As someone who has gone through quite a few trader evaluation programs and on to become a funded trader, I thought I’d share a few things that might be helpful to those just starting out, or who are struggling to pass. I’ve been through all the highs and lows believe me.
I’ve put up other posts with more specific tips on how to pass the evaluations, you can read that here: Tips to Pass TopStep Trader/OneUp Trader/LeeLoo Trading/Earn2Trade, so this article is more about the transition from evaluation to funded trader tips.
Take Your Time and Build A Buffer
Now that you are funded, there’s really no time requirements at all. This is a long term deal, so don’t rush to make quick money. If anything, take it very, very slow at first. Just my recommendation. Build up a balance, create a buffer. Some programs have daily loss limits, but some don’t, so whatever your balance you build is becomes effectively how much buffer you have. Build that buffer up!
Set A Daily Loss Limit
Regardless if your program has it’s own daily loss limit for your account (most do but not all), you can certainly set a more conservative loss limit. With any program that uses Rithmic, you can manually set your own max daily loss, and if you hit it, it will kick you out. Now, it isn’t a hard lock out – you could go right back in and change the amount, but it would at least give you pause. I highly recommend you stick with it though, you set your own daily loss limit for a reason.
Set Goals Long Term
Day to day trading can go lots of ways. Big winner, big loser, small winner, small loser, maybe start strong then fizzle out, maybe start bad and you recoup and rally. The longer you trade, the more experience you’ll have with all the scenarios. I encourage you to set longer term goals though. They can be, but don’t have to all be, financial. For example, I do set financial goals based on what size I trade, my general win/loss ratio, etc. So for example I might say okay my goal is to average $500 per day, or try to get to $10,000 this month. I know it won’t be a steady $500 per day graph at all. And if I’m behind, that’s okay. But to have something to work towards is good for me.
As well I work heavily on my stats. I track everything – win loss ratio, mfe, mae, average profit per tick by product, average time in trade winner and loser, etc. I do all this using Tradervue myself (www.tradervue.com) which is a paid product, but well worth the $50/month I pay. Just download your trades each day, upload to Tradervue, and it takes care of calculating all the stats.
Be Proud Of Your Accomplishment
Passing trader evaluations is actually pretty tough. Some of the rules put in place are tougher than the real world. For example, if you hit your own daily loss limit in the real world, you just get locked out for the day. Do it with TopStep and you bust your evaluation. As well when you take a step back and look at the goals of the evaluations – for example, trade up to 15 lots and make $9,000 in 15 days, it’s doable of course, but you have to take on more risk than really one would in the real world.
So when you pass, be glad you passed, and be proud. And do NOT blow your funded account! As someone who has done this, the feeling is horrible. You just wasted 3 weeks of hard work, you’ve wasted the money you put in, it’s also a lost opportunity, and you might feel like a bit of a failure to be honest. So don’t blow your funded account.
When appropriate, withdraw some of that profit from your funded account and treat yourself. Some people just like being able to withdraw whatever they spent on evaluations, and that alone is enough to feel fulfilled. Personally, I like “stuff”. Something I can look at and go “I got that with my first withdraw as a futures trader”. Buy something completely fun. Book a vacation. Get something trading related you said you wouldn’t get until you got funded. Maybe its a new ultra wide monitor. Regardless if you go for material things or not, I encourage you to withdraw something just to know the money is real.
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Futures and forex trading contains substantial risk and is not for every investor. An investor could potentially lose all or more than the initial investment. Risk capital is money that can be lost without jeopardizing ones’ financial security or life style. Only risk capital should be used for trading and only those with sufficient risk capital should consider trading. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.
Hypothetical Performance Disclosure:
Hypothetical performance results have many inherent limitations, some of which are described below. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those shown; in fact, there are frequently sharp differences between hypothetical performance results and the actual results subsequently achieved by any particular trading program. One of the limitations of hypothetical performance results is that they are generally prepared with the benefit of hindsight. In addition, hypothetical trading does not involve financial risk, and no hypothetical trading record can completely account for the impact of financial risk of actual trading. for example, the ability to withstand losses or to adhere to a particular trading program in spite of trading losses are material points which can also adversely affect actual trading results. There are numerous other factors related to the markets in general or to the implementation of any specific trading program which cannot be fully accounted for in the preparation of hypothetical performance results and all which can adversely affect trading results.
You can read more here: Risk Disclosure
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