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TopstepTrader's Michael Patak (Founder) - Ask Me Anything (AMA)


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TopstepTrader's Michael Patak (Founder) - Ask Me Anything (AMA)

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  #1001 (permalink)
 Topstep  Topstep is an official Site Sponsor
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RDK91 View Post
How are things going with the coaches combine?
Seems like the last trade was a few months ago and everything has been silent since then.

Hi @RDK91, thanks for the question. Hoag and Danny really enjoyed sharing their experience in the Coaches' Combine with our community. However, bad timing is really the answer to your question. We ran up against the holiday season and slow markets. They were planning to get back into trading in the New Year, but then Topstep started funding more traders than ever before. We funded 82 in January and 159 in February, so you can see why Hoag and Danny's attention was focused on our Funded Traders rather than their own trading. We're working on an upcoming series - so keep an eye out for some great, new content!

If you have any questions about our products or services at Topstep (formerly TopstepTrader), please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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  #1002 (permalink)
 RDK91 
Antwerp
 
 
Posts: 454 since Jun 2016


TopstepTrader View Post
Hi @RDK91, thanks for the question. Hoag and Danny really enjoyed sharing their experience in the Coaches' Combine with our community. However, bad timing is really the answer to your question. We ran up against the holiday season and slow markets. They were planning to get back into trading in the New Year, but then Topstep started funding more traders than ever before. We funded 82 in January and 159 in February, so you can see why Hoag and Danny's attention was focused on our Funded Traders rather than their own trading. We're working on an upcoming series - so keep an eye out for some great, new content!

Is there any chance they are going to start a new combine?
I found it very interestion to see how the coaches selected their trades and how they performed.

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  #1003 (permalink)
 Topstep  Topstep is an official Site Sponsor
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RDK91 View Post
Is there any chance they are going to start a new combine?
I found it very interestion to see how the coaches selected their trades and how they performed.

Currently, our content team is focused on a new and resourceful video series. The Coaches' Combine isn't in the works for right now. However, your feedback is helpful and it may make it's way back in the upcoming months. Keep an eye out for our new series, we'd love to know what you think about it!

If you have any questions about our products or services at Topstep (formerly TopstepTrader), please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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  #1004 (permalink)
 4tison 
PhuKet Island / Thailand
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Sierra Chart NT
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 124 since Jul 2018
Thanks: 123 given, 45 received

Pls explain again sequentially, just how and where to register,
to begin a trading journal?

Much thx


Big Mike View Post
Michael Patak, the Founder of TopstepTrader, will be monitoring this thread so that he may answer any questions that you post here relating to TST products and services.

Please keep in mind that some customer service/technical support issues are best handled through proper channels at TST.

TST (TopstepTrader) is a well known scouting agency. Their Funded Trader Combine program focuses your attention on the most critical components to being a successful trader: discipline and risk. You can bring most any day trading methodology you wish to their program, and if you pass the Combine they will offer to fund you as a trader. Even if you have no desire to get funded, their Combine program is an excellent way to focus your attention where it needs to be.

In addition to this thread, I will also be asking Michael Patak to stop by on occasion for a casual webinar where he can answer questions via audio while also sharing his screen to visually demonstrate any points as needed. The date/time of those sessions will be announced here in this thread. These sessions will be limited to questions only, there is no prepared presentation. After the session ends, the recording will be posted in this thread.

You can find more on their website:
Trading Program Online | Learn to Trade | TopstepTrader

Feel free to ask any questions below and we'll do our best to get them answered.

The futures.io (formerly BMT) "AMA" (Ask Me Anything) series is by invitation only. It is part of a new program we are launching shortly called "Certified Trustworthy", something that has been months in the making. I will provide all the details of this new program as soon as it is ready for launch.

Mike


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  #1005 (permalink)
 bobwest 
Site Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
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4tison View Post
Excuse me, Big Mike:

Just how do you:

c) The author of a journal can enter his/her futures io journal into the contest by posting a link to his/her journal in this thread. Only the author of the journal can do this. Please post the link to the journal ONE TIME, AND ONE TIME ONLY in this thread.

Thank you very much



4tison View Post
Pls explain again sequentially, just how and where to register,
to begin a trading journal?

Much thx

First, you start a journal, if you don't have one:

1. Go either to either the Trading Journals Forum (link here: https://futures.io/trading-journals/ ), or to the Elite Trading Journals Forum ( https://futures.io/elite-trading-journals/ ) The difference is that an Elite journal will only be available to other Elite members; a non-Elite journal is available to everyone.

2. Click on the New Thread tab just above the list of existing journals:




3. In the "Post New Thread" page that comes up, fill in your new journal name in the Title and make your first post. Click "Submit New Thread" when done.

To enter the contest:

1. Copy the link address (url) from your first journal post. You will find this in the address bar of your browser when you have the first post up on the screen.

2. Go to the contest thread and make a new post in that thread.

3. In your new post, insert the copied link address for your journal. Use the Insert Link control in the editing window:



Now you have made your competition entry. Do not make any more posts in the journal challenge thread -- all your journal entries should go in the journal thread you have set up.

For the duration of the contest, if members want to vote for your journal to win in competition, they will go to your post in the journal challenge thread and click on the "Thanks" button. Whoever has the most Thanks for their entry in that thread will win the competition at the end of the month.

Please look at how others have made their contest entries in the challenge thread and do the same. You can see that by clicking on the link they have posted, you can go to their journal threads to read them. This is what you will want to set up for your own entry.

If this is not clear, please let me know. However, please do not keep posting your question all over the forum. Once is enough.

Bob.

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  #1006 (permalink)
 TradingOgre 
Evans GA/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
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I am a little bit concerned with the slow pace of the support response to an issue I had yesterday. Now, I realize at times support can get really busy but at least acknowledge receiving the message or have a way of opening a support ticket.

In one of my trades yesterday, when I entered the trade the TSTrader platform showed me entering at a price much lower than where it should have which would be awesome since I went long. LOL! I was instantaneously up about 4,000. But I realized there was an error on the softwares part not mine and after a few minutes I closed the trade. It showed me closing it at a loss and at a price much lower than what was possible at the time. In the attached picture you will see where price actually was and the triangles with the line in between is where TSTrader showed the trade occurring. The line is made by TSTrader based on the trade and not added by me. Trade log shows the correct times but the prices it shows would have been impossible to achieve. The result of this error is about a $1,200 lower balance than what it should be based on open and close times of the trade.



What needs to be done to get this corrected?

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  #1007 (permalink)
 TradingOgre 
Evans GA/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker: NinjaTrader Brokerage - Philip Capital
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TradingOgre View Post
I am a little bit concerned with the slow pace of the support response to an issue I had yesterday. Now, I realize at times support can get really busy but at least acknowledge receiving the message or have a way of opening a support ticket.

In one of my trades yesterday, when I entered the trade the TSTrader platform showed me entering at a price much lower than where it should have which would be awesome since I went long. LOL! I was instantaneously up about 4,000. But I realized there was an error on the softwares part not mine and after a few minutes I closed the trade. It showed me closing it at a loss and at a price much lower than what was possible at the time. In the attached picture you will see where price actually was and the triangles with the line in between is where TSTrader showed the trade occurring. The line is made by TSTrader based on the trade and not added by me. Trade log shows the correct times but the prices it shows would have been impossible to achieve. The result of this error is about a $1,200 lower balance than what it should be based on open and close times of the trade.



What needs to be done to get this corrected?

Update: Support has contacted me but they won't be able to change the balance. Instead they offered a free reset in the future on either step 1 or 2 that I can use at my discretion. Very suitable response in my opinion. Sometimes their hands are tied and there is nothing they can do.

Nick did apologize for the slow response and indicated that he didn't see an email from me yesterday. He responded to my submitting a form from their website so if you need to contact them I recommend doing it that way first. I had just sent an email directly to support. Maybe their system filters those out. Not sure.

Anyway, should be able to finish step 1 in the morning as long as the markets keep moving like they have been the last couple of weeks. Now, where did I put that 4 leaf clover?

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  #1008 (permalink)
 jeffalan 
Raleigh, NC
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
 
Posts: 25 since Sep 2010
Thanks: 9 given, 20 received

Patak,

I just read the response from TradingOgre, and agree that you have an issue with your Data provider. This morning at 10:17 your platform stopped me out of a trade that I was up over $1100 on, and was also $400 dollars way from reaching your $3000 goal on step 1. I would have reached that goal 9 minutes later but your data provider screwed the pooch and who knows how many other folks were negatively affected.

When I did reach out to your firm, Nick did respond quickly. He stated that there was an issue with your data feed from 9:18 to 9:20, which still doesn't explain the issue I had at 10:17. He also said that if we wanted to discuss how to make this right then we could, which I was completely willing to make a fair compromise. However, all I was offered was a Reset and to have the billing pushed back a week. All this says to me is "Tough shit, we messed up and now you have to pay the price and start over".

In attempts to reach a resolution where I am not left feeling like I'm having to pay for a mistake that is completely out of my hands, I asked Nick to upgrade my account from a 50k combine to 150k. His response, ..."NOPE"...which seems like a typical canned corporate response, and not a company trying to make people amends for their failure. I think this is a fair ask, as it would cost your company nothing, and make me moderately ok with having to start over from scratch.

Mr. Patak , aside from your company needing to get a new data provider, what are you willing to do to compromise on this situation ?

Jeff

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 phantomtrader 
Reno, Nevada
 
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jeffalan View Post
Patak,

I just read the response from TradingOgre, and agree that you have an issue with your Data provider. This morning at 10:17 your platform stopped me out of a trade that I was up over $1100 on, and was also $400 dollars way from reaching your $3000 goal on step 1. I would have reached that goal 9 minutes later but your data provider screwed the pooch and who knows how many other folks were negatively affected.

When I did reach out to your firm, Nick did respond quickly. He stated that there was an issue with your data feed from 9:18 to 9:20, which still doesn't explain the issue I had at 10:17. He also said that if we wanted to discuss how to make this right then we could, which I was completely willing to make a fair compromise. However, all I was offered was a Reset and to have the billing pushed back a week. All this says to me is "Tough shit, we messed up and now you have to pay the price and start over".

In attempts to reach a resolution where I am not left feeling like I'm having to pay for a mistake that is completely out of my hands, I asked Nick to upgrade my account from a 50k combine to 150k. His response, ..."NOPE"...which seems like a typical canned corporate response, and not a company trying to make people amends for their failure. I think this is a fair ask, as it would cost your company nothing, and make me moderately ok with having to start over from scratch.

Mr. Patak , aside from your company needing to get a new data provider, what are you willing to do to compromise on this situation ?

Jeff

I’m glad someone is speaking up about this I haven’t sent messages about it because I know they are not responsible for data outages, but last week was a complete mess as well as an expensive one. I cannot go into details because I’m traveling. Someone needs to revise policy so that traders are not picking up the tab on this,.

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  #1010 (permalink)
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jeffalan View Post
Patak,

I just read the response from TradingOgre, and agree that you have an issue with your Data provider. This morning at 10:17 your platform stopped me out of a trade that I was up over $1100 on, and was also $400 dollars way from reaching your $3000 goal on step 1. I would have reached that goal 9 minutes later but your data provider screwed the pooch and who knows how many other folks were negatively affected.

When I did reach out to your firm, Nick did respond quickly. He stated that there was an issue with your data feed from 9:18 to 9:20, which still doesn't explain the issue I had at 10:17. He also said that if we wanted to discuss how to make this right then we could, which I was completely willing to make a fair compromise. However, all I was offered was a Reset and to have the billing pushed back a week. All this says to me is "Tough shit, we messed up and now you have to pay the price and start over".

In attempts to reach a resolution where I am not left feeling like I'm having to pay for a mistake that is completely out of my hands, I asked Nick to upgrade my account from a 50k combine to 150k. His response, ..."NOPE"...which seems like a typical canned corporate response, and not a company trying to make people amends for their failure. I think this is a fair ask, as it would cost your company nothing, and make me moderately ok with having to start over from scratch.

Mr. Patak , aside from your company needing to get a new data provider, what are you willing to do to compromise on this situation ?

Jeff


Thanks for sharing your concerns @TradingOgre, @jeffalan, and @phantomtrader. We do our best to work with data providers to solve any issues that may arise. This is the message that Tradovate shared with us:

"A market data back-end service for our production simulation environment rapidly consumed memory to an upper limit and as a result, slowed in processing requests which led to the issues you described. By the time we started the analysis, the memory was released and the server normalized."

The user behaviors we saw were:
  • Net P&L was not calculating correctly
  • Order Execution Issues - only Market orders working
  • Platform completely froze - 2-3 minutes

This issue only lasted a couple of minutes, but still created quite a bit of confusion."



Our Trader Support team handles all cases on an individual basis, and everyone who was impacted by this issue was offered something in return for the inconvenience. Please email us support@topsteptrader.com if you have any questions about this issue. Thanks for understanding.

If you have any questions about our products or services at Topstep (formerly TopstepTrader), please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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  #1011 (permalink)
 skfutures 
North vancouver
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Ninjatrader, Firetip
Trading: ES YM
 
Posts: 131 since Oct 2016
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I was a funded trader for tst for four months early this year.
I had issue with sl getting triggered tick or two before it actually came to that price.
I had TStrader as well as NT. NT never hit the stop and TStrader never hit the stop.
I asked why I was tapped out and they gave me a screenshot of time I was tapped out and told me price did came down to my sl. In live I never saw the price hit my stop nor historical data. about 15 minutes later it hit my stop and I had plenty of time to come out with profit or BE during that time.
They also told me nobody has any issue with it and told me to reinstall tstrader and make sure I have faster internet.
300 Mbps isn't fast enough I guess.

Anyway I am no longer funded trader with TST but I thought I should share my experience as well.

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  #1012 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
Site Administrator
Swing Trader
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Manta, Ecuador
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Custom solution
Trading: Futures & Crypto
 
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Posts: 50,005 since Jun 2009
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Hi guys,

It is my pleasure to welcome back John Hoagland with TopstepTrader for a webinar on Tuesday, September 25th @ 4:30PM Eastern US.

The title for this event is "5 Traits of Market Wizards - Pattern Their Approach to Futures", and bullet points include:

- Analyze the tactics and techniques from Larry Benedict, Tony Saliba, Linda Raschke and Dr. Brett Steenbarger (all recently interviewed by TST)
- Learn from the “Market Wizards” (by Jack Schwager)
- Why every successful trader has early setbacks
- The five traits that made these traders successful over their long careers
- How you can learn and improve your trading using other people’s money (OPM)

Register for the event:
https://on.futures.io/n8vg7

Mike

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  #1013 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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Posts: 50,005 since Jun 2009
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Webinar recording:



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:
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Visit other sites? Please spread the word about your experience with our community!
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  #1014 (permalink)
 TradingOgre 
Evans GA/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker: NinjaTrader Brokerage - Philip Capital
Trading: NQ,ES,6E,CL
 
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Posts: 550 since Jul 2018
Thanks: 902 given, 1,646 received

Received an email from them regarding their Christmas specials, see below:




So, naturally I thought cool, I know I was going to run into December anyway so I paid for the 150k plus 1 reset. Come to find out that cannot be applied to my current combine. So, now I am screwed out of $380 bucks because they won't refund my purchase that was based on misleading information on their part.

THERE WAS NOTHING IN THE EMAIL OR IN THE LANDING PAGE WHEN I CLICKED ON THE LINK THAT SAID ANYTHING ABOUT THIS NOT BEING ABLE TO BE APPLIED TO AN EXISTING COMBINE!

Come on TopStep, step up and make this right. You mislead me and like a sucker I fell for it.

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  #1015 (permalink)
jsk123
Hyderabad,India
 
 
Posts: 86 since Oct 2013
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it was not like this few years ago when I was with them...

so many "reset" packages... WOW....

i guess they're catering for many type of individuals with this... very nice...

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  #1016 (permalink)
 TradingOgre 
Evans GA/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker: NinjaTrader Brokerage - Philip Capital
Trading: NQ,ES,6E,CL
 
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Posts: 550 since Jul 2018
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TradingOgre View Post
Received an email from them regarding their Christmas specials, see below:


So, naturally I thought cool, I know I was going to run into December anyway so I paid for the 150k plus 1 reset. Come to find out that cannot be applied to my current combine. So, now I am screwed out of $380 bucks because they won't refund my purchase that was based on misleading information on their part.

THERE WAS NOTHING IN THE EMAIL OR IN THE LANDING PAGE WHEN I CLICKED ON THE LINK THAT SAID ANYTHING ABOUT THIS NOT BEING ABLE TO BE APPLIED TO AN EXISTING COMBINE!

Come on TopStep, step up and make this right. You mislead me and like a sucker I fell for it.

Refund issued. Thank you for making this right.

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  #1017 (permalink)
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TradingOgre View Post
Refund issued. Thank you for making this right.

TradingOgre - we messed up on how we initially handled your inquiry and sincerely apologize.

As you know since initially responding to your inquiry, we have refunded you for your purchased Package, as well as provided you a courtesy refund for a Reset as an additional way to say we're sorry.

In addition, though it was already explicit in the FAQs that a Trading Combine Package could only be applied to a new account, we took your feedback to heart and made changes directly to our landing page and emails to ensure that we eliminate any confusion that other traders may have.

Here's to your success and trade well.

If you have any questions about our products or services at Topstep (formerly TopstepTrader), please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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  #1018 (permalink)
 Fibbee 
Boston, MA. United States
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja
Trading: Futures and Forex
 
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Posts: 156 since Sep 2011
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Hi Mike,

I was hoping you could provide information and data on what percentage of people who aquire a live trading account, are able to maintain and grow the account for a year or more?

To be clear, I do not care about anyone's personal information, or whether they are systematic VS disgretionary, etc.

An ideal response would be something like:

Yes, here's Bob for example, (link to Bob's account info) Bob has grown a 50k account to 75k over the last 12 months. Bob attributes his success to trading the 50k account using the more conservatives metrics of the 30k account to ensure his success.

I don't personally care how Bob is trading, I.E. market profile VS whatever. I would like to see proof that someone is able to stay in the funded program for more than 30 days or the first 5k. I don't care for your marketing that Jack from Jersey withdrew $2500; good for Jack, but that helps no one.

I, and probably many others here, would like to glean information about what is an ideal approach to longevity with your program.

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  #1019 (permalink)
 Topstep  Topstep is an official Site Sponsor
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Fibbee View Post
Hi Mike,

I was hoping you could provide information and data on what percentage of people who aquire a live trading account, are able to maintain and grow the account for a year or more?

To be clear, I do not care about anyone's personal information, or whether they are systematic VS disgretionary, etc.

An ideal response would be something like:

Yes, here's Bob for example, (link to Bob's account info) Bob has grown a 50k account to 75k over the last 12 months. Bob attributes his success to trading the 50k account using the more conservatives metrics of the 30k account to ensure his success.

I don't personally care how Bob is trading, I.E. market profile VS whatever. I would like to see proof that someone is able to stay in the funded program for more than 30 days or the first 5k. I don't care for your marketing that Jack from Jersey withdrew $2500; good for Jack, but that helps no one.

I, and probably many others here, would like to glean information about what is an ideal approach to longevity with your program.

Hi @Fibbee. Success in a Funded Account varies from trader to trader. Some traders want to be proprietary traders and continue to trade with TopstepTrader, but others want to build a trading stake and demonstrate consistency and then trade in a brokerage account. Either is great with us. TopstepTrader is here to provide an alternative to losing $10s of thousands of your own capital learning to trade. Too many of us have done that.

To give you an example of how goals are different, just yesterday, we had a trader who had the best single trading day yet - a gain of $8,200 in his Funded Account. After that huge day, he requested a $5,000 withdrawal. WE LOVE THAT! He could have withdrawn his entire balance and our reaction would be the same - let's celebrate his success!

If you are looking for stories of our funded traders, you can keep an eye on our blog or subscribe to our Monthly Highlights email. In addition, in our new private Facebook Group, some of our funded traders will share their progress and answer questions.

Longevity is not based on our program. The program helps traders learn risk management which will lead to more disciplined and strategic trading.

If you have any questions about our products or services at Topstep (formerly TopstepTrader), please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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  #1020 (permalink)
 Fibbee 
Boston, MA. United States
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja
Trading: Futures and Forex
 
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In years past you have made improvements to your program at the beginning of the year. Are you going to be making any changes for 2019?

A couple of personal suggestions:

Provide more realistic drawdowns as a percentage of account value so that people can create systems that have a chance of success within your framework.

Institute a single 15 day combine with the rules of the LTP and stop the step 1 and 2. Consistency over a 15 day period is still consistency. Or just stop being disingenuous and state clearly it's 12k to pass and not 6k.

Establish a frequent flyer program for people to receive free combines. After all they're just a Sim account that is of no cost to you.

Reinstitute the pay for a combine and trade till you make or break. This 30 day subscription hamster wheel is not cool.

Reimburse a portion of combine fee's to people when they go live in the form of additional drawdown or cash back.


I realize some of these are ideas are radical but why not?

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  #1021 (permalink)
emini2000
Atlanta GA USA
 
 
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Fibbee View Post
Reinstitute the pay for a combine and trade till you make or break. This 30 day subscription hamster wheel is not cool.

That is not going to get changed. That is how the business model makes money. Not a criticism, just a fact. Profit split on funded traders is just gravy.

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  #1022 (permalink)
 SawDr 
Washington, DC
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja and TOS
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emini2000 View Post
That is not going to get changed. That is how the business model makes money. Not a criticism, just a fact. Profit split on funded traders is just gravy.

Yep - I'm getting dinged now for this monthly fee (in Stage 2). Was grandfathered for a while - will be cancelling soon and moving to Earn2Trade.

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  #1023 (permalink)
 bmmartin 
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Hello,

Does the choice of a platform in the combine conditions the platform that will be used in the funded account?

E.g: if I choose Sierra for the combine, will I be able to switch to TSTrader in the funded account or am I forced to continue with my choice of Sierra?

Thanks,

bmmartin

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  #1024 (permalink)
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bmmartin View Post
Hello,

Does the choice of a platform in the combine conditions the platform that will be used in the funded account?

E.g: if I choose Sierra for the combine, will I be able to switch to TSTrader in the funded account or am I forced to continue with my choice of Sierra?

Thanks,

bmmartin

Hi, @bmmartin. Yes, you can trade on a different platform once you are funded. However, we will require you to go through a short practice period so we know you're comfortable trading on the different platform.

If you have any questions about our products or services at Topstep (formerly TopstepTrader), please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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  #1025 (permalink)
supreme23
Vancouver
 
 
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SawDr View Post
Yep - I'm getting dinged now for this monthly fee (in Stage 2). Was grandfathered for a while - will be cancelling soon and moving to Earn2Trade.



What do you mean grandfathered in ? Was there a change in rule where you now have to pay for a fee ?

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  #1026 (permalink)
 SawDr 
Washington, DC
 
Experience: Intermediate
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If you were already in stage 2 you didn't have to pay the new monthly fee until a couple of months ago. Now you pay monthly fees, combine charges and re-set charges. I've chosen not to participate in their new business model.

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  #1027 (permalink)
 skfutures 
North vancouver
 
Experience: Beginner
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SawDr View Post
If you were already in stage 2 you didn't have to pay the new monthly fee until a couple of months ago. Now you pay monthly fees, combine charges and re-set charges. I've chosen not to participate in their new business model.

It was one year ago.

Sent using the futures.io mobile app

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  #1028 (permalink)
 SawDr 
Washington, DC
 
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skfutures View Post
It was one year ago.

Sent using the futures.io mobile app

? If you were grandfathered and in an active Stage 2 the monthly started Nov 2018

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  #1029 (permalink)
supreme23
Vancouver
 
 
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SawDr View Post
If you were already in stage 2 you didn't have to pay the new monthly fee until a couple of months ago. Now you pay monthly fees, combine charges and re-set charges. I've chosen not to participate in their new business model.



Wow I hate when businesses try to sneak in some extra cash -.- smh

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  #1030 (permalink)
supreme23
Vancouver
 
 
Posts: 29 since Apr 2018
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SawDr View Post
Yep - I'm getting dinged now for this monthly fee (in Stage 2). Was grandfathered for a while - will be cancelling soon and moving to Earn2Trade.



Why choose to move to earn2trade ? Arent they a bit pricier per month ?

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  #1031 (permalink)
emini2000
Atlanta GA USA
 
 
Posts: 278 since Aug 2013
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supreme23 View Post
Why choose to move to earn2trade ? Arent they a bit pricier per month ?

No. You have to remember the Gauntlet is 2 months long. So E2T's fee, to get monthly has to be divided in half. Many people don't think about that when comparing the price of TST to E2T. They compare one month of TST to 2 months of E2T.

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  #1032 (permalink)
 SawDr 
Washington, DC
 
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supreme23 View Post
Why choose to move to earn2trade ? Arent they a bit pricier per month ?

Have you done any research on your own into earn2trade vs topstep? If you did, you would have the answer to your own question.

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  #1033 (permalink)
 Topstep  Topstep is an official Site Sponsor
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Hi all - trading certainly is hard, and the Step 1 / Step 2 structure was designed to ease traders into what we view as proper risk management for trading live capital.

However, on the point about resetting in Step 2 and the rules changing, that is mistaken. The rules do not change with a reset and rarely do we change the rules in our program. If we ever do, we provide ample notice and grandfather existing users into the change.

The program is completely objective, and we encourage any trader interested to review and understand the rules before they sign up.

Finally, we frequently share stories of traders who are making progress and finding success in the TopstepTrader program. Anyone can go to https://blog.topsteptrader.com/topic/topsteptrader-funded-traders for real stories.

If you have any questions about our products or services at Topstep (formerly TopstepTrader), please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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  #1034 (permalink)
 skfutures 
North vancouver
 
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Posts: 131 since Oct 2016
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Is it normal for NQ to trigger stop even though market never traded at the price? It's just by one tick but it's happening too many times. Sorry if this question is stupid. I had stop at 6885.25 and it was triggered even though I do not see any transaction at the price...

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  #1035 (permalink)
 skfutures 
North vancouver
 
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I am sorry I meant stop was at 6884.25

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  #1036 (permalink)
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Is it normal for NQ to trigger stop even though market never traded at the price? It's just by one tick but it's happening too many times. Sorry if this question is stupid. I had stop at 6885.25 and it was triggered even though I do not see any transaction at the price...

Hi, @skfutures. Great question. One tick in sim is possible. The stop triggers when the bid and/or offer reaches that price. If the price traded 6885.00 / 6885.25, the stop triggers when the bid and/or offer reaches that price. This stop would trigger even though that price may never trade. We'd be happy to jump on a call with you if you'd like. You can also contact us at support@topsteptrader.com to speak directly with a Trader Support representative.

If you have any questions about our products or services at Topstep (formerly TopstepTrader), please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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  #1037 (permalink)
 gean 
Bangkok
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja trader 8
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Hello Togther

i start a combine 50k and i hope i can get it some people tell it dont work with a 50k combine the leverage is to high.
i want post everyday i trade

my favorite Market i trade is Crude and i have now a defizite from 1000$ i look forward to get in a positive way .

I be happy when anybody are interested in conversation about TST and the experience.

Gean

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  #1038 (permalink)
 gean 
Bangkok
 
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So first day is done after i take a Reset and now i use i other way to trade i hope it works.
i use only one contract only

First Day i have a really nice Trade and let him run and not close early .


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  #1039 (permalink)
 bobwest 
Site Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
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gean View Post
So first day is done after i take a Reset and now i use i other way to trade i hope it works.
i use only one contract only

First Day i have a really nice Trade and let him run and not close early .


This thread is questions for Michael Patak of TopstepTrader, not to post your own trades.

If you want to post your trades or start a trading discussion, you should start a trading journal thread for that. Go to either the Trading Journals link on the main page or the Elite Trading Journals and click on the New Thread tab:

https://futures.io/trading-journals/
https://futures.io/elite-trading-journals/

By the way, the Trade Report shows 2 contracts, because you did a buy (one contract) and a sell (another contract). You will always see the number of contracts recorded like that, which seems like double what you used but is in fact correct.

Bob.

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  #1040 (permalink)
canoekoh
Chicago, IL
 
 
Posts: 64 since May 2018
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Hello Michael,

I started the trading combine for my very first time this past Tuesday using the Sierra Chart platform. When one selects Sierra Chart as their platform of choice when initially setting up the Combine, TST provides account details for CTS T4 FIX data feed.

Well, while trading on Wed, Thurs, Fri, the CTS feed would freeze once or twice every single minute during high volume periods. Each freeze would last around 5-7 seconds, after which the price may have moved considerably. During the freeze, you couldn't place or cancel any orders. It was a very untradeable environment. The only times it doesn't freeze is during outside-trading hours with very low volume and volatility.

I thought something was wrong with my computer, network, or platform, or platform settings so I did a search on the SierraChart support board as well as inquired to their engineering team about this issue.

What I found out is this has been a persistent issue for quite some time and it is an issue on CTS's end. Sierrachart has become so fed up with dealing with CTS that they are recently created their own order routing solution partnering with TT and are working on their own futures evaluator service.

See here for all the threads from people complaining about this issue while using CTS+Sierrachart with TST:

https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=40824
https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=40825
https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=40472
https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=40473
https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=40480
https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=40163
https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=39706

Importantly, Topsteptrader just confirmed with me today via email exchange that Sierrachart had already informed TST that SC would cease development support for CTS. So it is clear that even TST is aware that at the very least, the CTS T4 SIM server has problems and that Sierrachart is no longer providing additional support for it.

YET you guys still forced new users (who had never used CTS before) like me who selected SC as their platform to set up with the CTS T4 data feed.

Then when I asked Topsteptrader support over email if they could switch me over to the Rithmic feed, they replied:

"Thanks for reaching out to us!
You are able to use Rithmic data feed for SierraCharts.
In order to do this, you will need to purchase a new Trading Combine with NinjaTrader and connect with SeirraCharts. You will be able to use this in the Funded Account as well."

Michael, with all due respect, are you kidding me?

I just paid for a 50k Combine for my very first time this past Tuesday and TST sets up my platform with a datafeed that you guys knew was so problematic that Sierrachart INFORMED you guys that they would no longer support CTS. Then as a result when I request a datafeed switch 4 days into my Combine, you guys have the gall to ask me to pony up another $165 for a new Combine?

As I wrote on my email to TST support, I also wanted TST to extend my next billing date by 3 days since the past 3 days of trading were so untradeable due to the data feed freezes. But this request was totally ignored.

If you guys are unwilling to extend my next billing date by 3 days, then at the very least, switch me over to the Rithmic datafeed without forcing me to pay $165 again. I am currently up $900 on step 1 of the Combine so if you switch me over, I would like to also have my account balance transferred over. I sunk so many hours this week into trading the Combine I am unwilling to start from $0 again.

I went with TST over Oneuptrader because TST seemed to be the more professional and transparent company but this is just ridiculous.

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  #1041 (permalink)
 bobwest 
Site Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
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canoekoh View Post
What I found out is this has been a persistent issue for quite some time and it is an issue on CTS's end. Sierrachart has become so fed up with dealing with CTS that they are recently created their own order routing solution partnering with TT and are working on their own futures evaluator service.

See here for all the threads from people complaining about this issue while using CTS+Sierrachart with TST:

https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=40824
https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=40825
https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=40472
https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=40473
https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=40480
https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=40163
https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=39706

Importantly, Topsteptrader just confirmed with me today via email exchange that Sierrachart had already informed TST that SC would cease development support for CTS. So it is clear that even TST is aware that at the very least, the CTS T4 SIM server has problems and that Sierrachart is no longer providing additional support for it.

YET you guys still forced new users (who had never used CTS before) like me who selected SC as their platform to set up with the CTS T4 data feed.

Then when I asked Topsteptrader support over email if they could switch me over to the Rithmic feed, they replied:

"Thanks for reaching out to us!
You are able to use Rithmic data feed for SierraCharts.
In order to do this, you will need to purchase a new Trading Combine with NinjaTrader and connect with SeirraCharts. You will be able to use this in the Funded Account as well."

...
I went with TST over Oneuptrader because TST seemed to be the more professional and transparent company but this is just ridiculous.

@TopstepTrader, I hope you realize that this issue is a major business issue for you, not just a support issue with one Combine user.

I have followed each of the links that @canoekoh provided to Sierra Chart support board posts. It is clear that Sierra Chart knows of the CTS freezing issue, and has found that it is not being solved by CTS. Sierra is going to discontinue support for CTS and is in the process of providing an alternative service. Here is a quote from one of the Sierra Chart replies to one of the posts:


Quoting 
We see you are using CTS. If you are doing live trading, starting next week we can move you over to this new solution:
https://www.sierrachart.com/index.php?page=doc/SierraChartOrderRoutingServiceWithData.php


If you are using CTS with Top Step Trader and do not have a funded futures trading account, we will have a new solution out we hope in about two months which will use our reliable futures trading evaluator service.

If you do have a funded futures trading account do let us know and we will give you further instructions.

There is not anything we can do about the CTS issue and our plan is to gradually be phasing out CTS.

(Link: https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=40473 This post is from Feb. 14, two weeks ago now, so the issue has gone on for some time, and is closer to resolution by SC.)

I cannot comment on the solution that a support rep offered to @canoekoh, except to say that I would not have liked it either -- it basically is "too bad for you, sign up and pay (again) for one of our other options," which is definitely not the level of responsiveness and reasonableness that I am used to from TST support. I assume someone can look at the issue and make some more reasonable accommodation, given the nature of the situation.

But I am writing to point out the importance of this issue right now to all traders who use or are contemplating using the Combine and who use Sierra Chart. TST is facing a serious loss of business if there is no alternative provided, other than just wait for it. At a minimum, the sign-up on the TST website should inform potential customers of the issue, and frankly, it is up to TST to proactively find a way forward -- and to make sure no one else starts a Combine using Sierra Chart without knowing what they are getting into, and to inform current users what they have gotten into. There must be some rational solution for anyone affected by the problem. I'm sure you can find one if you make the effort.

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

Edit: I just re-read the TST support rep's response, and saw that they suggested "a new Trading Combine[/B] with NinjaTrader and connect with SeirraCharts. You will be able to use this in the Funded Account as well." This sounds like a possible workaround, but instructions would have to be given when signing up on how to start a Combine with NT and then set some parameters in Sierra Chart or something to allow using SC in place of NT.

There still needs to be a solution for existing SC users who want to change, and it shouldn't involve paying again for a Combine. This type of solution probably can't involve transferring over the existing trade data because it would involve a new provider, but something could be worked out there too on TST's end if they worked on it.

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

I am not currently in a Combine, but I have planned to enter one again in the future. I am not going to go to NinjaTrader, which I left out of dissatisfaction with its version 8. I do not want to go to some other platform I have never even looked at, either.

I have posted often in support of TST on FIO in the past, and I think you have a very good and useful program. I hope you will pay attention to the needs of your many friends and current and future customers and get something going to fix a situation that is simply not workable.

We should not have found out about this by someone posting on this forum. You should be on top of it, and get on top of it now.

Bob.

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  #1042 (permalink)
 trendisyourfriend 
Market Wizard
Quebec
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader wt Rancho Dinero's profiling tools
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@bobwest

Why not simply use Sierra for charting and tradovate to manage your trades?

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  #1043 (permalink)
 bobwest 
Site Moderator
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trendisyourfriend View Post
@bobwest

Why not simply use Sierra for charting and tradovate to manage your trades?

Sure, you could get around the issue this way, by having one platform to follow the market and one to trade with.

Not the world's best solution, and, importantly, TST needs to inform people about the CTS issues before they go trustingly into a Sierra Chart Combine using CTS. They also should do something if someone is in a present Combine and is having problems.

Naturally, this will all get handled eventually. Bad solutions never last very long. I'm just arguing for a solution to be settled on sooner than it seems like it will be.

Bob.

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  #1044 (permalink)
 tr8er 
Europe
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TradeNavigator, BookMap
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Bob, yes TST should inform their users about this CTS issue, but TST also allows to use Sierra with Rithmic-data.

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  #1045 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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tr8er View Post
Bob, yes TST should inform their users about this CTS issue, but TST also allows to use Sierra with Rithmic-data.

Good. I assumed so, from the TST support response to @canoekoh. I edited my original post to mention that, but also to mention that if this is available, it should be explicitly offered, and should even be the preferred, or the only, option for connecting with Sierra Chart.

But I went to the TST website just now, and the only thing they have up there for Sierra Chart is connection instructions to CTS. If CTS has known issues, there should be something else available on the site and in the connection instructions that are sent to new Combiners.

If you have to first set up with NT and then change something to get to use SC, that's awkward but OK for now. If there is a way to initially just set up for Righmic without the NT thing first, that's much better. But whatever is available should be in the instructions. In fact, TST really ought to just drop CTS and give only instructions for another service, if there really are issues of CTS freezing up frequently. There also needs to be some pathway for current CTS/SC users that at least doesn't cost another Combine.

I'm sure it will get fixed, eventually.

My only point is that this whole thing needs to be addressed, right now. So I'm banging on the table a little bit.

Bob.

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  #1046 (permalink)
 phantomtrader 
Reno, Nevada
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader
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trendisyourfriend View Post
@bobwest

Why not simply use Sierra for charting and tradovate to manage your trades?

This is exactly what I do with all of them - I have Ninja 7 and 8 and I only use the prop's order DOM for order execution. This makes your life a lot easier because you can develop on any platform you wish - Sierra, TradeStation, Ninja - and just use the prop order execution for live trades.

It's also easier if you're trading a live personal account along side the prop.

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  #1047 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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phantomtrader View Post

It's also easier if you're trading a live personal account along side the prop.

Which may be the only way to do both.

Bob.

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  #1048 (permalink)
canoekoh
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Good. I assumed so, from the TST support response to @canoekoh. I edited my original post to mention that, but also to mention that if this is available, it should be explicitly offered, and should even be the preferred, or the only, option for connecting with Sierra Chart.

But I went to the TST website just now, and the only thing they have up there for Sierra Chart is connection instructions to CTS. If CTS has known issues, there should be something else available on the site and in the connection instructions that are sent to new Combiners.

If you have to first set up with NT and then change something to get to use SC, that's awkward but OK for now. If there is a way to initially just set up for Righmic without the NT thing first, that's much better. But whatever is available should be in the instructions. In fact, TST really ought to just drop CTS and give only instructions for another service, if there really are issues of CTS freezing up frequently. There also needs to be some pathway for current CTS/SC users that at least doesn't cost another Combine.

I'm sure it will get fixed, eventually.

My only point is that this whole thing needs to be addressed, right now. So I'm banging on the table a little bit.

Bob.

Part of TST's reply was: "I'm sorry to hear of the troubles you had while trading. Unfortunately, we have been informed by Sierra Chart that they will no longer be supporting the CTS data connection in the near future. As a part of this, you may notice issues from time to time."

So it's not like TST didn't know about this issue in the first place.

Yet when you first sign up for the Combine and select SC as your platform, you're only set up with CTS T4. At the very least, what they should have done is offer an option like you said, and at this point, the only sensible option would be to set up all new SC accounts with Rithmic by default and inform users about CTS T4 SIM server problems.

How are first-time users like me supposed to know that the CTS SIM feed + SC would be problematic? Then going one step further and trying to charge us another $165 for a new combine to switch datafeeds due to no fault of our own is really, crossing the line.

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canoekoh
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This is exactly what I do with all of them - I have Ninja 7 and 8 and I only use the prop's order DOM for order execution. This makes your life a lot easier because you can develop on any platform you wish - Sierra, TradeStation, Ninja - and just use the prop order execution for live trades.

It's also easier if you're trading a live personal account along side the prop.

This is a good point since you don't need to worry about datafeed + order routing integration problems with your personal platform.

Tradovate, or "TSTrader" as it's known on Topsteptrader, even has lower commissions (on the funded account) than when using other platforms so that is one other benefit to those considering.

Personally though, there are certain things about SC (advanced order type/management, custom order hotkeys) that compel me to enter orders from SC (this would be less of an issue if I was a longer-term trader) and SC also makes it super easy to run multiple data/trading services on one computer.

Right now I have a personal AMP account with CQG, TST with CTS, and Earn2Trade with Rithmic. You simply need to create 3 separate installations of SC (at no additional cost) and connect each one to a different data/trading service. Then you can run all 3 at the same time. You can have all your main charts+dom from the first installation displayed on the screen, and just a small single order entry chart for the second and third installations.

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canoekoh
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Just to give an update on my issue:

I talked with Ryan from Topsteptrader over the phone and he took care of the issue for me.

It was technically not feasible to transfer the account balance after switching data feeds but what he did was delete my current Combine account and give me a 100% off promo code to create a new Combine account. Then I set up this new account with Rithmic and although my account balance was reset, my billing date was also reset to +1 month from today so at the very least, I haven't 'lost' trading days, if that makes sense.

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 bobwest 
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canoekoh View Post
Just to give an update on my issue:

I talked with Ryan from Topsteptrader over the phone and he took care of the issue for me.

It was technically not feasible to transfer the account balance after switching data feeds but what he did was delete my current Combine account and give me a 100% off promo code to create a new Combine account. Then I set up this new account with Rithmic and although my account balance was reset, my billing date was also reset to +1 month from today so at the very least, I haven't 'lost' trading days, if that makes sense.

Good. I am not surprised they would do something reasonable. My experience has always been that they will work to make things right.

I'm glad it worked out as it did for you.

Bob.

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canoekoh View Post
Just to give an update on my issue:

I talked with Ryan from Topsteptrader over the phone and he took care of the issue for me.

It was technically not feasible to transfer the account balance after switching data feeds but what he did was delete my current Combine account and give me a 100% off promo code to create a new Combine account. Then I set up this new account with Rithmic and although my account balance was reset, my billing date was also reset to +1 month from today so at the very least, I haven't 'lost' trading days, if that makes sense.


Hi @canoekoh,

We're happy to hear our rockstar Trader Support team was able to help you out. When it comes to technical issues with our program or our partners' software, we try to be as accommodating and transparent as possible. We're sorry this process wasn't as smooth as it could have been, and we thank for your patience. Please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns.

If you have any questions about our products or services at Topstep (formerly TopstepTrader), please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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 SBtrader82 
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I have heard that although you can trade with Rithmic and sierrachart in the trading combine, once you get funded the only broker that TST alllows for sierraChart users is CTS.
Now I am really worried, I passed the combine by using Rithmic and I was really satisfied with it.

I do not want to trade with CTS anymore, and I don't want to use CTS with SierraChart knowing that Sierrachart itself complained about problems with CTS.
Sierra is progressively taking distance from CTS.

Has anyone heard of the same from TST?

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 bobwest 
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SamJames View Post
I have heard that although you can trade with Rithmic and sierrachart in the trading combine, once you get funded the only broker that TST alllows for sierraChart users is CTS.
Now I am really worried, I passed the combine by using Rithmic and I was really satisfied with it.

I do not want to trade with CTS anymore, and I don't want to use CTS with SierraChart knowing that Sierrachart itself complained about problems with CTS.
Sierra is progressively taking distance from CTS.

Has anyone heard of the same from TST?

I suggest sending an email to TST support on this, or flag @TopstepTrader in a post and ask the question that way.

If it's important to you, you need official information direct from TST. Please share any answers you get here so others will know the situation.

Bob.

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 SBtrader82 
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I suggest sending an email to TST support on this, or flag @TopstepTrader in a post and ask the question that way.

If it's important to you, you need official information direct from TST. Please share any answers you get here so others will know the situation.

Bob.

Yes, I will send an email to TST tomorrow. However I was told that I will have to use CTS by TopSteptrader itself in a conversation that I had with them on the phone.

I will let you know.

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The 150k funded account allowing up to 15 contracts. The 150k is the buying power.. so what is the true equity account value? Since we would be using prop firms funds we would no longer be considered “Non-Professional”.

TST $420/mo for live data feeds CME Globex bundle(professional status now) + $2.96 Round turn fees using TSTrader platform($3.96 Round turn fees or more if using another platform) The $5k profit we keep 100%. After, we keep 80% of profits at time of withdrawal. 150k buying power-15 contracts = how much equity?

Examples based off E-Mini S&P500 and avoiding maintenance margin (4pm-5pm CT)

15 contracts @ TDameritrade(w/ qualified up to 50% intraday margin relief 8:30am - 3pm CT) $49,203($3280.2ea.) + $5.4 round turn fees. No fees for data 100% commission. Otherwise with out 50% margin relief intraday cost will be double if the $49,203 @ $98,406 for 15 contracts and the rest still applies. VERY flexible loss limits/drawdowns. They most often work with you if you need time to deposit funds.

15 contracts @ AMP futures $6000($400ea. or as low as $300... and Intraday is 5pm cst to 3:45cst) + $3.60 Round turn fees + $15/mo CME Globex bundle(CQG) data bundle. 100% profits kept. Margin and/or 80% daily loss limit liquidation with $25 fee.

15 contracts @ NinjaTrader $7500($500ea. Intraday hours 5pm - 3:45pm CT) + $3.78 round turn fees + $21/mo CME Globex bundle(CQG). 100% profits kept. Stop out level/liquidation level account must maintain sufficient funds for the initial margin requirement for each contract($500) $25 fee first violation $50 fee there after.

*All this info is based off speaking with customer service as I have been narrowing down who I want to stick with. Please advise if anyone notices incorrect information.

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 RDK91 
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TickTick View Post
The 150k funded account allowing up to 15 contracts. The 150k is the buying power.. so what is the true equity account value? Since we would be using prop firms funds we would no longer be considered “Non-Professional”.

TST $420/mo for live data feeds CME Globex bundle(professional status now) + $2.96 Round turn fees using TSTrader platform($3.96 Round turn fees or more if using another platform) The $5k profit we keep 100%. After, we keep 80% of profits at time of withdrawal. 150k buying power-15 contracts = how much equity?

Examples based off E-Mini S&P500 and avoiding maintenance margin (4pm-5pm CT)

15 contracts @ TDameritrade(w/ qualified up to 50% intraday margin relief 8:30am - 3pm CT) $49,203($3280.2ea.) + $5.4 round turn fees. No fees for data 100% commission. Otherwise with out 50% margin relief intraday cost will be double if the $49,203 @ $98,406 for 15 contracts and the rest still applies. VERY flexible loss limits/drawdowns. They most often work with you if you need time to deposit funds.

15 contracts @ AMP futures $6000($400ea. or as low as $300... and Intraday is 5pm cst to 3:45cst) + $3.60 Round turn fees + $15/mo CME Globex bundle(CQG) data bundle. 100% profits kept. Margin and/or 80% daily loss limit liquidation with $25 fee.

15 contracts @ NinjaTrader $7500($500ea. Intraday hours 5pm - 3:45pm CT) + $3.78 round turn fees + $21/mo CME Globex bundle(CQG). 100% profits kept. Stop out level/liquidation level account must maintain sufficient funds for the initial margin requirement($500) $25 fee first violation $50 fee there after.

*All this info is based off speaking with customer service as I have been narrowing down who I want to stick with. Please advise if anyone notices incorrect information.

Yes, funded traders are considered professionals by the exchange, so you have to pay professional fees. However there are alternative firms out there who will pay the exchange fees for you or take them from the funded balance so you don't have to pay them upfront.

The equity you get with the $150K account basically is $4500 since this is your maximum trailing draw down, this might not be enough to cover the 15 contracts but you also have to adhere to the scaling plan in the funded account, you can only start with 3 contracts and only when you get over $4500 profit you can trade the 15 contracts. At this point the equity of the account still is $4500 because of the trailing stop, you went from $150,000 up to $154,500 but your trailing stop also went up from $145,500 to $150,000, from here on the trailing draw down does no longer trail and so you can start to build your equity.

$6000 margin at AMP still is a lot more money to lose than the $375 fee for a combine if you fail, in some cases a funding company like TST or others can make sense. Each trader should make this op for his/her own case.

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 bobwest 
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TickTick View Post
The 150k funded account allowing up to 15 contracts. The 150k is the buying power.. so what is the true equity account value? Since we would be using prop firms funds we would no longer be considered “Non-Professional”.

TST $420/mo for live data feeds CME Globex bundle(professional status now) + $2.96 Round turn fees using TSTrader platform($3.96 Round turn fees or more if using another platform) The $5k profit we keep 100%. After, we keep 80% of profits at time of withdrawal. 150k buying power-15 contracts = how much equity?

Examples based off E-Mini S&P500 and avoiding maintenance margin (4pm-5pm CT)

15 contracts @ TDameritrade(w/ qualified up to 50% intraday margin relief 8:30am - 3pm CT) $49,203($3280.2ea.) + $5.4 round turn fees. No fees for data 100% commission. Otherwise with out 50% margin relief intraday cost will be double if the $49,203 @ $98,406 for 15 contracts and the rest still applies. VERY flexible loss limits/drawdowns. They most often work with you if you need time to deposit funds.

15 contracts @ AMP futures $6000($400ea. or as low as $300... and Intraday is 5pm cst to 3:45cst) + $3.60 Round turn fees + $15/mo CME Globex bundle(CQG) data bundle. 100% profits kept. Margin and/or 80% daily loss limit liquidation with $25 fee.

15 contracts @ NinjaTrader $7500($500ea. Intraday hours 5pm - 3:45pm CT) + $3.78 round turn fees + $21/mo CME Globex bundle(CQG). 100% profits kept. Stop out level/liquidation level account must maintain sufficient funds for the initial margin requirement for each contract($500) $25 fee first violation $50 fee there after.

*All this info is based off speaking with customer service as I have been narrowing down who I want to stick with. Please advise if anyone notices incorrect information.

It's hard for me to understand the question, so I may have gotten what you are asking wrong. Sorry if I did.

The reason it's hard to understand the question is because if you have a funded TST account, you don't actually have a separate account with a broker -- you actually have a sub-account of the trading firm's main account with its broker. You aren't responsible for the margin, because it's not your account; the required margin is between the firm and the broker, and you're out of the picture. The firm just gives you a number of contracts you can trade against the total margin in its account (which is backing other traders as well.) This is why the funded account balance is always initially set to zero, not to 150k, and the subsequent balance, whether plus and minus, is entirely due to your trading. (It can only go so far into the minus before the firm closes you out, to protect itself.) Your account balance is a balance with the firm, not with the firm's broker.

The Combine account is given a sim balance of 150k, just as any sim account has a sim balance, but it's entirely different with the funded account.

If I didn't understand your question, I apologize. But it seems like you are concerned with maintaining sufficient margin in the account with the broker, which would be a concern for your own personal account, but not for the funded account with the trading firm, which is not a separate account with the broker. Your account is one of many which, in total, are being backed by the total margin the firm has with its broker. So any margin requirement of any of the firm's brokers is not something you have anything to do with.

I hope this makes sense and addresses what you are asking.

Bob.

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 bobwest 
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SamJames View Post
I have heard that although you can trade with Rithmic and sierrachart in the trading combine, once you get funded the only broker that TST alllows for sierraChart users is CTS.
Now I am really worried, I passed the combine by using Rithmic and I was really satisfied with it.

I do not want to trade with CTS anymore, and I don't want to use CTS with SierraChart knowing that Sierrachart itself complained about problems with CTS.
Sierra is progressively taking distance from CTS.

Has anyone heard of the same from TST?


SamJames View Post
Yes, I will send an email to TST tomorrow. However I was told that I will have to use CTS by TopSteptrader itself in a conversation that I had with them on the phone.

I will let you know.

I had a similar concern after reading @SamJames' posts, so I sent an email to TST asking about it:


Quoting 
I am getting ready for a Combine, and I will use Sierra Chart. I notice in your Help that the Combine uses Rithmic for Sierra, which is fine. TST used to use CTS with Sierra, and I am glad that you have changed this, because Sierra itself has had issues with CTS and is moving away from it and is not recommending it any more.

But in the event that I become funded, will TST use CTS for the funded account? In your Help page https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/115010515748-List-of-Supported-Platforms the broker for funded accounts with Sierra is listed in the table as Cunningham (which is CTS) / Stage 5. I have a concern about any connection between Sierra and Cunningham, given the technical problems that have made SC move away from CTS.

Thanks for your reply.

Here's the response I received this morning:


Quoting 
Kevin (TopstepTrader)

Jul 8, 10:01 AM CDT

Hi Robert,

Thank you for contacting us!

Sierra Chart can use either brokerage depending on the data feed in the Funded Account. If you have a preference please be sure to let us know at the time you earn your Funded Account.

Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

Best,
Kevin

Customer Support Team Lead

If I were at the point right now of needing to have a funded account set up (which I am definitely not), I would want more info. I am not sure what "depending on the data feed in the Funded Account" means in this case -- their table lists "DTS/Rithmic" as the two data feeds, which to me implies that Rithmic users wouldn't be using CTS in the funded account, but I'm not sure.

But it seems that they have a degree of flexibility on the matter, so my concerns are somewhat put to rest. If and/or when I have to specify a preference, I will address things again.

@SamJames, do you have any additional information? Are you satisfied with TST's position? Does this email agree with the options you have been offered? There are probably a number of people who would benefit from knowing.

Bob.

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TickTick
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RDK91 View Post
Yes, funded traders are considered professionals by the exchange, so you have to pay professional fees. However there are alternative firms out there who will pay the exchange fees for you or take them from the funded balance so you don't have to pay them upfront.

The equity you get with the $150K account basically is $4500 since this is your maximum trailing draw down, this might not be enough to cover the 15 contracts but you also have to adhere to the scaling plan in the funded account, you can only start with 3 contracts and only when you get over $4500 profit you can trade the 15 contracts. At this point the equity of the account still is $4500 because of the trailing stop, you went from $150,000 up to $154,500 but your trailing stop also went up from $145,500 to $150,000, from here on the trailing draw down does no longer trail and so you can start to build your equity.

$6000 margin at AMP still is a lot more money to lose than the $375 fee for a combine if you fail, in some cases a funding company like TST or others can make sense. Each trader should make this op for his/her own case.

I understand what you're saying. I was over thinking and looking at this setup in a different way. I will just need to all there to clearify more. Thanks!


bobwest View Post
It's hard for me to understand the question, so I may have gotten what you are asking wrong. Sorry if I did.

The reason it's hard to understand the question is because if you have a funded TST account, you don't actually have a separate account with a broker -- you actually have a sub-account of the trading firm's main account with its broker. You aren't responsible for the margin, because it's not your account; the required margin is between the firm and the broker, and you're out of the picture. The firm just gives you a number of contracts you can trade against the total margin in its account (which is backing other traders as well.) This is why the funded account balance is always initially set to zero, not to 150k, and the subsequent balance, whether plus and minus, is entirely due to your trading. (It can only go so far into the minus before the firm closes you out, to protect itself.) Your account balance is a balance with the firm, not with the firm's broker.

The Combine account is given a sim balance of 150k, just as any sim account has a sim balance, but it's entirely different with the funded account.

If I didn't understand your question, I apologize. But it seems like you are concerned with maintaining sufficient margin in the account with the broker, which would be a concern for your own personal account, but not for the funded account with the trading firm, which is not a separate account with the broker. Your account is one of many which, in total, are being backed by the total margin the firm has with its broker. So any margin requirement of any of the firm's brokers is not something you have anything to do with.

I hope this makes sense and addresses what you are asking.

Bob.

Yes, you're fine. Thanks for the help. Both of your answers clarified somethings for me.

I am confused because a while back when I spoke to their forex side. Their "$500K" funded account was truly just the margin buying power, something that was really just $5000(can't remember exactly), but was $500,000 buying power in leverage(Uk based broker they have a partnership with up to 100:1 leverage I think?).

Anyways, the 150K is really irrelevant? Up to 15 contracts, utilizing their rules, and keeping 80% after the first $5k profit is all that matters lol. My main concern was how much personal equity is comparable to their program to which their program is no longer beneficial?

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 bobwest 
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TickTick View Post
I understand what you're saying. I was over thinking and looking at this setup in a different way. I will just need to all there to clearify more. Thanks!



Yes, you're fine. Thanks for the help. Both of your answers clarified somethings for me.

I am confused because a while back when I spoke to their forex side. Their "$500K" funded account was truly just the margin buying power, something that was really just $5000(can't remember exactly), but was $500,000 buying power in leverage(Uk based broker they have a partnership with up to 100:1 leverage I think?).

Anyways, the 150K is really irrelevant? Up to 15 contracts, utilizing their rules, and keeping 80% after the first $5k profit is all that matters lol. My main concern was how much personal equity is comparable to their program to which their program is no longer beneficial?

It sounds like you are wondering how to determine an equivalence between the funded account and a person's comparable individual account. If that's the question -- and it's a good one -- the answer depends in part on the margin that would be put up for the individual account, plus, of course, on the amount of risk you are willing to take. The Combine/funded account only has a risk of the Combine fee; the personal account has your personal money at risk. The risk issue may be the most important for many. (Of course, a person may end up paying the fees for many Combines.)

But the margin question is easier:

The CME exchange has a requirement for trades held overnight. You can check with CME for the particular contract/product you are interested in. It will be several thousand dollars per contract, for any futures contract.

For trades that are opened and closed within the same trading day (as all TST trades must be), the CME sets no requirements -- it's up to your broker. Some brokers have margins for ES (S&P futures) as low as $400/contract. Many set it at $500/contract. Numbers this low are regarded by many traders as insane, because when a change of one point in ES is worth $50 per contract, then 10 points of ES movement against you will amount to $500, wiping you out. This could be just a few losing trades (or one very big losing trade. ) When margins are optional with low minimums, it is unwise to take the lowest number.

So, if I understood your concern, it's basically not answerable, because it depends on your individual loss/risk tolerance.

As far as the Combine/funded account goes, all that matters is the number of contracts you are given to trade with. In the funded case, the number can be increased in time if you have a profitable performance, so there is some flexibility there.

Is the Combine and then a funded account a good choice for a particular trader? Not necessarily. Someone with limited money, or someone who may want to work on his game in a limited-risk situation, may find it a good idea. Someone else may not benefit at all. Also, given the newly-introduced micro emini contracts for equities -- and the micro contracts for currencies -- there are other limited-risk choices that may be better learning opportunities. Again, up to the individual.

Bob.

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  #1065 (permalink)
 phantomtrader 
Reno, Nevada
 
Experience: Advanced
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Hi - What is the account withdrawal threshold and where can I find the details at your website? Thanks.

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  #1066 (permalink)
 ibrown 
United Kingdom
 
Experience: Beginner
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some info here, https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/236003548-How-can-I-make-a-withdrawal-and-what-is-the-profit-split-

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  #1067 (permalink)
 phantomtrader 
Reno, Nevada
 
Experience: Advanced
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Thanks for the reply. So there is no threshold? This is what I see at the link:


"Traders will receive 100% of the profits from withdrawals, up to a total of $5,000. After the first $5,000 of funds have been received by the trader, the profit split will become 80/20, with the trader receiving 80% of withdrawals and TopstepTrader retains 20% of the requested withdrawal."

So TopStep does not withhold a portion of profits in the account. But it does reset the account to the initial number of allowable lots.

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  #1068 (permalink)
 ibrown 
United Kingdom
 
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Posts: 14 since Nov 2010
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hmm not sure! Maybe contact to TST for clarification?


phantomtrader View Post
Thanks for the reply. So there is no threshold? This is what I see at the link:


"Traders will receive 100% of the profits from withdrawals, up to a total of $5,000. After the first $5,000 of funds have been received by the trader, the profit split will become 80/20, with the trader receiving 80% of withdrawals and TopstepTrader retains 20% of the requested withdrawal."

So TopStep does not withhold a portion of profits in the account. But it does reset the account to the initial number of allowable lots.


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  #1069 (permalink)
 tr8er 
Europe
 
Experience: Advanced
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phantomtrader View Post
Hi - What is the account withdrawal threshold and where can I find the details at your website? Thanks.

TST doesn't have this withdrawal threshold, this is part of a competitor

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  #1070 (permalink)
canoekoh
Chicago, IL
 
 
Posts: 64 since May 2018
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once you're funded with TST, let's say you make $9000 in profit without ever withdrawing. then you happen to mistakenly place a trade during FOMC and you're immediately flunked out of the Funded account.

are you still able to withdraw that $9000 or do all profits you made in a funded account just vanish into thin air once you break a rule in the Funded account?

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  #1071 (permalink)
MichaelFlowTrader
Atlanta
 
 
Posts: 127 since Jan 2017
Thanks: 36 given, 76 received

How is Topstep Trader legal?

I'm in a conversation about trading someone else's money as a contractor vs as a limited partner?

This also evolved into the question are Topstep Funded Accounts really live?

Are the Topstep Funded Accounts more like Leeloo accounts where they use Leader/Follower algo to copy trades, then executie them into the live market? Which means TST gets to remain legal because Funded Traders are Signal Providers and not legally trading TST live accounts?

Why not let Funded Traders join the firm and become K1 for tax savings?

The above are questions that TST execs should answer?

Funded traders, have you verified if TST is really live? How have you done so?


Thank you--- Just looking for transparency of what is really going and how is all this legal.

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  #1072 (permalink)
 bobwest 
Site Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra Chart
Trading: ES, YM
 
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MichaelFlowTrader View Post
How is Topstep Trader legal?

I'm in a conversation about trading someone else's money as a contractor vs as a limited partner?

This also evolved into the question are Topstep Funded Accounts really live?

Are the Topstep Funded Accounts more like Leeloo accounts where they use Leader/Follower algo to copy trades, then executie them into the live market? Which means TST gets to remain legal because Funded Traders are Signal Providers and not legally trading TST live accounts?

Why not let Funded Traders join the firm and become K1 for tax savings?

The above are questions that TST execs should answer?

Funded traders, have you verified if TST is really live? How have you done so?


Thank you--- Just looking for transparency of what is really going and how is all this legal.

Obviously, @TopstepTrader will need to be the one answering these questions. I'm not part of TST and I can't speak for them.

But I am completely puzzled by your major question, which is whether TST is "legal". Why is this a question?

Trading firms, of which there are a great many, employ people to trade their funds. I have no doubt that sometimes their traders are contractors and not direct employees or partners. How would a trader being a contractor create a situation that is not legal??? And how would it be unusual, rather than the normal routine?

The rest of your questions I'll leave for TST (and this one too, of course), but it is totally puzzling why you would think that hiring contract traders is not legal. Inquiring minds want to know.

Bob.

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  #1073 (permalink)
 4tison 
PhuKet Island / Thailand
 
Experience: Beginner
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canoekoh View Post
once you're funded with TST, let's say you make $9000 in profit without ever withdrawing. then you happen to mistakenly place a trade during FOMC and you're immediately flunked out of the Funded account.

are you still able to withdraw that $9000 or do all profits you made in a funded account just vanish into thin air once you break a rule in the Funded account?

@canoekoh

Great question.

Did you get any response as yet?

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  #1074 (permalink)
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4tison View Post
@canoekoh

Great question.

Did you get any response as yet?

@canoekoh @4tison
Hi all! To answer your question, any profits earned in the Funded Account are your profits to keep regardless if you break a rule or not.

If you have any questions about our products or services at Topstep (formerly TopstepTrader), please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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  #1075 (permalink)
MichaelFlowTrader
Atlanta
 
 
Posts: 127 since Jan 2017
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Could you answer my questions as well. Please

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  #1076 (permalink)
 karentrader 
burlington, vt
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra
Trading: NQ
 
Posts: 198 since Aug 2015
Thanks: 85 given, 394 received

Good morning,

I just have a few questions, as I'm considering splitting my trading capital into a prop environment. Just a few small things are unclear for me with TST.

1. After passing your $100k-$150k nominal combine, will the initial drawdown of the live account be the same rates of the combine? I ask this because my style of trading wouldn't be suited for tighter dd.

2. Regarding the trailing drawdown, from what I've read it is calculated end-of-day on the simulated accounts. What about live accounts? I'm a little concerned that trailing drawdown will follow the equity highs rather than closed trade equity.

3. Regarding hours permitted, it is clear that positions need to be closed at the end of the session. If trading globex hours, do they need to be closed/reopened at the RTH session start? for example, having a ES trade open at 7am CST through the 8:30am opening minute.

4. When moving from stage 1 to 2, are we required to pay again? or does the original monthly fee already paid for continue on?

5. I'm not really clear on the differences between the 'Pro account' and the normal path, when passing your 2nd stage. Would you mind elaborating on the benefit of going with a 'Pro account'?

6. How is size increase dealt with on live accounts? Is there a pre-defined risk scale increase or do we have to re-negotiate often?

7. I'm currently not used to paying Pro prices for data costs, and would be eating $400+/month if joining your firm. Is there any data cost reduction in any form, such as using the TST platform or anything?

8. Does your backer accept those with recent live track records, as opposed to doing months of a combine?

If anyone knows the concrete answer of any of these, feel free!

Thank you for your time

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  #1077 (permalink)
 RDK91 
Antwerp
 
 
Posts: 454 since Jun 2016


karentrader View Post
Good morning,

I just have a few questions, as I'm considering splitting my trading capital into a prop environment. Just a few small things are unclear for me with TST.

1. After passing your $100k-$150k nominal combine, will the initial drawdown of the live account be the same rates of the combine? I ask this because my style of trading wouldn't be suited for tighter dd.

2. Regarding the trailing drawdown, from what I've read it is calculated end-of-day on the simulated accounts. What about live accounts? I'm a little concerned that trailing drawdown will follow the equity highs rather than closed trade equity.

3. Regarding hours permitted, it is clear that positions need to be closed at the end of the session. If trading globex hours, do they need to be closed/reopened at the RTH session start? for example, having a ES trade open at 7am CST through the 8:30am opening minute.

4. When moving from stage 1 to 2, are we required to pay again? or does the original monthly fee already paid for continue on?

5. I'm not really clear on the differences between the 'Pro account' and the normal path, when passing your 2nd stage. Would you mind elaborating on the benefit of going with a 'Pro account'?

6. How is size increase dealt with on live accounts? Is there a pre-defined risk scale increase or do we have to re-negotiate often?

7. I'm currently not used to paying Pro prices for data costs, and would be eating $400+/month if joining your firm. Is there any data cost reduction in any form, such as using the TST platform or anything?

8. Does your backer accept those with recent live track records, as opposed to doing months of a combine?

If anyone knows the concrete answer of any of these, feel free!

Thank you for your time

1. Yes

2. In the Funded Account, this rule is calculated intraday, which means if the balance falls below the minimum account balance you will be pulled from your trades right away and the rule is considered broken. The question remains, does the trailing drawdown rises with every trade or just at the end of the day. Best to ask TST directly.

3. All positions must be closed prior to 3:10 PM CT, you can restart trading at 5:00 PM CT until the next day 3:10 PM CT. There are products that have different closing times (Agricultural futures).

4. The original monthly fee continues every month until you have passed stage 1 and 2.

5. https://info.topsteptrader.com/understanding-the-pro-account

6. https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000140787-What-is-the-scaling-plan-

7. As far as i am aware there is no way to avoid the exchange fees with TST.

8. Never heard of anyone being accepted without doing a combine, so i would guess not.

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  #1078 (permalink)
 Topstep  Topstep is an official Site Sponsor
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karentrader View Post
Good morning,

I just have a few questions, as I'm considering splitting my trading capital into a prop environment. Just a few small things are unclear for me with TST.

1. After passing your $100k-$150k nominal combine, will the initial drawdown of the live account be the same rates of the combine? I ask this because my style of trading wouldn't be suited for tighter dd.

2. Regarding the trailing drawdown, from what I've read it is calculated end-of-day on the simulated accounts. What about live accounts? I'm a little concerned that trailing drawdown will follow the equity highs rather than closed trade equity.

3. Regarding hours permitted, it is clear that positions need to be closed at the end of the session. If trading globex hours, do they need to be closed/reopened at the RTH session start? for example, having a ES trade open at 7am CST through the 8:30am opening minute.

4. When moving from stage 1 to 2, are we required to pay again? or does the original monthly fee already paid for continue on?

5. I'm not really clear on the differences between the 'Pro account' and the normal path, when passing your 2nd stage. Would you mind elaborating on the benefit of going with a 'Pro account'?

6. How is size increase dealt with on live accounts? Is there a pre-defined risk scale increase or do we have to re-negotiate often?

7. I'm currently not used to paying Pro prices for data costs, and would be eating $400+/month if joining your firm. Is there any data cost reduction in any form, such as using the TST platform or anything?

8. Does your backer accept those with recent live track records, as opposed to doing months of a combine?

If anyone knows the concrete answer of any of these, feel free!

Thank you for your time


Hi there! Thank you for your questions.

To start, while in a Funded Account is very similar to the way the Daily Loss Limit is calculated intraday in the Combine, once in the Funded Account, the Weekly Loss Limit, and Trailing Max Drawdown are also calculated intraday (based on unrealized P&L). This means if you reach one of these limits at any point during the trading day, you will break a rule and you will be locked out of your account immediately. Check out the comparison here.

Second, all positions must be closed prior to 3:10:00 PM CT. For a list of permitted products and when you can trade, check out this article

In addition, your monthly subcription consolidates the lifetime of your active Trading Combine (Step 1 & Step 2). For more information on the subscription model, read more here.

As for the Pro Account, this option comes with a number of benefits. It provides the same opportunity to earn from your trading as the Funded Account®, but allows you to adapt to trading for real money in a familiar, simulated environment. To watch an explanation video, check this out. One major benefit of the Pro Account that addresses another one of your questions, is the Pro Account has no platform fees, or data exchange fees.

Lastly, to unlock your Funded Account, you must complete the Trading Combine. We encourage traders with a very succesful trading history to join our program. The reason why we require users to enter in our program is to prove to us that you can demonstrate profitability and risk management. For more enlightment, check out this article.

I hope this answers all or some parts of your questions. As always, please reach out to our support team for any questions or concerns!

If you have any questions about our products or services at Topstep (formerly TopstepTrader), please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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  #1079 (permalink)
 Topstep  Topstep is an official Site Sponsor
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bobwest View Post
Obviously, @TopstepTrader will need to be the one answering these questions. I'm not part of TST and I can't speak for them.

But I am completely puzzled by your major question, which is whether TST is "legal". Why is this a question?

Trading firms, of which there are a great many, employ people to trade their funds. I have no doubt that sometimes their traders are contractors and not direct employees or partners. How would a trader being a contractor create a situation that is not legal??? And how would it be unusual, rather than the normal routine?

The rest of your questions I'll leave for TST (and this one too, of course), but it is totally puzzling why you would think that hiring contract traders is not legal. Inquiring minds want to know.

Bob.

Hi there! To answer your questions as concisely as possible:

In our Funded Accounts the traders are brought on as independent contractors that each place their own discretionary trades in the sub account designated to them.

If you have any questions about our products or services at Topstep (formerly TopstepTrader), please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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  #1080 (permalink)
 bobwest 
Site Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra Chart
Trading: ES, YM
 
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TopstepTrader View Post
Hi there! To answer your questions as concisely as possible:

In our Funded Accounts the traders are brought on as independent contractors that each place their own discretionary trades in the sub account designated to them.

@TopstepTrader, thank you, but I did not have any questions at all. I was quoting someone else, @MichaelFlowTrader, who did have some questions, including one about independent contractors.

My response to him was basically that I was puzzled that anyone would have one of the questions he was asking, about whether using contractors was somehow not legal. Just to be clear, I have stood up for TST on this forum for many years, and do not have any such issues about your program or practices.

Somehow you may have misunderstood my post, but it does not contain any questions for you.

However, @MichaelFlowTrader has still not received a response from you, and he has asked for one in a follow-up post, so you might want to address his questions directly. He had a number of them, besides the one about contractors.

Bob.

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  #1081 (permalink)
MichaelFlowTrader
Atlanta
 
 
Posts: 127 since Jan 2017
Thanks: 36 given, 76 received

@TopstepTrader

How is Topstep Trader legal?

I'm in a conversation about trading someone else's money as a contractor vs as a limited partner?

This also evolved into the question are Topstep Funded Accounts really live?

Are the Topstep Funded Accounts more like Leeloo accounts where they use Leader/Follower algo to copy trades, then executie them into the live market? Which means TST gets to remain legal because Funded Traders are Signal Providers and not legally trading TST live accounts?

Why not let Funded Traders join the firm and become K1 for tax savings?

The above are questions that TST execs should answer?

Funded traders, have you verified if TST is really live? How have you done so?

Thank you--- Just looking for transparency of what is really going and how is all this legal.

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  #1082 (permalink)
 WoodyFox 
Orlando, Florida
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Trading: Futures
 
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Posts: 301 since May 2016
Thanks: 119 given, 604 received


MichaelFlowTrader View Post
@TopstepTrader

How is Topstep Trader legal?

I'm in a conversation about trading someone else's money as a contractor vs as a limited partner?

This also evolved into the question are Topstep Funded Accounts really live?

Are the Topstep Funded Accounts more like Leeloo accounts where they use Leader/Follower algo to copy trades, then executie them into the live market? Which means TST gets to remain legal because Funded Traders are Signal Providers and not legally trading TST live accounts?

Why not let Funded Traders join the firm and become K1 for tax savings?

The above are questions that TST execs should answer?

Funded traders, have you verified if TST is really live? How have you done so?

Thank you--- Just looking for transparency of what is really going and how is all this legal.

Of course its legal. That being said....Its as close to a scam as you can get and still be legal. Please do not waste your money on these guys or any of the others. With the MICRO Futures there is no reason to use them anymore. Even if you can be profitable under their very tight parameters (It is doable), most traders are not always perfect and will make mistakes at some time in their career. Then you will go back to the beginning of the hamster wheel. I've heard peeps on this forum say "well I just want to build capital with them and just leave" No..Just use the micros. They even advertise "build your capital thing" themselves because they no the statistics. 95% of people that try to trade fail for life. The 5% that do become successful fail at some time during their education. They are making a killing with this stuff. Just 7000 new costumers a year and a few account resets and they bank a million. Who wouldn't bank the trades of a couple lucky suckers. LOL.

Listen, I've made the turn. I am a successful trader. Not getting rich, but making money. Take my advice. YOU DO NOT NEED THEM anyways. I tried them when I was learning, and it made no difference in me making the turn. The Micros Indices are the greatest thing to come to futures trading. You can learn on them, try new strategies and it won't break the bank.

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  #1083 (permalink)
MichaelFlowTrader
Atlanta
 
 
Posts: 127 since Jan 2017
Thanks: 36 given, 76 received


WoodyFox View Post
Of course its legal. That being said....Its as close to a scam as you can get and still be legal. Please do not waste your money on these guys or any of the others. With the MICRO Futures there is no reason to use them anymore. Even if you can be profitable under their very tight parameters (It is doable), most traders are not always perfect and will make mistakes at some time in their career. Then you will go back to the beginning of the hamster wheel. I've heard peeps on this forum say "well I just want to build capital with them and just leave" No..Just use the micros. They even advertise "build your capital thing" themselves because they no the statistics. 95% of people that try to trade fail for life. The 5% that do become successful fail at some time during their education. They are making a killing with this stuff. Just 7000 new costumers a year and a few account resets and they bank a million. Who wouldn't bank the trades of a couple lucky suckers. LOL.

Listen, I've made the turn. I am a successful trader. Not getting rich, but making money. Take my advice. YOU DO NOT NEED THEM anyways. I tried them when I was learning, and it made no difference in me making the turn. The Micros Indices are the greatest thing to come to futures trading. You can learn on them, try new strategies and it won't break the bank.


I get all of that, and I think there's a much stronger argument for starting with your own small account with tight risk control and broker side daily limits. But in my question, I'm looking for TST to answer my questions.

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  #1084 (permalink)
 hummeljt 
Davenport, IA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 10 since Jun 2016
Thanks: 5 given, 7 received

As a TST contractor trading a funded account, am I issued a 1099 and liable for taxes only when I elect to withdraw profits from my TST funded account? Or is the 1099 issued at the end of the year (or on a quarterly basis) even if no profits are withdrawn from the funded account? If so, does TST automatically do the estimated tax withholding or is this up to the contractor to do the withholding as required by the IRS guidelines?

For example, let's say in tax year 2019 I earn $30K in profits, but don't withdraw any of the profits accumulated in 2019 until 2020, would the taxes be due in tax year 2020 even though the trades actually took place in 2019? If this is the case, then this would be a huge advantage to trade a funded account since this would effectively be an IRA type of situation where earnings can accumulate on a tax deferred basis.

Thanks

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  #1085 (permalink)
 mr Bund 
Warsaw Poland
 
Platform: R-Trader
Trading: ZB, ZF, ZN
 
Posts: 15 since Nov 2015
Thanks: 4 given, 3 received

@TopstepTrader

I have a question - can you propose some other conditions for someone trading spreads ?

What I mean is. You have one rule in evaluation process which relates to the specific maximum number of contracts that can be traded. So both the evaluation and offer is determined by the number of contracts, not the margin.

What if someone would like to trade spreads ? I'm asking precisely about yield spreads.
Trading FOB, NOB, BOB or anything rational requires a lot more contracts.

Considering e.g. FOB - it's 5 contracts but the risk involved is much lower than trading 1 outright on CL or NQ or anything people like to trade directional (even lower thatn trading just ZF or ZB outrights)

So is it possible to have customized rule about max number of contracts when trading spreads ?


Regards

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  #1086 (permalink)
 QCDragon 
Columbus, OH USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Jigsaw Tradr+MultiCharts
Trading: eMini ES
 
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hummeljt View Post
As a TST contractor trading a funded account, am I issued a 1099 and liable for taxes only when I elect to withdraw profits from my TST funded account? Or is the 1099 issued at the end of the year (or on a quarterly basis) even if no profits are withdrawn from the funded account? If so, does TST automatically do the estimated tax withholding or is this up to the contractor to do the withholding as required by the IRS guidelines?

For example, let's say in tax year 2019 I earn $30K in profits, but don't withdraw any of the profits accumulated in 2019 until 2020, would the taxes be due in tax year 2020 even though the trades actually took place in 2019? If this is the case, then this would be a huge advantage to trade a funded account since this would effectively be an IRA type of situation where earnings can accumulate on a tax deferred basis.

Thanks

I cannot imagine that your 1099 will report anything but the FULL amount you earned in 2019, regardless if it withdrawn or not. Since you're a contractor, you will NOT see 60/40 tax treatment like you would if you were trading your OWN futures account. That is up to 25% MORE tax liability as a 1099 reported contractor...

Check out Green Trader Tax for more information. They often do free webinars this time of year and could probably go into WAY more detail about this... (I'm not affiliated with them in ANY way)


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  #1087 (permalink)
 bobwest 
Site Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra Chart
Trading: ES, YM
 
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Important Sierra Chart and TST News

I just came across the troubling information that Sierra Chart will no longer support TST using Rithmic, although it seems that you can still use SC with TST if you use an older version of SC, v. 2037 or before. This apparently applies to current Combine users and to those planning to use SC on TST in the future. For example, I plan to start a new Combine next week. But it seems that current users will also need to use the earlier version.

This is extremely important, and I hope that @TopstepTrader or someone from TST will see this and respond with an update and with information about how Combine users can still use Sierra.

It appears that this is related to issues SC has been having with Rithmic. I don't yet have the full story. I was alerted due to a post that member @SamJames incorrectly made in the Wiki section (which my colleague @xplorer correctly deleted because it should have been made just as a regular post.)

I have emailed TST support with questions to find out the situation and to find out what can be done, if anything, if you want to use Sierra Chart. Here's the response I received:


Quoting 
Ryan (TopstepTrader)

Jan 29, 2:57 PM CST

Hi Robert,

Thanks for reaching out to us!

Unfortunately, that is correct. Sierra Chart will no longer support Rithmic data feed and therefore we will no longer support their trading platform. However, a connection with Sierra Chart is still possible but only with version v2037 or older. The connection to Topsteptrader will remain the same.

Please feel free to reach out with any additional questions you may have.

Best,
Ryan
Trader Support Representative

I do not know from this email what the process would be if a user who is not currently in a Combine wanted to select SC as the platform, which has been removed from the TST website. I will send a follow-up email to try to find out.

I also found this brief note on the Sierra Chart website:


Quoting 
Support for Top Step Trader through Rithmic has been removed. You will need to use an older version of Sierra Chart if you want to use Top Step Trader. There is also available the Simulated Futures Trading service which can be used.

Link: https://www.sierrachart.com/index.php?page=doc/Whats_New.php (Last bullet point under notes on version 2039.)

If anyone wants to download and use the earlier version, v. 2037 or earlier, here's the link to the SC page with instructions for downloading a version other than the latest one: https://www.sierrachart.com/index.php?page=doc/SoftwareDownload.php To follow these instructions, you will need to have already installed Sierra Chart, and then, on the menu, use Help > Download Current Version, and then select the version number in the box before downloading.

This seems to be a sudden development. No doubt things will become more clear soon.

If I find out more, I will post it here. If someone else has more information, please share anything relevant here as well.

Bob.

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  #1088 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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bobwest View Post
Important Sierra Chart and TST News

I just came across the troubling information that Sierra Chart will no longer support TST using Rithmic...

More poking around on the Sierra Chart site suggests that my last post may not be the final word. From the Sierra Chart support board, in response to a user not being able to get on TST:

Quoting 
This issue is resolved. But we will have an announcement later in regards to support for these trading evaluator services.

Update to version 2040 to solve this:
https://www.sierrachart.com/index.php?page=doc/SoftwareDownload.php


We will be phasing support out for them probably in the third quarter of this year and providing an alternative.

Link: https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=48612 (Emphasis is mine.)

I am waiting for a response to a follow-up email I sent to TST before I came across this latest from SC.

I suggest no action before everything has come to light. If you're in a Combine and have a problem connecting, I guess you could try this latest suggestion.

I hope this turns out to be something that, for now at least, blows over. We'll know soon.

It would still be a good thing if @TopstepTrader will weigh in, as it affects or can affect a lot of their customers and potiential customers.

Bob.

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 bobwest 
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More from TopstepTrader on the question of, basically, what to do if you want to start a Combine with Sierra:

Quoting 
Ryan (TopstepTrader)

Jan 30, 8:02 AM CST

Hi Robert,

Thanks for reaching out to us!

Due to Sierra Chart not supporting Rithmic connection no longer, it makes the connection process difficult for us to assist with. Due to this quick notice, we have taken this off our list of supported trading platforms. If you do decide to choose Sierra Charts as your trading platform for your Trading Combine, the connection process will remain the same as it did before however, if an issue arises while trading, we may not be able to fully assist and troubleshoot due to the older version. Sierra Chart has no longer updated this version. We are suggesting traders not to select the platform for their Trading Combine at this time.

Please feel free to reach out with any additional questions you may have.

Best,
Ryan
Trader Support Representative

My feeling has moved in the direction of not being nearly as alarmed as I started out being.

For one thing, clearly it will be possible to use Sierra Chart if you are willing to get a little more involved with it. Also, Sierra clearly is moving ahead faster than TST now knows, given the quote I showed in my last post about version 2040, well beyond the older v. 2037 that we were first given. and that TST is still talking about, as the one you need to roll your installation back to. Version 2040 is the most current version now (as of this morning -- who knows what will come out by this afternoon? They have a version 2041 as an available "pre-release" version... don't get that one yet. )

Link to current download: https://www.sierrachart.com/index.php?page=doc/SoftwareDownload.php

I'm in no hurry myself, and will wait for the parties to get to a better place. I do expect this to happen, one way or another, within a reasonable time.

Sierra has been fuming about Rithmic for some time, and about CQG too for that matter, on various unclear and arcane technical issues they are unhappy about. You could almost have seen some kind of trouble coming. I think they may have moved too quickly, and may now be tidying things up a little.

Right now, we just have to ride out the uncertainty for a while.

I'll add anything new that I get, and I hope that anyone else who has relevant information will do the same.

Bob.

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 addchild 
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bobwest View Post
More from TopstepTrader on the question of, basically, what to do if you want to start a Combine with Sierra:


My feeling has moved in the direction of not being nearly as alarmed as I started out being.

For one thing, clearly it will be possible to use Sierra Chart if you are willing to get a little more involved with it. Also, Sierra clearly is moving ahead faster than TST now knows, given the quote I showed in my last post about version 2040, well beyond the older v. 2037 that we were first given. and that TST is still talking about, as the one you need to roll your installation back to. Version 2040 is the most current version now (as of this morning -- who knows what will come out by this afternoon? They have a version 2041 as an available "pre-release" version... don't get that one yet. )

Link to current download: https://www.sierrachart.com/index.php?page=doc/SoftwareDownload.php

I'm in no hurry myself, and will wait for the parties to get to a better place. I do expect this to happen, one way or another, within a reasonable time.

Sierra has been fuming about Rithmic for some time, and about CQG too for that matter, on various unclear and arcane technical issues they are unhappy about. You could almost have seen some kind of trouble coming. I think they may have moved too quickly, and may now be tidying things up a little.

Right now, we just have to ride out the uncertainty for a while.

I'll add anything new that I get, and I hope that anyone else who has relevant information will do the same.

Bob.

Seams like sierrachart isn't interested in a resolution...

.
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 bobwest 
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addchild View Post
Seams like sierrachart isn't interested in a resolution...

Sure does look that way.

Oh well, I'll still see how it plays out.

Bob.

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 Popsicle 
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They have added back support for now

https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=48522

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 matthew28 
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The people at Sierra Chart seem like real assholes.
How do they go from this, addchilds post #1090 (no reference link):

To this, Popsicles post #1092 and link

All in the space of a day. TST should be telling them to clear off now. That isn't how professional businesses work together.

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 bobwest 
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Popsicle View Post

Thanks for this update.

This is sort of what I thought was the direction things were going in.

I think you are correct in saying "for now."

It looks like Sierra Chart is simply not happy with continuing to support Rithmic, and TST got blindsided as SC moved to reduce a source of new Rithmic users. They also don't seem to be all that positive on the whole question of TST and the other "trade evaluators," as they call them, but that's another question.

How TST users will now proceed is not yet entirely clear, but I think that the crisis is past, "for now."

It may require some pro-active work by people who want to continue with Sierra and TST, but I hope these organizations will provide more guidance. It looks like if you have a TST/Sierra account, you can just upgrade to the newest version, not go back to version 2037 as previously announced, and use the same setup info you used in the past. However, this is not "official" information, which will have to come from TST or Sierra or both. Not from me. I'm just an observer here.

I have no idea how new users would set up their Sierra/Rithmic/TST accounts, or if they could.

If I see more, I will post about it here. But it seems to have blown over, or to be blowing over, "for now."

Bob.

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 a1imran 
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niice

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 SBtrader82 
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Daily stop loss in FUNDED ACCOUNT?? in the past I heard on a couple of videos by TST that funded traders can ask TST to block their trading account after a customized daily loss limit is reached. For instance if the combine has a 3000USD daily loss limit you can aske TST to impose a 1000USD daily loss.

I think that once a trader is in the funded account, then he has already proved that he can manage risk, so it should be fair for TST to allow the traders to have daily loss limit set "on the brokerage side".
This is something that most of the brokers offer.

It is just a way to protect the trader from his own "destructive behaviour" that could take place on a bad day.

Today I asked TST suppor team if this was doable and this was the answer:

"Thank you for reaching out to us!

Unfortunately, it is not currently possible for traders in the Funded Account to adjust their Daily Loss Limit. Your Daily Loss Limit will be the same standard loss limit that you had in Step 2 of the Trading Combine.


Apologies for the inconvenience! Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Best,

Nina"

So basically once you are funded, you can lose your account with just one bad day. If that's the case it's a sign that TST does not want to retain traders, but just to make money out of monhtly subscription.
PLEASE CLARIFY!!

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 matthew28 
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SamJames View Post

Unfortunately, it is not currently possible for traders in the Funded Account to adjust their Daily Loss Limit. Your Daily Loss Limit will be the same standard loss limit that you had in Step 2 of the Trading Combine.

Interesting.
I was funded by TST for a couple of months (I messed up), and in the funded trader contract they were very keen that traders set their own personal loss limit which wouldn't lose the account if hit. They suggested the trader use half of the TST DLL.
Your chosen amount was then put in to their risk management system which would close your positions and stop you for the day if your negative balance reached that number during the day. You could get slippage which happened to me one day in a fast adverse move but it did mean you could trade the next day or week still.
I'll be curious to read the TST response why this has changed.

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 f1p0pt10ns 
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SamJames View Post
So basically once you are funded, you can lose your account with just one bad day. If that's the case it's a sign that TST does not want to retain traders, but just to make money out of monhtly subscription.
PLEASE CLARIFY!!

This is my exact sentiment! They claim they care about traders and are trying to safeguard "our risk" but then they have a drawdown that is so tight you have to violate per trade rules in order to "properly" trade your plan. I will give it a few months and see how I do but that certainly rubs me wrong.

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 MrGreen1 
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Hi there! To answer your questions as concisely as possible:

In our Funded Accounts the traders are brought on as independent contractors that each place their own discretionary trades in the sub account designated to them.

@TopstepTrader I'm sorry if this has already been answered, but I cannot find the answer in this thread.

How are traders taxed? Are we taxed on the full amount of profits through the year? Or are we taxed on the 80% we withdraw?

For example: Let's say in 2019 a trader made $10k in trading profits. Through the year, the trader withdrew all of the profits, withdrawing $8k (80%) in total. Is the trader taxed on the $8k withdrawal, or on the total profit of $10k?

I'm assuming there is a 1099 issued at year end. So would there be 10k on the 1099, or would there be the 8k?

Thanks!

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 bobwest 
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@TopstepTrader I'm sorry if this has already been answered, but I cannot find the answer in this thread.

How are traders taxed? Are we taxed on the full amount of profits through the year? Or are we taxed on the 80% we withdraw?

For example: Let's say in 2019 a trader made $10k in trading profits. Through the year, the trader withdrew all of the profits, withdrawing $8k (80%) in total. Is the trader taxed on the $8k withdrawal, or on the total profit of $10k?

I'm assuming there is a 1099 issued at year end. So would there be 10k on the 1099, or would there be the 8k?

Thanks!

I'm not @TopstepTrader, who probably will answer as well, but it has been answered, I think a few times (the thread is long and hard to read, so it's no surprise that it wasn't easy to find.)

You as a trader would be an independent contractor, and the funded account is not your account, it's the firm's. You just get to trade it. Since it's not your account, the funds in it aren't yours, and the profit isn't yours either. So "you" didn't make 10k in actual profit, the firm did. Under the profit split agreement, they will pay you, on request, 80% of the account's profit, which is reported to you as income on the 1099.

So it's not as if you had your own account with a 10k profit, which would be taxable to you. You are a contractor who is paid, in this case, 8k as income. The firm keeps the remaining 2k. You never had 10k.

Another note -- and I am not a tax specialist or an accountant, so you would need to consult your own tax professional -- if the funds were yours, in your personal account, the profits would not be taxed the same way. You can check the 60/40 rule, which makes the tax treatment very different for derivative trades (such as futures) compared to ordinary self-employed income. This is all self-employed income.

I believe this is all accurate, but again, I am not TopstepTrader and don't represent them. If you want to be sure, and if there is no response from them here, I suggest you email your question to their support to get an official response.

Bob.

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