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Mergodon TopSteptrader Live Account Journaling

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  #51 (permalink)
Super Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, Sierra Chart
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Congratulations on your win.

I have occasionally wondered what was going on with you, and I'm glad to see that you have been able to succeed at the Combine.

Let us know what happens next, when you know....

Bob.

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  #52 (permalink)
Budapest, Hungary
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Broker: TopstepTrader
Trading: NQ, TF, YM
 
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Posts: 469 since May 2013
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Long road had to be finished. Lots of up and downs, but I didn't give it up and after one year I still love to do it so here I am.
I will consider to start journal again we will see.

Máté
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  #53 (permalink)
Budapest, Hungary
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker: TopstepTrader
Trading: NQ, TF, YM
 
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Posts: 469 since May 2013
Thanks: 633 given, 1,531 received

Live Trade Preparation is needed


Sorry for my english in advance, maybe it will be to hard, or not right, but this is not my first language. I have been recieved an email, which looks for me a template, and not a tailored email to personally me. Of course I do understand than @TopstepTrader has a right to do their best to the investors and the equity partners, to gain as much as they can with a minimal risk in place, but still.

So the situation is the following:
- I have to complie a Live Trader Preparation. It is fine in one hand if we are knowing that I have been tried 18 times to do combine, and only the last one was successfull. On the other hand my last attempts was 92% winning days, with a one day looser of 500USD. But it is still oke for me. I have been spend more than 4000USD on the combines, and they are asking one more for free, with 3000USD profit target in 10 days. Looks pretty easy. If you are not able to do it, than you can say that you are not fit to the team right? Right.

But here is the twist:
- They are asking me to use T4 platform instead of NinjaTrader. ?!?!?!!!! ooo Why? Of course I can apply for a Ninjadata feed, and to the trading on T4, but after 18 combines money, why dont I have the right to continue to use Ninja? It is looks a bit pity for me....
- They are asking me to use different scaling methadology... Why? I do understand in one hand for scalpers it is not an issue, but I like to call it a day after one day. In 50% of my trades are 1-3 trade in the first 30 minutes of the market open. I really dont like to trade or push more, because my edge is here. Now I have been forced to use 2 lots instead of my 7 lots. Really. I have been tailored this strategy to have 10 tick SL with 30 tick winner on YM. I have been analyzed a lot to have my edge on YM, now they are asking me to do lot more. Of course it is doable, but this is different. In my lasts combines I was always using 10tick SL with 7 lots, shooting for 30 tick winning. If I had my first 1-3 trade, I really didnt change the plan and I was shooting for 30-40 tick winning, than call it a day. Now I have to trade more time with 2 lots, which is out of my comfort zone, and my plan. I do understand that it is not an issue for scalpers, but this is very inconvinent for me. If you are checking my track record you can see that, I was more than happy to call it a day after 1 winner trade, or 1 looser and 1 winner trade, becuase I have know that, if I am risking 0.3% of maximum capital, and I am winning more than 0.5% of maximum capital, I am more than good. Why should I push more?
- There are some other comments, which are fine, and I dont have argue points (trading YM, not trading during economic news - I did not trade them at all anyway). So I dont have issue here.

So right now I feel that a bit of left alone. In one hand I do understand that @TopstepTrader have the right to ask only those traders who fits their profile, but on the other hand I thought that, If I invest money for the combines, and time to learn to trade with them (not using any of the training product what they have been offered) they will really look what I am doing, and taking some risk (which is not real risk) and understand me better.

Anyhow. I have been wrote them a letter about my consern, They will unerstand it or not, than we will see what happen. Either way I have been learnt a lot thx for them, and we will see how I will move forward (with or without them)

Máté
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  #54 (permalink)
Johor, Malaysia
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Sierra Chart
Trading: CL, GC
 
Posts: 174 since Oct 2013
Thanks: 1,206 given, 160 received

Hi Matevisky,

Congrats on your combine success.

It is on TopStep website, the scale in plan for successful traders. I believe they want to have traders who can trade 1 or 2 lots successfully and consistently before moving up, trading more lots.

As for the platform requirement, I don't think it's fair. Getting used to a platform takes time, the executing process needs to be comfortable. Is there any reason they asked you to use T4, instead of NinjaTrader? Or all those who go through LTP needs to use T4?

mykee

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  #55 (permalink)
Budapest, Hungary
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker: TopstepTrader
Trading: NQ, TF, YM
 
matevisky's Avatar
 
Posts: 469 since May 2013
Thanks: 633 given, 1,531 received


mykee View Post
Hi Matevisky,

Congrats on your combine success.

It is on TopStep website, the scale in plan for successful traders. I believe they want to have traders who can trade 1 or 2 lots successfully and consistently before moving up, trading more lots.

As for the platform requirement, I don't think it's fair. Getting used to a platform takes time, the executing process needs to be comfortable. Is there any reason they asked you to use T4, instead of NinjaTrader? Or all those who go through LTP needs to use T4?

mykee

About the platform: I dont know. I had the same question to them, and I am ready to learn T4 if it is needed. I will use datafeed to ninja to see my charts, and I will execute the orders on T4 if it is a must. Not a big deal. Need pratice, but it is fine.

But I dont agree with a scale plan (and I know it is on the website) at all. If they are saying than, dont lose more than 0.1% risk in one trade that is fine. But there is no coleration between the lots size and your skill at all.
- if you can trade CL and YM in the same time with 2 lots, that is a big disadvantage if you are trading YM, because YM contract size is halfs of CL's
- Also my SL was always 350USD, I have never addon to any open position (winer or looser doesnt matter), moved SL bigger maybe one time (with 2-3 tick), and shoot for 500-1500USD (1:2-1:4 R:R)

I do understand that it is their plan, and it is written on the website, but for me it is doesnt make sense at all. You can easly loose any money with 2 lot as well, and with 7 lot as well, the only thing what is matter here is your risk management strategy. Now I have to cut my risk to 0.1% instead of using 0.3% which means that I have to produce half money in 10 days (not 13 days, or endless days) using 1/3 risk. So I have to take 2-3 times more trade, and I dont see the point here.

Anyhow I will ask them at least allow to to use 4 lots on the YM. That means 0.2% risk in 1 trade, and I will go for better targets, but 2 lots with YM (that is my primary instrument) is a big challange...

Máté
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  #56 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Switzerland
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Broker: IB / DTN
Trading: Futures
 
Posts: 5,054 since Feb 2012
Thanks: 5,116 given, 10,585 received

Congrats

Hi Mate - WOW!
Congrats to your success - now new doors get open :-)
Wishing you a consistent approach for the next projects.
Some downs will no longer bother you as you have some
very good positive experiences.

Good Trades
GFIs1

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  #57 (permalink)
Mumbai, India
 
Experience: Advanced
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Trading: Stocks, Commodities, Futures
 
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matevisky View Post
Sorry for my english in advance, maybe it will be to hard, or not right, but this is not my first language. I have been recieved an email, which looks for me a template, and not a tailored email to personally me. Of course I do understand than @TopstepTrader has a right to do their best to the investors and the equity partners, to gain as much as they can with a minimal risk in place, but still.

So the situation is the following:
- I have to complie a Live Trader Preparation. It is fine in one hand if we are knowing that I have been tried 18 times to do combine, and only the last one was successfull. On the other hand my last attempts was 92% winning days, with a one day looser of 500USD. But it is still oke for me. I have been spend more than 4000USD on the combines, and they are asking one more for free, with 3000USD profit target in 10 days. Looks pretty easy. If you are not able to do it, than you can say that you are not fit to the team right? Right.

But here is the twist:
- They are asking me to use T4 platform instead of NinjaTrader. ?!?!?!!!! ooo Why? Of course I can apply for a Ninjadata feed, and to the trading on T4, but after 18 combines money, why dont I have the right to continue to use Ninja? It is looks a bit pity for me....
- They are asking me to use different scaling methadology... Why? I do understand in one hand for scalpers it is not an issue, but I like to call it a day after one day. In 50% of my trades are 1-3 trade in the first 30 minutes of the market open. I really dont like to trade or push more, because my edge is here. Now I have been forced to use 2 lots instead of my 7 lots. Really. I have been tailored this strategy to have 10 tick SL with 30 tick winner on YM. I have been analyzed a lot to have my edge on YM, now they are asking me to do lot more. Of course it is doable, but this is different. In my lasts combines I was always using 10tick SL with 7 lots, shooting for 30 tick winning. If I had my first 1-3 trade, I really didnt change the plan and I was shooting for 30-40 tick winning, than call it a day. Now I have to trade more time with 2 lots, which is out of my comfort zone, and my plan. I do understand that it is not an issue for scalpers, but this is very inconvinent for me. If you are checking my track record you can see that, I was more than happy to call it a day after 1 winner trade, or 1 looser and 1 winner trade, becuase I have know that, if I am risking 0.3% of maximum capital, and I am winning more than 0.5% of maximum capital, I am more than good. Why should I push more?
- There are some other comments, which are fine, and I dont have argue points (trading YM, not trading during economic news - I did not trade them at all anyway). So I dont have issue here.

So right now I feel that a bit of left alone. In one hand I do understand that @TopstepTrader have the right to ask only those traders who fits their profile, but on the other hand I thought that, If I invest money for the combines, and time to learn to trade with them (not using any of the training product what they have been offered) they will really look what I am doing, and taking some risk (which is not real risk) and understand me better.



Anyhow. I have been wrote them a letter about my consern, They will unerstand it or not, than we will see what happen. Either way I have been learnt a lot thx for them, and we will see how I will move forward (with or without them)


I can feel your pain after working so hard. I myself have done 13 combines (I rolled one over yesterday).

But if you see their business model, you might understand why they have to do it this way.

Firstly the platform.

Why T4 now? Because as a junior funded trader they will ask you to trade during US office hours only - because they want a live person to monitor your risk. Makes sense because they will have real money on the line.

T4 platform allows them finer risk control - in fact it is designed for prop shops where the pit boss can pull a trader out if he is risking too much or not controlling losses.



The reason they want you to start with lower size is also because they have real money on the line and they want to reduce their risk. Note that the LTP and junior funded trader rules are designed to test if your risk profile is low.

Essentially staying a funded trader has an unwritten rule of you be low risk to them while producing profits, gunslingers need not apply is what they are getting at.



Somebody posted an analysis of TSTs business model somewhere, I have the text but do not remember where I got it from:

TST's profit split plus commission markup is still less then total operating expenses. The combine fees need to make up for it. The formula for the combine fees is complicated as they pay out $35 to the exchange for the data. So on a 10 day 30k combine that grosses $150, their net alone on this is only 115. This means if a trader earns a rollover, TST actually loses money on the combine fee the 2nd time around. Or let me put this a different way. If a trader does the combine that cost $150, and gets 4 free rollovers, TST will actually lose $25 net on the total 5 combines.

Assume the rollover ratio is 40%. So we can do some basic math here. For every 10 combines, 6 pay, 4 roll. The 4 roll generate a loss of 4 * 35 or 140. The 6 that pay generate a net of 6 * 115 or 690. That leaves a net of $550 for every 10 combines. I think their payroll is 30k a month. Not counting office space, utility cost, legal cost, marketing cost, etc that gives us these numbers:

30,000/550= 54.5

54.5 * 10 = 545 combines. That's how many combines they need a month just to breakeven.

Say of those 12 live traders, 6 of them pull out 1k a month in withdrawals. That is fair, half probably are not making anything and the other half are probably trying to build their cushion but will take out 1k. That is 6k coming out in which TST will get 2400.

They are certainly not making millions. If they count all the losses they had to sustain from the traders who passed and went live and flamed out which might be about 1500 on the cheapest combine but that could include 50 to 100 traders over the last 4 years. That's 75k to 150k in losses for them.

The math has to be looked at.

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  #58 (permalink)
Budapest, Hungary
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker: TopstepTrader
Trading: NQ, TF, YM
 
matevisky's Avatar
 
Posts: 469 since May 2013
Thanks: 633 given, 1,531 received


iqgod View Post
I can feel your pain after working so hard. I myself have done 13 combines (I rolled one over yesterday).

But if you see their business model, you might understand why they have to do it this way.

Firstly the platform.

Why T4 now? Because as a junior funded trader they will ask you to trade during US office hours only - because they want a live person to monitor your risk. Makes sense because they will have real money on the line.

T4 platform allows them finer risk control - in fact it is designed for prop shops where the pit boss can pull a trader out if he is risking too much or not controlling losses.



The reason they want you to start with lower size is also because they have real money on the line and they want to reduce their risk. Note that the LTP and junior funded trader rules are designed to test if your risk profile is low.

Essentially staying a funded trader has an unwritten rule of you be low risk to them while producing profits, gunslingers need not apply is what they are getting at.



Somebody posted an analysis of TSTs business model somewhere, I have the text but do not remember where I got it from:

TST's profit split plus commission markup is still less then total operating expenses. The combine fees need to make up for it. The formula for the combine fees is complicated as they pay out $35 to the exchange for the data. So on a 10 day 30k combine that grosses $150, their net alone on this is only 115. This means if a trader earns a rollover, TST actually loses money on the combine fee the 2nd time around. Or let me put this a different way. If a trader does the combine that cost $150, and gets 4 free rollovers, TST will actually lose $25 net on the total 5 combines.

Assume the rollover ratio is 40%. So we can do some basic math here. For every 10 combines, 6 pay, 4 roll. The 4 roll generate a loss of 4 * 35 or 140. The 6 that pay generate a net of 6 * 115 or 690. That leaves a net of $550 for every 10 combines. I think their payroll is 30k a month. Not counting office space, utility cost, legal cost, marketing cost, etc that gives us these numbers:

30,000/550= 54.5

54.5 * 10 = 545 combines. That's how many combines they need a month just to breakeven.

Say of those 12 live traders, 6 of them pull out 1k a month in withdrawals. That is fair, half probably are not making anything and the other half are probably trying to build their cushion but will take out 1k. That is 6k coming out in which TST will get 2400.

They are certainly not making millions. If they count all the losses they had to sustain from the traders who passed and went live and flamed out which might be about 1500 on the cheapest combine but that could include 50 to 100 traders over the last 4 years. That's 75k to 150k in losses for them.

The math has to be looked at.

I do understand the math, even if I do not think it is fair, to make so many combine over and over again, paying a lots of money, and now am not able to use my platform. But once again, I can accept this, also T4 give a better protection with the daily SL etc... If I have to use T4 as a senior trader, that is more than oke to start using it right now. If it is not a must than this request is really unfair. But I hope they will clarify it during the call with the support. Being said they were always open to talk, and we resolvd all the issue, so lets see...

Máté
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  #59 (permalink)
Mumbai, India
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: ChartNexus
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matevisky View Post
I do understand the math, even if I do not think it is fair, to make so many combine over and over again, paying a lots of money, and now am not able to use my platform. But once again, I can accept this, also T4 give a better protection with the daily SL etc... If I have to use T4 as a senior trader, that is more than oke to start using it right now. If it is not a must than this request is really unfair. But I hope they will clarify it during the call with the support. Being said they were always open to talk, and we resolvd all the issue, so lets see...

Yes, I agree with you.

I hope you find an amiable middle path in this.

All the best and keep up your great efforts!

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  #60 (permalink)
Denmark
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Trading: CL
 
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Posts: 91 since Jan 2014
Thanks: 1,147 given, 152 received


Congrats on the combine

Don't worry about T4 it's actually a very good platform. I've been using Trade Navigator for years before joining TopStep. And I decided to give T4 a chance.

At first it was horrible. Manually had to set the type of order and make sure not to place it on the wrong side of the market. After a lot of trial and error I discovered the option to automatically set the order type . It's in the settings and called "price protection" .

The T4 DOM is really good. Actually the best and the fastest I've ever tried. I decided to stick with Trade navigator for my charts and then use T4 DOM for the orders. Works very well for me. Give it a go.

Good luck on your journey

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