whatsoever, or it will bite you through one of the numerous rules. Thus said, if one comes with a full understanding of these limitation, it is possible to get a comfortable start and avoid most of the complications. I would, if I would do that again. That is undecided for now. TST is a real deal, but they put you in a position to start making money right from the start with very tight risk. It is very difficult, but if you do it you are golden. Through the rules, the maximum drawdown and risk you can take in reality much smaller than one you would assume from related combine. At least this is true for 150k combine. I was given just one lot to trade. In now way I could get even close to max drawdown (or half of it) without breaking other rules and getting stopped. If you are so good you can work with it, hey, frankly you are better off with your own money then. But, if you haven't got even few grand to simulate this environment (doesn't take more than that really, whole risk and margin profile of 150k can be simulated with 20k in reality, and for initial stage of live trading I could do same with 2k live account), or can't stand a pain of losing anything - yes, this is a very good option.

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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Just to clarify on a topic name change. I would like to continue my journal and blog here even if not related to Combine and TST hence the name change to reflect that.

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 DarkPoolTrading 
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Hi xelaar,

I have two questions for you if you dont mind:

- You mentioned you were given one contract to trade when initially funded. Was that your choice or their rule? This seems ridiculous if the traders strategy relies on scaling out. Not sure if yours does or not. Perhaps it would be different if it was shown during the combine that the trader used a scaling out approach.

- Just to clarify on the 'Largest losing day is not allowed to be bigger than the largest winning day'. Is this even if you are net positive and therefore making money? Or does it only apply if you are net negative for that period? I can't see how it makes sense for traders who have made money, but just because of one day they get booted.

thanks.

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
Hi xelaar,

I have two questions for you if you dont mind:

- You mentioned you were given one contract to trade when initially funded. Was that your choice or their rule? This seems ridiculous if the traders strategy relies on scaling out. Not sure if yours does or not. Perhaps it would be different if it was shown during the combine that the trader used a scaling out approach.

- Just to clarify on the 'Largest losing day is not allowed to be bigger than the largest winning day'. Is this even if you are net positive and therefore making money? Or does it only apply if you are net negative for that period? I can't see how it makes sense for traders who have made money, but just because of one day they get booted.

thanks.

Hey, I did scale out some of my trades during the combine. But I have agreed to the low start with 1 contract, to test out my approach and could add more contract as I booked some profit. So it is fine. But yes, I could not move anywhere from this risk profile, if I wanted to start to scale out. As I said - you have to have a very firm plan right from the start. Probably I would do well if it wasn't for summer dolldrums, my strategy would work better (it is now) and I wouldn't drift from this only style until I built some cushion.
This rule is applicable only if you are net down, if you are not, they will disable you for 24 hours to punish you, but you can trade again afterwards.

I really don't see being sent back to a combine as such a big deal. If you are good and stood any chance live you can do it at combine. Live risk parameters are far tighter.

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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Ok, today I pulled myself together and made some more orderly DAX demo trading, still made few totally groundless trades, and finally missed a huge run (but it was not easy to see it realtime but a note about having a really large runner to run and only trail it by high/low)
I started late today, but it makes sense to start as early as market opens at 8AM and trade for some 1 to 1.5 hours only.







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 Sazon 
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if you don't mind me asking, what are the moving averages lengths that you are using?

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 xelaar 
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if you don't mind me asking, what are the moving averages lengths that you are using?

This is the biggest secret on dat planet, me swears!

The truth is you can use almost any averages, none will work all the time, most will work sometime, you need to get into rhythm of the market and get a feeling when they will do. But currently I am working with 75 and 200 and use 500 as a reference line.

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 Sazon 
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xelaar View Post
This is the biggest secret on dat planet, me swears!

The truth is you can use almost any averages, none will work all the time, most will work sometime, you need to get into rhythm of the market and get a feeling when they will do. But currently I am working with 75 and 200 and use 500 as a reference line.

thanks

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xelaar View Post
still made few totally groundless trades...

Yea, but looks like the winners all had sloping MA lines, and you hit a few of those, so good trades! I can better pick the winners when getting away from chop ranges by entering on 2nd entry price action method, count entries off the closes. Helps keep me from getting chopped. Here is a link that explains the 2nd entries.



P.S. What software is that for tracking your journal?

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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jlwade123 View Post
Yea, but looks like the winners all had sloping MA lines, and you hit a few of those, so good trades! I can better pick the winners when getting away from chop ranges by entering on 2nd entry price action method, count entries off the closes. Helps keep me from getting chopped. Here is a link that explains the 2nd entries.



P.S. What software is that for tracking your journal?

Absolutely, this is why saving screen shots and filling in the journal is important. Basically I am also looking for second entries, just not on candle level but on pushes to ema on range chart, taking a first pullback is usually a low probability trade. So tomorrow I will stay away from ranges by only entering when emas are separated, and taking only a second pullback and a momentum direction change, or after a bigger run between pullbacks.

I use excel and a spreadsheet I put together when was developing my combine strategy. Nothing complicated.

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