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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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  #591 (permalink)
Chicago Illinois
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: T4
Trading: ES
 
Hoag's Avatar
 
Posts: 65 since Mar 2012
Thanks: 23 given, 306 received


isla View Post
Hello.
My complaint/review is based solely on my understanding of these rules (meaning I didn't have any questions when I started my LTP) and I accept that some people will have a different read on the situation. But I also know after trying to get clarifications in Topsteptrader Squawk chat room (from moderators and CEO), that some people also find wording unclear.

Isla,

We appreciate all and any feedback and will make every effort to make this more clear. We have built this Company with your feedback and by listening to all of the participants in the Combine and Funded Accounts. We will be in touch regarding any other ideas you may have. Again, thank you for your feedback.

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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  #592 (permalink)
Boston, MA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: MultiCharts, TradeStation, NinjaTrader, ThinkorSwim
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 26 since Jul 2011
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bobwest View Post
Well, since you asked not to be told this, you may not like my reply.... but I mean you no ill-will at all. It's just that I don't see how "You must have a positive balance (enforced after 10 trading days)" can mean anything other than, "You must have a positive balance after 10 trading days." Your reading of the phrase seems to mean that after 10 trading days, they will check it once and then not enforce it any more, not that they will start to enforce it then.

That said, it sucks that you believed you were doing well, but understood the rules differently from the way they meant them.

I don't think there was anything wrong with their phrasing, but if either Michael ( @TopstepTrader ) or @Hoag read this, it might be more clear to change the wording to "You must have and maintain a balance greater than $0 after 10 trading days," or something like that. It's the same, but it's a little more direct, which is always a good idea.

Again, I'm sorry you had this happen, and I'm not writing as a Topstep supporter or partisan. I would be happy to critique them if I agreed....

Since you've proven you can trade well, I hope you will go on and trade successfully in the future, either with Topstep or on your own.

Good luck, whatever you decide on doing.

Bob.

I beg to differ: I think their wording is slippery. Why not just say "You must achieve and maintain a positive balance after the tenth trading day"?

I misunderstood that "enforced after 10 days" language as well. I sent TopStep two requests for clarification and received no reply.

Most underwhelmed. Not at all certain what TopStep's game is...

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  #593 (permalink)
Boston, MA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: MultiCharts, TradeStation, NinjaTrader, ThinkorSwim
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 26 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 16 given, 13 received



isla View Post
Hello.
But shouldn't it be Topsteptrader's main priority to make rules and requirements as clear as possible, especially considering how crucial these details may be to success in their program?

Please, any Topsteptrader supporters, don't tell me how clear the rules are or that I need to stop blaming everyone and work on my trading. This is simply a matter of transparency and good customer service.

Could not agree with you more. I stumbled over this exact same issue and have received no response from TopStep to my inquiries. In fact, TopStep never responds: I requested a phone call prior to starting Funded Trader Prep, but I never got one.

This, after I passed the $30k combine with more than double the profit minimum and a smooth equity curve.

They just cancelled my account without so much as a peep. But they still have my money.

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  #594 (permalink)
San Diego, California
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader, Multicharts
Broker: Optimus/Amp - CQG/Rithmic/IQ
Trading: NQ,TF,YM,CL,Options
 
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Posts: 73 since Apr 2014


tortoise View Post
Most underwhelmed. Not at all certain what TopStep's game is...

I think it is pretty obvious what their game is

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  #595 (permalink)
Boston, MA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: MultiCharts, TradeStation, NinjaTrader, ThinkorSwim
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 26 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 16 given, 13 received


UmBillyCord View Post
I think it is pretty obvious what their game is

Yeah. Silly me.

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  #596 (permalink)
San Diego, California
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader, Multicharts
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tortoise View Post
Yeah. Silly me.

Sorry you got taken.

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  #597 (permalink)
Site Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Chart
Trading: ES, YM
 
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Posts: 5,735 since Jan 2013
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tortoise View Post
I beg to differ: I think their wording is slippery. Why not just say "You must achieve and maintain a positive balance after the tenth trading day"?

I misunderstood that "enforced after 10 days" language as well. I sent TopStep two requests for clarification and received no reply.

Most underwhelmed. Not at all certain what TopStep's game is...


I just deleted a previous post that I realized was too confrontational.

I am very sorry that you had these problems with TsT.

My only point is that they do fund traders, and that it is in their business interest to do so, not to just collect the Combine fees -- if they didn't place a priority on finding traders to trade for them, they wouldn't be actually funding any, and that would be very well-known by now.

Instead, we know, from many journals here, that people are getting funded. So that really is their game.

I do hope that @Hoag, or someone else from TsT, reads these recent posts and decides to rewrite the statement to eliminate any chance of misunderstanding. Something like "You must achieve and maintain a balance above $0 after the end of the tenth day, and every day afterward" would be impossible to understand any differently.

Again, I am sympathetic with your disappointment, but no one was trying to rip anyone off. That simply doesn't fit with the fact that traders are being funded. Their game is not to collect fees without funding traders.

I hope you go on and have a success in your trading career, however you do it.

Bob.

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  #598 (permalink)
Kansas City, MO U.S.
 
 
Posts: 211 since Mar 2015
Thanks: 301 given, 122 received

I find it interesting that people believe they are entitled to be funded. That's just pretty funny. Argue all you want, but that's the vibe I'm getting. If you really think this, walk into a prop shop tomorrow, or call up a lawyer, get some finra certifications, and start wining and dining rich people to get them to back you. Good luck with that.

This business is all about consistency. Only thing that needs be said. I have a friend in Chicago that knows a guy on the funding team. They are legit.

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  #599 (permalink)
Site Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Chart
Trading: ES, YM
 
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Posts: 5,735 since Jan 2013
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DrewDown View Post
Only thing that needs be said. I have a friend in Chicago that knows a guy on the funding team. They are legit.

This has been obvious for a long time. Traders are getting funded, all the time.

That case is really closed by now.

Bob.

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  #600 (permalink)
PTA, Gauteng
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Self built + Sierra + TWS
Trading: Stocks and Options
 
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Posts: 1,036 since May 2012
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bobwest View Post
My only point is that they do fund traders, and that it is in their business interest to do so, not to just collect the Combine fees

Hey bob,

Yes it is in their interest to fund traders but not for the reasons you present. It is in their interest so that it keeps the dream alive for the hundreds of hopefuls constantly re-doing combines.

Fact: They do fund traders. Fact: some percentage of their funded traders earn money through them.

However their business model and reason for being profitable is a constant stream of new and existing traders constantly re-doing combines keeping the dream alive.

Their payout percentages are the best in the industry. Why is that? Is it because a small percentage of funded traders are making such massive profits every single month that TST is able to pay all their staff from the tiny profit they keep. If people believe that then there's nothing more to really say. On the other hand how many people constantly re-do combines every single month.

Being able to say you offer the best payout percentages in the industry sais 1 thing quite clearly, your company's business model relies on a constant stream of combines, not on funded traders. It may be useful to look into successful prop firms that have been around for many years (eg: SMB) to compare business models. That's not saying one is better than the other. But to say they have the same business model (ie: relying on funded trader profit as is the case with SMB) is simply not true.

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