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Anybody heard of topsteptrader (review)


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Anybody heard of topsteptrader (review)

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  #301 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
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HollywoodTrader View Post
So, after about a year of trying, on-and-off, to pass the TST combine I finally have -- just barely, the target was $3,500 profit. I first started my combine journey with /ES but a friend got me into /CL and I have been trading that exclusively for about 6 months now. I made this combine in particular much harder for myself by taking a couple of big hits near the end, when I should have been more cautious, but my system/method came through with a big overnight setup that got me over the top. I'm posting this because I know people have a lot of questions about what happens next -- as do I -- so I will attempt to address those questions and well as share my post-combine-success-experience.

Congrats to you @HollywoodTrader, finally you made it!

Since I'm now starting my first combine on Monday, I would be highly interested in how things are going from this stage on. I think the next step you'll have to complete is going through the 'Live Combine', building your account cushion to receice a better split towards 70/30 or 80/20.

Go for it, I wish you best of luck!

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  #302 (permalink)
 omni72 
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HollywoodTrader View Post
So, after about a year of trying, on-and-off, to pass the TST combine I finally have

That's awesome! Congrats @HollywoodTrader, looking forward to seeing the next part of your journey

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. ~ Seneca
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  #303 (permalink)
 aircal 
Keller, TX USA
 
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Check out the Customize Your Trading Combine page - you don't have to go for $50K/5 cars/10 days.

Other options are available, such as 3 cars with a $30K account with a goal of $1500 over 10 days or $2000 over 20 days. The latter is only $100/day.

Read the fine print, however - it says a funded account will only be offered to those that earn at least $2000, so if you want to be funded the the goal for the $30K 10 days would have to be $2000 - still only a $200/day average.

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  #304 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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  #305 (permalink)
 Lejcus 
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aircal View Post
Check out the Customize Your Trading Combine page - you don't have to go for $50K/5 cars/10 days.

Other options are available, such as 3 cars with a $30K account with a goal of $1500 over 10 days or $2000 over 20 days. The latter is only $100/day.

Read the fine print, however - it says a funded account will only be offered to those that earn at least $2000, so if you want to be funded the the goal for the $30K 10 days would have to be $2000 - still only a $200/day average.

Hi arical
Where did you get that you have to make at least $2000 ?

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

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  #306 (permalink)
 aircal 
Keller, TX USA
 
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I thought I read it in the fine print on the Combine page, but now all I can find is this:

>> * If you have adhered to the Scouting Criteria and you have a profit greater than $1,500.


Looks like it shouldn't be too difficult for me

After 5 days:

Current Account Balance $51,543

Winning Day %: 85 Avg Winning Day: 282 Avg Losing Day: -150 Largest Winning Day: 940 Largest Losing Day: -150Max Drawdown: -132

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  #307 (permalink)
Amnesia
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aircal View Post
I thought I read it in the fine print on the Combine page, but now all I can find is this:

>> * If you have adhered to the Scouting Criteria and you have a profit greater than $1,500.


Looks like it shouldn't be too difficult for me

After 5 days:

Current Account Balance $51,543

Winning Day %: 85 Avg Winning Day: 282 Avg Losing Day: -150 Largest Winning Day: 940 Largest Losing Day: -150Max Drawdown: -132

So you pay 40$ to do a round of demo testing to compete against other demo testers to get funds?

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  #308 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
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So, on advice of @Big Mike, here's what I got from TST today:

Since I experienced a lot of different issues with my NT Combine account which made it nearly impossible to trade in a regular way, I just received an email from TST Support which should be sent out to all TST recruits using NT in their Combine:

Quoting 
Hello,

We would like to sincerely apologize for the inconveniences and hassle you have incurred over the last few weeks. We completely understand your frustrations as we feel the same about how the platform integration has been so problem-some. We expect all of our recruits and funded traders to have complete stability and reliability when trading in our program, and we will continue to work closely with all parties to guarantee we deliver this quality for all TST NinjaTrader users as soon as possible.

After working tirelessly with all related parties, this is what we our contacts at Zen-Fire and Rithmic Trader (our back end support), have determined:

NinjaTrader is working ghost orders, hanging orders and connection issues out with Zenfire right now. We can not push anything until we have more resources supporting the SIM environment. Rithimic and Zenfire sound like they are going to add more servers which should build up the SIM environment to be very similar to the live environment. Which is what TST needs. This will iron out much of the problems we are experiencing

We are expecting that adding resources will address the issue going forward. We are still waiting to confirm an expected date that resources will be added. I will certainly let you (TST) know when the schedule has been made.

We have refunded the Combine discount you placed for the Combine you are currently in. You may continue to use the Combine account until it expires. Please understand you may still experience issues using the platform until the issues are resolved. We are aware of all issues, so please don't worry about contacting support with any additional issues you encounter.

Additionally, as another token of our appreciation for your patience, we would like to offer you a free Combine for you to use any time in the future (this can be used to start a new Combine now using T4 or for a Combine once all NinjaTrader issues are resolved). Please use the Scouting Prospect Code "......." (deleted).

We will contact you as soon as we are confident that NinjaTrader is working properly without glitches.


Regards,

The TopstepTrader Team


So, the fee for the Combine will be refunded (I just received confirmation from PayPal), and they will offer a free Combine either on T4 platform or on NT, after all issues regarding NT / Zen-Fire have been resolved.

I highly appreciate this professional behaviour and certainly will take a new start once all problems with NT are solved !

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  #309 (permalink)
 madLyfe 
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Daytrader999 View Post
So, on advice of @Big Mike, here's what I got from TST today:

Since I experienced a lot of different issues with my NT Combine account which made it nearly impossible to trade in a regular way, I just received an email from TST Support which should be sent out to all TST recruits using NT in their Combine:



So, the fee for the Combine will be refunded (I just received confirmation from PayPal), and they will offer a free Combine either on T4 platform or on NT, after all issues regarding NT / Zen-Fire have been resolved.

I highly appreciate this professional behaviour and certainly will take a new start once all problems with NT are solved !

pretty awesome stuff, even with the issues going on.. every now and again you get companies that do things like this that keep you coming back.. ive had a recent experience with newegg. wish more companies would treat their customers this way.

thanks again for the feedback!

dont believe anything you hear and only half of what you see

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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  #310 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
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I just received a message from TST which might be interesting for those who consider to take a 30k or 50k Combine:


Quoting 
Exciting Combine and Funded Account changes!

Traders who have received funding after successfully completing a $30K (or $50K) Combine have consistently proven to be some of the most disciplined and consistent traders we have trading in the live market. Therefore, we've made the following changes:
•The 10-Day Combine profit target for the $30K account has changed from $2,500 to $1,500
•The 20-Day Combine profit target for the $30K account has changed from $4,000 to $2,000

For those who receive a funded account after successfully completing the $30K or $50K Combine are now eligible to receive additional buying power once an account cushion of $5K+ in profits has been built.

AND

Those who receive a funded account after successfully completing the $30K Combine may receive an increased daily loss limit once an account cushion of $5K+ in profits has been built.

Previously, a funded account would have been required to establish at least $15K in cumulative profits for these two parameters to be negotiable for an increase.

As a reminder, you are always welcome to customize your Combine objective for any of the Combine options, learn more here https://www.topsteptrader.com:443/customevaluation.

Questions? Contact us at 312.252.*9490 or support@topsteptrader.com.


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  #311 (permalink)
 Massive l 
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I feel the 50/50 split is a little high.

Anyone else feel the same way?

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  #312 (permalink)
 Silver Dragon 
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Massive l View Post
I feel the 50/50 split is a little high.

Anyone else feel the same way?

Here is the actual profit split. I dont think it is too high for someone trying to get into the business but can not afford to by his own means.

Robert


Quoting 
Funded Trader Profit Split

If the funded trader has profits as specified below in the account they will receive the following profit split:

$0-$15,000, trader keeps 60% OR 65% profit split (60% or 65% to the trader and 30% or 35% to the equity partner)*
$15,000-$30,000, trader keeps 70% (70% to the trader and 30% to the equity partner)
$30,000+, trader keeps 80% (80% to the trader and 20% to the equity partner)

*A funded trader will start with a 65:35 profit split (65% to the trader and 35% to the equity partner) if he or she went through the Intuitive Development for Traders course PRIOR to meeting the Combine objective and being taken live.

Open a Trading Account | TopstepTrader FAQ See funded trader


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  #313 (permalink)
 Massive l 
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Nice...I must've been speed reading
That's not too bad!

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  #314 (permalink)
 josh 
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From what I understand, once the 70% and 80% are reached, that's where the trader stays even if the equity goes back down a bit. For example, if I start with a $50K account and grow it to $80K, I reach 80% status. Then if I lose equity and go back to $70K, I still can take profits at 80%. If someone from TST could confirm that would be great, but I think this is correct.

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  #315 (permalink)
 Silver Dragon 
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I posted a Risk Management spreadsheet pertaining to Top Step Trader in my journal. It may be useful to traders looking to give TST a try.



Robert

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  #316 (permalink)
 Hoag 
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josh View Post
From what I understand, once the 70% and 80% are reached, that's where the trader stays even if the equity goes back down a bit. For example, if I start with a $50K account and grow it to $80K, I reach 80% status. Then if I lose equity and go back to $70K, I still can take profits at 80%. If someone from TST could confirm that would be great, but I think this is correct.

That is correct Josh, it is based on cumulative profits, not sustained balance.

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  #317 (permalink)
 josh 
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Hoag View Post
That is correct Josh, it is based on cumulative profits, not sustained balance.

Thanks Hoag; also, wanted to thank you for a couple of really nice webinars, I really enjoyed the one last week with Greg W., very practical and actionable.

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  #318 (permalink)
 futuretrader 
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I noticed looking at lists of funded traders that most seem to be trading the more volatile instruments (eg, CL rather than ES).

I wondered if that showed that CL was easier to trade than ES, but then realized that their profit targets and contract size limits don't vary at all with the instrument's volatility - which seems to be ignoring fundamental differences both in the instruments and in the way people trade them.

The benefit of trading (e.g.) CL vs ES is that you can get many more ticks per contract from average moves, while the benefit of trading the ES over the CL is that you can trade more contracts. A performance metric that maintains the same ticks per contract regardless of instrument, seems to greatly favor the more volatile instruments.

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  #319 (permalink)
 omni72 
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futuretrader View Post
I noticed looking at lists of funded traders that most seem to be trading the more volatile instruments (eg, CL rather than ES).

I wondered if that showed that CL was easier to trade than ES, but then realized that their profit targets and contract size limits don't vary at all with the instrument's volatility - which seems to be ignoring fundamental differences both in the instruments and in the way people trade them.

The benefit of trading (e.g.) CL vs ES is that you can get many more ticks per contract from average moves, while the benefit of trading the ES over the CL is that you can trade more contracts. A performance metric that maintains the same ticks per contract regardless of instrument, seems to greatly favor the more volatile instruments.

Looks like funded traders have been putting @Fat Tails' work to good use: Comparing Index Futures


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  #320 (permalink)
 josh 
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omni72 View Post
Looks like funded traders have been putting Fat Tails' work to good use: Comparing Index Futures


Yes I remember reading this, and it always made me feel good about trading CL, that I was trading an "efficient" instrument. But that is no reason in and of itself to trade an instrument. Likely many people trading CL would do better with something less volatile, but if someone is trading it and doing well, then more power to him!

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  #321 (permalink)
 omni72 
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HollywoodTrader View Post
I will attempt to address those questions and well as share my post-combine-success-experience.

Any update on trading life post-combine?

Edit: Just saw your TST profile. VERY nice achievement collection!

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  #322 (permalink)
 HollywoodTrader 
San Diego
 
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omni72 View Post
Any update on trading life post-combine?

Edit: Just saw your TST profile. VERY nice achievement collection!

Thanks, I never even saw that "achievement collection" before, and yes, I do have an update. I was put in a "live combine prep" stage that almost mirrored my combine except in addition to having a $1000 a day loss limit, you also have a $1000 week loss limit. So, if you lose $1000 on a Monday you are essentially done for the week. That additional constraint initially had me concerned but ended up not really coming into play -- it actually helped because I initiated my own lower loss limit which I had never done before. Also, they wanted me to run up profits of only $1500 in any amount of time and if I was able to accomplish that I would be taken live.

Well, after about 7 days I had about $1200 and they called and said they were pleased with my performance -- I think I was in the green 6 out of those 7 days -- and they were ready to take me live; all I had to do was submit my trading plan. It was at this moment I had a "moment of clarity" that I really wasn't pleased with my current method of trading -- I was essentially scalping or holding trades for no longer than 5 minutes -- and wanted to complete my transition to being a harmonic trader and trading less often but with more size. I told them I would like to spend some time working on this and they were all for it, told me to take my time in the current stage.

Long story long, it takes more than a few weeks to become competent at a new trading style and I got hurt with losing day after losing day. After a few weeks I told them I would like to go back down to the combine and work on some stuff because it makes no sense to go live just to lose money and have to start all over with that weighing on me. They totally understood but said they would give me time to work on my trading still in the pre-live level -- very generous of them. Anyway, after a few more weeks things haven't quite come around yet and I contacted them again stating that I wanted to go back down to a larger combine and just work my issues out in that manner. They agreed and hooked me up with the combine I wanted and I start that this Monday.

People might think I'm crazy to not have gone live when I had the chance but I really wasn't happy with the trading style that got me there; it seemed too stressful. I had come across some literature as well that said my trading style just doesn't last in the long run, thus, I would be better off making the change sooner than later and that change can't be made with money on the line. I've already lost a high five figures of my own money, several years ago, and I'm not diving in again until I feel totally comfortable with my methodology. So, I'll keep at it, I'm improving daily, and I'm fortunate enough to have a couple of commercials each month to pay all the bills! My time will come.

HollywoodTrader.

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  #323 (permalink)
 iqgod 
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Hi @HollywoodTrader,

Sorry for sounding like a tombstone engraver, but I believe you have truly found yourself and set yourself free from mediocrity with the above post.

In the long run, I believe deep within that making money is a minuscule byproduct when it comes to trading - in fact I even believe in a till-now-unspoken corner that I discovered trading and stuck to it because it stands for the ultimate path to achieving self-realization.

It is said that everybody ultimately gets what they want from the market.

The gamblers get the heady rush.
The scientists get the ultimate mystery to solve with a ready laboratory to test out their hypotheses.
The patient investors get steady growth of wealth and time to enjoy that wealth.
And the scalpers get to know in a few precious moments whether they have achieved self-realization.

Everybody gets some easy money. Everybody who works hard, patiently perseveres, stays sane, and ignores the quick money, that is. Which means that they also ultimately discover that trading is the hardest "easy money" they ever made.

You are one of a kind. We, here at Big Mike's, are proud of you.

If ever there is a 'Trader's Walk of Fame' in LA you are entitled to a star with the title of this post as a readymade engraving.

Regards,
iqgod

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  #324 (permalink)
 lancelottrader 
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HollywoodTrader View Post
Thanks, I never even saw that "achievement collection" before, and yes, I do have an update. I was put in a "live combine prep" stage that almost mirrored my combine except in addition to having a $1000 a day loss limit, you also have a $1000 week loss limit. So, if you lose $1000 on a Monday you are essentially done for the week. That additional constraint initially had me concerned but ended up not really coming into play -- it actually helped because I initiated my own lower loss limit which I had never done before. Also, they wanted me to run up profits of only $1500 in any amount of time and if I was able to accomplish that I would be taken live.

Well, after about 7 days I had about $1200 and they called and said they were pleased with my performance -- I think I was in the green 6 out of those 7 days -- and they were ready to take me live; all I had to do was submit my trading plan. It was at this moment I had a "moment of clarity" that I really wasn't pleased with my current method of trading -- I was essentially scalping or holding trades for no longer than 5 minutes -- and wanted to complete my transition to being a harmonic trader and trading less often but with more size. I told them I would like to spend some time working on this and they were all for it, told me to take my time in the current stage.

Long story long, it takes more than a few weeks to become competent at a new trading style and I got hurt with losing day after losing day. After a few weeks I told them I would like to go back down to the combine and work on some stuff because it makes no sense to go live just to lose money and have to start all over with that weighing on me. They totally understood but said they would give me time to work on my trading still in the pre-live level -- very generous of them. Anyway, after a few more weeks things haven't quite come around yet and I contacted them again stating that I wanted to go back down to a larger combine and just work my issues out in that manner. They agreed and hooked me up with the combine I wanted and I start that this Monday.

People might think I'm crazy to not have gone live when I had the chance but I really wasn't happy with the trading style that got me there; it seemed too stressful. I had come across some literature as well that said my trading style just doesn't last in the long run, thus, I would be better off making the change sooner than later and that change can't be made with money on the line. I've already lost a high five figures of my own money, several years ago, and I'm not diving in again until I feel totally comfortable with my methodology. So, I'll keep at it, I'm improving daily, and I'm fortunate enough to have a couple of commercials each month to pay all the bills! My time will come.

HollywoodTrader.

Your post reminds me a bit of a thread that was very popular on here called, "Catching Big Waves." Gary, the originator of the thread, documented week after week his successful live trading in the oil market . He had a great system and could consistently make anywhere from 20 to 50 ticks a day. He appeared to have a sizable account and seemed to be making decent profits . Everyone who read the thread was impressed by Gary...except Gary himself.

Even though he demonstrated he had an edge, he was unsatisfied because he felt he should be holding his trades longer and going for much bigger targets like 100 tick moves , etc. He then started to berate himself daily..even when he made great 20 tick trades. He felt that he needed to change his style...never mind that he was getting results..that 95% of all traders would have loved. You could see as his journal progressed he was at war with himself. He became convinced that holding trades longer and having huge targets was the only way he could call himself "successful."

Then he started to lose his edge and he became less consistent. It was almost maddening to watch. All because of some "concept" he had of what good trading is supposed to be. Well, in my opinion, good trading is achieving consistent results..regardless of the methodology. Who cares if you're a scalper or a swing trader..What are your results ? That's really what counts.. Otherwise, you join the majority of retail traders on Forums that are always seeking the Grail and switching from one system to the next..wasting years of time and effort. If you find something that works....stick with it.

Anyhow, back to Gary..if you read his thread, he finally has a meltdown and decides not to honor his stoploss on one trade (Presumably because he read that Pro traders don't use tight stops) and he loses virtually his entire account on one trade. And now, he apparently quit trading. It was painful to read because the guy had all the potential to make 2 or 300 k a year, but he couldn't see he had already found his edge.

Now, I'm not comparing you with Gary..nor do I even know if you already have a consistent system or not. Maybe you just had a good streak going. But if you truly did have an "edge" and you find after a period of time that your new method isn't giving you good results, I hope you have the common sense to switch back.

I hope you don't mind my comments.

Failure is not an option
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  #325 (permalink)
 omni72 
Tulsa, OK
 
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HollywoodTrader View Post
People might think I'm crazy to not have gone live when I had the chance

Not likely

HollywoodTrader View Post
but I really wasn't happy with the trading style that got me there; it seemed too stressful.

And this is why they shouldn't doubt your decision. Even if we can't always apply it, abide by it, or live by it I am convinced we all know that we have to find our own way, the right way for us. Time spent carving your own niche will pay off so much better than leaning on a quick fix. Kudos for doing right by you. And kudos to TST for helping accommodate your ongoing progress.

lancelottrader View Post
But if you truly did have an "edge" and you find after a period of time that your new method isn't giving you good results, I hope you have the common sense to switch back.

This definitely still applies. And without knowing any details of what you were doing, it could be that you can get the best of both worlds - mold the successful core of your previous method into a lower-stress version.

HollywoodTrader View Post
So, I'll keep at it, I'm improving daily, and I'm fortunate enough to have a couple of commercials each month to pay all the bills! My time will come.

HollywoodTrader.

Sounds like a good deal. Thanks for the update and I look forward to seeing more updates of your progress

Take care and best of luck in your pursuits!

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. ~ Seneca
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  #326 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
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Today I received a notice from TST regarding my questions on the new data provider (CQG) for Ninja Trader and the new 'minimum day' Combine model:


Quoting 
It was mentioned during the interview that we are looking into CQG as a new data provider for NinjaTrader, and we do hope to have everything with Ninja running smoothly by the end of this month.

We are also beginning to develop the "minimum day" Combines, however we do not offer them as an option just yet. In order to adjust any of the evaluation parameters from our regular Combines, you need to submit a custom Combine objective, and you may definitely do so to request a "minimum day" Combine
.

So I'm really looking forward to the end of the month...and I still intend to take my new and customized 'minimum day' Combine with NT,
and now I'm waiting bravely and patiently for any good news and my new start date...

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 Silver Dragon 
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Daytrader999 View Post
Today I received a notice from TST regarding my questions on the new data provider (CQG) for Ninja Trader and the new 'minimum day' Combine model:



So I'm really looking forward to the end of the month...and I still intend to take my new and customized 'minimum day' Combine with NT,
and now I'm waiting bravely and patiently for any good news and my new start date...


@Daytrader999

What exactly is a minimum day combine?

Thanks!
Robert

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  #328 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
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Silver Dragon View Post
What exactly is a minimum day combine?

Thanks!
Robert

A minimum day combine lets you trade a minimum of 20 days (as regular by now) but you'll have up to 40 days maximum (2 months) to accomplish your profit objective.

So you've got far more time to reach your goal as well as you don't need to achieve a certain amount of profit on every day you trade, which looks like a great advantage to me.

I hope that I explained that a bit understandable...

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 Silver Dragon 
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Daytrader999 View Post
A minimum day combine lets you trade a minimum of 20 days (as regular by now) but you'll have up to 40 days maximum (2 months) to accomplish your profit objective.

So you've got far more time to reach your goal as well as you don't need to achieve a certain amount of profit on every day you trade, which looks like a great advantage to me.

I hope that I explained that a bit understandable...

This is great news!! I was actually going to request a custom combine of 30 days because I could not make the daily profit objective for 20. This solves my problem.

Thanks for posting!!

Robert

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 Daytrader999 
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Silver Dragon View Post
This is great news!! I was actually going to request a custom combine of 30 days because I could not make the daily profit objective for 20.

Absolutely, and now you've got even 40 days to reach your profit objective.

But they didn't make that an 'official' Combine yet, so you still need to submit a request for customizing.

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 omni72 
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Daytrader999 View Post
Absolutely, and now you've got even 40 days to reach your profit objective.

But they didn't make that an 'official' Combine yet, so you still need to submit a request for customizing.

While I agree that going to a minimum days format is a good thing, it's also important to consider the flip side: you have more days to take hits against your account.

I'm not trying to be Debbie Downer , but if a trader is averaging a negative amount after 10- or 20-days in a combine, there is a chance adding days will just confirm that negative average.

Again, I'm all that this is going to be a readily available option, but feel it is also imperative to keep a keen eye on the realities

All that being said, I wish everyone the best of luck success progress-supporting habits on their current or upcoming combines. I know it's boring but it IS useful

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. ~ Seneca
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  #332 (permalink)
 josh 
Georgia, US
 
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omni72 View Post
While I agree that going to a minimum days format is a good thing, it's also important to consider the flip side: you have more days to take hits against your account.

I could be wrong, but based on my experience, they are likely to impose a max drawdown below initial balance. In other words, if you have more days to accumulate profit, you will also be restricted to an initial drawdown, possibly not that different from the live combine itself.

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  #333 (permalink)
 omni72 
Tulsa, OK
 
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josh View Post
I could be wrong, but based on my experience, they are likely to impose a max drawdown below initial balance. In other words, if you have more days to accumulate profit, you will also be restricted to an initial drawdown, possibly not that different from the live combine itself.

Absolutely, the restricted drawdown is part of my combine as well. And I'm not saying people are likely to take bigger hits on their account. My point is that if someone averages -$75 per session today, doubling the amount of trading days available probably isn't going to be a magic bullet.

I'm glad you brought up the drawdown limit because I rarely see it discussed. It is something that Combiners should stay aware of. You could very easily stay miles away from your daily loss limit and still knock yourself out of contention by hitting the drawdown limit. Again, if someone is net negative on average, it probably won't take the full 20- or 40-days to tap out.

Personally, I'm all in favor of things being as close to the live combines as possible. If that means having a 5% drawdown limit, bring it on.

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  #334 (permalink)
 aircal 
Keller, TX USA
 
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Don't overlook the 20 day combine with a $30K account - the profit target is $2000, that's an average of only $100 per day.

If you can't make $100 a day, you probably shouldn't be trading

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 madLyfe 
Des Moines, Iowa
 
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newest funded trader at TST says hes a member here at BMs.. his name is Ronghua Xie or Ronghuax on TST. not sure if he is actively posting here under a diff name?


dont believe anything you hear and only half of what you see

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 Silver Dragon 
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Looks like they moved to the minimum day combine.

Trading Simulator | Trading Program | TopstepTrader Combine

New field added which is Max Draw down. Although it is blank when I look at combines. In the help text it says the max draw down for a 50k account is 2,000 which is double the loss limit. Assuming this would be true for the other account sizes.

Robert


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 Daytrader999 
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Silver Dragon View Post
Looks like they moved to the minimum day combine.

Thanks Robert, that's great news !

So, as soon as they get the new CQG data feed up and running together with Ninja, I'll be back again in the Combine...

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  #338 (permalink)
 phantomtrader 
Reno, Nevada
 
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I signed up not knowing that they discontinued Ninja. The T4 platform is a dinosaur - has bugs all over the place. Anyone considering the Combine should wait for them to bring Ninja back.

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  #339 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
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phantomtrader View Post
Anyone considering the Combine should wait for them to bring Ninja back.

Yes, definitely !

As I was told by TST, Ninja and CQG data feed should be ready by the end of January.

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  #340 (permalink)
 Surly 
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phantomtrader View Post
I signed up not knowing that they discontinued Ninja. The T4 platform is a dinosaur - has bugs all over the place. Anyone considering the Combine should wait for them to bring Ninja back.

@phantomtrader - I'm curious what bugs you've found? CTS is actually quite a robust platform in my experience - the DOM is quite a bit better than Ninja's and from what I understand far more professionals use T4 than Ninja. I'm curious to hear about your experience as I'm still using T4. Thanks.

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  #341 (permalink)
 josh 
Georgia, US
 
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Surly View Post
@phantomtrader - I'm curious what bugs you've found? CTS is actually quite a robust platform in my experience - the DOM is quite a bit better than Ninja's and from what I understand far more professionals use T4 than Ninja. I'm curious to hear about your experience as I'm still using T4. Thanks.

Not saying this is the case for phantomtrader, but the vast majority of people who I talk to who use NT have never really given anything else a chance. It has the advantage of being free for life unless you trade real money, so it's a favorite of many people. T4 did have a couple of issues, but the DOM alone is reason enough to trade using T4. It's not as good as Sierra in overall package IMO, but the DOM is pretty nice, at least it has a volume profile (as does SC, XTrader, Tradestation, etc.), unlike NT.

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  #342 (permalink)
 mfootlick 
Chicago, Illinois
 
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josh View Post
Not saying this is the case for phantomtrader, but the vast majority of people who I talk to who use NT have never really given anything else a chance. It has the advantage of being free for life unless you trade real money, so it's a favorite of many people. T4 did have a couple of issues, but the DOM alone is reason enough to trade using T4. It's not as good as Sierra in overall package IMO, but the DOM is pretty nice, at least it has a volume profile (as does SC, XTrader, Tradestation, etc.), unlike NT.

Hello all,

Just as an FYI, Sierra Charts is available to use in the TST program. All you need to do is email support @ topsteptrader.com Trading Program Online | Learn to Trade | TopstepTrader[/url] and let us know you would like to use Sierra Charts as your platform while in the trial, Combine or Membership.

Melissa

If you have any questions about TopstepTrader please send me a Private Message or contact us at info@topsteptrader.com or 312.252.9490.
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  #343 (permalink)
 mfootlick 
Chicago, Illinois
 
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Silver Dragon View Post
Looks like they moved to the minimum day combine.

Trading Simulator | Trading Program | TopstepTrader Combine

New field added which is Max Draw down. Although it is blank when I look at combines. In the help text it says the max draw down for a 50k account is 2,000 which is double the loss limit. Assuming this would be true for the other account sizes.

Robert


Silver Dragon, if the Max Drawdown amount is not appearing on the page, please clear your Cache and it should work properly. This seems to be an issue predominately with the Chrome browser. As an FYI though, here are the Max Drawdown amounts for each of the Combine accounts:
  • The $30K Combine has a Max Drawdown of $1,500 (meaning at the end of all trading days, the Account Balance appearing on the Trade Report may NOT be equal to or less than $28,500)
  • The $50K Combine has a Max Drawdown of $2,000
  • The $100K Combine has a Max Drawdown of $3,000
  • The $150K Combine has a Max Drawdown of $4,500

If you have any questions about TopstepTrader please send me a Private Message or contact us at info@topsteptrader.com or 312.252.9490.
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  #344 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
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mfootlick View Post
Silver Dragon, if the Max Drawdown amount is not appearing on the page, please clear your Cache and it should work properly. This seems to be an issue predominately with the Chrome browser. As an FYI though, here are the Max Drawdown amounts for each of the Combine accounts:
  • The $30K Combine has a Max Drawdown of $1,500 (meaning at the end of all trading days, the Account Balance appearing on the Trade Report may NOT be equal to or less than $28,500)
  • The $50K Combine has a Max Drawdown of $2,000
  • The $100K Combine has a Max Drawdown of $3,000
  • The $150K Combine has a Max Drawdown of $4,500

Thanks @mfootlick, that's really good to know when I start my Combine again at the end of January !

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  #345 (permalink)
 josh 
Georgia, US
 
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mfootlick View Post
Hello all,

Just as an FYI, Sierra Charts is available to use in the TST program. All you need to do is email support @ topsteptrader.com Trading Program Online | Learn to Trade | TopstepTrader[/url] and let us know you would like to use Sierra Charts as your platform while in the trial, Combine or Membership.

Melissa

Melissa, I never notified TST yet I am using Sierra without any real issues. Is there something special that you guys do on your end that changes anything?

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  #346 (permalink)
 phantomtrader 
Reno, Nevada
 
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Surly View Post
@phantomtrader - I'm curious what bugs you've found? CTS is actually quite a robust platform in my experience - the DOM is quite a bit better than Ninja's and from what I understand far more professionals use T4 than Ninja. I'm curious to hear about your experience as I'm still using T4. Thanks.

Hi: The "flatten all" button didn't work. And if you clicked it more than once, it placed additional orders on the DOM. During the live training session with John Hoag he acknowledged that there was an issue with that.

As far as functionality is concerned, scaling trades is somewhat cumbersome. On Ninja, you can design a scale setup in 30 seconds with targets, stops, etc. On the T4, you can use the auto OCO function, but if you want multiple targets and stops, you have to set each one individually every time you trade. For instance, I may trade 6 lots with an intial stop of 6 ticks with targets of 1 pt and 2 pts and let the last 2 lots ride the market if a trend develops. On Ninja, I can design this setup for single click execution. On T4, I could use the OCO for all 6 lots, but immediately would have to cancel the 6 lot target and replace with 3 separate targets. And the stop would have to be moved manually and adjusted every time a target is hit.

So I guess it depends on how you manage your trades. If you're a single lot trader, all this doesn't matter. It may be suitable for some, but overall I think it's a dinosaur.

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  #347 (permalink)
 josh 
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phantomtrader View Post
So I guess it depends on how you manage your trades. If you're a single lot trader, all this doesn't matter. It may be suitable for some, but overall I think it's a dinosaur.

The issue with the flatten button sounds pretty bad, and I would not want to deal with that either. I had 3 or 4 issues with T4 charting that made it a no-go for me, but the DOM is quite nice IMO.

Regarding the above statement: as T4 is used in the pit of the CME, it's quite clear that it's not for single lot traders. Rather, the logical conclusion is that professionals don't care about automated order management. They place their 100 lot order to open, and if they use stops, which many don't, they place that order separately. They scale out of the trade, and if they have a stop (again, many/most do not), they update the quantity.

If you will notice, T4 has quite a few ways to quickly change order quantity (the XYZ panel, along with the delta option). This allows the professional several ways to quickly get the desired order quantity, and this being a priority is evidence that automated strategies are not nearly as important to the T4 audience as is the ability to quickly change quantities. Compare that to Ninja, which has a single quantity button with a spinner to increment and decrement by 1. Thankfully, Sierra has 6 quick quantity buttons which is not as extensive as T4 but far better than NT's input method.

Likewise, XTrader does not normally include a tool to manage trades like Ninja does, though there is an add-on available (if I understand correctly, I have not used such an add-on). However, what both XTrader and CTS do have (though I have issues with the visual implementation in T4) is a volume at price display, and they both have the ability to show ten levels on each side of the book. NT only shows 5, and despite years of continued requests for this simple change, they have not done it. In fact, Sierra, Tradestation, Infinity, T4, XTrader, Multicharts, etc., all support 10 levels, and most have volume at price.

One upside of not using an automated strategy to open an order is that if you leave your order in the market for a while, there is a chance that you will lose internet connectivity or power, and you can be filled in the meantime with a naked position in the market. For limit orders, you can safely place your stop order as well (however, not so with a stop order to enter the market). I appreciate that Ninja is good at automated strategies, and I also am happy that Sierra has this functionality too (with 5 levels possible instead of only 3 with NT if you need it). But, I don't think that most large traders care about it, thus, it's not probably requested very much for T4, though if they at least got scale in/out implemented it would be nice for its users.

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  #348 (permalink)
 phantomtrader 
Reno, Nevada
 
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josh View Post
The issue with the flatten button sounds pretty bad, and I would not want to deal with that either. I had 3 or 4 issues with T4 charting that made it a no-go for me, but the DOM is quite nice IMO.

Regarding the above statement: as T4 is used in the pit of the CME, it's quite clear that it's not for single lot traders. Rather, the logical conclusion is that professionals don't care about automated order management. They place their 100 lot order to open, and if they use stops, which many don't, they place that order separately. They scale out of the trade, and if they have a stop (again, many/most do not), they update the quantity.

If you will notice, T4 has quite a few ways to quickly change order quantity (the XYZ panel, along with the delta option). This allows the professional several ways to quickly get the desired order quantity, and this being a priority is evidence that automated strategies are not nearly as important to the T4 audience as is the ability to quickly change quantities. Compare that to Ninja, which has a single quantity button with a spinner to increment and decrement by 1. Thankfully, Sierra has 6 quick quantity buttons which is not as extensive as T4 but far better than NT's input method.

Likewise, XTrader does not normally include a tool to manage trades like Ninja does, though there is an add-on available (if I understand correctly, I have not used such an add-on). However, what both XTrader and CTS do have (though I have issues with the visual implementation in T4) is a volume at price display, and they both have the ability to show ten levels on each side of the book. NT only shows 5, and despite years of continued requests for this simple change, they have not done it. In fact, Sierra, Tradestation, Infinity, T4, XTrader, Multicharts, etc., all support 10 levels, and most have volume at price.

One upside of not using an automated strategy to open an order is that if you leave your order in the market for a while, there is a chance that you will lose internet connectivity or power, and you can be filled in the meantime with a naked position in the market. For limit orders, you can safely place your stop order as well (however, not so with a stop order to enter the market). I appreciate that Ninja is good at automated strategies, and I also am happy that Sierra has this functionality too (with 5 levels possible instead of only 3 with NT if you need it). But, I don't think that most large traders care about it, thus, it's not probably requested very much for T4, though if they at least got scale in/out implemented it would be nice for its users.

Good points, Josh. Thanks. Yes, I like the auto order capability of Ninja - not really familiar with Pit traders and how they execute their orders - so you're right - if they are concerned with quantity and not trade management, then T4 works well for them.

I've designed about a half dozen trade management scenarios in Ninja depending on market conditions - everything from smaller to larger size, all in for a point, and different scale setups. Yesterday for instance was a nice trend day once it took off after the intial open auction/reject and my 3 tiered scale worked very nicely.

Your point about leaving an order on the DOM and losing connectivity is valid. My entries are generally limit orders within 1-2 ticks of the current price and if they're not filled asap, I will either move them or cancel. But yes, leaving an order hanging on the DOM could be distasterous!

So "dinosaur" is probably not true as T4 seems to function well for others. Just from my point of view and the way I trade, I really like the ability to design my trade setups and execute with one click.

I also use TradeStation for designing and coding my strategies. I do not automate them - just design and backtest. Interestingly, when I had a brokerage account with TS, it was not easy to design my scale setups with them either. I worked with the tech and finally got a few setup, but it really was a lot work to get all my trade setups working. I'm with Mirus now and use Ninja for my live account.

Good trading to you. Regards

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  #349 (permalink)
 HollywoodTrader 
San Diego
 
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lancelottrader View Post
Your post reminds me a bit of a thread that was very popular on here called, "Catching Big Waves." Gary, the originator of the thread, documented week after week his successful live trading in the oil market . He had a great system and could consistently make anywhere from 20 to 50 ticks a day. He appeared to have a sizable account and seemed to be making decent profits . Everyone who read the thread was impressed by Gary...except Gary himself.

Even though he demonstrated he had an edge, he was unsatisfied because he felt he should be holding his trades longer and going for much bigger targets like 100 tick moves , etc. He then started to berate himself daily..even when he made great 20 tick trades. He felt that he needed to change his style...never mind that he was getting results..that 95% of all traders would have loved. You could see as his journal progressed he was at war with himself. He became convinced that holding trades longer and having huge targets was the only way he could call himself "successful."

Then he started to lose his edge and he became less consistent. It was almost maddening to watch. All because of some "concept" he had of what good trading is supposed to be. Well, in my opinion, good trading is achieving consistent results..regardless of the methodology. Who cares if you're a scalper or a swing trader..What are your results ? That's really what counts.. Otherwise, you join the majority of retail traders on Forums that are always seeking the Grail and switching from one system to the next..wasting years of time and effort. If you find something that works....stick with it.

Anyhow, back to Gary..if you read his thread, he finally has a meltdown and decides not to honor his stoploss on one trade (Presumably because he read that Pro traders don't use tight stops) and he loses virtually his entire account on one trade. And now, he apparently quit trading. It was painful to read because the guy had all the potential to make 2 or 300 k a year, but he couldn't see he had already found his edge.

Now, I'm not comparing you with Gary..nor do I even know if you already have a consistent system or not. Maybe you just had a good streak going. But if you truly did have an "edge" and you find after a period of time that your new method isn't giving you good results, I hope you have the common sense to switch back.

I hope you don't mind my comments.

I quote lancelottrader here because I took his insight seriously and it was much appreciated because I probably wouldn't have recognized it on my own because I get too focused on the task at hand when I should be taking a step back to analyze -- so thank you for raising the issue because I am hardly ever satisfied.

Moving on, in my last post I detailed how I asked to go back down to the combine from the "live prep" so I could move up to the 10 contract combine from the 5 which is the one successfully completed. I, for several reasons, I felt that having more contracts at my disposal would really be a boon to my system/methodology. Well, I'm happy to report that it looks as though I was right about this. Furthermore, I am much more relaxed while trading and a loss doesn't have the negative affects it did in the lower combine or even for lower dollar amounts -- although the money isn't much of a consideration for my, making the most of each individual trade is always that task at hand.

So the good news is that I'm doing well in my new 10 day, 10 contract combine -- in fact out of 9 trading days I have 9 winning days -- but, it doesn't look like I'm going to hit my profit target. I do have one day left to hit the target but if I don't, no biggie, because the whole point of moving down was to really develop my edge and what I believed was best for me and I feel I have done that and it's only going to get better. As a matter of fact I have acted with an abundance of caution in this combine, protecting taking profits too early and not letting them run even when I was sure the bias was in my favor. So, I'll get 'em on the next combine, but, as I am always looking to advance it will be in the 15 contract combine this time. I finally feel that I have found my edge and this is the one that I have been on the quest to find and is the one that I will stick with!

HollywoodTrader


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  #350 (permalink)
 omni72 
Tulsa, OK
 
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HollywoodTrader
I quote lancelottrader here because I took his insight seriously and it was much appreciated because I probably wouldn't have recognized it on my own because I get too focused on the task at hand when I should be taking a step back to analyze -- so thank you for raising the issue because I am hardly ever satisfied.

Moving on, in my last post I detailed how I asked to go back down to the combine from the "live prep" so I could move up to the 10 contract combine from the 5 which is the one successfully completed. I, for several reasons, I felt that having more contracts at my disposal would really be a boon to my system/methodology. Well, I'm happy to report that it looks as though I was right about this. Furthermore, I am much more relaxed while trading and a loss doesn't have the negative affects it did in the lower combine or even for lower dollar amounts -- although the money isn't much of a consideration for my, making the most of each individual trade is always that task at hand.

So the good news is that I'm doing well in my new 10 day, 10 contract combine -- in fact out of 9 trading days I have 9 winning days -- but, it doesn't look like I'm going to hit my profit target. I do have one day left to hit the target but if I don't, no biggie, because the whole point of moving down was to really develop my edge and what I believed was best for me and I feel I have done that and it's only going to get better. As a matter of fact I have acted with an abundance of caution in this combine, protecting taking profits too early and not letting them run even when I was sure the bias was in my favor. So, I'll get 'em on the next combine, but, as I am always looking to advance it will be in the 15 contract combine this time.

Excellent, excellent news! Sounds like you had a very good idea what you needed to do and that you are getting it done.

It's also encouraging to me b/c in the very beginning I toyed with the idea of stepping through the different combine levels - start at 30k and keep working up. Earning my size. It's what I've started doing as of my current combine and glad to see you were able to benefit from a similar approach.

HollywoodTrader
I finally feel that I have found my edge and this is the one that I have been on the quest to find and is the one that I will stick with!

HollywoodTrader

Well, it just doesn't get much better than that Congrats and continued success, Hollywood!


HollywoodTrader

Speaking of doesn't get much better ... I started to snip the image from my reply but c'mon now it's a great looking image

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  #351 (permalink)
 phantomtrader 
Reno, Nevada
 
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HollywoodTrader View Post
I quote lancelottrader here because I took his insight seriously and it was much appreciated because I probably wouldn't have recognized it on my own because I get too focused on the task at hand when I should be taking a step back to analyze -- so thank you for raising the issue because I am hardly ever satisfied.

Moving on, in my last post I detailed how I asked to go back down to the combine from the "live prep" so I could move up to the 10 contract combine from the 5 which is the one successfully completed. I, for several reasons, I felt that having more contracts at my disposal would really be a boon to my system/methodology. Well, I'm happy to report that it looks as though I was right about this. Furthermore, I am much more relaxed while trading and a loss doesn't have the negative affects it did in the lower combine or even for lower dollar amounts -- although the money isn't much of a consideration for my, making the most of each individual trade is always that task at hand.

So the good news is that I'm doing well in my new 10 day, 10 contract combine -- in fact out of 9 trading days I have 9 winning days -- but, it doesn't look like I'm going to hit my profit target. I do have one day left to hit the target but if I don't, no biggie, because the whole point of moving down was to really develop my edge and what I believed was best for me and I feel I have done that and it's only going to get better. As a matter of fact I have acted with an abundance of caution in this combine, protecting taking profits too early and not letting them run even when I was sure the bias was in my favor. So, I'll get 'em on the next combine, but, as I am always looking to advance it will be in the 15 contract combine this time. I finally feel that I have found my edge and this is the one that I have been on the quest to find and is the one that I will stick with!

HollywoodTrader


Congratulations on a job well done! One thing I like about the Combine is that it does force discpline on you - I think you're less inclined to be a hot-shot trader and more inclined to develop a real skill.
Keep up the good work!

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  #352 (permalink)
 lancelottrader 
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HollywoodTrader View Post

So the good news is that I'm doing well in my new 10 day, 10 contract combine -- in fact out of 9 trading days I have 9 winning days --
HollywoodTrader


Great job. You're definitely on the right track.

Failure is not an option
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  #353 (permalink)
 Zondor 
Portland Oregon, United States
 
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I for one would certainly be interested in some postings here from people who have passed the Combine and the transition to profitable live trading.

Would be great to know what it's like to have mastered that hurdle and gone on to the next level.

If there already are posts like that which I have missed, please let me know. Combine is something I have been considering for a while now.

"If we don't loosen up some money, this sucker is going down." -GW Bush, 2008
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  #354 (permalink)
 Silvester17 
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Zondor View Post
I for one would certainly be interested in some postings here from people who have passed the Combine and the transition to profitable live trading.

Would be great to know what it's like to have mastered that hurdle and gone on to the next level.

If there already are posts like that which I have missed, please let me know. Combine is something I have been considering for a while now.

@Zondor,

do yourself a favor. forget about it.

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  #355 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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Silvester17 View Post
@Zondor,

do yourself a favor. forget about it.

Why is that?

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  #356 (permalink)
 Silvester17 
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Big Mike View Post
Why is that?

Mike

it can easily lead to erectile dysfunction, enlarged prostate and hair loss.

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  #357 (permalink)
 madLyfe 
Des Moines, Iowa
 
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Zondor View Post
I for one would certainly be interested in some postings here from people who have passed the Combine and the transition to profitable live trading.

Would be great to know what it's like to have mastered that hurdle and gone on to the next level.

If there already are posts like that which I have missed, please let me know. Combine is something I have been considering for a while now.

this is the closest ive seen, or heard about, so far..


dont believe anything you hear and only half of what you see

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  #358 (permalink)
 HollywoodTrader 
San Diego
 
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So, I was unable to go 10-for-10 and achieve the perfect combine -- I wasn't expecting it anyway. I had to reach $2500 for the day so I stalked the market all night, passed on 2 opportunities that I normally would have taken and both would have gotten me there, and took a 3rd opportunity during market hours that of course stopped me out. So I ended down about $1700 for the day and left it at that, I still had achieved rollover because I was in the green in all their additional metrics.

So, I get a call later in the day from John, the head scout, who I have had a great rapport with and he said that based on the strength of my combine, along with the fact that I had recently passed the the $50k combine, that if I felt I was ready they wanted to bring me back up to the "live prep" where I just have to reach $1500 in any amount of time and then I go live -- they want me to go live. The hitch was that it would be with the $50k account and not the $100k which I had just done so well in (and I don't really consider this a hitch, they are offering me the chance to go live).

Anyway, I thanked him for the opportunity but said that if I was going to go to the "live prep" it would have to be with the $100k account and if they couldn't offer that then I understood and I would just rollover my current combine but would try and conquer the $150k account. He again stated that they really would like for me to take a shot at going live but the $50k was what was on the table at this time. I let him know that I had never been so comfortable as I was in the $100k combine and for a number of very important reasons related to my trading that I had to stick with the $100k or above. So the 150k is up next for me and there is not doubt in my mind that that it is the right thing to do for long term success.

I don't think they have had anyone avoid going live twice but I'm getting better by the week and when I know I'm ready I'll be better off taking my time in the current stages. I'll let you know how the $150k goes!

HollywoodTrader

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  #359 (permalink)
 omni72 
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HollywoodTrader View Post
I let him know that I had never been so comfortable as I was in the $100k combine and for a number of very important reasons related to my trading that I had to stick with the $100k or above. So the 150k is up next for me and there is not doubt in my mind that that it is the right thing to do for long term success.

I don't think they have had anyone avoid going live twice but I'm getting better by the week and when I know I'm ready I'll be better off taking my time in the current stages. I'll let you know how the $150k goes!

HollywoodTrader

Awesome stuff HT, keep up the excellent work! My guess is you may be right about TST receiving repeated 'not yet's, but also guessing they are savvy enough to respect your self-evaluation. Plus, keeping a keen focus on long-term development can only benefit both parties. Kudos on the progress!

Looking forward to the next update.

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  #360 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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Tip


TopstepTrader's CEO Michael Patak and Senior Scout John Hoagland will be here for an in-depth discussion about their Combine's on February 5th -- more information in the thread below:






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  #361 (permalink)
 Zondor 
Portland Oregon, United States
 
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That would be a great time for hearing from, or about some of those live funded traders, to get some insights about what it's like to earn a living from the markets, and how the transition has affected their lives.

I hope TST will devote part of the presentation to this subject. So many of us have professional trading ambitions, towards which a well defined, attainable path has now been presented .

"If we don't loosen up some money, this sucker is going down." -GW Bush, 2008
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  #362 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
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Zondor View Post
That would be a great time for hearing from, or about some of those live funded traders, to get some insights about what it's like to earn a living from the markets, and how the transition has affected their lives.

That's true...and I also would like to hear some good news about their efforts to get the new CQG data feed up and running with Ninja Trader,
which would be a prerequisite to start a new reliable Combine using Ninja Trader...

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  #363 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
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I just received a short update regarding the Combine start date using Ninja Trader with CQG data feed:


Quoting 
Although I can't give you a specific date just yet, we believe that we will have Ninja available by the beginning of March.

So, if I wanna go with NT, I'll have to wait patiently, month after month...

But I'm really determined to never give up on that...

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  #364 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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Registrations are now open for next Tuesday's webinar event:



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  #365 (permalink)
 ryanmcc15 
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Daytrader999 View Post
I just received a short update regarding the Combine start date using Ninja Trader with CQG data feed:



So, if I wanna go with NT, I'll have to wait patiently, month after month...

But I'm really determined to never give up on that...

Daytrader999,

Is there a reason you don't want to use NinjaTrader with ZenFire? Just curious because I am currently using NT wit CQG as well.

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  #366 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
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ryanmcc15 View Post
Is there a reason you don't want to use NinjaTrader with ZenFire? Just curious because I am currently using NT wit CQG as well.

@ryanmcc15:

Perhaps that might be a misunderstanding, I'm actually using NT with Zen-Fire for my live account and never experienced any problems so far.

But TST never managed to set up a reliable connection between NT and Zen-Fire when it came to connect with the practice and Combine accounts, and most of the issues didn't get resolved yet.

So they started to look for another data provider and found CQG.
CQG / NT was first scheduled to go live by the end of January and is actually postponed again and announced for the beginning of March...

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  #367 (permalink)
 DarkPoolTrading 
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Excuse my ignorance and if this has already been discussed, but how will the Topstep Trader / NinjaTrader combination work when it does become an option?

- Will you need a live NinjaTrader licence (ie: not just the free version)?
- Will you need a separate data feed and TopStep will essentially be your 'broker'?

Not sure exactly how the various pieces fit together and which services you would need to pay for.

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  #368 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
Excuse my ignorance and if this has already been discussed, but how will the Topstep Trader / NinjaTrader combination work when it does become an option?

- Will you need a live NinjaTrader licence (ie: not just the free version)?
- Will you need a separate data feed and TopStep will essentially be your 'broker'?

Not sure exactly how the various pieces fit together and which services you would need to pay for.

@DarkPoolTrading:

- Yes, you will need a Ninja Trader life license, the free version won't work.

- No, you can use the announced CQG data feed at (currently) no cost, and TST (Michael Patak) will be your 'broker' in that case.

If you own a NT Multibroker license you may use Zen-Fire (or any other data provider) as well to trade your (Non-TST) Live account simultaneously.

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 Big Mike 
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Congratulations to @Hoag on his promotion to Director of Scouting Well deserved!

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  #370 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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I want to thank Mike & John today from TST for their time in this webinar. We had over 450 people sign up, and almost 200 questions in the webinar - so that is why it ended up running 2.5 hours long!

I think the webinar should answer almost all questions about TST and I hope everyone benefited from it.

I'll post the recording sometime tomorrow in the usual spot.

More info in the webinar thread:


Mike

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  #371 (permalink)
 RTR1701 
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Big Mike View Post
I want to thank Mike & John today from TST for their time in this webinar. We had over 450 people sign up, and almost 200 questions in the webinar - so that is why it ended up running 2.5 hours long!

I think the webinar should answer almost all questions about TST and I hope everyone benefited from it.

I'll post the recording sometime tomorrow in the usual spot.

More info in the webinar thread:


Mike

I would like to add my thanks to them too - very enthusiastic and open presentation that certainly got my interest!

Hope to have a closer look at the membership option initially once a house move is finished!

Thanks

Graeme

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  #372 (permalink)
 zcui 
Chicago, IL
 
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For anyone who's also confused by T4's way of calculating trading stats, TST sent me a file explaining them. Please see attachment.

Below is their definition of "a trade":
What constitutes a “Trade” - A trade is considered 1 trade if the completed price “in” (entry) is
the same, no matter the quantity and the completed price “out” (exit) is the same, no matter the
quantity. If two entries occur at the same price, and two exits occur at different prices, then that
would constitute 2 trades. Positions are different than trades.

So this means if I long 5 contracts, exit 4 contracts at +5 ticks and the other 1 was stopped out at -1 tick, then you'll have 1 winning trade and 1 losing trade, thus 50% win %.

I'm more used to ninjatrader's way of doing performance report, and definitely think that makes more sense.

Attached Thumbnails
Anybody heard of topsteptrader (review)-how-trade-reports-calculated.pdf  
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  #373 (permalink)
Pedro40
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Furthermore, there is always sequencing in executing trades, meaning always the first trade in gets exited first, no matter that you set up the limit order for the second entry.

For example I am long 1 ES contract from 1520. It pulls back 2 points so I go long with another contract at 1518. Now when the price goes back to 1520, I want to exit the 2nd entry with 2 points gain, but it doesn't matter if I change the limit price on that OCO order to 1520, the first entry will be executed first and it will be a break even trade.

I find this distracting because I specially set the limit order for the second entry and I wanted to keep the first entry longer so it could go into profit and help with the statistics... But whatever I try, first in first out if they are the same futures contract...

Edit: I have just found that Brian from T4 has a thread so I addressed this issue there....

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 Hoag 
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Pedro40 View Post
Furthermore, there is always sequencing in executing trades, meaning always the first trade in gets exited first, no matter that you set up the limit order for the second entry.

For example I am long 1 ES contract from 1520. It pulls back 2 points so I go long with another contract at 1518. Now when the price goes back to 1520, I want to exit the 2nd entry with 2 points gain, but it doesn't matter if I change the limit price on that OCO order to 1520, the first entry will be executed first and it will be a break even trade.

I find this distracting because I specially set the limit order for the second entry and I wanted to keep the first entry longer so it could go into profit and help with the statistics... But whatever I try, first in first out if they are the same futures contract...

Edit: I have just found that Brian from T4 has a thread so I addressed this issue there....

All our trade reports, T4 or Ninja, are calculated on a first in first out basis.

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  #375 (permalink)
 PushHands 
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Hoag View Post
All our trade reports, T4 or Ninja, are calculated on a first in first out basis.

Does this mean Ninjatrader is an platform option now? I've been checking the TST website, awaiting Ninjatrader to be listed as a platform.

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  #376 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
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PushHands View Post
Does this mean Ninjatrader is an platform option now? I've been checking the TST website, awaiting Ninjatrader to be listed as a platform.

As already mentioned by TST, Ninja Trader will actually be available for the Combines by the end of March.

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 Disciple 
Hervey Bay Qld Australia
 
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Looks like there are some changes to prices

No member discount for combines has changed (not for current members)
Charges for previously free services - squak radio and practice account

Maybe they will just have combine participants and not offer membership now.


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  #378 (permalink)
Pedro40
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Call me stupid, but what is the difference between line item #3 and #5 beside the price?

#3 Non-evaluated practice account (maybe this is the formerly 2 weeks free test account)

#5 Practice account (non-evaluated) (maybe this is the new 1 month test account)

The same with the 2 weeks Squawk Radio, previously free, now it is zero dollar...

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  #379 (permalink)
 Disciple 
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Looks like whatever is changing must still be in progress - it needs a little cleaning up. 3 and 5 look the same to me as well

Squawk radio has been free but it looks like after 2 weeks its pay up time.

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  #380 (permalink)
 DarkPoolTrading 
PTA, Gauteng
 
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Clearly a lot of price and structure changes are in the works at @TopstepTrader. Their website is currently very much 'a work in progress'. (I wonder why the half baked website changes have been made public as they're clearly not complete)

As others have mentioned, it seems that the price for combines is going up and there doesn't seem to be a member discount anymore.

The price of the IDT course is going up. You get a complimentary combine along with the IDT course (not sure which one?)

The profit split for people who have done the IDT course and subsequently get funded is being dropped. It was originally 70:30, then 65:35, now just the standard 60:40 regardless.

I wonder what other price increases haven't yet made it to the website.

Hopefully the site will be completed soon and more clarity on these changes will be provided.

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 tderrick 
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
Clearly a lot of price and structure changes are in the works at @TopstepTrader. Their website is currently very much 'a work in progress'. (I wonder why the half baked website changes have been made public as they're clearly not complete)

As others have mentioned, it seems that the price for combines is going up and there doesn't seem to be a member discount anymore.

The price of the IDT course is going up. You get a complimentary combine along with the IDT course (not sure which one?)

The profit split for people who have done the IDT course and subsequently get funded is being dropped. It was originally 70:30, then 65:35, now just the standard 60:40 regardless.

I wonder what other price increases haven't yet made it to the website.

Hopefully the site will be completed soon and more clarity on these changes will be provided.


hmmmmmm....... more and more not quite worth it, seemingly ....

We'll see.....


AJ
Nashville, Tennessee


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  #382 (permalink)
 indiantrader 
Mumbai, India
 
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I see they have removed the refunding criteria for combine deposit....so it seems there is no provision to rollover combine with same deposit......quie a few changes....

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  #383 (permalink)
 mfootlick 
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Hi all,

As we move forward and make changes, I wanted to clarify some things to avoid confusion. We’ve recently updated our website, restructured the Membership program and launched TopstepTrader University and our new educational program, the College of Trader Development (wahoo!)

First, If you’re having problems viewing the website, please clear your cache.

Combine Cost
The cost of the Combine has NOT changed. The 10-Day and 20-Day Minimum Combine, with the standard Combine Objective (Profit Target and Scouting Criteria) is the same as it has been. There are currently no plans to increase the cost of the Combine.

Customize your Combine Objective
We have recently added the option to customize a Combine objective (recruits decide how they want to be evaluated). If someone wishes to have a Custom Objective (in lieu of the standard objective), they may submit a proposal to the Scout Team. The deposit requirement for Combines with a custom objective is $50 more than a Combine with the standard objective.

Refundable Deposit Criteria
To clarify, there has been no changes to the refundable deposit criteria. The Combine deposit is still fully refundable under this criteria: Become a Trader | TopstepTrader Refundable Deposit

Squawk Radio and Breaking News Service
The Squawk Radio and Breaking News Service is FREE to anyone enrolled in our 2-Week Trial, the Practice Trading Subscription, and the Combine. For those not enrolled in the program, a 2-Week Squawk Radio Trial is available for free. If someone not part of our program wishes to subscribe to Squawk Radio, the cost is $65/month (just lowered from $100/month.)

Membership Program Restructured into a Practice Trading Program
In response to recruit feedback, our Membership program has been restructured into a Practice program. Many recruits weren’t able to fully utilize membership benefits (discounts on the Combine and coaching) because they were focusing more on practicing and developing trading skills. To account for this concern, we are lowering the subscription cost from $150/month to $100/month.

Practice Account for a Combine
To clarify, there is a difference between the Practice Trading Subscription and “adding” a practice account to a Combine. When adding a practice account to a Combine, the practice account is only available for the duration of the Combine. Also, Trade Reports are not generated for the practice account, unlike with the Practice Trading Subscription. The cost for adding a practice account continues to be $30 for a 10-Day Minimum Combine and $50 for a 20-Day Minimum Combine.

Intuitive Development for Traders Changes
The Intuitive Development for Traders and other educational courses we offer are through partnerships with outside educators. The $500 fee is what Ray currently charges on his site (the price of IDT on his website will be increasing to $997).

The profit split has been dropped for all educational courses, and instead we’ve added a complimentary 10-Day $50K Minimum Combine ($175 value). This allows traders to choose an education course of their choice while striving to get funded at the same time. A higher profit split is meaningless if a trader cannot get live and stay live. Bringing education and the Combine together will give traders their best shot at earning a funded account and staying profitable. Anyone who previously took IDT will still receive the increased profit split.

If anyone has any other questions or would like more clarification, please feel free to ask it here or contact us at 312.252.9490 or support@TopstepTrader.com.

If you have any questions about TopstepTrader please send me a Private Message or contact us at info@topsteptrader.com or 312.252.9490.
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  #384 (permalink)
 Silver Dragon 
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Michael Patak did a question and answer session on Friday. He provided updates about Ninja Trader and the changes in the website and pricing.

Robert



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  #385 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
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Thanks for sharing Robert, but as far as I understood MP during the first few minutes there's no real breaking news on Ninja Trader so far...

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  #386 (permalink)
 xelaar 
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Hi
If I get new conditions right, if I pay 175 usd for 20 day 30k Combine, I effective also get 2 months membership with it, barring only reports from a practice account, correct?

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 mfootlick 
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xelaar View Post
Hi
If I get new conditions right, if I pay 175 usd for 20 day 30k Combine, I effective also get 2 months membership with it, barring only reports from a practice account, correct?


xelaar,

I apologize, but I am unclear on what you are asking exactly. If you register for a 20 Day Combine, you can add a practice account, in addition to the Combine account for $50. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Melissa

If you have any questions about TopstepTrader please send me a Private Message or contact us at info@topsteptrader.com or 312.252.9490.
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 xelaar 
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mfootlick View Post
xelaar,

I apologize, but I am unclear on what you are asking exactly. If you register for a 20 Day Combine, you can add a practice account, in addition to the Combine account for $50. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Melissa

Thanks, basically what I meant was with 60 days (20 trading days minimum) Combine you get same benefits you get with being a member for 2 months except practice account, i.e. lessons, squawk radio?

Thanks
Alex

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  #389 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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Tip


There will be a Live AMA session on Thursday, April 4th @ 12:00 PM ET.

- Quick and casual, 30 minute cap
- No prepared presentation
- Live screen sharing
- Floor will be opened immediately to questions
- Recording uploaded to AMA thread afterwards
- Attend live to get your questions answered

Check the AMA thread for more info:





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  #390 (permalink)
 josh 
Georgia, US
 
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I decided to post this here instead of clutter up a thread which it did not really belong in:


SteveH View Post
Josh,

My apologies. I see where I misread that page. I edited the original post with an insert after the incorrect part. There is risk on their side. Looks very minimal though vs their upside potential.

No worries Steve; I think that's the idea though, and both the trader and TST should want to maximize upside potential and minimize downside risk. Here's how I thought through the process:

TST can't "give away" combines. If they did, people would take crazy kinds of risk and trade carelessly, gambling if you will, much like those free trading contests where people make crazy returns. They can do this because there is no risk at all. Thus, the results would not be representative of how a trader might trade with real money. But a $160-$400 risk is enough that most people will try their best to at least get the deposit back. In other words, there is some cost, though relatively minimal, to blowing a combine. This is very different from a sim account on a local machine. Start Monday, trade poorly, reset the sim account and start Tuesday like Monday never happened. Interestingly, it's very possible the poor trading on Monday would not have been so poor, had the trader had some consequences, and had he not been able to reset the sim account at will.

This is, I think, the benefit a firm like TST provides. Whether it's by TST or some other company, or a brick and mortar prop firm, there needs to be some accountability forced upon all traders at some point. Traders by and large simply do not have the innate discipline to do what we need to do without some accountability and consequences. With the TST combine program, if you hit your loss limit, they will let you trade the account for practice until it's done, so you get the data feed, but you get no refund, and no consideration for funding. That alone is a powerful motivator to stay within risk parameters. Same for position sizing; you simply are unable to trade more size than allowed. No more days in sim of trying to stick to 3 lots, and winding up with a 10-20 lot position and pretending that when it breaks even or makes a nice profit that it was realistic.

So, it provides a more realistic simulation/testing environment in which to evaluate. Obviously TST has a cash flow from the combine takers. And when a live trader goes max down (for the $30K it's $1500 max loss from initial balance, or 5%) they lose that money, but that is the risk they take, and no doubt the combine cash flow makes up for this loss. And when a live trader does well, everyone makes money. If the trader can reach the first threshold ($5K for the $30K account), TST's risk is gone and the max loss is the initial balance. The next threshold sees a profit split of 70%, and then 80% for the last threshold.

I think it is nice that they do not force the trader to "lock in" profits -- after the initial threshold is reached, the trader is in control of both his and TST's profit, as the drawdown limit is still the initial balance. Also, a funded trader who fails requirements and returns to the combine does not have to pay for futures combines, they get one free every 30 days. And, after the first threshold is met, the trader is considered "senior" instead of "junior" and if they have to go back to the combine and pass, they do not have to go through "junior" status if/when funded again. In other words, TST does not force the trader to start all over with everything once the trader has proven he can get the job done to a certain degree. And any time the parameters are met and the trader did not lose money in the combine, he gets his money back; hard to argue with that.

In all of this it's important to realize that many traders simply do not have the funding to trade reasonably, so they open a $10K account, are given crazy low margins, and usually blow it in part to those low margins. As I heard FT71 say on a webinar recently, there is no benefit to losing $2000 on a single trade if you have a $10K or $20K account. There is just nothing to be learned there. Rather, it's better to lose $2K over many trades and get actual experience. TST provides traders with a way to learn through experience, at minimal cost, in a more real environment than a local sim can provide, while assuming MUCH less risk than live trading. So if a trader can prove that he can trade, he is given a margin of 1 contract per $10,000 to trade with, not enough to hang himself with, but enough to get the ball rolling. So many of us came into trading wanting to turn $5K into $100K in two years, and programs like this can be the "cure" for this type of delusional misunderstanding of risk. I think that a risk of about 0.25% per trade is reasonable risk. Even with a $30K account, this only lets you have a 1-lot ES stop of 6 ticks, but many $10K traders are cool swinging 5 lots and risking 5% in a single trade. The thought of having something like a $200K account and losing 3 trades in a row at 1% risk, and blow 6 grand in a day stresses me out. In Schwager's Hedge Fund Market Wizards, the majority of the 15 interviewed fund managers had lifetime drawdowns of less than 12%, monthly max drawdowns of 4%, etc., yet you have some folks who are hitting that in a single day; craziness.

I have had the disease, I have blown the account, and I am speaking from experience when I talk about the ills traders possess, as I have had them all!

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  #391 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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Just a reminder to join us Wednesday @ 4:30 PM ET for "Post-Trade Analysis and Improvement". John Hoagland and Andre McHugh will be presenting from TST.

Thread:


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  #392 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
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Well, as it was just mentioned during the current TST webinar, Ninja Trader will 'probably be available in a month', which I find quite disappointing...

Since Ninja Trader is now being postponed time and again for about 6 months, I seriously wonder if it ever will be available in a Combine...

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  #393 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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Daytrader999 View Post
Well, as it was just mentioned during the current TST webinar, Ninja Trader will 'probably be available in a month', which I find quite disappointing...

Since Ninja Trader is now being postponed time and again for about 6 months, I seriously wonder if it ever will be available in a Combine...

Will be discussed next Thursday, April 4th, during the AMA session with the CEO



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  #394 (permalink)
 Piston36 
Seattle Wa
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Does anyone know if its possible to trade the Topstep combine using Sierra? Thanks

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  #395 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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Piston36 View Post
Does anyone know if its possible to trade the Topstep combine using Sierra? Thanks

Yes, has been mentioned a few times in this thread I think. Sierra Chart works perfectly fine with CTS data feed and works perfectly fine in the Combine.

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  #396 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
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Piston36 View Post
Does anyone know if its possible to trade the Topstep combine using Sierra? Thanks

Yes, it's possible. You may ask @Silver Dragon for more details since afaik he's currently using SC in his Combine.

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  #397 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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A reminder that Michael Patak, CEO of TopstepTrader, will be here Thursday @ 12:00 PM ET for a Live 30-minute AMA session:

https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/449351110

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  #398 (permalink)
Pedro40
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I forgot, do we ask the questions here, or can we type them at the webinar?

Anyhow, I wonder how many Live (funded) traders got blown yesterday because of the big move both in oil and S&P? I assume at least 2....

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  #399 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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I forgot, do we ask the questions here, or can we type them at the webinar?

Anyhow, I wonder how many Live (funded) traders got blown yesterday because of the big move both in oil and S&P? I assume at least 2....

In AMA thread or AMA session:



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  #400 (permalink)
 josh 
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Just to clarify, I thought I heard Michael say that in the live trader prep there was no profit objective. There is a profit objective, at least for everyone I've heard as well as myself. However, there is no time limit, and there are also additional parameters not included in the combine, as well as some parameters removed that are in the normal combine.

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