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

  #671 (permalink)
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tpredictor View Post
The big deal is that profit and risk are fairly strongly correlated among traders. The novice trader imagines that the great trader is able to profit without taking any risk. The reality is that the better traders take the same or more risk than the bad traders but they make better decisions overall which leads to profitability.


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



tpredictor View Post
But, just if you turn the scenario on its head and someone came to me and told me they had 1k for me to risk per day in the markets and then told me they only had 2k total-- in any other scenario that'd be ridiculous.


Perhaps so, but the fact is that it isn't in any other scenario: it's in their scenario, and that perhaps makes all the difference?



tpredictor View Post
So, I don't see why so many people give TST a pass.


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

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  #672 (permalink)
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Tymbeline View Post
Here, and elsewhere in your post, you make some very good points, of course - and you make them well. It's interesting to see your views, Tpredictor.

...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob.


Last edited by bobwest; January 4th, 2017 at 11:30 AM.
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  #673 (permalink)
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bobwest View Post
As for why TST is doing it, the answer seems very simple. They are looking for traders for their prop firm.

Bob.

I think that's actually pretty naive.

Their business model is to make big money off the combines, and if they can make some money off funded traders then that's gravy. It's pretty obvious that the combines are where the money is. They make most of their money off the hope of being a full time trader, not actually funding traders. I'm not criticizing or agreeing with the model. It just is what it is.

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  #674 (permalink)
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emini2000 View Post
I think that's actually pretty naive.

Their business model is to make big money off the combines, and if they can make some money off funded traders then that's gravy. It's pretty obvious that the combines are where the money is. They make most of their money off the hope of being a full time trader, not actually funding traders. I'm not criticizing or agreeing with the model. It just is what it is.



Maybe I'm just a sucker. Maybe that never occurred to me, maybe that's why I'm so naive.

Maybe not.

Do you care? I don't.

Bob.

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  #675 (permalink)
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emini2000 View Post
They make most of their money off the hope of being a full time trader, not actually funding traders.


How do you know?

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  #676 (permalink)
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Tymbeline View Post
How do you know?

Well @bobwest actually said it himself, but it wasn't the point he was making by saying it.

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

Quite a few get funded if you get the emails every few weeks that show who has been funded. So how many then makes up the hundreds (if not in the thousands) of the 90% that fail? Multiply that by the combine cost, multiplied by the number of people that fail, and many do it multiple times trying to pass. Then you have those that did pass, and how many times did they take the combine to do that?

Like I said, it's pretty obvious that the bulk of the money is made from the combine, not the trading. Like I said, I'm not criticizing it, just telling it like it is.

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  #677 (permalink)
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bobwest View Post


Maybe I'm just a sucker. Maybe that never occurred to me, maybe that's why I'm so naive.

Maybe not.

Do you care? I don't.

Bob.

Nah. Already said I'm not criticizing it. It is what it is.

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  #678 (permalink)
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This is just an argument or discussion that is not worth having.

Anyone who wants to avail themselves of what TST is offering should do so. Anyone who doesn't should not.

It is pointless to repeat that TST is in the business to take your money. They make an offer, they fulfill it as stated. You may pay a lot of money before you pass a Combine, or you may never pass a Combine, or you may pass it the first time.

Revealing the earth-shaking truth that they will collect your money whether you pass it or not is not a hard thing to understand. It's also irrelevant. People should decide what they want to do, and then do it. You will probably have to pay something to someone. Spend it wisely, based on your own assessment of the pros and cons.

This is all really cut and dried.

Bob.

Edit: although I do stand by what I wrote, I don't want it to be personal, so I apologize if it comes across as confrontational or personal. I think it is obvious that TST will be making money from those who are taking the Combine, and it is also obvious that if someone finds it of value, they should go ahead with it. That's all I mean to say here.


Last edited by bobwest; January 4th, 2017 at 07:26 PM.
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  #679 (permalink)
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@bobwest I do not have a problem with TST being a business. Traders pay for trading products all the time. The problem people have with TST is that they claim to be one type of business when in reality many people believe their business model is another model. And, that's the problem because that is disingenuous. They make 2 basic claims (and at least 2 implied claims): one, you can trade through them without risk and the second claim is that their primary objective is to derive profits from the markets and not by charging traders for sim trading. There is a 3rd implied claim which is Patak is now a successful trader, and became successful by following some sort of risk of management protocol similar to what TST offers. A cynic might even suspect that the reason they started requesting traders withdraw their first 5k in profits is so that they would have some evidence of paying out traders and therefore they would not technically be a fraud. As for trading without risk, if you subscribe to the 100k account for a year then you would spend more than the total amount of risk they are giving you (325*12=$3900 total while funding level is only $3,000). The final implied claim is not only that you can be profitable but as a firm that they have the resources and wherewithal to allow the trader to make a living. I do not find any of these claims believable. But, I agree there are not many opportunities for traders without capital. That is is a problem that the exchanges should address really.

Even if a firm is legit then they could still lose money. Businesses lose money all the time. But, there are a couple of clues that they might not be trying to derive profits from their trading operations. The first is the 100% payout on the first 5k. Again, a cynic might suspect they needed to show they had payed out some traders and that was what that was all about. The second is whether or not they hold back profits. You have to keep your star traders if you have any hope of making a business like this work. The only way you can keep your star traders is to earn their loyalty or to hold their profits and make it painful to leave. There are a couple other hints too. If the combine is really supposed to find the star traders then why would anyone who passes get sent back to the combine? If you pass then you should be passed for life or at least a year or some tangible time. They might sent you back to the simulator but the idea they will charge you again is yet another red flag. If they have star traders who are loyal then they should present them. They share a ton of statistics regarding traders who pass their combines so they don't really have much excuse for not sharing some very basic, non proprietary stats, about how much their top traders are making. How many traders that came through TST have hit a high water mark of 30k+ in their accounts? 60k+? 100k+? 500k+? 1 million+? And how long have they been with TST and whether or not they are still with TST. Those are the only questions that people care about. If they could show even 10 traders clearing 500k or more I'd be wowed.

Now a few questions, can someone describe how the funded trader prep works? Also, on another forum/comments someone reported the profits you can make in the first 10 days determines how much you can risk? Is there any truth to that? Are there any non competes? If you don't at least get the trivial risk capital promised then that's really bad.


Last edited by tpredictor; January 5th, 2017 at 05:59 AM.
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  #680 (permalink)
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bobwest View Post
This is just an argument or discussion that is not worth having.

Yet you keep coming back, the same way you "left" the Al Brooks thread. Like 5 times. Hate to tell you Bob, but you come across as an incredible naive cheerleader for these vendors. If a vendor misrepresenting himself that is as tpredictor said correctly disingenuous, if not an outright fraud.

If you are working for someone or wanting to learn from someone the minimum you would want to know is how they really make their money....

But I guess you are not the curious type...

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