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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)

  #811 (permalink)
Elite Member
Wiltshire, United Kingdom
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: TSTrader
Broker/Data: Working on a TST combine
Favorite Futures: ES, NQ
 
matthew28's Avatar
 
Posts: 373 since Sep 2013
Thanks: 338 given, 427 received

I note that Topstep haven't posted on this thread for almost four months, since February 24th.
A new Trading Schools review of Topstep. Top Step Trader Survey Results Part A - Trading Schools.Org
Some of their reviews sound a bit hysterical but this one seems fair enough.
For me the lack of proper funding after ten days live is the only genuine concern. It seems to promote the exact opposite of good practice, starting small and carefully when you first go live, and instead promote the need to push to the max and swing for the fences. You either trade full size staight away to make as much as you can in ten days or hit your drawdown limit and go back to square zero. A small moderate success basically means you fail, or even just having one or two losing days in the first ten days probably means you in effect fail too as neither will mean you have enough of a cushion to survive.

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  #812 (permalink)
Elite Member
Vancouver, Canada
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader, Sierra Chart
Broker/Data: Ninjatrader Continuum
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matthew28 View Post
I note that Topstep haven't posted on this thread for almost four months, since February 24th.
A new Trading Schools review of Topstep. Top Step Trader Survey Results Part A - Trading Schools.Org
Some of their reviews sound a bit hysterical but this one seems fair enough.
For me the lack of proper funding after ten days live is the only genuine concern. It seems to promote the exact opposite of good practice, starting small and carefully when you first go live, and instead promote the need to push to the max and swing for the fences. You either trade full size staight away to make as much as you can in ten days or hit your drawdown limit and go back to square zero. A small moderate success basically means you fail, or even just having one or two losing days in the first ten days probably means you in effect fail too as neither will mean you have enough of a cushion to survive.

What shocks me is that you basically get funded with ONLY the profits you made from the account. If that is the case it still makes no sense to even trade the $150k account, you would need considerable profits to get a decently funded trading account.

I've seen his previous reviews of TST but wow, this latest update blows my mind. Thanks for posting it.

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  #813 (permalink)
Trading for Profit
Atlanta GA USA
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: thinkorswim/Ninja Trader
Favorite Futures: stock options; ES, TF, 6E, 6J
 
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NGtrader View Post
What shocks me is that you basically get funded with ONLY the profits you made from the account. If that is the case it still makes no sense to even trade the $150k account, you would need considerable profits to get a decently funded trading account.

I've seen his previous reviews of TST but wow, this latest update blows my mind. Thanks for posting it.

I think it's pretty obvious from the review that TST is a cash machine generating its profits from combines (and even without the review, if one just looks at it objectively one can figure that out on their own). Some do get funded, but don't last long. It's their business model. It is what it is. But it's mainly built on false hope of being a full time trader. And they make a ton of money off that hope. One just needs to understand that going in.

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  #814 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Sarasota FL
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, Sierra Chart
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 3,613 since Jan 2013
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Neither @TopstepTrader or @Hoag seem to look at this thread any more, for some reason. So there probably will only be unofficial answers or responses posted here.

There have been extensive discussions on the subject of whether you are actually being "funded" only from the profits you have made yourself.

Here's a contrary view (that says you're not):

https://futures.io/vendors-product-reviews/25776-topsteptrader-s-michael-patak-p...thing-77.html#post568891

I think this whole thing has been thrashed to death.

The TST program is pretty simple. If someone doesn't want to use it, that's an individual choice. Time to move on.

Bob.

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  #815 (permalink)
Membership Temporarily Revoked
Boston, MA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7
Favorite Futures: CL, RB, LE
 
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bobwest View Post
...It is certainly true that most who try the Combine do not succeed at it, whether it has a good effect on their discipline or not. Most people who try their hand at trading futures do not succeed at it, either...

Bob.

bobwest, the best way to control one's discipline is mental self-flagellation when one makes a bad trade. Bad juju! BAD BAD BAD!

It hurts, but seems to be effective. ;-)

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  #816 (permalink)
 Vendor: www.topsteptrader.com 
Chicago, IL
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader, CTS (T4), Si
Favorite Futures: ALL- Futures, Forex, Equities
 
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Posts: 225 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 49 given, 660 received

Traders,

First off, I want to thank our passionate community for its invaluable contribution and responses on this thread. Our community's answers have, of recent, been very accurate and forthright, and we didn't feel the need to step in.

Our mission at TopstepTrader is to empower anyone, anywhere, to earn the financial freedom to pursue their dreams and we stand by it. As we mentioned on our blog (Make $1 Million or Be a Successful Trader?), 78% of our traders are employed full-time, part-time, or self-employed, and our opportunity consistently contributes supplemental income to our funded traders' personal bank accounts, whether that's $100 or $10,000+ per month. We realize and acknowledge not everyone will succeed in the difficult business of trading, but we are striving to make the financial markets safer and easier to engage with and profit from.

We are, however, a private company and therefore do not release certain information, as is industry standard for proprietary trading firms. Why?

Trader Privacy - many of our traders do not want their performance to be included in any type of data or results
Relevance - trading is an individual “sport”; other’s success or lack thereof has zero bearing on how you or any other trader may perform
Innovation - company privacy allows us to innovate more effectively, build on our proprietary processes, and be the leader in creating and delivering the most unique opportunity for traders to pursue their dreams

I would like to, however, address a couple concerns:

10-day Rule: Prior to implementing this rule, the number of traders we funded, and their profits, were few and far between. The reason for this is that traders would come onto the Funded Account and immediately leverage themselves into burying it. It was par for the course.

We asked ourselves, how can we get these traders to slow down and build their balance in a safer, more meaningful way? The answer was simple - scale their positions and focus them on an achievable, foreseeable target. The 10-day rule was born.

Since that time, we’ve funded more than 700 traders. Those traders have profited considerably and taken numerous checks. The reality is that trading is extremely risky and, as any great trader will tell you, trading is all about managing risk. This rule promotes that behavior.

Business Model: A few have commented on our business and Trading Combine fees in particular. Much like how trading is a business, so is funding traders. The reality is that we need to charge for our evaluation in order to fund traders. We charge for a number of reasons, including:

Risk: We want our traders to have something on the line in order to simulate a live market environment. In our infancy, we didn’t charge for the Trading Combine and realized no one took it seriously - someone could be on an account for 6 months, get lucky, and string 10 days together. Trader accountability helps prevent that.
Expenses: We are a business. We’ve never pretended to be anything other than that. We all trade so we can make profits and live out our dreams - it’s not an altruistic endeavor. Additionally, we continuously reinvest in our business to innovate our process and technology, in order to find and scale more traders worldwide.

Given we've been around for 6 years now, we remain an innovative, ever-evolving approach to trading and earning money in a traditional industry. We are constantly improving to further balance the benefits for all involved, from newbie to prop firm. We appreciate the feedback, which we always take into account, and plan to tirelessly continue improving the funding process.

Thank you and trade well,
Michael

If you have any questions about our products or services at TopstepTrader, please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.

Last edited by TopstepTrader; June 16th, 2016 at 07:34 PM.
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  #817 (permalink)
Membership Temporarily Revoked
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Favorite Futures: CL, RB, LE
 
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TopstepTrader View Post
Traders,

First off, I want to thank our passionate community for its invaluable contribution and responses on this thread. Our community's answers have, of recent, been very accurate and forthright, and we didn't feel the need to step in...

Michael

Thank you for your candid answer to the thread's concerns.

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  #818 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Sarasota FL
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, Sierra Chart
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 3,613 since Jan 2013
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TopstepTrader View Post
Traders,

First off, I want to thank our passionate community for its invaluable contribution and responses on this thread. Our community's answers have, of recent, been very accurate and forthright, and we didn't feel the need to step in.
...
Thank you and trade well,
Michael

Thanks, Michael ( @TopstepTrader ). Good to hear from you and to have your point of view on these topics.

Sometimes it is good for those of us who stick up for your program to hear more from you. I'm glad that you have felt that the responses on these threads have been good ones, but I, for one, would welcome having more of the response come from real TST sources.

Obviously, there will always be negative opinions on anything, and it's sort of like a game of whack-a-mole to answer them. (I'm sure you know this.... )

I do think that the cumulative experience within this forum, by many traders, is that the TST combine program is valuable and that it adds to many traders' success. (And, I would say that it may not be for everyone, which is a personal choice.... but it operates exactly as advertised and is on the up-and-up.) I am perfectly willing to continue to say that.

But it is good to have you come in with your own statement of how you see things, and of your positions and of your responses to questions and issues that people may have.

Thanks. Good to have you here.

Bob.

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  #819 (permalink)
Membership Temporarily Revoked
Boston, MA
 
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Favorite Futures: CL, RB, LE
 
Posts: 264 since Apr 2014
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bobwest View Post
Thanks, Michael ( @TopstepTrader ). Good to hear from you and to have your point of view on these topics.

Sometimes it is good for those of us who stick up for your program to hear more from you. I'm glad that you have felt that the responses on these threads have been good ones, but I, for one, would welcome having more of the response come from real TST sources.

Obviously, there will always be negative opinions on anything, and it's sort of like a game of whack-a-mole to answer them. (I'm sure you know this.... )

I do think that the cumulative experience within this forum, by many traders, is that the TST combine program is valuable and that it adds to many traders' success. (And, I would say that it may not be for everyone, which is a personal choice.... but it operates exactly as advertised and is on the up-and-up.) I am perfectly willing to continue to say that.

But it is good to have you come in with your own statement of how you see things, and of your positions and of your responses to questions and issues that people may have.

Thanks. Good to have you here.

Bob.

Agreed. Now don't be a stranger Mr. Michael. Here's a plate of cookies for you to tempt you to stay. Soft-baked white chocolate-chip macadamia nut. And they are warm. Have some! (Three is your limit though, you must share with the others!)

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  #820 (permalink)
 Vendor: www.topsteptrader.com 
Chicago, IL
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader, CTS (T4), Si
Favorite Futures: ALL- Futures, Forex, Equities
 
TopstepTrader's Avatar
 
Posts: 225 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 49 given, 660 received


Traders,

Some of your have mentioned that we've been a little quiet on this thread as of late. My apologies, we will definitely be more active moving forward and strive to answer your questions and respond where necessary on a more regular basis. I'll start today with addressing a couple questions I saw over the last few pages.

Are you still exploring offering other products, specifically ICE, Eurex, Forex?:

We continue to actively explore expanding into new products and asset classes. Some are more realistic and imminent than others, but nothing is definitive. We soon plan to test offering products from a new popular exchange, and depending on those results, we hope to make an exciting announcement in the near future.

In regards to other asset classes, i.e. Forex, we are further off. As you can appreciate, there are many technological and operational considerations that go into offering a new class, but one we are committed to it if it continues to make sense.

Can I trade more money when Funded?

In short, yes. We have a very clearly defined scaling plan at the funded level, which can be found here. In addition, once your cumulative profit is greater than $5K, you can request adjusted risk parameters and once your cumulative profit is greater than $10K, you can request more buying power than the scaling plan allows for. Also worth noting is that after 10 trading days in the Funded Account your Weekly Loss Limit and Max Drawdown are eliminated.

Hope that helps,

Michael

If you have any questions about our products or services at TopstepTrader, please send me a Private Message or use the FIO "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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