I am starting this journal to outline my experience in doing a Combine with Top Step Trader. My road began awhile ago as it seems like Ninja Trader was promised (or hoped for) on TST for some time. Finally it is here. I was using their T4 software and was prepared to proceed with it as I grew tired of waiting for Ninja Trader to happen. Now that it is here I have stated the combine today. I should note that they still have some trade report issues. My goal was to post those daily on days I traded but since todays is not remotely accurate I will wait until they sort it out. My goal is to share my experience with the combine and answer any questions for anyone that is thinking about taking one or joining TST. I have had a membership for several months with them. I read other journals on futures.io (formerly BMT) of others that did the Combine and found it useful in my decision on whether i would go this route and try one myself. Also, since this is my first journal and I do not know exactly what others on here may be interested in seeing please do let me know. I am happy to provide as time allows. I was going to post my NT account performance but again was not sure what those on here wanted to see.
Today was a good day. I traded about 2 hours today 8:30-10:30 CST. My goal was to at least meet my daily avg necessary to pass the combine. I have a limit of 15 contracts and am trading CL and ES. Since i did not want to risk any drawdowns and if I did have any today I wanted them to be minimal i kept my position size small. My lot size was max 4 on ES and 2 on CL averaging abou 1.5 contracts per trade on CL and 2 on ES. I know this is very small but for my first day I thought it to be prudent to be more careful. My trading reflected that. I also had some technical glitches. They had me setup for max 5 lots. I actually had a 4 lot on my first ES trade and wanted to add to it but when i tried to add another 2 it would not let me. I quickly contacted TST and they resolved it but it did cost me some $$ as the trade was a winner. They also wanted me to check if it was fixed so I put a 15 lot on and then quickly took it off at break even just to make sure i could place and execute the trade. That cost 75.00 in commission alone as well. This again, is why i wanted to go smaller in case of any issues like this. I'm glad I did. I netted almost 800.00 today and will wait and see how long it takes them to iron out the reports. If i get anything close to accurate tonight i will update and post it but as of now they only have my CL report and nothing for ES.
Last edited by rickmaz; November 5th, 2012 at 07:11 PM.
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Todays trading did not go so well. The issue with Ninja Trader seems to be ongoing. There is mass problem with pending order submissions freezing up. The only way to (maybe) kill the order is shut down ninja and restart. Sometimes (depending on how far it actually made it) it will kill before going to broker, sometimes not. I placed a few trades that locked up. By the time i rebooted they had filled me and i was stopped out. The thing is on both trades i had a resting order below market and tried to pull the order but it would not let me. To top it off the TST website, chat, Squawk Radio is all down (or was in the morning) so i could not even reach anyone. I have spoken with someone there who was VERY helpful and am working with them (sending NT trade logs and such) so they can see what the issue is and resolve. They also were very helpful and are working with me to either not count those trades from today or let me restart the Combine since I am only on day two. I found out that yesterday they only counted 300 of my 800 in profits so its just still a bit buggy.
In my other life I am a programmer and I do understand that there are always issues, especially in the beginning. I should have known better and either waited or just used their T4 platform as i knew this could be an issue. I did trade for 10 trading days on NT before starting the combine to help assure me they had most of the kinks worked out but apparently they are not. I am confident though they will work it out. I would like to get to actually sending you charts and logs and stuff and will do so once we figure out how they are going to proceed with these issues. I am waiting to hear back from them now.
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Thanks for your patience, some of the problems seem to stem from the storm on the east coast and I believe you should have smooth sailing from here on out. We are looking forward to seeing you succeed. As always, let us know if you have any other questions or problems and we will always do our best to help.
Thanks Hoag --- Yes, things seemed to be better today. I did not have any execution issues today while testing but since there was an issue almost all three days (more 2 or the 3) TST agreed to reset my combine if I wanted and start over. Since there was logs also lost (which they said they could not recover) I thought this was best. So I will be starting again and will post updates and results.
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Okay TST reset my combine since most of last week was system issues. I started a new one today so hopefully I can go until completion on this one I have to say today was slow due to holiday but the market was fairly well behaved considering this. No execution issues and at least my net PNL is correct on the TST reports (I have not had a chance to check the other figures).
Trading wise today I traded CL and ES. My plan was to start out small and try to build some profits (actually I want to do this for first 2-3 days at least). Slow and steady. Besides one trade at the end of the day i was overall happy with my position sizing. Due to holiday i was not expecting 5-10 point moves or trades so I played for targets on the trades and did not hold runners. I could have got more out of 'almost' every trade but my goal for today was to just have several good trades and make a decent amount based on avg lot size. My max allowed is 15 but my avg on CL was 3 contracts and on ES about 5 so i could have made more profits if i went larger or held more but that was not the plan for today.
I put on a trade too large at end of day that would have worked but since it was violating my rules I pulled it and took less profit to reduce risk. I attached charts and my TST reports as well in case anyone is interested.
Again, the main purpose when I started this journal was to share my TST combine experience itself but if any one has any questions about anything else i am happy to answer if I can.
Profit today was $710.00. I actually lost $90.00 on CL and made $800.00 on ES for net of $710 after commissions.
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Sorry for not updating yesterday. There was again a very weird execution issue with Ninja today that cost me a big winner. They actually showed me selling a 10 lot bu never buying it back but showed me flat which is impossible. It was actually a 700.00 winner but it is basically gone. They are researching it as it seems to have everyone puzzled. They are going to get with Ninja and Zen-fire to try to see what happened because even as of now on their end they show me not closed out of 4 of the contracts which they know of course I am. In any event I still managed to make $910.00 for the morning. All my tries were 1-2 lots pretty much except this one big one which if course would have doubled almost my profit for the day. Since Ninja actually had me at 910.00 for the day (even though I knew it should be more) i just stopped. This is also keeping with my 'take it slow and easy' for first few days approach i had setup at the beginning. So while that is being researched i must carry on. In all fairness, they claim no one els is having these types of issues. Not sure why i would be the only one. Monday went perfectly fine but it was holiday with very low volume. Not sure if that had anything to do with it or not but i trust they will find it and get to the bottom of it. I must re-iterate. TST is in a soft launch of Ninja. Besides those that were already on board with them and heard about it they have not made any big push for it as they want to iron out the kinks and I knew this going in (as I have mentioned before). Still, i have to report what happens day in and day out.
I will attach my charts from yesterday. I just left out the profit from the 10 lot trade and chalked it up to a wash for that particular trade.
For todays trading, I was on the phone with TST sending them logs and trying to get tot he bottom of this issue so I did not have a chance to do my normal chart markup today. Today was a winning day +955.00 and I have attached the TST trade report for all three days combined. Today there was also a more minor issue but orders being stuck and i had to completely restart Ninja. It cost me another 100-150 as I only had a 2 lot on but in the grand scheme of things i guess I will just have to deal with it until things get completely ironed out, which i am confident they will.
I have noticed another issue they are looking into which I wonder if anyone else using them with Ninja is experiencing ans that is it takes a LONG tie to actually make the zen-fire connection? I have another broker as well that also using zen-fire and my connection with them is literally 5-10 seconds if that. Same with disconnect With TST/zen-fire it is MINUTES, like 3-6 minutes just to connect. They said they would look into it but would be interesting to know if anyone else is having that issue.
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