#008: John Hoagland from Top Step Trader

EP 008
The Traderview Episode 008 - John Hoagland - Top Step Trader

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Show Notes


Q: Tell us about your background. 

  • John is a third-generation trader! 

Q: Do you remember your first big winning trade? What did you do with the money? 

  • His first big trade was the biggest trade he ever made. 
  • What did he do with it? He gave half, and went back to trading the next day  

Q: At what point did trading become your primary source of income? 

  • John traded and worked a second job from 1983 until he quit his second job in 1992. 

Q: What does a typical day look like for you?  

  • John’s typical day starts at 5 a.m. to catch the train to the office. 
  • John looks for opportunities and takes calls from others, trades throughout the day and works on educational opportunities for other traders. 

Q: What markets do you trade and why? 

  • John trades the S&Ps, although it’s difficult to read on screen. Recently, he has expanded to crude oil and gold. 

Q: What is your favorite trading strategy in today’s market? 

  • Market profile and market state trader as well as volume profile 

Q: What is different about your approach compared to other traders? 

  • No two traders will look at the market the same, but the difference comes with emotion, psychological makeup and skills  

Q: How does your strategy differ for generating income versus building wealth? 

  • When building wealth more about balancing different asset classes. 
  • John considers trading for income and investment. 

Q: How would you trade a $5,000 account differently than a $50,000 account?  

  • John would be trading more contracts and looking for bigger swings in the markets. 

Q: How do you limit risk? 

  • John manages risk by limited the amount of money in his account 

Q: What trading platform do you use primarily? 

  • John likes the CTST 4 platform the most as he learned on that, but he also likes NinjaTrader, Sierra Charts and Jigsaw 

Q: Which indicator could you not live without? 

  • John doesn’t use many indicators 

Q: Do you keep a trading plan and trading journal? 

  • Yes, your trading journal is your business plan!  
  • Read, review and repeat 

Q: What do you like most about trading and what do you like the least? 

  • John likes the feeling he gets when he is right about a trade! 

Q: Was there a specific turning point where you went from consistently losing money to being consistently profitable? 

  • John was struggling in the S&P and a friend brought him a book and told him to hide it and read the first 100 pages the book.  

Q: What was your best month as a trader? Your worst month? 

  • First month as proprietary trader was John’s worst month 

Q: Do you have a favorite story about how your success in the market allowed you to impact the lives of others? 

  • John’s kids and wife has been positively impacted 
  • Seeing people he’s advised over the years achieve success makes John happy 

Q: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your 20-year-old self? 

  • Buy Microsoft, Apple and Starbucks stocks and stay in art school. 
  • Have no fear 

Q: How do you measure success in life? 

  • Passion, positive impact on others and whether you’re tired at the end of every day 

Q: What have you had to sacrifice to get where you are today? 

  • John has sacrificed the pigment in and presence of hair! 

Q: If you could do it all over again, is there anything that you would have done differently? 

  • No, he would have not done anything differently unless there is an opportunity to have more of a positive effect on people 

Q: What is your biggest challenge as a trader?

  • John’s biggest challenge was moving from pit to screen because he had to unlearn the pit to positively respond to the screen  

Q: What is the biggest difference between successful traders and unsuccessful traders? 

  • The biggest differences are planning and risk management 

Q: If you had one important piece of advice to give to a new trader what would it be?

  • Do not trade your own money 
  • Learn to trade on a simulator 

Q: How has your mindset evolved over time? 

  • John has learned to act the opposite of his emotions 

Q: How should someone handle losing streaks? 

  • John likes to break both types of streaks, winning and losing 
  • Winning and losing streaks will lead you to make emotional decisions
  • Take a day off 

Audience Q+A

Q: What percentage of individuals that start in a trading combine achieve a funded account? 

  • A: How does that help you? This is your journey and they are all different.  

Q: Who are your biggest trading influences today?

  • A: John’s biggest influences are the people that taught him his skills. 

Q: What is the best way to find a mentor?

  • A: At Top Step, you get a complimentary mentor. From other sources, mentors can be very expensive so vet them extensively. You can also self-mentor, and John tells you how.  

Q: I have heard you might start a live trade room within TopStepTrader, is that true?

  • A: You never know! 

Q: What is the process to join the TopStepTrader combine and what does it cost?

  • A: Visit TopStepTrader.com to find out! 

Q: If you had the power to make something required reading for every high school senior in the world, what would that be? 

  • A: Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales 

Q: What is the next step in your evolution as a trader? 

  • A: John’s path works for him, so he will continue this way 

Q: What is the best way to get in touch with you? 


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“There are a million ways to skin a cat”

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“This is your journey."

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“Have no fear, just do it.”

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“Evolution happens in spite of you, not because of you.”

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3 Action Steps

  1. Increase market knowledge constantly
  2. Increase self-knowledge constantly
  3. Think: risk first

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How to Get More Free Training from John Hoagland

Get More Free Training from Ted Posobiec: WINvesting.com/#winners

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Resources and Links

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About John Hoagland

Ted Posobiec is the host of the "E-Mini Insider" daily trading room at WINvesting.com.Ted was a stock trader for over 18 years, and started trading E-mini futures five years ago. For the past three years, his "full time" job has been day trading ("full time"meaning about 1-2 hours a day on average). He trades several different systems and styles, and likes to help others find what works best for them.

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