TST Combine results and strategies for passing - futures io
futures io



TST Combine results and strategies for passing


Discussion in Trading Reviews and Vendors

Updated
      Top Posters
    1. looks_one Pedro40 with 48 posts (55 thanks)
    2. looks_two josh with 14 posts (15 thanks)
    3. looks_3 xelaar with 11 posts (1 thanks)
    4. looks_4 vercetti with 8 posts (8 thanks)
      Best Posters
    1. looks_one iankotze with 11 thanks per post
    2. looks_two Pedro40 with 1.1 thanks per post
    3. looks_3 josh with 1.1 thanks per post
    4. looks_4 vercetti with 1 thanks per post
    1. trending_up 22,806 views
    2. thumb_up 139 thanks given
    3. group 26 followers
    1. forum 131 posts
    2. attach_file 0 attachments




Welcome to futures io: the largest futures trading community on the planet, with well over 125,000 members
  • Genuine reviews from real traders, not fake reviews from stealth vendors
  • Quality education from leading professional traders
  • We are a friendly, helpful, and positive community
  • We do not tolerate rude behavior, trolling, or vendors advertising in posts
  • We are here to help, just let us know what you need
You'll need to register in order to view the content of the threads and start contributing to our community.  It's free and simple.

-- Big Mike, Site Administrator

(If you already have an account, login at the top of the page)

 
Search this Thread
 

TST Combine results and strategies for passing

(login for full post details)
  #1 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received

I am aware that there are several Combine Journals in the Elite section, but since I am not an Elite member (I am still deciding how long I will stick around), thus I can't read them. The purpose of this thread is to post your Combine results and to share certain tricks and tips that can make it easier to fulfill the requirements. If this is the wrong forum, please move it to the appropriate one.

I am not affiliated with TST, actually I have my doubts about them, but regardless I am in the middle of my Combine, and I learnt a few tricks along the way, that I will share for future Combiners. If you have tips, don't hesitate to jump in and share. Again, this thread is not about the vendor, but the challenge itself and how to pass it.

I am not going to rehash the rules of the Combine, they are available on their website. Read them carefully, and when you are done, read them again.

So anyhow, I looked at this Combine as a mental challenge. The rules are what they are, I don't necessary like them, but since I can't change them (except the costume Combine) I figured I will alter my trading style so I can still be successful at it. So let's start before you start with the Combine:

1. Read the rules. Read them again. And again. There are way too many, but that is not excuse to blow your chances, just because you misread or forgot one. To understand the challenge is pretty much the start.

2. Get to know the platform. I first hated the T4 but now I kind of got used to it. NT is also available but buggy. Download it and practice on it, until you won't make mistakes based on unfamiliarity.

3. A free way to practice for the Combine is to try to pass it while you are in the practice mode. Chances are if you are not close to passing it while practicing, you are not going to make it in the real thing either. You can actually have more than just 2 weeks practice with a little ingenuity.

4. Assuming you understand the rules, and comfortable with the platform, strategize against the parameters. The hardest is the DLL (daily loss limit), if you hit this one, you are out of the game. Thus choosing the correct number of contracts is essential. My tactic was to decide that from the beginning I am going to use 1 contract only, and go up only when I have a safety pillow. So far it has worked, but I am behind the profit target.

5. Choose your Combine carefully. There are 8 of them, but they are not all equal. Based on the profit per car per day, there is one easy, 4 average and 3 harder. Alright, I will tell you, the easiest is the 30K/20 days, that's what I have chosen.

6. No matter what, you do have to have a profitable trading strategy. I guess you could just do random trades and get lucky for a few days, but most likely your luck will run out after 4-6 days. Not to mention the parameters.

7. You have to realize that there are actually 2 challenges:
A/ Passing the Combine by reaching the profit target and being good with most of the parameters.
B/ Getting a refund by finishing in the green and being good with some of the parameters.

Obviously B/ is easier and you can either ask for a refund or retry it. BUT!!! If you blow your DLL, you disqualify yourself from the refund, so you actually are going to lose money. And you have to still watch those parameters!

8. Decide what to trade. I would suggest to stick to 1 or 2 trading vehicle, because you have to qualify at each of them. Oil and nat. gas are obviously dangerous, but if you have a good system, that is where the quick money is at.

9. When to start. Since your time frame is given after you started, it is important to start at a favorable time. Before holidays and unpredictable events is obviously not a good time. Here is a tip: If you have a rather rare but high percentage event/strategy, it is smart to wait until that occurs and jump in and start your Combine that evening, thus you can start out with a possible decent winner.

10. Although you have to be flat 10 minutes before the close, you can still swing trade. You can trade in the AH, but the trades this evening will count for tomorrow's date.

So this is it for starters, in the next posts I will explain how I strategized and how I am doing in my Combine. My minimal goal is to at least get a refund, so if nothing else, it should be a free trading exercise....

Reply With Quote
The following 4 users say Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:

Journal Challenge April 2021 results (now extended!):
Competing for $1800 in prizes from Jigsaw
looks_oneMaking a Living with the Microsby sstheo
(107 thanks from 17 posts)
looks_twoSalao's Journalby Salao
(33 thanks from 8 posts)
looks_3Deetee’s DAX Trading Journal (time based)by Deetee
(28 thanks from 11 posts)
looks_4Learning to Profit - A journey in algorithms and optionsby Syntax
(14 thanks from 9 posts)
looks_5Maybe a little bit different journalby Malykubo
(9 thanks from 8 posts)
 
Best Threads (Most Thanked)
in the last 7 days on futures io
Would You Sell Your System?
73 thanks
Big Mike in Ecuador
44 thanks
The Crude Dude Oil Trading System
44 thanks
The New Micro Contract - MICRO BITCOIN coming May 2021
25 thanks
futures io site changelog and issues/problem reporting
24 thanks
 
(login for full post details)
  #3 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


So from the beginning I decided I will take it safe and slow and if I qualify for the refund I am already happy. Then if I am still interested, I can retry later. Watching other people try (on another forum) I saw them blowing it by day 3-5th. It is easy to catch a good trade with the maximum contracts allowed, but sooner or later the daily loss limit (DLL)came and took them out of the game.

I like to simplify things, so instead of looking at Combine dollar numbers, I looked at them as ES points per car. For example the 30K/10 days Combine is making 10 points in 10 days with 1 contract while not losing more than 10 points a day. Sounds easy enough, but if you have a losing day, your needed average goes up.
4 of the Combines have the 1 point per day per car profit target, but the 30K/20day Combine is even easier, only 3/5th points per day per car. Thus I had my choice. Now using 3 cars, my DLL would be 3.5 points, that is rather easy to hit, then I am out of the game for the day if not for good. But if I use only 2 cars, the DLL goes up to 5 pts, and with 1 car, I have to lose 10 points before I have to stop for the day. Pretty safe if you ask me.

Before I go into details, I reached the halfway 10 days with $330 in profits, so I was behind the target (should have been 1K) but all the other parameters (except one) were fine. Again, I was using only 1 contract, trading ES. Nothing to write home about, but compared to the blown out guys, I was satisfied. I had only 2 losing days, one of them accidentally. I was looking at the wrong column (without commission) and the number was blue, so I stopped trading, and I only realized later that the commissions took it into the red. I had one serious losing day when I went against the trend and 3-4 losing trades took me close to the DLL, thus I had to stop.

So the first 10 days were 8 winners, 70% winning, but the losers were bigger than my winners. Basicly 5 winning days, 4 breakeven and 1 big loss. On 2 days I started out with a loss but was able to bring it back to the green.

Now here comes one trick how I manipulated the parameters: Trading duration. This parameter is useless because it is rather meaningless and it is easy to manipulate. My average winning duration was smaller than my average loss, so I did 2 things:

1. I threw in a few quick losers. It is a shame a trader has to do this just to meet the parameters, but it worked. Getting in a position and pretty much immediately out with a 1 tick loss brought down my average loss duration way below my winning duration.

2. Twice when I expected a non-eventful night, I traded overnight and stayed in the position for 2-3 hours. The profit wasn't important, I just needed a few longer trades to raise my winning duration.

I accidentally got into positions twice, because I forgot to cancel the order, one winner and one loser, so they cancel each other.
So when I reached halfway, I missed the profit target (well half of it) but I qualified for the refund, so I met my minimal goal. For the second half I decided I will play 2 cars when I have built a little profit for the day....

Reply With Quote
The following 3 users say Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #4 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received

For the second half of my Combine, I only needed to make $170 per day, so this was comparable to the 30K/10days Combine. That is only slightly more than 1 point per day using 3 cars. My main mistake has been not letting my winners run long enough and several times missing trades when everything was there.

Today I have just finished my 14th day. The last 4 days were all winners although 1 was just breakeven. I could have done the needed $200 without using more than 1 car, but I missed a few trades. In fact I am still using 1 contract, except once:

Today I went long at 53 and although I saw that it might tick down to 51, I left it on. Then I averaged in with a second car. At 52 I wanted to take off the second car as a winner, so I changed its limit order and it got hit. Nevertheless T4 took it as I closed the first car, thus it went in as a loss and in the trading duration I ended up with a rather long 45 minutes loser. So here I had to use my old trick and later I threw in 2 intentional quick losers, thus the average came down to 15 minutes. My allover average winner duration is still 4 minutes longer than the average loss.

I am up $700, again, nothing exciting, although 2 ES per day per car, but had I used 3 cars all the time, this would be 2100$, over the required 2K, although I would have hit my DLL on that down day...

So I still have 6 days to make $1300 and actually plenty of time until February, so I could cherry pick favorable days, but probably I will just go ahead and finish it.

Reply With Quote
The following 3 users say Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #5 (permalink)
 Cashish 
Miami FL USA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Ensign 10, NT7 DOM
Broker: IB, IQ
Trading: Currency Futures
 
Cashish's Avatar
 
Posts: 803 since May 2011
Thanks: 811 given, 2,101 received

@Pedro40 @Big Mike

I'm willing to risk the future of my Big Mike's Trading Forum Membership and respond to this thread.





This is the most absolute nonsense I've seen written on this forum ever. Pardon me but if I was looking for a trader to trade a $30,000.00 account and I was willing to absorb ALL the LOSS and STILL split the profits 60/40 I wouldn't want you any where near a live trading account.

It appears you're having a lot of fun toying around with what I believe is a very serious and very powerful business model designed not only to evaluate seasoned traders but also provide a safe learning environment for aspiring traders, complete with professional traders available for training and coaching as well as professionals in market psychology.

Obviously many participants enter today's markets for the wrong reasons, but to actually PAY MONEY and sign up for a Top Step Trader Combine with a preconceived intention of gaming the system is absolutely ridiculous.

I hope you come to a place in the very near future where you can see the child like foolishness of your behavior and stop wasting the time, efforts and resources of honest professionals who are totally committed to providing what may be a life changing opportunity to men and women who actually know how to trade.

Visit my futures io Trade Journal Reply With Quote
The following 3 users say Thank You to Cashish for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #6 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


Cashish View Post
This is the most absolute nonsense

I would like to say Hi to the first responder to my very first post on BigMike. How are we doin'?

Now calling something nonsense is good, backing it up with examples and logical argument is better.


Quoting 
I wouldn't want you any where near a live trading account.

That is alright, you are not the backer. Now this part of topic does belong to a different thread, but why TST advertising to complete newbies? See? When you answer that, you might better understand their business model.
But as I said this thread is not about them.


Quoting 
It appears you're having a lot of fun toying around

Maybe so, but is that a problem? I can use the Combine whatever way I want and like, as far as I paid for it, they don't care and if they don't want to offer me anything, that is perfectly fine...


Quoting 
provide a safe learning environment for aspiring traders,

I didn't say I haven't learnt anything. So I think I am using the Combine for the right reason. Also, have you ever heard of a personal challenge?


Quoting 
with a preconceived intention of gaming the system is absolutely ridiculous.

First what I waste my money, is my business. Second it is not a waste if I learn something or enjoy myself. Third, strategizing according the rules is not gaming the system. Counting cards is a perfectly legal (although frowned upon by the casinos) and valid method to gain advantage in black jack. reading your opponent in poker is also a perfectly valid and legal method.

As I mentioned in earlier post, I don't like some of the Combine's rules, but they are what they are. I can't change them. If you want to play the game, you have to follow the rules. I never mentioned anywhere any rule breaking (except maybe the extended trial period).

Several Combiners make the required profit but can't pass the parameters. This thread is for them and I think the list before starting the Combine is very useful, completely by the rules, not to mention just plain common sense.

So if you have a moral problem with this thread, just don't contribute to it, I guess it is not for you. It is for would be Combiners, who want to make the best of their efforts...

Otherwise thanks for the first response...

Reply With Quote
The following 5 users say Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #7 (permalink)
bakrob99
Toronto
 
 
Posts: 3 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 7 given, 3 received


Pedro40 View Post
... As I mentioned in earlier post, I don't like some of the Combine's rules, but they are what they are. I can't change them.

While you may have read the rules carefully, it appears that you have missed one of the most important. Namely, that you CAN submit a request for a customized combine and eliminate the requirement to meet Avg Time in Winners > Avg Time in Losers.. I know of other combine participants who have done exactly this.


Pedro40 View Post
...
So if you have a moral problem with this thread, just don't contribute to it, I guess it is not for you. It is for would be Combiners, who want to make the best of their efforts...

Rather than taking offense with the poster's opinion, one I actually agree with, why not just thank him for his opinion and move on. The points you make "to help other comibiners" are so blatantly obvious that anyone seriously doing a combine would have no trouble "figuring out how to get their stats adjusted if need be" near the end of their combine.

Personally, I would be more interested in what you have learned that relates to trading and how it has helped or hindered your progress as a trader, rather than as a "gamer" of the system.

Could luck with your combine.

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to bakrob99 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #8 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


bakrob99 View Post
Namely, that you CAN submit a request for a customized combine and eliminate the requirement to meet Avg Time in Winners > Avg Time in Losers..

I am aware of costume Combines. But if you eliminate/change one parameter they make harder another one, most likely the profit target. Since most of the others were doing the offered Combines, I wanted to do the same.
Maybe in the future I will try that....


Quoting 
Rather than taking offense with the poster's opinion,

He was moralizing, not criticizing my advices. Now I could debate TST forever, but this thread is not about them...


Quoting 
The points you make "to help other comibiners" are so blatantly obvious

Then you must be a smart guy. On the other forum people were blowing their Combines left and right, so I didn't assume it was that obvious. Right now, I know the results of 6 Combiners from there, and my meager results beats theirs.

(Again, I can't read the Journals here in the Elite section.)

Oh a good advice: You have to keep adjusting and manipulating the stats during the whole Combine, not just in the last 2 days. Let's say the duration is bad, and you have 100 trades in the last 18 days. That is pretty hard to fix (unless you throw in 20-30 losers, but that messes up other stats) in the last days. You have to keep an eye on them during the whole process, otherwise you can end up eventually screwing the parameters in the last day....



Quoting 
Personally, I would be more interested in what you have learned that relates to trading and how it has helped or hindered your progress as a trader,

Well, I guess what I already knew. My patience is not the best. Basicly sitting on winners wins the game. Now of course when I tried to sit on winners then the market got stuck in a narrow range, and when I got out early, the market moved.
Also, for me sometimes is the best just to set the OCO and leave so I am not tempted to second guess myself. The only disadvantage of this if the target price is missed by only a few ticks and the market turns.

I have 3 days left, I am up 2%, but way below the target price. I only used 2 cars once in the last days and that was a loser, so basicly backfired. At this point there is no point just playing with 1 contract, so the last 3 days I am going to swing it, although still watching the parameters. I guess I could pass the 30K/20 days Combine with even 1 car (with a few tries) I just need more self discipline....

Reply With Quote
The following 2 users say Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #9 (permalink)
 josh 
Legendary Market Wizard
Georgia, US
 
Experience: None
Platform: SC
Broker: AMP+CQG
Trading: ES, HSI, Nikkei
 
josh's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,466 since Jan 2011
Thanks: 6,055 given, 14,517 received


Pedro40 View Post
I have 3 days left, I am up 2%, but way below the target price. I only used 2 cars once in the last days and that was a loser, so basicly backfired. At this point there is no point just playing with 1 contract, so the last 3 days I am going to swing it, although still watching the parameters. I guess I could pass the 30K/20 days Combine with even 1 car (with a few tries) I just need more self discipline....

Do you meet the requirements for a refund deposit/rollover? If so, consider it an accomplishment and try again. The point of course is not to "swing it" but to become a better trader. Why not use the last 3 days to do just what you said you needed to do--develop more discipline?

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to josh for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #10 (permalink)
 addchild 
Bay Area California
 
Experience: None
Platform: TT T4
Broker: Phillip Capital
Trading: Futures
 
Posts: 807 since Nov 2011
Thanks: 887 given, 890 received



Pedro40 View Post

Oh a good advice: You have to keep adjusting and manipulating the stats during the whole Combine, not just in the last 2 days. Let's say the duration is bad, and you have 100 trades in the last 18 days. That is pretty hard to fix (unless you throw in 20-30 losers, but that messes up other stats) in the last days. You have to keep an eye on them during the whole process, otherwise you can end up eventually screwing the parameters in the last day....


The trick is to trade well, and let the stats take care of themselves. It doesn't work the other way around.

.
Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to addchild for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #11 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


josh View Post
Do you meet the requirements for a refund deposit/rollover?

Yes, I have been careful about that. My only red parameter is the Average loser is bigger than the average winner.


Quoting 
If so, consider it an accomplishment and try again.

I am not sure I will try again, because I have doubts about the company. I tried it in the first place because I like a challenge and so many failed, so I wanted to measure myself against them. I achieved my goal of beating them and I have/had a fairly decent result, but I am not sure further tries would achieve anything more.


Quoting 
The point of course is not to "swing it" but to become a better trader.

I thought the point of the Combine was to find trading talents...


Quoting 
Why not use the last 3 days to do just what you said you needed to do--develop more discipline?

I guess, but I am not sure 3 days will teach me to do that. Actually, I am not even sure I will ever learn patience...

The thing with the Combine is, once the trader realizes that the goal of passing can not be reached, there isn't an incentive (beside the refund) to make the effort....Let's say at day #12 you realize that you are way behind the profit goal, you most likely start to swing it to try to catch up, and that's when you go into the red, which is good for TST, because you lose your refund chances....

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #12 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


addchild View Post
The trick is to trade well, and let the stats take care of themselves. It doesn't work the other way around.

That is so not true. First, if you are trading well and making money for yourself, why do you care about any statistics? You are making money, and that is what counts, so anything else is secondary.

Second, the Combine is set in a certain way, so no, the stats will not take care of themselves. I would bet 90% of the traders have to alter their style just to fit the Combine's parameters.

What if I am a break out trader, thus I profit from sudden break outs for a short period of time, but occasionally I have to stay in the position when the market stuck in consolidation? Then my average winner will always be shorter than my losers. What if my win:lose ratio is 1:3 (red parameter) but my winners are way bigger than my losers?

What if I only make good money on 3 days per month, and the rest is small losers or breakeven (red parameter) but when I do make money, I make a lot?

In short, there are unreasonably too many parameters that just causes the Combiners to fail because they have to alter their style. Another similar company has only the minimal rules: Make this much money in that much time while not having a bigger than this draw down. How simple is that?

But again, this thread is not about complaining about TST but how to pass the Combine.

Reply With Quote
The following 3 users say Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #13 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
Legendary Market Wizard
Ilsede, Germany
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Broker: Rithmic / CQG / Ninja Trader Brokerage
Trading: NQ
 
Daytrader999's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,362 since Sep 2011
Thanks: 1,516 given, 2,002 received


Pedro40 View Post
In short, there are unreasonably too many parameters that just causes the Combiners to fail because they have to alter their style. Another similar company has only the minimal rules: Make this much money in that much time while not having a bigger than this draw down. How simple is that?

@Pedro40:

Well, you're stating some good points and arguments regarding the general Combine objectives.
Since TST is actually working on some changes regarding the Combine framework and parameters, maybe they will consider some suggestions from other traders and former 'Combiners'.

Btw, to which similar company are you referring to ?

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Daytrader999 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #14 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


Daytrader999 View Post
@Pedro40:maybe they will consider some suggestions from other traders and former 'Combiners'.

I doubt. I don't think they are really trying to find talent. One guy here said he made $3460 but that was short of the needed $3500. True, but seriously, is there any difference between 3460 and 3500? If I am really looking for talent and they are not really showing up in hordes, I would be flexible with the rules....

But again, this thread is not about TST...



Quoting 
Btw, to which similar company are you referring to ?

Pulsarcap.com They are London based and very scam-ish. You have to make 4K with 1 contract. Seriously? But at least their rules are simple....

Reply With Quote
The following 2 users say Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #15 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received

Looks like today is going to be another breakevenish day, so here is another advice I learnt:

Keep evaluating your performance at 1/4th, halfway and 3/4th. If your performance is up and down, chances are you are going to blow it eventually. Consistent and steady wins the race. And I bet that's what they want to see anyway...

With your profits if you are not close to 15% at 1/4th, 40% at 1/2 and 60% at 3/4rd of the way you should alter something (either style or number of contracts) because you are probably going to swing it at the last 2 days and although it could work, chances are the pressure will hurt you.

Reply With Quote
The following 2 users say Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #16 (permalink)
 josh 
Legendary Market Wizard
Georgia, US
 
Experience: None
Platform: SC
Broker: AMP+CQG
Trading: ES, HSI, Nikkei
 
josh's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,466 since Jan 2011
Thanks: 6,055 given, 14,517 received


Pedro40 View Post
Pulsarcap.com They are London based and very scam-ish. You have to make 4K with 1 contract. Seriously? But at least their rules are simple....

Yes I spoke with them and it came to be something like an average of 3.75 to 4.00 ES per day trading 1 contract. Hardly doable by 999 out of 1000 traders.


Pedro40 View Post
I thought the point of the Combine was to find trading talents...

For them maybe, but my current goal as a trader is to develop. Swinging for the fences has gotten me in trouble, and to do so only to then be funded would have potentially disastrous implications for future behavior.


Pedro40 View Post
I guess, but I am not sure 3 days will teach me to do that. Actually, I am not even sure I will ever learn patience...

I don't expect 3 days will teach anybody; rather, I don't think anyone can learn true patience in 3 days. But if you are going to learn, why not start today? And if you are not sure you are going to learn it, save yourself the time and money and just quit now. Prerequisite for success in any endeavor is a desire to overcome obstacles that will present themselves, and it sounds like you are already throwing in the towel.


Pedro40 View Post
The thing with the Combine is, once the trader realizes that the goal of passing can not be reached, there isn't an incentive (beside the refund) to make the effort....Let's say at day #12 you realize that you are way behind the profit goal, you most likely start to swing it to try to catch up, and that's when you go into the red, which is good for TST, because you lose your refund chances....

If everything was about math alone, then you would be correct. But life and behavior cannot be written using a formula. If it were that easy, people wouldn't spend more than they make and go into debt, for example. Successful people in a particular field don't usually behave in self-destructive ways, and that's what you are describing. It is easy for me to recognize because I have done it, and it feels awful and the results prove that it's foolish.

Reply With Quote
The following 2 users say Thank You to josh for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #17 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


josh View Post
Successful people in a particular field don't usually behave in self-destructive ways, and that's what you are describing.

There is nothing self-destructive about realizing that you are not going to make it. It is called reality. Let's say if in the 20 days Combine at day 15th you are only at 20% of the profit target, chances are, you are not going to make it. Thus there is not much incentive to put full energy into the next 5 days, but if the stats are good for a refund, my advice in this case is just do the minimal trading and retry it later...

Reply With Quote
The following 2 users say Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #18 (permalink)
 josh 
Legendary Market Wizard
Georgia, US
 
Experience: None
Platform: SC
Broker: AMP+CQG
Trading: ES, HSI, Nikkei
 
josh's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,466 since Jan 2011
Thanks: 6,055 given, 14,517 received

Well, you seem to have it figured out Pedro--best wishes!

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to josh for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #19 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


Cashish View Post
This is the most absolute nonsense I've seen written on this forum ever.

It just occured to me that another poster said "blatantly obvious common sense thing". I am easily confused, somebody help me out. Was my first post nonsense or common sense? They seem to be mutually exclusive...

Here it is the 2nd guy, nicely contradicting himself:


backrob99 View Post
"Rather than taking offense with the poster's opinion, one I actually agree with,.....The points you make "to help other comibiners" are so blatantly obvious "

So this dude first agrees with nonsense guy, then later declares it blatantly obvious. Nevermind guys, I am just having fun late Friday night....

Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #20 (permalink)
vercetti
Manchester, NH
 
 
Posts: 20 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 12 received

Hi Pedro40, I was wondering about the draw down and how it affect the combine. I was looking at the $100,000 20 days, Loss limit $2,000, and Max Draw down $3,000. If I understand the drawdown correctly, it means that if I'm doing ok for the first 3 days and the 4th day I hit the max drawdown the combine stops right away even if I have 16 more days to reach the profit target?

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to vercetti for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #21 (permalink)
 josh 
Legendary Market Wizard
Georgia, US
 
Experience: None
Platform: SC
Broker: AMP+CQG
Trading: ES, HSI, Nikkei
 
josh's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,466 since Jan 2011
Thanks: 6,055 given, 14,517 received


vercetti View Post
Hi Pedro40, I was wondering about the draw down and how it affect the combine. I was looking at the $100,000 20 days, Loss limit $2,000, and Max Draw down $3,000. If I understand the drawdown correctly, it means that if I'm doing ok for the first 3 days and the 4th day I hit the max drawdown the combine stops right away even if I have 16 more days to reach the profit target?

No.

If you hit your daily loss limit or your max drawdown before 20 days have been traded, you can still trade the account until you have traded 20 days, at which point you are done, you lose the deposit.

If you have traded 20 days and you have not hit your daily loss limit or max drawdown, you can continue trading until whichever one of these comes first: (1) the ending date for the combine, (2) you hit your max drawdown or daily loss limit, or (3) you "submit" your combine for review, whether you have met the refund requirements and want a refund/rollover, or you have met the objectives to be funded.

Reply With Quote
The following 2 users say Thank You to josh for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #22 (permalink)
 Cloudy 
desert CA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, SC, ToS
Broker: AMP, DT, TDA
Trading: CL,NQ,YM
 
Posts: 2,135 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 2,388 given, 1,726 received

It seems the requirements of TST are for weeding out most so only the best traders can pass it. I don't have doubts they are for real. They have a regular list and audio interviews of those that have passed. Their requirements are doable , by only the best well performing traders with a lot of practiced skill and a prior track record of consistency who have eliminated most of their bad trading habits and discipline problems. For the record, the elite journals don't have anyone reporting they passed the combine yet either. Yet one hears from other members who know of or has heard of someone that did.

For myself, I know I couldn't pass the parameters of the combines yet with the most favorable certainty. So I continue to try to improve until someday hopefully I can. The combine rules are available to be seen so can be simulated by anyone anytime.

Visit my futures io Trade Journal Reply With Quote
The following 2 users say Thank You to Cloudy for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #23 (permalink)
iankotze
thabazimbi limpopo/south africa
 
 
Posts: 27 since Oct 2012
Thanks: 65 given, 88 received

So I will pass on my advise for getting through the combine, I have passed it twice and am about to pass it the third time now.

First of all, you must know your market and feel content in with your trading and the platform. I did 10 combines before I got funded the first time in Gold. Back then I was new to futures and came to trading futures because I was bored sitting around all day doing nothing whilst trading options. That was a big mistake because I over traded a lot. Lost a lot of money by simple execution errors and me not knowing the T4 and what not. Tried many different markets before I found one that suited my character and trading style.

So I say before you even start a combine, do some trading with their practice account and get familiar with the T4 and how your product moves on that platform.

Then when it is game time, combine. I have come to see that trading small and trading less is the way to go. When I started out I did 30 to 50 trades a day, now I only do about 4 trades a day.

I have always traded only 1 contract when trading things like gold or crude, 2 when trading es and so on. I am talking about the 50k account here.

My strategy is to take what I can here and there, once or twice a week when I am there and the market is providing opportunity with a nice fat trend day I will hold onto my trades for a long time, this brings all the statistics in line. I don't care about those process goals because they come in line in the end if you have a trend day or two during a 10 day combine where you hold onto a winner for 2 -4 hours or so. So I am basically hitting base hits with small winners and losers, winners are more often shorter time duration than losers but your trend day will sort that out in the end.

I have done this successfully with gold and the ultra bond and will be adding crude in the next two days. Just trade small and don't trade too much. I mean go for daily goal and shut it down. With crude and gold etc, this is 35 ticks on 1 contract. This can be done with 1 or 2 trades. Shut it down. Look at the market and plan for the big move that will set up sometime during the week, there will be a major level or event that will move that market 200 ticks on a day, so rather plan for that trade and make the most of it. As for every day just go for target shut it down and then get your super day where you get 1k or more on the day, that will sort out all process goal criteria as well us bring you back up to target profit wise if you were lagging behind.

Hope that helps,
Ian

Reply With Quote
The following 11 users say Thank You to iankotze for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #24 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


Cloudy View Post
It seems the requirements of TST are for weeding out most so only the best traders can pass it.

I disagree. It looks like the rules are for making traders to alter their style and eventually to fail. Let's say, you are the backer. What is more important to you:

a/ The trader can make the profit target.
b/ The trader can fit to the parameters.

Obviously any common sense backer would choose a)

And mind you, some of the parameters are completely irrelevant BS. Trading duration winner vs. loser? Who cares about that? Even the win% is irrelevant because I can have 5 small losers and 1 huge winner and be nicely profitable.

So let's say you need to make 2K in 20 days and you actually made 3K profit, but you didn't pass the parameters. Why would any normal backer NOT back you because of that? And it seems they are really not having that many traders to be backed, so it makes no sense to make rules so strict. Now if they had a dozen traders hitting the profit target every week, sure, try to filter them out a little, but so far too many good traders hasn't been their problem.

And as a comparison, another similar firm I mentioned earlier has very few rules: make X profit in Y days using Z contracts without a bigger the K draw down. It is really that simple...

Reply With Quote
The following 2 users say Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #25 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


iankotze View Post
So I will pass on my advise for getting through the combine, I have passed it twice and am about to pass it the third time now.

Would you mind to elaborate a little more?:

1. How long did it take between passing the combine and getting the Live account? I assume 4-6 weeks at least.
2. How long have you traded the Live account?
3. Have you established your safety pillow yet?
4. Have you actually got a paycheck from TST yet?

Thanks in advance....

Generally I agree with your advices, except one:


Quoting 
I mean go for daily goal and shut it down.

I kind of did this, but here is the problem with it. Chances are you won't have only winning days. So if you only make the average needed on a normal day, once you had a losing day, your average goes up, and you will be behind in your profit goal. So you have to count for losing days too.

In my case I only needed $100 per day. But once I had a let's say $300 losing day, the average needed jumped to $150 or so. So I would say the daily goal should be at least double the average daily needed, just in case of losing days...
But certain days are better than others and if the market is easy to read, my advice would be to push it. Actually, because of the rather small DLL, strategically it makes sense to start the day with 1-2 contracts and once you have a little extra profit pillow, go for more. After all, it does help if you have 1-2 big winning days...



Quoting 
As for every day just go for target shut it down and then get your super day where you get 1k or more on the day,

If you shut down after reaching the daily goal, how will you reach the super day? How do you know if a position is good for a super day or it will turn back on you, thus you should take the average win?

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #26 (permalink)
 Cloudy 
desert CA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, SC, ToS
Broker: AMP, DT, TDA
Trading: CL,NQ,YM
 
Posts: 2,135 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 2,388 given, 1,726 received

I understand what you mean about backers looking more into profits than strict parameters. However many first time backers can be burned later when they take on a trader who may not have a consistent money management track record.

TST as the introducing intermediary imo are more interested in b) because they want to make sure the traders they pick to introduce to their client backers demonstrate they have more than profitable trades which can be due to a lucky streak rather than skill. They also want some measure of insurance that the trader has proven money management trading skills which pass their daily strict parameters. So that it doesn't cause problems in the future where they may be liable if the trader while making profitable trades for the backer, also has severe drawdowns because lack of skill minimizing drawdowns or due to a risky individual trading method. i.e. the strict TST parameters also weed out risky individual methods without an adequate risk management component.

If I was a wise backer, I would want a day trader while profitable, also demonstrates a daily disciplined proven limit in his drawdown. That the fact that TST emphasis money management also helps make me feel they are more serious and legit as an introducing prop firm.

Visit my futures io Trade Journal Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Cloudy for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #27 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


Cloudy View Post
If I was a wise backer, I would want a day trader while profitable, also demonstrates a daily disciplined proven limit in his drawdown.

I don't have a problem with the DD rule. I really don't like the Duration rule, because:

1. It is irrelevant.
2. As I showed in this thread, it is easy to manipulate. Just throw in quick losers, and it brings down your average losers' duration.
3. Another poster pointed this out in other thread: You can have a very long trade where you sit on profits for 95% of the length of the trade, but eventually it turns back on you and you can end up with a small loser, with a very long duration. That will screw up your stats for sure.

Another rules are also can be senseless, because of the particular trading style. As I said above, a small winning percentage can be perfectly fine, as long as the trader's winners are big compared to the losers. And that's what the backer would want, stay in some of the winners long so they can grow...

Another rule is the average winner vs. loser. What if my average winner is slightly smaller than the average loser, but my winning percentage is 80%? That means I am making money 3 times out of 5....

So all in all, I can see that with the extra rules they might try to get more disciplined traders, but if you look at each rule alone, you can see the fault in their thinking....

They could keep the rules but make most of them not obligatory to follow. They could say: we only care about the profit target and the DLL to pass the Combine, but in case we have more candidates who passed the Combine, we will prefer the ones who got closer to pass all parameters.

And as a last question: What is the point of having so many parameters and rules, but once you pass the Combine you are still not automatically backed? One would think after you followed so many rules, your trading style should be good enough to be backed...

Reply With Quote
The following 2 users say Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #28 (permalink)
 Cloudy 
desert CA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, SC, ToS
Broker: AMP, DT, TDA
Trading: CL,NQ,YM
 
Posts: 2,135 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 2,388 given, 1,726 received

Yes, it was mentioned one isn't automatically backed after passing on the TST thread. I would assume they want to interview the passing candidate first. Check out everything's ok similar to a job interview since it's real money to be handled.

Visit my futures io Trade Journal Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Cloudy for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #29 (permalink)
 booker777 
Augusta, GA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NT
Trading: ES, TF
 
Posts: 94 since Feb 2011
Thanks: 35 given, 20 received

I want to thank Pedro and everyone who gave constructive input on this thread topic but to those that slammed him, WTF. He is just sharing his insights to help people pass the combine. I don't understand why people have to attack or insult, and to the one that says he wouldn't want him anywhere near his trading port? really? Cause it sounds like Pedro was profitable. Maybe you can find a losing trader for your account and see how that works for you.

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to booker777 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #30 (permalink)
bakrob99
Toronto
 
 
Posts: 3 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 7 given, 3 received


booker777 View Post
I want to thank Pedro and everyone who gave constructive input on this thread topic but to those that slammed him, WTF. He is just sharing his insights to help people pass the combine. I don't understand why people have to attack or insult, and to the one that says he wouldn't want him anywhere near his trading port? really? Cause it sounds like Pedro was profitable. Maybe you can find a losing trader for your account and see how that works for you.

Who is slamming who now? I think that Pedro could benefit from looking inward rather than blaming external factors for his performance. Trading is a personal journey of discovery - and most of the discovery is about oneself. As pointed out by a number of posters, rather than concentrate on the (external) factors that a combiner must meet in order to receive their funding, it would be more beneficial for the outcome of his trading record if he were to concentrate on taking good opportunities and managing risk. The factors will take care of themselves. And as I pointed out if he really has a concern about the "average time in winners vs average time in losers" he can ask to have that condition removed should he do another combine.

Let me pose a question. Why does the TST Scouting Requirements have these conditions? My simple answer is this: they have determined that the successful candidates meet them and provide them to the recruit to get an understanding of what it takes in order to succeed. A simple glance at these stats show that a combiner must NOT be a scalper - that they must trade conservatively as pointed out by Iankotze in his post on trading gold, find some intraday moves and hold for a profit which is at least 1.5x the risk on the trade. The average risk - reward for successful recruits is a minimum of 1.5 : 1.

Pedro - my advice - which you're certainly free to ignore - would be to stop blaming TST and concentrate on developing your trading skills. Good luck with your trading.

Reply With Quote
The following 2 users say Thank You to bakrob99 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #31 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received

For the record, I finished up 2%, but the profit target was 7%. Though I only played with 1 contract. The few times I used 2 were actually losers. At day #13 I was up at 1100$ and if you multiply that with 3 (my max. contracts allowed) that is way more than the 2K needed. But I would have taken out the DLL. The max. DD from the original amount was $200...

Anyhow, I qualified for the refund, and that was my major goal. I might try it sometimes later on, we shall see. Am I satisfied with the results? Not really, but again, I handicapped myself with my strategy. As I advised earlier, a Combiner should evaluate his strategy at 1/4 and halfway, and if he thinks he is behind the profit goal, should switch approach.

Oh yeah, if one could match my stats, one can easily open a 3K account and just trade it, instead of waiting for TST to back him.


bakrob99 View Post
The factors will take care of themselves.

I already offered several counter examples to the contrary in previous posts.


Quoting 
Why does the TST Scouting Requirements have these conditions?

Very good question. Some people say to make more traders to fail. Here is a counter question. If a trader is so good when passing the Combine, how come about half of them are thrown back from Live trading? You would think if the test was hard enough, a bigger % of them could succeed at real trading... Yet 50% of them fail....



Quoting 
A simple glance at these stats show that a combiner must NOT be a scalper

Obviously you don't know what you speak of. The latest newly funded trader has an average trading time of 6 seconds and such. Sounds to me like a scalper.... But even if he is not, there is nothing among the parameters that prevents scalping... And TST is also the broker thus a scalper makes them extra money with fees...



Quoting 
would be to stop blaming TST

Since when honest criticism is blaming? And by the way if they listened to me, they would have more people passing and going Live. Oh but wait, that would cut down on income from fees....

And make no mistake, passing the Combine is nothing in itself. First, your backing isn't automatic, second, even once backed, until you established your safety pillow, you are not going to get any check from them. And that is the ultimate goal, not passing a paper trading competition.

I would love to hear from traders who have been Live for months and they got a couple of checks already... If they did, I congratulate them....

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #32 (permalink)
 omni72 
Tulsa, OK
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw, Ninja Trader, Sierra Chart
Broker: Ninjatrader/Rithmic
Trading: G&L Tribute Series Rampage
 
omni72's Avatar
 
Posts: 348 since Jan 2012
Thanks: 582 given, 620 received


Pedro40
Since when honest criticism is blaming? And by the way if they listened to me, they would have more people passing and going Live. Oh but wait, that would cut down on income from fees....

I disagree with this logic. If a trader has a live 30k account and makes $250 net in a month, he will keep $162.50 and TST will keep $87.50 (the same monthly average for a 20-day 30k combine). Plus it is common for combiners to continually rollover their combines so they could pay for one combine and never pay for another one. TST has more to gain by finding (and funding) traders who will continually develop their upside potential than trying to string along aspiring traders at $87 a month.


Pedro40 View Post
And make no mistake, passing the Combine is nothing in itself. First, your backing isn't automatic, second, even once backed, until you established your safety pillow, you are not going to get any check from them. And that is the ultimate goal, not passing a paper trading competition.

Again, I disagree. The combine is a starting point. And no one is entitled to trade TST or PTP's money. It's not a right. The retail trader has very low odds of becoming a professional trader. TST is not in business to just give money away. It's pretty difficult to stay in business if that's their business model.

Maybe TST isn't a great fit for you. That's cool. Better to find that out now than later - for you and TST.

Best of luck in your pursuits.

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. ~ Seneca
Visit my futures io Trade Journal Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to omni72 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #33 (permalink)
 booker777 
Augusta, GA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NT
Trading: ES, TF
 
Posts: 94 since Feb 2011
Thanks: 35 given, 20 received

I just think some people missed the point of this thread and even got offended by it. There is a difference between developing an optimal trading strategy and developing a strategy for passing the combine which i understood to be the purpose of this thread. I didn't see Pedro blaming TST at all , just explaining how he dealt with their rules. There rules are strict and lets face it may not be indicative of a winning-strategy. Time duration of trade, for example, which i never tracked, might not be necessarily tied to a successful trade. I can be in a winning trade all day and be in a losing trade all day. I have learned what works for me is to give the trade time to develop good or bad, although I am not sure that this stat wouldnt work itself out in the long run, as most stop outs are generally faster reconciliations; but if it did for me, its because my stop loss got hit and not because i chose to exit the trade earlier. I just dont know about it.

Winning % > then losing% criteria I think is definately misleading. It is well documented on this board that one of the better trading strategies is the MT predictor method which targets 30-40% wins but 3-1 risk reward. I dont think we need their rules to guide our development of a winning-strategy and they told me that themselves. We just need to prove we can deal with them in the combine which is what i got out of this thread. Pedro was profitable not because he figured out how to game the system but because his core trading strategies proved to have merit at least for the combine.

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to booker777 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #34 (permalink)
 booker777 
Augusta, GA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NT
Trading: ES, TF
 
Posts: 94 since Feb 2011
Thanks: 35 given, 20 received

Correct me if I am wrong but I thought that once you got funded you could get a check for whatever profits you made but it was just at the lower split % 60%. For every 10% gained and left in the account you then got a 10% split increase until 80% but it was your choice whether to leave the profits in the account or not. Is this not correct?

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to booker777 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #35 (permalink)
 Silver Dragon 
Legendary Data Wizard!!!
Cincinnati Ohio
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TastyWorks
Broker: TastyWorks
Trading: FX, Stocks, Options
 
Silver Dragon's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,010 since Feb 2011
Thanks: 5,763 given, 4,871 received


booker777 View Post
Correct me if I am wrong but I thought that once you got funded you could get a check for whatever profits you made but it was just at the lower split % 60%. For every 10% gained and left in the account you then got a 10% split increase until 80% but it was your choice whether to leave the profits in the account or not. Is this not correct?

@booker777

See chart at the bottom of the page for profit split. Live Trading Room | Trading Program | Topstep Funded Trader

Yes, you are correct. You are not required to take any money out.



Robert

nosce te ipsum

You make your own opportunities in life.
Visit my futures io Trade Journal Reply With Quote
The following 2 users say Thank You to Silver Dragon for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #36 (permalink)
vercetti
Manchester, NH
 
 
Posts: 20 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 12 received


josh View Post
No.

If you hit your daily loss limit or your max drawdown before 20 days have been traded, you can still trade the account until you have traded 20 days, at which point you are done, you lose the deposit.

If you have traded 20 days and you have not hit your daily loss limit or max drawdown, you can continue trading until whichever one of these comes first: (1) the ending date for the combine, (2) you hit your max drawdown or daily loss limit, or (3) you "submit" your combine for review, whether you have met the refund requirements and want a refund/rollover, or you have met the objectives to be funded.


Thank you for the feedback

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to vercetti for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #37 (permalink)
vercetti
Manchester, NH
 
 
Posts: 20 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 12 received

"Obviously you don't know what you speak of. The latest newly funded trader has an average trading time of 6 seconds and such. Sounds to me like a scalper.... But even if he is not, there is nothing among the parameters that prevents scalping... And TST is also the broker thus a scalper makes them extra money with fees..."


I think Pedro have a good point here regarding which type of trader the Combine applies to. I wanted to create a new tread to define and address to which type of trader Combine is design for but since I'm new here my account only allows me to reply to threads already created by someone else.

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to vercetti for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #38 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


omni72 View Post
I disagree with this logic. If a trader has a live 30k account and makes $250 net in a month, he will keep $162.50 and TST will keep $87.50

That is correct math as long as the trader is making money. But about half of them eventually doesn't work out, so TST doesn't make much on them, or even loses on them.


Quoting 
Again, I disagree. The combine is a starting point.

That is exactly what I said (I said "just the first step") so I am not sure why you are disagreeing. And sure, nobody is entitled to anything, that goes without saying.

By the way just as a generic response to people who are complaining about me checking TST out. They are an employer, I might be a potential employee. That is just common sense due diligence to check out a firm who you might work for in the future.

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #39 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received

I don't know who you are, but I love you man!!!


booker777 View Post
I just think some people missed the point of this thread and even got offended by it. There is a difference between developing an optimal trading strategy and developing a strategy for passing the combine which i understood to be the purpose of this thread. I didn't see Pedro blaming TST at all , just explaining how he dealt with their rules. There rules are strict and lets face it may not be indicative of a winning-strategy.

EXACTLY!! Finally somebody got it. Now this thread got a little off in the last few posts from the original goal, but since I already shared my ideas and not many more are coming forward, I don't mind.

Although I would welcome more Combiners to share their experiences and results, even if just in a quick summary form.

P.S.: If someone still hasn't got it, let's use a jogging analogy. When I jog/run on my own, I decide how I do it, what speed I run with, how long do I run and what track I take. When I enter a race/competition (that would be the Combine) everything is set for me, thus I have to optimize my strategy if I want to finish among the top. And this is what this thread does, helps you to optimize your original trading strategy to pass the Combine....

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #40 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


vercetti View Post
I wanted to create a new tread to define and address to which type of trader Combine is designed for

Let me address this issue. Assuming your trading style only breaks one of the parameters, pretty much any style is good for passing the Combine. Some complained about the Combine being not very friendly towards swing traders who hold positions for days. (because of the rule for being flat by the close) But one can go around that easily, just flatten your position before the close and open it again in the after hours. Sure there might be slippage and such, but it can work in both directions, so eventually it evens out.

I would say the most optimal style for the Combine is the intraday swing trades, trading 3-5 times a day, and holding it for at least an hour. If you get out of a losing trade after 20 minutes but hold it for at least an hour when it goes your way, chances are you are meeting pretty much all the parameters. So maybe this is the style they are trying to encourage with their rules. But just because they have a preferred style that doesn't mean they should handicap others with their strict rules...

Feel free to add your thoughts, I don't mind to go offtopic....

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #41 (permalink)
vercetti
Manchester, NH
 
 
Posts: 20 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 12 received


Pedro40 View Post
Let me address this issue. Assuming your trading style only breaks one of the parameters, pretty much any style is good for passing the Combine. Some complained about the Combine being not very friendly towards swing traders who hold positions for days. (because of the rule for being flat by the close) But one can go around that easily, just flatten your position before the close and open it again in the after hours. Sure there might be slippage and such, but it can work in both directions, so eventually it evens out.

I would say the most optimal style for the Combine is the intraday swing trades, trading 3-5 times a day, and holding it for at least an hour. If you get out of a losing trade after 20 minutes but hold it for at least an hour when it goes your way, chances are you are meeting pretty much all the parameters. So maybe this is the style they are trying to encourage with their rules. But just because they have a preferred style that doesn't mean they should handicap others with their strict rules...

Feel free to add your thoughts, I don't mind to go offtopic....

Thank you Predro40, I didn't want to hijack thread. I'm new here and it seems I need to reply to a number of threads before I can create my own. If you think the conversation is really going to far out then feel free to bring it back.

I also noticed some complains about the rules not been too friendly to Swing Traders due to the end of the day closing open positions. Now let define very briefly what a Swing Trader looks like.

Swing Trader = Short term trading style (keyword "style of trading" which will make sense later on when you start to understand the rules in Combine), which goal is to open a position and hold that position for 1 - 4 days, willing to take more risk (larger stop loss order) for a larger return by holding overnight, and minimize commissions to the broker.

Later we can talk about the Daytrader and scalper.

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to vercetti for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #42 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received

There are 2 problems with the swing trader style in the Combine, but one is rather irrelevant:

1. Commission doubles, triples per trade. This isn't such a big issue, because the trader is going for a bigger move so the expected gain is way more than in intraday trading, thus that should cover nicely the increased commissions.

2. There could be movement between 4:15 and 6 pm that effects negatively the position or when entering the position it moves against the trader's DLL. This could be a bigger problem, although in the long run it should even out.

Let's see a real life example for the shall we call it, the Swing Trader's Problem:

Let's suppose under normal circumstances (not in the Combine) last week I went long at the Monday's low and held it for a 20 ES points gain, what came 3 days later. Since the entry was pretty much perfect on Monday, there was no heat. But Monday evening the futures went in the red and the position was in the red by 2.5-3 points for a while. After that it was smooth sailing and took almost 20 points profit at the Thursday high.

Now let's see how this scenario would have played out in the Combine. I am long from 1460 with a full position Monday 10:30. I finish the day up 4 pts, where I have to cash out. Now at Monday 6 pm I enter long again at 1463 (I already lost a point because of the 4:15-6 pm slippage), full position, but the futures start to tank and at the lowest 1458, I am down 5 points. Now on a full position in the 30K/20days Combine, you are knocked out if you are down more than 3.5 ES point. So here I would have taken a 3 pts loss, just to preserve myself in the Combine, although in the original position, the heat was only 2.5-3 points. And because I almost lost all of the allowed DLL, ($500) I don't dare to trade for that day. So by the end of Tuesday, I am up only 1 point on full position.

So I enter again at 6 pm Tuesday with full position long 1463 and it goes against me again. It bottoms at 1460, but that takes me out of the ballgame. So I am down -2 points although I have been so far correct with my swing long position.

I enter again long at 6 pm Wednesday pretty much the same entry and again I am taken out. Finally on Thursday the market rallies, but I can't trade, because I used up almost all of my DLL.

So instead of making 20 points with 1 easy trade with 2 points heat, I ended up with 1 winner and 3 losers (-5 points overall) and missing the big move altogether...

The summary of this example: Even if you cash out with nice profits at the end of the day in the Combine as a swing trader, you can't carry those wins as a buffer against losses during the night. So because of the rather low DLL every reentry is dangerous and they can stop you trading for the whole day if you use most of it up.... And this is a huge disadvantage against Swing traders.

Maybe a way to avoid such an overnight whipsaw action is to reenter in steps and averaging in.

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #43 (permalink)
vercetti
Manchester, NH
 
 
Posts: 20 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 12 received

Pedro40,

The Swing Trader is at a disadvantage during Combine due to closing trades on the close of the day and dealing with a very tight DLL which it goes against a true swing trader that is ready to take some "heat" by having a larger stop loss order. I know some people may disagree with me, but I don't think swing trading fits well in the Combine base on the rules. We can now take a look at the other two styles of trading: Day Trading and scalping (both are consider intraday).

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to vercetti for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #44 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


vercetti View Post
We can now take a look at the other two styles of trading: Day Trading and scalping (both are consider intraday).

Alright, I do it for you. As I said earlier, probably the intraday swing (30-120 minutes holding time) is the best for the Combine, assuming 3-5 traders a day.

Here is the thing about scalping. It is rather easy specially in slow markets to pick up 1 tick profit trading the ES. Now if you are trading 3 cars and doing the 30K/20days Combine you only need 8 ticks per day, thus 3 trades with 1-1 tick wins will do it. The only problem is meeting the parameters, but as I showed earlier, you can manipulate both the Duration and the Average loser by taking quick, small losses, so it could be done...

Taking 1 tick wins doesn't really show any kind of strategy though, and if I were the backer I wouldn't fund anyone with such results...

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #45 (permalink)
vercetti
Manchester, NH
 
 
Posts: 20 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 12 received


Pedro40 View Post
Alright, I do it for you. As I said earlier, probably the intraday swing (30-120 minutes holding time) is the best for the Combine, assuming 3-5 traders a day.

Here is the thing about scalping. It is rather easy specially in slow markets to pick up 1 tick profit trading the ES. Now if you are trading 3 cars and doing the 30K/20days Combine you only need 8 ticks per day, thus 3 trades with 1-1 tick wins will do it. The only problem is meeting the parameters, but as I showed earlier, you can manipulate both the Duration and the Average loser by taking quick, small losses, so it could be done...

Taking 1 tick wins doesn't really show any kind of strategy though, and if I were the backer I wouldn't fund anyone with such results...

I see your point about intraday swing and scalping. Intraday swing makes the more sense by using quick and small losses method.

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to vercetti for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #46 (permalink)
 yiehom 
Luxembourg
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja trader, Metatrader.
Broker: NinjaTrader Brokerage
Trading: FX, CL, GC.
 
yiehom's Avatar
 
Posts: 59 since Dec 2012
Thanks: 10 given, 45 received

Nonsense? Absolute? Please write your own report on the combine first and let the readers judge where the nonsense lies. Till then leave us alone. This is a great read so far.


Cashish View Post
@Pedro40 @Big Mike

I'm willing to risk the future of my Big Mike's Trading Forum Membership and respond to this thread.





This is the most absolute nonsense I've seen written on this forum ever. Pardon me but if I was looking for a trader to trade a $30,000.00 account and I was willing to absorb ALL the LOSS and STILL split the profits 60/40 I wouldn't want you any where near a live trading account.

It appears you're having a lot of fun toying around with what I believe is a very serious and very powerful business model designed not only to evaluate seasoned traders but also provide a safe learning environment for aspiring traders, complete with professional traders available for training and coaching as well as professionals in market psychology.

Obviously many participants enter today's markets for the wrong reasons, but to actually PAY MONEY and sign up for a Top Step Trader Combine with a preconceived intention of gaming the system is absolutely ridiculous.

I hope you come to a place in the very near future where you can see the child like foolishness of your behavior and stop wasting the time, efforts and resources of honest professionals who are totally committed to providing what may be a life changing opportunity to men and women who actually know how to trade.


Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to yiehom for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #47 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received

TST has just changed the rules, so here is an extra advice to optimize your chances to pass the Combine. First, there is a promo valid only today, so if you see this post in time and want to take advantage of it, you have to call them today.

So what is the new rule? They changed the 10/20 days time frame to 10/20 days MINIMUM. That means you only have to trade 10 or 20 days as a minimum, but you can trade MORE days in the allowed 30/60 days frame, assuming your profit target hasn't been reached. Is this good? Well, if your strategy is profitable then yes, it is.

Basicly it transfered the former 20 days Combine to the new 10 days Combine, which is cheaper and the profit target is less. So what is my new strategy advice? here it is:
You have to complete the Combine in a given 30/60 days period. But if you look at the calendar, not every periods are the same!!!

So if you sign up, make sure that you counted for the upcoming market holidays, because depending on your time period, that can add or subtract 2-3 trading days, and that can make a huge difference! A 30 calendar days period can be 19 to 22 trading days, depending on weekends and holidays. Obviously the best day to start is a Monday through Wednesday, with no holidays for the next 4 weeks.

For example signing up for a 20 days (60 calendar days) Combine just after Christmas was a bad idea, because you lost 3 trading days right away (New Year's Day, MLK and Presidents' Day). Of course with the longer Combine you are going to lose at least 1 trading day, but it doesn't have to be 3.....

The easiest Combine to pass (profit wise) is still the 30K/20 days one. In a 42-43 trading days period you have to make 10 ES points per contracts. That is only 0.25 points per day per contract.

Now you know it, go and pass the Combine!

Reply With Quote
The following 3 users say Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #48 (permalink)
 josh 
Legendary Market Wizard
Georgia, US
 
Experience: None
Platform: SC
Broker: AMP+CQG
Trading: ES, HSI, Nikkei
 
josh's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,466 since Jan 2011
Thanks: 6,055 given, 14,517 received

Not only does the 30K have a more attractive profit objective, but also comparatively a more favorable drawdown allowance.

For the 20 day combines:

$30K -- 5% drawdown, 6.7% profit objective
$50K -- 4% drawdown, 10% profit objective
$100K -- 3% drawdown, 10% profit objective
$150K -- 3% drawdown, 10.7% profit objective

As the account size grows, the drawdown requirement tightens, and the profit objective becomes higher. I suspect this is to encourage traders to go for the 30K. It is more reachable by most small traders, because they are more used to trading this level of money. Said another way, "if you think you are good enough to swing $150K then you have to really prove it." I think it is a good move on their part.

Reply With Quote
The following 2 users say Thank You to josh for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #49 (permalink)
 yiehom 
Luxembourg
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja trader, Metatrader.
Broker: NinjaTrader Brokerage
Trading: FX, CL, GC.
 
yiehom's Avatar
 
Posts: 59 since Dec 2012
Thanks: 10 given, 45 received

My preference goes to the 10 days MINIMUM. Why suffer 10 more days if avoidable?


Pedro40 View Post
TST has just changed the rules, so here is an extra advice to optimize your chances to pass the Combine. First, there is a promo valid only today, so if you see this post in time and want to take advantage of it, you have to call them today.

So what is the new rule? They changed the 10/20 days time frame to 10/20 days MINIMUM. That means you only have to trade 10 or 20 days as a minimum, but you can trade MORE days in the allowed 30/60 days frame, assuming your profit target hasn't been reached. Is this good? Well, if your strategy is profitable then yes, it is.

Basicly it transfered the former 20 days Combine to the new 10 days Combine, which is cheaper and the profit target is less. So what is my new strategy advice? here it is:
You have to complete the Combine in a given 30/60 days period. But if you look at the calendar, not every periods are the same!!!

So if you sign up, make sure that you counted for the upcoming market holidays, because depending on your time period, that can add or subtract 2-3 trading days, and that can make a huge difference! A 30 calendar days period can be 19 to 22 trading days, depending on weekends and holidays. Obviously the best day to start is a Monday through Wednesday, with no holidays for the next 4 weeks.

For example signing up for a 20 days (60 calendar days) Combine just after Christmas was a bad idea, because you lost 3 trading days right away (New Year's Day, MLK and Presidents' Day). Of course with the longer Combine you are going to lose at least 1 trading day, but it doesn't have to be 3.....

The easiest Combine to pass (profit wise) is still the 30K/20 days one. In a 42-43 trading days period you have to make 10 ES points per contracts. That is only 0.25 points per day per contract.

Now you know it, go and pass the Combine!


Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to yiehom for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #50 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


yiehom View Post
My preference goes to the 10 days MINIMUM. Why suffer 10 more days if avoidable?

Now with the changes, you are right. The new 10 days is actually better than the old 20 days, because the profit target being lower.Although overall, the profit target per day is still lower in the 20 days Combines...

But if someone's goal is practicing or testing and not passing the Combine, for a few extra bucks he gets an extra month of trading opportunity....

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #51 (permalink)
 josh 
Legendary Market Wizard
Georgia, US
 
Experience: None
Platform: SC
Broker: AMP+CQG
Trading: ES, HSI, Nikkei
 
josh's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,466 since Jan 2011
Thanks: 6,055 given, 14,517 received


yiehom View Post
My preference goes to the 10 days MINIMUM. Why suffer 10 more days if avoidable?

Well, if the goal is to pass, become funded, pass the live combine, and then trade successfully for many years, then what's 10 more days? Said another way, if you can trade the 10 days successfully, shouldn't you be able to trade the 20 days successfully?

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to josh for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #52 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
Legendary Market Wizard
Ilsede, Germany
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Broker: Rithmic / CQG / Ninja Trader Brokerage
Trading: NQ
 
Daytrader999's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,362 since Sep 2011
Thanks: 1,516 given, 2,002 received


josh View Post
Well, if the goal is to pass, become funded, pass the live combine, and then trade successfully for many years, then what's 10 more days? Said another way, if you can trade the 10 days successfully, shouldn't you be able to trade the 20 days successfully?

Yes, you should be able to do that since you need to successfully pass the Live Combine too and build your account cushion, or you'll have to go back to the Combine status you just completed before...

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Daytrader999 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #53 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received

As I mentioned earlier, just by profit target wise, there are 3 Combines: 1 easy, 4 averages and 3 harder. Usually the longer the Combine the smaller the average daily profit target.

For example compare the 30K/10days and the 30K/20days. The first one has a $23 per day per car profit target (you can trade for 22 days), the later has a $15 (you can trade for 42 days). That is a 50% difference....

Now in the old version it was $50 vs. $30. So with the changes, even the new 10days Combine is easier than the old 20 days, profit target wise...

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #54 (permalink)
 yiehom 
Luxembourg
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja trader, Metatrader.
Broker: NinjaTrader Brokerage
Trading: FX, CL, GC.
 
yiehom's Avatar
 
Posts: 59 since Dec 2012
Thanks: 10 given, 45 received

The target at hand is to succeed at the combine. After that I believe the conditions are a bit different.



josh View Post
Well, if the goal is to pass, become funded, pass the live combine, and then trade successfully for many years, then what's 10 more days? Said another way, if you can trade the 10 days successfully, shouldn't you be able to trade the 20 days successfully?


Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to yiehom for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #55 (permalink)
vercetti
Manchester, NH
 
 
Posts: 20 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 12 received

I wonder if TopStepTrader will be announcing before the end of the week that Ninja Trader is available.

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to vercetti for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #56 (permalink)
vercetti
Manchester, NH
 
 
Posts: 20 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 12 received

Lets keep this post going. New traders will benefit from information coming here.

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to vercetti for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #57 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received

I am posting a response here from another thread, because it belongs to this discussion, not in that journal:


xelaar View Post
. I gave it a lot of thought and it made me realize there is no point taking a small Combine, work on passing it and end up (hopefully) with a small capital, while I could trade with larger risk on my own. So even though large combines are more expensive and have more demanding risk control and the target profit, they actually give two major advantages:
1. Having much larger daily loss and number of contracts they allow to start small and build up some cushion first and increase risk gradually during the Combine. So initially the target is building the cushion and raising the number of cars traded, and once it is done next target is achieving Combine profit target. With 30k Combine you hardly can do that, with 500 usd max dd, even with 1 car traded initially it's easy to screw up this badly and it is the end of Combine. But even as you build up a cushion, you still have max loss of 500 and with 3 cars at this point it's just 16 ticks away from a disaster. While with 150k Combine you actually have 3000 daily loss limit to play with and a lot of space to build up
2. When you are funded with 30k you need to put a lot of effort to work out to the same limits as you would have if you do this from beginning in the 150k Combine. So actually you do a lot of free work building a cushion and not taking any money away before you can do some work for a pay, while TST is having a totally free ride as you are not endangering any capital they have provided anymore!!!
3. I consider that with a largest Combine it is much more easy to make it to the refund or rollover, because again you can ignore profit target for a moment and just trade right with metrics in mind and be very far away from getting close to loss limits. So while in relative terms you need to produce more profit percentage and have less percentage of limits but it gives you an opportunity to be wrong many times on smaller positions and still be able to get to rollover or refund to try again.


I agree, the smallest Combine is although the easiest, but for real money generation, it is almost worthless to pass. According to Mr. Patak, the 50K is the most popular, and I agree, that is the one what most beginners should try first. The price is only slightly higher, but there is more room to make mistakes.

Now the 150K Combine with the 3000$ DLL is the exactly same like the 50K with 1000$ DLL, so there is no advantage in either, but the profit target is less for the 50K, so keep that in mind.

Your 3rd point, to make it to refund/rollover, it is equally easy/hard in all Combines, you just have to make $1 and have good stats...

Reply With Quote
The following 2 users say Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #58 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
xelaar's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,740 given, 2,566 received

thanks appreciate your response. by easier to roll over I mean its hardest to hot max daily loss or max dd unless you use all cars but then thete is more room to buil the cushion. all depend on a strategy but trading with 1 or 2 trades per day I think is the hardest to pass a combine becase you need to trade with planned size from the start.

Follow me on Twitter Visit my futures io Trade Journal Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to xelaar for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #59 (permalink)
 Brewer20 
Denver, CO
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: T4/TOS
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 110 since Jun 2012
Thanks: 71 given, 91 received


Pedro40 View Post
I am posting a response here from another thread, because it belongs to this discussion, not in that journal:



I agree, the smallest Combine is although the easiest, but for real money generation, it is almost worthless to pass. According to Mr. Patak, the 50K is the most popular, and I agree, that is the one what most beginners should try first. The price is only slightly higher, but there is more room to make mistakes.

Now the 150K Combine with the 3000$ DLL is the exactly same like the 50K with 1000$ DLL, so there is no advantage in either, but the profit target is less for the 50K, so keep that in mind.

Your 3rd point, to make it to refund/rollover, it is equally easy/hard in all Combines, you just have to make $1 and have good stats...

I agree that the two combines traders should focus on are the $50k and the $150k. If you look at the requirements, once funded, for account cushion and such, they are the same for $30k and $50k, and $100k and $150k. So presumably they would be easier to achieve on the $50k and $150k accounts.

Plan your trade, trade your plan.
Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Brewer20 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #60 (permalink)
 Timot 
London
 
 
Posts: 26 since May 2011


vercetti View Post
Lets keep this post going. New traders will benefit from information coming here.

I'm a new trader but I have no idea of what you are talking about here. I cannot make any sense of the posts. Thanks.

Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #61 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


Timot View Post
I cannot make any sense of the posts. Thanks.

I guess you are just not ready yet...

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #62 (permalink)
 Brewer20 
Denver, CO
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: T4/TOS
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 110 since Jun 2012
Thanks: 71 given, 91 received


Timot View Post
I'm a new trader but I have no idea of what you are talking about here. I cannot make any sense of the posts. Thanks.

Are you familiar with Top Step Trader?

Plan your trade, trade your plan.
Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Brewer20 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #63 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
Legendary Market Wizard
Ilsede, Germany
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Broker: Rithmic / CQG / Ninja Trader Brokerage
Trading: NQ
 
Daytrader999's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,362 since Sep 2011
Thanks: 1,516 given, 2,002 received


Timot View Post
I'm a new trader but I have no idea of what you are talking about here. I cannot make any sense of the posts. Thanks.

@Timot:

This thread will only make sense to you if you are interested in the Combine program offered by TopStep Trader, which you can find here:

Trading Program Online | Learn to Trade | TopstepTrader

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Daytrader999 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #64 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received

In other threads the question of DLL and Max DD came up. Namely, can you dip below the DLL as long as you close out the trade above it?

I actually asked this by email, here is the correspodence:

" just to clarify, the rules say I can't go below the DLL with my REALIZED P/L. But can I actually go below it with an open position as long as I don't close the position with a loss bigger than the DLL? So if the market turns back, I can get out of the position and still not hit the realized DLL?"

Answer by Connor from TST:

"You can't at any time throughout the day touch your Daily Loss Limit. It is determined by your Net P&L, once you hit it you can not trade out of it."

So in plain English, you can not dip below either DLL or Max. DD. And that actually makes sense, since there is no guarantee you are only dipping below for a short period of time, and it will come back...

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #65 (permalink)
 Timot 
London
 
 
Posts: 26 since May 2011


Pedro40 View Post
I guess you are just not ready yet...

You may be right. I may not be ready for this. You are not ready in other respects...

Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #66 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


Timot View Post
You are not ready in other respects...

Look, if you have a specific question about this thread or the Combine, ask and you shall receive an answer. But don't complain about the whole thread general, if you don't understand what it is for...

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #67 (permalink)
 MsFutures 
Manchester, NH
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Tradestation
Trading: NQ
 
Posts: 25 since Mar 2013
Thanks: 153 given, 28 received


Pedro40 View Post
In other threads the question of DLL and Max DD came up. Namely, can you dip below the DLL as long as you close out the trade above it?

I actually asked this by email, here is the correspodence:

" just to clarify, the rules say I can't go below the DLL with my REALIZED P/L. But can I actually go below it with an open position as long as I don't close the position with a loss bigger than the DLL? So if the market turns back, I can get out of the position and still not hit the realized DLL?"

Answer by Connor from TST:

"You can't at any time throughout the day touch your Daily Loss Limit. It is determined by your Net P&L, once you hit it you can not trade out of it."

So in plain English, you can not dip below either DLL or Max. DD. And that actually makes sense, since there is no guarantee you are only dipping below for a short period of time, and it will come back...

Petro,I appreciate your post. I understood the DDL was for unrealized or realized net p/l. The issue at hand was Max Drawdown. The website says it is EOD number and I was seeking consensus among Combine participants that it is EOD. Let's assume that it was not and it was for real time. If you lose 2000 accumulatively in the fist 2 days (for 150k acct), you only have 2500 to work with in day 3, not the 3000 daily loss limit. If this is the case, TST SHOULD absolutely remove wording like "end of day" from their definitions. It is misleading and they can't have it both ways.

If all the numbers refer to real time, they should not use words like "realized" and "end of day" in their definitions; simply saying "real time"would clear everything. Why didn't they do so?

MsFutures

Ps, I was trying to bring up this topic over at the main TST forum but since I did not have 10 posts yet I was not allowed to post there. Interesting restriction on futures.io (formerly BMT).

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to MsFutures for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #68 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
Legendary Market Wizard
Ilsede, Germany
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Broker: Rithmic / CQG / Ninja Trader Brokerage
Trading: NQ
 
Daytrader999's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,362 since Sep 2011
Thanks: 1,516 given, 2,002 received


MsFutures View Post
Ps, I was trying to bring up this topic over at the main TST forum but since I did not have 10 posts yet I was not allowed to post there. Interesting restriction on futures.io (formerly BMT).

@MsFutures:

You may ask that particular question during the AMA session with TST's Michael Patak next Thursday.

He should be able to give you an answer to that question.

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Daytrader999 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #69 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


MsFutures View Post
I understood the DDL was for unrealized or realized net p/l. The issue at hand was Max Drawdown.

Well, the Max DD is basicly just a summarized DLL, and the same logic applies to it. Let's say you lose 2200-2200$ in the first 2 days. You didn't get close to the DLL, but you only have 100$ wiggling room left in the max DD. If they let you go EOD with the Max DD, you could go in the negative by 2900$ that day based on the DLL, and if you can't make it back, you could eventually lose 2200+2200+2900=7300$ instead of the max DD, which is 4500$...So that would defeat the purpose of having a Max DD....

So because of this logic, I am pretty sure the Max DD is also on touch, not EOD.... But yes, better ask the boss next Thursday...

Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #70 (permalink)
 MsFutures 
Manchester, NH
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Tradestation
Trading: NQ
 
Posts: 25 since Mar 2013
Thanks: 153 given, 28 received


Pedro40 View Post
Well, the Max DD is basicly just a summarized DLL, and the same logic applies to it. Let's say you lose 2200-2200$ in the first 2 days. You didn't get close to the DLL, but you only have 100$ wiggling room left in the max DD. If they let you go EOD with the Max DD, you could go in the negative by 2900$ that day based on the DLL, and if you can't make it back, you could eventually lose 2200+2200+2900=7300$ instead of the max DD, which is 4500$...So that would defeat the purpose of having a Max DD....

So because of this logic, I am pretty sure the Max DD is also on touch, not EOD.... But yes, better ask the boss next Thursday...

I agree with you. That was my thinking as well before I started the combine. That was what prompted me to ask TST to CLARIFY their definitions in the first place. If all the numbers are real time, then they really need to rework on their lengthy and misleading definitions.

Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #71 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
Site Administrator
Swing Trader
Data Scientist & DevOps
Manta, Ecuador
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Custom solution
Trading: Futures & Crypto
 
Big Mike's Avatar
 
Posts: 49,980 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 32,454 given, 98,214 received

What is so hard to understand here? Maximum means the maximum drawdown. It does not mean end of day drawdown, because that wouldn't be the maximum would it.

Mike

We're here to help -- just ask

For the best trading education, watch our webinars
Searching for trading reviews? Review this list

Follow us on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook

Support our community as an Elite Member:
https://futures.io/elite/

Visit other sites? Please spread the word about your experience with our community!
Follow me on Twitter Visit my futures io Trade Journal Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #72 (permalink)
 MsFutures 
Manchester, NH
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Tradestation
Trading: NQ
 
Posts: 25 since Mar 2013
Thanks: 153 given, 28 received


Big Mike View Post
What is so hard to understand here? Maximum means the maximum drawdown. It does not mean end of day drawdown, because that wouldn't be the maximum would it.

Mike

"The Max Drawdown is the largest realized cumulative loss allowed in your Trading Combine. Should you hit or exceeded this value, the Combine account will not be eligible for a deposit refund or considered for funded-trader status. For example, in a $30K Combine the Max Drawdown is $1,500. Therefore, if at the end of any trading day your Account Balance appearing on your Trade Report is $28,500 OR below, the Max Drawdown is considered hit."

That is the definition from their website. The key words here are "realized" and "end of day", unless they don' t really mean what you think they mean.

Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #73 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
Site Administrator
Swing Trader
Data Scientist & DevOps
Manta, Ecuador
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Custom solution
Trading: Futures & Crypto
 
Big Mike's Avatar
 
Posts: 49,980 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 32,454 given, 98,214 received


MsFutures View Post
"The Max Drawdown is the largest realized cumulative loss allowed in your Trading Combine. Should you hit or exceeded this value, the Combine account will not be eligible for a deposit refund or considered for funded-trader status. For example, in a $30K Combine the Max Drawdown is $1,500. Therefore, if at the end of any trading day your Account Balance appearing on your Trade Report is $28,500 OR below, the Max Drawdown is considered hit."

That is the definition from their website. The key words here are "realized" and "end of day", unless they don' t really mean what you think they mean.

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.

Mike

We're here to help -- just ask

For the best trading education, watch our webinars
Searching for trading reviews? Review this list

Follow us on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook

Support our community as an Elite Member:
https://futures.io/elite/

Visit other sites? Please spread the word about your experience with our community!
Follow me on Twitter Visit my futures io Trade Journal Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #74 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
Site Administrator
Swing Trader
Data Scientist & DevOps
Manta, Ecuador
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Custom solution
Trading: Futures & Crypto
 
Big Mike's Avatar
 
Posts: 49,980 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 32,454 given, 98,214 received

I don't know why this thread is in the Journal section. It is not a journal.

I am moving it to the vendor review section.

Mike

We're here to help -- just ask

For the best trading education, watch our webinars
Searching for trading reviews? Review this list

Follow us on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook

Support our community as an Elite Member:
https://futures.io/elite/

Visit other sites? Please spread the word about your experience with our community!
Follow me on Twitter Visit my futures io Trade Journal Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Big Mike for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #75 (permalink)
 DarkPoolTrading 
PTA, Gauteng
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Self built + Sierra + TWS
Trading: Stocks and Options
 
DarkPoolTrading's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,036 since May 2012
Thanks: 1,244 given, 1,321 received

Thanks to those putting in some effort to clarify the rules. However just keep in mind that the discussion seems to be focused around, "Will I fail the combine if I reach the loss limit intraday or end of day". In my opinion if you are that close to failing the combine (with either option), you probably dont have much chance of passing the combine anyway and should have had your own money management rules in place to stop your trading far earlier anyway.

It's all well and good to clarify the rules. But in this particular case, if you're that close to the edge, you're probably not going to get funded either way and there is more work to be done on your trading than nit picking about wording in the rules.

Work on your trading.

Just thought id throw this out there.

ps. Once again, it is appreciated that the rules are being clarified.

Diversification is the only free lunch
Follow me on Twitter Reply With Quote
The following 3 users say Thank You to DarkPoolTrading for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #76 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


DarkPoolTrading View Post
In my opinion if you are that close to failing the combine (with either option), you probably dont have much chance of passing the combine anyway and should have had your own money management rules in place to stop your trading far earlier anyway.

Good point, but not entirely true. If you want to reach the profit target, you have to use the max. contract size or close to it. When using the max. number of contracts, it is rather easy to get close to the DLL.

Example: 30K Combine, you use the max. 3 contracts trading ES. You can only lose 3 points and you are already flirting with the DLL. Let's say you use a 2 points stop loss and you start out the day with a losing trade. You already have to scale back, or risking hitting the DLL on your next trade...

So it is important to clarify and understand the rules, thus a misunderstanding doesn't take you out of the Combine....

Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #77 (permalink)
 GFIs1 
Legendary Market Wizard
Switzerland
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Investor/RT
Broker: IB / DTN
Trading: Futures
 
Posts: 5,410 since Feb 2012
Thanks: 5,290 given, 11,300 received


MsFutures View Post
"The Max Drawdown is the largest realized cumulative loss allowed in your Trading Combine... Should you hit or exceeded this value, the Combine account will not be eligible for a deposit refund or considered for funded-trader status. For example, in a $30K Combine the Max Drawdown is $1,500. Therefore, if at the end of any trading day your Account Balance appearing on your Trade Report is $28,500 OR below, the Max Drawdown is considered hit."

That is the definition from their website. The key words here are "realized" and "end of day", unless they don' t really mean what you think they mean.

The more I am looking at these restricting combine rules the more I see that a trading approach there is most
appropriate for scalpers with options or only small margined futures. The max. DD is limited to 5% from initial balance.
If you are used to have more than say 2 consecutive trades hitting your WIDE SL then that combine is nothing to look for.
Example: Trading the DAX (which is happily not possible to trade on with TST) would mean that only scalpers could
make some good - of course with lots more of commission ;-)
Trading that with SL settings of GFIs1 would mean that you are OUT after two negative trades in a row! For certain
systems one is looking for developing a trade and not to limit that one with a tight SL. If there is already a negative
trade in the history - the next one should use a "tighter" stop - and that one would be hit nearly 100% and is evt. against
the rules. (GFIs1 SL settings are 30 points which means 750 EUR or minus 2,5% for ONE car in a combine).
Over all - the "wider" trading systems where price is making more up and down before closing a trade - are NOT
good for a combine! Only the short time / small movement (on both sides) trades with high expectancy to be positive
have a chance to get rewarded.

So a responsible trader should think twice to put money, sweat and risk into a 5% max. risk combine where only luck
within a positive period could prevent from frustration.

GFIs1

Follow me on Twitter Visit my futures io Trade Journal Reply With Quote
The following 3 users say Thank You to GFIs1 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #78 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


GFIs1 View Post
The max. DD is limited to 5% from initial balance.

The whole account size is rather misleading in the Combine. One could trade a 5K real account with the exact same parameters than the 30K Combine, so really 30K is not needed. And there is no point in having a 30K account if the biggest allowed DD is only 1.5K. But anyway...


Quoting 
If you are used to have more than say 2 consecutive trades hitting your WIDE SL then that combine is nothing to look for.

That's when strategizing comes in. First, you don't go all in at the first trade of the day, but build a little cushion. Or if the first trade with max. account size was a loser, obviously the second trade's size has to be half of that or minimal.
The point (of this thread) is that you have to plan ahead, according to the rules...


Quoting 
Over all - the "wider" trading systems where price is making more up and down before closing a trade - are NOT good for a combine! Only the short time / small movement (on both sides) trades with high expectancy to be positive have a chance to get rewarded.

That is not exactly true. Because of the parameters, scalping is not really encouraged. The duration parameter is against scalping, so is the average winner vs. average loser. Also, commissions do add up and counts against you, so that is another disadvantage of scalping.

I would say TST would rather see the trader holding to winners and let them ride the good position than jumping in and out of trades...

Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #79 (permalink)
 DarkPoolTrading 
PTA, Gauteng
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Self built + Sierra + TWS
Trading: Stocks and Options
 
DarkPoolTrading's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,036 since May 2012
Thanks: 1,244 given, 1,321 received


Pedro40 View Post
Good point, but not entirely true. If you want to reach the profit target, you have to use the max. contract size or close to it. When using the max. number of contracts, it is rather easy to get close to the DLL.

Im sorry but I disagree with that completely. Personally I will purposefully not be using the max contracts allowed. Each day will start on 2 contracts and build up depending on the equity built up through the day.

Not sure if you listen to the newly funded trader interviews but if not, give them a listen. You'll be surprised at how many of them only traded one contract and got funded.

But to each their own. You need to be happy and comfortable with your strategy.


Pedro40 View Post
So it is important to clarify and understand the rules, thus a misunderstanding doesn't take you out of the Combine....

Agreed.

Diversification is the only free lunch
Follow me on Twitter Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #80 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


DarkPoolTrading View Post
Im sorry but I disagree with that completely. Personally I will purposefully not be using the max contracts allowed.

Sure, you don't have to. But more contracts you use, less wiggle room you have for a stop loss. Less contract you use, more time/trades it takes to reach the profit target. So it is a balancing act. It is alright to go big when the gods make the alignment perfect for a particular trade.
In my first Combine I only traded 1 contract and the highest profit I reached was 1200$. Had I traded 2 contracts, I would have made the profit target of 2000$ but I also would have hit the DLL...


Quoting 
Each day will start on 2 contracts and build up depending on the equity built up through the day.

That is a good strategy and I advised it earlier...

Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #81 (permalink)
 GFIs1 
Legendary Market Wizard
Switzerland
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Investor/RT
Broker: IB / DTN
Trading: Futures
 
Posts: 5,410 since Feb 2012
Thanks: 5,290 given, 11,300 received


Pedro40 View Post
...That's when strategizing comes in. First, you don't go all in at the first trade of the day, but build a little cushion. Or if the first trade with max. account size was a loser, obviously the second trade's size has to be half of that or minimal.
The point (of this thread) is that you have to plan ahead, according to the rules...

Hi @Pedro40

I am totally aware of strategizing.
If you are in a trade where the margin allows you a maximum of ONE car to trade - and two
consecutive SL bring you at the wall - there is no more "strategizing" coming in.
In other words: worn out & basta!
For all lower margined products you may have luck to get "first some cushion". There is no guarantee.
If you don't get a sufficient cushion - you are out too.
Thinking a 5% DD is VERY tight - no matter how your trading approach is - and under what circumstances
it may happen.

GFIs1

Follow me on Twitter Visit my futures io Trade Journal Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to GFIs1 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #82 (permalink)
 GFIs1 
Legendary Market Wizard
Switzerland
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Investor/RT
Broker: IB / DTN
Trading: Futures
 
Posts: 5,410 since Feb 2012
Thanks: 5,290 given, 11,300 received


Pedro40 View Post
...But more contracts you use, less wiggle room you have for a stop loss. Less contract you use, more time/trades it takes to reach the profit target. So it is a balancing act. It is alright to go big when the gods make the alignment perfect for a particular trade.
In my first Combine I only traded 1 contract and the highest profit I reached was 1200$. Had I traded 2 contracts, I would have made the profit target of 2000$ but I also would have hit the DLL...

Fortunately we speak the same language here right now: the slim DD is a big threat AND the target set is very

very .......... ------- >>> AMBITIOUS

So the first has a high probability being hit and the second a very low probability

Good Trades!
GFIs1

Follow me on Twitter Visit my futures io Trade Journal Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #83 (permalink)
 josh 
Legendary Market Wizard
Georgia, US
 
Experience: None
Platform: SC
Broker: AMP+CQG
Trading: ES, HSI, Nikkei
 
josh's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,466 since Jan 2011
Thanks: 6,055 given, 14,517 received


Pedro40 View Post
Good point, but not entirely true. If you want to reach the profit target, you have to use the max. contract size or close to it.

This is obviously dependent on the product being traded, the particular combine amount/parameters, and most importantly, the skill of the trader and his trading strategy, which you seem to not be factoring in at all, using only generalities, when in fact the specifics of the individual trader are what are most important here.


Pedro40 View Post
And there is no point in having a 30K account if the biggest allowed DD is only 1.5K. But anyway...

If you were to go work for a prop firm and they gave you $100K to trade with after you proved yourself in simulation, how much do you think they would let you lose of their money before you got cut off?


Pedro40 View Post
But more contracts you use, less wiggle room you have for a stop loss. Less contract you use, more time/trades it takes to reach the profit target. So it is a balancing act. It is alright to go big when the gods make the alignment perfect for a particular trade.

You are essentially citing the holy grail of trading in general--keeping your losers small, and your winners large. This has nothing to do with TST or anything really beyond what trading is all about. Going big when the gods are with you sounds great, except you don't know if the gods are with you when you take the trade, so "going big" is really another word for "gambling," which is why so many traders blow up, which is why TST and any firm with a brain will put limits on position size/drawdown/etc. There are more intelligent ways to get big on a winning trade from a risk perspective than "going big" and hoping the gods are with you on this one.

Reply With Quote
The following 2 users say Thank You to josh for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #84 (permalink)
 josh 
Legendary Market Wizard
Georgia, US
 
Experience: None
Platform: SC
Broker: AMP+CQG
Trading: ES, HSI, Nikkei
 
josh's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,466 since Jan 2011
Thanks: 6,055 given, 14,517 received


GFIs1 View Post
So a responsible trader should think twice to put money, sweat and risk into a 5% max. risk combine where only luck
within a positive period could prevent from frustration.

Your definition of "scalper" seems to be different from mine.

1) What is a typical expectancy per trade from a typical scalper?
2) What win rate does a typical scalper need to maintain in order to break even?
3) How many trades per day does a typical scalper take?

Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #85 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


josh View Post
This is obviously dependent on the product being traded, the particular combine amount/parameters, and most importantly, the skill of the trader and his trading strategy,

Sure, but good luck making 16K using only 2-3 contracts....



Quoting 
when in fact the specifics of the individual trader are what are most important here.

It is simple math really. In the 30K Combine you can either make 10 points with 3 contracts, 15 points with 2 contracts or 30 points with 1 contract, trading the ES....


Quoting 
If you were to go work for a prop firm and they gave you $100K to trade with

The point is/was, if you can open an account with 5K, you might as well just trade for yourself, you don't need 30K as the Combine says. (assuming you are trading ES with $500 intraday margin...)


Quoting 
You are essentially citing the holy grail of trading in general--keeping your losers small, and your winners large.

No, I was arguing that the Combine isn't geared towards scalpers.


Quoting 
except you don't know if the gods are with you when you take the trade,

Sure I do. I have a strategy with 90% probability, but it presents itself only 1-2 a month. Waiting for it patiently and going big pays off...

Not every strategy/trade are equal...

Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #86 (permalink)
 Silver Dragon 
Legendary Data Wizard!!!
Cincinnati Ohio
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TastyWorks
Broker: TastyWorks
Trading: FX, Stocks, Options
 
Silver Dragon's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,010 since Feb 2011
Thanks: 5,763 given, 4,871 received

TST's #1 criteria for any trader they consider is risk management. I have spoken to many funded traders and two professional traders in the chat room who have confirmed this. One of the professionals trader put it this way: "If you make 5 grand a day but your risk management sucks TST will pass you by."

Any strategy you devise should be built around controlling risk. If you do this and have a solid trading plan then MAX DD and daily loss limit is not really an issue.

A good way to determine if you have risk under control is to take the max number trades you will make in a day and multiply it by the worse case loss scenario. If the number is greater than the daily loss limit then you have too much risk.

For my plan it works out this way: Max trades = 3; Worse Case loss = 15 ticks; position size = 1; daily loss limit: 500

3 x 15 X 1 = 45
$10 per tick * 45 = 450
$5 commission * 3 trades = 15
Total = 465

This is my worse case, however my personal loss limit is 300 so I would have stopped after the second trade. Although 15 ticks is where I have my stop at the beginning of the trade I have yet to have a 15 tick stop out when my rules are followed. This is because I move my stop up as soon as the trade either goes in my favor or against me. My average stop out is around 10 ticks.

Conclusion: There is very little chance of hitting my daily loss limit with this type of risk management. With my personal loss limit of 300 it would take 5 days to hit the MAX DD of 1500. This gives me plenty of time to figure out what I am doing wrong and correct it.

Robert

nosce te ipsum

You make your own opportunities in life.
Visit my futures io Trade Journal Reply With Quote
The following 4 users say Thank You to Silver Dragon for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #87 (permalink)
 josh 
Legendary Market Wizard
Georgia, US
 
Experience: None
Platform: SC
Broker: AMP+CQG
Trading: ES, HSI, Nikkei
 
josh's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,466 since Jan 2011
Thanks: 6,055 given, 14,517 received


GFIs1 View Post
Thinking a 5% DD is VERY tight - no matter how your trading approach is - and under what circumstances it may happen.

From the Hedge Funds Market Wizards book, some of the fund managers have these stats, and all of these are funds that have been in business for somewhere around a decade or longer (and most of the average annualized returns are in the 20% or so range):

Colm O'Shea: -10.2% max DD, worst month -3.7%
Larry Benedict: -5% max DD, worst month -3.5%
Scott Ramsey: -11% max DD
Edward Thorp: 3 losing months in 19 years, all less than -1%
Michael Platt: -5% max DD

From Platt's chapter (p274):
"The deal is that if a trader loses 3 percent, he has to give me back half of his trading line. If he loses another 3 percent of the remaining half, that's it. His book is auctioned. ... We want people to scale down if they are getting it wrong and scale up if they are getting it right. If a guy has a $100 million allocation and makes $20 million, he then has $23 million to his stop point." [he then explains that this 3 percent stop is reset every Jan. 1]

Now, we are talking very different scenarios here, don't get me wrong. One is a few contracts allowed, another is a $100 million account (or many billions for some of the funds above) that has a lot of different options for diversification and risk management, so I'm not trying to say the two are comparable in size.

What I'm trying to say is that good traders (and in this case fund managers) put a lot of emphasis on risk control. For TST's smallest $30K account, I really don't see why 5% is viewed as so tight, particularly when the profit objective is 5%. Just as you said only "luck within a positive period" could account for successfully completing a combine, your view that a 5% max DD is "VERY tight" regardless of the approach is simply based on your limited paradigm. I'm not saying anything is right or wrong, but consider that something that seems out of the realm of reasonable probability in your view may very well be very reasonable and achievable for others.

Reply With Quote
The following 2 users say Thank You to josh for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #88 (permalink)
 josh 
Legendary Market Wizard
Georgia, US
 
Experience: None
Platform: SC
Broker: AMP+CQG
Trading: ES, HSI, Nikkei
 
josh's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,466 since Jan 2011
Thanks: 6,055 given, 14,517 received


Pedro40 View Post
The point is/was, if you can open an account with 5K, you might as well just trade for yourself, you don't need 30K as the Combine says. (assuming you are trading ES with $500 intraday margin...)

It the trader has established that he can trade well, then he likely will already have an account in place and be doing just fine. If the trader needs to open a $5K account, it's quite possible that he will do so, and lose far more than the $170 refundable deposit that it would cost with TST to work on his trading and have the option to be funded with no monetary risk to the trader. Maybe not, but I'm looking at what is likely, based on what happens more often.

In the above statement, you demonstrate the tendency to focus on the profit instead of risk. It sounds kind of like "Why give up 40% of your potential profits, and have to pass a 'test' first in order to do so?" The other way of thinking is, "Why risk losing $5000 of my own money, when I could limit my risk to a few hundred dollars, and instead risk losing someone else's money?"

What would your max ES position size be on a $5000 account, out of curiosity?

Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #89 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


josh View Post
For TST's smallest $30K account, I really don't see why 5% is viewed as so tight, particularly when the profit objective is 5%.

Well, again, this whole account size is rather imaginative when we are talking about %s. If we look at the highest intraday margined instruments you wouldn't need more than 10K to trade 3 contracts with 1.5K loss. And in the case of ES, it can be as low as 5K.

So if we look at our account as 5K not 30K, the 1.5K allowed loss suddenly becomes way less tight. That is almost 30%, not 5%.
But you are right in a way of looking at it profit target vs. max. DD.

Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #90 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


josh View Post
It the trader has established that he can trade well, then he likely will already have an account in place and be doing just fine.

A well established (meaning decent account size) profitable trader doesn't need the Combine, because there is little to gain. Definiately not the 30K or 50K. According to Mr. Patak, the 50K is the most passed, most popular, so it is safe to assume, most Combiners are not well established....


Quoting 
If the trader needs to open a $5K account,

They don't need to, but that is the alternative, not a 30K account. Sure, there is more risk trading your own money, but there is a better payoff too with better tax treatment.


Quoting 
"Why risk losing $5000 of my own money, when I could limit my risk to a few hundred dollars, and instead risk losing someone else's money?"

If the trader actually has a choice (they could open a small account), then it is a judgement call. There are good arguments for both. I assume some of the Combiners don't even have the choice (for example a teenager trying from Russia), or they are not good at trading their own money.


Quoting 
What would your max ES position size be on a $5000 account, out of curiosity?

Depends on what the account is for. If it is generating income for a living, I would be TST strict, if it is just a play account I could go the max. what the brokerage allows...

I see 2 types of traders using the Combine:

1. Traders with small or no account.
2. Testing new strategies. (it is cheaper to lose a $200 fee than let's say 1-2000 bucks real money to find out your new strategy doesn't work)

What I don't see is well funded, profitable traders adding to their account. If you are already swinging 30-40 cars, there is little to gain with an additional 10 contracts what comes with profitshare and bad tax treatment...

Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #91 (permalink)
 josh 
Legendary Market Wizard
Georgia, US
 
Experience: None
Platform: SC
Broker: AMP+CQG
Trading: ES, HSI, Nikkei
 
josh's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,466 since Jan 2011
Thanks: 6,055 given, 14,517 received


Pedro40 View Post
so it is safe to assume, most Combiners are not well established....

Absolutely, which is why it is a worthy consideration as an alternative to the "blow your account while you figure it out" route.

Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #92 (permalink)
 ratfink 
Birmingham UK
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker: TST/Rithmic
Trading: YM/Gold
 
ratfink's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,651 since Dec 2012
Thanks: 17,422 given, 8,403 received

It is surely clear that the Combine model is good practice/profit for the Combine company, but not good for the trader unless you understand to only work with 10% of the full account as your operating account. To be fair that is then a good way to discover discipline (or not) and may lead to great traders. But the Hmmm remains.

Travel Well
Visit my futures io Trade Journal Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #93 (permalink)
 Brewer20 
Denver, CO
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: T4/TOS
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 110 since Jun 2012
Thanks: 71 given, 91 received

The thing to keep in mind with the Combine, is the "Account Size" is irrelevant. All the matters is the daily loss limit, and max draw down. These should define the traders risk profile.

Plan your trade, trade your plan.
Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to Brewer20 for this post:
 
(login for full post details)
  #94 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
xelaar's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,740 given, 2,566 received

I agree about the statement that size is irrelevant. And I don't see a problem in 5k account. All you have to care about is risk. Why I need to deposit 30k and only trade with 1500 as my max loss? I would only deposit my max loss plus the margin, 5k, and this is it. If I blow it, having no margin/cushion to trade will only help to get time to cool down and rethink before your wire hits the trading account. What must be said through is you should not use your LAST 5k and swing for the fences going all margin you can get. But I prefer to keep 25k in the bank safe and only deposit 5k and trade it with the sizes I would trade out of 30k capital. It's simple arithmetic.

Follow me on Twitter Visit my futures io Trade Journal Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #95 (permalink)
 vvhg 
Northern Germany
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT
Trading: FDAX, CL
 
vvhg's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,583 since Mar 2011
Thanks: 1,016 given, 2,816 received


xelaar View Post
I agree about the statement that size is irrelevant. And I don't see a problem in 5k account. All you have to care about is risk. Why I need to deposit 30k and only trade with 1500 as my max loss? I would only deposit my max loss plus the margin, 5k, and this is it. If I blow it, having no margin/cushion to trade will only help to get time to cool down and rethink before your wire hits the trading account. What must be said through is you should not use your LAST 5k and swing for the fences going all margin you can get. But I prefer to keep 25k in the bank safe and only deposit 5k and trade it with the sizes I would trade out of 30k capital. It's simple arithmetic.

I would still argue that your trading account is 30k. Only your account held with tthe broker is smaller, which makes perfect sense.

Vvhg

Hic Rhodos, hic salta.
Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #96 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
xelaar's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,740 given, 2,566 received


vvhg View Post
I would still argue that your trading account is 30k. Only your account held with tthe broker is smaller, which makes perfect sense.

Vvhg

Absolutely, I would just use term "trading capital", not "trading account". I trade live in Forex for years and I would never deposit my whole capital with any single broker. It has no advantages or benefits, just downsides. Risks that broker will go down, risks that you may get mad and open huge positions against any risk management rules, etc.

Follow me on Twitter Visit my futures io Trade Journal Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #97 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
xelaar's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,740 given, 2,566 received

But again, if you saved 5k capital and ready to risk it, and knowing if you blow up you can save another 5k to try again - it still makes sense to put that 5k capital at work. However if you have a large capital, or been given one, you have your max risk cap and you work from there differently. All those 1B$ funds we hear about rarely trade highly leveraged products like futures, they need that capital to work their positions and this is why they are geared for smaller profits and losses percentage wise. Just because you need that much capital for their strategies that are mostly illiquid and you can't use any leverage or it will be a very expensive proposition. I think those funds that trade in Futures or Forex with high leverage don't need that much capital and only get a part of it from their investors, but then their risks are much higher in relation to that part of capital and profits larger. But for investor it is the same - he would give for example 10M to a regular hedge fund and expect risks up to 10% before he pulls off, or he gives 1M to futures trading fund and risk it all. Result is the same 1M at risk.

Follow me on Twitter Visit my futures io Trade Journal Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #98 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


xelaar View Post
Why I need to deposit 30k and only trade with 1500 as my max loss? I would only deposit my max loss plus the margin, 5k, and this is it.

And that is what TST is doing. So one must wonder, why are they talking about 30K,50K,100K etc account, when the real account what they are backing with is about 1/5th of that size??? It is as you stated, max. DD plus intraday margin multiplied by the max. number of contracts...Their 100K account can be traded with a 10K real account, if you trade the ES...

Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #99 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
xelaar's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,740 given, 2,566 received


Pedro40 View Post
And that is what TST is doing. So one must wonder, why are they talking about 30K,50K,100K etc account, when the real account what they are backing is about 1/5th of that size??? It is as you stated, max. DD plus intraday margin multiplied by the max. number of contracts...

I guess because most people are primarily concerned with the account size, not absolute risk numbers. For funded traders they have account size set to 0.

Maybe someone has an answer to this question: their max DD is calculated in regards to the initial balance or from any peak balance you may have? I.e. if I have 30 000 balance and start making losses right away I can only go 500 usd down a day and 1500 at all. But what if I make 500 first? I understand that I still can only go down 500 next day (I believe intra-day gains are not counted) but what about max DD? Will it be 1500 from peak 30500 and therefore 29000 or will it still be 28500 and max dd is counted from the initial balance? Their writing on the website suggest the later, but I suspect it will be the former.

Follow me on Twitter Visit my futures io Trade Journal Reply With Quote
 
(login for full post details)
  #100 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


xelaar View Post
Maybe someone has an answer to this question: their max DD is calculated in regards to the initial balance or from any peak balance you may have?

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...

Reply With Quote
The following 2 users say Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:


futures io Trading Community Trading Reviews and Vendors > TST Combine results and strategies for passing


Last Updated on June 9, 2013


Upcoming Webinars and Events
 

NinjaTrader Indicator Challenge!

Ongoing
 

Journal Challenge w/$1,800 in prizes!

April

Seven Trading Mistakes Solved With Smart Trading Tools w/Brannigan Barrett

Elite only
     



Copyright © 2021 by futures io, s.a., Av Ricardo J. Alfaro, Century Tower, Panama, +507 833-9432, info@futures.io
All information is for educational use only and is not investment advice.
There is a substantial risk of loss in trading commodity futures, stocks, options and foreign exchange products. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
no new posts