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

  #821 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
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TopStep Sharpe Ratio

Those interested in starting Topstep should also be aware that the funding profit target is 3 times the drawdown. In other words your strategy needs a Sharpe Ratio that exceeds 3! You are paying a fee every month, so be sure you have an approach that works before you start or else you are paying to experiment. If you have a profitable approach with a Sharpe less than 3 you are better off funding yourself with the money you are paying them.

Nothing against TopStep, this is just practical advice for traders to be aware and properly assess their approach.

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  #822 (permalink)
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Risk Control


goodoboy View Post
Thanks TWDsje for the update.
Your experience was exactly my experience when I tried the combined last year for about 6 months.
TST is a great place for a trader to begin because you protect your capital while taking on the challenge to make money at low risk.
My lessons are:
1. Verify my strategy trailing drawdown from a back test is not more than TST combine trailing drawdown.
2. Follow the rules of my strategy and TST rules with no exceptions.
The challenge of TST is the trailing drawdown, you must make sure your strategy does not hit this. It is tuff to find a strategy with $2K drawdown over X amount of trades. I think the timing of when you start the strategy on the market you want to trade needs to align. For example, I would not start an intra-day trend following strategy for the ES in the summer cause of know chop chop. Just my opinion and my experience.
If the strategy hits the drawdown and you followed the rules, then it is what it is. It was a great experience for me, but I stopped cause like you I didn’t have a strategy I was comfortable and confident with following. I am still in the lab looking for it. I encourage all newbies to start at TST. Protect your capital.

I believe to survive TopStep you have to make your stops extremely tight, and be very selective in your trades, so you are only catching good moves. This means you likely not entering trades every day, but you have to watch the market to find these trades which takes a lot of discipline.

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  #823 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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TWDsje View Post

I've tried the combine multiple times, and I'm just not good enough to pass them at this time. I made a video with my thoughts and criticism of how the combines work.

Thanks for this thoughtful review.

(I can only comment on the TST program; I have no experience with OneUp.)

I agree with the point you made in the beginning about needing, realistically, to have the type of trading stats that will fit a Combine, if you expect to pass one. Most will not. That may be because they have a perfectly good trading style that just doesn't fit the Combine parameters, or it may be that they simply (sorry to put it this way) aren't really that good as a trader yet. (Disclosure: I'm not either, yet )

So if a person does want to try a Combine and doesn't have the track record already, this is a learning moment. There's nothing wrong with continuing, if that's what they want to do, and then using the Combine experience to improve their trading.

I have used the Combine to give me a structured trading situation where the psychological pressures are stronger than in pure SIM trading (where there are no consequences to bad trading), but where the pressures are MUCH weaker than in real cash trading (where there are really bad consequences to bad trading.) This has let me deal with some of my personal trading issues without losing a lot of money. I have also had to pay for the privilege, and a person needs to think about whether the payments are worth it to them. Maybe yes, maybe no.

But I expect that most people will not find it easy to breeze through the Combine and collect the reward. If that is why someone starts a Combine, they should consider that most traders do not succeed in real trading, and that the Combine trading is not going to be that easy to succeed at, either.

And then, of course, there are perfectly good trading styles that can't be squeezed into the day-trading, severely loss-controlled method required by the Combine, and a lot of people should not even try it, for that reason.

I guess the major thing I would say is that a person wanting to give this a try should take a hard-nosed look at what he/she realistically can do, and wants to do, and then look at how, or whether, TST is going to help them in this. Maybe it won't. Maybe it will.

I thought that many of @TWDsje's comments were good and the whole thing is worth listening to.

Bob.

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  #824 (permalink)
Elite Member
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Northernlimit View Post
Those interested in starting Topstep should also be aware that the funding profit target is 3 times the drawdown. In other words your strategy needs a Sharpe Ratio that exceeds 3!


Surely not? Why would the fact that the target is three times the permitted drawdown mean that you necessarily need a strategy with a Sharpe Ratio of 3+, to pass a Combine?

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  #825 (permalink)
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Tymbeline View Post
Surely not? Why would the fact that the target is three times the permitted drawdown mean that you necessarily need a strategy with a Sharpe Ratio of 3+, to pass a Combine?

I might be wrong, but to me a rough Sharpe Ratio calculation is approximately the ratio of the maximum percentage drawdown to the maximum percentage return; so over the course of a year if you suffer a 10% live drawdown and generate a 30% return your Sharpe will be roughly 3; given the current risk-free rate is so low.

However, after reviewing the the TopStep program requirements, I was wrong as the requirements are in fact 1/1 or ($1,500 to $1,500) for the $30k Combine and 1/2 ($4,500 to $9,000) for the $150k....so much less than I stated. But the point of why I made the comment was to try to make people aware of a constraint that I didn't fully appreciate when I tried out for mine, which is to do a full analysis of your risk/reward for consistency before committing to pay a fee testing something that might not survive. At least for me since I had real trouble deciding which Combine to do, the drawdown-to-profit ratio is a key difference between the Combine sizes.

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  #826 (permalink)
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Northernlimit View Post
the point of why I made the comment was to try to make people aware of a constraint that I didn't fully appreciate when I tried out for mine, which is to do a full analysis of your risk/reward for consistency before committing to pay a fee testing something that might not survive. At least for me since I had real trouble deciding which Combine to do, the drawdown-to-profit ratio is a key difference between the Combine sizes.


Absolutely - well said (and thanks for replying).

Maybe I was being pedantic, but I think that with a genuine edge, by taking it really slowly and carefully and with appropriate position-sizing and stop-losses, one could actually pass a Combine with a much lower Sharpe than 3.0. But I fully agree with and endorse your other points above.

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  #827 (permalink)
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Northernlimit View Post
I might be wrong, but to me a rough Sharpe Ratio calculation is approximately the ratio of the maximum percentage drawdown to the maximum percentage return; so over the course of a year if you suffer a 10% live drawdown and generate a 30% return your Sharpe will be roughly 3; given the current risk-free rate is so low.

However, after reviewing the the TopStep program requirements, I was wrong as the requirements are in fact 1/1 or ($1,500 to $1,500) for the $30k Combine and 1/2 ($4,500 to $9,000) for the $150k....so much less than I stated. But the point of why I made the comment was to try to make people aware of a constraint that I didn't fully appreciate when I tried out for mine, which is to do a full analysis of your risk/reward for consistency before committing to pay a fee testing something that might not survive. At least for me since I had real trouble deciding which Combine to do, the drawdown-to-profit ratio is a key difference between the Combine sizes.

I totally agree with you pays a fee and not a guarantee of gain and even succeed the combination I find it not very fair already if we have a strategy and money management and a psychological of a trader impossible to survive on the walk and do and be profitable and earn money on the long run already 98% trader loses because-that is important factor to succeed most people believe that trading know of gambling while a trade like other job I think TST has done badly the thing mostly By paying a fee to be tested already have a battalion of trader can generate huge profit even I find it we made that 5 million of profit years old spends I find very skinny I think giving the chance to the trader without having to pass the combine proves his competence and something good for them otherwise I think that other actor will understand this and scrape off part of walking

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  #828 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
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https://www.tradingschools.org/topstep-trader-vs-oneup-trader/

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  #829 (permalink)
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The reaction from Top Step Trader

How did TopStep Trader react to a new competitor? Did TopStep Trader reflect on the reasons why a new competitor entered the marketplace?

The reaction from TopStep Trader has been in my opinion vicious, ugly, petty, and vindictive. They filed a lawsuit that is attempting to bully One Up Trader into legal submission. The lawsuit is pure folly. The legal basis for the lawsuit is ripped straight from the playbook of a monopolistic bully. Trying to kill off a competitor, while it is still a baby in the crib.

Consumers should be outraged. The legal attack on One Up Trader is more than the petty argument of a couple of ‘rich guys’. Make no mistake, this is about maintaining a monopoly, about keeping a stranglehold on consumer choice. Its an attempt to bludgeon not only free and fair competition but also an attempt to keep you confined within a narrow box of lesser choices. It is outrageous. I have included a copy of the legal filing below...

If you took the time to read this…essentially, TopStep Trader is arguing the following:

They have a registered patent for the Rithmic trading simulator. They don’t.
That they are the originators of the concept of using a simulator to evaluate trader performance. Total bullshit.
That any company offering a service, even comparatively, is an infringement of their proprietary method for ripping people off.
That anyone that visits the TopStep Trader website is voluntarily consenting to never be a competitor of TopStep Trader.

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  #830 (permalink)
The fun is in the numbers
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Combine math


After reading someone's post I got to thinking about the math in a TST combine.
I used the 50K combine which allows $2,000 total losses and requires $3,000 profit.

I have a spreadsheet which is a strategy analyzing tool.

I had initial started with a losing day at 5 points 1 contract = $250, a winning day at 7pts =$350 and 7 winning days to 5 losing days.This is what I thought might be reasonable for a good trader. Well that sequence wouldn't make it through the combine.

I kept increasing the winning size and winning days until it passed.
This was +9pts = $450 for a winning day and -5pts = $250 for a losing day.
And winning days increased to 11, losing days 7.

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So this cycle or "sequence" of losing and wining days 7+11=18 trading days would get you a pass.
I think that is very tough to do and great trading.
(You''ll see why below.)

Keep your mind in the future, in the now.
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Last edited by aquarian1; November 27th, 2017 at 08:53 PM.
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