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TST Combine results and strategies for passing
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TST Combine results and strategies for passing

  #41 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
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Pedro40 View Post
Let me address this issue. Assuming your trading style only breaks one of the parameters, pretty much any style is good for passing the Combine. Some complained about the Combine being not very friendly towards swing traders who hold positions for days. (because of the rule for being flat by the close) But one can go around that easily, just flatten your position before the close and open it again in the after hours. Sure there might be slippage and such, but it can work in both directions, so eventually it evens out.

I would say the most optimal style for the Combine is the intraday swing trades, trading 3-5 times a day, and holding it for at least an hour. If you get out of a losing trade after 20 minutes but hold it for at least an hour when it goes your way, chances are you are meeting pretty much all the parameters. So maybe this is the style they are trying to encourage with their rules. But just because they have a preferred style that doesn't mean they should handicap others with their strict rules...

Feel free to add your thoughts, I don't mind to go offtopic....

Thank you Predro40, I didn't want to hijack thread. I'm new here and it seems I need to reply to a number of threads before I can create my own. If you think the conversation is really going to far out then feel free to bring it back.

I also noticed some complains about the rules not been too friendly to Swing Traders due to the end of the day closing open positions. Now let define very briefly what a Swing Trader looks like.

Swing Trader = Short term trading style (keyword "style of trading" which will make sense later on when you start to understand the rules in Combine), which goal is to open a position and hold that position for 1 - 4 days, willing to take more risk (larger stop loss order) for a larger return by holding overnight, and minimize commissions to the broker.

Later we can talk about the Daytrader and scalper.

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  #42 (permalink)
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There are 2 problems with the swing trader style in the Combine, but one is rather irrelevant:

1. Commission doubles, triples per trade. This isn't such a big issue, because the trader is going for a bigger move so the expected gain is way more than in intraday trading, thus that should cover nicely the increased commissions.

2. There could be movement between 4:15 and 6 pm that effects negatively the position or when entering the position it moves against the trader's DLL. This could be a bigger problem, although in the long run it should even out.

Let's see a real life example for the shall we call it, the Swing Trader's Problem:

Let's suppose under normal circumstances (not in the Combine) last week I went long at the Monday's low and held it for a 20 ES points gain, what came 3 days later. Since the entry was pretty much perfect on Monday, there was no heat. But Monday evening the futures went in the red and the position was in the red by 2.5-3 points for a while. After that it was smooth sailing and took almost 20 points profit at the Thursday high.

Now let's see how this scenario would have played out in the Combine. I am long from 1460 with a full position Monday 10:30. I finish the day up 4 pts, where I have to cash out. Now at Monday 6 pm I enter long again at 1463 (I already lost a point because of the 4:15-6 pm slippage), full position, but the futures start to tank and at the lowest 1458, I am down 5 points. Now on a full position in the 30K/20days Combine, you are knocked out if you are down more than 3.5 ES point. So here I would have taken a 3 pts loss, just to preserve myself in the Combine, although in the original position, the heat was only 2.5-3 points. And because I almost lost all of the allowed DLL, ($500) I don't dare to trade for that day. So by the end of Tuesday, I am up only 1 point on full position.

So I enter again at 6 pm Tuesday with full position long 1463 and it goes against me again. It bottoms at 1460, but that takes me out of the ballgame. So I am down -2 points although I have been so far correct with my swing long position.

I enter again long at 6 pm Wednesday pretty much the same entry and again I am taken out. Finally on Thursday the market rallies, but I can't trade, because I used up almost all of my DLL.

So instead of making 20 points with 1 easy trade with 2 points heat, I ended up with 1 winner and 3 losers (-5 points overall) and missing the big move altogether...

The summary of this example: Even if you cash out with nice profits at the end of the day in the Combine as a swing trader, you can't carry those wins as a buffer against losses during the night. So because of the rather low DLL every reentry is dangerous and they can stop you trading for the whole day if you use most of it up.... And this is a huge disadvantage against Swing traders.

Maybe a way to avoid such an overnight whipsaw action is to reenter in steps and averaging in.


Last edited by Pedro40; January 20th, 2013 at 12:39 PM.
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  #43 (permalink)
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Pedro40,

The Swing Trader is at a disadvantage during Combine due to closing trades on the close of the day and dealing with a very tight DLL which it goes against a true swing trader that is ready to take some "heat" by having a larger stop loss order. I know some people may disagree with me, but I don't think swing trading fits well in the Combine base on the rules. We can now take a look at the other two styles of trading: Day Trading and scalping (both are consider intraday).

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  #44 (permalink)
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vercetti View Post
We can now take a look at the other two styles of trading: Day Trading and scalping (both are consider intraday).

Alright, I do it for you. As I said earlier, probably the intraday swing (30-120 minutes holding time) is the best for the Combine, assuming 3-5 traders a day.

Here is the thing about scalping. It is rather easy specially in slow markets to pick up 1 tick profit trading the ES. Now if you are trading 3 cars and doing the 30K/20days Combine you only need 8 ticks per day, thus 3 trades with 1-1 tick wins will do it. The only problem is meeting the parameters, but as I showed earlier, you can manipulate both the Duration and the Average loser by taking quick, small losses, so it could be done...

Taking 1 tick wins doesn't really show any kind of strategy though, and if I were the backer I wouldn't fund anyone with such results...

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  #45 (permalink)
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Pedro40 View Post
Alright, I do it for you. As I said earlier, probably the intraday swing (30-120 minutes holding time) is the best for the Combine, assuming 3-5 traders a day.

Here is the thing about scalping. It is rather easy specially in slow markets to pick up 1 tick profit trading the ES. Now if you are trading 3 cars and doing the 30K/20days Combine you only need 8 ticks per day, thus 3 trades with 1-1 tick wins will do it. The only problem is meeting the parameters, but as I showed earlier, you can manipulate both the Duration and the Average loser by taking quick, small losses, so it could be done...

Taking 1 tick wins doesn't really show any kind of strategy though, and if I were the backer I wouldn't fund anyone with such results...

I see your point about intraday swing and scalping. Intraday swing makes the more sense by using quick and small losses method.

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  #46 (permalink)
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Nonsense? Absolute? Please write your own report on the combine first and let the readers judge where the nonsense lies. Till then leave us alone. This is a great read so far.


Cashish View Post
@Pedro40 @Big Mike

I'm willing to risk the future of my Big Mike's Trading Forum Membership and respond to this thread.





This is the most absolute nonsense I've seen written on this forum ever. Pardon me but if I was looking for a trader to trade a $30,000.00 account and I was willing to absorb ALL the LOSS and STILL split the profits 60/40 I wouldn't want you any where near a live trading account.

It appears you're having a lot of fun toying around with what I believe is a very serious and very powerful business model designed not only to evaluate seasoned traders but also provide a safe learning environment for aspiring traders, complete with professional traders available for training and coaching as well as professionals in market psychology.

Obviously many participants enter today's markets for the wrong reasons, but to actually PAY MONEY and sign up for a Top Step Trader Combine with a preconceived intention of gaming the system is absolutely ridiculous.

I hope you come to a place in the very near future where you can see the child like foolishness of your behavior and stop wasting the time, efforts and resources of honest professionals who are totally committed to providing what may be a life changing opportunity to men and women who actually know how to trade.


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  #47 (permalink)
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TST has just changed the rules, so here is an extra advice to optimize your chances to pass the Combine. First, there is a promo valid only today, so if you see this post in time and want to take advantage of it, you have to call them today.

So what is the new rule? They changed the 10/20 days time frame to 10/20 days MINIMUM. That means you only have to trade 10 or 20 days as a minimum, but you can trade MORE days in the allowed 30/60 days frame, assuming your profit target hasn't been reached. Is this good? Well, if your strategy is profitable then yes, it is.

Basicly it transfered the former 20 days Combine to the new 10 days Combine, which is cheaper and the profit target is less. So what is my new strategy advice? here it is:
You have to complete the Combine in a given 30/60 days period. But if you look at the calendar, not every periods are the same!!!

So if you sign up, make sure that you counted for the upcoming market holidays, because depending on your time period, that can add or subtract 2-3 trading days, and that can make a huge difference! A 30 calendar days period can be 19 to 22 trading days, depending on weekends and holidays. Obviously the best day to start is a Monday through Wednesday, with no holidays for the next 4 weeks.

For example signing up for a 20 days (60 calendar days) Combine just after Christmas was a bad idea, because you lost 3 trading days right away (New Year's Day, MLK and Presidents' Day). Of course with the longer Combine you are going to lose at least 1 trading day, but it doesn't have to be 3.....

The easiest Combine to pass (profit wise) is still the 30K/20 days one. In a 42-43 trading days period you have to make 10 ES points per contracts. That is only 0.25 points per day per contract.

Now you know it, go and pass the Combine!


Last edited by Pedro40; January 29th, 2013 at 02:11 PM.
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  #48 (permalink)
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Not only does the 30K have a more attractive profit objective, but also comparatively a more favorable drawdown allowance.

For the 20 day combines:

$30K -- 5% drawdown, 6.7% profit objective
$50K -- 4% drawdown, 10% profit objective
$100K -- 3% drawdown, 10% profit objective
$150K -- 3% drawdown, 10.7% profit objective

As the account size grows, the drawdown requirement tightens, and the profit objective becomes higher. I suspect this is to encourage traders to go for the 30K. It is more reachable by most small traders, because they are more used to trading this level of money. Said another way, "if you think you are good enough to swing $150K then you have to really prove it." I think it is a good move on their part.

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  #49 (permalink)
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My preference goes to the 10 days MINIMUM. Why suffer 10 more days if avoidable?


Pedro40 View Post
TST has just changed the rules, so here is an extra advice to optimize your chances to pass the Combine. First, there is a promo valid only today, so if you see this post in time and want to take advantage of it, you have to call them today.

So what is the new rule? They changed the 10/20 days time frame to 10/20 days MINIMUM. That means you only have to trade 10 or 20 days as a minimum, but you can trade MORE days in the allowed 30/60 days frame, assuming your profit target hasn't been reached. Is this good? Well, if your strategy is profitable then yes, it is.

Basicly it transfered the former 20 days Combine to the new 10 days Combine, which is cheaper and the profit target is less. So what is my new strategy advice? here it is:
You have to complete the Combine in a given 30/60 days period. But if you look at the calendar, not every periods are the same!!!

So if you sign up, make sure that you counted for the upcoming market holidays, because depending on your time period, that can add or subtract 2-3 trading days, and that can make a huge difference! A 30 calendar days period can be 19 to 22 trading days, depending on weekends and holidays. Obviously the best day to start is a Monday through Wednesday, with no holidays for the next 4 weeks.

For example signing up for a 20 days (60 calendar days) Combine just after Christmas was a bad idea, because you lost 3 trading days right away (New Year's Day, MLK and Presidents' Day). Of course with the longer Combine you are going to lose at least 1 trading day, but it doesn't have to be 3.....

The easiest Combine to pass (profit wise) is still the 30K/20 days one. In a 42-43 trading days period you have to make 10 ES points per contracts. That is only 0.25 points per day per contract.

Now you know it, go and pass the Combine!


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  #50 (permalink)
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yiehom View Post
My preference goes to the 10 days MINIMUM. Why suffer 10 more days if avoidable?

Now with the changes, you are right. The new 10 days is actually better than the old 20 days, because the profit target being lower.Although overall, the profit target per day is still lower in the 20 days Combines...

But if someone's goal is practicing or testing and not passing the Combine, for a few extra bucks he gets an extra month of trading opportunity....

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