I am sure that in this scenario, they would talk with the trader to determine the best course of action, and not just let him go all the way back to the max DD without intervening in some helpful way. However, the advantage is that at this point you have proven that you can make some money, so I like that they don't keep the leash too tight, and let you trade. However, it should be noted that once a $5K cushion (for $30K and $50K) and $10K (for $100K and $150K) is built, the max loss is limited to the starting balance, not some amount below the starting balance.
That only protects TST from not losing more than the initial balance, but the trader still can lose all what he has made up to that point. I think Mr. Patak is on record about this saying that yes, they would let you lose whatever you have made. Now I agree, it is hard to believe they wouldn't talk to you, once the losses/downternd are obvious, but that is what they are saying.
You are allowed to be stupid as long as they are not exposed....
The flatten function is problematic. Are all combiners aware that if you use flatten button to exit a position, the most important number, a.k.a., the Net Profit and Loss, would not be calculated correctly? The number would not include the trade p/l you just closed! The number will straighten out if you place a trade far away from market then cancel it, or when you place your next trade. During my 2 week trial it took me me days to figure out the inaccurate number was due to the fact I used flatten button to exit a position. I confronted TST support and they acknowledged the problem, saying that CTS was aware of this issue and was working on it. I strongly believe they should inform every combine participant this issue when the platform is downloaded. It wasted me so much time. T4 is an incredibly buggy platform. There are also other surprises that could pop up from time to time.
The following user says Thank You to MsFutures for this post:
I don't understand the problem. I have used the Flatten button extensively, but I haven't noticed anything problematic. You do get an inferior price, but that comes with the speed getting out of the position. And that window doesn't include commissions, but it never does, Flatten or no Flatten button...
If you have a practice acct, enter a trade with 1 contract then use flatten button to exit to test it. You calculate your net p/l for this trade and see if the net p/l under "All-Account" agrees with your calculation.
If you don't have this problem, it then makes T4 platform even more weird. I deal with this issue daily while in combine. I have to place a trade far away from the market then cancel this trade, then the number corrects itself.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, today we have a definite answer. I am not particularly proud of it, but on day #18 I managed to dip below the max. DD. It only lasted for about 5 minutes and 3 ticks of ES, but I was below 48K by 30-50$. The DLL wasn't in any danger, and I ended the day up with a slight gain. My combine is still alive I have just checked.
So the TST website is correct, although not logical. You can go below the max DD as long as you close the day above it and as long as you don't go below the DLL ever, during the day....(I am not sure if you can close the losing position during the day)
So I guess if you finish a day very close to your max. DD, it is possible that you can go below it the next day by almost the whole DLL, as long as your position never takes the DLL out, if you manage to come back by closing, you are golden. It also means that the unrealized max DD can be almost: max DD minus DLL. In the case of the 50K Combine, I guess you can go as low as 47.01K if it is unrealized loss, but you have to close above 48K. I think if you close that loss during the day, the game is also over... (maybe I will try it tomorrow)
There is another interesting thing about the winning day %. If you trade more than 1 instrument, you can be loser in all but one, as long as the daily sum is at least 1$, your daily win % is positive. Earlier I thought this daily win % has to be 50% for each instrument, but no, it counts altogether.
So if you have one instrument that you are particularly good, you can use it to save your day. Let's say you are down in the ES and oil, but you can make it back to the green with the nat. gas, then go for it...
The following 3 users say Thank You to Pedro40 for this post:
While my argument about the validity of small Combines stays strong, and large Combine is certainly much harder to fail if you don't go crazy with sizes, it presents another problem: it gives you too much leeway to keep doing stupid trades or use unproportionally large stop losses not to get stop out from a bad entry. Certainly, large Combine is the easiest to get refunded or rolled over, but the question is how good trade management it teaches if you can keep doing things like I did over and over again? I can see how easily I can get stuck in 150k Combine rolling it over for free for a year, because large DLL allows not to get blown using small sizes but improper trade management won't allow to get even close to required profit target.