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Anybody heard of topsteptrader (review)

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  #701 (permalink)
 amoeba 
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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)
 SoftSoap 
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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)
 bobwest 
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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)
 Scalpingtrader 
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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)
 SoftSoap 
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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)
 bobwest 
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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)
 Tymbeline 
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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)
 bobwest 
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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)
Pedro40
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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)
 Tymbeline 
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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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  #711 (permalink)
Pedro40
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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:



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)
 Tymbeline 
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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)
 ratfink 
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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.

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  #714 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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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)
 Dionysus 
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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)
emini2000
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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)
 inpilna 
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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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 Tymbeline 
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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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 jungian 
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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.



timestamp 10m23s to 12m50s

Email to follow Sun/Mon from TST

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 bobwest 
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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.



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.

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

Thank you, Tymbeline. Here's my email to TST on Dec. 1 2016:


Ashley, thank you for your reply.
I am sure I can pass the combine again with original rules. But why to put an artificial barrier in the form of FTP? If I always pass a combine and fail the FTP, so why keep the FTP.
Why won't you allow me to pass the combine 2 times in a row instead of taking FTP, because FTP forces me to break the rules of my strategy, and you can't plan when the market will force you to go in a drawdown mode. Unless of course you're more interested to keep someone indefinitely in a combine. Talk to your management, I think TST is making a huge mistake imposing artificial FTP rules that don't have to do much with real trading.

Thank you.
Igor Nikitin


I checked TST website today Jan 8, 2017 at 7:25 EST and the 10 day rule is prominently there:
Maintain an Account Balance greater than $0 after a minimum of 10 trading days

I wonder if they are serious and will allow me to take a new FTP for free. My guess is that they will want me to take the combine and FTP again for a nominal price. I hope it's not just a clever way to entice those who passed the combine and failed the FTP to take yet another combine and make some extra $$.

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 Tymbeline 
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inpilna View Post
My guess is that they will want me to take the combine and FTP again for a nominal price.


That would be my guess, too. They sometimes let people do a Combine for $1, I think?

My reading of that is that they want to get people funded rather than just making Combine fees. And the rule-changes are certainly designed to get more people funded, just as last year's were (and successfully).

And good luck with it, if they do ... (the FTP and Combine rules are the same now, anyway).

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 tpredictor 
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Just so I understand, you have "as many days" as necessary or 20 days to hit the profit target in the combine? And then basically you have to do the same thing as part of the prep, yes? Do they make you sign any non-competes once you pass?

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  #724 (permalink)
 MrTrader 
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Just received the email below... nice to hear TST dont have rules "graved on stone" and from time to time they adapt themselves.. interesting.


New Year, New Opportunities

Effective Thursday, January 12, 2017, the following rules are no longer required in Funded Trader Preparation™ and Funded Accounts™:

1. Only trade the Trading Combine/Funded Trader Preparation products you were profitable in
2. Maintain an Account Balance greater than $0 after a minimum of 10 trading days

Over the years, these rules have allowed many traders to fine-tune their strategies while building their accounts and, although we are providing more autonomy in accounts, we encourage traders to continue to set their own individual guidelines.

However, as we grow, we want to open our parameters to grant us the ability to evaluate as many strategies as possible to further our mission of empowering anyone, anywhere. In order to allow this and still evaluate based on true performance, Funded Trader Preparation will now have the same profit targets as the Trading Combine.

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  #725 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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tpredictor View Post
Just so I understand, you have "as many days" as necessary or 20 days to hit the profit target in the combine? And then basically you have to do the same thing as part of the prep, yes? Do they make you sign any non-competes once you pass?

There's nothing about 20 days. You must trade at least 10 days in the Combine, no maximum. Also at least 10 days in the FTP, no maximum. If you did both in the minimum time possible, that would be 20 days between them, but that's just the shortest time possible to reach funding. You can just keep going until you do. (There used to be a 6-month limit on FTP, which has been gone for some time.)

There has never been a non-compete.

Bob.

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 Scalpingtrader 
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bobwest View Post
There's nothing about 20 days. You must trade at least 10 days in the Combine, no maximum. Also at least 10 days in the FTP, no maximum. If you did both in the minimum time possible, that would be 20 days between them, but that's just the shortest time possible to reach funding. You can just keep going until you do. (There used to be a 6-month limit on FTP, which has been gone for some time.)



There has never been a non-compete.



Bob.



I don't think the 10-day minimum still applies to FTP. At least, oppose to how it is done in the combine, it is not listed within the dashboard as a rule:



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 bobwest 
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Scalpingtrader View Post
I don't think the 10-day minimum still applies to FTP. At least, oppose to how it is done in the combine, it is not listed within the dashboard as a rule:



Sent from my iPhone using futures.io

Thanks. Perhaps they need to clarify the question, then.

I was basing my reply on what Michael Patak said in the audio replay of his talk on Friday, linked to above, where he clearly does say that there is still a 10-day minimum for FTP. I believe that the change was that there is no longer a requirement to be positive after 10 days.

This is also what is on the email they just sent out:




I think someone at TST just needs to fix the info on the dashboard. If you email them about that, we would have a definitive reply. (I suggest it be you to ask, because you have the FTP ruleset on your dashboard, and also are directly affected.) If you do, let us know.

Bob.

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  #728 (permalink)
 tpredictor 
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Thanks. The rule changes certainly make the whole scheme less unreasonable. I will definitely consider doing a tryout in the near future-- even though honestly I still feel it is a trivial amount of risk to win and the rules are still right on the edge of the best of what most traders can do. There used to be a page where you could look at all the stats for traders who passed the combine. Is that still available?

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 bobwest 
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tpredictor View Post
honestly I still feel it is a trivial amount of risk to win and the rules are still right on the edge of the best of what most traders can do.

That's entirely possible. People do manage to, but it's certainly an individual thing. I would not say it's for everyone, or every trading strategy.


Quoting 
There used to be a page where you could look at all the stats for traders who passed the combine. Is that still available?

Not that I can see. They have published this kind of info at various times, but it isn't a permanent page on their site.

If you do try it, good luck. If you decide not to, well, it's always an individual choice. There's more than one way to succeed at trading.

Bob.

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  #730 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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(Cross-posted from the TST AMA thread)

One thing I missed when I took the screenshot of the rule change above was an offer for new Combines. So here is the bottom of the previous screen shot.

I am not plugging this, and definitely think everyone ought to decide whether the Combine is a good idea for them, not based on cost alone, or any offers, but I think I should add the rest of the email, if it makes any difference to someone:




Note the conditions carefully; it does expire and it does not change the monthly subscription amount going forward. There should be a point in the signup sequence where it asks for a promotional code. Go to Home - TopstepTrader and it should be clear what to do.

(Any questions, don't ask me, I don't know anything that is not right here. Email TST support for any more info.)

Bob.

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  #731 (permalink)
 Dionysus 
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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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 lemons 
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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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 bearpondtrader 
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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!


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 Dionysus 
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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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 lemons 
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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.

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 Dionysus 
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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)
 lemons 
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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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 Big Mike 
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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)
 TWDsje   is a Vendor
 
 
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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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 Dionysus 
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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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 Dionysus 
Monterey, CA
 
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My associate just informed me that TST is highlighting 'Scott Morris' of 'The Oil Money' as one of their presenters, at the TopStep online expo. . . I'm afraid this largely makes the decision I'd been struggling with for me, and takes me off the fence.

Any company that would lend legitimacy/credibility to such a man and such an operation is not one I'd be willing to highlight or speak positively about without extreme caveats. I don't mean to be unduly harsh, TST, but I'd strongly urge some better vetting, if you're interested in preserving or improving your reputation. Scott has been mentioned here and elsewhere, by myself and several others, as being the epitome of all that's wrong with the trading marketplace.

He's a huckster and hype-man, nothing more. He'll find programmers capable of throwing any useable utility or indicator together, and instead of focusing on vetting said utility or subjecting it to any type of objective or scientific-method-guided testing, he'll instead focus his energies and efforts on advertising, in which he'll all but guarantee his product will put you on easy street for the rest of your years. It infuriates me to ponder how many traders hes destroyed in this manner, how much idealism and optimism hes driven into the ground with his false promises and edge-less utilities. I really don't like being negative, and this forum's lack of negativity is one its best traits, but in cases like these I think its warranted, and more than that, I think its important.

I'm disappointed, and more than a bit surprised. I would've thought perhaps they'd use futures.io as a resource to at least double-check the names of those individuals they chose as 'experts' at this expo, but to each their own. I don't mean to defame TST here. . . mistakes can be made, or perhaps they've simply been misled somehow. Attempting to give them the benefit of the doubt here, and not 'judge', but I think my decision is made.

Thanks for all of the helpful info/context in this thread, especially those that chimed in with personal experiences!

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 bobwest 
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Dionysus View Post
My associate just informed me that TST is highlighting 'Scott Morris' of 'The Oil Money' as one of their presenters, at the TopStep online expo. . . I'm afraid this largely makes the decision I'd been struggling with for me, and takes me off the fence.

Any company that would lend legitimacy/credibility to such a man and such an operation is not one I'd be willing to highlight or speak positively about without extreme caveats. I don't mean to be unduly harsh, TST, but I'd strongly urge some better vetting, if you're interested in preserving or improving your reputation. Scott has been mentioned here and elsewhere, by myself and several others, as being the epitome of all that's wrong with the trading marketplace.

He's a huckster and hype-man, nothing more. He'll find programmers capable of throwing any useable utility or indicator together, and instead of focusing on vetting said utility or subjecting it to any type of objective or scientific-method-guided testing, he'll instead focus his energies and efforts on advertising, in which he'll all but guarantee his product will put you on easy street for the rest of your years. It infuriates me to ponder how many traders hes destroyed in this manner, how much idealism and optimism hes driven into the ground with his false promises and edge-less utilities. I really don't like being negative, and this forum's lack of negativity is one its best traits, but in cases like these I think its warranted, and more than that, I think its important.

I'm disappointed, and more than a bit surprised. I would've thought perhaps they'd use futures.io as a resource to at least double-check the names of those individuals they chose as 'experts' at this expo, but to each their own. I don't mean to defame TST here. . . mistakes can be made, or perhaps they've simply been misled somehow. Attempting to give them the benefit of the doubt here, and not 'judge', but I think my decision is made.

Thanks for all of the helpful info/context in this thread, especially those that chimed in with personal experiences!

Personally, I don't know this guy Morris, and, while I did get an email about a group of presenters they are going to put on in an all-day webinar, I just deleted it without interest.

My feeling is that givers of advice are generally suspect in the trading world. There are, of course, exceptions, but I am not looking for this kind of resource with TST. It's also not the main thing that they are in the business of providing.

My experience with the Combine and with their support staff has been that they perform exactly as promised. This is their principal product, and I see no reason for complaint about it. They are, in fact, extremely reasonable and are providing a service that many will find valuable. (I should note that the Combine rules clearly do not fit every trading style, and will not work well for every trader.)

I do feel some degree of disappointment that they are putting on a trading advice event with a lot of outside "experts" (the email lists 5 different people), since I question the value of these things even if the presenter actually has something good to say. I would also not turn to TST for this kind of information in any case, since it's not their actual strength.

Without knowing anything about any particular presenter, I think it is reasonable to assume that, if there are any issues, they simply made a mistake in their selection process. There is no reason I know of to assume that TST is deliberately pushing bad information on the public, and I think the overall track record suggests the opposite. Or, to put it more simply, I think they are honest people. (I wonder if I will get some spam on this... experience suggests I will.)

I have no idea what you were considering them for, nor whether this has any bearing on your decisions. They do bring on outside presenters and "experts" from time to time, and I certainly do think that skepticism toward any "expert" is always in order.

They have also, at various times, brought on good people on their live chat events. I have seen Morad Askar ("FT71") and Linda Raschke mentioned. So it's a mixed bag.

I have no stake in this, either way, and hope you make a decision that you are happy with.

Also, I would like to tag @TopstepTrader here, in hopes that they will will take a look and make some comment (beyond the obvious "We try to get the best speakers" type of stuff.) Generally, it benefits them if they receive negative as well as positive feedback, and if there are issues about a particular speaker, it is worthwhile to let them know.

I also think that being in the business of presenting "experts" is a tricky business that they should have a lot of caution about. I think, for the reasons stated, that this is pretty much a bad idea, since they are exposing their customers to the ad pitches of people who are in the business of charging for info on how to become successful traders -- which generally does not work out well. I would be happier if they didn't do that at all, and certainly if they stayed with those who are real experts.... Just my take on the whole thing.

Bob.

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emptymind
San Diego California
 
 
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Just want to make sure with the rules of TST. Yes I can read, but sometimes I'm a little slow.
The max daily loss limit is net right? Aka it doesnt add up just all your losers and not your winners?

So lets say one trade I lose $300, then next trade I gain $200, next trade I lose $200.
Then I would only be at a $300 loss for the day right? Not $-500?. And everything matters in the order of your trades?

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Dionysus View Post
My associate just informed me that TST is highlighting 'Scott Morris' of 'The Oil Money' as one of their presenters, at the TopStep online expo. . . I'm afraid this largely makes the decision I'd been struggling with for me, and takes me off the fence.

Any company that would lend legitimacy/credibility to such a man and such an operation is not one I'd be willing to highlight or speak positively about without extreme caveats. I don't mean to be unduly harsh, TST, but I'd strongly urge some better vetting, if you're interested in preserving or improving your reputation. Scott has been mentioned here and elsewhere, by myself and several others, as being the epitome of all that's wrong with the trading marketplace.

He's a huckster and hype-man, nothing more. He'll find programmers capable of throwing any useable utility or indicator together, and instead of focusing on vetting said utility or subjecting it to any type of objective or scientific-method-guided testing, he'll instead focus his energies and efforts on advertising, in which he'll all but guarantee his product will put you on easy street for the rest of your years. It infuriates me to ponder how many traders hes destroyed in this manner, how much idealism and optimism hes driven into the ground with his false promises and edge-less utilities. I really don't like being negative, and this forum's lack of negativity is one its best traits, but in cases like these I think its warranted, and more than that, I think its important.

I'm disappointed, and more than a bit surprised. I would've thought perhaps they'd use futures.io as a resource to at least double-check the names of those individuals they chose as 'experts' at this expo, but to each their own. I don't mean to defame TST here. . . mistakes can be made, or perhaps they've simply been misled somehow. Attempting to give them the benefit of the doubt here, and not 'judge', but I think my decision is made.

Thanks for all of the helpful info/context in this thread, especially those that chimed in with personal experiences!

@Dionysus - Thank you for this feedback, it is very important. This is the first time we have hosted one of these events and we realize there is still a lot to learn to ensure it's the quality and expectation of both our brand and our users. In the short term, we will be adding a disclaimer stating we do not endorse these products nor have we independently vetted them for their accuracy or claims. This is strictly an educational event and it is each traders responsibility to determine whether a product or service is a good fit for him or her.

In the long term, it may make sense for us to put together some sort of guidelines or threshold in terms of those who participate in events like these. Of course, we can never fully vet someone as there will inevitably be instances where bad experiences have occurred. Unfortunately, that is the nature of our business. The key we have found is to set realistic expectations as trading is ultimately an individual sport regardless of what vendor or tools you use. The buck starts and stops with those who "pull the trigger" so to speak.

On another note, you've mentioned multiple times on this forum that you've been "vetting" TopstepTrader for some type of website or venture you are starting. I welcome the opportunity to speak with you directly and candidly. I would think it only be fair in your ability to assess our business. Please feel free to contact us directly at 888-407-1611 or private message us to set up a convenient time to speak.

Again, we appreciate your feedback and will certainly use it to improve.

Trade well,

TopstepTrader Team

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emptymind View Post
Just want to make sure with the rules of TST. Yes I can read, but sometimes I'm a little slow.
The max daily loss limit is net right? Aka it doesnt add up just all your losers and not your winners?

So lets say one trade I lose $300, then next trade I gain $200, next trade I lose $200.
Then I would only be at a $300 loss for the day right? Not $-500?. And everything matters in the order of your trades?

@emptymind - You are correct. The Daily Loss Limit is calculated according to your unrealized Net P&L, so it takes into account all of your winner, losers, and current open positions.

Hope that helps,

TopstepTrader Team

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  #746 (permalink)
 sharmas 
Auckland
 
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Scott Morris has left a trail of destruction and he is not a trader but a Marketer.

Is this your standard of vetting. First dont follow what Ninja Trader has been doing for years.

Be a leader and do what you do best. Also if you are to bring any speakers from another trading room or company, validate their track record and ask for verified trading/ broker account to see for yourself if the said speaker/room has any legitimate trading knowledge.

Very dissappointed and best still as its not lost to let Scott Morris go off the list . Respect yourself and respect decent people who have supported you for years. Dont fall in the same basket as Ninja Trader

Sharmas


TopstepTrader View Post
@Dionysus - Thank you for this feedback, it is very important. This is the first time we have hosted one of these events and we realize there is still a lot to learn to ensure it's the quality and expectation of both our brand and our users. In the short term, we will be adding a disclaimer stating we do not endorse these products nor have we independently vetted them for their accuracy or claims. This is strictly an educational event and it is each traders responsibility to determine whether a product or service is a good fit for him or her.

In the long term, it may make sense for us to put together some sort of guidelines or threshold in terms of those who participate in events like these. Of course, we can never fully vet someone as there will inevitably be instances where bad experiences have occurred. Unfortunately, that is the nature of our business. The key we have found is to set realistic expectations as trading is ultimately an individual sport regardless of what vendor or tools you use. The buck starts and stops with those who "pull the trigger" so to speak.

On another note, you've mentioned multiple times on this forum that you've been "vetting" TopstepTrader for some type of website or venture you are starting. I welcome the opportunity to speak with you directly and candidly. I would think it only be fair in your ability to assess our business. Please feel free to contact us directly at 888-407-1611 or private message us to set up a convenient time to speak.

Again, we appreciate your feedback and will certainly use it to improve.

Trade well,

TopstepTrader Team


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  #747 (permalink)
emptymind
San Diego California
 
 
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TopstepTrader View Post
@emptymind - You are correct. The Daily Loss Limit is calculated according to your unrealized Net P&L, so it takes into account all of your winner, losers, and current open positions.

Hope that helps,

TopstepTrader Team

Thank you for the confirmation. Is there any way to configure Ninjatrader to show the Net unrealized P&L including commissions?

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  #748 (permalink)
 DRock306 
Saskatchewan
 
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emptymind View Post
Thank you for the confirmation. Is there any way to configure Ninjatrader to show the Net unrealized P&L including commissions?

You need to go into the tools tab
Then commission tab, in here scroll down till u see ur data provider an example would be:
+Futures - Rithmic { $0.00 min: 0/0

Click on ur data provider the (+) symbol
Select commission levels, once u select that on the very far right after it says (NO commission levels defined) you will see a little gray box with three dots, click that and then once in there click the (new) button and on the right of that set ur commission per side.
Hit ok and ur done, don't forget to save when u exit NT

There is also easy to watch vids on you tube showing u exactly what i said if you need a visual instead.

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 tpredictor 
North Carolina
 
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Anyone know why EMD isn't support? S&P 400. Surprised they let traders trade NAT gas.

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  #750 (permalink)
 Dionysus 
Monterey, CA
 
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bobwest View Post
Personally, I don't know this guy Morris, and, while I did get an email about a group of presenters they are going to put on in an all-day webinar, I just deleted it without interest.

My feeling is that givers of advice are generally suspect in the trading world. There are, of course, exceptions, but I am not looking for this kind of resource with TST. It's also not the main thing that they are in the business of providing.

My experience with the Combine and with their support staff has been that they perform exactly as promised. This is their principal product, and I see no reason for complaint about it. They are, in fact, extremely reasonable and are providing a service that many will find valuable. (I should note that the Combine rules clearly do not fit every trading style, and will not work well for every trader.)

I do feel some degree of disappointment that they are putting on a trading advice event with a lot of outside "experts" (the email lists 5 different people), since I question the value of these things even if the presenter actually has something good to say. I would also not turn to TST for this kind of information in any case, since it's not their actual strength.

Without knowing anything about any particular presenter, I think it is reasonable to assume that, if there are any issues, they simply made a mistake in their selection process. There is no reason I know of to assume that TST is deliberately pushing bad information on the public, and I think the overall track record suggests the opposite. Or, to put it more simply, I think they are honest people. (I wonder if I will get some spam on this... experience suggests I will.)

I have no idea what you were considering them for, nor whether this has any bearing on your decisions. They do bring on outside presenters and "experts" from time to time, and I certainly do think that skepticism toward any "expert" is always in order.

They have also, at various times, brought on good people on their live chat events. I have seen Morad Askar ("FT71") and Linda Raschke mentioned. So it's a mixed bag.

I have no stake in this, either way, and hope you make a decision that you are happy with.

Also, I would like to tag @TopstepTrader here, in hopes that they will will take a look and make some comment (beyond the obvious "We try to get the best speakers" type of stuff.) Generally, it benefits them if they receive negative as well as positive feedback, and if there are issues about a particular speaker, it is worthwhile to let them know.

I also think that being in the business of presenting "experts" is a tricky business that they should have a lot of caution about. I think, for the reasons stated, that this is pretty much a bad idea, since they are exposing their customers to the ad pitches of people who are in the business of charging for info on how to become successful traders -- which generally does not work out well. I would be happier if they didn't do that at all, and certainly if they stayed with those who are real experts.... Just my take on the whole thing.

Bob.


Great post, Bob. . and thanks much for the tag, it's helpful to hear directly from the source.

It really is a minefield, this marketplace. The fact that the Linda Raschke's of the world seem to rub shoulders as equals with the Morris' of the world is something that I find both baffling and upsetting, but at the end of the day the good-ness or bad-ness of any piece of advice or guidance is largely subjective, unfortunately.

I've grown pretty fond of 'Quora' lately, as a means for both learning and sharing what I've learned. An invaluable resource, precisely because it seems to be people by those with a genuine desire to teach and learn, as opposed to greedy hard-selling vendors looking to increase their bottom line.

That's not to say I think there's no place for those that wish to market their products or services or time, just that its quite the tightrope balancing act. Our own 'Kevdog' Kevin Davey is a good example of someone who is a proven trader first, who seems to have a genuine desire to share his knowledge and help others, and happens to charge in so doing. . if he didn't charge for his time and knowledge, chances are good that he wouldn't be able to find the time to help as many individuals as much as he does, and I'm sure many are happy to pay in exchange for the leg-up.

However, broadly speaking, I've never seen a more toxic and dishonest marketplace, with a higher percentage of charlatans and frauds, which is why I'm so sensitive to such issues. It's not like being conned into purchasing a product from an infomercial, where a customer loses his purchase price and walks away having learned a lesson. It's far worse, far more nefarious than that, in that the customer is purchasing means or methods or tools to invest potentially significant sums of their own money in the open markets. This can cost children's college funds, retirement monies, even lead to personal bankruptcy . . . all so that some shameless individual can score a single sale. Often times they're essentially selling the means for financial destruction, and Scott is a prime example of this.

I agree with your take on TST, and thanks again for the input and tagging!

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emptymind
San Diego California
 
 
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DRock306 View Post
You need to go into the tools tab
Then commission tab, in here scroll down till u see ur data provider an example would be:
+Futures - Rithmic { $0.00 min: 0/0

Click on ur data provider the (+) symbol
Select commission levels, once u select that on the very far right after it says (NO commission levels defined) you will see a little gray box with three dots, click that and then once in there click the (new) button and on the right of that set ur commission per side.
Hit ok and ur done, don't forget to save when u exit NT

There is also easy to watch vids on you tube showing u exactly what i said if you need a visual instead.

Thank you sir, but what exactly are the "simulated commissions and fees"
It seems as TST calculates it for us at our dashboard but I cannot see how NT calculates it.....

Also when does the daily loss limit reset?

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  #752 (permalink)
 Dionysus 
Monterey, CA
 
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TopstepTrader View Post
@Dionysus - Thank you for this feedback, it is very important. This is the first time we have hosted one of these events and we realize there is still a lot to learn to ensure it's the quality and expectation of both our brand and our users. In the short term, we will be adding a disclaimer stating we do not endorse these products nor have we independently vetted them for their accuracy or claims. This is strictly an educational event and it is each traders responsibility to determine whether a product or service is a good fit for him or her.

In the long term, it may make sense for us to put together some sort of guidelines or threshold in terms of those who participate in events like these. Of course, we can never fully vet someone as there will inevitably be instances where bad experiences have occurred. Unfortunately, that is the nature of our business. The key we have found is to set realistic expectations as trading is ultimately an individual sport regardless of what vendor or tools you use. The buck starts and stops with those who "pull the trigger" so to speak.

On another note, you've mentioned multiple times on this forum that you've been "vetting" TopstepTrader for some type of website or venture you are starting. I welcome the opportunity to speak with you directly and candidly. I would think it only be fair in your ability to assess our business. Please feel free to contact us directly at 888-407-1611 or private message us to set up a convenient time to speak.

Again, we appreciate your feedback and will certainly use it to improve.

Trade well,

TopstepTrader Team



Valid points, and well taken. .

"The buck starts and stops with those who "pull the trigger" so to speak"

I certainly agree with this. I'm always urging caution in this marketplace, due to its unfortunate nature (a minefield of shameless and greedy profiteers, many of whom don't even trade), but ultimately the final responsibility is with the buyer.

It's just such a difficult marketplace to navigate prudently, and so difficult to sort and sift with regards to which vendors might be trustworthy and/or competent, and which couldn't care less about anything other than closing the sale. For this reason, I think we all have the responsibility to be very careful who we lend any weight/credibility to, especially when in a prominent or influential role.

One of the few objective vetting mechanisms I've always used is something Bob mentioned above, namely verifying that the vendor actively trades using their own product/service/ideas. Any vendor confident enough to market their wares and take money from others who isn't confident enough to make use of them in their own personal trading is, quite simply, a fraud, in my humble opinion. I simply can't envision an excuse for this. . if their stuff works, naturally the vendor is going to be using it themselves. If they're fearful to do so, this seems to be pretty damning evidence that they're knowingly marketing junk.

The majority of what I've heard about TST, especially in regards to the journaling and community-driven aspects, has been positive. . and that was precisely my worry, that you might inadvertently lend a portion of your reputation and credibility to those who don't deserve anything of the sort, and in doing so you may be (again inadvertently) leading wide-eyed idealistic traders down dangerous paths.

I can only control my own actions, and certainly don't mean to judge not knowing all of the facts (the additional context is appreciated). My only concern was for our upcoming site (thus the 'vetting'), which I've been trying to stay mum about until I can speak with Mike, as I certainly don't want to overstep or use this forum as a means for advertising. It's proving difficult to find trusted and competent parties to point to as valuable resources, and was hopeful that perhaps TST could be mentioned in some form or fashion.

I appreciate the well reasoned response, and I'll certainly reach out and we can go from there, thanks TST

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 Big Mike 
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Hi guys,

It is my pleasure to welcome back Conor Meegan from TopstepTrader for a webinar on Thursday, February 2nd @ 4:30PM Eastern US.

The topic is "How-to profit in the markets without opening a brokerage account", and bullet points include:

- TopstepTrader's unique program and process
- How-to earn a Funded Account
- Which trading styles and strategies work best with TopstepTrader
- Learn about other funded traders and how they perform
- Q&A from members

Learn more about TopstepTrader:
https://www.topsteptrader.com:443/

Register for the event:
https://on.futures.io/1b9ti

Mike

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 tturner86 
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 Big Mike 
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Webinar recording:



Mike

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 Big Mike 
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What did everyone think of the webinar?

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  #757 (permalink)
 tpredictor 
North Carolina
 
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I watched the recording. The sound was a bit difficult but it was useful pointing out the difference in the combine vs the FTP. I may have missed this if answered but:

1. Are you refunded if you pass the combine but not the FTP?
2. It sounded like the data feed was included in the combine, correct? Does it support historical data, how much?
---

Also, the explanation regarding the profit targets/account sizes didn't make sense to me. It is clear that the combine levels aren't created equal. In the table below, I broke down the combine based on several metrics. It shows that the 10 contract combine is the worst deal. If you can trade on a $500 loss limit, the 3 lot combine is the best deal. But, $500 isn't much to work with, and so the 5 lot deal might be better overall.


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  #758 (permalink)
 TWDsje   is a Vendor
 
 
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Most of what was in the last webinar was just information that I already knew from reading the website, and trading in the combine myself. However, I do think it helped to correct some false ideas out there. I thought it was particularly enlightening that the biggest killer of combine accounts was the daily loss limit, and not the drawdown.

This past week I apparently traded outside of the allowed trading times. I thought I was definitely outside of the 1 minute before/after news window, but the system disagrees with me. I'm going to try writing some addons to NinjaTrader to help me in the future. While I'm at it I'll look into if there's more we can do to save people from themselves...

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  #759 (permalink)
 ABQJuan 
Albuquerque, NM United States
 
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Can anyone describe the contract a funded trader signs with TST? Particularly whether there is any non-disclosure clause in the contract? There is little information about trader experiences beyond the Combine and FTP. I was curious if there was a legal reason for this.

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  #760 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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  #761 (permalink)
 Trader146 
Atlanta, GA/USA
 
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I ran across a TopStepTrader blog post entitled " [BREAKING] Two Rules Eliminated". The article refers to Funded Trader Prep (FTP), they additional requirement you'll have to meet before being funded.

This sounds like a good thing, right? Well, what they slipped in at the end of the article is that the profit target is now double what it had been prior to these changes. "Funded Trader Preparation will now have the same profit targets as the Trading Combine". Keep in mind that in FTP you can only trade a fraction of the contracts you can trade in the combine until you reach a preset account balance. In FTP you also have to deal with a weekly loss limit which is equal to the daily lost limit. Neither of these constraints exist in the combine.

So basically in order to get funded you'll need to walk a tightrope (additional weekly loss limit) with one hand tied behind your back (reduced contracts) yet still achieve the same profit target. Does this sound reasonable to anybody?

No wonder the failure rate for FTP is so high. Don't believe me? Just listen to some of the funded trader interviews. Most have failed many, many combines and once passed, they failed the FTP (which I'm pretty sure drops them back to paying for combines). The hoops you have to jump through to get funded after passing the combine just leaves a bad taste in my month. It feels like bait and switch to me.

In my opinion if you are going to "attempt" to get funded with TST, you should first try trading within the combine rules for free using Ninjatrader sim. If you are not able to reach the required profit targets while trading for free, why waste money paying for combines? You are not going to magically get better just because there's money on the line. Most likely you will get worse. It just doesn't make since to pay for combines when you can practice for free. I can see paying to "take the test", but why pay to practice.

When I decided to get my pilots license, I practiced on my home computer with Microsoft Flight Simulator. When I started paying a flight instructor, it was just to prove I already knew how to fly. I was ready to solo after only 8 hours. According to my instructor, most students take 40-60 hours to solo. But I had spent hundreds of hours on the simulator at home. It would have cost a fortune in a real airplane. Why throw money away?

I think TST could be a good thing for those who need funding, but by making it so much harder to get funded after passing a combine leads me to believe that's where they would prefer you to stay, paying for combines. I'm just saying...

Oh, and if you do decide to practice before attempting to pass a combine, I recommended you practice within the FTP rules. They are the only rules that matter.

Good Luck and Good Trading

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  #762 (permalink)
emini2000
Atlanta GA USA
 
 
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Trader146 View Post
I think TST could be a good thing for those who need funding, but by making it so much harder to get funded after passing a combine leads me to believe that's where they would prefer you to stay, paying for combines. I'm just saying...

I think anyone looking at them objectively can see the combines are where they make the bulk of their money. Does that make them 'bad'? No. They still provide the opportunity. They were smart enough to come up with a model where they could actually make money giving traders a chance to get their own account. It just is what it is.

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  #763 (permalink)
 Sirkin01 
Rochester, ny
 
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Just a small correction the weekly stop is in the funded account once your trailing stop reaches break even the weekly stop is no longer part of the funded account. This is true practice before, but I can say this since, 2008 about when TST
Stated they have been upfront and honest, in a industry plagued with People, trying to steal your money, that put there money where your trading takes you. The combine and ftp are a tuff road and takes you and the market to get you there. It can be done I have done it. Keeping it real the ftp is not easy, get out of the gate on a positive makes it a lot easier.

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  #764 (permalink)
 PilotTrader 
New Brunswick NJ/USA
 
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Quoting 
According to my instructor, most students take 40-60 hours to solo.


I know you are trying to make a point but gross exaggeration will not get you there! No way it takes 'most students' 40 to 60 hours to solo dude, sorry, but that's simply not true.



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  #765 (permalink)
 Trader146 
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I know you are trying to make a point but gross exaggeration will not get you there! No way it takes 'most students' 40 to 60 hours to solo dude, sorry, but that's simply not true.








Then my instructor was exaggerating, not me. But my instructor had about 30 years of experience and owned the flight school. I'll take his word for it.


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  #766 (permalink)
emini2000
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PilotTrader View Post
I know you are trying to make a point but gross exaggeration will not get you there! No way it takes 'most students' 40 to 60 hours to solo dude, sorry, but that's simply not true.



If we're actually talking about flying, and I have no idea the context of that quote, it should come within the first 20 hours easily, depending on how consistent one is flying. Some do it in under 10, but 10-20 is more realistic.

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  #767 (permalink)
 Trader146 
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I know you are trying to make a point but gross exaggeration will not get you there! No way it takes 'most students' 40 to 60 hours to solo dude, sorry, but that's simply not true.








Btw, are you an instructor? If not, how would you know?


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  #768 (permalink)
emini2000
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Trader146 View Post
Btw, are you an instructor? If not, how would you know?


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I'm not, but I'm a pilot. This is what I posted above:

If we're actually talking about flying, and I have no idea the context of that quote, it should come within the first 20 hours easily, depending on how consistent one is flying. Some do it in under 10, but 10-20 is more realistic.

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  #769 (permalink)
 Trader146 
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emini2000 View Post
I'm not, but I'm a pilot. This is what I posted above:



If we're actually talking about flying, and I have no idea the context of that quote, it should come within the first 20 hours easily, depending on how consistent one is flying. Some do it in under 10, but 10-20 is more realistic.


A simple google search revealed this:





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  #770 (permalink)
emini2000
Atlanta GA USA
 
 
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Trader146 View Post
A simple google search revealed this:





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Well there you go. As I said:

...but 10-20 is more realistic to SOLO. Of course you have to know how to land to do that. lol.

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  #771 (permalink)
 Trader146 
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emini2000 View Post
I'm not, but I'm a pilot. This is what I posted above:



If we're actually talking about flying, and I have no idea the context of that quote, it should come within the first 20 hours easily, depending on how consistent one is flying. Some do it in under 10, but 10-20 is more realistic.



I wasn't even talking to you. I replied to @PilotTrader post. He's the one that accused me of "gross exaggeration". I'm still waiting on an apology from him.


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  #772 (permalink)
 PilotTrader 
New Brunswick NJ/USA
 
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Trader146 View Post
Btw, are you an instructor? If not, how would you know?


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When one walks into a party, how do you know who is a pilot? He will be sure to let you know! Lol.

Nope, not an instructor, you are right there. Just your everyday, run-of-the-mill instrument-rated commercial pilot with over 2,500 hours flight time in high performance aircraft, experimentals and vintage WWII aircraft over the past 25 or so years. Oh, I also built a Lancair along the way. But no, am not an instructor.

Hope you get your license soon sir.



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  #773 (permalink)
 Trader146 
Atlanta, GA/USA
 
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emini2000 View Post
Well there you go. As I said:

...but 10-20 is more realistic to SOLO. Of course you have to know how to land to do that. lol.



Just being able to take off and land is not enough to solo in case you didn't know. If that's all you have demonstrated to your instructor, he will not let you solo.


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  #774 (permalink)
 Trader146 
Atlanta, GA/USA
 
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PilotTrader View Post
When one walks into a party, how do you know who is a pilot? He will be sure to let you know! Lol.



Nope, not an instructor, you are right there. Just your everyday, run-of-the-mill instrument-rated commercial pilot with over 2,500 hours flight time in high performance aircraft, experimentals and vintage WWII aircraft over the past 25 or so years. Oh, I also built a Lancair along the way. But no, am not an instructor.



Hope you get your license soon sir.








I've had my license for 15 years buddy.

And just because you're a commercial pilot doesn't mean you mean you know for sure how long it takes the average student to learn to fly. But I'm not going to argue with you. This thread is about TopStepTrader, not how long it takes to learn to fly an airplane. Try to stay on topic.


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  #775 (permalink)
emini2000
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Trader146 View Post
Just being able to take off and land is not enough to solo in case you didn't know. If that's all you have demonstrated to your instructor, he will not let you solo.


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I am an instrument rated pilot. I know what's going on. And your comment was about time to solo. It doesn't take 40-60 hours to solo, not even close. I answered that question correctly.

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  #776 (permalink)
emini2000
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Trader146 View Post
I've had my license for 15 years buddy.

And just because you're a commercial pilot doesn't mean you mean you know for sure how long it takes the average student to learn to fly. But I'm not going to argue with you. This thread is about TopStepTrader, not how long it takes to learn to fly an airplane. Try to stay on topic.


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But you didn't say 'learn to fly' in the comment he quoted. You said SOLO.

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  #777 (permalink)
 Trader146 
Atlanta, GA/USA
 
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emini2000 View Post
I am an instrument rated pilot. I know what's going on. And your comment was about time to solo. It doesn't take 40-60 hours to solo, not even close. I answered that question correctly.



I stand corrected. I did say solo. I'm pretty sure my instructor was quoting figures for obtaining your license. But my point is still valid, you don't have to pay to practice. You can practice trading for free on a simulator. Once you are confident you can pass the combine, then and only then should you sign up IMHO. And that's all I have to say about that!


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  #778 (permalink)
emini2000
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Trader146 View Post
I stand corrected. I did say solo. I'm pretty sure my instructor was quoting figures for obtaining your license. But my point is still valid, you don't have to pay to practice. You can practice trading for free on a simulator. Once you are confident you can pass the combine, then and only then should you sign up IMHO. And that's all I have to say about that!


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Hey, I don't disagree with that about paying to practice.

I'd say the average time to get a private pilot's license is 60-70 hours because most don't fly frequently enough. Now if in a school doing it, less than that because one is training full time.

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  #779 (permalink)
goodoboy
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emini2000 View Post
I think anyone looking at them objectively can see the combines are where they make the bulk of their money. Does that make them 'bad'? No. They still provide the opportunity. They were smart enough to come up with a model where they could actually make money giving traders a chance to get their own account. It just is what it is.

Hello,

Yes, I experienced TST for awhile and was in combine for about 4 months. It was very good experienced.

Think of TST like this using the 30K combine, $1500 trailing drawdown as an example:

1. Using your trading strategy can you make $1500 without hitting a $1500 drawdown? In other words, if starting with at $1500 trading capital can you earn another $1500 in profits?

2. Can you do step 1 3 times? 1 time for Combine, again for FTP, and again for Funded account? So actually, you would have to start with $1500 capital, and make another $1500 three times. Also, if you get to the funded account and hit drawdown while trying to make $1500 or break a rule, you start alll over again from Combine.

3. Can you do the above with 1-3 contracts? 1 will be better to avoid $1500 drawdown.

If your trading system back testing data show your system can get past all those steps, you should start the TST Combine. If not, don't take the risk until you can.

The gotcha with TST is the starting drawdown balance and making sure your system does not have a drawdown of $1500 if using the $30K.

Thanks,

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  #780 (permalink)
 PilotTrader 
New Brunswick NJ/USA
 
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Quoting 
Try to stay on topic.

Sure, no problemo amigo. I will stay on topic.

Here's my 2 cents: IMO, no way trading on SIM is the same as trading in a paid combine. Similarly, flying on your computer flight simulator is not the same as flying the Cessna 150/172 flight school plane at the local airport. In a paid combine, there is skin in the game, albeit not as much as trading a $10k trading account but nonetheless, you can keep resetting your SIM account to your heart desire at no cost whatsoever. Resetting a paid combine has an associated cost attached to doing that.

With that said, it took me a few attempts (okay, more than a few (40-60 hours? ha ha ha!) to finally bag the $50K combine but I do believe I got better each time and more disciplined. Let's see how I do with the FTP attempt I am doing now...

One thing that did help me was that along the way I trained myself to code NT strategies. So, for the most part, I let the strats do the work, just like my auto pilot in my plane (which actually flies a whole lot more precise that me! lol).

Blue skies,
PilotTrader


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  #781 (permalink)
goodoboy
Houston
 
 
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PilotTrader View Post
Sure, no problemo amigo. I will stay on topic.

Here's my 2 cents: IMO, no way trading on SIM is the same as trading in a paid combine. Similarly, flying on your computer flight simulator is not the same as flying the Cessna 150/172 flight school plane at the local airport. In a paid combine, there is skin in the game, albeit not as much as trading a $10k trading account but nonetheless, you can keep resetting your SIM account to your heart desire at no cost whatsoever. Resetting a paid combine has an associated cost attached to doing that.


Good point PilotTrader,

This is very true. I am in the $30K combine and does teaches me to be very discipline to my system rules and TST rules. For me, its worth $150 per month so I am forced to train with discipline.

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  #782 (permalink)
 Devil Man 
Legendary Capt. Johnny Jameson
Fort Lauderdale
 
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goodoboy View Post
Good point PilotTrader,

This is very true. I am in the $30K combine and does teaches me to be very discipline to my system rules and TST rules. For me, its worth $150 per month so I am forced to train with discipline.

I wish you nothing but positive application of your trading concepts and strategies....but my .02 says you'll be left with nothing more than OCD Confirmation Bias.

Johnny

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  #783 (permalink)
goodoboy
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Devil Man View Post
I wish you nothing but positive application of your trading concepts and strategies....but my .02 says you'll be left with nothing more than OCD Confirmation Bias.

Johnny

Thank you Devil Man for the wishes. I don't understand what OCD Confirmation Bias means. Please explain.

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  #784 (permalink)
 Trader146 
Atlanta, GA/USA
 
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goodoboy View Post
Good point PilotTrader,



This is very true. I am in the $30K combine and does teaches me to be very discipline to my system rules and TST rules. For me, its worth $150 per month so I am forced to train with discipline.



I know most people don't take simulator trading seriously. I didn't either until I finally develop a trading system with a positive expectancy. From that point on, it was easy to be disciplined and stick to my rules because I hadn't found anything else that was consistently profitable. I also no longer had the psychological issues associated with failed trading. I've heard it said that the trading system is not that important. I strongly disagree. It made all the difference in my case.

Now trading my system with two contracts is quite a bit more difficult. I normally use up to five contracts. There's very little room to manage the trade with only two contracts. But I'm still trying (for free) just to see how well I can do. So far, each day is much less profitable and much more frustrating than if I could use more contracts. The weekly loss limit didn't bother me, it's spending two-three months (my estimate) trading two contracts to pass FTP that bothers me.

My plan was to pass the combine on the first attempt. (I'm sure that's everybody's plan) But I didn't plan on spending three months trying to pass FTP. I had no problem with the original $1500 target for the $50,000 combine. $3000 would likely take twice as long. I'm a patience trader but I'm not happy about that.



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  #785 (permalink)
 Trader146 
Atlanta, GA/USA
 
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PilotTrader View Post
Sure, no problemo amigo. I will stay on topic.

Here's my 2 cents: IMO, no way trading on SIM is the same as trading in a paid combine. Similarly, flying on your computer flight simulator is not the same as flying the Cessna 150/172 flight school plane at the local airport. In a paid combine, there is skin in the game, albeit not as much as trading a $10k trading account but nonetheless, you can keep resetting your SIM account to your heart desire at no cost whatsoever. Resetting a paid combine has an associated cost attached to doing that.

With that said, it took me a few attempts (okay, more than a few (40-60 hours? ha ha ha!) to finally bag the $50K combine but I do believe I got better each time and more disciplined. Let's see how I do with the FTP attempt I am doing now...

One thing that did help me was that along the way I trained myself to code NT strategies. So, for the most part, I let the strats do the work, just like my auto pilot in my plane (which actually flies a whole lot more precise that me! lol).

Blue skies,
PilotTrader


I meant to reply to this post be clicked on another by mistake. See my reply to this post here.

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  #786 (permalink)
 Devil Man 
Legendary Capt. Johnny Jameson
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goodoboy View Post
Thank you Devil Man for the wishes. I don't understand what OCD Confirmation Bias means. Please explain.

@goodoboy here is a pretty good explanation:
Confirmation Bias Definition | Investopedia

....the OCD part was a little facetious : )

Johnny

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  #787 (permalink)
goodoboy
Houston
 
 
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Devil Man View Post
@goodoboy here is a pretty good explanation:
Confirmation Bias Definition | Investopedia

....the OCD part was a little facetious : )

Johnny

Morning Devil Man,

Lol, its all good. we all can use a little laugh day to day as we trade and a good debate a bit later. Happy Trading today

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  #788 (permalink)
 aquarian1 
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Opstar View Post
Not just first ten days but anytime time in any of your TST account if the trailing max drawdown is hit

net profit position on deposit"
= e.g. If you were funded with $50,000 and made $2,500 and then withdrew $2,000 your net profit position on deposit would equal $500 less exchange fees ($65/mo) = $435. This is another way of saying your watermark is $50,435.

Im actually confused about this one. But the exchange fee gets charged separately (to your credit card) so just look at the account balance after trades. They calculate profits minus comms so likely wont see a difference.

It is important to think about what the "trailing max drawdown" is.
Look at my example.
What is the trailing maximum drawdown?

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  #789 (permalink)
 aquarian1 
Point Roberts, WA, USA
 
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@Opstar


I believe your reply makes things confusing.

Instead of interspersing your comments into mine simply make :
one clear list of all conditions that would cause one to lose one's funded status in your own words.

---I realize you are doing your best to help but I want to be sure of the rules so not "I think"
as in:
"I think" this rule is dropped. (profit in the first ten days)

I believe, with "trailing max drawdown is hit." you have mix two terms.
There is a "watermark" and a "maximum drawdown", is there not?


2. I believe, you have mix two terms in "trailing max drawdown is hit."
There is a "watermark" and a "maximum drawdown", is there not?

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  #790 (permalink)
 aquarian1 
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PilotTrader View Post
I know you are trying to make a point but gross exaggeration will not get you there! No way it takes 'most students' 40 to 60 hours to solo dude, sorry, but that's simply not true.


while this whole pilot thing is less-than-mildly-interesting off-topic ramble was not the point in the original post:

"This sounds like a good thing, right? Well, what they slipped in at the end of the article is that the profit target is now double what it had been prior to these changes. "Funded Trader Preparation will now have the same profit targets as the Trading Combine". Keep in mind that in FTP you can only trade a fraction of the contracts you can trade in the combine until you reach a preset account balance. In FTP you also have to deal with a weekly loss limit which is equal to the daily lost limit. Neither of these constraints exist in the combine.

So basically in order to get funded you'll need to walk a tightrope (additional weekly loss limit) with one hand tied behind your back (reduced contracts) yet still achieve the same profit target. Does this sound reasonable to anybody?"

I haven't seen replies addressing this point and this point is about TST.

Perhaps a reply to this?

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  #791 (permalink)
 Sirkin01 
Rochester, ny
 
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To add to this comment about reduced contracts, I have been thru FTP a few times. Having my combine ruined by the weekly stop loss, which is pain. Now TST isn't reducing the profit target like that have in the past, this has upped the difficulty a bit. I am in the camp of yes this sucks.
Let me explain where I think there coming from and why the change. One of their core beliefs they hold is this. "If you can trade small you can trade big." So they want to see you grind it a bit with a small account, then give you move size as you grow. Yes it sucks but it hard to argue there logic.

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  #792 (permalink)
 aquarian1 
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@Opstar

Thanks for the PM. That clarifies things.

I had found it difficult to get one clear complete picture
see:


Thanks again and good trading.

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  #793 (permalink)
 mokasha 
Dubai UAE
 
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Hi All,
Any feedback on
1) whether it's best to start $100K vs $50K combine specially with the scaling plan introduced, it really makes the benefits of bigger funded accounts not achievable except after several months.
2) if you succeed a combine, they move direct to funded or there is a step of FTP before that & is it paid for by the subscription?
3) when does the monthly subscription stop being paid? If I use Ninjatrader & already have a lifetime license.

Thanks a lot.


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  #794 (permalink)
 matthew28 
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Wiltshire, United Kingdom
 
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mokasha View Post
Hi All,
Any feedback on
1) whether it's best to start $100K vs $50K combine specially with the scaling plan introduced, it really makes the benefits of bigger funded accounts not achievable except after several months.
2) if you succeed a combine, they move direct to funded or there is a step of FTP before that & is it paid for by the subscription?
3) when does the monthly subscription stop being paid? If I use Ninjatrader & already have a lifetime license.

Thanks a lot.


1. I would stick to thirty or fifty due to the live scaling plan you need to follow in the FTP stage.

2. The FTP stage used to be optional at their discretion but they say they realised that people who did the FTP were more successful when funded and less likely to fail when live. So now FTP is done by everybody that passes the Combine. It is free though. (The live trader scaling plan was introduced for similar reasons. After analysing live traders they saw that a lot of people were coming in and going to the full number of contracts straight away and messing it up. The scaling plan is meant to limit the amount of damage you can do in a single trade when you are starting out with them).

3. Your monthly subscription, to cover data fees and costs (and probably some profit too - it is a business), is controlled by you in your membership area. You can cancel or renew the subscription at any time. The subsription renews the same day, say on the 10th each month. A reset costs $100. If after three and a half weeks you have failed a Combine it is better to cancel that subscription, you can still trade it to the end of the month if you wish as you have access for the full month whether you cancel early or not; and then start a new subscription when the old one expires. Other wise it costs you an extra $100 as you pay a reset fee followed by a subscription fee a few days later.
You only pay the subscription for the Combine. Not as said in FTP or when live. When live though you do pay an exchange fee. This is a fee paid by you directly to the CME because if you are trading somebody else's money they classify you as a professional trader.
https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000174188-Do-I-have-to-pay-exchange-data-fees-

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  #795 (permalink)
 Heph333 
Springfield, MO/USA
 
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I just started a 150k Combine and got a big surprise when I saw that the commissions being deducted were about 25% higher than what is published in their faq & what is charged in a live account. This throws a huge artificial barrier up for scalpers like me. My first request to support was not addressed sufficiently, so I am going to give them one more chance before I demand a refund.

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  #796 (permalink)
 tr8er 
Europe
 
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Sorry, but $ 3.68/roundturn are a huge barrier? This commission are absolute ok.

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  #797 (permalink)
 Heph333 
Springfield, MO/USA
 
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I trade 10 year Treasury Notes exclusively. Yes.... an extra .90 RT is inexcusable

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  #798 (permalink)
 tr8er 
Europe
 
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Sorry, but the rules are crystal clear $3.68/roundturn for each product in the combine. Not sure what the problem is.

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  #799 (permalink)
 Heph333 
Springfield, MO/USA
 
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Could you please show me where that is published on their site? I have not veen able to find it.

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 tr8er 
Europe
 
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https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/115007397528-How-to-Update-commissions-in-NinjaTrader-8-custom-download

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