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My Journey towards becoming a funded trader


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My Journey towards becoming a funded trader

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  #1 (permalink)
Dallas tx
 
 
Posts: 18 since Oct 2014
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Greetings Everyone,

As a bit of an introduction, if trading is akin to high school, I am on summer break between sophomore and junior year (oh those were the days).

My freshman year was made up of busting accounts, chasing adrenaline, and dealing with a frustrated wife when she read the tax return notes for year. Needless to say the money didn't stay around long.

My sophomore year started off chasing indicators, largely with the same result. This indicator, that indicator... looking for that silver bullet that would slay the emini beast.

Towards the end of that season, I made several changes...
  • Decided to not get rich overnight, and decreased my lot size. It certainly helps survive volatility, but it also leaves room to add to runners.
  • Stopped focusing exclusively on what was happening now (this tick/this min), and looked back towards larger time frames.
  • Knowing my tunnel vision weakness, I set up alerts on different time frames to catch my attention, and modified my indicators to look at now, and longer time frames... This took a few days of sim account trading to get used to, but it works for me now.
  • Began to treat trading like a business... What is my plan? What will I trade? How will I trade it?
  • Trade with bigger trader.s.. is big money bullish or bearish around this entry I am considering.
  • Keep a trade journal and study what went well and what didn't. Why did that trade win/lose? What can I pay attention to.
  • Begin the hunt for startup capital

Now that I am able to keep a small account stable and in the black, I am addressing my next issue: capital.

Primary Goal: Qualify for and actively 2-3 funded accounts and eventually replace my day J.O.B.

Requirement 1: Find reputable 'prop shops' (?) that will let rookies come in along side their day job to prove their chops. I have identified a handful, and have started with 2. (done)

Requirement 2: Develop method to trade multiple accounts with a single click or chart. I have found people using add-ons with MT4/5 to trade multiple accounts in the forex market... but it's not futures, and I am developing a feel for the heartbeat of the /es.

So I have settled on Multicharts.net and am in the process of developing the capability of trading multiple accounts @ multiple brokers concurrently. And... for to be a supposed supported capability, there is no feature developed... and me developing this is proving harder than expected. So, for now, I am click, clicking my entries with bracket orders for P/L targets.

I know... I know... really? ... But 1-2 seconds ALT Tabbing and clicking an entry doesn't make or break how I trade. I just have to stay away from a 'fast' market.

Requirement 3: Get funded. // In progress.

----------------------------------------------------------------

As of today, I have completed Day 3 with TopStep ($150k) and OneUp ($250k).
  • TopStep: I personally prefer how TST handles their trailing stop via end of day, but qualification is a 2 step process. I am in step 2.
  • OneUp: This intraday trailing stop has me cautious. I like to see a potential runner set up, lock in an little profit, and trail the dips. However, this intraday trailing stop is based off your highest profit potential. This means that a trade that was up $1500 and stopped out at $1250 profit, brings your trailing max loss $1500 closer, not based on profit... based on potential profit. // My remedy... aim for predefined profit target, hit it and exit at that trade's high, or add to a pull back re-entry signal which increases profit and get out early at or near P/L high. Also, cut a loser fast! (opinions welcome)

That said.... As of EOD Day 3.....
  • TopStep: $6,000 remaining / ~8-9 days to target
  • OneUp: $8,643 remaining / ~5-7 days to target. So I will surpass the target if all goes well.
  • Note... My OneUp account shows my auto liquidation to be @ $250,000. So I am assuming the trailing draw down in the trial stops once it reaches the starting account balance.

I am new to this degree of 'sharing', and am doing this to not only bump up my personal accountability, but I'd like to use this as to tool to learn and share with others from this group of traders.

I will include a pic of my trade journal and chart for the day.

Comments and questions are welcome.

Trade well and Trade for Tomorrow....

//Doyal Alexander



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  #2 (permalink)
Dallas tx
 
 
Posts: 18 since Oct 2014
Thanks: 7 given, 29 received

** This was not my best day, but I committed to share **


Well, today was interesting.

First trade out of the gate... 6+ points and met my profit target for the day. I actually contemplated calling it a day, but decided I'd work on my multibroker trade script... and forgot to switch to a demo account... and busted my TopStepTrader account by trading 6 micros... with a 5 contract limit.

After a few choice words with myself I decided to revenge trade my OneUp account...

Like I said... Not my best day.

Script Status
  • I have a few different scripts collected that separately contain what I am trying to do.
  • Now I have to conduct the equivalent of an archaeological dig and research project against undocumented code
  • Then reassemble the bones into the right creature

Funding Update
TopStepTrader // Day 4
  • Busted the account today. I was within financial constraints, and technically well below risk. So what happened?
  • Rule Broken = Scaling Contract Limit of 5... But how?
  • So, I did switch my instrument to micro's to test my script, but failed to switch the account to my demo account... When the script ran on my TST combine account it traded 3 consecutive 3 contract entries. This proved educational in that the TST contract limit apparently applies equally to micro and mini...
  • For example, even though a micro is 1:10 of a mini, if you are limited to 5 contracts you can only trade and total of 5 anything... Despite 6 micro being ~12% of the financial risk of 5 permitted mini contracts.
  • Live. Learn. Fork out $99 to start over.

OneUpTrader // Day 4
  • OneUpTrader Day 4: As you will see in the Journal, my first trade was solid.. The price there is averaged in, but the chart shows the trade.
  • Now, despite the seemingly random trades, today's issue was not execution. Today's issue was psychology.
  • Busting my TST account shook me psychologically, and I should have just stopped trading. However, for some reason that my subconscious may or may not ever reveal to me, I decided to revenge trade my OneUp account. This is evident in the next few trades.

Then I stepped back, saw good setups across multiple time frames, and added in some size. Despite it being a success, it was reckless and shouldn't have been done.

End of Day Results....
  • TopStepTrader: $9,000 Remaining / Days Remaining 10 (Rule Broken. Starting Over)
  • OneUpTrader: $7,302 Remaining / Days Remaining 11

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  #3 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Cancun, Mexico
 
Experience: Advanced
Trading: Stock Index Futures / CFDs
 
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Welcome!

Here is something to chew on: "If I have an edge, why hurry? If I don't have an edge, why hurry?"

"The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." - Milton
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  #4 (permalink)
Elite_Member
Wiltshire, United Kingdom
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw daytradr
Trading: US Equity Index Futures
 
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doyalalexander View Post
[*]TopStepTrader: $9,000 Remaining / Days Remaining 10 (Rule Broken. Starting Over)[*]OneUpTrader: $7,302 Remaining / Days Remaining 11

There isn't a maximum number of days, only a minimum, that's true for TST at least.
(Unless you have decided that you only intend to pay for one month and expect to pass first time).



Quoting 
[*]Rule Broken = Scaling Contract Limit of 5... But how?[*]So, I did switch my instrument to micro's to test my script, but failed to switch the account to my demo account... When the script ran on my TST combine account it traded 3 consecutive 3 contract entries. This proved educational in that the TST contract limit apparently applies equally to micro and mini...

Yes. It's in the rules:
https://help.topsteptrader.com/hc/en-us/articles/235453748-What-does-Maximum-Position-Size-mean-

The ability to trade micros in the Standard Combine was only added recently as an option for people not in the micro/swing trading Combine to be able to reduce risk after the recent increase in the markets' daily range and volatility.

Trading, ideally structured, is a vehicle for expanding consciousness, not damaging it. - Brett Steenbarger
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  #5 (permalink)
Dallas tx
 
 
Posts: 18 since Oct 2014
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Hey Matthew28... thanks for reaching out.


matthew28 View Post
There isn't a maximum number of days, only a minimum, that's true for TST at least.
(Unless you have decided that you only intend to pay for one month and expect to pass first time).

I have been in the Combine for a couple of months now, largely trying to reduce frequency of trades.. basically working to sit on my hands more. The forced discipline there has been good for me, in that helps me overcome some really bad habits I had developed in my personal account. My demons there are revenge trading, and trading too frequently. Like Hoag @ TST says... 'If you go looking for a trade, you'll find one... just may not be the one you want.'

I am just trying to finish TST Step 2 in something close to 15 days. If it takes longer, I am okay with that... to clarify, intellectually I am okay. I let my emotions get the better of me Friday.



matthew28 View Post
Yes. It's in the rules:

The ability to trade micros in the Standard Combine was only added recently as an option for people not in the micro/swing trading Combine to be able to reduce risk after the recent increase in the markets' daily range and volatility.

As soon as I saw that I had opened to many trades with my script (against the wrong account), I revisited the rules and saw that I had broken that rule. Got frustrated with myself, and started misbehaving in my other account... poor decision for sure.


Thanks again for reaching out...

Take care.... //Doyal

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  #6 (permalink)
Montreal, QC, Canada
 
Experience: Beginner
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Broker: Tradovate
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I'll be following along. Also busted my TST $150K Step 2 just this Thursday for the same reason, too many contracts. Fully aware of the rules, but a misclick in Jigsaw I bought more and didn't realize until it was past their 10 second buffer. That really hurt since things were until then going along pretty nicely. I know a lot of people bitch about the rule, if it was a real account you could easily have your # of contracts limit set and it's kind of one way they can make you do a reset. At the same time, the rules are pretty clear, and the whole point is to demonstrate you can color within the lines. Still, 100% sucks to bust not for bad trading decisions... just a click.

Good luck, I'll be restarting Step 2 $150K also Monday.

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  #7 (permalink)
Dallas tx
 
 
Posts: 18 since Oct 2014
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Today... today is take my money and run day.

Today, I placed 6 total trades
  1. My first trade was a simple accident... I was testing my signal and had it set to my demo account, and had my chart on that demo account... but the strategy properties of this chart executed it it's default account (corrected)
  2. Next, I entered a trade after hours Sunday evening with 'large' lot traders and rode the slow but steady momentum up to the 127fib. I had an early morning, so I waited until profitable and next move appeared to be setting up, and moved my stop to +1tick, with a target at the next Fib (1.27). Target was hit in the wee hours.
  3. Next, I scalped a pullback on leg 1 during the open. Hit my trail for 1 tick.
  4. The third trade was a scalp on leg 3 pull back.
  5. Followed up by a trade on a continuation entry confirmed by a higher TF
  6. My last trade of the day was trading towards a volume point of control for the morning. My stop was set set with the icebergs (300&500 @ the ask) and monitored pull backs closely. Volume on the tape indicated large buyers (100+ lots) at and near my entry.

All in all...
  • TopStep Day 1: 3 lots / 11.25 pt net / $1594.50 net
  • OneUp Day 5: 6 lots / 12.46 pt net / $3587.50 net
  • Cumulative profit for the day.... $5,182.00

A lot of people talk about trading your own money vs going with a prop firm, largely for tax reasons. I am taking this route for several... and it ties into why I am developing a way to trade multiple accounts across brokers

First... the paid by a prop model isn't horrible.
  • Today was a big day... My take on a day like today would be over $4k. Not a bad day... But let's say I set a simple target of $700 against a $150k account, and traded that across 4 brokers. That's $2800 against $600k of trading capital. Less than 1/2% a day. This feels realistic.
  • Net $5600 in a week and your take on that is just over $200k per year. // But it all starts with developing profitable habits and scaling them with proper risk management. (that's the idea anyway)
  • That net $$$ is what many complain about. In this version of the prop world, we are 1099 contractors and that $200k will be taxed as ordinary income... Ouch.

This brings me to the second reason I am working this....
  • My plan is, at the end of the month, to withdraw 1/2 of what I can, and move it to a personal account. I will do this until I have what I deem at that time to be a comfortable risk buffer in the prop account.
  • Then, I will add my personal account to the prop account trades and start taking advantage of the tax benefits of trading futures.
  • That is where I have seen several drain the prop account and move it all to a personal account. That, to me, leaves trading capital at rest. Sure, I have to pay higher taxes on that 1099 income, but if I can earn that with the same button click as I do the tax advantages futures trading, why not? // opinions welcome

Naturally, at some point in theory and hopefully, I will have an uncomfortable amount moving in and out of the market. At that time, I'll likely start swing trading equities again and adding to FIAs.

That's where my is head today, and it reserves the right to change it's mind down the road. :|

Take care and feedback is always welcome.

Trade well and Trade for Tomorrow....

//Doyal Alexander


******** Edited ********

Ok... so I didn't sit on my hands the rest of the day. @ 2:35p I had a buy alert... I checked the charts and it looked good... I entered at 2:39 and exited at 2:44 by hitting my profit target just under today's high for another 2 points.

Updated Numbers
  • TopStep Day 1: 3 lots / 13.25 pt net / $1,883.40 net
  • OneUp Day 5: 6 lots / 14.46 pt net / $4,157.5 net
  • Cumulative profit for the day.... $6,040.90



2020.08.24_Trades


Trade Log-2020-08-24

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  #8 (permalink)
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Awesome work bro. I'm thinking about going with Oneup because of the single evaluation they have.

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  #9 (permalink)
Dallas tx
 
 
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Aries86 View Post
Awesome work bro. I'm thinking about going with Oneup because of the single evaluation they have.

Thanks for the kudos...

If you know what your doing, I am sure you can get funded with OneUp for more money faster...

My issue in my live account was consistency.... big wins and wipe outs.

Given that along with me wanting to win over the long run by honing my edge & consistency... Here is why I started with TST,
  • This was big for me. TST trailing stop is based off EOD numbers, meaning your unrealized profit highs during the day don't count against you. With OUT, if you are up $2k and close a profit of $1500, your trailing loss just got $500 closer to you. If you can't beat the EOD trailing stop, you don't stand a chance against intraday based off potential vs realized P/(L).
  • Step 2 of TopStep is all about Risk Management and the position sizing. It basically gets you ready for the live account rules you will see with them and most others. The OneUp live account works like TST Step 2. // TST Step 1 helped me overcome my over trading habit, and Step 2 has really reinforced the value of going in with way less than I have access to via leverage, and scale in as profit is realized.
  • TopStep doesn't have the consistency requirement that OneUp does...kinda. by having a slightly longer eval, they get to watch your trading over 5 more days. With OneUp, you need to be careful about having too good of a day in that your (i think) 80% of your best day can't be more than the sum of your next 3 best days. They want to see consistency over big swings... That's why I am targeting the profit $$ that I am.
  • Last, TST has a neat feature where they will let you go live with a sim account for your first $5k in profit... or whatever the trailing stop is in the account you choose. If you make it, you get a new live account with that $$ and having already beat your trailing stop. If you lose, you redo Step and hop back in vs having to completely re-qualify.

*** Also... I don't know if all TST accounts offer this, but their MultiCharts access allows me to have access to their trial account, and a practice account. I can take risks in that practice account and reset for free.


Depending on where you are in your trading, I think both have their advantages, as for me personally, blowing my Step 2 account with TopStep let me know I'd blown my live account with either of them. :/

I am curious where you land and how it goes.

Take Care and Trade Well.

//Doyal Alexander

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Dallas tx
 
 
Posts: 18 since Oct 2014
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Hey there Everyone. Happy Tuesday.

The script is tricky. I have it close-ish... I'd say I'm 80% done, which means I have a lot of work left. If you think of it like a 5 paragraph essay, the outline is done, all the subject content is known and in the correct order. I just have to get all the facts lined up just write to tell the story. // Said differently, I have a bug that is defined and known, I just need to figure out how to format the syntax to tell the story how I want it.

As for my 'click click' trading... I took a total of 5 trades today. As you'll see in the charts, I missed some opportunities, but I had a few calls for work and Lunch.
  • Trade 1: Scalped RSI XO Setup with higher TF momentum & volume. Trailing stop hit for 0.75 pt
  • Trade 2: Traded continued volume divergence and pressure from higher TF. Hit target @ 4pt
  • Trade 3: Scalped towards point of support with RSI & DMI XO and higher TF congruence. Target hit of 0.75
  • Trade 4: Scalped towards point of support with RSI & DMI XO and higher TF congruence. Target hit of 1.25
  • Trade 5: Traded end of day upward momentum with OBV divergence and higher TF support for more movement. Had a target of 4pt, but trailing stop was hit at 1.5 pt. Price did move back up and pass original target of 3340.

Account Totals
  • TST Step 2, Day 2: 4 lots / 8.25 pt net / $1,576 net
  • OneUp Day 6: 6 lots / 8.25 pt net / $2,325 net
  • Cumulative profit for the day.... $3,901


Take care and feedback is always welcome.

Trade well and Trade for Tomorrow....

//Doyal Alexander

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