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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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  #601 (permalink)
DrewDown
Kansas City, MO U.S.
 
 
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I've been on the combine since March. I screwed up the first couple. Kept paying. I think I've made maybe 1 deposit since May or June. Been rolled over every time except for one that I didn't turn any profit in the 2 week period. So... They aren't making much off of me, at least.

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  #602 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
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.

Couldn't say much about that, one way or another. I don't see their numbers, and, of course, neither of us are going to.

The thing I was responding to was the assertion that, basically, they are just ripping people off, collecting fees for nothing.

Maybe they do depend on fee income, maybe not.... Everyone can decide whether his/her trading skills make the Combine worth it. Probably most will not succeed, as most who trade do not succeed. But that's a decision where all the factors are, I think, out in the open and you can take it or leave it alone.

If that's the case, there is no unfairness, just a deal to take or not. It's up to you whether it weighs out well for you.

Bob.

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  #603 (permalink)
 DarkPoolTrading 
PTA, Gauteng
 
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bobwest View Post
Couldn't say much about that, one way or another. I don't see their numbers, and, of course, neither of us are going to.

Seeing financial statements is not necessary. And my comment was also not about is TST a rip off or not.

Real prop firms have been around for decades. Trading arcades have also been around for decades. They have very different business models. Real prop firms have payout percentages anywhere around 40-60%. They didn't just pull that number out of thin air. But then again, they don't have a constant stream of income from people re-doing combines. All of TST's rules and payout structures are available on their website. Moving on...

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  #604 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
Seeing financial statements is not necessary. And my comment was also not about is TST a rip off or not.

I understood that. I was originally posting in response to comments by others that it was.


Quoting 
Real prop firms have payout percentages anywhere around 40-60%. They didn't just pull that number out of thin air. But then again, they don't have a constant stream of income from people re-doing combines.

I think that's probably correct.

I'm doing Combines, and adding to their income, because I can't trade futures for sh**, and the discipline of their structure helps me. If I could trade, I wouldn't be that interested in the funding, I'd just be trading. (Not that I'll turn it down if/when I get it.)


Quoting 
Moving on...

Me too.

Bob.

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  #605 (permalink)
 isla 
Kyiv/Ukraine
 
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
Real prop firms have been around for decades. Trading arcades have also been around for decades. They have very different business models. Real prop firms have payout percentages anywhere around 40-60%. They didn't just pull that number out of thin air. But then again, they don't have a constant stream of income from people re-doing combines. All of TST's rules and payout structures are available on their website. Moving on...

As someone who worked for a prop firm, I would like to bring up a couple of points. Trading industry changed a lot in last couple of decades and so did the prop firms. Some focus on a specific trading style, some only on certain markets. 40-60% payout makes sense for a trader only if you get something of great value back. Based on my personal experience, it could be access to certain exchanges/products, risk management infrastructure, reduced roundturn costs/rebates.

As for education, I would say overall no-one will tell you anything you cannot find online or in books. Sharing experience can be of value, but it seems to be a quite subjective factor.

If we talk only about discretionary directional trading of liquid futures/stocks, why would one be giving away 60-40% of profits? Or rather, what can one get back from a firm (even hypothetically)?

If you look online at firms like SMB or Futex, they got into trading education long time ago and I would definitely think twice about how much they make in profit splits.

Topsteptrader's model makes perfect sense (to me) in this regards. I am not judging this based on their business model and how much they are making from subscriptions vs trading profits (as far as I know they are only a scouting firm so profit split goes to the actual backer, as far as I understand). But rather from perspective of a trader looking for funding.

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  #606 (permalink)
 tortoise 
Boston, MA
 
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bobwest View Post
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.

I spoke with Hoag today. They're changing the language...or they already have.

He also proposed a most reasonable resolution.

It appears that I jumped to conclusions about TopStep that were not justified. I apologize being too quick to assume the worst.

Lots of scoundrels out there, so it's easy to become jaded. But TopStep doesn't appear to be among them.

Stay tuned...

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  #607 (permalink)
 kburks 
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What are the guidelines as far as being dropped from funded status. Let me be more clear, If I am a funded trader, at what point, does TST say your draw-down on the account is to low, thus TST cannot continue to allow you to trade the funds we have put up for you to trade with. Is there a location on TST website that explains this? And also another question if I may. What happens to the majority of funded traders after they become funded traders?, not the ones that soon crash and burn, but the ones that continue to grow as successful traders? Do most go off on there own, or are there other avenues they are exposed to that may offer larger funding amounts based on there performance?

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  #608 (permalink)
 DarkPoolTrading 
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kburks View Post
What are the guidelines as far as being dropped from funded status. Let me be more clear, If I am a funded trader, at what point, does TST say your draw-down on the account is to low, thus TST cannot continue to allow you to trade the funds we have put up for you to trade with.

TST only 'backs' you for 10 days. That's it. No more.

When you go live they specify your drawdown limit as per the rules. After 10 days that drawdown magically disappears and you're left to trade solely on whatever profits you have made in those 10 days and cannot go back down to zero. So basically TST 'funds' you for 10 days. If you've only made a couple hundred bucks in those 10 days and it is perfectly in line with your average profit that you made during your combine, they don't care, your funding disappears and you trade solely on whatever you have managed to make in 10 days. ie: your profit is your allowable drawdown.

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  #609 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
TST only 'backs' you for 10 days. That's it. No more.

When you go live they specify your drawdown limit as per the rules. After 10 days that drawdown magically disappears and you're left to trade solely on whatever profits you have made in those 10 days and cannot go back down to zero. So basically TST 'funds' you for 10 days. If you've only made a couple hundred bucks in those 10 days and it is perfectly in line with your average profit that you made during your combine, they don't care, your funding disappears and you trade solely on whatever you have managed to make in 10 days. ie: your profit is your allowable drawdown.

Well, that's right as far as it goes. They will absorb your losses up to the max drawdown, and after 10 days, if you have a loss you are out. After that, you can't go to zero. That's all correct.

But, if you continue to grow the account, you can increase your contract size according to a schedule based on the max size attained. It may seem that this is no big deal, since you have to have the profits to qualify for the increase, but in fact, if you make withdrawals, or have losses that bring the balance down, the max contract size does not shrink down to something that is dependent on your current balance -- which is how it would work in you own retail account, where the account balance is your margin, and determines your allowable size.

In other words, the high point that your balance attained determines the number of contracts, your buying power, that you have to work with. It is not set by the current level of your balance.

That increased size, which is not limited by your current balance, is indeed continued "backing." They are putting up some capital as margin with their broker that you do not have to have in your account.

Reference: https://topsteptrader.desk.com/customer/en/portal/articles/1950862-funded-trader-scaling-plan

Quoting: "The lot size will increase according to the graph below, as you build equity. Once you reach an increase in buying power, it will not decrease if you make a withdrawal or if your balance decreases. Once your account balance is greater than 10K, you can request more buying power."

So you could be sitting with a fairly small retained balance in your account and be trading many more contracts than your balance would justify, if it were margin in your individual retail account. The additional buying power is supported by TsT's total margin position with its broker. They aren't going to put themselves in that position without you showing that it's a good risk. But there is a risk they are taking, and there is financial backing to you. In the meantime, you could have taken some of those profits and put them in your bank. Your number of contracts won't be decreased because the money is no longer there.

Obviously, the smart thing for the trader to do would be to periodically take withdrawals out, while keeping enough of a reserve against losses. And it's up to the trader to decide what's a safe level for him, and he should be prudent about it. But if he has done that and still wipes the account out, his loss is whatever he had in the account at the time; TsT takes the rest of the hit (and there is a "rest", because their margin was supporting that part of his trades that was not covered by his balance.) He keeps whatever he already took out.

One can get into semantics about what is "backing," or about anything else, for that matter. But this is the actual, full situation, whatever you call it.

BTW, almost all TsT questions can be answered via their Help pages: https://topsteptrader.desk.com/

For anything not found there, an email to their support usually works well.

Bob.

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  #610 (permalink)
 shzhning 
Madison, NJ
 
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Thanks for the clarification, especially about the increasing buying power part. One thing I'm still not clear is this: with increasing buying power, does the funded trader's allowed intraday loss increase too? For example, for a funded trader just starting out, he maybe allowed to trade 2 contracts, with max $1000 loss per day. When he successfully builds equity, he is now able to trade 3, 4, or 5 contracts. If the $1000 limit stays, then the increased buying power is meaningless.

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  #611 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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shzhning View Post
Thanks for the clarification, especially about the increasing buying power part. One thing I'm still not clear is this: with increasing buying power, does the funded trader's allowed intraday loss increase too? For example, for a funded trader just starting out, he maybe allowed to trade 2 contracts, with max $1000 loss per day. When he successfully builds equity, he is now able to trade 3, 4, or 5 contracts. If the $1000 limit stays, then the increased buying power is meaningless.

I assume it scales up with the number of contracts, but when I looked for an answer on their Help pages I didn't find any mention of it, so I can't say for sure.

However, as you said, it wouldn't make any sense if it didn't.

They have quite a few funded traders now, and if you assume, as I do, that they really mean it when they say they are in the business of trading, then they are not going to shoot themselves in the foot in such an obvious way.

This could be a question to pose to them via email, if you have a real concern....

Perhaps @Hoag will see this and will provide a clarification.

Bob.

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  #612 (permalink)
 lemons 
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shzhning View Post
with increasing buying power, does the funded trader's allowed intraday loss increase too?

Yes profitable trades have power to negotiate.
Michael Patak told it long ago in TST Squawk Radio Q&A session.

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  #613 (permalink)
 Tymbeline 
Leeds UK
 
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bobwest View Post
I assume it scales up with the number of contracts, but when I looked for an answer on their Help pages I didn't find any mention of it, so I can't say for sure.

However, as you said, it wouldn't make any sense if it didn't.

I've also wondered about exactly this question, and felt the same.


lemons View Post
Yes profitable trades have power to negotiate.

Thanks - that makes sense, of course: however successful you are, overall, you wouldn't be able to build up your contracts/lots much, if permanently limited to (say) a $1,000 per day loss limit. I think there's also a hint, on the website, somewhere, that they're perfectly happy to "negotiate" with proven, funded traders. And they'd want to.

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  #614 (permalink)
 Hoag 
Chicago Illinois
 
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shzhning View Post
Thanks for the clarification, especially about the increasing buying power part. One thing I'm still not clear is this: with increasing buying power, does the funded trader's allowed intraday loss increase too? For example, for a funded trader just starting out, he maybe allowed to trade 2 contracts, with max $1000 loss per day. When he successfully builds equity, he is now able to trade 3, 4, or 5 contracts. If the $1000 limit stays, then the increased buying power is meaningless.

Hello,

Yes, the daily loss limit can and will be adjusted for traders who are trading well and building accounts. The Funding Department works with traders to determine the best way to adjust leverage, trade sizing, and with adjusting risk such as daily loss limits.

Keeping expectations and risk in line are crucial when adding contracts to your trading strategy. Leveraging too quickly and hitting a downdraw would be deadly and we have the experience and advice to help traders tread these waters.

I hope this helps answer your question. Let us know if you have more questions or concerns.

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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  #615 (permalink)
 Hoag 
Chicago Illinois
 
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kburks View Post
What are the guidelines as far as being dropped from funded status. Let me be more clear, If I am a funded trader, at what point, does TST say your draw-down on the account is to low, thus TST cannot continue to allow you to trade the funds we have put up for you to trade with. Is there a location on TST website that explains this? And also another question if I may. What happens to the majority of funded traders after they become funded traders?, not the ones that soon crash and burn, but the ones that continue to grow as successful traders? Do most go off on there own, or are there other avenues they are exposed to that may offer larger funding amounts based on there performance?

Hi kburks,

The funded traders are only removed for max drawdown if the max drawdown is hit. A trader who has equity to trade with would not be removed from the account (barring certain rule violations) as long as they still had risk or equity to trade with. Here is a link to the funded trader rules to further clarify.

As far as the traders succeeding, the possibilities are almost endless with the resources we have, aligned with the best profit split available, many choose to stay and continue to trade with us. If they choose to open their own account, we can help with that too.

As always, thanks for the questions. I hope this helps.

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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  #616 (permalink)
 sharmas 
Auckland
 
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From looking into this the cards are stack in Topstep's favor as they have so many rules.

If you trade the market within the open hours,why change it in here to only get those traders who while trading to miss that rule particular rule for markets.

One needs to know the rules and also the markets they can and can not trade and also the hours within which they can and can not trade.

As if trading is not hard enough that one has to learn their set ups and then remember the RULES and the rules of the rules and by that time its too late.

Oh yes then you will need to reset and while you paying the monthly fee.

So the big question is are they really giving you their money to trade when you eventually pass the combine or continuous....

Its money they have made from a whole lot of failed traders...

Topside always tells how many people have made it...Lets change that and show us how many people registered and haven't made it and continue to pay.

Real eye opener as how this system works now...So Mr Patak, a lot of questions have been raised here and confusion raised, so its time to simplify the rules and let traders trade within the Market open and instruments they are familiar with and not TOPSTEP to put in thousands of restrictions to only stack the odds in your favor.


Sharmas

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  #617 (permalink)
emini2000
Atlanta GA USA
 
 
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So what is the cheapest avenue for doing Topstep? And why? I have a hard time sorting it all out.

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  #618 (permalink)
 tr8d3r 
Sydney+Australia
 
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sharmas View Post
From looking into this the cards are stack in Topstep's favor as they have so many rules.

Real eye opener as how this system works now...

Sharmas

@sharmas - Man I'm not sure what you are on about. It was clearly mention above by Bobwest it is not for everyone.

Their RULES are straight forward(like proper business plan for the trader) and it is simple enough. Are you complaining about it because you can't meet their rules and keep failing combine?
Their rule also says you get refund if you are in green and met their rules. Where is the problem?

Why don't you trade your own funds then or go to prop shop. There are plenty of them out there? Just show them your track record. It is actually interesting to read it when people going on about this company. Why don't you complain about other business's too? Are they giving you fare go?

The end of story is, if you don't like it turn around and don't bitch about it. Why don't you create online prop firm, I want to see your rules which will be implemented in that company.

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  #619 (permalink)
 sharmas 
Auckland
 
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lol

who pushed your button

Are you associated with Topstep..


ss
i
tr8d3r View Post
@sharmas - Man I'm not sure what you are on about. It was clearly mention above by Bobwest it is not for everyone.

Their RULES are straight forward(like proper business plan) and it is simple enough. Are you complaining about it because you can't meet their rules and keep failing combine?
Their rule also says you get refund you are in green and met their rules. Where is the problem?

Why don't you trade your own funds then or go to prop shop there are plenty of them out there? Just show them your track record. It is actually interesting to read it when people going on about this company. Why don't rat about other business's too? Are they giving you fare go?

The end of story is if you don't like it turn around and don't bitch about it. Why don't you create online prop firm, I want to see your rules which will be implemented in that company.


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  #620 (permalink)
 matthew28 
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sharmas View Post
From looking into this the cards are stack in Topstep's favor as they have so many rules.

If you trade the market within the open hours,why change it in here to only get those traders who while trading to miss that rule particular rule for markets.

One needs to know the rules and also the markets they can and can not trade and also the hours within which they can and can not trade.

As if trading is not hard enough that one has to learn their set ups and then remember the RULES and the rules of the rules and by that time its too late.

Oh yes then you will need to reset and while you paying the monthly fee.

So the big question is are they really giving you their money to trade when you eventually pass the combine or continuous....

Its money they have made from a whole lot of failed traders...

Topside always tells how many people have made it...Lets change that and show us how many people registered and haven't made it and continue to pay.

Real eye opener as how this system works now...So Mr Patak, a lot of questions have been raised here and confusion raised, so its time to simplify the rules and let traders trade within the Market open and instruments they are familiar with and not TOPSTEP to put in thousands of restrictions to only stack the odds in your favor.


Sharmas

lol
That's a parody of some of the earlier posts, right?
That bit about being expected to have a few trading rules, and to know what market you are trading and when it is actually open!!! Hilarious.
ps You'll see that I am working on a TST combine. I do sometimes get annoyed that I have to pay for the data and platform that the exchange/brokers charge for and I am not just given everything in life for free like I deserve.

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  #621 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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Without wanting to get into controversy, a couple of thoughts:

1. There are not really all that many TST rules, nor are they all that complicated. Really. A person may legitimately disagree with them, but it is not hard to keep track of them.

2. They do put some requirements on traders that some would not want to accept, based on their trading styles and methods. Obviously, in that case the trader should not accept them.

3. If you think someone is going to rip you off by suckering you into paying a lot of fees for their Combines, then the right thing to do is stay the hell away from them.

I'm not picking a fight. I'm just saying, if you don't want to do it, then don't. It's a free country.

Some other people add things up differently, and think it works for them. There's no point, any more, in going over the pros and cons for the five hundredth time.

Everyone should make their own decisions and do what they want, which is what they are going to do anyway. What works well for one person may be terrible for another. Hopefully we will be willing to be responsible for the choices we make, and learn from the good ones and the bad ones.

Making TST either a villain or a savior is irrelevant. Use it or don't; it's a choice. Make it according to your own ideas of how you want to trade and what makes sense to you.

Bob.

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  #622 (permalink)
 podski 
Belgium
 
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If you think that TST rules are stacked against you - just try winging it in a cash market with disregard for some of the rules. Then you will find that things are REALLY stacked against you.


TST provide infrastructure, that you have to pay a little bit of money for , to show them what you've got. The rules that they have are based around capital protection at almost all costs. No heroics allowed. If you don't want to .. or haven't got it .. then ... look the other way.

I would say that the general philosophy behind the rules is 100% in line with every valuable contributor or post I've read on BMT ... ahem .. I mean Futures.io in the past few years.


I'd like it if they opened the Combine to EUREX products ....even if they were not going to fund you in that instrument... just for training purposes.


p

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  #623 (permalink)
 ratfink 
Birmingham UK
 
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I read this whole thread and followed a lot of the controversial points about the TopstepTrader program, often mentally siding with the 'con' side. In the end I weighed up both sides and decided that it still offered a lot of benefits.

I was right, the only devils I face are all mine, not any of their rules and the support they have provided has been great. I'm getting a lot of hard-knock lessons at very low cost, and I trade cash in CFD/spreadbet accounts so I know how that all compares too.

I have no idea whether I will pass a combine, but I do know why I picked the one I did and what I wanted out of it, and it hasn't let me down.

If you don't like the shop then don't shop there - but don't knock something for the sake of it.

Cheers

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  #624 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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  #625 (permalink)
 Tymbeline 
Leeds UK
 
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Quick question: am I right in thinking that 10-day Combines have gone, and they're all continuous ones, now?

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  #626 (permalink)
 KahunaDog 
Hawaii at the beach
 
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What time can you trade (CL and ES) products?

Specifically CL and ES?
Can you link the page?

I tried finding it as I saw it before but I just want to be clear.

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  #627 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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KahunaDog View Post
What time can you trade (CL and ES) products?

Specifically CL and ES?
Can you link the page?

I tried finding it as I saw it before but I just want to be clear.

https://topsteptrader.desk.com/customer/portal/articles/1968878-important-combine-info#Permissible%20Products/Times%20to%20Trade

Bob.

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  #628 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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Tymbeline View Post
Quick question: am I right in thinking that 10-day Combines have gone, and they're all continuous ones, now?

Yes. I posed the question to @Hoag in today's "In the Know" chat session:

1. The 10-day Combine is now gone. They are all continuous.
2. There is no longer a mandatory 2-month minimum obligation. You can cancel at any time.

This is all now on the website.

Bob.

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  #629 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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bobwest View Post
Well, that's right as far as it goes. They will absorb your losses up to the max drawdown, and after 10 days, if you have a loss you are out. After that, you can't go to zero. That's all correct.

But, if you continue to grow the account, you can increase your contract size according to a schedule based on the max size attained. It may seem that this is no big deal, since you have to have the profits to qualify for the increase, but in fact, if you make withdrawals, or have losses that bring the balance down, the max contract size does not shrink down to something that is dependent on your current balance -- which is how it would work in you own retail account, where the account balance is your margin, and determines your allowable size.

In other words, the high point that your balance attained determines the number of contracts, your buying power, that you have to work with. It is not set by the current level of your balance.

That increased size, which is not limited by your current balance, is indeed continued "backing." They are putting up some capital as margin with their broker that you do not have to have in your account.

Reference: https://topsteptrader.desk.com/customer/en/portal/articles/1950862-funded-trader-scaling-plan

Quoting: "The lot size will increase according to the graph below, as you build equity. Once you reach an increase in buying power, it will not decrease if you make a withdrawal or if your balance decreases. Once your account balance is greater than 10K, you can request more buying power."

So you could be sitting with a fairly small retained balance in your account and be trading many more contracts than your balance would justify, if it were margin in your individual retail account. The additional buying power is supported by TsT's total margin position with its broker. They aren't going to put themselves in that position without you showing that it's a good risk. But there is a risk they are taking, and there is financial backing to you. In the meantime, you could have taken some of those profits and put them in your bank. Your number of contracts won't be decreased because the money is no longer there.

Obviously, the smart thing for the trader to do would be to periodically take withdrawals out, while keeping enough of a reserve against losses. And it's up to the trader to decide what's a safe level for him, and he should be prudent about it. But if he has done that and still wipes the account out, his loss is whatever he had in the account at the time; TsT takes the rest of the hit (and there is a "rest", because their margin was supporting that part of his trades that was not covered by his balance.) He keeps whatever he already took out.

One can get into semantics about what is "backing," or about anything else, for that matter. But this is the actual, full situation, whatever you call it.

BTW, almost all TsT questions can be answered via their Help pages: https://topsteptrader.desk.com/

For anything not found there, an email to their support usually works well.

Bob.

Thanks Bob. This opens my eyes to a specific aspect that I wasn't thinking about. Which is actually pretty neat.

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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  #630 (permalink)
 mykee 
Johor, Malaysia
 
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Hi Michael or Hoag,

Just wondering when/if Topstep will add the continuous combine into the tick exchange items.

Thanx.


mykee

Sleep well, Eat Healthy, Breathe...
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  #631 (permalink)
 polinya 
Barcelona
 
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last friday I finished my combine ...I succesfully completed my combine ...I sent to them two e-mail but I haven't received any answer

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  #632 (permalink)
 lemons 
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polinya View Post
last friday I finished my combine ...I succesfully completed my combine ...I sent to them two e-mail but I haven't received any answer

Good work.

And don't worry.
They will answer in 1-2 days.

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  #633 (permalink)
 Hoag 
Chicago Illinois
 
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mykee View Post
Hi Michael or Hoag,

Just wondering when/if Topstep will add the continuous combine into the tick exchange items.

Thanx.


mykee

Mykee,

Thanks for the feedback. Any changes and I'm sure you will know.

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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  #634 (permalink)
TraderJim618
Falls Church, VA
 
 
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Hi Mr. Patak,

I have a question about the profitability rule with the combine. One of the rules states that a participant must be profitable in every instrument traded. I assume that the majority of participants in the combine trade one, possibly two instruments during their trial.

I'd like to pose a hypothetical scenario to you for clarification: A trader has a system which is applicable to trading multiple instruments. During the combine (trading a $50K account), trading opportunities in 4 different instruments (i.e. ES, CL, 6E, ZS) arise, based on the rule set. At the conclusion of the combine, the trader has achieved a net profit of $6,500+ trading 3 of the 4 instruments (ES, CL, 6E). However, a single trade in Soy (ZS) was taken with 2 contracts, and the trader was stopped out with a -$500 loss.

Therefore, ALL instruments are not profitable during the combine, and technically, that condition is a violation of the rule, and would disqualify the participant. Calls placed to Topstep customer service for clarification confirmed this scenario is a rule violation and a disqualification. From my perspective, that is illogical. Can you please elaborate further on the logic. Happy Holidays, and thanks in advance. Jim

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  #635 (permalink)
 sharmas 
Auckland
 
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In my view the best option would be to take few High Probability trades in ZS and make ZS profitable and then you are home.

TST will not change it and they are good at what they do. Have very strict rules and yes traders who try will get caught into this and in my view this is where TopStep make their money.

So in the end they will give you money to trade with stricter rules and with so many failed continuous are they really giving money to successful people or are they using the funds accrued via the failed continuous.

Great business in my opinion as for every 1 passed account there would be nearly 15 failed accounts.

My view and without transparency no one can know for sure

Sharmas




TraderJim618 View Post
Hi Mr. Patak,

I have a question about the profitability rule with the combine. One of the rules states that a participant must be profitable in every instrument traded. I assume that the majority of participants in the combine trade one, possibly two instruments during their trial.

I'd like to pose a hypothetical scenario to you for clarification: A trader has a system which is applicable to trading multiple instruments. During the combine (trading a $50K account), trading opportunities in 4 different instruments (i.e. ES, CL, 6E, ZS) arise, based on the rule set. At the conclusion of the combine, the trader has achieved a net profit of $6,500+ trading 3 of the 4 instruments (ES, CL, 6E). However, a single trade in Soy (ZS) was taken with 2 contracts, and the trader was stopped out with a -$500 loss.

Therefore, ALL instruments are not profitable during the combine, and technically, that condition is a violation of the rule, and would disqualify the participant. Calls placed to Topstep customer service for clarification confirmed this scenario is a rule violation and a disqualification. From my perspective, that is illogical. Can you please elaborate further on the logic. Happy Holidays, and thanks in advance. Jim


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  #636 (permalink)
 Hoag 
Chicago Illinois
 
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TraderJim618 View Post
Hi Mr. Patak,

I have a question about the profitability rule with the combine. One of the rules states that a participant must be profitable in every instrument traded. I assume that the majority of participants in the combine trade one, possibly two instruments during their trial.

I'd like to pose a hypothetical scenario to you for clarification: A trader has a system which is applicable to trading multiple instruments. During the combine (trading a $50K account), trading opportunities in 4 different instruments (i.e. ES, CL, 6E, ZS) arise, based on the rule set. At the conclusion of the combine, the trader has achieved a net profit of $6,500+ trading 3 of the 4 instruments (ES, CL, 6E). However, a single trade in Soy (ZS) was taken with 2 contracts, and the trader was stopped out with a -$500 loss.

Therefore, ALL instruments are not profitable during the combine, and technically, that condition is a violation of the rule, and would disqualify the participant. Calls placed to Topstep customer service for clarification confirmed this scenario is a rule violation and a disqualification. From my perspective, that is illogical. Can you please elaborate further on the logic. Happy Holidays, and thanks in advance. Jim

Trader Jim,

Some things have been decided internally that should address this after the first of the new year. Keep trading well and lets have a great 2016!

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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  #637 (permalink)
 zcui 
Chicago, IL
 
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Hi Michael,

I have a question about your combine rules. I see the first rule of combine saying a trader has to be profitable on each and every product, but as a Forex/currency futures trader, I think it is more reasonable to consider all currency futures as a whole since they share very similar characteristics.

Myself trade all currency futures using identical approach, but I only pick 1 or 2 currencies where I see potential trading opportunities before each session. I trade mostly 4 hour chart with small size and because I trade quite infrequently, it's possible that I might end up reaching profit target, profiting from most currency products but have 1 or 2 losing products and thus disqualifies the combine. What are your thoughts on this? Thanks in advance.

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  #638 (permalink)
 matthew28 
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Wiltshire, United Kingdom
 
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Zcui - See the post above yours and then what the new year brings.

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  #639 (permalink)
 Topstep  Topstep is an official Site Sponsor
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Happy 2016!

We're happy to announce that TopstepTrader® is simplifying the Trading Combine®, Funded Trader Preparation™, and the Funded Account™ rules. Less rules = even more funded traders!

You spoke and we listened. Starting today, all active and new accounts will be evaluated with the rules shown below. With the approval of our trading firm, these new rules benefit the trading community, and make earning a Funded Account simpler than ever before:

Step 1: NEW Trading Combine Rules
  1. Trade a minimum of 10 days
  2. Trade permitted products and times
  3. Do not hit or exceed the Daily Loss Limit
  4. Do not allow your Account Balance to hit or exceed the Trailing Max Drawdown
REMOVED:
* Always implement stops with an open position
* Achieve at least 45% Profitable Days
* Achieve an Average Net P&L greater than $0 for each product traded

Step 2 & 3: NEW Funded Trader Preparation and Funded Trader Rules
  1. Trade the Combine or Funded Trader Preparation product(s) you were profitable in during permitted times
  2. Do not hit or exceed the Daily and/or Weekly Loss Limit*
  3. Do not allow the Account Balance to hit or exceed the Trailing Max Drawdown*
  4. Follow the scaling plan
  5. Do not hold positions into major economic releases
  6. Maintain an Account Balance greater than $0 after a minimum of 10 trading days
REMOVED:
* Always implement stops with an open position
* Achieve an Average Net P&L greater than $0 for each product traded (evaluated at the end of the 10th trading day)
* Achieve at least 45% Profitable Days (evaluated at the end of the 10th trading day)

*The Weekly Loss Limit (if applicable) and Trailing Max Drawdown are eliminated after 10 trading days


We are excited to share these new rules with you! If you have any questions, please post on the thread, shoot us an email at support@topsteptrader.com, or give us a call at 888.407.1611 - we're more than happy to help.

Michael Patak

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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  #640 (permalink)
 TraderFish 
Sydney, NSW Australia
 
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Excellent to see this change guys!

I think this will make the combine achievable (especially the all products above $0 rule) while still providing an adequate test of a persons ability to trade a funded account. It is good to see you focusing on funding traders rather than relying on the revenue stream from combines.

Simon

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  #641 (permalink)
Surprise
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sharmas View Post
From looking into this the cards are stack in Topstep's favor as they have so many rules.

If you trade the market within the open hours,why change it in here to only get those traders who while trading to miss that rule particular rule for markets.

One needs to know the rules and also the markets they can and can not trade and also the hours within which they can and can not trade.

As if trading is not hard enough that one has to learn their set ups and then remember the RULES and the rules of the rules and by that time its too late.

Oh yes then you will need to reset and while you paying the monthly fee.

So the big question is are they really giving you their money to trade when you eventually pass the combine or continuous....

Its money they have made from a whole lot of failed traders...

Topside always tells how many people have made it...Lets change that and show us how many people registered and haven't made it and continue to pay.

Real eye opener as how this system works now...So Mr Patak, a lot of questions have been raised here and confusion raised, so its time to simplify the rules and let traders trade within the Market open and instruments they are familiar with and not TOPSTEP to put in thousands of restrictions to only stack the odds in your favor.


Sharmas

Agree with you , the cards are stacked in TST favor no arguments there , infact if you fail in their combine that doesn't make you a bad trader , its their own subjective rules at the end , i can now put my own rules that will make all participants fail .

Good they got rid of the 45% minimum profitable days requirement cuz that was nonsense , hope they improve the 10 days build your own cushion rule , for example make it at least 1 month , because its meaningless to be allowed to just lose the profits that you built in 10 days , that wouldn't make me a funded trader .

So technically after 10 days they stop backing you and they just waive margin requirements which is just $500 to daytrde the ES . So it would be - somewhat - more reasonable to take their bigger combines and trade more contracts from the start .

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  #642 (permalink)
emini2000
Atlanta GA USA
 
 
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Good they got rid of the 45% minimum profitable days requirement cuz that was nonsense...

Yeah, first time I realized that was the payoff I actually LOL'd. Seriously? That's a funded trader?

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  #643 (permalink)
 Tymbeline 
Leeds UK
 
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Surprise View Post
the cards are stacked in TST favor no arguments there

Respectfully, I don’t really think that looking at it in terms of "in whose favour the cards are stacked" is quite the appropriate perspective, here.

It’s a partnership. It has to be.

Aspiring funded traders need the cards to be stacked in TST's favour, just as TST needs them to be stacked in aspiring funded traders' favour, otherwise it wouldn’t be possible, let alone foreseeable, for them successfully to be funding so many traders without taking excessive risks themselves (and that would surely do no nobody any favours at all?).


Surprise View Post
infact if you fail in their combine that doesn't make you a bad trader

Certainly not.

There are many consistently successful traders whose styles and methods aren't at all suitable to those monitorable and assessable by the Combine criteria.

I seem to recall Big Mike himself mentioning, a while back, that he might well not be able to pass a Combine, with his trading.


Surprise View Post
its their own subjective rules at the end

I suspect they're far from "subjective", really: they seem to be being frequently amended in response both to feedback and according to the analysis of objective results achieved.


Surprise View Post
i can now put my own rules that will make all participants fail

We all could, but wouldn't want to: TST clearly wouldn't be able to fund 370 traders per year, if the criteria were designed for everyone to fail!


Surprise View Post
So technically after 10 days they stop backing you

Far from it, in fact. This point's rather widely misunderstood, but discussed throughout this and the other thread, and fully explained several times over.

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  #644 (permalink)
emini2000
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Tymbeline View Post
Far from it, in fact. This point's rather widely misunderstood, but discussed throughout this and the other thread, and fully explained several times over.

It's my understanding that whatever you make in that 10 days, that's your trading account. If it's $1k, then you have $1k, to trade. If that's not so, could you clarify then how the size of your account is determined?

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  #645 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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emini2000 View Post
It's my understanding that whatever you make in that 10 days, that's your trading account. If it's $1k, then you have $1k, to trade. If that's not so, could you clarify then how the size of your account is determined?

This is a good question, and is something of a misunderstanding based on the difference between an individual account and the prop firm account. But it's completely understandable to have this misunderstanding. I'll try to clarify.

If it's your own individual account, your margin is just what is in the account. The number of contracts that it will support is, if day-trading, whatever the broker requires, and if holding overnight, it's the exchange requirement. In that situation, the amount in your account is what determines the number of contracts you can trade. And all this is just between you, your broker and the exchange, no one else.

If it's the firm's account (which is what a "funded account" is), there is a certain amount of margin that the firm has on deposit with its broker which, in the aggregate, supports the total trading positions that the firm as a whole has at any one time between all of its traders. The firm will then allocate to each of its traders the number of contracts (the "buying power") that they each have available to trade with.

This is allocated initially according to the balances in the accounts, according to a schedule in the published "scaling plan." (Shown here: https://topsteptrader.desk.com/customer/en/portal/articles/1950862-funded-trader-scaling-plan ) As your cumulative size grows, so does your buying power (not restricted to the first 10 days.)

So far, it looks like your account balance is all that determines your buying power. However, it isn't. For one thing, once you have reached a particular level, if you either take a loss or a withdrawal, and reduce your account balance below the initial plan levels, your available contracts do not decrease, as they would in your individual account. For another thing, you can request an increase in buying power once your cumulative profit (not present account balance, which you may have reduced) has reached 10K.

This is because your account balance is not what is supporting your trading -- it's the overall capital of the firm, in the form of the total margin they have with their broker. The firm will determine the allocation of that total buying power that is available to you, based on your performance to date.... in other words, a risk judgement they make based on what you have done, not the present balance in your account. What is supporting the contracts you are trading is never the balance in your account. It's the firm's capital, of which you have access to a certain share, at the firm's discretion.

If this were your individual account, the matter would be entirely between you and your broker, who would require you to always have a certain balance in your account to support your trades. This is not the case when you are a trader with a prop firm (which is what you are if you have a "funded" account) that has its own relationship with its broker.

I hope this is both clear and makes sense to you. The distinctions are very clear to me, but I'm never sure it I've managed to state the case clearly when I try to. If I did not succeed, please let me know. (Although this is pretty much my best shot. )

Also, since this is really @TopstepTrader's Ask Me Anything thread, I don't want to be filling it up with my views of their program. If I have not gotten anything right, I would appreciate it if Michael or @Hoag would step in and correct me -- or verify that it's correct if it is.

I also do not want to come across as only an advocate of the TST program, although I do participate in it. Clearly, it's an individual choice whether someone finds their program or rule-set to be something they like and can work within. If not, no problem. But it's a good idea to understand what it actually is. It is very different from an individual account with a given balance, and you are, at the firm's discretion, able to have access to much more buying power than would be available based on the current balance in your account, if it were an individual account.

Bob.

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  #646 (permalink)
emini2000
Atlanta GA USA
 
 
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Amazingly, I actually understood that. lol.



bobwest View Post
This is a good question, and is something of a misunderstanding based on the difference between an individual account and the prop firm account. But it's completely understandable to have this misunderstanding. I'll try to clarify.

If it's your own individual account, your margin is just what is in the account. The number of contracts that it will support is, if day-trading, whatever the broker requires, and if holding overnight, it's the exchange requirement. In that situation, the amount in your account is what determines the number of contracts you can trade. And all this is just between you, your broker and the exchange, no one else.

If it's the firm's account (which is what a "funded account" is), there is a certain amount of margin that the firm has on deposit with its broker which, in the aggregate, supports the total trading positions that the firm as a whole has at any one time between all of its traders. The firm will then allocate to each of its traders the number of contracts (the "buying power") that they each have available to trade with.

This is allocated initially according to the balances in the accounts, according to a schedule in the published "scaling plan." (Shown here: https://topsteptrader.desk.com/customer/en/portal/articles/1950862-funded-trader-scaling-plan ) As your cumulative size grows, so does your buying power (not restricted to the first 10 days.)

So far, it looks like your account balance is all that determines your buying power. However, it isn't. For one thing, once you have reached a particular level, if you either take a loss or a withdrawal, and reduce your account balance below the initial plan levels, your available contracts do not decrease, as they would in your individual account. For another thing, you can request an increase in buying power once your cumulative profit (not present account balance, which you may have reduced) has reached 10K.

This is because your account balance is not what is supporting your trading -- it's the overall capital of the firm, in the form of the total margin they have with their broker. The firm will determine the allocation of that total buying power that is available to you, based on your performance to date.... in other words, a risk judgement they make based on what you have done, not the present balance in your account. What is supporting the contracts you are trading is never the balance in your account. It's the firm's capital, of which you have access to a certain share, at the firm's discretion.

If this were your individual account, the matter would be entirely between you and your broker, who would require you to always have a certain balance in your account to support your trades. This is not the case when you are a trader with a prop firm (which is what you are if you have a "funded" account) that has its own relationship with its broker.

I hope this is both clear and makes sense to you. The distinctions are very clear to me, but I'm never sure it I've managed to state the case clearly when I try to. If I did not succeed, please let me know. (Although this is pretty much my best shot. )

Also, since this is really @TopstepTrader's Ask Me Anything thread, I don't want to be filling it up with my views of their program. If I have not gotten anything right, I would appreciate it if Michael or @Hoag would step in and correct me -- or verify that it's correct if it is.

I also do not want to come across as only an advocate of the TST program, although I do participate in it. Clearly, it's an individual choice whether someone finds their program or rule-set to be something they like and can work within. If not, no problem. But it's a good idea to understand what it actually is. It is very different from an individual account with a given balance, and you are, at the firm's discretion, able to have access to much more buying power than would be available based on the current balance in your account, if it were an individual account.

Bob.


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 canyon 
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emini2000 View Post
It's my understanding that whatever you make in that 10 days, that's your trading account. If it's $1k, then you have $1k, to trade. If that's not so, could you clarify then how the size of your account is determined?

I think the issue here is you only have 10 days to build your account balance versus something more reasonable like 30 days. Give the trader more time to build their account cushion and allow for the inevitable draw downs and adjustments required when trading real money. They don't have to adjust their draw down rules but extend the time to build the balance.

You will need more than a $500 or $1,000 balance once the 10 days expires. It is not a margin issue but that TST will not allow you to go below zero.

Just my 2 cents. Please correct me if any of this analysis is wrong.

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  #648 (permalink)
 GFIs1 
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Happy New Year @TopstepTrader
Great to see less rules for a combine.

An old discussion might be eliminated now too: Trading the Dax.
As far I knew from last year(s) you offer Dax trading for funded traders.
But not in the combine.
The Dax Mini future has started very well. With a good margin to start for
traders - and not too high for a funding company concerning risks.
For sure a trader will not "learn" another market just to fulfill the combine
and then switches to the Dax anyway.

I know from many fellow traders in german speaking countries as well
other European countries that are searching for a stable funder.
Could you consider to adapt the the Dax Mini future for the combine?

Good business
GFIs1

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 bobwest 
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canyon View Post
I think the issue here is you only have 10 days to build your account balance versus something more reasonable like 30 days. Give the trader more time to build their account cushion and allow for the inevitable draw downs and adjustments required when trading real money. They don't have to adjust their draw down rules but extend the time to build the balance.

You will need more than a $500 or $1,000 balance once the 10 days expires. It is not a margin issue but that TST will not allow you to go below zero.

Just my 2 cents. Please correct me if any of this analysis is wrong.

The margin issue is just a question of whether your trade size is strictly and only determined by your account size, which it is not (see the exhaustive/exhausting post I made above, and do not want to have to repeat or rephrase. )

What you're bringing up is whether a trader "should" have more time to develop an account balance before TST requires them to be profitable.... which is a question of how they want to run their business, and, of course, of whether you want to trade with them if those are their rules.

I would say that it is up to you. They could have different policies, but they don't. So it's a decision about whether a particular trader wants to operate under these policies or not. That's a personal business decision.

At some point, TST will have to stop covering a trader's losses if there is to be any money made by either them or the trader. That point will never be perfect for everyone, so it's a matter of whether a particular person wants to accept whatever that limit is or not. (And of course, it's a purely individual choice either way; I wouldn't say either is necessarily the "right" one.)

Bob.

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 Topstep  Topstep is an official Site Sponsor
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GFIs1 View Post
Happy New Year @TopstepTrader
Great to see less rules for a combine.

An old discussion might be eliminated now too: Trading the Dax.
As far I knew from last year(s) you offer Dax trading for funded traders.
But not in the combine.
The Dax Mini future has started very well. With a good margin to start for
traders - and not too high for a funding company concerning risks.
For sure a trader will not "learn" another market just to fulfill the combine
and then switches to the Dax anyway.

I know from many fellow traders in german speaking countries as well
other European countries that are searching for a stable funder.
Could you consider to adapt the the Dax Mini future for the combine?

Good business
GFIs1

GFIs1,

We are in the process of adding other markets and asset classes at this time. The process seems to last a long time, just be patient and the time will come.

TopstepTrader

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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 BarfMcGee 
Nashville TN/ USA
 
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So I've basically passed my combine (I have one more day to trade in a 50k and I'm currently sitting @53.6k). My question is what is there to expect after this point? I think I would go to the Funder trader prep. I see that in the FTP you have a weekly loss limit of 1k. Does this count from the high water mark? Also, does it end immediately when you hit 1k profit or do you have to trade for 10 days here as well. I'm trading only ES right now in the combine and while I like the volatility, frankly I haven't traded great in the combine but the pumped vol has helped me make up for mistakes, I don't know if I want to trade with a 1k weekly stop bc that only gives me 20 pts in a market that can move 60 in a day right now. Is there any way I could delay the funded trader prep until a time that allows me more wiggle room (Although, I'm not sure I want to do this because I'm pretty sure I could pass more combines etc.)? After I pass this combine are my fee's waived for future combines if I have to return?

Thanks,
Barf

Edit: Just saw there is a trailing max drawdown on the funded trader prep so that answers that question.

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 Hoag 
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BarfMcGee View Post
So I've basically passed my combine (I have one more day to trade in a 50k and I'm currently sitting @53.6k). My question is what is there to expect after this point? I think I would go to the Funder trader prep. I see that in the FTP you have a weekly loss limit of 1k. Does this count from the high water mark? Also, does it end immediately when you hit 1k profit or do you have to trade for 10 days here as well. I'm trading only ES right now in the combine and while I like the volatility, frankly I haven't traded great in the combine but the pumped vol has helped me make up for mistakes, I don't know if I want to trade with a 1k weekly stop bc that only gives me 20 pts in a market that can move 60 in a day right now. Is there any way I could delay the funded trader prep until a time that allows me more wiggle room (Although, I'm not sure I want to do this because I'm pretty sure I could pass more combines etc.)? After I pass this combine are my fee's waived for future combines if I have to return?

Thanks,
Barf

Edit: Just saw there is a trailing max drawdown on the funded trader prep so that answers that question.

Barf,

Congratulations on succeeding in your Combine. We look forward to your continued success in the FTP and the Funded Account.

The weekly loss limit does not follow the high water mark for the week. In the 50k account, the weekly loss limit remains $1,000 below the account balance at the beginning of the week. It does not trail through the week.

In order to get to the Funded Account, you will have to adhere to the rules as they stand. It is really all about managing risk and being patient. Be confident in your strategy and stick to it. Look for the better opportunities, you know you can do this. You are required to trade 10 days in the FTP even if you reach your profit target before the tenth trading day.

If you don't succeed in this FTP, Future Combine fees are not waived but no matter what, the opportunity is here. Go for it.

I hope this answered your questions and thank you for the opportunity to discuss this with you. I hope to talk to you in person very soon.

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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  #653 (permalink)
 BarfMcGee 
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Hoag View Post
Barf,

Congratulations on succeeding in your Combine. We look forward to your continued success in the FTP and the Funded Account.

The weekly loss limit does not follow the high water mark for the week. In the 50k account, the weekly loss limit remains $1,000 below the account balance at the beginning of the week. It does not trail through the week.

In order to get to the Funded Account, you will have to adhere to the rules as they stand. It is really all about managing risk and being patient. Be confident in your strategy and stick to it. Look for the better opportunities, you know you can do this. You are required to trade 10 days in the FTP even if you reach your profit target before the tenth trading day.

If you don't succeed in this FTP, Future Combine fees are not waived but no matter what, the opportunity is here. Go for it.

I hope this answered your questions and thank you for the opportunity to discuss this with you. I hope to talk to you in person very soon.

Hoag

Cool, the bold is what I was really worried about.

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 turkmay 
New Orleans
 
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Some of you guys are really unbelievable.
Of course the "cards are stacked in their favor" IT'S THEIR MONEY!
And everyone offering advice on how they should change their rules to suit you
same answer IT'S THEIR MONEY! Come back to planet earth. If you want to
"stack the cards" in your favor and bend & shape the rules to fit you.
Put up your own money.

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 bobwest 
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turkmay View Post
Some of you guys are really unbelievable.
Of course the "cards are stacked in their favor" IT'S THEIR MONEY!
And everyone offering advice on how they should change their rules to suit you
same answer IT'S THEIR MONEY! Come back to planet earth. If you want to
"stack the cards" in your favor and bend & shape the rules to fit you.
Put up your own money.

Lol.

What a concept, their money, their rules. Dang.

It's a free country -- those who don't want to play, don't have to.

PS, they had something like 370 funded traders in 2015. Some people did play it OK.

Bob.

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 BarfMcGee 
Nashville TN/ USA
 
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Hoag View Post
Barf,

Congratulations on succeeding in your Combine. We look forward to your continued success in the FTP and the Funded Account.

The weekly loss limit does not follow the high water mark for the week. In the 50k account, the weekly loss limit remains $1,000 below the account balance at the beginning of the week. It does not trail through the week.

In order to get to the Funded Account, you will have to adhere to the rules as they stand. It is really all about managing risk and being patient. Be confident in your strategy and stick to it. Look for the better opportunities, you know you can do this. You are required to trade 10 days in the FTP even if you reach your profit target before the tenth trading day.

If you don't succeed in this FTP, Future Combine fees are not waived but no matter what, the opportunity is here. Go for it.

I hope this answered your questions and thank you for the opportunity to discuss this with you. I hope to talk to you in person very soon.

Hoag



One more question, does the weekly loss limit in the FTP apply to a calendar week or 5 trading days? For example, if hypothetically I had lost 1k yesterday, Fri. 1/22, would I then have to wait until, Fri. 1/29, to start trading again or would I be able to start again on Monday 1/25? Hopefully, you understand what I'm asking.

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mangolassi
Boston, MA
 
 
Posts: 166 since Dec 2014
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Do you have any future plans to offer Asian futures such as the Nikkei 225 Mini listed on the Osaka Exchange? There are some great instruments in the Asian markets, and it would be nice to see them being offered.

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  #658 (permalink)
 Hoag 
Chicago Illinois
 
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BarfMcGee View Post
One more question, does the weekly loss limit in the FTP apply to a calendar week or 5 trading days? For example, if hypothetically I had lost 1k yesterday, Fri. 1/22, would I then have to wait until, Fri. 1/29, to start trading again or would I be able to start again on Monday 1/25? Hopefully, you understand what I'm asking.

BarfMcGee,

The weekly loss limit applies to the calendar week. It does not "carry over" the weekend. If you start on a Wednesday, your weekly loss limit is through Friday and starts over the following Monday. If you start on Monday it covers the whole week.

Hope this helps and trade well.

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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 Hoag 
Chicago Illinois
 
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mangolassi View Post
Do you have any future plans to offer Asian futures such as the Nikkei 225 Mini listed on the Osaka Exchange? There are some great instruments in the Asian markets, and it would be nice to see them being offered.

mangolassi,

Thank you for the suggestion. We are looking at other markets and asset classes and appreciate any and all suggestions.

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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  #660 (permalink)
Surprise
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turkmay View Post
Some of you guys are really unbelievable.
Of course the "cards are stacked in their favor" IT'S THEIR MONEY!
And everyone offering advice on how they should change their rules to suit you
same answer IT'S THEIR MONEY! Come back to planet earth. If you want to
"stack the cards" in your favor and bend & shape the rules to fit you.
Put up your own money.

You didnt get the "cards are stacked in their favor" , let me put it in layman terms : they want you to fail in the combine so you keep paying combine fees , no one is really funded with 50K or 150K , if you call that funding then my broker is funding me with 1:100 i just deposit 1k i get 100K . The 10 days build your own cushion rule says it all .

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bobwest View Post
Lol.

What a concept, their money, their rules. Dang.

It's a free country -- those who don't want to play, don't have to.

PS, they had something like 370 funded traders in 2015. Some people did play it OK.

Bob.

Just 370 , my broker is funding tens of thousands of traders .

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 lemons 
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Tallinn, Estonia
 
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Surprise View Post
Just 370 , my broker is funding tens of thousands of traders .

You can't compare apples and lemons

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 bobwest 
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Surprise View Post
Just 370 , my broker is funding tens of thousands of traders .

"Funding" in the sense of providing the actual money for them to trade? Or just being their broker so they can trade their own capital?

I don't really think your broker is giving trading capital to tens of thousands of traders, or to any traders. If so, that isn't brokerage, it's proprietary trading, which is what TST is doing.

Bob.

Note: I will bow out of this discussion; this is the TST Ask Me Anything thread, for TST to answer questions. I should have posted in the TST vendor thread instead:

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mangolassi
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Hoag View Post
mangolassi,

Thank you for the suggestion. We are looking at other markets and asset classes and appreciate any and all suggestions.

Hoag

Thanks. The Nikkei Mini on the Osaka is heavily traded, with the volume rivaling the ES. I think offering these sorts of liquid Asian instruments will give you a broader customer base in the USA, because of the fact that there are lots of people working 9-5 jobs and trading in the evening. I know for a fact I would register for topsteptrader if the N225M was available.

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 rcfarias 
Flórida
 
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Posts: 11 since Dec 2015
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Hello!

I am planning take the 14 day trial now in february and then my first combine, and luckily the only one, in march.

I saw the explanation about trading hours in TST website but I would like to confirm

Can I trade 6E from 3:30 PM CT to 7:30 PM CT ? It is considered a permissible time for combine and funded traders?

Best regards.

rcf.

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 Hoag 
Chicago Illinois
 
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BarfMcGee View Post
One more question, does the weekly loss limit in the FTP apply to a calendar week or 5 trading days? For example, if hypothetically I had lost 1k yesterday, Fri. 1/22, would I then have to wait until, Fri. 1/29, to start trading again or would I be able to start again on Monday 1/25? Hopefully, you understand what I'm asking.

The weekly loss limit runs Monday through Friday. If you were to near your weekly loss limit on Wednesday, you would want to wait until just the following Monday to start trading again. Calendar week, not rotating week.

Trade well,

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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 Hoag 
Chicago Illinois
 
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rcfarias View Post
Hello!

I am planning take the 14 day trial now in february and then my first combine, and luckily the only one, in march.

I saw the explanation about trading hours in TST website but I would like to confirm

Can I trade 6E from 3:30 PM CT to 7:30 PM CT ? It is considered a permissible time for combine and funded traders?

Best regards.

rcf.

rcfarias,

We do not allow any positions to be held while the market is closed so you would be able to begin trading the 6E at 5:00 PM CT. through 3:10 PM CT the following day.

Trade well, we are looking forward to your success.

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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 BarfMcGee 
Nashville TN/ USA
 
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BarfMcGee View Post
So I've basically passed my combine (I have one more day to trade in a 50k and I'm currently sitting @53.6k). My question is what is there to expect after this point? I think I would go to the Funder trader prep. I see that in the FTP you have a weekly loss limit of 1k. Does this count from the high water mark? Also, does it end immediately when you hit 1k profit or do you have to trade for 10 days here as well. I'm trading only ES right now in the combine and while I like the volatility, frankly I haven't traded great in the combine but the pumped vol has helped me make up for mistakes, I don't know if I want to trade with a 1k weekly stop bc that only gives me 20 pts in a market that can move 60 in a day right now. Is there any way I could delay the funded trader prep until a time that allows me more wiggle room (Although, I'm not sure I want to do this because I'm pretty sure I could pass more combines etc.)? After I pass this combine are my fee's waived for future combines if I have to return?

Thanks,
Barf

Edit: Just saw there is a trailing max drawdown on the funded trader prep so that answers that question.


Hoag View Post
Barf,

Congratulations on succeeding in your Combine. We look forward to your continued success in the FTP and the Funded Account.

The weekly loss limit does not follow the high water mark for the week. In the 50k account, the weekly loss limit remains $1,000 below the account balance at the beginning of the week. It does not trail through the week.

In order to get to the Funded Account, you will have to adhere to the rules as they stand. It is really all about managing risk and being patient. Be confident in your strategy and stick to it. Look for the better opportunities, you know you can do this. You are required to trade 10 days in the FTP even if you reach your profit target before the tenth trading day.

If you don't succeed in this FTP, Future Combine fees are not waived but no matter what, the opportunity is here. Go for it.

I hope this answered your questions and thank you for the opportunity to discuss this with you. I hope to talk to you in person very soon.

Hoag

So I can say that I unofficially passed my FTP (account stands at ~1300 going into my final day tomorrow). I can guarantee you I won't lose more than 2 ES pts on whatever I put on tomorrow lol and no more trades today bc well we just dropped 35 pts in 50 minutes and I'm not going to play with fire. I hope that isn't against the rules, I'm sure it's not, but I'm posting this I guess just to let people know it is possible to pass the combine and the rules aren't totally ridiculous/ unbeatable.

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 rcfarias 
Flórida
 
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Trading: Emini, stocks
 
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BarfMcGee View Post
So I can say that I unofficially passed my FTP (account stands at ~1300 going into my final day tomorrow). I can guarantee you I won't lose more than 2 ES pts on whatever I put on tomorrow lol and no more trades today bc well we just dropped 35 pts in 50 minutes and I'm not going to play with fire. I hope that isn't against the rules, I'm sure it's not, but I'm posting this I guess just to let people know it is possible to pass the combine and the rules aren't totally ridiculous/ unbeatable.

Congratulations! So, now you're a funded trader with 50K! Right?

Wish you the best!

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 BarfMcGee 
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rcfarias View Post
Congratulations! So, now you're a funded trader with 50K! Right?

Wish you the best!

I still have to not lose more than ~300 tomorrow. Other than that, yes, I will assume I get funded...

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 bobwest 
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BarfMcGee View Post
One I still have to not lose more than ~300 tomorrow. Other than that yes I will assume I get funded...

Nicely done.

Bob.

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 monur 
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hello my question is I can not use FXCM forex data when I configured ninja trader according to topsteptrader.. Do you know how may I add FXCM demo account to ninjatrader configured to work with topsteptrader? It was an option before in the account connections tab, now it gone..

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 rcfarias 
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There are any web based plataform available in TST combine?

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  #674 (permalink)
 sharmas 
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Nice News and one that does need to be shared

From Topstep Trader.....
In the month of January, the TopstepTrader team made it even simpler to earn a Funded Account™ by eliminating some of the Combine rules. The proof is in the pudding, this month 68 people have been funded more traders than ever before, and these guys and gals are killing it!

Simplicity is the key and Topstep Trader....Good on you guys for listening and making it simpler and achievable goals for people.


Sharmas

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 BarfMcGee 
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New question, after seeing 68 people got funded last month, is there a cap on the number of traders you will take on? Obviously there has to be some kind of number bc you guys dont have unlimited capital. Are you anywhere close to this number?

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 lemons 
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BarfMcGee View Post
New question, after seeing 68 people got funded last month, is there a cap on the number of traders you will take on? Obviously there has to be some kind of number bc you guys dont have unlimited capital. Are you anywhere close to this number?

From Q/A session I remember there is no cap.

And there is reason :

It is like anything in else in life. Only a few amass fortunes.
Only few become really competent professional men or achieve
real success in any line of endeavor.

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Surprise
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BarfMcGee View Post
New question, after seeing 68 people got funded last month, is there a cap on the number of traders you will take on? Obviously there has to be some kind of number bc you guys dont have unlimited capital. Are you anywhere close to this number?

+1 Good question .

I assume they use the same capital for many traders , for example they use $50k to fund multiple traders with 50K each , thats because you are not allowed to lose more than the profits you have made in the 10 days "build your own cushion period" so technically they dont really fully fund a trader with 50K or whatever , your max DD is capped at what you have made during the 10 days "build your own cushion period" plus the profits you make after that ofcourse , which is in reality is your own money not theirs , they just take care of daytrading margin requirements which is just $500 per lot !

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 Big Mike 
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On Tuesday, February 23rd (rescheduled) at 4:30PM Eastern US, TopstepTrader will be presenting a webinar titled "The Path to Funding: How to Stop Risking your Own Money and Start Leveraging Others" and covering these topics:


- Whether or not you're a good candidate for funding?
- If your trading style or strategy has what it takes to become funded?
- Who our funded traders are, how they're performing and what separates them from the rest
- Answers to any questions you have about being evaluated, trading successfully, and earning a funded account. Nothing is off limits.
- How you can get a funded account for as little as $1

You can register for this webinar here (space is limited):
https://on.futures.io/n69c6

You can use this thread to ask questions about TopstepTrader and the webinar. You can find TopstepTrader on their website here:
https://www.topsteptrader.com:443/

TopstepTrader is a FIO sponsor and this is a promotional webinar covering their product and services.

Mike

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 cw30000 
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bobwest View Post
Lol.

What a concept, their money, their rules. Dang.

It's a free country -- those who don't want to play, don't have to.

PS, they had something like 370 funded traders in 2015. Some people did play it OK.

Bob.

Actually, it is not their money. It is yours. The combine money is non-refundable if you pass the combined. So technically speaking, you are self funded.

I did look into it TST last year or maybe 2 years ago and come to the conclusion that TST has 0 risk. Their "risk" money is from the combines. The only thing is they put up is the margin and nothing more. Since you cannot carry the position over night, TST has 0 risk. Occasionally if the market move really fast and the trader is loaded up at max contracts allow, then yes, they might loss a tick or two on slipperage.

The "interest" they charged for just using margin is unbelievable high that make borrowing from loan shark a bargain.

If YOU are able to get 6% in 10 days (2 weeks), you are better trading your own account. If you have enough money to put up with a combine, you have enough money swing trade option.

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 Tymbeline 
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There are so many factual misstatements in the post above that it's not very easy to know where to start.



cw30000 View Post
TST has 0 risk.

If someone qualifies with a $150k Combine, starts trading a funded account with 3 contracts and loses nearly $3,000 on each of the first three days they trade, TST are nearly $9,000 down on the deal, and I'm rather surprised to see that referred to as "zero risk".



cw30000 View Post
If YOU are able to get 6% in 10 days (2 weeks), you are better trading your own account.

And if you have enough funds to open your own account, you mean, surely? You seem to be ignoring the fact that TST's funding option is aimed at people who don't.

It doesn't have to be 10 days. You can take as long as you want or need. (And even when there were 10-day Combine available, they didn't need to be 10 consecutive days anyway, so I don't know where the "2 weeks" comes from.)



cw30000 View Post
If you have enough money to put up with a combine, you have enough money swing trade option.

Not on this planet, I'm afraid. (Combine-fees start at $95.)



cw30000 View Post
The "interest" they charged for just using margin is unbelievable high that make borrowing from loan shark a bargain.

I don't even know how to start to respond to that one!

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 bobwest 
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cw30000 View Post
Actually, it is not their money. It is yours....

Hi @cw30000,

I've pretty much decided not to argue any more about TST. For one thing, this isn't the thread for it, this is for Michael Patak of TST to answer questions. For another, I think everyone should do what they want. So, if anyone doesn't like the TST offer, they should not, of course, take it. That about sums it up for me.

I'm only responding now because you quoted me, but I really should not have made that post here, either. There is a vendor review thread for TST here, , which is where I will keep my TST opinions from now on, assuming I have anything to say, and I urge others to do so as well. It helps to prevent a split topic.

Good trading.

Bob.

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 sharmas 
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Mate

You have done an amazing job and have been a great supporter for TopStep in giving your value insights and time.

For that we should acknowledge and thank you with great appreciation and hope you continue doing the grand job you doing in educating all members.

Sharmas





bobwest View Post
Hi @cw30000,

I've pretty much decided not to argue any more about TST. For one thing, this isn't the thread for it, this is for Michael Patak of TST to answer questions. For another, I think everyone should do what they want. So, if anyone doesn't like the TST offer, they should not, of course, take it. That about sums it up for me.

I'm only responding now because you quoted me, but I really should not have made that post here, either. There is a vendor review thread for TST here, , which is where I will keep my TST opinions from now on, assuming I have anything to say, and I urge others to do so as well. It helps to prevent a split topic.

Good trading.

Bob.


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 bobwest 
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sharmas View Post
Mate

You have done an amazing job and has been a great supporter for TopStep in giving your value insights and time.

For that we should acknowledge and thank you with great appreciation and hope you continue doing the grand job you doing in educating all members.

Sharmas

Aw, shucks.

Thanks.

Bob.

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 Hoag 
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monur View Post
hello my question is I can not use FXCM forex data when I configured ninja trader according to topsteptrader.. Do you know how may I add FXCM demo account to ninjatrader configured to work with topsteptrader? It was an option before in the account connections tab, now it gone..

monur,

We do not currently have Forex data available for use in the TopstepTrader program. We are working toward a Forex Combine, but I have no timeline when. We will be letting the community know so stay tuned.

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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 Hoag 
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rcfarias View Post
There are any web based plataform available in TST combine?

rcfarias,

The T4 webtrader is available for use in the Combine.

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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 Hoag 
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BarfMcGee View Post
New question, after seeing 68 people got funded last month, is there a cap on the number of traders you will take on? Obviously there has to be some kind of number bc you guys dont have unlimited capital. Are you anywhere close to this number?

BarfMcgee,

Good question. We are nowhere near finding the maximum number of traders we can fund. We are ready and able to fund any traders who are successful in the Combine and FTP with no limit in sight.

I hope this puts your mind at ease BarfMcGee, rest assured, we are ready for you. Trade well.

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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 OKshunalTrader 
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Select enter meeting and nothing happens.
Any suggestions?

edited at 1:48 PST Is the meeting over? Finally got to a screen that was not greyed out and tag says meeting is over.

The problem with trading is one needs to be right twice!
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 tturner86 
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Webinar with Connor from TST has been rescheduled to 2-23-2016 at 4:30 PM EST due to power outage on my end and tech issues.

Will post new registration link here shortly.

Registration for New Webinar on 2-23-2016 at 4:30 PM EST

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 Big Mike 
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The rescheduling of the webinar has caused some confusion, and many of you have opted out of receiving important notifications via email on the site. So I am making the below post so that I can point to it for the hundred or so people that have contacted me privately about this webinar.

See the below email that you should have received today, if you haven't purposely opted out:



Here is the link to re-register:
Registration - The Path to Funding: How to Stop Risking your Own Money and Start Leveraging Others (rescheduled)

Mike

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 AMGT 
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A quick question:

Can NT8 be used on the TST Combine and onwards, if funded?

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 Hoag 
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AMGT View Post
A quick question:

Can NT8 be used on the TST Combine and onwards, if funded?

AMGT,

Yes, you can use NinjaTrader8 for the Combine and the Funded Account.

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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emini2000
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Can someone clarify the 2nd combine or 'preparation' phase? From my understanding, you have a 10 day combine, and if you pass, then you do the 'preparation'. How long is this preparation phase and how does it differ from the initial 10 day combine?

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 msull35706 
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emini2000 View Post
Can someone clarify the 2nd combine or 'preparation' phase? From my understanding, you have a 10 day combine, and if you pass, then you do the 'preparation'. How long is this preparation phase and how does it differ from the initial 10 day combine?

I believe the Live Trader Prep phase is a lower profit target.... $300 for the $10k Combine
You have 60 days to achieve that profit goal but can ONLY trade 10 days

Sounds ez.. right?


Mike S.

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emini2000
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msull35706 View Post
I believe the Live Trader Prep phase is a lower profit target.... $300 for the $10k Combine
You have 60 days to achieve that profit goal but can ONLY trade 10 days

Sounds ez.. right?


Mike S.

Thanks for your response.

Say I chose the 3 lot combine. It has a profit target of $1500. It says I need to trade a minimum of 10 days. So how long do i have to meet the initial goal? 60 days but can only trade 10 days as you said?

Then, if I pass that one, how much would need to make for the preparation? Using that same 3 lot account. And how long? Just trying to clarify here.

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 msull35706 
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emini2000 View Post
Thanks for your response.

Say I chose the 3 lot combine. It has a profit target of $1500. It says I need to trade a minimum of 10 days. So how long do i have to meet the initial goal? 60 days but can only trade 10 days as you said?

Then, if I pass that one, how much would need to make for the preparation? Using that same 3 lot account. And how long? Just trying to clarify here.

Phase 1: $30k Combine to make $1.5k profit.
... Trade min 10 days and take as long as you want. You will have to keep paying monthly
fee to continue if taking more than a month to complete [ aka.. continuous combine ]

Phase 2: Live Trader Prep - even though it's still SIM feed
... Trade max 10 days to make $500, please correct me if I'm wrong on that amount.
You have 2 months or 60 days to achieve that smaller profit goal.

If you pass both phases ... YOU BE FUNDED !!!


Mike S

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emini2000
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msull35706 View Post
Phase 1: $30k Combine to make $1.5k profit.
... Trade min 10 days and take as long as you want. You will have to keep paying monthly
fee to continue if taking more than a month to complete [ aka.. continuous combine ]

Phase 2: Live Trader Prep - even though it's still SIM feed
... Trade max 10 days to make $500, please correct me if I'm wrong on that amount.
You have 2 months or 60 days to achieve that smaller profit goal.

If you pass both phases ... YOU BE FUNDED !!!


Mike S

LOL.

Thanks.

And it does sound easy, but apparently it's not.

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 msull35706 
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emini2000 View Post
LOL.

Thanks.

And it does sound easy, but apparently it's not.

Thx emini.
I know this for I've passed a $10k combine awhile back...

good luck

Mike S.

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 bobwest 
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@emini2000
@msull35706

There's no longer a 60 day limit on the Funded Trader Prep.

There's a pretty good summary of both the Combine and FTP here:

https://www.topsteptrader.com:443/learnmore

This has all the rules and ins and outs of both.

Bob.

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 msull35706 
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bobwest View Post
@emini2000
@msull35706

There's no longer a 60 day limit on the Funded Trader Prep.

There's a pretty good summary of both the Combine and FTP here:

https://www.topsteptrader.com:443/learnmore

This has all the rules and ins and outs of both.

Bob.

Thx Bob

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emini2000
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bobwest View Post
@emini2000
@msull35706

There's no longer a 60 day limit on the Funded Trader Prep.

There's a pretty good summary of both the Combine and FTP here:

https://www.topsteptrader.com:443/learnmore

This has all the rules and ins and outs of both.

Bob.

Thanks Bob. I have see that, just not that clear to me, hence the questions for more detail.

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