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

  #681 (permalink)
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Does it matter where TST makes most of their money from?

The guidelines are laid out and it's your choice as to whether or not you accept them. You are paying for a small chance of having what a lot of traders can only dream of. Trading someone else's capital.

I don't see the TST website talking about how easy it is to make it in this industry. And I see no evidence in this thread about the company being a fraud.

I see assumptions that they make more off the combines than they do off their traders, but we have no confirmation/denial from any official representative. So we should be careful when turning assumptions into reality without facts.

There are ways to obtain the information, and fighting with other members who are just as much in the dark as you, isn't it.

Let's not turn this thread into the shit show that was the Al Brooks thread.

Cheers.

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  #682 (permalink)
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@SoftSoap

I would normally agree that rehashing the same points over and over would be pointless. However, this is a firm that's made some audacious claims and received relatively widespread support from the industry. They are the one making the audacious claims and they are responsible thus for backing them up. If they said, hey we have this awesome sim platform for $150 per month and it's really worth it because you get all these stats and all these benefits then I wouldn't have a problem with that. It is when they claim to have one business and they really have another business then that's why we have a problem. They claim they make money from finding great traders and placing them with their partner. In reality, their customer is the "trader" and they take the "hit" on the other side, to keep the charade going. And, it is clear to a lot of us that they started requesting traders take their first 5k withdrawal because none of their traders were staying in the game long enough to get any withdrawals and they were probably afraid that it'd make them a fraud. To keep the charade going, to keep the TST cash cow going, that's why they started giving 100% on the other side. So, technically they can point to those payouts as evidence that they aren't a fraud.

However, my opinion based on pure logic strongly suggests all of the following:

1. Claim #1 TST is a risk free way to trade the markets

Reality: Subscribing to TST 100k program for a year would cost $3900 which is more risk then the $3000 they give you. Even if you think it won't take an entire year, let's imagine it only takes 3 combines, that's appx $1,000 or 33% of the risk of trading live. Plus you add on professional datafeeds and profit split! It's a terrible deal. Worse it looks like they don't even give you the full risk. It's a charade either way but technically it's not fraudulent if they give you the money to lose in the markets but there's a decent amount of evidence that they don't give you the full risk in every case and that to me, if it is true, would make it a fraud. But, their scheme would probably fall apart either way -- so they have to limit the damage.

2. Claim #2 TST is a scouting agency that makes their money from PLACING the trader with their partner. They claim they are a prop firm with the primary objective to profit from trading in the market.

Reality: The real objective is to make money from the combine fees. Why is this logical? Any real prop needs to keep their star traders. You keep the star traders by earning their loyalty by being nice to them and giving them the opportunity to make more money trading for you then they could anywhere else and by holding back profits and locking them up. It's the only way something like this can work.

Also, think about this.. If the combine is to find the star traders then it'd be a one time fee or at most a yearly assessment. If you pass a combine and go live and don't make money then what's really going to happen? First, most likely you won't get another shot. The combine failed to weed you out but the market did. Why would you want to risk even more money on a trader who managed to "game" your tryouts? It would be the greatest evidence that this trader either has a strategy that doesn't work in the live markets or chokes and can't trade under real pressure. Even if they really believe in their model, you'd go back to the simulator and they wouldn't charge you.

I imagine a realistic combine might want to see a larger ratio of the total profit to the maximum drawdown. That'd be the best risk metric and proof that you could trade. It'd be over a longer period of time too. A realistic combine would probably give you 12k to 25k of total risk capital and they'd probably give you 3 months or 1 year to hit some very high multiple of that max drawdown ratio and there'd be some minimum. Realistic parameters might look something like the following, max 1k risk per day, 12k risk total, 4x your maximum drawdown and at least > 12k profits returned over a period of 3-4 months.

3 Claim #3 Patak is a prop firm with the sole objective of making a profit from the markets and giving their traders the ability to make a living. Reality the Patak is an entity designed for making the scheme technically legal with no real objective except to risk and lose as little money in the markets as possible while making sure they payout just enough to traders so if anyone examines their books they can point to those payouts.

Reality: A legitimate business must try to make money. Giving traders 100% payouts is no way to make money. Restricting the risk traders can take to virtually nothing --- is no way going to allow for a business to grow and make real money.

Have you looked and seen how many people TST is hiring? You are paying their salaries with your endless combines. You are basically paying someone who can't trade, who will never trade, and who was probably never passionate about the markets to tell you that you can't trade. Anyone who can really trade on so little capital, 2k for the standard combine, should easily come to the conclusion that it makes more sense to trade their their own money. If TST were the real deal then they'd clearly ramp up their best traders with more risk capital. They might start you off low but they'd ramp you up. Not because they are nice but because they'd have too in order to survive. And you would get maybe a 50/50 payout and be able to a make a living.


Last edited by tpredictor; January 6th, 2017 at 04:47 PM.
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  #683 (permalink)
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Just a question....are they claiming to make money from traders/as a prop firm? I haven't seen that stated anywhere.

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  #684 (permalink)
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jackbravo View Post
Just a question....are they claiming to make money from traders/as a prop firm? I haven't seen that stated anywhere.

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For a funded account, they hire you as an independent contractor, give you a certain number of contracts to trade and split your trading profits with you: 80% to you, 20% to them.

Bob.

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  #685 (permalink)
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Just because someone has a different opinion, it does not make them a troll.

I encourage debate, even a lively one -- so long as it remains polite and helpful. So let's be very careful to not discourage such debate here on FIO when it is civil.

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  #686 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
Just because someone has a different opinion, it does not make them a troll.

I encourage debate, even a lively one -- so long as it remains polite and helpful. So let's be very careful to not discourage such debate here on FIO when it is civil.

Mike

OK, you're right.

I deleted my post.

Bob.

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  #687 (permalink)
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Apparently Michael is claiming to have been a profitable trader now, I hadn't seen that before.


Quoting 
Unfortunately, I didn’t have a finance background or know a soul in trading, but I was determined. After saving up my hard earned money, I moved to Chicago in my early twenties to pursue my dream. By the time I was 24 years old, I had lost it all - $90,000 to be exact. I took a step back and realized I needed to safely develop my trading strategy without risking any more capital. I spent 6 months trading on a simulated account, following simple risk parameters and trading rules. Only after I proved to myself that I could consistently make money each day did I put risk back on.

I went on to routinely average 6-figure profits each year, including a best day of $33,000.

Have any TST traders went on to earn 6 figure profits? Have any TST traders went on to have 25k+ days? These are valid questions. Was Michael profitable in his last 2 years of trading to the same degree? These are valid questions given his claims. Does he have any account statements backing up these claims?

One thing I'm really interested to learn is I've read that there is this 10 day period where whatever you make in the first 10 days determines what you are able to risk. I'd like to know what the deal is on that? Because it makes it seem like a fraud if they aren't giving you the full risk claimed.

I just received an email "554 funded accounts" over 2016. Were all these accounts given the full risk that the traders earned? That's what's implied. But, if a large portion of these accounts were cut off early then that's deceptive.

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  #688 (permalink)
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SoftSoap View Post
Does it matter where TST makes most of their money from?

Yes it does. Where a business generates it's money will determine where it puts its focus. Is the focus on generating profitable traders for your fund or running as many people through the mill to collect a fee.

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  #689 (permalink)
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In the end, I agree with both sides of the argument.

a) TST is providing a good opportunity to - relatively inexpensively - test and improve your trading against external rules and observation. And yes, this point benefits mostly learning (i.e. losing) traders who take multiple combines. I myself have probably spent 2.5k$ on combines in total. Before that, I lost a good bit more live in the markets - with probably about the same learning experience. Actually, I lost about twice as much in one single day, a couple of years ago - I would have been VERY grateful had I known about TST at that point already.

b) the business design of the funded trader stage is somewhat flawed. I am not saying fraudulent. Just flawed. And, to some extend, TST is aware of this as I've seen various iterations of the same statement on their site: the successful traders take their payout and then stop to trade the funded account in order to trade for themselves. Which is financially the financially the right thing to do, at least given how the funded accounts are designed currently. However they are 100% transparent about the rules and what to expect, so no one can really complain on that end.

Given the two points above, I am pretty certain that a significant part (probably the majority) of their income is achieved from "selling" combines.

Being aware of aforementioned aspects, I personally don't really care how they are marketing themselves. I know why I am taking the combine and I know what steps will follow for me.

Cheers, ST.

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  #690 (permalink)
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tpredictor View Post
Have any TST traders went on to earn 6 figure profits? Have any TST traders went on to have 25k+ days? These are valid questions.


TST is presenting its service for the potential benefit of people who don't have enough capital to trade futures on their own.

Underfunded/unfunded people.

There are no entry barriers whatsoever (other than the ability to pay $150 or however much it is, for a Combine).

Successfully funded traders there, many of them very part-time because they have jobs as well, start off trading a maximum of 2-3 contracts, and their agreement with TST is for only a year anyway.

Is it really a valid question to ask if they're "earning 6-figures", or "having 25k+ days"?!

Do you really think that it's some sort of "slight" on TST, if the answer to both those questions is (obviously) "no"?

I don't.

If TST were somehow stating or implying that people are getting rich, earning 6 figures, or making thousands per day, then they'd be valid questions.

But that just isn't the case.

So I think these are questions that boil down to implicitly finding fault with TST for failing to produce something that they've never suggested or implied they'll produce. I think you're assessing them on the basis of their being something completely different from what they claim to be. It's hardly surprising that they're "falling short" on that basis, because the implicit basis underlying your "valid" questions is itself an inappropriate one, in my opinion.

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