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Anybody heard of topsteptrader (review)

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Here, and elsewhere in your post, you make some very good points, of course - and you make them well. It's interesting to see your views, Tpredictor.


I think the underlying reason is perhaps that, at least to some extent, "it works" in that they are actually successfully funding some people who wouldn't otherwise be able to trade futures at all, and that is, after all, their target market?

I agree that @tpredictor's points are interesting and make sense from the perspective he is using. I would say that he should therefore not try the Combine, and, of course, he has decided not to.

It's important to realize that not everything is right for every person. Many critics of TST probably should just conclude "it's not for me," and move on.

As for why TST is doing it, the answer seems very simple. They are looking for traders for their prop firm. They are not really training anyone to trade (although trading the Combine has its value over pure sim trading because there is something at stake for the trader.) They are in fact just looking for people who can trade, within their rule structure, that they can offer to hire for their prop business. Is the rule structure not right for you? Then don't trade it.

They have actually funded a very large number of traders; they make announcements of the new funded traders every month or so. I assume some of those traders go on to make money. I know that some don't (we see some say so in their journals on FIO.) I assume that the more successful ones tend to eventually take some or all of the money and put it into their own accounts and trade them instead, because the profit split is better (100%) and the tax treatment is much better (you're an independent contractor with TST, and, because you're not trading your own capital, your earnings are ordinary income at the same tax rate you pay for employment earnings.)

I would assess the odds of success in getting funded, and then succeeding as a funded trader, as pretty low. The odds of failing as a short-term trader are often quoted as being in the 90% range (although I don't know exactly where that comes from, and it might be worse), so the odds of succeeding in the TST universe should be fairly low as well, and it seems to be so, from the many journal posts on the subject.

Personally, I think the Combine is worthwhile, assuming you can trade within the loss rules, mainly because of the discipline of being accountable, with something at stake (the money you put up) -- unlike in pure sim, where you can just say "la-la-la" and reset your sim account. So it's good practice, basically, and not being free is a feature, not a bug. If you can't afford $165 a month, or whatever you choose, you have bigger problems than needing to learn how to trade.

A person who has a job and a little personal discipline can save up enough, in time, to self-fund an account. The main thing is not the funding, it's learning how to trade. I think this is always an individual matter, and the Combine is just a tool to facilitate it. It's still basically all you.

But if your basic assessment is that the rules don't make sense for you, then save the money and find another way to get where you want to go.


Last edited by bobwest; January 4th, 2017 at 11:30 AM.
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