I am in the process of completing my combine. The service has been top notch and professional.
Something that needs to be remembered is that these people are letting you trade real hard earned money with no real risk to you after you show your worth.
If there are a few hiccups along the way its best to remember that this is by far the best option and opportunity a retail trader has to become funded.
This is of course my personal opinion.
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Reply to a recently deleted post
I wanted to share the deleted post above, so there would be a context to our response and resolution.
This was a unique situation, as we have never had a trader continue trading once they’ve reached the profit target. We quickly realized this was an extenuating circumstance that needed to be handled differently.
We personally reached out to this trader to apologize for his experience, refunded him, and corrected the situation.
We’re happy to report, this trader was very understanding and is beginning his Funded Trader Preparation tomorrow. We are thankful for his feedback and hope to have him in a Funded Account soon.
If you have any questions about our products or services at TopstepTrader, please send me a Private Message or use the BMT "Ask Me Anything" thread.
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Just now reading this thread, after returning from my vacation.
That guy was banned for making junk posts to bypass forum rules. Every user is very expressly warned against that.
I hadn't even read his posts here until just this moment.
I never deleted any post of his with the reason of "not helpful to discussion" as he claims. It's possible @sam028 did this in my absence.
The guy then proceeded to further violate rules by creating two duplicate accounts, spamming the forum again to bypass post rules, and then make posts here again.
After being banned again (thanks Sam) he then wrote me an email with a bunch of childish bs about how he has nothing but time on his hands and will dedicate his life to ruining me, etc etc etc.
Then he emailed again and said someone at TST resolved his problem and he wants to come back on the forum. I said no, he purposely violated our rules, and his actions have consequences.
Then he said again how he would ruin me, etc.
Those are the facts.
Sent from my phone
Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.
Need help? 1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first. 2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses. 3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make. 4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance. 5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers. 6) Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.
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Nope, the only posts deleted were because the user was banned posting random text to boost his posts count.
And then when he came back with another name from another source IP address, posting the same random text:
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Usually in trading, those who know don't talk, and those who talk don't know. (Al Brooks)
success requires no deodorant! (Sun Tzu)
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From this sequence I have once again learned (at my ripe old age) that:
1) It is better to ask a question than to demand an answer or insist on an outcome.
2) Always say sorry first, then think about kicking-off - but wait until tomorrow, it might not seem the same.
3) That 'tilt' has many forms of expression, in a DOM, in a forum or on the road, and we are all better off without it, in trading and in life.
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I just got a PM from a trader who asked me for a suggestion for a Combine, and who was concerned whether "all the rules" would fit his trading style or not.
I gave it my best shot, which is basically about the different things to weigh against each other in deciding which to do, and whether to do any of them, and also told him I would post a version of my response out on the forum in case it was useful to anyone else who is trying to decide.
So here it is:
Well, it's always a big responsibility when someone thinks I know enough to make a recommendation. I'm really not that expert. But I'll try to lay out some pros and cons.
The first thing is being clear about "all the rules," which sometimes seem more and worse than they are. Also, they have been somewhat relaxed recently.
Here's the entire list of rules as of now:
1. You need at least 10 days of trading -- no maximum (for a Continuous, which is the current standard.)
2. Basically, you can trade from a list of CME and CBOT products (it's either most or all of them), day trades only, and you must close out by 3:10 PM CT, or whenever the contract closes if different. You can close at 3:10 and re-open at 5:00 CT (or whenever), but not hold straight through. You also will need to always trade the "front month" (the most active.)
3. You have a daily loss limit. If you hit it during a trade your trade is closed out and the Combine will not be eligible for funding. It resets every day, so you should just stop if you approach it, and next day you're good up to the same amount. For instance, for a 50K Combine, it's $1,000/day. It's higher for larger accounts, lower for smaller ones. This is one way to blow the Combine.
4. You have a "trailing max drawdown" which is a certain amount below your account's high point. For a 50K Combine, it's $2,000. So as the account balance increases, the max drawdown level advances to stay $2,000 below its highest level. It stops advancing once it gets up to your starting balance. If you slip back down to the max drawdown level on a closingbasis, you're done. So when you start, your max drawdown level is $48,000. If your balance goes up to 51,000, the max drawdown trails up to 49,000, etc. This is the other way to blow it.
5. You have a limit of a certain number of contracts per trade. For 50K, it's maximum of 5.
6. You have to make the profit target, on or after the tenth day. For a 50K, it's $3,000.
If you hit the loss limits, the Combine won't be considered for funding, but you will still have the data feed and can use it for practice until you reset it (there's a $100 charge), or you email them to cancel it. The subscription also keeps renewing (being charged) on the normal date, whether reset or not, unless you cancel.
If you hit all the marks, including the target, you need to email them to let them know you're ready to have it evaluated.
You can see that there's really nothing much to these rules except the restriction to day trading only, the two loss control rules, the max trade size, and the profit target after 10 days. (And presently, you can't do a Combine for something that is not on the CME.)
If you can't trade within these terms -- for example, if you need to swing trade overnight -- then it's not for you. If you can, then here's my suggestion:
Particularly pay attention to the differences between the trade size, daily loss limit, max drawdown and profit target.
Then, look at the trade-offs between these for the different account sizes. For instance, I would not be at all comfortable with the smaller two Combines, the 10K and the 30K, because their smaller daily limits wouldn't give me the leeway that I would want to have to absorb losing trades. For me, 50K is OK, because I am comfortable with the $1,000 daily loss limit (which I further limit to about $750 as my own personal limit, because I don't want to hit theirs.) If someone were a more precise trader than I am, perhaps he would be OK with a tighter limit, and a cheaper Combine. Or, someone might want more leeway, and so go for a larger account. But then there is also a higher profit target to consider.
There should also be some thought given to the trade size. I do not attempt to trade the 50K with the maximum allowed size of 5 contracts, because 5 contracts can give you a bigger loss very quickly. I trade the 50K with just one contract, because it has a much bigger loss limit than the 10K, which has a max of one contract, but a super-tight loss limit of $300. I'm perfectly happy to pay a higher Combine price for the higher loss limit. So this is also a factor to weigh in the balance, and will be completely individual.
Many people dream they will get rich very fast, and go for the 150K and use the max 15 contracts, which can be suicide if you don't already trade that much with success.
Finally, for me, funding would be nice, but the required discipline and structure is the main thing. Also, it is much closer to real trading than just plinking away at pure sim, because there is something at stake, but I'm not losing my own money while I do it. It has been an effective way to improve, and to learn to handle my personal weaknesses, which are what really hold me back.
These are the things that I would try to balance out. If you need me to clarify anything, just let me know, and good luck, whichever way you go.
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