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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)

  #101 (permalink)
Trading for Profit
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
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Why the fact that there is a Live Prep (basicly a 2nd Combine) for pretty much everyone isn't disclosed on the website? Not to mention, knowing its rules before hand would help a candidate to decide if he can actually make it or not, so he wouldn't waste time/money on the whole process.

Also, what's the point in making restrictions what are not there for the Live trading? For example if you allow someone to have a larger losing day than a winning day with real money, I see no point setting such a standard in the live prep.

And anyway, why is it a problem if a losing day slightly bigger than a winning day? As long as it is not 50-100% bigger, I see no problem with it, and certain systems work just fine with that kind of stats....

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  #102 (permalink)
 Vendor: www.topsteptrader.com 
Chicago, IL
 
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Pedro40 View Post
Why the fact that there is a Live Prep (basicly a 2nd Combine) for pretty much everyone isn't disclosed on the website? Not to mention, knowing its rules before hand would help a candidate to decide if he can actually make it or not, so he wouldn't waste time/money on the whole process.

Also, what's the point in making restrictions what are not there for the Live trading? For example if you allow someone to have a larger losing day than a winning day with real money, I see no point setting such a standard in the live prep.

And anyway, why is it a problem if a losing day slightly bigger than a winning day? As long as it is not 50-100% bigger, I see no problem with it, and certain systems work just fine with that kind of stats....

Pedro- Live Trader preparation is preparation for live trading. It is the same rules and requirements that a live trader must follow. Thus prepping you for live trading with our equity partners. The scout team selects traders to enter this on a case by case basis. In most cases we will cut the profit target in half or have no profit target whatsoever for the recruit (like live trading). We do clearly state this on the second sentence of the scouting critieria form (TopstepTrader - Where Talent Meets Opportunity) as well as the information box on the Combine page and emails once in the program.

The largest winning day greater than your largest losing day is a great rule to have a part of your trading plan or any traders plan. It instills growth and working toward winners that are bigger than losers (daily or per trade) which with time rolls into consistently having winners great than your losers. This is something that is enforced at the LTP and funded level.

Lastly, a recruit that is asked to trade a bit more (Live trading preparation) is not wasting money as it doesn't cost them any money as they have their deposit returned (any trader who scratches an account or better and meets the performance metrics receives an offer for a rollover or a refund, (as of today we have changed badges to Blue C's for anyone who has accomplished doing this at least 1 or more times)). To your next point about wasting time, the Combine is an interview tool for our equity partners but also a developmental tool for traders.

I hope that helps answer your question.

mp

If you have any questions about our products or services at TopstepTrader, please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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  #103 (permalink)
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TopstepTrader View Post
We do clearly state this on the second sentence of the scouting critieria form

OK, I was wrong on that one. Nice to know. But are the criterias for the Live prep listed somewhere or are they different for each trader? If they are different, a candidate simple can not know in advance what he has to work on, or if it is worthy for him to try at all.


Quoting 
The largest winning day greater than your largest losing day is a great rule to have a part of your trading plan or any traders plan.

I agree up to a point. As long as the difference is small (let's say less than 20%), this is rather irrelevant, assuming the trader doesn't have too many losing days. Now sure, if the losing days are 100% bigger than the winning days, we have a problem.


Quoting 
Lastly, a recruit that is asked to trade a bit more (Live trading preparation) is not wasting money

I understand that, but I was thinking here more of the time invested. Let's say a consistently profitable trader passes the 20 days Combine in 2 months, just to find out that his largest losing days that are 5% bigger than his winning days prevent him from getting funded. That is a lots of effort wasted for a person who doesn't need practice since he is consistently profitable...

By the way what is the timeframe in Live trading (real money) for the comparison between largest loser vs. winning day? Is it weekly?

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

Unrelated to the previous discussion, but have you guys tried to make just 3 basic rules, like: Make this much during this time frame while not losing more than this? I wonder how traders passing that minimalist Combine would compare in live trading to the current ones???


Last edited by Pedro40; May 17th, 2013 at 11:56 AM.
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  #104 (permalink)
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Pedro40 View Post
OK, I was wrong on that one. Nice to know. But are the criterias for the Live prep listed somewhere or are they different for each trader? If they are different, a candidate simple can not know in advance what he has to work on, or if it is worthy for him to try at all.



I agree up to a point. As long as the difference is small (let's say less than 20%), this is rather irrelevant, assuming the trader doesn't have too many losing days. Now sure, if the losing days are 100% bigger than the winning days, we have a problem.



I understand that, but I was thinking here more of the time invested. Let's say a consistently profitable trader passes the 20 days Combine in 2 months, just to find out that his largest losing days that are 5% bigger than his winning days prevent him from getting funded. That is a lots of effort for a person who doesn't need practice since he is consistently profitable...

By the way what is the timeframe in Live trading (real money) for the comparison between largest loser vs. winning day? Is it weekly?


Pedro- The live trader preparation criteria are the same criteria as the Live trader (except that live traders do not have a profit target at all). We could probably be a bit more clear on the site with the criteria but this has never been an issue. (I will look into it with our group).

For your question on Live Trader I have copied what is on the TST Trading plan and what LTP must adhere to:

Adhere to the following requirements: (to be discussed on scout call)
  • I will not hit my loss limit (per day or per calendar week).
  • I will not hit my max drawdown.
  • I will not add to a losing trade.
  • I will adhere to the agreed upon trading hours.
  • I will close my position(s) by 3:10 PM CST.
  • I will not hold a position into the electronic close.
  • At the start of my day I will trade only _____ lot(s) and will only add to my position or increase my size if my total Net P&L is greater than $1,000.
  • I will stop trading for the day if my total Net P&L is greater than $1,000 and my total Net P&L has pulled back _______% off my high watermark (realized total Net P&L high of the day). Pullback should not be greater than 50%.
  • If my total Net P&L is negative for the day, I will stop trading if I experience ___ losing trades in a row.
  • My largest winning day will be greater than my largest losing day (realized end of day Net P&L). (Reviewed every 10 trading days)
  • I will not have losses greater than 50% of my max drawdown with a winning day percentage less than 40. (realized end of day Net P&L)

mp

If you have any questions about our products or services at TopstepTrader, please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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  #105 (permalink)
 Vendor: diversifyportfolio.com 
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Hi Michael,

It was mentioned in another thread that when you reach both the live trader prep and junior trader stages, you are forced to trade between 7am - 3:10pm CST. Yet in the combine and senior trader stages you can trade anytime.

On your website you state that you can trade anytime during electronic trading hours unless otherwise stated on the below 2 links:
Trading Futures: FX, Oil, E-mini S&P 500 | TopstepTrader
What are the permitted trading hours? ? Help & Feedback Center

For currencies, there are no time of day restrictions (other than being flat at 3:10pm)

In my case, I plan on trading the 6B (British Pound) in the combine as soon as NinjaTrader is available. I trade the UK-London session, plus the first 2 hours of the US session. I generally only get 1 or 2 trades per day, and 90% of the time those trades occur during the London session. My setups just do not appear as often after the UK session (maybe 1 or 2 a week).

So am I understanding correctly that if I were to pass the combine (trading the UK session), I would then not be allowed to trade the UK session during live trader prep and junior trader stages. I would be forced to trade the US session, thus requiring me to change my trading style to force trades which dont usually happen after the UK session. Then after passing the junior trader stage (unlikely, due to when my setups occur), then at the senior trader stage I can go back to trading the UK session?

Please could you let me know if I understand the above correctly and where this is mentioned on your website. I haven't seen it anywhere, or heard it mentioned on any of the TST webinars on BigMikes or in your webinars on youtube.

Many thanks.

Diversification is the only free lunch

Last edited by DarkPoolTrading; May 25th, 2013 at 06:03 AM.
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  #106 (permalink)
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
Hi Michael,

It was mentioned in another thread that when you reach both the live trader prep and junior trader stages, you are forced to trade between 7am - 3:10pm CST. Yet in the combine and senior trader stages you can trade anytime.

On your website you state that you can trade anytime during electronic trading hours unless otherwise stated on the below 2 links:
Trading Futures: FX, Oil, E-mini S&P 500 | TopstepTrader
What are the permitted trading hours? ? Help & Feedback Center

For currencies, there are no time of day restrictions (other than being flat at 3:10pm)

In my case, I plan on trading the 6B (British Pound) in the combine as soon as NinjaTrader is available. I trade the UK-London session, plus the first 2 hours of the US session. I generally only get 1 or 2 trades per day, and 90% of the time those trades occur during the London session. My setups just do not appear as often after the UK session (maybe 1 or 2 a week).

So am I understanding correctly that if I were to pass the combine (trading the UK session), I would then not be allowed to trade the UK session during live trader prep and junior trader stages. I would be forced to trade the US session, thus requiring me to change my trading style to force trades which dont usually happen after the UK session. Then after passing the junior trader stage (unlikely, due to when my setups occur), then at the senior trader stage I can go back to trading the UK session?

Please could you let me know if I understand the above correctly and where this is mentioned on your website. I haven't seen it anywhere, or heard it mentioned on any of the TST webinars on BigMikes or in your webinars on youtube.

Many thanks.

Darkpooltrading- We have traders that trade outside of the 7am - 3:10pm time. When a recruit is at either the LTP level or Junior trader level. They will speak with the Director of Scouting John Hoagland. On this call John will discuss all the details and requirements that must be followed. The trader will then have the opportunity to adjust or add or omit certain requirements and in this case the time.

mp

If you have any questions about our products or services at TopstepTrader, please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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  #107 (permalink)
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TopstepTrader View Post
Darkpooltrading- We have traders that trade outside of the 7am - 3:10pm time. When a recruit is at either the LTP level or Junior trader level. They will speak with the Director of Scouting John Hoagland. On this call John will discuss all the details and requirements that must be followed. The trader will then have the opportunity to adjust or add or omit certain requirements and in this case the time.

mp

Thanks for the reply Michael.

The way it was mentioned in another thread is that when at the LTP and junior trader stages you HAVE TO trade within 7am-3:10pm. No exceptions. Im glad to hear that is not the case and is up for discussion. That certainly would add unnecessary pressure on traders not living in the US (and trading 24 hour markets like currencies), who have proved themselves by passing the combine.

Thanks. Looking forward to jumping in when Ninja is available.

Diversification is the only free lunch
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  #108 (permalink)
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Can you clarify the profit split a bit more please ? I couldnt find an answer to what happens to the cushion that you build ? Does it stay as a cushion of 30k forever ? What happens when the trader quits your firm for whatever reasons --is he paid 60%, 70% or 80% of the 30k cushion that he built ?

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  #109 (permalink)
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garyboy275 View Post
Can you clarify the profit split a bit more please ? I couldnt find an answer to what happens to the cushion that you build ? Does it stay as a cushion of 30k forever ? What happens when the trader quits your firm for whatever reasons --is he paid 60%, 70% or 80% of the 30k cushion that he built ?

garyboy- Once you establish a cushion in your account as stated on the funded trader page (either $5,000 or $10,000), you may then request a withdraw. When a withdraw request is made the profit split will then be taken out.

If a trader decided to close their trading account they will receive their portion of their profit split bringing the account down to zero.

mp

If you have any questions about our products or services at TopstepTrader, please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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  #110 (permalink)
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TopstepTrader View Post
garyboy- Once you establish a cushion in your account as stated on the funded trader page (either $5,000 or $10,000), you may then request a withdraw. When a withdraw request is made the profit split will then be taken out.

If a trader decided to close their trading account they will receive their portion of their profit split bringing the account down to zero.

mp

So the cushion is 5k/10k and the 15k/30k is what you accumulate in total profits(yet is distributed to you every month-does that count towards it) for the 80-20% split ? Am I understanding this right ?

Also can you go into numbers as %(you maynot want to give actual #'s) of people who get funded on passing the combine and who go onto become senior traders ? Thanks

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