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

  #731 (permalink)
Elite Member
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"TopstepTrader


Congratulations Justin, you passed your Trading Combine® and have advanced to Funded Trader Preparation™!"

Stage 1, complete!

This second stage, and the transition into the funded account, will tell the tale, for me.

I'm convinced now that they're certainly interested in 'churn', my remaining question is to what degree they prize this 'churn' above the more helpful/altruistic motives of helping new traders. I fully understand they're a business with a bottom line, but in arenas in which reputation play such a role, my hope is that they're seeking an ideal blend of the helpful and profitable. I find myself still needing more context.

More than anything I'd like to hear from some currently funded traders, should any happen to be reading this. Does it feel like a minefield, where you can be booted at any moment due to chance/randomness, or are you confident that if you trade well and pay attention, your funded account is relatively safe/secure?



Thanks

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  #732 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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Dionysus View Post
"TopstepTrader


Congratulations Justin, you passed your Trading Combine® and have advanced to Funded Trader Preparation™!"

Stage 1, complete!

This second stage, and the transition into the funded account, will tell the tale, for me.

I'm convinced now that they're certainly interested in 'churn', my remaining question is to what degree they prize this 'churn' above the more helpful/altruistic motives of helping new traders. I fully understand they're a business with a bottom line, but in arenas in which reputation play such a role, my hope is that they're seeking an ideal blend of the helpful and profitable. I find myself still needing more context.

More than anything I'd like to hear from some currently funded traders, should any happen to be reading this. Does it feel like a minefield, where you can be booted at any moment due to chance/randomness, or are you confident that if you trade well and pay attention, your funded account is relatively safe/secure?



Thanks

Relax
If you follow the rules you will be safe

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  #733 (permalink)
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Concord, NH USA
 
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tpredictor View Post
I've monitored TST since shortly after inception. I continue to periodically review their offering to see if it might be something for myself. However, the terms have never really been very attractive in my opinion. As a vendor, also TST has offered some affiliate program but I didn't pursue that because I'm not convinced of the program and because I didn't think it would be worth much anyway.

My biggest problem with the program has always been the amount they fund traders with is rather trivial. The max DD is only 2x the daily loss limit for the 50k combine but not even 2x the daily loss limit for the higher combines. It seems pretty obvious that if the daily loss limit represents a realistic amount of risk that can be taken per day that the drawdown must be some higher multiple of the loss limit. And, I don't see why they even offer the higher combines when they only are willing to increase the max DD 50%. Beyond that, additions like FTP which seem like another possible way for them not to fund you and constant rule changes are a negative.

I will add that one time I did inquire one time about doing a custom combined. My terms were approved more or less. But, they did not offer any of the higher funding levels for the custom combines. And, so I did not pursue. I do think the custom combine was a step in right direction. I'm not sure whether or not it is still offered.

The other problem is that TST bills itself as a way to develop traders. But, it seems rather more likely that imposing so many constraints, starting so undercapitalized, etc would more likely lead to failure than success. Of course, that is not to imply that some constraints might help the developing or even already successful futures trader.

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. So, I don't see why so many people give TST a pass. And then with such a constrained starting position to put a time limit and a profit objective on top of that-- just doesn't seem serious in any way.

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.

We shouldn't expect to hit our loss limit frequently. But, on the other hand if it that represents the true amount of maximum risk we can take then we should not hit it too infrequently either or else wouldn't be maximizing profit. There are any number of ways to estimate what a realistic DD level should be for a risk limit. I find 12x to be a reasonable guestimate. But, if you take the probability of hitting your max loss limit as 30% then over a trading month you have about an 80% (76.8%) chance of hitting the max DD limit. You can figure this using a runs calculator. Real life is worse because this assumes you are always make a profit on the days that you don't hit the loss limit or that they cumulatively cancel each other out. The calculation is 20 day trades, streak of length 2, loss probability 30%. You can search for "streak probability calculator" and find any number of such calculators on the web. An alternative method of calculating it, could be to create various random normal distributions but it still stands to reason that if you are going to be able to take a risk "near" the loss limit that the loss limit will be hit at some probability greater than zero.

The point is we know the MAX DD must be some multiple of the loss limit. But for the higher combines, it is not even 2x the loss limit. Even if you could do it then take the 100k combine, trade on a free simulator and put back the $325 per month into a savings account and you could start with more than total you are given in 10 months.

If I try to imagine what a realistic and serious TST type program might look like then I imagine it might look something like the following:

1. The max DD would be at least 6x the daily loss limit and could easily be justified much higher. That would translate to a 12k funding level for the 2k loss limit or 4x as much as they actually offer. Even this is a rather tight funding level. However, the premise would be that your loss limit would and risk would increase over time as you demonstrate capability.
2. The length of trader evaluation would probably be longer, more open ended, and not the same for every trader.
3. A super system might have to be developed to hedge the various positions. It would probably require that traders can trade from either side (long/short) depending on the overall position of the system. I.e. if the system says trade short you only can take short trades. Such a requirement should decrease the probability of luck being involved because the trader is forced to trade from a specified side of the market as dictated.
4. During the training period, a trader might have to profit from random sides of the market. But during the live phase, the side dictated would be determined based on overall/total exposure.



I appreciate the time and effort you gave to your analysis. Well done!


Sent from my iPhone using futures.io

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  #734 (permalink)
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lemons View Post
Relax
If you follow the rules you will be safe

Thanks, Lemons. . but I'm actually not the least bit worried about my own personal combine, since this is just a further means to get a feel for the overall user experience and their means and methods of operation, I'm just seeking as much information as I can gather, to make decisions on whether or not to highlight them on a soon to be launched site. . . and if I do so, how to go about it, and whether to include caveats or warnings, etc.

Would still love to hear from those who've been officially funded, in the past!

Appreciated, in advance

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  #735 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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Dionysus View Post
Thanks, Lemons. . but I'm actually not the least bit worried about my own personal combine, since this is just a further means to get a feel for the overall user experience and their means and methods of operation, I'm just seeking as much information as I can gather, to make decisions on whether or not to highlight them on a soon to be launched site. . . and if I do so, how to go about it, and whether to include caveats or warnings, etc.

Would still love to hear from those who've been officially funded, in the past!

Appreciated, in advance

No caveats or warnings.
Its simple you follow rules and you get funded and stay funded.
You break the rules you get "kicked" out.

I was funded apporx 6 months.


Last edited by lemons; January 13th, 2017 at 12:56 AM.
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  #736 (permalink)
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lemons View Post
No caveats or warnings.
Its simple you follow rules and you get funded and stay funded.
You break the rules you get "kicked" out.

I was funded approx 6 months.

Thanks, that was quick.

What would happen if, say, you traded on a contract for a day longer than you were supposed to, for example? Let's say you were in the 1-17 contract, when TST had officially switched over to the 3-17 contract. . if you placed such a trade, would this spell the end of your live account? These are the types of trivialities than I'm most curious about, as to whether they're cause for immediate account termination, or whether TST seeks to work with the trader in such cases (especially if/when they're trading profitably). Any experiences like this?

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  #737 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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Dionysus View Post
Thanks, that was quick.

What would happen if, say, you traded on a contract for a day longer than you were supposed to, for example? Let's say you were in the 1-17 contract, when TST had officially switched over to the 3-17 contract. . if you placed such a trade, would this spell the end of your live account? These are the types of trivialities than I'm most curious about, as to whether they're cause for immediate account termination, or whether TST seeks to work with the trader in such cases (especially if/when they're trading profitably). Any experiences like this?

I don't know, I never broke the rules
Except in the end my account fell below 0.

TST is reasonable.
In earlier I know depending on impact of the violation they may switch
you to sim account for a day if you account is positive.

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  #738 (permalink)
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Dionysus View Post
to make decisions on whether or not to highlight them on a soon to be launched site

What are you referring to? Sounds like you are becoming a vendor. Please clarify.

Mike

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  #739 (permalink)
Seth
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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.)


There were 540 funded traders last year. Let's assume that only 10% pass giving us 5,400 traders in the combine. Next let's assume that all of the traders paid for the 165$ combine. Exchange data fees are $85 so they're really only making $80 per combine if not less.

So...

$80*5400 = $432,000

Now if we assume that every customer paid every month for the combine we get

$432,000 * 12 = $5,184,000

So I guess it really depends on how long customers stay for doesn't it? However, I'm going to guess that once you add in employee costs and so forth that it turns out they need both sides to really make a lot of money.

I find the complaints in this thread about risk to be very interesting. The combine itself is a low risk proposition, so it makes sense that the payout won't be that much. What do I mean? Well you can trade oil, get lucky, and make it to funded trading. Indeed, looking at the funded traders every month that appears to be what a lot of people do! Thus its no surprise that many of those traders end up losing their funded accounts when they finally hit a bad streak.

OR

You could trade one ZN contract. Something almost nobody ever does in the combine. I swear Eddie only talks about the 10-year when I've put in trades so I'm starting to think I'm the only one. On a bad day I might lose $150. However, I can have 13 days like that in a row before I bust their maximum drawdown rules. Plus you can increase your size for that easy trend day. Now maybe it takes you six months to pass the combine, and maybe you only make $5,000 a year in a funded account. However, like I said the combine is a low risk proposition to begin with.

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  #740 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
What are you referring to? Sounds like you are becoming a vendor. Please clarify.

Mike

Correct, Mike. . It's been approximately a year in the making, and in roughly a week or two, it'll go 'live'. We'd been planning on PM'ing you just before that occurs to make sure we're compliant with the policies here. . I hope I didn't overstep by even mentioning its existence, apologies if so. I'm just trying to do my due diligence to make sure we don't link to or suggest anything remotely questionable. Reading through these vendor threads has been invaluable (as this site so often is, very few resources like it), TST was one of the biggest looming question marks.


Thanks again, Lemon. . helpful!

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