Any follow-ups regarding their business model should go in that thread.
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The following user says Thank You to Big Mike for this post:
Congratulations TickedOff on your successful TST funded account status! I have been following your progress and am very happy you have finally reached your goal. Good job sir, you are an inspiration to us all.
On an aside, I have decided to go for it and make a combine attempt. I will update this forum on my progress. So far though, I have blown my combine account a few times already and am on reset #4, I believe.
The following 4 users say Thank You to PilotTrader for this post:
I too have blown a few combines/resets. However each time I do I feel like I have learned something new that will help me become the best trader I can. To me it is all about getting the hang of good risk management, which I finally seem to be getting the hang of. I feel like I am improving constantly, and even though it is frustrating to have to hit that reset button I find it very satisfying to know EXACTLY what I stuffed up so I can do my darnedest to avoid doing it again.
Last edited by TraderFish; August 11th, 2015 at 09:15 PM.
The following 6 users say Thank You to TraderFish for this post:
I got funded and had an intraday DD of $12.00 beyond the daily max and the account was immediately terminated so no more trades were taken and the account locked. I was trading 2 contracts--the max allowed--at the time. They don't make any exceptions with respect to the rules.
After reading every post in this thread, I think it speak volumes that not a single funded trader has come forward to share anything about ANY profits earned from this business as Zondor twice requested. My takeaway is no one from this thread ever got a profit sharing check from TST. I'll go further on a limb and say that less than 5% of TST funded traders earn monthly income from this program.
I also think Saints51's analysis is a good one and accurately describes the logic behind the business model, although I don't think it's a Ponzi scheme in the classic sense. Aspiring funded traders pay for the right to validate their skills with a golden carrot hanging in front of their noses. Success at one level brings you to a new, more constrictive set of rules with a tiny contract allotment and super tight account "stop trading" throttle. In effect, with TST you'll be forever undercapitalized unless by some act of luck and God you manage to trade like Superman and build up an equity cushion, ALL BY YOURSELF. In other words, if successful, you effectively trade your own money, not theirs. And if you're not successful, but optimistic and hopeful, you come back to that funding drug known as a Combine for another shot (no pun intended.)
And to clarify matters, a TST "funded" trader really isn't trading a funded account as we know it to be. The equity sponsor is guaranteeing to backstop any losses a trader has with NinjaTrader. There is zero money sitting a customer segregated account with the traders name and tax ID. This explains why the loss leash parameters are so tightly wound around the funded trader's neck. And Ninja has the additional benefit of collecting commissions to offset account losses in the unlikely event, the equity sponsor (an affiliate of TST) lays down on the loss.
There's more to the story, but I'm sure this gives a good overview.
Last edited by GuyMM; August 17th, 2015 at 09:55 PM.
The following 11 users say Thank You to GuyMM for this post:
Good analysis. I don't vouch for its correctness as I have no experience with this group myself but I am very skeptical of the "pay for a chance to get funded" business model with meaningless trade constraints. This needs to be upvoted more.
The following 3 users say Thank You to artemiso for this post:
I've been asked to elaborate on "there's more to the story" comment. It concerns the imbedded sim mode in TST's Rithmic data connection. I don't wish to get overly technical here, but the bottom line is TST's Rithmic simulated fill engine has little bearing to the fills one could expect in a Live account with Rithmic or any other live datafeed for that matter. This is important because it gives the unfunded trader a sense of false success and unreasonable expectations when, if ever, they get funded and trade with a live data feed. In my opinion, this is a deliberate effort by TST to inflate combine traders results, sort of like a trader on steroids.
When I was trading the combine, I had three DOM side-by-side on any particular trade; a Ninja Sim; a Ninja live; and a Rithmic sim. I was trading ES at the time with Limit orders only a few ticks away from the current price, and all orders were entered in the following sequence--Ninja Live, Ninja Sim and Rithmic Sim as fast as my finger could click the mouse. (Again, it's important to remember TST uses Rithmic only with Ninja.)
The results were consistent and noteworthy. Each and every time, the first order to get filled was Rithmic's and price never had to trade through my limit. Next was a tossup between Ninja Sim and Ninja Live. Invariably, Ninja Sim had to trade through my Limit to get a fill; on occasion, however, fills were received with Ninja Live without price trading through. There were many occurrences, when the only fill was Rithmic sim as price either couldn't push through the Limit or moved away.
Is this much ado about nothing? I think not. On the contrary, I think it's extremely important in that it gives the Rithmic Sim trader an artificial and inflated edge that will not occur in the real world of Live trading. Imagine a racehorse winning race after race with no weight in his saddlebags only to not even be in the money when those bags have an extra 140 pounds. So, what happens to our newly funded trader when his saddlebags are filled? Pre-funded Combine result's aren't matched, he doesn't meet the funded rules, he gets no payout, and he returns to the Combine to do it all over again. Or perhaps he'll opt to spend money for private tutoring with one (or more) of TST's "trading experts that will teach you how to trade the right way, assess your skills, provide feedback, and give you the edge to become a profitable trader"
Albert Einstein: "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different result." In the case of TST, one has to pay money for that insanity.
The following 6 users say Thank You to GuyMM for this post:
In Ninja you can configure yourself how optimistic or pessimistic fills should be on your Sim. If I select a more pessimistic approach, I usually get better fills on Live account than on Sim, and that is not exaggereation. In regards to their Demo mode, I traded with them on T4 CTS feed, and their Combine Demo execution was a lunacy, it gave positive slippage on market orders in 50% of the cases, get that live. In live conditions I had situations again and again when my stop orders were rejected by the exchange, because CTS server was too slow to send them to Comex after the order was activated and OCO bracket had to be send to the exchange. I don't believe it is deliberate though and I don't believe TST has any control over it, just the way sim works. It's irrelevant for position traders but can be quite difference for scalpers and active intraday traders, and TST clearly favors those.
Trade to live. Not live to trade.
The following 2 users say Thank You to xelaar for this post:
So am I, but if you look more closely, you'll discover that TST really doesn't have anything even close to that business model.
First, the trade constraints are far from meaningless (and incidentally they're actually less constraining than the ones many successful traders I know impose on themselves voluntarily, which is of course typically a highly significant part of the reason they became successful in the first place); secondly, their Combines are also far from "Pay for a chance to get funded": at "worst", you could possibly call them "Pay a returnable administrative and cost-covering fee for us to assess minimal evidence of your competence at trading safely, and either get it back if you pass or keep trying, free, indefinitely, even if you fail, as long as you don't break any of our safe-trading rules".
Respectfully, I think you're making the broad-brush mistake, above, of conflating TST with many of their inferior, would-be competitors, some (perhaps many) of whom may indeed have exactly the kind of shady business model to which you refer.
The following 5 users say Thank You to Tymbeline for this post: