Trading EducationPosted by Team TopstepApril 28, 2021
Coach T Wants To Help You Prep
Hello, traders. Today we’re going to talk a bit about how to set yourself up for success each and every day. It all starts with your preparation habits. Think about it like painting a room in your house. The prep work is the most critical and time-consuming part of the project; taping, laying tarp, priming, picking colors, getting the right brushes and rollers. The more prepared you are, the easier the actual painting is. The same goes for trading.
Routines Set You Up For The Day
When you sit down to get to work, you should be focused and have a clear head. Sounds easy enough, right? Some people can just roll out of bed in the morning and get right to it. However, for the rest of us, we need some time to get the blood and oxygen flowing before we start making any serious trading decisions.
One way to put yourself in the right mindset is to have a well-established routine. Not only will starting the day being productive set the tone for the rest of your day, but it can also help to lower stress levels.
Building healthy and sustainable habits isn’t always easy. It requires discipline, but a structured process can help bring consistency to your trading. Plan your meals ahead of time, exercise, meditate, stretch, study, whatever… These are just a few examples of the things you can include in your daily routine. Start small, so you don’t burn out. Eventually, you will find that you’ve created the ultimate plan of attack for the trading day.
How Prepared Are You, Really?
First things first. What are your expectations for the trading day? What markets are you going to trade? Do you have a loss limit or a profit target in place? These are questions you need to ask yourself. Let’s run through a shortlist of preliminary “prep” questions to get you started.
What market are you going to trade?
Playing to your strengths is a big piece of the puzzle. Do you prefer slower-moving markets like Treasuries or the high-flying moves of the speedy Nasdaq? You also have to take into consideration the size of the account that you’re trading. High volatility and an under-funded trading account are a recipe for disaster. Start with a slow market if you have to, just to get your feet wet. No one wants to blow out of their account on the first day because they don’t know how to handle volatility!
What time of day will you be trading?
Is trading a full-time or part-time job for you? Markets move differently based on the time of day. This is a real thing. Do you know when the bulk of the daily volume trades in the markets you’re tracking? Well, you should!
If you’re doing this part-time and only have time to trade after-hours, you might want to spend some time researching a market that trades a little heavier overnight. If you’re a full-time trader, you need to be aware of daytime events like economic report releases and the “New York Lunch Hour” to set a schedule for when NOT to be in the market during the day.
What does your trading environment look like?
Maybe you trade from home in a workspace you set up yourself or go to an outside office to get out of the house. Do you prefer to trade alone, or do you like having a group of people around to share ideas?
You should be trading in a place that best suits your character traits. That’s why it’s also important to spend time on self-reflection before getting started trading. The more you know yourself, the more likely you will be to set yourself up for success. A toxic environment can poison your trading.
Set Up Your TraderIQ Trading Plan
In your Topstep dashboard, under the TraderIQ tab, you now have the ability to set up and edit your very own trading plan. The new trading plan features include:
Personal Daily Loss Limit – So you know when to stop trading for the day.
Max Number of Trades Per Day – To keep you focused on better trade opportunities.
Max Losing Streak – So your emotions don’t take over and get you in trouble.
Test That Sh*t Out, First!
Did you know the Trading Combine and Funded Account both come with a complimentary Practice Account? Well, now you do.
When you’re developing new setups and strategies, you don’t trade them live until you’ve backtested and simulated them. How else would you know if they work? We know this, so we added the Practice Account feature to give you a leg up on trade discovery.
Our Practice Account uses real-time exchange data to simulate a live trading environment. You can customize your platform to look identical to your Trading Combine or Funded Account setup and reset it as many times as you want.
For more actionable daily content, Coach Hoag and Coach Hodge go live every morning before the opening bell for the Market Forecast and again in the afternoon for the Daily Market Recap. Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and you’ll get notifications each time we go live!
Plan your work, and work your plan. We’ll be here to help you every step of the way. Trade Well!