“It's a fundamental shift in attitude that accounts for their success, not some brilliant realization about the market, as most people erroneously assume. This erroneous assumption is prevalent among traders simply because very few of them really understand, at the deepest levels, just how critical a component attitude is in determining one's success.”

TopstepTrader Combine #5, Day 17

Combine #5, Day 17: +3.00pts / +$55 net.

Last week was frustrating for me, but I maintained a relatively good overall attitude which I believe is crucial if I'm going to succeed.

I've been focusing on a couple of work projects that I have going on, but I've still been working on my trading every day (last weekend included). After Friday I knew that I was barking up the wrong tree and that I had allowed myself to go into frustration mode.

I've been doing a much better job with my attitude in general lately and I was able to quickly get over the bad days I'd had and move on. I took a step back with regard to the way I've been approaching my trading and looked for a better way to do things. And I believe that I've found it.

Over the past few days I've been trading in my Stage 5 sim account to test what I'm doing and I'm seeing decent results. It'll be a while before I know for sure if this is something that will continue to work for me, but for the time being I'll keep doing it.

Today I took one winning trade in my Combine account, and then because I didn't want to risk losing the profits I'd made, I took another trade in my Stage 5 sim account - it was a winner too.

So, even though my TST Trade Report will only reflect the 3.00 points I made in my Combine account, it's important for me to recognize that I made another 3.00 points in my sim account.

I'll probably trade in my Combine account again tomorrow.

TopstepTrader Combine #5, Days 15 & 16

Combine #5, Day 15: -12.50pts / -$290 net.

What I'm doing just isn't working.

Combine #5, Day 16: -20.00pts / -$480 net.

After a frustrating day yesterday, I decided that today I would do the opposite - and I did it with a vengeance. That doesn't work.

TopstepTrader Combine #5, Day 14

Combine #5, Day 14: +2.75pts / +$10 net.

A bit of a rough day today. My last trade was the one I needed so I could recover for the day, but it really tested me. It moved to within 1 tick of my stop initially, then it moved to within 1 tick of my target, then it moved back nearly to my stop again – frustrating. It took 24 minutes, but it eventually reached my target and that made my day.

However, I wouldn’t have been in this position if I hadn’t taken a couple of low probability (and impulsive) trades earlier in the session. I’m getting better at knowing the areas and patterns that usually give me problems, but I became a little impatient and did some flailing.

Still, I did a good job of regaining my composure, avoiding most other poor areas, and taking a few more good trades.

TopstepTrader Combine #5, Day 13

Combine #5, Day 13: +2.75pts / +$40 net.

Not a lot of profit, but I avoided poor areas, and the trades I did take were solid and per my plan – so not a bad day.

TopstepTrader Combine #5, Day 12

Combine #5, Day 12: +3.50pts / +$55.00 net.

I was able to be profitable again today. I’m most pleased with the trades that I didn’t take though.

TopstepTrader Combine #5, Day 11

Combine #5, Day 11: +4.75 pts. / +$60 net.

Since my last post I’ve continued to trade, but I’ve been doing it in my Stage 5 sim account. Last week I didn’t really do any better than I did in the previous 10 days of Combine #5.

This week was quite unusual however, due to a lot of family-related things going on. With the exception of today, I was rarely at my desk before the open of NQ at 08:30CT.

This week was also quite unusual in that I traded with more ease (as well as consistent profitability) than I believe I ever have.

I attribute this to a combination of factors: 1) because I was preoccupied with the situation I was dealing with this week, my expectations for my trading were mostly nonexistent – I was merely trading to see what I could do; 2) my financial situation (work) has improved very recently relieving some of the pressure I was putting on myself to succeed with my trading; and 3) (and most importantly) I’ve been working diligently to modify the stream of worrisome, frustrated, fearful, irritated thoughts that I realize have come to be the norm for me. This has had a profound effect on my demeanor and attitude, and I’ve begun to see surprising effects in my circumstances lately.

Today when I found that my sim account had expired, I thought I’d see if I could still trade in my Combine account. Apparently, even though I’ve “blown” the Combine, I still have access to the account and I can still trade until the 20 trading days, or 60 calendar days, are complete.

So I decided to do in my Combine account what I’ve been doing in my sim account. And today I had a day that was very similar to what I’ve been doing this week, which is modest, but consistent gains.

This Combine is lost, but I’m going to use the remaining time to see what I can do.

TopstepTrader Combine #5 Final Results

TopstepTrader Combine #5 Finished

I definitely didn’t want to blow out a Combine, but doing what I did helped me to speed up the process of finding out what is and isn’t going to work for me. And I wasn’t interested in just barely squeaking by another Combine just for the sake of the rollover.

In fact, on Friday I used a simulated account to continue work in the direction that I was going at the end of this Combine, and I actually had a decent day.

I’ll be working on my trading in a sim account for a while, as well as working on some other projects, before I start another Combine. I don’t expect it to be too long though.

Combine Equity Curve Comparison

Here’s the chart I’m using to compare the results of my Combines. Obviously this Combine comes in as the worst of the bunch.

Final Trading Stats Grid for Combine #5:

Final Trade by Trade Chart for Combine #5:

Final daily P&L Chart for Combine #5:

TopstepTrader Combine #5, Day 10

Combine #5, Day 10: -20.00pts / -$445.00 net.

Back to being astonished at how often one can be wrong. Today I hit the Trailing Max Drawdown for Combine #5, so that’s it for this one.

I’ll be taking a break before I start my next Combine. I need to work on some other projects and I’ll also be looking into what I can learn from these past several months of trading.

I'll post the final stats for this Combine sometime this weekend.
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