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TST Combine results and strategies for passing


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TST Combine results and strategies for passing

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  #101 (permalink)
 josh 
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Pedro40 View Post
From the initial balance. That's why it is a good strategy to increase size once you have a profit cushion, both generally and daily.

Now it is said to be the same for the Live traders, but I disagree with it. Let's say you are trading Live with the 100K account and you made 8K. Then you start to lose. They say you are allowed to lose all the profit back and the max DD, but I say you should be stopped long before that. If you were up 8K and you lose 4K back, I would stop you and evaluate why the losses happened, but that is just me...

I am sure that in this scenario, they would talk with the trader to determine the best course of action, and not just let him go all the way back to the max DD without intervening in some helpful way. However, the advantage is that at this point you have proven that you can make some money, so I like that they don't keep the leash too tight, and let you trade. However, it should be noted that once a $5K cushion (for $30K and $50K) and $10K (for $100K and $150K) is built, the max loss is limited to the starting balance, not some amount below the starting balance.

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  #102 (permalink)
Pedro40
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josh View Post
However, it should be noted that once a $5K cushion (for $30K and $50K) and $10K (for $100K and $150K) is built, the max loss is limited to the starting balance, not some amount below the starting balance.

That only protects TST from not losing more than the initial balance, but the trader still can lose all what he has made up to that point. I think Mr. Patak is on record about this saying that yes, they would let you lose whatever you have made. Now I agree, it is hard to believe they wouldn't talk to you, once the losses/downternd are obvious, but that is what they are saying.
You are allowed to be stupid as long as they are not exposed....

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  #103 (permalink)
 Brewer20 
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I posted this in @indextrader7 's thread. But thought I'd also post it here as well for others working on a Combine.


xelaar View Post
Yeah and flatten out does not cancel standing OCO orders! Make sure you pull them out or they will trigger you into position! Order entry bar does not trigger OCO orders to be sent, no idea why. They say it's most used on the floor platform, maybe because it is just as ancient old as the floor itself. Must run on XT then!

You can configure this. It is in the Main properties window, contract tab.



There are quite a lot of configuration choices in T4. I would spend some time before the combine starts getting everything set the way you like. Then be sure to save your settings.

Plan your trade, trade your plan.
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  #104 (permalink)
 MsFutures 
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The flatten function is problematic. Are all combiners aware that if you use flatten button to exit a position, the most important number, a.k.a., the Net Profit and Loss, would not be calculated correctly? The number would not include the trade p/l you just closed! The number will straighten out if you place a trade far away from market then cancel it, or when you place your next trade. During my 2 week trial it took me me days to figure out the inaccurate number was due to the fact I used flatten button to exit a position. I confronted TST support and they acknowledged the problem, saying that CTS was aware of this issue and was working on it. I strongly believe they should inform every combine participant this issue when the platform is downloaded. It wasted me so much time. T4 is an incredibly buggy platform. There are also other surprises that could pop up from time to time.

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  #105 (permalink)
Pedro40
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MsFutures View Post
The flatten function is problematic. Are all combiners aware that if you use flatten button to exit a position, the most important number, a.k.a., the Net Profit and Loss, would not be calculated correctly? The number would not include the trade p/l you just closed!

I don't understand the problem. I have used the Flatten button extensively, but I haven't noticed anything problematic. You do get an inferior price, but that comes with the speed getting out of the position. And that window doesn't include commissions, but it never does, Flatten or no Flatten button...

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  #106 (permalink)
 MsFutures 
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Pedro40 View Post
I don't understand the problem. I have used the Flatten button extensively, but I haven't noticed anything problematic. You do get an inferior price, but that comes with the speed getting out of the position. And that window doesn't include commissions, but it never does, Flatten or no Flatten button...

If you have a practice acct, enter a trade with 1 contract then use flatten button to exit to test it. You calculate your net p/l for this trade and see if the net p/l under "All-Account" agrees with your calculation.

If you don't have this problem, it then makes T4 platform even more weird. I deal with this issue daily while in combine. I have to place a trade far away from the market then cancel this trade, then the number corrects itself.

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  #107 (permalink)
 Brewer20 
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MsFutures View Post
If you have a practice acct, enter a trade with 1 contract then use flatten button to exit to test it. You calculate your net p/l for this trade and see if the net p/l under "All-Account" agrees with your calculation.

If you don't have this problem, it then makes T4 platform even more weird. I deal with this issue daily while in combine. I have to place a trade far away from the market then cancel this trade, then the number corrects itself.

I've seen this, where the net P/L within T4 doesn't update with the result of the last trade. However, the trade report on the TST website has always been correct.

Plan your trade, trade your plan.
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  #108 (permalink)
Pedro40
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Big Mike View Post
OK then I agree, if that is what their website says and they are saying intraday (which I would assume anyway, being "maximum drawdown") then they need to update their site. BTW, intraday you can still realize more loss than you end with at end of day. So they need to clarify open positions, closed positions, or end of day.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, today we have a definite answer. I am not particularly proud of it, but on day #18 I managed to dip below the max. DD. It only lasted for about 5 minutes and 3 ticks of ES, but I was below 48K by 30-50$. The DLL wasn't in any danger, and I ended the day up with a slight gain. My combine is still alive I have just checked.

So the TST website is correct, although not logical. You can go below the max DD as long as you close the day above it and as long as you don't go below the DLL ever, during the day....(I am not sure if you can close the losing position during the day)

So I guess if you finish a day very close to your max. DD, it is possible that you can go below it the next day by almost the whole DLL, as long as your position never takes the DLL out, if you manage to come back by closing, you are golden. It also means that the unrealized max DD can be almost: max DD minus DLL. In the case of the 50K Combine, I guess you can go as low as 47.01K if it is unrealized loss, but you have to close above 48K. I think if you close that loss during the day, the game is also over... (maybe I will try it tomorrow)

------------------------------------------------------------

There is another interesting thing about the winning day %. If you trade more than 1 instrument, you can be loser in all but one, as long as the daily sum is at least 1$, your daily win % is positive. Earlier I thought this daily win % has to be 50% for each instrument, but no, it counts altogether.

So if you have one instrument that you are particularly good, you can use it to save your day. Let's say you are down in the ES and oil, but you can make it back to the green with the nat. gas, then go for it...

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  #109 (permalink)
 xelaar 
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While my argument about the validity of small Combines stays strong, and large Combine is certainly much harder to fail if you don't go crazy with sizes, it presents another problem: it gives you too much leeway to keep doing stupid trades or use unproportionally large stop losses not to get stop out from a bad entry. Certainly, large Combine is the easiest to get refunded or rolled over, but the question is how good trade management it teaches if you can keep doing things like I did over and over again? I can see how easily I can get stuck in 150k Combine rolling it over for free for a year, because large DLL allows not to get blown using small sizes but improper trade management won't allow to get even close to required profit target.

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  #110 (permalink)
Pedro40
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Xeelar, good point. I guess the 100-150K combines can be used for testing, when one just wants to use the T4. For the price of 350-400$ one can basicly use it for a whole year...

And yes you are right, the combiners has to start swinging the full size occasionally, otherwise the profit target won't be reached. Playing it to safe has been my problem....

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  #111 (permalink)
 GFIs1 
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Pedro40 View Post
... I am not particularly proud of it, but on day #18 I managed to dip below the max. DD. It only lasted for about 5 minutes and 3 ticks of ES, but I was below 48K by 30-50$. The DLL wasn't in any danger, and I ended the day up with a slight gain. My combine is still alive I have just checked....

Well - the more I am reading about these stringent combine rules the more I see clearly restrictions like:
a) the nearer you are at your DLL level the more you are forced to make "Revenge Trades" (you never thought of)
b) you are forced to leave your rules at the sidelines (money management / SL settings etc) to not touch the
throwout point by YOUR combine
c) the more you are near the crucial level the more you need to fight against -market, -philosophy, -own rules, - bad reps.. etc.
d) as FT71 speaks: DO NOT look at your PNL... in a combine you ARE madly forced to do so...

In other words - forget about that special combine game. BUT follow your own rules to succeed - You will
be rewarded by your OWN success and gains and win always in a pool filled with sharks.

GFIs1

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  #112 (permalink)
 xelaar 
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GFIs1 View Post
Well - the more I am reading about these stringent combine rules the more I see clearly restrictions like:
a) the nearer you are at your DLL level the more you are forced to make "Revenge Trades" (you never thought of)
b) you are forced to leave your rules at the sidelines (money management / SL settings etc) to not touch the
throwout point by YOUR combine
c) the more you are near the crucial level the more you need to fight against -market, -philosophy, -own rules, - bad reps.. etc.
d) as FT71 speaks: DO NOT look at your PNL... in a combine you ARE madly forced to do so...

In other words - forget about that special combine game. BUT follow your own rules to succeed - You will
be rewarded by your OWN success and gains and win always in a pool filled with sharks.

GFIs1

I think the problem here is a combination of strict DLL and a time limit of Combine. In a real life if you get close to your DLL you go down on size dramatically, take a day or week of rest, come back fresh. You are not pressed on dead line of profit target. In a Combine you pressed on both. I guess the reason is Combine is not primarily to teach you but select best traders from the rest. It's a business for TST, so it's fair.

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  #113 (permalink)
Pedro40
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xelaar View Post
I think the problem here is a combination of strict DLL and a time limit of Combine.

There has to be a time limit for both the profit target and to eventually end the combine. If there is no time limit, how do you measure profit, specially compared to others? By daily average? And the DLL does have a very good duty, it let's you survive another day to trade...

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  #114 (permalink)
Pedro40
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GFIs1 View Post
Well - the more I am reading about these stringent combine rules the more I see clearly restrictions like:
a) the nearer you are at your DLL level the more you are forced to make "Revenge Trades" (you never thought of)

I think you misunderstood the max. DD. It would be true if you can't dip below it, but since now we know that we can, there is no reason to revenge trade. You just stop trading on the day when both your DLL and max. DD are getting close, and the next day you still can trade without much pressure, and keep your eyes mostly on the DLL. Of course the next day should be a winning day.

Technically, you can dip below even 5 days in a row. Of course eventually you should get away from the max. DD, but it is quite possible to getting stuck close to it, and still not blowing the Combine...

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  #115 (permalink)
 xelaar 
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Pedro40 View Post
There has to be a time limit for both the profit target and to eventually end the combine. If there is no time limit, how do you measure profit, specially compared to others? By daily average? And the DLL does have a very good duty, it let's you survive another day to trade...

Oh I agree with TST business model and their metrics, they are smart! But it does not mean necessarily good metrics for traders, because some of them like time constraint and profit target can do more damage than good when you approaching borders (nearing MaxLoss or Time Limit). If trading for yourself, the best you would do is take a time off the markets, instead of swinging for the fences. This is why probably 20 days Combine is much better than 10 days, it gives you whole 2 months to operate and chose your days from (or trade all of them, around 40).

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  #116 (permalink)
 acbrasil 
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This thread has been an interesting read from the beginning.

So the max DD is only 5% of account value? If so, that's doable but very strict. I was reading over the weekend about some signal providers who have hundreds of people following them and their DD is around 18%, yet they are consistently very profitable doing somewhere around 19%/month. Some trades take time to work out. On Wednesday, I went 6% DD, but I made 100+ pips by sticking with those trades. Still, it's their company and their money! I woudn't do what they do. I would love to see some stats on who pays and is funded compared to the people who don't pass.

Pedro, if your good, why not just create a forex account and then hook it up to myfxbook, trade your own account, and let people follow you? I already have people who are wanting to follow me, but I'm not going to allow autotrading until I fund a new account and seperate the swing trades from the day trades. Because swing trades have wide stops and DD. Stops on a 5 min chart can be 10-20 pips/ticks while on a daily, it can be 100! Maybe you won't make as much money as a real prop trader with a multi-million dollar account, but at least it's a start :-)

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  #117 (permalink)
Pedro40
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acbrasil View Post
So the max DD is only 5% of account value?

Their account value is misleading. You can trade the 30K Combine with as little as 5K with your own money. So if we compare 1K max. DD to a 5K account and not 30K, that is a 20% DD....


Quoting 
Pedro, if your good, why not just create a forex account

Well, that is the question, right? But I agree, profitable traders don't have much incentive to stay with them in the long run, when they can just trade their own accounts...

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  #118 (permalink)
 xelaar 
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acbrasil View Post
This thread has been an interesting read from the beginning.

So the max DD is only 5% of account value? If so, that's doable but very strict. I was reading over the weekend about some signal providers who have hundreds of people following them and their DD is around 18%, yet they are consistently very profitable doing somewhere around 19%/month. Some trades take time to work out. On Wednesday, I went 6% DD, but I made 100+ pips by sticking with those trades. Still, it's their company and their money! I woudn't do what they do. I would love to see some stats on who pays and is funded compared to the people who don't pass.

Pedro, if your good, why not just create a forex account and then hook it up to myfxbook, trade your own account, and let people follow you? I already have people who are wanting to follow me, but I'm not going to allow autotrading until I fund a new account and seperate the swing trades from the day trades. Because swing trades have wide stops and DD. Stops on a 5 min chart can be 10-20 pips/ticks while on a daily, it can be 100! Maybe you won't make as much money as a real prop trader with a multi-million dollar account, but at least it's a start :-)

This is crazy stats you have, one of the best I have seen. What type of strategy you have? I don't ask to reveal details but just in general terms. I can see a holding time is 1 day and you trade many currencies. It looks like an automatic strategy, but I can't remember any that is so good, including old hits like FGB, MDP, Lightning.

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  #119 (permalink)
FXwulf
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IMO the most important part of the combine is becoming familiar with the platform so as not to make any execution errors.

I did the 150K 10 day combine and early on I put myself in a hole because I mismanaged the buttons and got confused which contracts I was trading... Drew down about 4 K but finished the combine @ 159K after fixing my errors and qualified to redo it. Im starting on Sunday and Im confident Ill make my target.

Just my .02.... if you are going to use T4 make sure you are familiar with ALL aspects of it.

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  #120 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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FXwulf View Post
Just my .02.... if you are going to use T4 make sure you are familiar with ALL aspects of it.

STRONGLY agree.... Go through the entire help file and make sure you know what all the settings are, and be sure you have them set the way you want. Otherwise, you're going to find some things you don't expect.

Once you've done that, it's like anything else, easy enough to use.

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  #121 (permalink)
Pedro40
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bobwest View Post
STRONGLY agree....

Me too, that's why #2 advice in the very first post was:

Get to know the platform."

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  #122 (permalink)
Pedro40
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Here is a trick for fast moving markets, like gold has been in the last few days.

Problem: The T4 DOM simply can't keep up with a fast moving price and the price can not be seen in the window, thus hard if not impossible to trade...

Solution: Click on a different month, then click back at the original month. That quickly brings the price back to the middle of the window.

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  #123 (permalink)
 josh 
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The slow scrolling in T4 can be annoying. Another solution: try sierra chart, which today handled a 30 handle down move in ES without a hiccup, with many more messages and volume in the feed than gold. Scroll at will, works great with tst.

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  #124 (permalink)
Pedro40
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josh View Post
Another solution: try sierra chart,

Apparently, my advice is worth $20 per month.

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  #125 (permalink)
 addchild 
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Pedro40 View Post
Here is a trick for fast moving markets, like gold has been in the last few days.

Problem: The T4 DOM simply can't keep up with a fast moving price and the price can not be seen in the window, thus hard if not impossible to trade...

Solution: Click on a different month, then click back at the original month. That quickly brings the price back to the middle of the window.

why not just use auto recenter?

Any time price trades to the top or bottom of range it recenters automatically, or you can click on the price column and it will do a global recenter for all doms.


.
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  #126 (permalink)
Pedro40
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Where do I set up the auto recenter?

By the way, how is your live trading going?

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  #127 (permalink)
 josh 
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Pedro40 View Post
Apparently, my advice is worth $20 per month.

Hey, use whatever works. I pay $45 a month and it's a small price for what you get.. it's the best, hands down, and cheaper than much more popular, much less useful programs that people happily pay more for. And while T4 is okay, it crushes it completely.


Pedro40 View Post
Where do I set up the auto recenter?

I think what you want is under Properties->Display->Auto Track

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  #128 (permalink)
 xelaar 
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There are 4 settings for scrolling. But I had problem with trade movving so fast in profit to be impossible to move to BE fast without editing the ticket. Good problem I guess but nevertheless.

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  #129 (permalink)
Pedro40
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It looks to me based on others' results and on my personal experience, that the more instruments you trade, the less parameters you have to pass. The average winner vs. average loser disappear from the list once you trade 3 instruments, and I saw a guy who was funded with 4 instruments traded and his target was less than the usually needed (2.5K instead of 3.5K in the 50K Combine)

I never seen these facts to be advertised and no, these are not custom Combines, but it is nice to be aware of. The obvious strategy is, that if you have too many parameters red, but you are nicely profitable, you just trade 1-2 more instruments for even just 1 day, and it will shorten the list.

It would be nice if someone could confirm this finding from TST.... Also could be a glitch...

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  #130 (permalink)
 xelaar 
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Pedro40 View Post
It looks to me based on others' results and on my personal experience, that the more instruments you trade, the less parameters you have to pass. The average winner vs. average loser disappear from the list once you trade 3 instruments, and I saw a guy who was funded with 4 instruments traded and his target was less than the usually needed (2.5K instead of 3.5K in the 50K Combine)

I never seen these facts to be advertised and no, these are not custom Combines, but it is nice to be aware of. The obvious strategy is, that if you have too many parameters red, but you are nicely profitable, you just trade 1-2 more instruments for even just 1 day, and it will shorten the list.

It would be nice if someone could confirm this finding from TST.... Also could be a glitch...

Very interesting, thanks Pedro. I might try it with something. I wouldn't mind getting less than 16k profit target.

Another thing how to deal with moving to BE fast in T4: right click on your order on DOM (or if it moved away fast on racing market keep order book open, click and select revise, then you can keep it always on screen, set stop from -xxx to 0 and once ready to move to BE click revise. I guess once position is in profit it will let you move stop into +xxx to protect something, so you don't need to go crazy over the DOM to manage it.

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  #131 (permalink)
 Scalpguy 
Helsinki, Finland
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: SC and TWS
Broker: IB and AMP/CQG
Trading: ES
 
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Little a bit out of topic but those thinking to start trading with a $5K (own money) should take into account that after doing only +20% for the $150k initial balance you start to pay member exchange fees which will save you a biiiiig money in a month not to mention in a year (e.g. CL commissions -37,5%).

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 garyboy275 
wa/ usa
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: schwab, metatrader, OEC,T4,TDameritrade
Trading: CL ES 6C 6E
 
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Pedro40 View Post
That only protects TST from not losing more than the initial balance, but the trader still can lose all what he has made up to that point. I think Mr. Patak is on record about this saying that yes, they would let you lose whatever you have made. Now I agree, it is hard to believe they wouldn't talk to you, once the losses/downternd are obvious, but that is what they are saying.
You are allowed to be stupid as long as they are not exposed....

I agree with you there but also if a conservative trader who can chip away with 1-2 lots in beginning to build that cushion wants to ramp it up-thats what the cushion allows- a max drawdown for the ramp up. Thats a big cushion but its hard to trade CL 5 Lots (max allowed on a 50k account) with a weekly loss limit of $1k and a max DD of 2k. Simply put, putting on CL 5 lots a 1k weekly limit and 2k drawdown is just asking for trouble. Same with parameters for 100k and 150k. The cushion just allows for the traders to trade bigger size comfortably. The daily loss limit still stands so that you dont blow it up all in one day.

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