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Anybody heard of topsteptrader (review)

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  #701 (permalink)
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SoftSoap View Post
Can you elaborate on what was tough about the 10 days?

Is it the scaling plan? Is it the weekly loss limit? Max drawdown? Or is it the fact that your account must be above $0 after 10 days?

A lot of people have mentioned this and I'm curious to know.

Hi SoftSoap,

I can only comment on my experience, and I think it had a lot to do with the fact my strategy was 100% mechanical.

My strategy will take a position pretty much every day, some days are stop outs, some are b/e, some are small winners/losses a few are large winners (historically was around 7-8% large wins).

Pretty much it was a grinding strategy that was ready to take large opportunities when they occurred. But the flip side to this was small draw downs & b/e between large wins.

I tested this strategy in TST because historically the draw down was within the max draw down threshold they offered in their combines (past performance not indicative of future results :P). But I was going to need some luck to get through the 10 day live period, I calculated that it had a 50/50 chance of making a large winner with in the 10 day live period. Passing the combines was not an issue as there is no time limit.

Unfortunately in the two live attempts I did not get that luck and I was not going to spend more money on another combine to test my luck again. I was satisfied with the strategy performance and put it into my own portfolio.

If you have a discretionary strategy you could choose your 10 days of live trading and maybe that will help? In my situation the mechanical strategy took 10 days in succession for start date. Hope that helps

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  #702 (permalink)
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amoeba View Post
Hi SoftSoap,

I can only comment on my experience, and I think it had a lot to do with the fact my strategy was 100% mechanical.

My strategy will take a position pretty much every day, some days are stop outs, some are b/e, some are small winners/losses a few are large winners (historically was around 7-8% large wins).

Pretty much it was a grinding strategy that was ready to take large opportunities when they occurred. But the flip side to this was small draw downs & b/e between large wins.

I tested this strategy in TST because historically the draw down was within the max draw down threshold they offered in their combines (past performance not indicative of future results :P). But I was going to need some luck to get through the 10 day live period, I calculated that it had a 50/50 chance of making a large winner with in the 10 day live period. Passing the combines was not an issue as there is no time limit.

Unfortunately in the two live attempts I did not get that luck and I was not going to spend more money on another combine to test my luck again. I was satisfied with the strategy performance and put it into my own portfolio.

If you have a discretionary strategy you could choose your 10 days of live trading and maybe that will help? In my situation the mechanical strategy took 10 days in succession for start date. Hope that helps

That makes perfect sense, thank you for sharing.

Cheers.

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  #703 (permalink)
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I had my head down, working on a long post, and I missed all the great stuff that everyone else was posting, generally more on point than what I had to say. Particularly the detailed, clear posts by @SoftSoap.

My attitude is very well summed up by this:


emini2000 View Post
Again, not criticizing it. But plainly their business model is to make profits off the combine. And if they give a few traders the opportunity to be full time traders with their money, no big deal. Even if they take a loss on that part of the business. And as @Scalpingtrader said:

"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." Same reason I took it even though I can see what their business model is. It's still an opportunity to trade full time. So I'm not hating on TST at all. Just stating what I think is pretty clear about the business model when you look at it really close.

I couldn't put it better. Of course they are putting on the Combine with the idea of making money. Does anyone think it's for charity, or to give someone a break? And of course, I don't care, if I can benefit from it.

All anyone has to do is see if it looks like it is going to help him. As long as it does, it's a good idea. If it doesn't, skip it.

Case closed.

Bob.

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  #704 (permalink)
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emini2000 View Post
I wrote the above post in response to someone asking me how I knew they made their money from the combines. So I want to go in a little more detail since this post was made by @tpredictor.



I got the same email. @bobwest said that he thinks maybe 10% of those that try pass the combine. So let's take these figures. 554 funded traders last year. That's 10% of 5540 total traders that took the combine if 10% funded is correct. If you take the funded traders away, that leaves just under 5k that weren't funded. But we'll round it up to 5k to make the numbers easier. I think it's probably less than 10% that pass, so about 20 more non funded to round up is no big deal.

The cheapest combine is $150. So those that weren't funded at the LEAST spent $750,000 taking combines. But as you know, some take the most expensive, some take in between and some do it over and over and pay monthly as they continue to try and pass, so the figure is actually much more than $750,000 spent on combines. Let's just say it's definitely over a million, and could be a few million.

Now there is a lot more I could do here, such as then look at the average of what each trader probably makes, and then the fact that TST let's the trader have the first 10K (or is it 5k?), and then they only take 20% of the profits after that. And all of these traders are not successful after they pass. If someone wants to do all that math they can. But it's not hard to see that the money from the combines FAR exceeds what they make off traders. That's really an unarguable fact. They may actually even take a loss on the actual trading part.

Again, not criticizing it. But plainly their business model is to make profits off the combine. And if they give a few traders the opportunity to be full time traders with their money, no big deal. Even if they take a loss on that part of the business. And as @Scalpingtrader said:

"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." Same reason I took it even though I can see what their business model is. It's still an opportunity to trade full time. So I'm not hating on TST at all. Just stating what I think is pretty clear about the business model when you look at it really close.

Providing some numbers for the other side of the comparison:

On the TST website it is stated that the average weekly profit is 549$.
With 500 traders and 38 trading weeks (first 5k or ~10 weeks are 100% traders share), we get a total gross profit of about 10.5 million $.

At 20% that is 2 Million $ in profit share for TST.

(this may stand or fall with whether or not all traders that don't stay funded are part of the earnings average or not. As well as the actual number of active and profitable traders.)

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  #705 (permalink)
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emini2000 View Post


The cheapest combine is $150. So those that weren't funded at the LEAST spent $750,000 taking combines. But as you know, some take the most expensive, some take in between and some do it over and over and pay monthly as they continue to try and pass, so the figure is actually much more than $750,000 spent on combines. Let's just say it's definitely over a million, and could be a few million.

Now there is a lot more I could do here, such as then look at the average of what each trader probably makes, and then the fact that TST let's the trader have the first 10K (or is it 5k?), and then they only take 20% of the profits after that. And all of these traders are not successful after they pass. If someone wants to do all that math they can. But it's not hard to see that the money from the combines FAR exceeds what they make off traders. That's really an unarguable fact.

Just because you call them facts, doesn't make them facts.

You are making assumptions based on logic and math. I in no way argue your logic, or your math, but I do want to say that it's still an assumption.

It's okay to have a discussion on assumptions, but let's not start calling them something they are not.


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  #706 (permalink)
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Scalpingtrader View Post
Providing some numbers for the other side of the comparison:

On the TST website it is stated that the average weekly profit is 549$.
With 500 traders and 38 trading weeks (first 5k or ~10 weeks are 100% traders share), we get a total gross profit of about 10.5 million $.

At 20% that is 2 Million $ in profit share for TST.

(this may stand or fall with whether or not all traders that don't stay funded are part of the earnings average or not. As well as the actual number of active and profitable traders.)

This is a good calculation to make. I have felt that, while there is clearly money to be made from Combines, there is also going to be money made from trading.

The fact is that we are never going to know. These back-of-the-envelope hypothetical calculations are interesting, but the company is privately held and is not going to tell us how much they make, or how they make it.

I think it is a mistake to assume that, because we can multiply some numbers, we can know anything substantive about where their income comes from. On the other hand, my point has always been that I don't need to care, so long as they actually fulfill the offer they make.

But I'm glad you ran these numbers out also.

Bob.

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  #707 (permalink)
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tpredictor View Post
Did you look at where I quoted Michael Patak from their own web page? He said that he went on to earn an average of 6 figures with a best day earning 33k.


That's for the purposes of presenting his own credentials as the owner of the company, and explaining who he is and where he's come from, surely, rather than implying that people taking Combines are going to earn $33k through a TST funded account? Again, I think you're criticising them for not being something they're not claiming to be.



tpredictor View Post
Your argument might be but it's not fair to ask how much their traders make. It's a privacy issues.


That wasn't my argument, at all. I didn't say that.



tpredictor View Post
My reply is I'm only looking for basic stats.


If you were only looking for basic stats, then I'd be on your side, because I'd quite like to see those, myself.

But that wasn't actually what you asked, at all.

You asked specifically if people are making 6-figure incomes and whether anyone's had a "$25k profit day". There's nothing "basic" about that. Given their target market, who the funded account-holders are, and how the business works, that comes across to me as an unreasonable question, and you made it sound as if it would be legitimate to conclude that there'd be something wrong with TST if people aren't having "$25k profit days", otherwise why ask that question? I don't think that, at all, myself.



emini2000 View Post
it's not hard to see that the money from the combines FAR exceeds what they make off traders. That's really an unarguable fact.


It's just not an "arguable fact": it's your guess.

It's probably your guess because you don't have the information you'd like to have, about TST. I don't have it, either. You'd perhaps like to know more than you do, and I'd definitely like to know more than I do. We can probably agree about that? But let's not start presenting guesses in the thread as "unarguable facts", please? That doesn't really help anyone, does it? It's surely far more realistic to say "My guess is that ..." or even "My suspicion is that ..." rather than "that's unarguable fact", isn't it?



SoftSoap View Post
I don't want to give the impression that I'm on TST's side, or against them. I'm more on the neutral side. I haven't paid for a combine, but I do see myself taking the test in the near future.


This is exactly my position, also.

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  #708 (permalink)
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SoftSoap View Post
First I'll explain my position because I don't want to give the impression that I'm on TST's side, or against them. I'm more on the neutral side.


Tymbeline View Post
This is exactly my position, also.

Mine as well.

Somehow I have gotten identified with TST boosting, which I do not think I have done, and certainly is not what I am about.... I do think the program is worthwhile, for some, and not for others.

More from @SoftSoap:


Quoting 
As for choosing to trade with 2K or taking the combines it all depends on the person.

If you're a good trader and can fit within their parameters, you should reach your destination faster trading TST.

If you're not a good trader though, you will lose your money whether you spend it on combines or you day trade yourself.

I think it's the people in the middle that get screwed. Those traders that can make money in the markets but can't fit their trading within the TST parameters.

Some very, very good traders would not want to trade under the TST parameters, because TST is intensely focused on very tight loss control in a way that some legitimate trading styles are not consistent with. Like every single thing, it's all a very individual decision, and it should be a pragmatic decision: do what works, for you. Don't do what doesn't.

Sometimes arguments are about facts, and then they can be worked out fairly easily. Often, they come down to the simple truth that people view things differently. Then it's just a matter of whether the particular person can make something work or not. If so, it's fine. If not, the person should change it.

Sometimes people try to turn a practical issue into something like an international incident or a holy war. They should lighten up. Who cares?

Bob.

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

Of course it does. Once you understand that a huge (if not most) part of their profit comes from Combine fees, you realize why such a make you fail characteristics like the "winning trades length vs. losing trades length" ever existed*. If they make profit from your failings, obviously they will make be interested you not passing....And please don't even try to defend such an utter idiocy...

Now if you show up at TST's door with let's say 5 years of real trading record with no losing month, they still make you take the combine. If someone is in the backing business, how does that make any sense?

*I didn't make that shit up. Years ago you could fail the combine because of such a BS...


SoftSoap View Post
$4,523 most profited in a day by a funded trader.

Random stats are just that, random facts. Unless you know the most lost in a day by a funded trader, your quoted number sounds good for PR purposes.

You might notice they never mention the number of funded traders getting unfunded this month...

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  #710 (permalink)
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Pedro40 View Post
Now if you show up at TST's door with let's say 5 years of real trading record with no losing month, they still make you take the combine. If someone is in the backing business, how does that make any sense?


If someone is in the backing business generally, in all contexts of it, and willing to back anyone safe and sensible and with a good record, it wouldn't; but that isn't TST's business model. They are set up to target a specific demographic. No big revelation there, surely?

My own guess is that Michael Patak might perhaps choose to back such a person, separately (as anyone familiar enough with the industry might?), but probably not through TST, which wouldn't be the appropriate vehicle for such an instance.

If I run an Alfa Romeo dealership and someone turns up wanting to buy an Aston Martin and willing to pay a premium for one, I might use auto-industry contacts to help him out and earn myself a profit, but I might not do it through the business, which might not be set up that way. Not the greatest example, perhaps, but I think my point's clear: you're offering an example that perhaps falls outside TST's frame of reference and demographics?



Pedro40 View Post
You might notice they never mention the number of funded traders getting unfunded this month...


I do notice that, and it's a figure I'd quite like to know, myself ... but obviously not one I'd necessarily expect them to publish. It's in the nature of marketing that when one's selling something, one tends to feature its potential benefits. That isn't unreasonable, is it?

As Bob and others keep saying: if TST isn't for you, then it isn't for you. It might not be for me, either (I've never tried it, but I might, this year).

Meanwhile this thread's full of comments criticising TST for not being things they've never pretended to be, and for not doing things they don't pretend or claim to do. As an innocent bystander, myself, with no horse in the race at all, it strikes me as pretty unfair.

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