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TopstepTrader's Michael Patak (President) - Ask Me Anything (AMA)
Started:February 8th, 2013 (07:49 PM) by Big Mike Views / Replies:112,310 / 862
Last Reply:November 29th, 2016 (11:51 AM) Attachments:14

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TopstepTrader's Michael Patak (President) - Ask Me Anything (AMA)

Old July 10th, 2013, 11:03 AM   #161 (permalink)
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
I have to say I do not agree with this change and I do not think it promotes good trading habits.

The email states that this is aimed at promoting patience, but in fact what this will result in is people skipping valid setups because they're scared of using up one of their trading days. What TST is looking for is traders who have a defined edge which takes into account risk, loss limits, market structure, targets etc. When the trader see's their edge present itself they execute. Period.

The 'minimum' structure they have had in place lends itself to traders executing their edge when they see it, and not picking and choosing which valid setups to take. When you see a valid setup as per your edge, you take it. This new 'limit' structure will result in traders skipping perfectly good trades because they dont want to use up a day. They will begin looking for sure things. As we know, good traders trade probabilities, they dont trade sure things. By skipping valid setups because you're scared of using up a day, you are not trading probabilities, you are waiting for a sure thing which doesn't exist in the market.

Further to that, TST will now have much less information about prospective traders after only 10 or 20 trading days. Personally, I would want to see how a person trades consistently over a 2 month period. Not how they trade on 10 or 20 cherry picked days.

Edit: Patience in trading is about waiting for valid setups. Patience is not about skipping days or valid trades looking for a sure thing.

Darkpool- We are looking for traders to "Just Trade" as the old line on the trading floor goes (the CBOT handed tshirts out about 6 years ago that played off the "Just do it" Nike line). When you trade you learn more about yourself and your strengths and weaknesses. This gives you incredible feedback that you then can doing something about if you so choose.

Do not look at the amount of days left or be scared to enter because this may waste a day. The goal of the Combine is to develop and follow rules, not to only hit the profit target. If you follow all the rules and make $1 you are able to roll your Combine over to a new Combine at no cost. If you follow the rules and meet the profit target you will be moving on to a funded account or in some situations a Live Trader Preparation period. If you do not follow the rules at any of the levels you will not advance and starting a Combine over will require a new deposit.

The goal of the Combine is to develop talent and retain talent that follows the rules. Meeting the profit target will be a side effect of following the rules. 97% of those we survey said the Combine has helped them to develop as a trader. This is a vital tool you can use to get to where you want to be WITHOUT putting another $5k into the market and weathering that storm.

mp

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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Old July 10th, 2013, 11:11 AM   #162 (permalink)
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
Exactly right. Initially traders will be far too wary of placing a trade for fear of using a day. Then once he has placed that first trade he will be more inclined to force trades because rather than waste one of his precious 10 or 20 days, he's going to MAKE the market pay him. We all know what that results in.

They obviously want to promote patience in waiting for valid trades, which is great. However all this will do is result in people skipping valid trades and then over trading once they've placed a trade for the day.

Darkpool- A trader need to practice discipline and follow his plan. If he/she are doing this and their results are not up to par. They should be tweaking their plan. The key is to stay disciplined and follow YOUR plan. This gives you feedback to know if you have a sound trading plan or if it needs work. Forcing trades or over trading once you have made a trade does not sound like a disciplined trader. TST does not force you to trade and we even say you do not have to make money to stay in the Combine at no cost BUT you do need to follow the rules and our rules are risk management rules that instill discipline over time. Some traders take much longer than others to get to a point where the foundation of their trading is not indicators, set-ups, or whatever. It is a discipline. Discipline is the core of their trading. Having this as a foundation is the start of developing yourself into an amazing sound even keeled trader.

mp

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Old July 10th, 2013, 11:12 AM   #163 (permalink)
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slippage NT combine


IMO NT combine is not ready....slippage is horrible....miscalculations in NT...no idea of RT P&L
not at all pleased....waited since Feb....

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Old July 10th, 2013, 11:19 AM   #164 (permalink)
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9baller View Post
IMO NT combine is not ready....slippage is horrible....miscalculations in NT...no idea of RT P&L
not at all pleased....waited since Feb....

9baller- I have passed your comments along to the NT committee. They will look into it. This is a soft launch. If there are issues they will be addressed. If you have any issues please also reply to your invite email and someone will respond swiftly.

mp

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Old July 10th, 2013, 11:34 AM   #165 (permalink)
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TopstepTrader View Post
Darkpool- We are looking for traders to "Just Trade" as the old line on the trading floor goes (the CBOT handed tshirts out about 6 years ago that played off the "Just do it" Nike line). When you trade you learn more about yourself and your strengths and weaknesses. This gives you incredible feedback that you then can doing something about if you so choose.

Do not look at the amount of days left or be scared to enter because this may waste a day. The goal of the Combine is to develop and follow rules, not to only hit the profit target. If you follow all the rules and make $1 you are able to roll your Combine over to a new Combine at no cost. If you follow the rules and meet the profit target you will be moving on to a funded account or in some situations a Live Trader Preparation period. If you do not follow the rules at any of the levels you will not advance and starting a Combine over will require a new deposit.

The goal of the Combine is to develop talent and retain talent that follows the rules. Meeting the profit target will be a side effect of following the rules. 97% of those we survey said the Combine has helped them to develop as a trader. This is a vital tool you can use to get to where you want to be WITHOUT putting another $5k into the market and weathering that storm.

mp

Thanks for the reply Michael and thank you for engaging with us,

The combine is definitely a positive thing for traders to do. I have no doubt 97% of traders surveyed say it was a positive thing for their trading.

However I personally don't agree that this latest rule change will have the desired effect.

I really think that there will be more traders skipping valid setups so they don't use one of their days. Then,...once they have placed a trade after waiting any number of days with no trading, they will then over trade so as not to waste the day. I agree completely that this is not the behavior of a disciplined trader. However this is likely to be the behavior of a trader in this environment with an extremely limited time to trade where the importance of each day is overly emphasized. Surely the idea should be to downplay the importance of any day or trade. That is not what is being done here.

With the current rules, the environment is more conducive to taking all valid trades ("Just trading") with no added pressure on the importance of any particular day. It is also more conducive to stopping trading when you're clearly not seeing the market right.

Anyway, TST no doubt records copious amounts of stats on it's traders. So time will tell.

Thanks again for engaging with us here.

You donít trade the markets; you only trade your beliefs about the markets.
- Van K Tharp

Last edited by DarkPoolTrading; July 10th, 2013 at 12:04 PM.
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Old July 10th, 2013, 12:16 PM   #166 (permalink)
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how do think those who waited months for NT to be ready feel ....I was invited to the phase 1 NT rollout....and went with a 10 day 150k combine effective today....and the night before my combine starts after I get my login credentials you send this new e-mail changing the structure effective the following week....BLINDSIDE!

10 day combine twice as hard now....a lot easier to average 600 day than it is 1200....

also agree with the cherry picking comments from dark pool above...but also feel that 10 day combine not only more $ difficult...but more pressure to force trades...why take the 10 day now?

bad timing on rule changes....and NT still not ready....

and look at this volatility in CL!!!!

looking forward to resolution

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Old July 10th, 2013, 12:40 PM   #167 (permalink)
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
With the current rules, the environment is more conducive to taking all valid trades ("Just trading") with no added pressure on the importance of any particular day. It is also more conducive to stopping trading when you're clearly not seeing the market right.

Bingo. I have no horse in this race at all, and I like TST a lot, but I think the move to minimum format was a very good one, and am puzzled as to why it was changed. My first guess would be business reasons, though I hope that's not it, because I just don't see the benefit to traders.

Said another way, which format more closely mimics the reality of a trading environment? One in which you are penalized for taking one trade and scratching it (by reducing the number of days in which you can now trade over the next month), or one in which no one trade or day is ever given more importance over another?

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Old July 10th, 2013, 01:38 PM   #168 (permalink)
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9baller View Post
how do think those who waited months for NT to be ready feel ....I was invited to the phase 1 NT rollout....and went with a 10 day 150k combine effective today....and the night before my combine starts after I get my login credentials you send this new e-mail changing the structure effective the following week....BLINDSIDE!

10 day combine twice as hard now....a lot easier to average 600 day than it is 1200....

also agree with the cherry picking comments from dark pool above...but also feel that 10 day combine not only more $ difficult...but more pressure to force trades...why take the 10 day now?

bad timing on rule changes....and NT still not ready....

and look at this volatility in CL!!!!

looking forward to resolution

9baller- If you would like to change or are concerned you can contact support and see what options are available.

To address concerns on making things harder I would have to disagree and say that we have made things easier. The new format promotes and pushes the trader that is looking to enter the Combine to pull the trigger on the Combine with more time (the first test of seeing if a trader has patience). There should not be a rush to develop your trading or even showcase your trading. The profit targets we have for the Combine are the same whether you choose 10 or 20 days.

There has been other points that say that the new format forces a trader make a lot more in the 10 day. I want to stress that profits should come naturally in the Combine. If you find you are forcing profits you need to size down both in your position and in the Combine you are looking to enter. The 30k Combine has a profit target of $1,500. You can choose either 10 days or 20 days to most importantly MEET THE RULES and meet the profit target (if naturally possible). For this example you would have to produce a trading average of $150 if you enter the 10 day and a trading average of $75 if you entered the 20 day.

So we can see above that the 20 day is drastically easier and if I can't naturally meet that level BUT follow my rules this particular Combine will cost me nothing. You will then have the opportunity to restart the Combine and look to further develop (using the experience from your prior Combine) and eventually get yourself naturally meeting the Combine profit target.

Guys trading takes time. We recommend that if you are feeling forced you size down. If you can't trade small you can not trade big.

mp

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Old July 10th, 2013, 01:41 PM   #169 (permalink)
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josh View Post
Bingo. I have no horse in this race at all, and I like TST a lot, but I think the move to minimum format was a very good one, and am puzzled as to why it was changed. My first guess would be business reasons, though I hope that's not it, because I just don't see the benefit to traders.

Said another way, which format more closely mimics the reality of a trading environment? One in which you are penalized for taking one trade and scratching it (by reducing the number of days in which you can now trade over the next month), or one in which no one trade or day is ever given more importance over another?

josh- If your focus is meeting the Rules of the Combine there should be no greater or lesser importance of any day over another.

mp

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Old July 10th, 2013, 02:18 PM   #170 (permalink)
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Lastly, I do want to say that recruits in the Combine will have one profit target (at each Combine level) that they can choose either 10 days (within 30 calendar) or 20 days (within 60 calendar) to naturally achieve while following the rules.

For those that have been in the 20 day Combine this is a drastic decrease (up to 30%) in the profits that one needs to achieve.

mp

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