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Topstep didn't pay


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Topstep didn't pay

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  #1 (permalink)
TraderAnna
Budapest,Hungary
 
 
Posts: 22 since Aug 2021
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I have to make a decision about how to move forward and I got quite disappointed.
Short story:
My mentor advised me to get into a prop firm to save on comissions. A prop firm like Axia is too expensive for me at the moment because I would have to move to London so I have decided to try out Topstep. I did finally got funded, but I was not happy with my results so decided to take a break and close the account in April. They have confirmed that the money is on the way,but they refused my withdrawal in Jun. They offerd me to try it angain and they promised me that they will pay me out this time.
I still do not necessarily think that it is a bad company. I think their model can save a lot for many people. For me it looks like they are just too lazy to take a look at when were these steps passes and they automatically apply new rules to everyone retrospectively and not willing to take the time to take a closer look.

Question:
- Would you go ahead and retry? They said they would move me to PRO account so no Step1 and Step2 needed.
- Is this normal for companies like OneUp\Earn2Trade\TST\FTMO etc? Any other prop firm you would recommend?

Long story:
27th Apr-requested withdrawal
30th Apr-they have confirmed that they started the withdrawal process
4th June- I requested an update and they told me that it is still in progress
22nd June- they asked for my apology and promised to set up the transfer in 1-2days
23rd June- "You should expect to see funds in the next few business day"
25th June- Withdrawal refused. I can try the pro account again and that time they will pay.
The reason was that they have changed rules for Step1 and Setp2 after my withdrawal request and they allied it retrospectively.
emails attached if you are interested in more details.

PnL if interested: https://prnt.sc/1ok2y2e

Attached Files
Register to download File Type: zip emails_full_story.zip (773.8 KB, 23 views)
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  #2 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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TraderAnna View Post
I have to make a decision about how to move forward and I got quite disappointed.
Short story:
My mentor advised me to get into a prop firm to save on comissions. A prop firm like Axia is too expensive for me at the moment because I would have to move to London so I have decided to try out Topstep. I did finally got funded, but I was not happy with my results so decided to take a break and close the account in April. They have confirmed that the money is on the way,but they refused my withdrawal in Jun. They offerd me to try it angain and they promised me that they will pay me out this time.
I still do not necessarily think that it is a bad company. I think their model can save a lot for many people. For me it looks like they are just too lazy to take a look at when were these steps passes and they automatically apply new rules to everyone retrospectively and not willing to take the time to take a closer look.

Question:
- Would you go ahead and retry? They said they would move me to PRO account so no Step1 and Step2 needed.
- Is this normal for companies like OneUp\Earn2Trade\TST\FTMO etc? Any other prop firm you would recommend?

Long story:
27th Apr-requested withdrawal
30th Apr-they have confirmed that they started the withdrawal process
4th June- I requested an update and they told me that it is still in progress
22nd June- they asked for my apology and promised to set up the transfer in 1-2days
23rd June- "You should expect to see funds in the next few business day"
25th June- Withdrawal refused. I can try the pro account again and that time they will pay.
The reason was that they have changed rules for Step1 and Setp2 after my withdrawal request and they allied it retrospectively.
emails attached if you are interested in more details.

This is not a negative review as such, but it raises a user issue that may benefit from being brought to someone's attention within the company, so I'll tag @Topstep to see if there is a response.

I have no idea whether there should be a different resolution, nor if TopStep would have a different take on what happened, and of course it is up to the company to make their business decisions as they see fit. But it may help all parties to have it revisited, and it may help other members if they are considering TS or any other company.

Bob.

When one door closes, another opens.
-- Cervantes, Don Quixote
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 matthew28 
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TraderAnna View Post
The reason was that they have changed rules for Step1 and Setp2 after my withdrawal request and they allied it retrospectively.

I didn't open the emails but I guess as you have mentioned scalping, and the Jigsaw market Making Manual in previous posts, they have refused payment due to the 20 seconds rule ( https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/1500008818781-What-is-the-Winning-Trade-Duration- ), which they implemented due to "sim abuse" ( https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/1500004842701-The-Dos-and-Don-ts-of-SIM-Fills .

I gather they were having problems with people creating algos to scalp which would work in sim with optimistic fills, but wouldn't with real exchange traded orders. The traders would make their $5,000 profit in the sim Pro Account then immediately withdraw it once a Premium Funded Account was opened with that starting balance. They have also implemented the 50% withdrawal policy to prevent people closing out completely immediately which is something you could do with Topstep but couldn't with at least some of the other firms you mention.

Topstep's reasoning from what I have read is that they are trying to reduce the quantity but increase the quality of those passing as they say scalpers haven't been successful with them, and they want people who maintain their accounts and trade with them.
All fair enough in my view for Combines, Pro or Funded Accounts going forward, but I do agree that they could of handled it better by making it applicable only to new Pro Accounts, not Pro Accounts in progress

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 bobwest 
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TraderAnna View Post
I have to make a decision about how to move forward and I got quite disappointed.
...


MrGekko View Post
Yes it could be the case. But first, it was applied retrospectively, second, if you look at my pnl chart you can see that I am not a HFT. What bothers me is that not just 3 month of my life is gone, but where could I go? Do others do the same? I just don't want to worry about whether I will get paid or not. Trading is hard enough itself.

Please clarify why you are posting under two different user accounts.

I see that the "MrGekko" post has been deleted. We still need a response.

Thanks.

Bob.

When one door closes, another opens.
-- Cervantes, Don Quixote
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TraderAnna
Budapest,Hungary
 
 
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bobwest View Post
Please clarify why you are posting under two different user accounts.

Bob.

I came over to him to help me with the translation. I do have language problems sometime.
I posted it accidantely from his laptop whithout logging out and in myself.

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 bobwest 
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TraderAnna View Post
I came over to him to help me with the translation. I do have language problems sometime.
I posted it accidantely from his laptop whithout logging out and in myself.

OK, thanks.

Understandable.

Bob.

When one door closes, another opens.
-- Cervantes, Don Quixote
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  #7 (permalink)
TraderAnna
Budapest,Hungary
 
 
Posts: 22 since Aug 2021
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matthew28 View Post
I didn't open the emails but I guess as you have mentioned scalping, and the Jigsaw market Making Manual in previous posts, they have refused payment due to the 20 seconds rule ( https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/1500008818781-What-is-the-Winning-Trade-Duration- ), which they implemented due to "sim abuse" ( https://help.futures.topstep.com/hc/en-us/articles/1500004842701-The-Dos-and-Don-ts-of-SIM-Fills .

I gather they were having problems with people creating algos to scalp which would work in sim with optimistic fills, but wouldn't with real exchange traded orders. The traders would make their $5,000 profit in the sim Pro Account then immediately withdraw it once a Premium Funded Account was opened with that starting balance. They have also implemented the 50% withdrawal policy to prevent people closing out completely immediately which is something you could do with Topstep but couldn't with at least some of the other firms you mention.

Topstep's reasoning from what I have read is that they are trying to reduce the quantity but increase the quality of those passing as they say scalpers haven't been successful with them, and they want people who maintain their accounts and trade with them.
All fair enough in my view for Combines, Pro or Funded Accounts going forward, but I do agree that they could of handled it better by making it applicable only to new Pro Accounts, not Pro Accounts in progress

Yes it could be the case. But first, it was applied retrospectively, second, if you look at my pnl chart you can see that I am not a HFT. What bothers me is that not just 3 month of my life is gone, but where could I go? Do others do the same? I just don't want to worry about whether I will get paid or not. Trading is hard enough itself.
What about OneUp or Earn2Trade? Any other companies out there? I would be also interested in working for a classic prop firm but I do not want to relocate. The cost of living in London or Frankfurt is insane and at the moment there are no prop firms in my country. I am sure there are other firms out there just not sure if they would take someone on online. The good thing about this story is that at least I can show a track record online which is validated and was done in a controlled risk environment. Hopefully it would matter in my CV.
So my thread is not really about Topstep, I got burned and I have to move on. It is about how to move on?

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 bobwest 
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So it appears that the situation is what @matthew28 surmised and what @TraderAnna has confirmed, and which is also referenced in the emails.

I believe that TopStep changed their rules in June to add a requirement for at least 50% of your winning trades lasting more than 20 seconds. It looks like this is the change that led to the decision to not pay out, even though the rule change was being applied retroactively. TopStep says as much in one of the emails, which I did open and read through. One of them, from Mick Ieronimo, the Risk Manager, states:

"This was the decision of the firm, and the decision is final. Please let me know whether or not you would prefer to receive a refund for that Trading Combine, or if you would like to be provided with a new Pro Account. We would be able to accommodate either of those requests today."

Anyone who thinks this decision is either fair or unfair has every right to their opinion. But clearly this has been considered at a non-routine level at the firm and they mean to stick by it. It does not seem to have been made lightly or from a careless error, but as a deliberate policy matter.

The best factual assessment looks to be that TopStep made a policy change, and that due to the timing involved, one of their traders was caught in a situation where the firm was unwilling to make the payment.

@Topstep is of course free to respond if they wish, and @TraderAnna is free to disagree with them, or to take their offer of a new Pro Account, or to take the Combine refund.

Other traders will need to assess whether this affects them or not, if they consider TopStep's program.

I have no suggestions to offer about either TopStep or any other firm. Not in my wheelhouse.

Bob.

When one door closes, another opens.
-- Cervantes, Don Quixote
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 matthew28 
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TraderAnna View Post
Yes it could be the case. But first, it was applied retrospectively, second, if you look at my pnl chart you can see that I am not a HFT.

In my last sentence I agree that applying it retrospectively isn't great. it saves Topstep a bit of money but just looks dodgy and generates bad press. It is a shame the Pro account PnL screenshot you added to your first post doesn't actually show the percentage of your profitable trades that were above 20 seconds.

The trouble with real prop firms is they have few vacancies and a lot of interested people and you have to be the one they choose to employ. Whereas the online funding companies are open to anybody.
And your Topstep track record is nice, but it is still sim trading. A track record of real trading would be better even if it was Micros. But I imagine it would need to be a decent period of time to be representative. And you also have the other problem of firms that might actually prefer people with no trading experience because a lot of it will be rubbish or bad habits and not relevant to what that individual firm does.
When I have listened to webinars of people like Morad Asker, FT71, talking about funding prop traders he said he liked professional athletes or people who had excelled in other fields and knew how to work and do deliberate practice and push themselves, I think Gary Norden who you have mentioned before has said similar things. I get the impression the average retail trader experience is looked on by the professional trading community as pretty much irrelevant.

Quite a while back there was a Mr Gecko at the top of the Jigsaw leaderboard who according to Peter Davies worked at a prop firm, I always assumed that was Axia as they used Journalytix and he has a relationship with them. If it is the same person I would favour their thoughts on what you do next.

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TraderAnna
Budapest,Hungary
 
 
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You are right. Unfortunately there is no way I can relocate. The best I did came up with is to open my own account and not try any more online firms.

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