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

  #801 (permalink)
Get In, Get Out, Get Paid
Springfield, MO/USA
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: Jigsaw
Broker/Data: AMP CQG
Favorite Futures: ZN, ZB
 
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Thank you. I wouldn't look there, buried under platform support, since I already know how to set commissions in NinjaTrader. It should be published in the faq, under Commissions. I feel like I was misled since I specifically asked support about commissions as well as searching their faq and it was never once made apparent that the combine commissions are higher than a real account.

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Edit: and that hardly qualifies as "crystal clear". I just searched again and the only place it is mentioned is under platform support.... a platform that I may or may not even have. I still feel it is significant that it is not mentioned in the commissions faq. The only mention under Rules is "simulated commissions". How hard would it be to post "a flat-rate commission" instead? Or even simply state the commission price since it is one flat price? It doesn't seem like a simple oversight to me as I can guarantee I'm not the first to take issue with this.

I mainly started my post to make others aware... And while this only affects a small minority of traders, it is significant to some. If you were a mini-Nikkei trader, this would be a very serious omission.


Last edited by Heph333; July 9th, 2017 at 04:16 PM.
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  #802 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
Austria
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
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Favorite Futures: ES, CL, GC, 6E
 
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Sorry, in this case you are right, it is not "crystal clear" as I said before, I also couldn't find it under Combine or FAQ, I haven't watched the page for a while, it always was on the page and I don't know why TST has deleted it, of course TST should add it again.

But as average the roundturn fees are ok and yes for some products it is a bit large, but not significant.

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  #803 (permalink)
Get In, Get Out, Get Paid
Springfield, MO/USA
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: Jigsaw
Broker/Data: AMP CQG
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Well there are no alternatives to TST, so I'll just deal with it and move on. At least the live account commissions are in line with what you could get from any discount brokerage.
OneUp (MES) charges $5RT. Hardly competitive.

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  #804 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
Toronto Canada
 
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matthew28 View Post
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.topsteptrader.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000174188-Do-I-have-to-pay-exchange-data-fees-

I just went through a few months of TopStep on a $150k Combine and finally hit the loss limit. Here are my thoughts for what it's worth.

1. You can't scale up to a higher combine. If you sign up for a 50k then that is what you are locked in at until you do another combine; you can't move from a lower combine to a higher combine. I initially signed for a 50k and determined a couple of days later that I wanted a $150k. I didn't even trade and they wouldn't give me a credit to up-grade. I realized too late that I can't earn enough on the small lot size to make the time worthwhile on a 50k.

2. It's not clear that the loss limit is from the peak earned. The loss limit on $150k combine is $4.5k, so that's $144.50k; but nope I peaked near $153.5k, so when my account dropped to $149k I was out. Didn't realize that. With the extra money that I thought I had in the account I was scaling up from 3 lots to 6-9 lots, unaware that the loss limit is peak to trough. It would be nice if they gave an email notice of the limit changes, but you really should log into your account every day. Also, this means that if your style means risking x$ on x lots then that is your risk / style and you are locked into that, unless you change your approach, regardless of the maximum lot limit. In other words your style determines your position size, therefore those who are struggling in defining their style might also have trouble defining their appropriate position size and by extension their loss limit.

3. Further on point#2 on a $150k the maximum lot limit is 15 lots. I only hit that limit once, most trades were 3 lots, with a view to build a consistent approach, but really I should have blown the doors off every month with 15 lots, tried to hit the $9k target, and if I lost $4.5k then re-sign for another combine; which really isn't what their model is all about, but with a monthly fee they are asking for traders to do this. It doesn't make any sense to me that I pay a full monthly fee and I'm penalized because I utilize a conservative risk approach that takes longer to hit $9 win level. I realized this too late.

4. If I do this again I will be better prepared in my trading. I would want to test my trades live on paper, and define my style in a consistent fashion then determine which Combine is best before committing the money, bearing in mind that at some point under their fixed structure you are eventually better off trading your own money.

Hope this helps.

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  #805 (permalink)
Get In, Get Out, Get Paid
Springfield, MO/USA
 
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Another observation that really only applies to scalpers is that if you are in a trade at 50% or more of your max size, And you have a stop in place, you will not be abke to simply market order out of your trade. If you try, you will get a margin error.

I trade exclusively off the Jigsaw DOM, and have for about a year now. It is standard practice for me to have a stop in place, but I very frequently scratch ot just take -1 tick when I know I'm wrong. I kept receiving margin errors in TST which kept causing me to take a bigger loss than it should have been. I'd never encountered this before in a live account, because I was never anywhere near 50% margined. With TST, you must either delete or move your stop to exit on a stop. I ultimately found it far too frustrating to continue with the combine.

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  #806 (permalink)
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Toronto Canada
 
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Heph333 View Post
Another observation that really only applies to scalpers is that if you are in a trade at 50% or more of your max size, And you have a stop in place, you will not be abke to simply market order out of your trade. If you try, you will get a margin error.

I trade exclusively off the Jigsaw DOM, and have for about a year now. It is standard practice for me to have a stop in place, but I very frequently scratch ot just take -1 tick when I know I'm wrong. I kept receiving margin errors in TST which kept causing me to take a bigger loss than it should have been. I'd never encountered this before in a live account, because I was never anywhere near 50% margined. With TST, you must either delete or move your stop to exit on a stop. I ultimately found it far too frustrating to continue with the combine.

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Yes, this happens to me too. I didn't know what was going on, but your explanation makes it clear. You should tell them, they seem to be open to suggestions.

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  #807 (permalink)
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Springfield, MO/USA
 
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This is just the market. If you were to trade at greater than 50% margin in a live account, the exact same thing would happen. The solution is to not use all your margin, or don't use a stop.

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  #808 (permalink)
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Toronto Canada
 
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Heph333 View Post
This is just the market. If you were to trade at greater than 50% margin in a live account, the exact same thing would happen. The solution is to not use all your margin, or don't use a stop.

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ok, thanks I've never come close to using 50% in a live account; only when I was experimenting on Topstep.

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  #809 (permalink)
Get In, Get Out, Get Paid
Springfield, MO/USA
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: Jigsaw
Broker/Data: AMP CQG
Favorite Futures: ZN, ZB
 
Heph333's Avatar
 
Posts: 42 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 48 given, 66 received

Same here. It really caught me off guard. I took a full stop loss on one trade because I couldn't get out manually. Very frustrating.

It's not an issue for anyone who sets stops & limits and walks away. But for a scalper, it would require me to completely change the way I manage my trades.

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  #810 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Tallinn, Estonia
 
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Northernlimit View Post

2. It's not clear that the loss limit is from the peak earned. The loss limit on $150k combine is $4.5k, so that's $144.50k; but nope I peaked near $153.5k, so when my account dropped to $149k I was out. Didn't realize that. With the extra money that I thought I had in the account I was scaling up from 3 lots to 6-9 lots, unaware that the loss limit is peak to trough. It would be nice if they gave an email notice of the limit changes, but you really should log into your account every day. Also, this means that if your style means risking x$ on x lots then that is your risk / style and you are locked into that, unless you change your approach, regardless of the maximum lot limit. In other words your style determines your position size, therefore those who are struggling in defining their style might also have trouble defining their appropriate position size and by extension their loss limit.

Its 100 % clear. Re-read the rules.
https://help.topsteptrader.com/hc/en-us/articles/235514547-What-is-the-Trailing-Max-Drawdown-
Also you see it on your dashboard. "Do not allow your Account Balance to go below xxxx "

Don't be lazy If you can login your e-mail account and your read your e-mails daily
then you can also login in your TST account. Its small effort but has big effect. I could have saved 100 $ reset fee.


Last edited by lemons; July 21st, 2017 at 05:30 AM.
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