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

  #711 (permalink)
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Tymbeline View Post
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.

For example? (otherwise it is just a general accusation) Or maybe some of us have a better memory than others. I will give you an example:

They don't claim to teach you how to trade profitably? Yet (beside offering private tutoring) at one point they were running a University:

https://futures.io/vendors-product-reviews/27894-topstep-trader-university-college-trader-development-tstu-ctd.html

Let me quote something from that thread, that 2 FIO members agreed on (last 2 posts):


tom_c View Post
Ok, so here's my review of the CTD course from someone who has completed it recently.

Bob and Mike who run the course are very transparent and genuine and I truly appreciated that about them. I also loved Bob's candor when it came to expressing himself. However, a question I would have loved to ask each of them was whether they make their living purely from their trading or not. I mean, Bob has a lot of T.V. engagements which must bring in a nice sum of money and I'm sure they each have other business interests along the side. So, one cannot know for certain if these guys are really making consistent money that they can support their families with on their trading income. Somehow, I doubt it but I would love to be proven wrong.


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  #712 (permalink)
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Pedro40 View Post
For example? (otherwise it is just a general accusation)


I gave at least one example (and discussed it in some detail and at some length) a page or two ago.



Pedro40 View Post
They don't claim to teach you how to trade profitably?


No; they don't. Not only do they state that on their website, but Michael Patak and his staff also confirm and clarify that openly and repeatedly in his forum posts about what they're offering (both here and elsewhere). They may arrange some private coaching as a sideline (I have no idea whether they still do that) but it's very clear indeed that that isn't their core business at all.

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  #713 (permalink)
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The fundamental purpose of any business is to make money for its owners and shareholders, ideally assuming due regard for legality, morality, employee care and provision of a quality product for customers.

I'd say they do a pretty damn good job, as it's obvious to anyone partaking of the offering what they're getting and what the costs are, and the company itself should easily be profitable. After all profit == sanity (last seen on the side of a dirty white van.)

If somebody isn't smart enough to work out whether a combine will be of benefit they probably shouldn't be involved in trading. Due diligence, as always.

Travel Well
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  #714 (permalink)
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ratfink View Post
If somebody isn't smart enough to work out whether a combine will be of benefit they probably shouldn't be involved in trading. Due diligence, as always.

Nicely put.

Bob.

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  #715 (permalink)
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So, I jumped into the combine full of excitement and idealism, quite a long while back, making use of a subset of the 300 or so live-trading automated trading strategies (chosen on the basis of maximum diversification, minimum risk, consistent results). I was lucky enough to sail through it in the minimum period of 10 days, only to find I'd violated a rule (I was notified *after* hitting the profit target) by holding a wheat position for a few minutes past the 1:00 pm cutoff. I was frustrated, as much in myself as TST (for what I thought was being a bit strict on a technicality), so I decided to give it another go

And again, I experienced the same thing. . profit target hit within 10-12 days, only to find one of my positions had violated policy due to an early crops close for holiday hours. Same issue, I was frustrated both with myself, and the fact that it seemed TST was possibly looking for signups and renewals far more than earnestly searching for winning traders. I didn't want to fault them for this, per se, everyone is entitled to run their business according to their bottom line, and maximize profit, but it felt a bit disheartening.

I've had mixed feelings, since these incidents, about TST. . . and knew I wasn't willing to devote the time/attn to absolutely assure I didn't violate any of the fine-print rules and regulations, so I decided to simply focus on our own personal trading. However, a friend chose to surprise me with a 150k combine purchase, a few weeks ago, and thus round 3 began, this time with the main motive being the evaluation of their structure/model/support/etc. I'm currently a bit less than 1k short of the 9k profit goal, 9 days into the trading (one day short of the minimum), so I may be a single trading day or two away from passing, and yet I find myself feeling no excitement or enthusiasm. . . somehow I feel its just inevitable that something trivial will trip up my account, whether it be in this phase, or the next, or in live trading, but I feel as if I'm very unlikely to ever see a check, or establish a real and mutually beneficial relationship over the mid to long term.

As my two associates and I near the date of our site unveil, which we hope to act as a resource for all things automated-trading, we're aggressively searching out resources where we can direct fellow automated traders to help them along their way. I've been writing quite a bit on Quora, and the vast majority of the messages I receive from these articles are traders who are 'hungry', enthused, hard working and earnestly looking for individuals and materials to help them along their way. . . I feel protective over them, and intent on not leading them astray, thus we're trying very hard to keep our list of links and referrals to people we know and trust (Kevin Davey, for example), a difficult task considering this marketplace is a sea of hucksters and hype.

I say all of this to ask your honest thoughts as a community, for those who have had the most experience with TST. . . do you feel their main interest is 'churn', creating a framework by which they attain maximum profit by users continually having to reset their accounts? Or do you feel they're engaged in a real attempt to find quality traders, to create a mutually beneficial relationship over time? Or, something in between?

This thread has been helpful, but I still feel many are holding back, and some additional opinions would be helpful, we're very much torn on how to handle TST. I've wanted to like them, from day one. . . but my initial idealism has faded, and I can't help but feel perhaps I was naive about their goals, and their business model. . though I'm hoping I'm wrong, and I do think they provide a great community, forum, support, and can certainly help traders improve themselves and learn. One could certainly argue that my blown combines were entirely my fault, and it was my own lack of attentiveness to blame, and I wouldn't argue this. . . my larger question is, how many other users experience such things? Has anyone had a mid to long term profitable relationship with them, or is it just as hard to keep an account as it is to earn one?

I'd love to hear first-hand accounts if possible. . anecdotes and third-party info is worthwhile, but I'm most interested in direct experiences.

Thanks much

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  #716 (permalink)
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Dionysus View Post
I say all of this to ask your honest thoughts as a community, for those who have had the most experience with TST. . . do you feel their main interest is 'churn', creating a framework by which they attain maximum profit by users continually having to reset their accounts?

Absolutely. Their business model is to make the bulk of their money off the combines. Still not a reason to not do the combine if you think you can pass. It can still fulfill a dream of being a full time trader. But I do agree to from the many anecdotal stories here in the thread, they do seem to be looking for reasons to disqualify a person from passing on the smallest technicality. Even when they legitimately passed.

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  #717 (permalink)
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amoeba View Post
About 12 months ago I was curious to give a TST combine a try, I couldn't mold a discretionary strategy to fit their risk thresholds but I did have a 100% mechanical strategy which looked like it would pass ~70% of the time. It looked like a good opportunity to test a strategy which I was not ready to put into my own portfolio.

The caveat being this strategy did not have a high return rate (around 1.25). It took two attempts to pass the initial combine, it passed the live traders prep, but when it went live it hovered around b/e for the 10 days so I was invited to go back and do the LTP for free, which I took, the strategy passed the LTP, but went into draw down during the first few days of live trading the second time and after 10 days I choose not to return to the combine.

All in all, the strategy was up over the total period, but my luck was such that the draw downs or flat line occurred during live trading periods. You could argue that there was a difference between the sim & real market, but my strategy allowed for 2 ticks of slippage either way so it wasn't a major factor.

My take away, in neither of the live attempts did I reach the max draw down, it was the 10 day rule that took me out. You have no control over market in "10 days" if they want to be serious this is the rule that should be reconsidered. I have no issue with anything else.

I viewed it as a cheap testing ground and maybe an opportunity for a strategy to pay its own way, ultimately I could see I was going to be stuck in a loop of pass-return so left and took the risk in my own portfolio.


That is exactly what I feel about the 10 day rule, and I wrote to TST and asked them to get rid of it. I asked them to replace it with a "20 trading sessions/$2000 profit and $500 DD" rule instead if they really cared about acquiring a profitable trader. Of course they refused.
I had no problem generating $1500 in about 20 sessions with about $500 max DD on 3 contracts max, but they know exactly how to screw you up:

1. First they disrupt your strategy by allowing you to trade only 2 contracts down from 3 (and it turned out to be detrimental to my strat).

2. Secondly, with FTP phase they absolutely allow no DD with the 10 day rule saying no matter what but after 10 trading days your PNL can't be below 0 even by $1 (I think mine was negative about $200-300)

This leads me to believe that they don't really care about acquiring a profitable trader. Also, they so easily part with them. It's so much more lucrative to charge fees than to deal with traders where they only keep 20%.
Can we blame the TST for that? There are so many strange and disruptive businesses nowadays that lead you to believe that you can make money with them (like ride sharing industry, for example). It's up to us to try them out and draw our own conclusions.

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  #718 (permalink)
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inpilna View Post
That is exactly what I feel about the 10 day rule


In that case, this question, and Michael Patak's reply immediately following it, should interest you.

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  #719 (permalink)
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Update 1/6/2017

1. Removed: Elimination of 10 day rule
2. Added: FTP rules same as combine
3. Removed: Restriction on trading only profitable combine instruments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIaM3ewkMxA

timestamp 10m23s to 12m50s

Email to follow Sun/Mon from TST

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  #720 (permalink)
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jungian View Post
Update 1/6/2017

1. Removed: Elimination of 10 day rule
2. Added: FTP rules same as combine
3. Removed: Restriction on trading only profitable combine instruments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIaM3ewkMxA

timestamp 10m23s to 12m50s

Email to follow Sun/Mon from TST

Thanks! Worthwhile changes.

Good to have the video (well, audio really) also, because it's from the source.

Bob.


Last edited by bobwest; January 8th, 2017 at 01:43 PM.
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