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Anybody heard of topsteptrader (review)
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Anybody heard of topsteptrader (review)

  #481 (permalink)
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It now makes sense. Other rules are rules, which one can follow if one can trade. But the defined number of days is indeed completely unnatural, as it forces you to apply math to Trading (goal divided by number of days), and Trading has nothing to do with random external rules, self defined target, stops etc. The market does what it does regardless of our persona set of rules, so we have to trade the market not rules/$goals etc (and his is exactly why one should never trade with a $live P&L on).

Anyway, I have been trading full time, successfully for a good number of years (never a negative week and very few negative days) and tried a couple of combine for fun, especially as I wanted to see how I could trade random/external rules, and failed twice! This is quite ironic really, as it is meant to teach one how to trade, but someone who can and has been doing it for a living for years, fails. Main reason, was indeed the 10/20 days time frame. If forces you to trade to reach the daily average or daily minimum, even on a day when there is no more to be done FOR YOU. There are 200$ days, 400$ days, 1500$ days, 150$ days.... You can not decide on what the market can give nor change your rules to adapt to a random daily target set by a random amount of days you have to trade.

So, yes this is a very good thing, getting closer to Trading live in real life as a Retail.

The last thing which is much more "workable" but still unreal is the tails closing times.. 10 minutes past...??? Why not 5, 6, 18..? It has to stop at some stage before unless you have a account which can take overnight positions, but why would you get out of the market before the close, when you know there are tonns of algos which work the close and will get back to VWAP and/or VWAP SD1 for example? Or time slice and keep a last slice minutes if not seconds before the close, etc..? This makes as much sense as if there was a rule where you could not trade the open for 20 mn..!

Anyway, that rule is more workable, but does not apply to the reality of the market. New noontime limit combine is a good idea.

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  #482 (permalink)
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Hulk View Post
I believe this is a good move on TopStep Trader's part. I was looking forward to not having any time restrictions. That was the only part about the combines that I didn't like, the restriction and added pressure of making x dollars every day or in y number of days. Enter the continuous combine. Good job TST.

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Excellent addition in my opinion. The one thing that always bothered me about the combines is the pressure to trade X number of days within Y time period. You may find that your last couple of days of the combine fall over rollover or on FOMC for example,...a period which many traders do not want to trade but have to force trades anyway. Now that is no longer an issue.

Well done to TST for this change.

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  #483 (permalink)
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deaddog View Post
The rule that keeps me from taking a combine is the 55% winning days.
In reality with a 10 day combine it's 60%
It shouldn't matter how many winning days a trader has if they can meet all the other goals.

By asking a trader to have a certain percentage of winning days you are setting them up to have to trade their way out of trouble. If the first trade of the day is a loss the trader is now forced to take at least one more trade to try and get back to even. They would be better off waiting for the perfect set up.

To me the object should be to achieve the profit goal. I like the daily loss and max loss limits. But if a trader can stay within those limits and still trade profitably does it make any difference how many profitable days he has?

Actually the max daily loss means if you lose the first trade possibly the 2nd you can't risk trading any more anyway forcing bad starts into becoming losing days.

I rarely have down days, but 50% of days my first trade might be a loser so without being able to pull my ass out of the fire! I could fail on that.

But no day limit, so guess trade smaller 1 position, take 3 losers in a row, after 3 I'd walk away anyway, kick the mrs fuss the cat!

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  #484 (permalink)
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deaddog View Post
The rule that keeps me from taking a combine is the 55% winning days.
In reality with a 10 day combine it's 60%
It shouldn't matter how many winning days a trader has if they can meet all the other goals.

By asking a trader to have a certain percentage of winning days you are setting them up to have to trade their way out of trouble. If the first trade of the day is a loss the trader is now forced to take at least one more trade to try and get back to even. They would be better off waiting for the perfect set up.

To me the object should be to achieve the profit goal. I like the daily loss and max loss limits. But if a trader can stay within those limits and still trade profitably does it make any difference how many profitable days he has?

There's certainly something in this comment. There is a point to requiring a certain minimum level of consistent performance, but many people (me, for instance ) find the 55% (yes, really 60%) of profitable days to be a big problem.... especially since you can be down something like $5 for the day, which is basically a scratch day, and it counts against your percentage. I'm in a Combine now, and I'm starting to watch my winning/losing days a little more than I would like.

There are a couple of things that you can do about this, however:

1. Propose a customized Combine. You can propose a different set of rules that will suit you better. TsT will review them, and they are fairly flexible in what they approve. They just want to have good risk control and good measures of success. (For instance, they flatly refuse to consider not having the daily loss limit or a drawdown limit.) To your point, I read in their chat room yesterday where a guy got a customized Combine without the daily winning percent at all. I think he proposed, in its place, that his percentage of winning trades, not days, would be over 50% by the end of the Combine, and that his average duration in winning trades would be greater than his average duration in losing trades. In other words, on balance he's a winner, and he's cutting his loses quickly. Other proposed rule changes might be approved, and my impression is they will work with you on them.

This still might not meet your objection, but the point is that you can get some changes made. I know other people have gotten other requirements waived, by proposing others somewhere else, so long as TsT believes the new metrics make sense in terms of loss control and performance -- I think they have even accepted changes in profit targets, offset by additional risk control, for instance. I think there is an additional cost for them to review your customization, but it's not that much.

2. This new "continuous" Combine is a big change. Essentially, you pay a Combine fee (slightly reduced from the regular fee) once every 30 days, if you need that long. It can just continue until you're done. Of course, you may only need one 30-day span. During that time, you can trade without the time pressure. If and when you meet the Combine criteria, you email them that you're done. I don't know if you can also customize this, but I imagine that you can. You could email them to find out.

I believe that TsT is going to want something as a measure of consistency, not just meeting the profit goal. After all, if you end up trading a live account with them, you're trading their capital and they don't want big swings in their P&L. It's not just your personal account, where only you are involved.

But these alternatives to the regular rules may give at least some people more leeway. If I need to do another Combine after this one, which is certainly a possibility (ahem), I will do the continuous. Maybe I'll ask to modify this 55% of days rule, too.

Just my thoughts. I hope this is useful to you.

Bob.

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  #485 (permalink)
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tturner86 View Post
I believe that it has to do with consistency. They would like you to be consistent with your profit, not make $2000 in a day and then lose $300 over the next 9 days or the other way around.

I just think the 55% rule would force traders to take trades that are not optimal because the focus is on winning days.

If you want consistency I personally would look for a trader who consistently takes only the best set-up and consistently has small losses and large profits.

It is hard to find the Truth when you start your search with a preconceived notion of what the Truth will be.
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  #486 (permalink)
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deaddog View Post
I just think the 55% rule would force traders to take trades that are not optimal because the focus is on winning days.

If you want consistency I personally would look for a trader who consistently takes only the best set-up and consistently has small losses and large profits.

I have actually just written a lot about focus in my journal. You shouldn't focus on the 55% rule, or even the profit needed a day to win the combine.

You should focus on executing the right setups that put you in place to win the combine (if you fail, so what? you executed your plan*). If you shift your focus from trying to keep their rules to just executing your plan you have a better chance of doing so. Its like driving a car or a bike and seeing a pothole, if you focus on the pothole odds are you will hit it. Focus on where you want to go, not the obstacle in your path. Like Greztsky would say skate to where the puck is going not where it has been. In trading as in life, attention is short, don't waste it on something that will cause you to make an error.

**After that you can start to determine if your plan was even feasible.

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  #487 (permalink)
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deaddog View Post
If you want consistency I personally would look for a trader who consistently takes only the best set-up and consistently has small losses and large profits.


tturner86 View Post

**After that you can start to determine if your plan was even feasible.

Those two sentences might well sum up 80% of the job. The other 80% (it's a big job...) will always be dealing with the daemons and the demons, no matter how fine we get the execution on the good days. I can beat most monthly benchmarks if I simply take my 2 or 3 tilt days out from the count, but finding a way to prevent those will always be my own 'special' job.

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  #488 (permalink)
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deaddog View Post
I just think the 55% rule would force traders to take trades that are not optimal because the focus is on winning days.

If you want consistency I personally would look for a trader who consistently takes only the best set-up and consistently has small losses and large profits.

I agree with this. It should either be a 55% winning day rule or a high average wining trade to losing trade ratio. Traders that take trades to hold longer and have a low win % but high win/loss $ ratio, are at a disadvantage with this rule. No one can tell if a day is going to chop around, you inevitably take a trade and after some time find out that this is not your kind of day and stop trading for the day. You may lose a little on such days but the days when it goes in your favor, you might be making many multiples of your losses. I think TST should change this and have a choice between a 55% winning day rule or a maybe 3:1 avg win:avg loss ratio.

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  #489 (permalink)
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You guys are forgetting, simply submit a custom combine.

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  #490 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
You guys are forgetting, simply submit a custom combine.

Mike

Mike, custom combine is like a negotiation. For altering a rule, you have to agree to something else - usually a higher target to be able to roll over (at least, thats what I had to do) or lesser contracts available to trade or maybe something else that I dont know about.

If there are any rules that force traders to look for trades that arent there or are sub-optimal, then TST isnt judging their true trading abilities. I think it is in the interest of both parties to modify the 55% rule or to have a different option.

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