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

  #831 (permalink)
The fun is in the numbers
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math part2 cash account

--------------what about the same P/L in a cash account? --------

So you established you can trade making your $3,000 before losing your $2,000.
If you could trade well enough to pass the combine - what would it look like with a cash account?

Well the combine is supposed to be $50K account with IB's margin is $4,040 for day trade (with many discount places offering $500 margin/k up to 100 contracts) - so I used this, the higher $4,040.

Capital $50,000
Reserve $37,880
For margin $12,120
Margin/k $4,040
k available 3

So with3 contracts $12,120 is your margin leaving $37,880 surplus cash reserve.
I decided to let the trader increase contracts as long as they kept the $37,880 cash reserve.

Here is the result for the same trading in a cash cycle, $118,830.
Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).

Well done trader!

(notice if this was a combine you'd be dead on day 3.)

(edit I took out a second cycle bit)

Keep your mind in the future, in the now.

Last edited by aquarian1; November 27th, 2017 at 10:05 PM.
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  #832 (permalink)
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Way too much controversy about these guys.

Pretty website and they make it seem so easy to obtain a funding account.

And of course, rarely anyone ever does.

Around 5% move the market. 10% try to follow the 5%. The rest provide liquidity.
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  #833 (permalink)
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Just get a job at Uber. Work in a big city for couple months. Save up couple grand. and open an account with Ninja Brokerage.

(update: swap out any company in place of "Uber" if you like)

Around 5% move the market. 10% try to follow the 5%. The rest provide liquidity.
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  #834 (permalink)
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SpyderTrader View Post
Way too much controversy about these guys.

Pretty website and they make it seem so easy to obtain a funding account.

And of course, rarely anyone ever does.

No controversy. Rules are clear. Yes they change sometimes rules
and most of the times when they change rules it gets easier to get funded.

I have been funded 3 times and failed on 3 times. Reason of failure ME.

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  #835 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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SpyderTrader View Post
Way too much controversy about these guys.

Pretty website and they make it seem so easy to obtain a funding account.

And of course, rarely anyone ever does.


SpyderTrader View Post
Just get a job at Uber. Work in a big city for couple months. Save up couple grand. and open an account with Ninja Brokerage.

(update: swap out any company in place of "Uber" if you like)


lemons View Post
No controversy. Rules are clear. Yes they change sometimes rules
and most of the times when they change rules it gets easier to get funded.

I have been funded 3 times and failed on 3 times. Reason of failure ME.


I am probably an idiot to post again on this thread, because of the controversies generated within the FIO community over TST, but here goes....

( )

I do pretty much agree with @SpyderTrader's comments, at least to this extent:

1) It is going to be very hard for anyone to get funded at TST, or, as @lemons said, to stay funded, and this should not be a surprise. We are told that 90 to 95% of traders fail. If this is true, it is reasonable to conclude that about 95% of any large group of traders fail.... 95% of Combine-takers, 95% of FIO members, 95% of those reading these posts, 95% of those who are self-funded, 95% of the foolishly hopeful, 95% of the cynical. Some will say or imply that it is hard to pass the Combine (and then stay profitable, too) because of something TST is up to. Well, maybe. But realistically, traders don't need help in failing, they (we) are already good at it.

2) On the whole, it is a good idea to just pull together some money, as in @SpyderTrader's second comment, and have a go at it on your own. You will get valuable experience that a non-live test like the Combine will not give you. Of course, we can assume that 95% of those who do this will also fail. And also, some will not.

As to TST, some people do get funded. Most don't. A cynic would say that it is because TST is just trying to rip gullible traders off. Or, that they are cashing in on the 95% statistic and taking the Combine fee money out of their pockets. Or, that their business model is just charging for something that is fueled by traders' naive dreams.

But almost no trader or aspiring trader will just say that their performance is entirely their responsibility. There has to be someone else who is at fault. On this tread, it's often TST. On other threads, someone else is to blame. You will find honest recognition of a trader's own mistakes on quite a few journal threads, but not usually on a general comment thread where people just offer their opinions. As has been said before, everyone has one (opinion, that is.)

Personally, I do not think that the TST Combine is a realistic way for an otherwise not-successful or inexperienced trader to get funding. I do not think that there is any way for a not-successful or inexperienced trader to get funding, other than grinding it out over time until they are finally any good at trading. By that time, they may not need external funding. If they do, then it should be easy to get it through the Combine, or many other avenues. But would-be traders often imagine they have arrived at that level, when they have actually just started to learn.

As to whether any given person should do TST, I am making no comments, other than that the practice may be good for them (or it may not.) So might just practicing in SIM, or with some of their own risk money. Many should definitely not, because they don't fit the rules. That's a choice to make, or not.

And if you think it's a ripoff, then don't do it either. That one is easy.

I do not mean to be at all critical of @SpyderTrader's comments, just trying to bring in some context, as I see it anyway.

Bob.

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  #836 (permalink)
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bobwest View Post
I am probably an idiot to post again on this thread, because of the controversies generated within the FIO community over TST, but here goes....

( )

I do pretty much agree with @SpyderTrader's comments, at least to this extent:

1) It is going to be very hard for anyone to get funded at TST, or, as @lemons said, to stay funded, and this should not be a surprise. We are told that 90 to 95% of traders fail. If this is true, it is reasonable to conclude that about 95% of any large group of traders fail.... 95% of Combine-takers, 95% of FIO members, 95% of those reading these posts, 95% of those who are self-funded, 95% of the foolishly hopeful, 95% of the cynical. Some will say or imply that it is hard to pass the Combine (and then stay profitable, too) because of something TST is up to. Well, maybe. But realistically, traders don't need help in failing, they (we) are already good at it.

2) On the whole, it is a good idea to just pull together some money, as in @SpyderTrader's second comment, and have a go at it on your own. You will get valuable experience that a non-live test like the Combine will not give you. Of course, we can assume that 95% of those who do this will also fail. And also, some will not.

As to TST, some people do get funded. Most don't. A cynic would say that it is because TST is just trying to rip gullible traders off. Or, that they are cashing in on the 95% statistic and taking the Combine fee money out of their pockets. Or, that their business model is just charging for something that is fueled by traders' naive dreams.

But almost no trader or aspiring trader will just say that their performance is entirely their responsibility. There has to be someone else who is at fault. On this tread, it's often TST. On other threads, someone else is to blame. You will find honest recognition of a trader's own mistakes on quite a few journal threads, but not usually on a general comment thread where people just offer their opinions. As has been said before, everyone has one (opinion, that is.)

Personally, I do not think that the TST Combine is a realistic way for an otherwise not-successful or inexperienced trader to get funding. I do not think that there is any way for a not-successful or inexperienced trader to get funding, other than grinding it out over time until they are finally any good at trading. By that time, they may not need external funding. If they do, then it should be easy to get it through the Combine, or many other avenues. But would-be traders often imagine they have arrived at that level, when they have actually just started to learn.

As to whether any given person should do TST, I am making no comments, other than that the practice may be good for them (or it may not.) So might just practicing in SIM, or with some of their own risk money. Many should definitely not, because they don't fit the rules. That's a choice to make, or not.

And if you think it's a ripoff, then don't do it either. That one is easy.

I do not mean to be at all critical of @SpyderTrader's comments, just trying to bring in some context, as I see it anyway.

Bob.

Well that might be the most balanced post I've ever seen you make on TST. Normally you sound like you work for them.

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  #837 (permalink)
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emini2000 View Post
Well that might be the most balanced post I've ever seen you make on TST. Normally you sound like you work for them.

Most of the posts I have made on the subject are just explanations, as I understood them, of this or that TST rule or policy. That made me seem like an expert or an unofficial spokesman to many people, I suppose. (In fact, usually I had just read the web page and sometimes asked them a question. It's amazing how easy it is to become an "expert" just by exerting a little effort.)

The view I expressed in this post is pretty much what I thought about TST from the first time I encountered them. It seems pretty straightforward and simple to me. I do think that the TST Combine can be useful, if someone can make it so. If not, it's just another dead end for them. I am in favor of pragmatism on this issue: get what you can out of it, if there is something there for you. If not, don't spend more of your time there. There are a lot of other things you can do.

The reason I said I am probably an idiot for posting again in this thread is that the degree of partisanship, pro and con, regarding TST has made it all but impossible for someone not to be construed as a partisan on one side the other in an ongoing fight. I'm really not interested in all that.

The forum has been churned up with a few of these controversies over time, and never to anyone's benefit, one way or another.

I stopped posting in the forum last year partly out of disgust over these waves of barbarity. ( @Big Mike acted strongly to return things to a condition where different opinions can be heard and discussed in a civil manner, as they should. I am a @Big Mike partisan, as probably everyone knows.)

As for me, I just wanted to take a time out from useless, bullshit wars that aided no one.

So, not to continue to rant more than is really necessary, I am not wedded to TST, although I am one who has found them useful, to me. If they are not useful to someone else, that's fine with me. Everyone should do what they want, and what works for them, which has always been my mantra.

Sorry to dump all this after your post; none of it is directed to you, you're just a bystander .

But it did give me a chance to address the "you sound like you work for them" thing, which I do get now and then. I don't work for them. I just try to find something that works for me.

Sometimes I do that well, sometimes not.

Bob.

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  #838 (permalink)
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bobwest View Post
controversies

The controversy comes from TST's policies, not from the posters pointing that out, I thought I would mention that.

There was a thread about what the minimum account size should be for a starting out trader. Most everybody (including Big Mike) agreed that it should be well over 5 digits. (20-25K as minimum) Yet TST starts you out practically with 3K, even if it is advertised as a 30K account.

https://futures.io/traders-hideout/15936-minimum-starting-funds-learn-trade-6.html

So if the average trader can't make it unless they are capitalized over 20K, how would they succeed with TST's 3K? Simply put, they can't and they won't. Sure, there are a few very good traders who could grow a 5K account, but guess what, they don't need TST, they can do that on their own, if they are that good.

So all in all, TST can be good for practice and getting your feet wet for cheap, but not as a long term backing solution for under capitalized traders.


Last edited by Pedro40; December 2nd, 2017 at 09:05 AM.
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  #839 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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Pedro40 View Post
The controversy comes from TST's policies, not from the posters pointing that out, I thought I would mention that.

There was a thread about what the minimum account size should be for a starting out trader. Most everybody (including Big Mike) agreed that it should be well over 5 digits. (20-25K as minimum) Yet TST starts you out practically with 3K, even if it is advertised as a 30K account.

https://futures.io/traders-hideout/15936-minimum-starting-funds-learn-trade-6.html

So if the average trader can't make it unless they are capitalized over 20K, how would they succeed with TST's 3K? Simply put, they can't and they won't. Sure, there are a few very good traders who could grow a 5K account, but guess what, they don't need TST, they can do that on their own, if they are that good.

So all in all, TST can be good for practice and getting your feet wet for cheap, but not as a long term backing solution for under capitalized traders.

This is not a bad analysis by Pedro, which anyone looking at TST ought to think about. For that matter, anyone looking at futures ought to think about the issues of leverage, which is the important point here.

I would disagree only with the "starts you out practically with 3K" estimate. The 30K Combine allows you to use a maximum of 3 contracts. That translates to an equivalent personal retail account balance of 3K only if we assume the trader is using a margin of $1,000 per contract, which is very, very little (at least it's not as risky as the $500/contract levels that some brokers promote, and that naive traders seem to like so much and that they believe is normal and reasonable, which it is not.)

If a trader puts up only $1,000 per contract in margin, and trades 3 contracts, what kind of adverse move can the $3,000 account withstand? Well, a 1-point move on ES is worth $50/contract, so with 3 contracts the move is worth $150. A 10-point move is worth $1,500, half the account. If the "trader" is using only $500 margin, 10 points is $3,000, and it's game over. Yes, you shouldn't sit like a stump and take a 10-point loss (although some will), but what if you take five 2-point losses? No one should have this insanely low level of capitalization in the first place.

When people like Mike say you should have 20-25K in the account (or more), they do not think you should then use 20 to 25 contracts, which would have the same effect. They think you should use 1 or 2 contracts -- around $10,000 per contract in margin, not anything like $1,000.

@aquarian1 did a pretty reasonable analysis just a few posts ago in this thread, assuming a more realistic margin ($4,000, which I think is a little light) and a cash reserve (which I think is good), and came to a more complex and nuanced conclusion about how realistic the TST model might be, under his set of assumptions. His conclusion shows that you would have to be damn good. I think it's a reasonable take on the issue of risk and margin, and not only for a TST account or a TST type of rule set. A trader should have thought through all of this before looking either for TST funding, or self-funding: trading futures using high leverage is hard.

This kind of thing is not what I meant by "controversies" -- questions like the above are just factual matters and can be addressed with arithmetic. Some people will then be willing a accept the risk level, some will not. Hopefully, their decisions will be made on an informed and rational basis. (Getting rich quick with an account that can only afford $500 or $1,000 margin per contract is not going to happen, which is not a popular idea, just a true one.)

If no one ever had any problems with TST other than the simple "here are the numbers, do you want this or not?," then I would have had no issues at all. But I've gone on too long, and I don't want to revive what's dead and buried. And hopefully all this is enough of a dead horse now that no one will read this anyway.

I think people should just make up their minds and do what seems right to them, recognizing that it's their decision alone, and, once they have considered all the factors involved, accept their own responsibility for their outcomes.

Bob.

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  #840 (permalink)
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bobwest View Post
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.

Good post. I firmly believe TST is a good service. Why? because it saves a trader capital if they are not sure their strategy will make money. After passing the combine, your trading cost and risk goes to $0.00.

Once funded, you keep the first $5000 completely free.

The challenge is the trailing drawdown.

For instance, with the $50K account, balance can not go down to $48K.

But once account goes above $50K, account can not go below that amount.

So overall, TST goal is to protect capital. So I learn risk control for cheap. Cause think about it, we all want a trading system that start's winning instantly right? TST challenges us to do that. We are hedge fund managers, essentially.

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