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Anybody heard of topsteptrader (review)
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Anybody heard of topsteptrader (review)

  #641 (permalink)
skrubtrader
Boynton Beach
 
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bobwest View Post
I just got a PM from a trader who asked me for a suggestion for a Combine, and who was concerned whether "all the rules" would fit his trading style or not.

I gave it my best shot, which is basically about the different things to weigh against each other in deciding which to do, and whether to do any of them, and also told him I would post a version of my response out on the forum in case it was useful to anyone else who is trying to decide.

So here it is:

------------------

Well, it's always a big responsibility when someone thinks I know enough to make a recommendation. I'm really not that expert. But I'll try to lay out some pros and cons.

The first thing is being clear about "all the rules," which sometimes seem more and worse than they are. Also, they have been somewhat relaxed recently.

Here's the entire list of rules as of now:

1. You need at least 10 days of trading -- no maximum (for a Continuous, which is the current standard.)

2. Basically, you can trade from a list of CME and CBOT products (it's either most or all of them), day trades only, and you must close out by 3:10 PM CT, or whenever the contract closes if different. You can close at 3:10 and re-open at 5:00 CT (or whenever), but not hold straight through. You also will need to always trade the "front month" (the most active.)

3. You have a daily loss limit. If you hit it during a trade your trade is closed out and the Combine will not be eligible for funding. It resets every day, so you should just stop if you approach it, and next day you're good up to the same amount. For instance, for a 50K Combine, it's $1,000/day. It's higher for larger accounts, lower for smaller ones. This is one way to blow the Combine.

4. You have a "trailing max drawdown" which is a certain amount below your account's high point. For a 50K Combine, it's $2,000. So as the account balance increases, the max drawdown level advances to stay $2,000 below its highest level. It stops advancing once it gets up to your starting balance. If you slip back down to the max drawdown level on a closing basis, you're done. So when you start, your max drawdown level is $48,000. If your balance goes up to 51,000, the max drawdown trails up to 49,000, etc. This is the other way to blow it.

5. You have a limit of a certain number of contracts per trade. For 50K, it's maximum of 5.

6. You have to make the profit target, on or after the tenth day. For a 50K, it's $3,000.

If you hit the loss limits, the Combine won't be considered for funding, but you will still have the data feed and can use it for practice until you reset it (there's a $100 charge), or you email them to cancel it. The subscription also keeps renewing (being charged) on the normal date, whether reset or not, unless you cancel.

If you hit all the marks, including the target, you need to email them to let them know you're ready to have it evaluated.

You can see that there's really nothing much to these rules except the restriction to day trading only, the two loss control rules, the max trade size, and the profit target after 10 days. (And presently, you can't do a Combine for something that is not on the CME.)

---------------

If you can't trade within these terms -- for example, if you need to swing trade overnight -- then it's not for you. If you can, then here's my suggestion:

First, go to the TST website and be sure you are not just taking my word for the rules. You can start here, and then click the links to get more info: https://www.topsteptrader.com/learnmore

Particularly pay attention to the differences between the trade size, daily loss limit, max drawdown and profit target.

Then, look at the trade-offs between these for the different account sizes. For instance, I would not be at all comfortable with the smaller two Combines, the 10K and the 30K, because their smaller daily limits wouldn't give me the leeway that I would want to have to absorb losing trades. For me, 50K is OK, because I am comfortable with the $1,000 daily loss limit (which I further limit to about $750 as my own personal limit, because I don't want to hit theirs.) If someone were a more precise trader than I am, perhaps he would be OK with a tighter limit, and a cheaper Combine. Or, someone might want more leeway, and so go for a larger account. But then there is also a higher profit target to consider.

There should also be some thought given to the trade size. I do not attempt to trade the 50K with the maximum allowed size of 5 contracts, because 5 contracts can give you a bigger loss very quickly. I trade the 50K with just one contract, because it has a much bigger loss limit than the 10K, which has a max of one contract, but a super-tight loss limit of $300. I'm perfectly happy to pay a higher Combine price for the higher loss limit. So this is also a factor to weigh in the balance, and will be completely individual.

Many people dream they will get rich very fast, and go for the 150K and use the max 15 contracts, which can be suicide if you don't already trade that much with success.

Finally, for me, funding would be nice, but the required discipline and structure is the main thing. Also, it is much closer to real trading than just plinking away at pure sim, because there is something at stake, but I'm not losing my own money while I do it. It has been an effective way to improve, and to learn to handle my personal weaknesses, which are what really hold me back.

These are the things that I would try to balance out. If you need me to clarify anything, just let me know, and good luck, whichever way you go.

Bob.

Great post, thank you...........

skrubtrader

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  #642 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
Manchester, NH
 
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Topstep's "mistake"

I recently tried a Combine but did not pass so I emailed the support to discontinue the Combine 3 business days before the monthly charge date. The support emailed me back that credit card charges would stop. I didn't think much about it afterwards but two weeks after that I looked at my credit card charges I realized there was a new charge of $375 on previously scheduled date. I immediately told them about this mistake and they agreed to refund me within a few business days.

This concerns me, because the burden of due diligence is on my shoulder. If I did not check carefully or if something happened to me then they got away. You must be highly alert when giving someone "continuous charge" authority. I do not know if this is an honest mistake or it is something they play to see if they can get away with. Has this happened to any one besides me?

I also do not like the way they control my credit cards. Once you give them your credit card, you can not delete it from your account page. I have used different credit cards to pay for Combines before, they possess all the numbers of my cards and can't replace one with another unless I call.

I think their rules for passing Combine are fair enough and I am willing to play by their rules. However, with the continuous charges authority and sometimes charges by mistakes I think that's bad situation for participants. What do you think?

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  #643 (permalink)
Elite Member
Sarasota FL
 
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MsFutures View Post
I recently tried a Combine but did not pass so I emailed the support to discontinue the Combine 3 business days before the monthly charge date. The support emailed me back that credit card charges would stop. I didn't think much about it afterwards but two weeks after that I looked at my credit card charges I realized there was a new charge of $375 on previously scheduled date. I immediately told them about this mistake and they agreed to refund me within a few business days.

This concerns me, because the burden of due diligence is on my shoulder. If I did not check carefully or if something happened to me then they got away. You must be highly alert when giving someone "continuous charge" authority. I do not know if this is an honest mistake or it is something they play to see if they can get away with. Has this happened to any one besides me?

...
What do you think?

I have cancelled Combine payment subscriptions many times, and never had any issues.

I would say that sometimes real mistakes happen, that's all.

Bob.

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  #644 (permalink)
 Vendor: www.topsteptrader.com 
Chicago, IL
 
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@MsFutures,

I apologize for the payment error you experienced. I can assure you, it was a mistake. We are currently upgrading much of our systems and giving more payment control to our users is at the top of the list. Until then, we appreciate your continued patience and understanding!

Trade well,

Michael

If you have any questions about our products or services at TopstepTrader, please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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  #645 (permalink)
Elite Member
Cardiff, South Wales
 
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TICK & VIX

Does the TST Combine data feed include market internals?

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  #646 (permalink)
Site Administrator
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Hi guys,

It is my pleasure to welcome back John Hoagland of TopstepTrader on Thursday, September 1st @ 4:30 PM Eastern US.

The title of the webinar is: "From The Pits To The Screens", with John Hoagland and Mick Ieronimo of TopstepTrader.

John and Mick will discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of the transition from pit trading to screen trading. They will review how every trader can take advantage of ongoing evolution in the trading industry.

Bullet points for this webinar:

- Immediately adoptable strategies that lead traders to success
- How discretionary traders can find profits and consistency in their trading
- How to sniff out competition and find the "stronger" money
- How to utilize these strategies without risking any capital

You can visit TopstepTrader's website here:
http://www.topsteptrader.com

Register for the event (space is limited):
https://on.futures.io/zsmn6

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

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  #647 (permalink)
Elite Member
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I was looking for something else on the TST site, and I came across this.

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I am not at all surprised. I have found them to be totally reasonable, and I do not feel that anything has come to light to suggest otherwise. And they do what they say.

I also strongly believe that the TST program is not for everyone. If your trading involves holding overnight, or accepting larger losses than they allow in order to scale in, or trading different size, or if any of the other rules do not fit you, it would be crazy for you to even try it.

If it works for you, good. If not, move on.

Different strokes for different folks.

Bob.

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  #648 (permalink)
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rossco View Post
Does the TST Combine data feed include market internals?

As I understood, no. Becuase datafeed is Rithmic. As I know those data is available at CQG or some other vendors.

Bite small, run fast!
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  #649 (permalink)
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Room is open and webinar will start at 4:30 PM EDT.

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  #650 (permalink)
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Can I get some confirmation on this? I thought I was clear on the overnight, but this sentence above confused me:

"2. Basically, you can trade from a list of CME and CBOT products (it's either most or all of them), day trades only, and you must close out by 3:10 PM CT, or whenever the contract closes if different. You can close at 3:10 and re-open at 5:00 CT (or whenever), but not hold straight through. You also will need to always trade the "front month" (the most active.)"

Is it day trades only? Or can we open positions during Globex?

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