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

  #841 (permalink)
The fun is in the numbers
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bobwest View Post
@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.

Bob.

Yes.

Really I am just showing the impact of the drawdown rule.

The reason it is only $2,000 is that that (less all the tuition fees you have paid) is their only exposure ever. Not in a combine which is pretend - they keep your tuition fees. Ditto "pre-funded". In "funded" once you are over $2,000 profits their risk goes to zero. Any loses are yours from your profits on account.

The reason they are have so many clients in there are no real choices for a trader without a bankroll.

If some said:

"You can trade on a tracked sim with us - no charge - and when you have a track record we will fund you and you will be trading $50,000 get x% of your winnings and can continue unless your net loss is 10K. Over time we will increase it.
- that is where almost everyone would go.

If you can make $3,000 before losing $2,000 (consistently) then you can make a lot of money trading.

It is much more achievable to make $15,000 before losing $10,000 on a $50,000 account.

Keep your mind in the future, in the now.

Last edited by aquarian1; December 2nd, 2017 at 09:54 PM.
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  #842 (permalink)
The fun is in the numbers
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I took off the second cycle -month two.
The reason is that is it a lot of money, a lot of money.
I really don't want to get into people attacking me - so a deleted it.

Any trader can work it out themselves - make their own spreadsheet.
I believe they don't because the math is very revealing.

If people were going to start a business they would work out 3 forecasts as part of their business plan.
poor
expected
good
People don't with trading (at least in points/contract - which is what it should be worked in.).

Considering how much work they put in it is rather amazing that they don't.

People will do Monte Carlo analysis, statistical modelling, complex indicators, years of study, take courses, read text books, argue about rules of thumb risk management etc--
but they will never work out the three scenarios which are a simple spreadsheet (or piece of paper).

Very important insights come out of the math. But they don't like these insights.

Keep your mind in the future, in the now.
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  #843 (permalink)
The fun is in the numbers
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goodoboy View Post
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.

This is a good point - that it protects your capital (beyond the erosion of fees).

It is something like buying an way out-of-the-money option.

If you buy a put (or call) option out of the money with one month left to expiry it is the same idea.

If each month, you spend $165 on the option, or $300 your choice. That's all you can lose.
If the market doesn't move a lot you only lose the $165 or $300.

If the market moves a lot then you make a big profit. You keep 100% of the profit.

How often does the way out-out-the-money pay off? 1 of 10? 1 of 20?
How much do you receive?

These are questions you would ask for buying options.

Keep your mind in the future, in the now.

Last edited by aquarian1; December 2nd, 2017 at 09:57 PM.
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  #844 (permalink)
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aquarian1 View Post
This is a good point - that it protects your capital (beyond the erosion of fees).

It is something like buying an way out-of-the-money option.

If you buy a put (or call) option out of the money with one month left to expiry it is the same idea.

If each month, you spend $165 on the option, or $300 your choice. That's all you can lose.
If the market doesn't move a lot you only lose the $165 or $300.

If the market moves a lot then you make a big profit. You keep 100% of the profit.

How often does the way out-out-the-money pay off? 1 of 10? 1 of 20?
How much do you receive?

These are questions you would ask for buying options.

Good point aquarian1,

TST helps the trader "think" long and hard about the Math.

The math simply states

1. Can a trader given $2000 three times make $3000 each time without ever losing more then $2000 along the way. Remember, the trader has to do this 3 times. 1 time for the Combine, another for FTP and another for the Funded account. Once you make $3000 (actually $2000) in the funded account, that $2K is now your own money and TST removes their risk.

So that's a total of $8K you have to make once. Once you in Funded with your $2K, you know have to increase that equity up to about $5K. Then you can withdraw the $5K out of TST free or just keep it rolling. I would keep it rolling for awhile.

So all in all, you have to ask yourself, do you have trading method where you can make $11K ($3K in combine, $3K in FTP, and $5K once funded) and not have a drawdown of $2000. This is conservative, cause technically once your trailing drawdown in TST shows $50K, the trailing stops. So if your trading balance is $52,500 your drawdown is $2500. But you get understand what I am saying.

Simply put, you are correct. The math is will not lie to you.

So that is the challenge. I am still searching and back testing for the strategy to accomplish this. I think if I can find a strategy with about $2000 - $4000 drawdown max and +$10K profits over about 500 trades back tested, it is possible to make it to Funded and get paid. Instrument selection with market condition for the strategy is the key.

Spending $160 to accomplish this is well worth it. Better then using my own capital for now.

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  #845 (permalink)
The fun is in the numbers
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You have a good post -
"The math is will not lie to you."

You have done the math -- in dollars.

This is the key point.

Why? - Because saying you need to make $3,000 before losing $2,000 hides what is going on.
I think @bobwest noticed ("nuanced conclusion about how realistic ....") what I am getting at and perhaps he is the only one you really took a look. There is a column at the end for testing if contracts can be increased.

Yes it was nuanced. I didn't come out and spell it out. For those interested continue on for 3 months with a spreadsheet in points of a trading performance that would pass a combine, that shows contracts being increased.

===> How many contracts are there?

Once a new equity trader posted that he had made 40% and ask what the likelihood was of repeating this. Well in equities 40% is 20% before leverage of margin (50%). In ES 40% was 1.21% before leverage.

margin=$4,000
face value=$132,225
3.03%
F=33.05625
40%=>1.21% (40/3.03)

Yes leverage cuts both ways. and cutting your feet before you get going is sure to mean you won't get going.

Many, many, traders never move from understanding the key differences between futures and stocks. To see this you must put thing in points. (You still need dollars but you need points as well).
You can see in the spreadsheet that I have above that I include points and increasing contracts.

--------
I have read a lot of combine journals over the years here.

I can't recall one person who kept a (posted) journal and who passed a combine and passed prefunding and passed funded and came back to say how much in cheques they received once fund (over their cumulative tuition to get funded).

If anyone know of one I'd like to hear of it please.

Keep your mind in the future, in the now.

Last edited by aquarian1; December 3rd, 2017 at 08:30 PM.
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  #846 (permalink)
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aquarian1 View Post

I can't recall one person who kept a (posted) journal and who passed a combine and passed prefunding and passed funded and came back to say how much in cheques they received once fund (over their cumulative tuition to get funded).

If anyone know of one I'd like to hear of it please.

Hello aquarian1,

Futures Trading Blog - TopstepTrader | TopstepTrader Funded Traders

There are many traders that pass the TST combine and soon I will be one of them.

The biggest challenege is the drawdown. But from my experience , its best to ignore the drawdown and find a trading method or system that has proven and profitable historical results. And this can not be done without some form of back testing. The drawdown is unavoidable. It may happen the first week of trading or 1 year later.

In my opinion, find a profitable trading system fit for TST rules with a reasonable drawdown ($2k to $5K) and give it a go.

If TST drawdown gets hit, just pay the $100 to reset account and keep on going. For example, if I find a trading system with $5K drawdown over about 1000 back tested trades, I would let that system run in TST in the $50K account with $2K drawdown.

At $100 reset for hitting drawdown, if I reset about 4 times, I that is enough to logical say this system is no longer no good.

Makes sense. This is just my opinion from trading in TST for about 6 months unsuccessful. I focused too much on hurrying to get funded and took stupid risk.

It's best to pay the $160 a month and let the trading method do its thing. The same way a discipline trader would do if have $5000 capital in broker account.

All in all, I rather pay $160 per month and few $100 resets, then use my own capital. It just make good business sense to me. Of course the risk is that my system is non performance for about +1 years never hitting drawdown, just flat. LOL

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  #847 (permalink)
The fun is in the numbers
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goodoboy View Post
Hello aquarian1,

Futures Trading Blog - TopstepTrader | TopstepTrader Funded Traders

There are many traders that pass the TST combine and soon I will be one of them.

Your answer avoids the question posted:

"I can't recall one person who:
  1. kept a (posted) journal
  2. and who passed a combine
  3. and passed prefunding and
  4. passed funded and
  5. came back to say how much in cheques they received once fund (over their cumulative tuition to get funded)."

There are 5 conditions above.
Especially note number 5 and number 1.

So what was the net dollar amount received from the "funded trader" you mention after all tuition fees?
Where is the published journal of the journey (not that I doubt a marketing company's advertizements)? - i.e. not posted after the fact.

Keep your mind in the future, in the now.
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  #848 (permalink)
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aquarian1 View Post

"I can't recall one person who:
  1. kept a (posted) journal
    .....
  2. came back to say how much in cheques they received once fund (over their cumulative tuition to get funded)."

There are 5 conditions above.
Especially note number 5 and number 1.

So what was the net dollar amount received from the "funded trader" you mention after all tuition fees?
Where is the published journal of the journey (not that I doubt a marketing company's advertizements)? - i.e. not posted after the fact.

I just had a look at your journal. You don't seem to be posting your daily/weekly/monthly profits either.
I bet that is because actually it is nobody else's business. There is no reason why you or anybody else should post the details of their profits just to satisfy anonymous critics on the internet. For those funded by somebody else it is not their job to have to promote the company on internet forums.

What I find interesting about the TST monthly funded trader newsletter is how every name is one I don't recognise at all, somebody who isn't wasting their time on forums reading trading advice and tips from people of whom the vast majority can't actually trade successfully consistently themselves. It seems to me very few successful traders spend time on forums probably because:

a) There are no successful traders, it's all a scam.
or
b) There is no upside as anybody who details their success will suddenly find they have a new full time job helping people on one hand and defending themself from abuse on the other.

As reputations take a long time to make, and are very quick to lose I also have no doubt over the company's marketing (no question mark). If the funded trader data they were publishing was made up that would be found out very quickly.

Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you're right - Henry Ford
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  #849 (permalink)
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bobwest View Post
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. margin

Disagree you can, but you can't argue against math. The practical value of the TST account comes mostly from the allowed max. DD, not from the margin. In this regard the number of contracts traded is also irrelevant.

If you have 100K on your account but your wife says you have to close your account if you lose 3K, then practically you have a 3K account. The same with TST. They can claim you have a 30K account but if they kick you out after losing 1.5K (or whatever the current limit is) than you have a 3K account. (if I add another 1.5K opening margin requirement for 3 contracts, $500 margin per contract)

The math doesn't lie...

And in this regard it is irrelevant if you lose that 1.5K using 1 contract or 3, the point is the practical account value is determined mostly by the allowed max. DD.


Last edited by Pedro40; December 4th, 2017 at 08:13 AM.
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  #850 (permalink)
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Pedro40 View Post
If you have 100K on your account but your wife says you have to close your account if you lose 3K, then practically you have a 3K account. The same with TST. They can claim you have a 30K account but if they kick you out after losing 1.5K (or whatever the current limit is) than you have a 3K account.


I hear you, and of course have seen many forum members saying this (both here and elsewhere), but I still think it isn't quite right, Pedro, because of a point it omits: that "$3k account" is one that has trading facilities you wouldn't realistically have with your own $3k.

I do think, however, that TST's nomenclature is unfortunate: they could perhaps have avoided these public discussions by referring to it as a "3-contract account" rather than as a "$30k account", etc.(?).

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