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Anybody heard of topsteptrader (review)


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Anybody heard of topsteptrader (review)

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  #801 (permalink)
 Heph333 
Springfield, MO/USA
 
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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.

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  #802 (permalink)
 tr8er 
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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)
 Heph333 
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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)
Northernlimit
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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.futures.topstep.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)
 Heph333 
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)
Northernlimit
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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)
 Heph333 
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)
Northernlimit
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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)
 Heph333 
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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)
 lemons 
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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.futures.topstep.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.

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  #811 (permalink)
Northernlimit
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Yes, I was lazy and/or ignorant and I was experimenting, which means wasting money and time. I still have questions about how it all works.

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  #812 (permalink)
 ibrown 
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Northernlimit View Post
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.

In regards to point 1 it does say here, https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/220389528-What-is-the-Scaling-Plan-, that once $5k profit has been made you can request adjusted risk parameters.

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  #813 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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Hi guys,

It is my pleasure to welcome John Hoagland @ TopstepTrader for a webinar on Thursday, October 26th @ 4:30PM Eastern US.

The topic of this webinar is "Profiting in Futures Markets Without Risking Your Own Money", and bullet points include:

Presented by: John Hoagland, who has 35 years of futures trading experience. After trading on the floor at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for 20 years, he migrated to screen trading in 2009. He has helped develop thousands of traders at TopstepTrader over the past six years.

A little about TST:

TopstepTrader has backed more than 1,000 traders since launching in 2012. Join John as he discusses how TopstepTrader puts its capital to work in the market for individual traders:

- How does TopstepTrader find and evaluate traders?
- What is the process that individual traders go through to earn a funded trading account?
- How can TopstepTrader help traders become disciplined and profitable?
- How much capital does TopstepTrader back its traders with?
- And much more

Register for the event:
https://on.futures.io/cft3b

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  #814 (permalink)
 tommartin321 
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Mr. Hoagland should be required to address the reason why TradingSchools.org revoked their 5 star rating.

Regardless of your feelings about Emmett, going from a 5 star to a "TopStepTrader sucks" almost never happens. Remember John, the truth shall set you free.

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  #815 (permalink)
 Topstep  Topstep is an official Site Sponsor
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Mr. Hoagland should be required to address the reason why TradingSchools.org revoked their 5 star rating.

Regardless of your feelings about Emmett, going from a 5 star to a "TopStepTrader sucks" almost never happens. Remember John, the truth shall set you free.


We'd encourage anyone interested in our program to check out what our actual users have to say about us. We have earned 9.1 out of 10 stars on Trustpilot, 4.8 stars out of 5 on Facebook, and 4.7 out of 5 stars on Google - based on 345 independent reviews.

We continue to innovate and make our program better every day. That's why we are the leading option for futures traders to get funding.

If you have any questions about our products or services at Topstep (formerly TopstepTrader), please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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  #816 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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Webinar recording:



Mike

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  #817 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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What did everyone think of the webinar?

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  #818 (permalink)
 matthew28 
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tommartin321 View Post
Mr. Hoagland should be required to address the reason why TradingSchools.org revoked their 5 star rating.

Regardless of your feelings about Emmett, going from a 5 star to a "TopStepTrader sucks" almost never happens. Remember John, the truth shall set you free.


“MES Capital rebranded their name to One Up Trader and decided to offer a better deal for consumers. How much of a better deal? Much better. They addressed some of the most egregious practices of TopStep Trader. I won’t go into the specifics, but the business model of OneUp Trader is now attempting to offer a better deal to consumers.”

“Thanks for reading. This is a story that I would truly love to read your comments. Personally, these buttholes at TopStep Trader have really gotten under my skin. Its time that someone knocks them square in the jaw.”
Article: https://www.tradingschools.org/topstep-trader-vs-oneup-trader/



These are my favourite quotes. Sounds like he really went out of his way to put together a constructively argued and objective article.
I like the way he criticises Topstep for charging for Combines, (because it is a business that has running costs and overheads, and horror of horrors makes a profit for the people who risked their time and money to set the business up), unlike the way MES used to, then MES fails, turns into One Up and starts charging for Combines. But whereas TST charging is bad, somehow One Up charging is good, and an improvement on it having been free before.

In a previous TST v One Up review he listed all the things that were bad about TST and glossed over the fact that the same rules all now applied to One Up since they had just copied them all. There are now only a few differences between the two, such as:

TST require a 10 day minimum Combine followed by a 10 day minimum FTP, One Up only require a 15 day minimum Combine.

One Up are a little cheaper.

But then, One Up has some extra rules, such as the 80 % rule for three days profits in relation to the highest day’s profits.

Also TST went to the trouble and expense of integrating the trading platforms in to their risk management interface/software so that you can’t for instance exceed the maximum number of contracts allowable to trade as the order is refused. One Up it appears haven’t gone to the expense of doing that as was clearly shown by a newly funded One Up trader last week writing a journal on this site who accidentally added a contract to a position instead of taking one of, exceeded their maximum position size, and lost their account. He is now racing through a TST Combine as with One Up, once it is over that’s it. Find me one trader that has never accidentally clicked buy instead of sell, or vice versa, before realising and taking it off. ( , )

Lastly TST have chat rooms and lots of help videos they are producing every week clearly showing their staff and the company CEO, all former floor traders offering advice and showing the company philosophy. One Up has an address on their website and no other information about the people involved with the company.

Nobody is forced to buy either company’s product. I have chosen TST. It is a bit more expensive but I trust them and I think the extras add value.
Coming to the original point, I don’t see why TST should address anything to TradingSchools, the brief working relationship they had has soured and the guy is clearly completely biased against them.

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  #819 (permalink)
 TWDsje   is a Vendor
 
 
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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.

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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 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.

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  #821 (permalink)
Northernlimit
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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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Northernlimit
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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)
 bobwest 
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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)
 Tymbeline 
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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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Northernlimit
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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)
 Tymbeline 
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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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k7ler
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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)
ranger64
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https://www.tradingschools.org/topstep-trader-vs-oneup-trader/

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  #829 (permalink)
emini2000
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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)
 aquarian1 
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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.





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.)

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  #831 (permalink)
 aquarian1 
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--------------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.

Well done trader!

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

(edit I took out a second cycle bit)

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  #832 (permalink)
 SpyderTrader 
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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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 SpyderTrader 
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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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 lemons 
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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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 bobwest 
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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)
emini2000
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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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 bobwest 
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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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Pedro40
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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.



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.

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  #839 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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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.



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)
goodoboy
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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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 aquarian1 
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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.

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 aquarian1 
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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.

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 aquarian1 
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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.

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goodoboy
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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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 aquarian1 
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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.

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goodoboy
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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)
 aquarian1 
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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.

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 matthew28 
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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.

Trading, ideally structured, is a vehicle for expanding consciousness, not damaging it. - Brett Steenbarger
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Pedro40
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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.

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 Tymbeline 
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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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 bobwest 
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Pedro40 View Post
Disagree you can, but you can't argue against math. The practical value of the TST account comes 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.

OK, we were talking about different things, and I didn't understand your point.

Having a loss control discipline is going to require you to not lose 100%. There will be some limit at which the plug is pulled. If you want to say that that's all you have to work with, then fine, if you make it clear that's what you mean. In fact, what you have is just a certain number of contracts to trade, and an amount that is the most you can lose. That's actually all you have. Translating this into what your effective account balance would be does not change the fact that you have a certain number of contracts and a certain max loss limit. There's nothing else to the accounts.

I think that TST made a mistake in labeling the Combine accounts as 30K or 50K or whatever, because what matters is the number of contracts and the loss limits. I assume they wanted to give some numbers that retail traders could relate to. But, with any account, the leverage that someone chooses matters. A prudent trader does not use these BS margins of $500/contract; a reasonable choice is more like $10,000, which would limit a 50K account to (drumroll) 5 contracts . By coincidence, that is the contract limit in a "50K" TST Combine.

Now, if we're talking about your own self-funded account, and your wife (or your risk manager, or your own level of risk tolerance) only lets you lose $3,000 out of that, the correct, full description is that you have 5 contracts you can trade, and a loss limit of $3,000, and you put up 50K in capital to get there. If you have a TST funded account, you will have, say, 5 contracts you can trade, and a loss limit of $3000, and you put up zero capital to get there. The difference is that you didn't have to find any money to back the account. But in terms of what you can do with it, the important factors are the contract and loss limits.

Your ability to make money, or not, depends on the number of contracts and the loss parameters. It does not depend on a hypothetical equivalent account balance. The funded account starts with a zero account balance, and TST sets your contract and loss limits, which is what matters.

So long as it's clear what you're saying, I have no problem with how you describe this situation. If you want to say there is an effective balance that is equal to the loss limit, and if you are clear about it, fine. There is really no point to be won or lost here: the factual situation is that you have "x" number of contracts and "y" amount of loss limit, and that's what you have to work with. If you can make money with this, go ahead. If not, you'll find out.

If someone wants to say that these account parameters are not a good idea, and does the math to show it and lays out his assumptions, that's also fine, and it's really the point. I think it's obvious that you would need to be very good as a trader -- you would then need to make your own decisions about whether this path would work for you. (News flash: it won't for most people. But neither will opening your own 50K account, or 3K account, or anything else either. A small number of traders are going to succeed at trading, and that's just the reality of it.)

How about if the loss limit were higher? There are many strategies that allow a trader to have a big drawdown because that trader will also ultimately have a net larger profit (it is hoped.) If that's you, then don't bother with TST. Many strategies involve holding for swings of several days. If that's you, then don't bother with TST. We could go on and on about what would or would not work under the TST rules. On the other hand, if the loss limit were higher, I would confidently predict that many traders would still hit it, and just lose more before tapping out. Some would also say that it's unfair that they aren't allowed to lose more....

A person has to figure out how to make their own strategy work, and make their choices about how to profit and manage loss, and find how they're going to do it in the real world. If your path is TST, or if it's not, who cares?

Bob.

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 bobwest 
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Tymbeline View Post
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.(?).

Precisely. Took a lot fewer words to say it than I did, too.

Bob.

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 bobwest 
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matthew28 View Post
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.

Totally agree with this. I would add that no opinion ever seems to be changed, either.

As to anyone publishing their live trading results, almost no one will, because it really is no one else's business. You do see real-time publication of real results in some trading journals, but not many. Nor will you, so nothing will ever be resolved in this way.

Bob.

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 aquarian1 
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matthew28 View Post
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.

I think you're quite correct Matthew.

Well said.

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 bobwest 
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matthew28 View Post
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.

To add just one thing, I also have no doubt about whether the TST program is on the up and up, or whether they provide exactly what they offer.

It's easy to say, on the internet, that "It's a ripoff" (you can say that no matter what "it" is, and someone will agree with you.) A considered assessment of whether what they offer is a good thing for you is another matter. I think it can be, for some, but I'm trying to be neutral on this point. But the evidence of many who have had direct dealings with them, and of my own dealings with them, leaves me with no question about their honesty.

This probably will not be a view that will go unchallenged, since "It's a ripoff" is so easy to say, and always has many supporters. I just thought I'd put it in here.

Whether to go the TST route is still an individual question, and it will not be "yes" for everyone. But it's a matter of what's right for you, not whether they are above-board, in my view.

Bob.

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Pedro40
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bobwest View Post
Precisely. Took a lot fewer words to say it than I did, too.

Hey, I can do it in one, not very long sentence:

The average trader is set up for failure by the small allowed loss by TST, and those very good traders who could succeed in spite of that, don't need TST's backing anyway.

That we could call the Catch of 22 of TST's business model (aka controversy)...

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  #857 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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Pedro40 View Post
Hey, I can do it in one, not very long sentence:

The average trader is set up for failure by the small allowed loss by TST, and those very good traders who could succeed in spite of that, don't need TST's backing anyway.

That we could call the Catch of 22 of TST's business model (aka controversy)...



bobwest View Post
I would add that no opinion ever seems to be changed, either.



Bob.

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 TWDsje   is a Vendor
 
 
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I think there's another facet that I briefly mentioned in my video that I'm not really seeing the discussion on. It's not just the drawdown. It's the time.

You could trade a strategy that is extremely low risk, and you would eventually hit the profit target. However, how many strategies that would fit the rules allow you to pass within a month? We know that there are significantly less because at one time you had to pass within a month, and they removed that rule.

And this matters because it completely changes the investment. It's a little different when you realize that you're talking 2 months of time lost for every failed combine and $300 instead of $150. Then you have to do it three times, and if it doesn't work you're back to square one with half a year gone.

Which I'm sure is why they're offering resets now. Because the truth is there's a bit of luck involved in getting all the way through without the max drawdown. Many of the guys that are passing lose their accounts because they just happen to hit a good streak at the right time. There's a good chance even with a solid strategy that drawdown could hit, and so you have the reset to save you time. In my view the reset is an admission that an effective strategy is still likely to hit. Because of this I feel it's a little shady that their current discounts are all packages that give you resets for a price higher than just a simple combine fee.

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  #859 (permalink)
 Tymbeline 
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TWDsje View Post
Many of the guys that are passing lose their accounts because they just happen to hit a good streak at the right time.


Comments like this (though I agree with it completely, and am perfectly aware that a few people will get as far as a funded account without adequate skills, simply because they got lucky twice, once in the Combine and once in the FTP), make me feel quite sorry for TST: they're kind of "damned if they do; damned if they dont", regarding most of the criticisms made about them, in forums.

Generally, I find it helpful, when reading adversely intended comments about TST's selection procedures, to ask myself something like "Now, if I were putting my own money on the line to fund more-or-less anonymous traders anywhere in the world, with very low qualification thresholds, would I want to do that or something very similar, to protect my capital?"

But you have to feel some sympathy for them: so many people seem (in spite of all the evidence to the contrary!) to imagine that they're trying to make sure as few people as possible get funded that when you see someone observing (rightly, as I mentioned) that some people just get through with some good luck, it's a kind of "ironic twist", in a sense.

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goodoboy
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Hello All,

I am working on an automated (intraday) strategy system in NT to pass the TST combine and get funded and remain funded. TST allow automated trading systems and I am back testing a few strategies for the $50k account with $3K profit target and $2K drawdown.

So far the strategy is programmed with all the rules (i.e., max daily loss and close positioin by end of the day)

The problem I am seeing is the drawdown. I am training a few strategies on historical data from 2006 to 2009 (out of sample) and although somewhat good curve fitted profitable results, the drawdown exceeds the $2k drawdown at TST. Even the drawdown on the $150k account, yet the strategy is profitable. The drawdown I am seeing in back test is like $9K.

I do not want to ruin the in sample data (2010 through 20XX) just yet until I figure out what to do about this $2K drawdown.

Any thoughts, suggestions, or comments.

Thanks

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  #861 (permalink)
emini2000
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To add just one thing, I also have no doubt about whether the TST program is on the up and up, or whether they provide exactly what they offer.

It's easy to say, on the internet, that "It's a ripoff" (you can say that no matter what "it" is, and someone will agree with you.) A considered assessment of whether what they offer is a good thing for you is another matter. I think it can be, for some, but I'm trying to be neutral on this point. But the evidence of many who have had direct dealings with them, and of my own dealings with them, leaves me with no question about their honesty.

This probably will not be a view that will go unchallenged, since "It's a ripoff" is so easy to say, and always has many supporters. I just thought I'd put it in here.

Whether to go the TST route is still an individual question, and it will not be "yes" for everyone. But it's a matter of what's right for you, not whether they are above-board, in my view.

Bob.

There is no doubt in my mind that if one looks at it objectively that TST or anyone like them make they money off the combines, not the traders trading their money. Having said that, I've always said 'it is what it is'. That isn't bad or good, or a 'ripoff'. They've found a model to profit off of traders' desires to be funded. It has to be strict by nature, and one could say that if you can't be successful within those parameters then maybe you don't have the skills to trade for a living. Or at least within the parameters they set for them to be profitable with you trading their money. It's their business model, it's how they have set it so they can make money (knowing that most aren't going to be profitable traders), and as I said, it is what it is. Not good or bad, or a ripoff

As to your 'it's nobody's business what a trader makes', that's true, but I'm pretty convinced you don't see more publish, at least that have their shingles out as 'gurus' or those that run these rooms is because they just aren't profitable. I've been in this since the 90s. I've seen it all. I would say less than 1% if even that of all the rooms, etc, are scams. That's why you'll never see their trading results. Period.

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  #862 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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emini2000 View Post
There is no doubt in my mind that if one looks at it objectively that TST or anyone like them make they money off the combines, not the traders trading their money. Having said that, I've always said 'it is what it is'. That isn't bad or good, or a 'ripoff'. They've found a model to profit off of traders' desires to be funded. It has to be strict by nature, and one could say that if you can't be successful within those parameters then maybe you don't have the skills to trade for a living. Or at least within the parameters they set for them to be profitable with you trading their money. It's their business model, it's how they have set it so they can make money (knowing that most aren't going to be profitable traders), and as I said, it is what it is. Not good or bad, or a ripoff

Pretty much agree.


Quoting 
As to your 'it's nobody's business what a trader makes', that's true, but I'm pretty convinced you don't see more publish, at least that have their shingles out as 'gurus' or those that run these rooms is because they just aren't profitable. I've been in this since the 90s. I've seen it all. I would say less than 1% if even that of all the rooms, etc, are scams. That's why you'll never see their trading results. Period.

I think you're being too nice to these guys runnng trading rooms. I'm pretty sure that none of them are profitable, or even trade. Why should they bother? There are much easier ways to make money.


bobwest View Post
As to anyone publishing their live trading results, almost no one will, because it really is no one else's business. You do see real-time publication of real results in some trading journals, but not many. Nor will you, so nothing will ever be resolved in this way.

Bob.

My comment about no one publishing their live results was directed at traders posting here on the FIO forum, not the world in general or the "gurus," and was just in agreement with @matthew28's remark that you don't see much reporting of live TST-backed trading results here (or any other trading results), and that you shouldn't be surprised about that. People do want to keep their private business private.

There are trading journals here on FIO where the trader openly discusses his/her results; some are SIM, some are live trading. You get more of that in the Elite section, where traders tend to be more serious in their degree of commitment to the community (not to say non-Elite members are necessarily not serious, and no criticism is meant to someone who is not Elite, which is obviously a personal choice.) But I think most traders aren't going to expose themselves to public scrutiny, and I can't blame them.

Most traders aren't even going to expose themselves to posting anything at all, and I can't really blame them for that either.

Bob.

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  #863 (permalink)
 ziggy123 
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bobwest View Post
Pretty much agree.



I think you're being too nice to these guys runnng trading rooms. I'm pretty sure that none of them are profitable, or even trade. Why should they bother? There are much easier ways to make money.



My comment about no one publishing their live results was directed at traders posting here on the FIO forum, not the world in general or the "gurus," and was just in agreement with @matthew28's remark that you don't see much reporting of live TST-backed trading results here (or any other trading results), and that you shouldn't be surprised about that. People do want to keep their private business private.

There are trading journals here on FIO where the trader openly discusses his/her results; some are SIM, some are live trading. You get more of that in the Elite section, where traders tend to be more serious in their degree of commitment to the community (not to say non-Elite members are necessarily not serious, and no criticism is meant to someone who is not Elite, which is obviously a personal choice.) But I think most traders aren't going to expose themselves to public scrutiny, and I can't blame them.

Most traders aren't even going to expose themselves to posting anything at all, and I can't really blame them for that either.

Bob.

I have to say - that this whole BS thing of NOT showing results by ROOM OPERATORS /GURU's Pisses me off -
some use the old BullShit excuse of the SEC or Futures comittee of some sort not allowing them because they manage other peoples money - now why is it BS?

1. Because no one is asking them to show the accounts that they supposedly manage - nor how much money is in it - we are asking them HOW MUCH the "GURU" makes!!!

2. If Warren Buffet or Bill Gates tell Forbes magazine how much their NET WORTH is in BILLIONS - then these TINY little futures operators even if making a few millions a year - should have NO ISSUE - and PLEASE no IRS coming after them because they advertise how much they make - this is an insult to our intelligence - basically pissing on our heads telling us is raining

Just my 2c
Steve

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  #864 (permalink)
goodoboy
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bobwest View Post

Most traders aren't even going to expose themselves to posting anything at all, and I can't really blame them for that either.

Bob.

Hello Bob,

Not me, once I start trading live, I will gladly show screenshot of my real brokerage account, if anyone ask me to.

I am not sure what is the big deal with that.

Anyone selling a trading service, should Easily show their brokerage statement. It is common sense. Most expert traders selling service normally do this. I have seen a few.

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  #865 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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goodoboy View Post
Hello Bob,

Not me, once I start trading live, I will gladly show screenshot of my real brokerage account, if anyone ask me to.

I am not sure what is the big deal with that.

Anyone selling a trading service, should Easily show their brokerage statement. It is common sense. Most expert traders selling service normally do this. I have seen a few.

Obviously, this is a personal choice.

I agree about someone selling a service, but the fact is that many do not provide it. Also, at various times people have come on FIO and simply faked a trading history, while trolling for customers. These can sometimes be caught, and sometimes not. Basically, any published record can be faked, which we have seen often enough.

For someone who is selling something, in an ideal world they would have to show their results to get any customers, but that is not always the case. So potential customers make their decisions based on whatever they find convincing. It is a matter of let the buyer beware.

But many private traders -- who are not looking for business -- do not want their personal finances out in the public sphere, which is just their preference, and nothing wrong with it. In fact, most forum members don't really do much or any posting, preferring to just lurk and read anonymously, which is also just their preference. To each his own.

Bob.

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  #866 (permalink)
 TWDsje   is a Vendor
 
 
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This is why I absolutely love the trade dashboard with Jigsaw. Public verifiable record for all to see.

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emini2000
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TWDsje View Post
This is why I absolutely love the trade dashboard with Jigsaw. Public verifiable record for all to see.

How do they do?

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How do they do?

If you're using the new Jigsaw Daytradr you can opt to share your stats with other people. There's some good traders on their leaderboard.

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  #869 (permalink)
 dannyinhouston 
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I have a retail account, but I entered a combine to try this out. I was thinking I would use Topstep instead of SIM when I had the need. I just passed the 50k combine, but then I started looking at the details of the funded account:

$85 / month for each instrument (CL, NQ, YM would cost $255/month for data feed)
$165 / month for the monthly fee to Topstep
RT commissions about double what I pay Dorman / Ninja Trader (over $8 RT per contract)
My lifetime Ninja Trader license cannot be used, I would have to get a professional license
All this for basically a $1000 account, since if you draw down $1000 it's closed. They say 50k account, but with the weekly / daily drawdown of $1000, you really have a $1000 account.

It's like spending $500/month for a $1000 account, with double commissions.

So I not going to pursue it.

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 bobwest 
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dannyinhouston View Post
I have a retail account, but I entered a combine to try this out. I was thinking I would use Topstep instead of SIM when I had the need. I just passed the 50k combine, but then I started looking at the details of the funded account:

$85 / month for each instrument (CL, NQ, YM would cost $255/month for data feed)
$165 / month for the monthly fee to Topstep
RT commissions about double what I pay Dorman / Ninja Trader (over $8 RT per contract)
My lifetime Ninja Trader license cannot be used, I would have to get a professional license
All this for basically a $1000 account, since if you draw down $1000 it's closed. They say 50k account, but with the weekly / daily drawdown of $1000, you really have a $1000 account.

It's like spending $500/month for a $1000 account, with double commissions.

So I not going to pursue it.

Hi Danny.

I'm not sure that you've got all of it right about the funded account.

I hope that someone at @TopstepTrader will see this and kick in if I have gotten anything wrong, but here is my take on your issues:

$85/month: yes, this is the CME "professional" data fee, which they require for each "exchange" in the CME group, and each of your instruments are on different "exchanges". (CL: NYMEX , NQ: CME Equity, YM: CBOT Equity.) This is a bummer. It's because you would be trading for a firm, and so would be a "professional" in the CME's eyes and have to pay the professional fee. I don't know why TST doesn't pay this for their traders, but they don't.

$165/month to Topstep: this is not required for a funded account. (It is for the Combine, and while you are still doing the Funded Trader Prep, which is also not the funded account. If you finish both within the first month, you only pay for the one month. But never for the funded account.)

RT commission: not $8.00. ( ) On the TST website, the all-in RT commission and fees for ES is listed as $3.96 if you're using NinjaTrader. NQ would be the same, because of the same exchange fees (2.36). Based on higher exchange fees for CL (3.00), I calculate the CL RT comm + fees as $4.50, all-in, RT.

- Comm/fees, with ES example, here: https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/236068847

- Full fee schedule showing CL here: https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/220389608-What-exchange-fees-per-product-do-I-have-to-pay-in-the-Funded-Account-

License: You have to provide your own license for the funded account. I have never seen anything about not being able to use your existing license, and no one who has been funded in a FIO journal that I have seen has ever mentioned not using their existing license, or needing a "professional license". I would definitely check with TST support on this question. https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000165107-Is-NinjaTrader-free-in-the-Funded-Account-

$1,000 account: Your losses must be below $1,000 a day. This is not a total limit on your losses, just for a day (there is also initially a weekly loss limit.) There is also a trailing max drawdown of $2,000, which is a trailing number. There is some complexity here, and it is certainly true that you are not given $50,000 to work with. The fact is that you are given a contract limit (initially 2) and some tight loss limits to stay within. This will not work for everyone, but it's also not the same as having just $1,000 to work with. https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/220739167-Funded-Account-Rules

Of course, whether you do the funded account is your business, and it may not be a good thing for you. But I think that the costs are not as out of line as they appeared to you.

Good luck either way, and congrats for passing the Combine. This has eluded many (me, for instance ), and is a job well done.

Bob.

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  #871 (permalink)
 dannyinhouston 
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Hey thanks Bob! I'll give them a call to sort it out, I appreciate the info.

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 matthew28 
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dannyinhouston View Post
$85 / month for each instrument (CL, NQ, YM would cost $255/month for data feed)

True. Data fees charged by the exchange payable to the exchange. If you trade somebody else's money the CME treat you as a professional and charge you professional data fees.
Details here: https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000174188-Do-I-have-to-pay-exchange-data-fees-


dannyinhouston View Post
$165 / month for the monthly fee to Topstep

Incorrect. You pay the monthly fee in the Combine and FTP. Not when live.


dannyinhouston View Post
RT commissions about double what I pay Dorman / Ninja Trader (over $8 RT per contract)

Also incorrect. On Ninjatrader you would pay $3.96 for the equities per R/T and $4.60 for Crude.
Details here: https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/236068847-What-commissions-and-fees-do-I-have-to-pay-in-the-Funded-Account-


dannyinhouston View Post
My lifetime Ninja Trader license cannot be used, I would have to get a professional license

I thought Ninja had two license types only. A single broker license and a multi-broker licence. You would need the multibroker if you wanted to simultaneously trade with TST and have another/your own account in use at the same time.


dannyinhouston View Post
All this for basically a $1000 account, since if you draw down $1000 it's closed. They say 50k account, but with the weekly / daily drawdown of $1000, you really have a $1000 account.

Not really correct either. The daily loss limit becaomes the weekly loss limit in the FTP stage but in a live account it is no longer applicable once the Trailing Max Drawdown reaches the starting balance. And the max drawdown on a 50K account is $2000 not a $1000 dollar account.
Details here: https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/235514647-What-is-the-Weekly-Loss-Limit-

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  #873 (permalink)
 dannyinhouston 
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Ok great I gave them a call, you werw right.

1. CME data feed $85/month
2. NYMEX data $85/month
3. No monthly fee in funded account
4. I can use my existing Ninja Trader license
5. I must be extremely careful during the first trading sessions to get some cushion, because the weekly / daily $1000 loss will kill the account.
6. Once I build up a bit of equity, the trailing loss limit stops at 50k.

Much better, I think I'll pursue further.

Thanks for the clarification.

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goodoboy
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dannyinhouston View Post
I have a retail account, but I entered a combine to try this out. I was thinking I would use Topstep instead of SIM when I had the need. I just passed the 50k combine, but then I started looking at the details of the funded account:

$85 / month for each instrument (CL, NQ, YM would cost $255/month for data feed)
$165 / month for the monthly fee to Topstep
RT commissions about double what I pay Dorman / Ninja Trader (over $8 RT per contract)
My lifetime Ninja Trader license cannot be used, I would have to get a professional license
All this for basically a $1000 account, since if you draw down $1000 it's closed. They say 50k account, but with the weekly / daily drawdown of $1000, you really have a $1000 account.

It's like spending $500/month for a $1000 account, with double commissions.

So I not going to pursue it.

Hello Danny in houston and good point. Btw, I live on houston as well and use NT to practice developin strategies.

I am in TST as well in the 50k account combine

Can you please explain why you can't use the NT license?

Also, once in funded stage, you don't have pay $165 per month.

How much you pay in data feed now for your retail account trading?

Thanks

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  #875 (permalink)
 dannyinhouston 
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goodoboy View Post
Hello Danny in houston and good point. Btw, I live on houston as well and use NT to practice developin strategies.

I am in TST as well in the 50k account combine

Can you please explain why you can't use the NT license?

Also, once in funded stage, you don't have pay $165 per month.

How much you pay in data feed now for your retail account trading?

Thanks

I pay $7/month for each exchange for data feed now. I was mistaken, I can use my existing NT license.

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 bobwest 
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dannyinhouston View Post
Ok great I gave them a call, you werw right.


6. Once I build up a bit of equity, the trailing loss limit stops at 50k.

Much better, I think I'll pursue further.

Thanks for the clarification.

You're welcome.

One slight clarification to the trailing loss limit: in the funded account, you start out with a zero balance, because they just record your profit and loss, and any withdrawals. In other words, it's not like a retail account where you deposit a certain amount of margin.

So the trailing loss limit starts with your limit being down $2,000, which is as far down as they will let you go. As you make (hopefully) profits, it rises so as to trail your highest balance number by 2,000. When it gets to your starting balance, ($0.00), it stops trailing. It all works the same way with the combine, but the Combine account has a nominal starting "balance" of 50K, so that's the number it trails up to.

I hope this is clear and that I didn't just cloud things up.

Bob.

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goodoboy
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dannyinhouston View Post
I pay $7/month for each exchange for data feed now. I was mistaken, I can use my existing NT license.

I wonder why TST charge so much for data feed when NT only charge $7?

I highly encourage you to continuew

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  #878 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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goodoboy View Post
I wonder why TST charge so much for data feed when NT only charge $7?

I highly encourage you to continuew

It isn't TST, or NT either. The data fee is charged by the CME. The CME exchange regards funded TST traders as professionals, because, by definition, they are trading other people's money (TST's).

The CME charges professionals more for access to its data. They figure that professionals can afford it, and have to have it in order to do their jobs. It's as simple as that.

Bob.

Edit: I added that the higher CME fee is only for funded TST traders. Traders in the Combine actually get the data feed for free.

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 trendisyourfriend 
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bobwest View Post
... Traders in the Combine actually get the data feed for free.

Are you sure? last time i checked it costed $150/month for doing the $30K combine.

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  #880 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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trendisyourfriend View Post
Are you sure? last time i checked it costed $150/month for doing the $30K combine.

The data feed, when it is charged, is levied by the CME; the Combine fee is charged by TST. Two different things. I was talking about the CME data feed fee.

To get the data feed from CME, normally you have to have one of these:

(1) a demo account with a broker (and I believe you currently only can get it for 2 weeks; maybe I'm wrong on this); or

(2) a trading account with a broker, and for this you will either pay the CME $5/month (if non-professional), or $85/month (if you are professional) per exchange. (E.g., if you trade CL, which is NYMEX, that's one exchange, and it you trade ES, which is CME Equity, that's another. All within the "CME Group.") I know that some brokers may (or used to) pay the non-professional CME data feed fee for you, but the exchange does levy the charge; or

(3) CME has a one-month free trial. After that, then you will normally fall under one of the above.

I'm not sure what the deal is that allows the TST Combine to be available without your being explicitly charged for the data feed from CME, but it is not a separate charge to you. You obviously still pay TST for the Combine. (Is there a $5 CME fee that they just pay for you? Do they have a deal with CME? I don't know. )

If a person gets a funded account from TST, then, as a professional, they have to pay the professional data feed fee to CME, at $85 per exchange. But there is no separate CME professional or non-professional data feed charge during the Combine. This is what I was talking about.

Bob.

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 RDK91 
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dannyinhouston View Post
Ok great I gave them a call, you werw right.

1. CME data feed $85/month
2. NYMEX data $85/month
3. No monthly fee in funded account
4. I can use my existing Ninja Trader license
5. I must be extremely careful during the first trading sessions to get some cushion, because the weekly / daily $1000 loss will kill the account.
6. Once I build up a bit of equity, the trailing loss limit stops at 50k.

Much better, I think I'll pursue further.

Thanks for the clarification.

Also take a look at oneUp Trader.

Same concept, bit cheaper, more draw down, no data fees.

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  #882 (permalink)
 Scalpingtrader 
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RDK91 View Post
Also take a look at oneUp Trader.

Same concept, bit cheaper, more draw down, no data fees.

No 2nd round evaluation (read funded trader preparation) either.

But drawdown is based on REAL-TIME OPEN PnL.
Meaning if you’re up 300$ in CL, then close the trade at break even, your trailing drawdown moves up by 300$ although your balance remains unchanged.

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 RDK91 
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Scalpingtrader View Post
No 2nd round evaluation (read funded trader preparation) either.

But drawdown is based on REAL-TIME OPEN PnL.
Meaning if you’re up 300$ in CL, then close the trade at break even, your trailing drawdown moves up by 300$ although your balance remains unchanged.

Correct, TST calculated drawdown based on end of day balance.

No FTP with OneUp however there is a withdraw limit in the funded account and the account will stay on simulation until you reach the withdrawal limit, then the trades go live.

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  #884 (permalink)
 Scalpingtrader 
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RDK91 View Post
and the account will stay on simulation until you reach the withdrawal limit, then the trades go live.

... which is irrelevant for the funded trader. If the trades are routed live or sim has no effect on the traders compensation.
Your information is all 100% accurate, just wanted to add this to clarify for other readers.

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 mrphr 
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@RDK91 @Scalpingtrader You guys are right about OneUP Trader, I got funded with a 50k account.

There is no FTP BS, I said bullshit because there is other ways, many ways to see inconsistency on the metrics instead of asking for FTP so not everyone should do FTP, and there are no CME, CBOT, NYMEX and COMEX to pay, if you trade all exchange that will cost you $340 per month.

Plus they do not disturb you with chat room and phone calls and all that, they leave you alone…

One of the biggest downside with OneUp Trader is the Max Drawdown calculated in Real Time that is the biggest BS about OneUP, trust me is difficult and had huge impact and influence in the way I trade.

Honestly once you understand everything, all the rules, numbers and the contract in details you will see that the primary goal of both of them TST and OneUp is making money from combine and evaluation and not necessary fund traders and giving them the necessary “support” and development.

They could well do it properly in a way that the real intention is to look and work in partnership with traders to support and develop them and still make money from combine and evaluation. The way I see it is that in the near future new companies and competitors will emerge and will offer a better deal than TST and OneUP. In the past there was only TST now you have other option OneUP and soon you/we well definitely have a better deal to chose from.

They will say: “We have funded hundreds of traders, and blah blah blah”… But again once you understand everything, all the rules, numbers and the contract in details you will realise that is all lies and bullshit.

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  #886 (permalink)
 Tymbeline 
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I believe that there's now no such thing as "FTP" any more.

Instead, the Combine's in two stages: the first stage (which seems to be what was until recently called "Combine") has been reduced to a 5-day minimum instead of 10, and one or two other figures are also different; the second stage (which appears to be what used to be called "FTP") has a 10-day minimum. My point: this isn't just a change in name - some other parameters, including the minimum number of days, are also altered.

Someone please correct me, if I'm wrong about anything I've said above.

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 mrphr 
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Tymbeline View Post
I believe that there's now no such thing as "FTP" any more.

Instead, the Combine's in two stages: the first stage (which seems to be what was until recently called "Combine") has been reduced to a 5-day minimum instead of 10, and one or two other figures are also different; the second stage (which appears to be what used to be called "FTP") has a 10-day minimum. My point: this isn't just a change in name - some other parameters, including the minimum number of days, are also altered.

Someone please correct me, if I'm wrong about anything I've said above.

I was looking at their website out of curiosity and you are right they have changed, but if you really think about it they just change names or omitted the term FTP and reduced the number of days to get funded from 20 days to 15 days total all together; But you still need to hit two Profit Targets which it did not changed and it is basically the same, after you hit your first target you have to hit it again to get funded.

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 bobwest 
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Tymbeline View Post
I believe that there's now no such thing as "FTP" any more.

Instead, the Combine's in two stages: the first stage (which seems to be what was until recently called "Combine") has been reduced to a 5-day minimum instead of 10, and one or two other figures are also different; the second stage (which appears to be what used to be called "FTP") has a 10-day minimum. My point: this isn't just a change in name - some other parameters, including the minimum number of days, are also altered.

Someone please correct me, if I'm wrong about anything I've said above.

I think the substance of what you said is correct, in that the time spans have changed, but the "second phase" is still called "FTP" (Funded Trader Preparation.)

A rose by any other name....

Bob.

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  #889 (permalink)
 dannyinhouston 
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On thing about new traders using topstep people have not been discussing. Every time you blow a combine it cost you a hundred bucks to reset, if that were real money you would have lost 1-2k. Much better way for newbies to learn or decide they can't trade. 10 resets are 1k, but that 10-20k in losses. You might say Topstep is doing a great service in that regard.

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  #890 (permalink)
 matthew28 
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Tymbeline View Post
I believe that there's now no such thing as "FTP" any more.

Instead, the Combine's in two stages: the first stage (which seems to be what was until recently called "Combine") has been reduced to a 5-day minimum instead of 10, and one or two other figures are also different; the second stage (which appears to be what used to be called "FTP") has a 10-day minimum. My point: this isn't just a change in name - some other parameters, including the minimum number of days, are also altered.

Someone please correct me, if I'm wrong about anything I've said above.

I think this is the result of competition in the market place.

One Up's evaluation period is a minimum of fifteen days.

TST's was two evaluation days of a minimum of ten days each. Now it is in effect also fifteen days. Previously having to pass the Combine, then to basically be told to "now go off and do the same thing again" made One Up look more attractive in that respect.
In my opinion this also now makes a clearer distinction between Stage 1 (formerly the Combine), where you can use larger size straight away and now hit your target in a few days, and Stage 2 (formerly FTP); which was always supposed to be about implementing the scaling plan and Daily to Weekly loss limit, to lower initial maximum risk and reduce the likelyhood of blowing out in the first day or two and aim to promote more realistic risk management.

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  #891 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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Tymbeline View Post
I believe that there's now no such thing as "FTP" any more.

Instead, the Combine's in two stages: the first stage (which seems to be what was until recently called "Combine") has been reduced to a 5-day minimum instead of 10, and one or two other figures are also different; the second stage (which appears to be what used to be called "FTP") has a 10-day minimum. My point: this isn't just a change in name - some other parameters, including the minimum number of days, are also altered.

Someone please correct me, if I'm wrong about anything I've said above.


matthew28 View Post
I think this is the result of competition in the market place.

One Up's evaluation period is a minimum of fifteen days.

TST's was two evaluation days of a minimum of ten days each. Now it is in effect also fifteen days. Previously having to pass the Combine, then to basically be told to "now go off and do the same thing again" made One Up look more attractive in that respect.
In my opinion this also now makes a clearer distinction between Stage 1 (formerly the Combine), where you can use larger size straight away and now hit your target in a few days, and Stage 2 (formerly FTP); which was always supposed to be about implementing the scaling plan and Daily to Weekly loss limit, to lower initial maximum risk and reduce the likelyhood of blowing out in the first day or two and aim to promote more realistic risk management.

Funny that I just now became aware of the changed terminology. It's Combine Step 1 and Step 2 now on their website. I think it was still Combine and FTP a short while ago.

I think @matthew28 is right about competition, and also about the purpose of "Step 2"/"FTP".

I also think this was good marketing/labeling -- the amount of complaining about "why do I have to do it twice?" was amazing. Now it doesn't look like just a repetition, or a trick to make you fail (although I am sure that some people will find a way to make it so -- complaining can be so much fun. )

Competition seems to be working as it should. A good thing, overall.

Thanks to both @Tymbeline and @matthew28 for waking me up to the change.

Bob.

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  #892 (permalink)
 KahunaDog 
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I think one of the hardest part is size and risk.
Some people myself included were not use to the size, thus though there is parameters in ftp/step2 you can easily shoot yourself in the foot by sizing up too much initially.

A better breakdown aor article or series of articles comparing different risk models and risk strategies could help traders who are or were successful at step1, but got hung up in ftp/step2.

For myself I'm thinking of it in R multiples. Not adding contracts till I have enough R multiples as a buffer. If my normal R is 1R, then not adding a second contract till I have say 5R. Depending on your r:r you could get there in 1 or 4 wins. This varies. But once I get to 5R then adding a second lot gives me 2.5R each or 5R total to play with, when in theory a single loss will cost me 1R per contract, or 2R, with 3R left in reserve for slippage.

Now this isn't the only model or strategy, as many people scale in and out in different ways, but it is one for people that are the all in to all out, or all in to scale out. For traders who scale in whether it is with a grid, on pull backs, or momentum, or other a different approach may be of value.

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 mokasha 
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I am now a Funded Trader. The new process is better and clearer. The negative is the process is very long almost 2 weeks to get the account.
I switched to TSTrader to get free commissions mainly and mobile support. It's a good platform and easy to use for execution mainly. Mobile interface is great but not a native app.

I find Topstep not that developed regarding International traders. They don't support Euro reports and all my parameters are incorrect.

Overall good experience but big room for improvement.


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 Big Mike 
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  #895 (permalink)
supreme23
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mokasha View Post
I am now a Funded Trader. The new process is better and clearer. The negative is the process is very long almost 2 weeks to get the account.
I switched to TSTrader to get free commissions mainly and mobile support. It's a good platform and easy to use for execution mainly. Mobile interface is great but not a native app.

I find Topstep not that developed regarding International traders. They don't support Euro reports and all my parameters are incorrect.

Overall good experience but big room for improvement.


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How did you get free commissions ?

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  #896 (permalink)
 TickedOff 
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how are you guys finding step 2? I am finding the the weekly 1k max loss to be very very tight and I am overly concerned about loss whilst trading.

Understanding yourself is just as important as understanding markets.
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 matthew28 
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It's only really the beginning of the week you need to bear it in mind. If you made $500 say on Monday then on Tuesday your max daily loss would still be $1000 (for the 50K), but you would be $1500 away from the week's maximum loss.

The idea was that it prevents people blowing the test in two days by say starting on Monday and losing a touch under a $1000 then immediately trading the next day and losing another thousand and basically reaching the maximum $2000 loss and failing in two sessions. If one in effect loses their full $1000 daily loss limit on the first day of the week (and TST recommend incorporating your own reduced daily loss limit in to your trading plan anyway), then I would guess that for most people it would probably be better to stop trading 'live' for the rest of the week and work out if they have an issue, then come back prepared and composed.

Note: Though obviously if you lose $500 on the Monday then the next day your daily loss limit is only $500. A good reason to ideally use a reduced daily loss limit of about half the TST recommendation.

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 TickedOff 
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matthew28 View Post
It's only really the beginning of the week you need to bear it in mind. If you made $500 say on Monday then on Tuesday your max daily loss would still be $1000 (for the 50K), but you would be $1500 away from the week's maximum loss.
The idea was that it prevents people blowing the test in two days by say starting on Monday and losing a touch under a $1000 then immediately trading the next day and losing another thousand and basically reaching the maximum $2000 loss and failing in two sessions. If one in effect loses their full $1000 daily loss limit on the first day of the week (and TST recommend incorporating your own reduced daily loss limit in to your trading plan anyway), then I would guess that for most people it would probably be better to stop trading 'live' for the rest of the week and work out if they have an issue, then come back prepared and composed.

Oh I thought it trailed all the way up that relieves some pressure

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  #899 (permalink)
 matthew28 
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@TickedOff

Sorry I think my previous post was wrong and you were right.

I reread this https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000140747-What-is-the-Weekly-Loss-Limit- and it does sound like the weekly drawdown trails like you say.

Perhaps @TopstepTrader can clarify for other reader's benefit, or you should check with their support.

Incidentally I had checked the TST support section just to remind you to also bear in mind the scaling plan that is applied in Step 2, https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000140787-What-is-the-scaling-plan- , and not accidently click in an extra lot before you are allowed to. Good luck with Step2.

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 TradingOgre 
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Scaling plan and no trading during news events. Things that aren't enforced during step 1 that are in step 2. So watch out for interest rate announcements, FMOC meeting minutes, NFP, etc. You have to be flat 1 min prior to 1 min after.

The weekly loss limit goes away once the trailing max drawdown reaches the starting balance of the account. You will still have your daily loss limit, not your weekly. So, on a 50k combine, once the trailing max drawdown reaches 50k then the weekly loss limit is eliminated. Trailing max drawdown is calculated at end of day. So it is possible to drop below it, you just need to be above it by end of day. This is only true during the combine. Once funded you cannot drop below the max drawdown at any time during the day.

https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/235514547-What-is-the-Trailing-Max-Drawdown-

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