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YOU ARE YOUR OWN COMBINE

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  #1 (permalink)
Chicago IL
 
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I'm putting this out there for public comment., and I'd really like to see thoughts on it.

If this thought process is out there already, and public knowledge I apologize for being behind the curve.

I've been trading for quite a while. I've faced all the challenges, I suspect, most any trader has faced. "Regular" work interference, family interference, indicator Holy Grail chase, finding the right "system", finding the right market, and so on and so on, and not to mention the biggest challenge we all face every day - the mental challenge of discipline.

So I've finally reached a point where I feel I've ironed out the rough spots (mostly my own mental challenges), carved out enough time from each day to focus on trading, and I've recommitted my self to discipline and focus. And I decided recently that the biggest challenge I face is a small account. If I only had a 25, 50, or $100K account "I could really move forward". Sound familiar?

So to solve this problem I started looking again at TST, E2T, & One UP. I've tried one of these in the past, and found it to be a Bait-And-Switch Shell Game (JMO of course), I won't say which, but I heard they changed so I took another look. After looking at all three options, and doing some quick math in my head, the light bulb came on. They're not doing anything for me I can't already do for myself, and could have been doing for myself all along.

If you're reading this you are likely trading. If you're still trading sim you're doing what you would be doing with any of these "combine" options. The only difference is you would be paying them to administer discipline. The "rules" they place upon you are merely disciplines you should already have mastered as a trader before you start trading with anyone's real money, yours included. If you pass the discipline test and become "funded", look at the "funding" they're offering. Are you really getting a $100K funded account - ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

You are merely getting a notional value. Additionally they then place restrictions on lot size to ensure you don't blow up that "$100K" account. For instance, you're only allowed to trade 3 lots. Well, if you're reading this, and trading a sim account you likely have a broker who allows you to trade on $500 margin, perhaps even $300 margins. If you opened your account with the typical $5,000, you can theoretically trade 10 lots. You shouldn't of course, and wouldn't, but you could. Allowing you to trade 3 lots is allowing you to operate on $1,500 of margin - That's all!!

So think about this:
Pay yourself $350. Place it into a separate bank account, or send it to your trading account. Trade on sim with explicit rules, be honest, BE DISCIPLINED. If you're honest with your self, and you break any rule, "reset" yourself by sending another $100 to your separate account, or trading account and start again. Once you've followed all the rules for a period of time, and become profitable on sim (just as you would on the "Combine"), start trading 2 lots on your live account and place the same rules upon yourself as the Combine company would. if you break any rule, ANY RULE, even once, kick yourself out of your live account, send yourself $350 and start again in sim. Reset if you break rules, and work your way back up to your own live account.

You already have access to the "$25K, $50k, or even $100K" account they're offering. You are paying them to be your baby sitter. And I think any experienced, successful trader will tell you - if you can't demonstrate self control, and self discipline you are not ready to trade real money.

If your response to this is something along the lines of "easier said than done", or if you just can't be honest with yourself, or maintain that discipline not only should you not be trading, you probably shouldn't be paying them every month either.

So IMHO there's absolutely no need to continue to pay for this "Education". You are your own Combine.

This is not meant to be an indictment on these companies in any way. I have no ax to grind with any of them. Just passing along my own "light-bulb moment".

Hope it helps.
BrianB

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  #3 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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bbilotta View Post
I'm putting this out there for public comment., and I'd really like to see thoughts on it.

If this thought process is out there already, and public knowledge I apologize for being behind the curve.

I've been trading for quite a while. I've faced all the challenges, I suspect, most any trader has faced. "Regular" work interference, family interference, indicator Holy Grail chase, finding the right "system", finding the right market, and so on and so on, and not to mention the biggest challenge we all face every day - the mental challenge of discipline.

So I've finally reached a point where I feel I've ironed out the rough spots (mostly my own mental challenges), carved out enough time from each day to focus on trading, and I've recommitted my self to discipline and focus. And I decided recently that the biggest challenge I face is a small account. If I only had a 25, 50, or $100K account "I could really move forward". Sound familiar?

So to solve this problem I started looking again at TST, E2T, & One UP. I've tried one of these in the past, and found it to be a Bait-And-Switch Shell Game (JMO of course), I won't say which, but I heard they changed so I took another look. After looking at all three options, and doing some quick math in my head, the light bulb came on. They're not doing anything for me I can't already do for myself, and could have been doing for myself all along.

If you're reading this you are likely trading. If you're still trading sim you're doing what you would be doing with any of these "combine" options. The only difference is you would be paying them to administer discipline. The "rules" they place upon you are merely disciplines you should already have mastered as a trader before you start trading with anyone's real money, yours included. If you pass the discipline test and become "funded", look at the "funding" they're offering. Are you really getting a $100K funded account - ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

You are merely getting a notional value. Additionally they then place restrictions on lot size to ensure you don't blow up that "$100K" account. For instance, you're only allowed to trade 3 lots. Well, if you're reading this, and trading a sim account you likely have a broker who allows you to trade on $500 margin, perhaps even $300 margins. If you opened your account with the typical $5,000, you can theoretically trade 10 lots. You shouldn't of course, and wouldn't, but you could. Allowing you to trade 3 lots is allowing you to operate on $1,500 of margin - That's all!!

So think about this:
Pay yourself $350. Place it into a separate bank account, or send it to your trading account. Trade on sim with explicit rules, be honest, BE DISCIPLINED. If you're honest with your self, and you break any rule, "reset" yourself by sending another $100 to your separate account, or trading account and start again. Once you've followed all the rules for a period of time, and become profitable on sim (just as you would on the "Combine"), start trading 2 lots on your live account and place the same rules upon yourself as the Combine company would. if you break any rule, ANY RULE, even once, kick yourself out of your live account, send yourself $350 and start again in sim. Reset if you break rules, and work your way back up to your own live account.

You already have access to the "$25K, $50k, or even $100K" account they're offering. You are paying them to be your baby sitter. And I think any experienced, successful trader will tell you - if you can't demonstrate self control, and self discipline you are not ready to trade real money.

If your response to this is something along the lines of "easier said than done", or if you just can't be honest with yourself, or maintain that discipline not only should you not be trading, you probably shouldn't be paying them every month either.

So IMHO there's absolutely no need to continue to pay for this "Education". You are your own Combine.

This is not meant to be an indictment on these companies in any way. I have no ax to grind with any of them. Just passing along my own "light-bulb moment".

Hope it helps.
BrianB

if you contact your broker you can put a lot of the same limits the combines do on your account, its free and only takes a few emails.

-P

"Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie"-Miyamoto Musashi
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  #4 (permalink)
Chicago IL
 
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MiniP
I know some brokers have that ability with respect to your live account, but not sure if they can, or will, with a sim account. In either case I would say your comment is on point and further supports the thought.

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Market Wizard
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bbilotta View Post
MiniP
I know some brokers have that ability with respect to your live account, but not sure if they can, or will, with a sim account. In either case I would say your comment is on point and further supports the thought.

if you cant respect your self while sim trading you shouldn't trade live no matter what restrictions you have. ( not directed at you fyi)

-P

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  #6 (permalink)
the coin hunter
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bbilotta View Post
I... And I decided recently that the biggest challenge I face is a small account. If I only had a 25, 50, or $100K account "I could really move forward". Sound familiar?
...

problem solved, you just need to borrow 500 bucks.

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MiniP View Post
if you contact your broker you can put a lot of the same limits the combines do on your account, its free and only takes a few emails.

-P

External restrictions is not solution. Ok, risk is limited, what next ?

Who will force trader to enter and exit according to plan ?

Intention = action. If you can't do that ...

I have 100 trade challenge for you to build discipline : Make a plan for entry & exit and take a trade by plan.
And make a little analysis per 10 trade.

Example :

1st 10 trades - 5/10 according to plan
2nd 10 trades - 7/10 according to plan
...
last 10 trades - 10/10 according to plan

Important is to make progress.

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  #8 (permalink)
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I don't agree with this.


Quoting 
So I've finally reached a point where I feel I've ironed out the rough spots … And I decided recently that the biggest challenge I face is a small account. If I only had a 25, 50, or $100K account "I could really move forward". Sound familiar?

I think the number one problem for a starting trader is not a small account, but not being profitable. You “feel like you ironed the rough spots” but, did you really? (not you specifically, think about the average trader) The only proof is to do it live (not sim) for many months. If you’re absolutly sure you’re there, then the obvious answer is to get a loan. But if you’re contemplating the option of a combine it’s because you could be profitable, but you’re not sure yet. You could lose money.


Quoting 
If you're reading this you are likely trading. If you're still trading sim you're doing what you would be doing with any of these "combine" options. The only difference is you would be paying them to administer discipline. The "rules" they place upon you are merely disciplines you should already have mastered as a trader before you start trading with anyone's real money, yours included.

The goal of the combine is not to teach you to trade or discipline, it’s a test to get funded. Obviously, it doesn’t make sense to do a combine until you’ve proven repeatedly in sim mode that you can pass them.


Quoting 
If you pass the discipline test and become "funded", look at the "funding" they're offering. Are you really getting a $100K funded account - ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

You are merely getting a notional value. Additionally they then place restrictions on lot size to ensure you don't blow up that "$100K" account. For instance, you're only allowed to trade 3 lots. Well, if you're reading this, and trading a sim account you likely have a broker who allows you to trade on $500 margin, perhaps even $300 margins. If you opened your account with the typical $5,000, you can theoretically trade 10 lots. You shouldn't of course, and wouldn't, but you could. Allowing you to trade 3 lots is allowing you to operate on $1,500 of margin - That's all!!

The fact they’re lying about the size of the account does not mean it’s not interesting to do it. Let’s be honest, what they really offer is margin for X contracts + usually a 10x leverage on the fee IF you pass the test. In Oneup for example, for 125$ you have margin for up to 3 contracts and a max drawdown of 1500$. It’s like paying 120$ to trade with a 1500$ account (10x leverage), with the benefits of having the margins even if you lose 1000$. The downside is the strict rules, the split and the fact that you could fail the test. However, you could fail 7 times and it could still be profitable to do it, depending on your trading style.


Quoting 
Pay yourself $350. Place it into a separate bank account, or send it to your trading account. Trade on sim with explicit rules, be honest, BE DISCIPLINED. If you're honest with your self, and you break any rule, "reset" yourself by sending another $100 to your separate account, or trading account and start again. Once you've followed all the rules for a period of time, and become profitable on sim (just as you would on the "Combine"),

As I said, you’re supposed to do that before doing a combine, not using one to practice.


Quoting 
start trading 2 lots on your live account and place the same rules upon yourself as the Combine company would. if you break any rule, ANY RULE, even once, kick yourself out of your live account, send yourself $350 and start again in sim. Reset if you break rules, and work your way back up to your own live account.

To trade 2 lots you need 1000$ just for the margin. Then say you add 350$ extra. If you lose 3.5 points on 2 contracts you’re done, margin call and you lost the 350$. You could be out in 1 trade. That’s not a good way to see if your profitable.

What could you get for 350$ with a combine? you could try a 120$ Oneup challenge to be able to trade with 1500$. You could do up to 3 tests. If you fail them all, you were not ready to trade live. If you pass one (let’s say the 3rd one), you now can trade a 1500$ account, with no margin calls until you lose it all. Much better than doing your own combine. If you’re really sure about your ability, you could also try the 100K challenge for 300$ and trade with a 3500$ account and margin for up to 12 contracts.

The only real problem is the rules. But at that point, you should know if your trading method fits the rules or not.

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  #9 (permalink)
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MiniP View Post
if you contact your broker you can put a lot of the same limits the combines do on your account, its free and only takes a few emails.

-P

Well said!

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  #10 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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spooz2 View Post
Well said!

Again this not solution.
You must set limits / rules for yourself and follow them !

Do you wake up by alarm clock or you boss needs to call you and tell its time to come to work ?
Do you stop on the red light or your wife needs to driver with our on passenger seat and tell
you see red light you really need to stop ?

...

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Market Wizard
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lemons View Post
Again this not solution.
You must set limits / rules for yourself and follow them !

Do you wake up by alarm clock or you boss needs to call you and tell its time to come to work ?
Do you stop on the red light or your wife needs to driver with our on passenger seat and tell
you see red light you really need to stop ?

...

your not wrong but there is nothing wrong with cutting the temptations down. using an example similar to yours .... You should always put the safety on a gun even though its empty... same with trading. What if you accidentally press 2 zeros when you submit a 10 lot and get filled on 100?? if you set your account to not except more then 10 then you would be safe. Its not only about following the rules is also about doing things safe and trying to avoid mistakes. I've set all my accounts up like this and set extreme limits in the case of a black swan event... I've double clicked and gotten filled on 2 10's its not worth the anxiety to deal with when I can send an email and never have to worry about it.

-P

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Market Wizard
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MiniP View Post
your not wrong but there is nothing wrong with cutting the temptations down. using an example similar to yours .... You should always put the safety on a gun even though its empty... same with trading. What if you accidentally press 2 zeros when you submit a 10 lot and get filled on 100?? if you set your account to not except more then 10 then you would be safe. Its not only about following the rules is also about doing things safe and trying to avoid mistakes. I've set all my accounts up like this and set extreme limits in the case of a black swan event... I've double clicked and gotten filled on 2 10's its not worth the anxiety to deal with when I can send an email and never have to worry about it.

-P

Yes this is safe safeguard.

But real problem is people can't follow the self-imposed rules.
New Year's resolution and so on ...

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Legendary Market Wizard
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I think one of the allures here is that you can trade larger size without as much fear of destroying your own account. It doesn't matter if a $150,000.00 account isn't really the $150,000.00 they claim it is, from your perspective, it is $150,000.00 of virtual whatever that you can trade 4 contracts on at just over 0.0025% risk (well under the daily drawdown (assuming realistic stops), not too scary from an overall drawdown either, as opposed to 4 contracts on a small personal account.

Not saying that this is the right or wrong way to go about your trading journey, just saying I get the appeal.

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  #14 (permalink)
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bbilotta View Post
I'm putting this out there for public comment., and I'd really like to see thoughts on it.

...

So think about this:
Pay yourself $350. Place it into a separate bank account, or send it to your trading account. Trade on sim with explicit rules, be honest, BE DISCIPLINED. If you're honest with your self, and you break any rule, "reset" yourself by sending another $100 to your separate account, or trading account and start again. Once you've followed all the rules for a period of time, and become profitable on sim (just as you would on the "Combine"), start trading 2 lots on your live account and place the same rules upon yourself as the Combine company would. if you break any rule, ANY RULE, even once, kick yourself out of your live account, send yourself $350 and start again in sim. Reset if you break rules, and work your way back up to your own live account.

I think the original idea of @bbilotta is very reasonable, if it is something you as a trader want to do and could benefit from, which is each person's choice.

For myself, as a (to be honest) somewhat weak-willed wimp, it doesn't appeal to me at all. When I have made up my own program (I call them a "Bobbine" ), I am in charge and it turns out that I can simply cheat and the judge (me) does not stop me.

(Yes, I've traded live, a lot. Now I hang onto the money and do Combines. Well, I said I was a wimp.)

I do think people get too serious about this whole Combine/evaluation thing, both pro and con. I have done a bunch of Combines. I found them much better, for me, than any sim trading program I put together for myself. The fact that there is someone else looking over my shoulder, and that I have put up the (not enormous) sum for a monthly Combine, has worked well for me. This may not be the case for someone else, which is fine with me.

It has been said that the point of the Combine is not to learn how to trade, but to get funded. This is fine with me too. If I ever learn how to do this trading thing, then I will also see if I can trick someone into funding me. Why not?

I am completely willing to admit publicly that I am using this Combine thing as a crutch, and that I need one. If someone else doesn't, that's perfectly fine with me too. If all you use it for is to create some structure and some discipline, and if instead you can do that on your own, then go for it. Eventually it's going to come from yourself anyway, and in the meantime I am using whatever tools come to hand. Progress comes from small steps, and this is helping. If it doesn't work for someone else, and they have some other plan, terrific. That's what they should do instead.

Essentially, if you want to do a Combine, for whatever reason, then do one. If not, then don't. Not everyone should, but some will find it worth doing.

Bob.

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bobwest View Post
I think the original idea of @bbilotta is very reasonable, if it is something you as a trader want to do and could benefit from, which is each person's choice.

For myself, as a (to be honest) somewhat weak-willed wimp, it doesn't appeal to me at all. When I have made up my own program (I call them a "Bobbine" ), I am in charge and it turns out that I can simply cheat and the judge (me) does not stop me.

(Yes, I've traded live, a lot. Now I hang onto the money and do Combines. Well, I said I was a wimp.)

I do think people get too serious about this whole Combine/evaluation thing, both pro and con. I have done a bunch of Combines. I found them much better, for me, than any sim trading program I put together for myself. The fact that there is someone else looking over my shoulder, and that I have put up the (not enormous) sum for a monthly Combine, has worked well for me. This may not be the case for someone else, which is fine with me.

It has been said that the point of the Combine is not to learn how to trade, but to get funded. This is fine with me too. If I ever learn how to do this trading thing, then I will also see if I can trick someone into funding me. Why not?

I am completely willing to admit publicly that I am using this Combine thing as a crutch, and that I need one. If someone else doesn't, that's perfectly fine with me too. If all you use it for is to create some structure and some discipline, and if instead you can do that on your own, then go for it. Eventually it's going to come from yourself anyway, and in the meantime I am using whatever tools come to hand. Progress comes from small steps, and this is helping. If it doesn't work for someone else, and they have some other plan, terrific. That's what they should do instead.

Essentially, if you want to do a Combine, for whatever reason, then do one. If not, then don't. Not everyone should, but some will find it worth doing.

Bob.

on a different note (or should I say semi-related perhaps) - there are no "WEAK" people - there are weak people at SOMETHING SPECIFIC - I have seen in the military guys so small and thin that if I sneezed it would blow them away - but yet performed the best pull-ups /push-up and their mental fortitude was phenomenal under pressure - and on the other side have seen a story about an ex navy seals guy who went through a similar nasty 3 year divorce like myself and the poor guy poured gasoline on himself in front of the court steps and lit himself on fire.


Apologies for deviating from the main subject - I just saw the words "wimp" / "weak" and wanted to throw my 2 cents out there on the subject - it's just that the media and society has ingrained in us this generalization of putting one in a pattern of weak or strong.


Cheers,
S.


P.S. : Bob - I personally think you are one strong determined individual

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ziggy123 View Post
Apologies for deviating from the main subject - I just saw the words "wimp" / "weak" and wanted to throw my 2 cents out there on the subject - it's just that the media and society has ingrained in us this generalization of putting one in a pattern of weak or strong.


Cheers,
S.


P.S. : Bob - I personally think you are one strong determined individual



I'll go with determined. I used "wimp" deliberately... I do need (or at least I can make use of) external discipline, which was my only point. Maybe someone else doesn't need it, which is fine too.

Basically, I'll take whatever help I can get, and whether that is strong or weak, I don't care too much.

Thanks for saying this, though. I'll take compliments too.

Bob.

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lemons View Post
Again this not solution.
You must set limits / rules for yourself and follow them !

Do you wake up by alarm clock or you boss needs to call you and tell its time to come to work ?
Do you stop on the red light or your wife needs to driver with our on passenger seat and tell
you see red light you really need to stop ?

...

I don't have a boss. I drove thru so many red lights and I am now in jail. I now have all the discipline needed, enforced by the guards. My trading is better than I have ever seen, so good that the warden has funded me. My wife gives me the green light on conjugal visits. Life is the ultimate combine but the food could be better.

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  #18 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
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GET TO THE COMBINE!!

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