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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)

  #531 (permalink)
 Vendor: www.topsteptrader.com 
Chicago, IL
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
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t0030tr View Post
To add to this question, once you become a funded trader are you still allowed to distinguish yourself as a non-professional with your personal accounts (legally I mean)?

Apologies if this is outside the scope of the thread.

Thanks

t0030tr- I do not recall any of our Funded Traders who have a personal account having to change their status with their broker.

I hope that helps answer the question for you.

Michael

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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  #532 (permalink)
Student of the Markets
Cocoa, FL
 
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This may have been covered already, but after a quick skim of the thread I didn't see the question asked. So my apologies if the question is redundant.

Why does the max draw down decrease, and profit target increase beyond the 30k combine?
For example:
30k combine- $1500MDD/$1500PT 5% of account/5% of account
50k combine- $2000/$3000 4%/6%
100k combine- $3000/$6000 3%/6%
150k combine- $4500/$9000 3%/6%

I am having trouble wrapping my mind around it at first glance, hoping someone can provide some insight. It seems to me you would automatically be drawn towards the 30k as it is more forgiving.

And I do have one more question. If you choose to go with the 30k combine for example, and let's say you were moved to funded trader status, is there a way to graduate to a higher level of funding beyond building up the account? I can't imagine you are stuck at a certain level of funding, but maybe it's just as simple as trying out for a larger combine.

Anyways, thanks to all or any who take the time to respond.


Last edited by lovetotrade; May 20th, 2015 at 11:26 AM.
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  #533 (permalink)
 Vendor: www.topsteptrader.com 
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lovetotrade View Post
This may have been covered already, but after a quick skim of the thread I didn't see the question asked. So my apologies if the question is redundant.

Why does the max draw down decrease, and profit target increase beyond the 30k combine?
For example:
30k combine- $1500MDD/$1500PT 5% of account/5% of account
50k combine- $2000/$3000 4%/6%
100k combine- $3000/$6000 3%/6%
150k combine- $4500/$9000 3%/6%

I am having trouble wrapping my mind around it at first glance, hoping someone can provide some insight. It seems to me you would automatically be drawn towards the 30k as it is more forgiving.

And I do have one more question. If you choose to go with the 30k combine for example, and let's say you were moved to funded trader status, is there a way to graduate to a higher level of funding beyond building up the account? I can't imagine you are stuck at a certain level of funding, but maybe it's just as simple as trying out for a larger combine.

Anyways, thanks to all or any who take the time to respond.


Lovetotrade-

Thanks for the questions.

Each progressively larger Combine's max loss was designed to encourage adding to the account slowly at first, and leverage as the account grows, hence the slightly tighter max drawdown. As for the profit targets, the larger accounts have considerable higher leverage. Higher leverage, higher profit target.

If you have succeeded in being funded after the 30k Combine, the way to graduate to a higher level of leverage and risk is to become a true partner in the account by trading well, managing the account, and building equity. If you are trading well, the sky's the limit.

The Funding Team will have helpful suggestions along the way about leveraging, or pulling back, account building and getting PAID!


We welcome questions and suggestions so let us know if you have any more concerns and trade well lovetotrade.

Regards,

Hoag

If you have any questions about our Trading Combine or the opportunity to get funded through TopstepTrader, please visit www.topsteptrader.com or contact us at support@topsteptrader.com or 888.407.1611.
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  #534 (permalink)
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Michael, thanks for answering all of these questions and providing some great insight into the business. I recall you saying you lost 94k before becoming profitable. How long did it take you to become a profitable trader?

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  #535 (permalink)
Student of the Markets
Cocoa, FL
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
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Hoag View Post
Lovetotrade-

Thanks for the questions.

Each progressively larger Combine's max loss was designed to encourage adding to the account slowly at first, and leverage as the account grows, hence the slightly tighter max drawdown. As for the profit targets, the larger accounts have considerable higher leverage. Higher leverage, higher profit target.

If you have succeeded in being funded after the 30k Combine, the way to graduate to a higher level of leverage and risk is to become a true partner in the account by trading well, managing the account, and building equity. If you are trading well, the sky's the limit.

The Funding Team will have helpful suggestions along the way about leveraging, or pulling back, account building and getting PAID!


We welcome questions and suggestions so let us know if you have any more concerns and trade well lovetotrade.

Regards,

Hoag

Well, as we all know, leverage truly is a double edge sword. But I do think I am grasping how you explained it. It seems as though it is designed so that anyone trying out for one of your larger accounts is/should be experienced and proficient in using leverage. As the large max leverage vs. the tight MDD would weed out most using it the wrong way, and fairly quickly I might add. So since your MDD trailing stop ends at the break-even mark once you have achieved 3% profit, then your MDD essentially grows from that point through the last 3% allowing you to stretch your legs a bit. Is this correct ideology behind your explanation?

And another two questions:
Due to cycles of volatility and randomness in the market, do you find that those that passed the combine were aided by their timing in which they took the combine? I understand you may or may not be able to answer this one off hand.

For your funded traders, is there an average as to how many times it took for them to pass the combine? Is it typical to go through the combine a couple of times before passing or not necessarily? I understand that each case is different, but I also know that you have a 1000ft view as well. Just trying to gain a little perspective as to what to expect if I decided to try out.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

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  #536 (permalink)
 Vendor: www.topsteptrader.com 
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dstrunin View Post
Michael, thanks for answering all of these questions and providing some great insight into the business. I recall you saying you lost 94k before becoming profitable. How long did it take you to become a profitable trader?

dstrunin- I was a pretty stubborn trader when I first started and consistently was looking for shortcuts rather than taking the time to figure out my weaknesses and bad habits. So that was about a year. Then I got with an NLP coach shifted my focus off of technicals and what I thought the market had to do and started focusing on my psyche, gaining an understanding of that, then used a journal to find my bad habits and work each of those out one by one. That part of my journey was about 8 months. So all in all about a year and 8 months (give or take 3 months or so). But to each their own. This is my journey. Some people can do it in a much shorter time, some never get there. Focus on your path and what you need to improve on. Remember that the market doesn't have to do anything and it is never someone else's fault. You have all the control and power to either get better or not.

Hope that helps. Thanks for the questions.

Michael

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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  #537 (permalink)
 Vendor: www.topsteptrader.com 
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lovetotrade View Post
Well, as we all know, leverage truly is a double edge sword. But I do think I am grasping how you explained it. It seems as though it is designed so that anyone trying out for one of your larger accounts is/should be experienced and proficient in using leverage. As the large max leverage vs. the tight MDD would weed out most using it the wrong way, and fairly quickly I might add. So since your MDD trailing stop ends at the break-even mark once you have achieved 3% profit, then your MDD essentially grows from that point through the last 3% allowing you to stretch your legs a bit. Is this correct ideology behind your explanation?

And another two questions:
Due to cycles of volatility and randomness in the market, do you find that those that passed the combine were aided by their timing in which they took the combine? I understand you may or may not be able to answer this one off hand.

For your funded traders, is there an average as to how many times it took for them to pass the combine? Is it typical to go through the combine a couple of times before passing or not necessarily? I understand that each case is different, but I also know that you have a 1000ft view as well. Just trying to gain a little perspective as to what to expect if I decided to try out.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

Lovetotrade,

Yes, you are correct in your understanding of the MDD. The MDD never goes beyond the initial balance of the account.

With regard to your second question, yes, we are looking at traders with a small amount of data and traders all have a market states they like to trade. I am sure many of them are successful due to specific market state and suffer after the market state changes but that is why we are here. Learning to intuitively assume a market state and to trade a strategy designed to fit that market state is something we encourage and attempt to help with.

As far as how many times traders enter the Combine before succeeding, many have been funded after one Combine, and others it takes others longer. It truly is each traders personal journey. What I can tell you is that we see better traders more consistently succeeding in funded accounts from the 30k Combine more often than any of the other Combines.

Love the name Lovetotrade!

Hoag

If you have any questions about our Trading Combine or the opportunity to get funded through TopstepTrader, please visit www.topsteptrader.com or contact us at support@topsteptrader.com or 888.407.1611.
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  #538 (permalink)
Student of the Markets
Cocoa, FL
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
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Favorite Futures: YM, Forex
 
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Posts: 326 since Oct 2014
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Hoag View Post
Lovetotrade,

Yes, you are correct in your understanding of the MDD. The MDD never goes beyond the initial balance of the account.

With regard to your second question, yes, we are looking at traders with a small amount of data and traders all have a market states they like to trade. I am sure many of them are successful due to specific market state and suffer after the market state changes but that is why we are here. Learning to intuitively assume a market state and to trade a strategy designed to fit that market state is something we encourage and attempt to help with.

As far as how many times traders enter the Combine before succeeding, many have been funded after one Combine, and others it takes others longer. It truly is each traders personal journey. What I can tell you is that we see better traders more consistently succeeding in funded accounts from the 30k Combine more often than any of the other Combines.

Love the name Lovetotrade!

Hoag

Very good insight, thanks for the reply and the kind words.

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  #539 (permalink)
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Hi Michael,
I had a few questions please concerning both the combine, as well as being a funded trader

1. During the continuous combine ...... how many markets can you trade " At the same time " ?
Could I trade all of the following markets for example.... ES, YM, CL, ZC, SI ?


If you are a funded trader, can you.....

1. hold positions overnight ?

2. Get a waiver on all of the exchange fees .... NYMEX, CBOT, COMEX ?

3. What's the earliest you can enter a position and does it depend on the future you're trading ?
For instance, can you enter a new position on say the ES at 4:00 p.m. cst. ( which would be the 30 min. time span, from 3:30 p.m. cst. market close )

4. will all trades automatically be closed out come the close of each trading day
Just want to make sure that if something comes up, but I/m in a trade, that all of my positions will automatically go flat

5. I'm not sure if there's a difference between the combine and being funded, but . ..... when funded, can we hold positions overnight ( swing trade and stay in a trade for up to a week or so at a time ) as long as we never reach are max daily loss ?

Thanks so much, I really appreciate it

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  #540 (permalink)
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What is the exchange fee that one has to pay in the funding process? It's mentioned on the TST website, but they don't say how much it is.

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