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I became involved with Topstep over a year ago and its truly amazing how I have grown as a trader over the last year. I wanted to be a trader and when I graduated college TST just seemed like the perfect place to get started. I had always kept an eye on the markets but didn't have any real trading experience, TST provided me that experience without having to open an account with my own capital.

 

In my opinion, this is the best place you can be if you have a desire to make trading a career. Whether you are an advanced trader or a beginner (like myself), TopStep Trader provides you a great opportunity to improve your trading without losing a fortune by first proving you are profitable on a simulated account. After you prove you can make money on a simulated account, they will pair you with an equity partner to begin trading real money. This is a place that will shoot you straight because they don't succeed unless you succeed. They don't offer you the "next hot trading tip" and won't sugarcoat anything. It is up to you, the trader, to make your own success and TST certainly provides you with more than enough tools to become successful. The mission of TST is to scout and develop trading talent - and they will do anything to help you develop.

 

While you are trading at TST, you are required to be in a chat room. Eddie, the market broadcaster, moderates the room of 140+ traders that consists of both recruits and live traders. Eddie and his partner, John Hoagland, are located right next to the S&P pit and do a great job of sensing the market atmosphere. The chat room is a special place and really does have the feeling of a community. Traders are constantly sharing their trading ideas with each other and Eddie does a great job of keeping the traders' spirits high, something that I feel is necessary to be a successful trader. Also, throughout the day you will be able to listen to interviews from TST's President Mike Patak and several other experienced traders to help improve yourself as a trader.

 

All in all, if you want to be a trader this is the place to be.

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Topstep Trader has a great community of both beginners and advanced day traders. They have a chat room and a market broadcaster who keeps us up to date with news and pit action. They also have a course called Intuitive Development for Traders, which helps a lot in understanding the psychology of trading, and how to stay focused and disciplined. In order to get a live account with them, you have to reach a profit objective and adhere to their scouting rules. I would strongly recommend this program to anyone interested in learning how to day trade.

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Still on the program?

 

 

I became involved with Topstep over a year ago and its truly amazing how I have grown as a trader over the last year. I wanted to be a trader and when I graduated college TST just seemed like the perfect place to get started. I had always kept an eye on the markets but didn't have any real trading experience, TST provided me that experience without having to open an account with my own capital.

 

In my opinion, this is the best place you can be if you have a desire to make trading a career. Whether you are an advanced trader or a beginner (like myself), TopStep Trader provides you a great opportunity to improve your trading without losing a fortune by first proving you are profitable on a simulated account. After you prove you can make money on a simulated account, they will pair you with an equity partner to begin trading real money. This is a place that will shoot you straight because they don't succeed unless you succeed. They don't offer you the "next hot trading tip" and won't sugarcoat anything. It is up to you, the trader, to make your own success and TST certainly provides you with more than enough tools to become successful. The mission of TST is to scout and develop trading talent - and they will do anything to help you develop.

 

While you are trading at TST, you are required to be in a chat room. Eddie, the market broadcaster, moderates the room of 140+ traders that consists of both recruits and live traders. Eddie and his partner, John Hoagland, are located right next to the S&P pit and do a great job of sensing the market atmosphere. The chat room is a special place and really does have the feeling of a community. Traders are constantly sharing their trading ideas with each other and Eddie does a great job of keeping the traders' spirits high, something that I feel is necessary to be a successful trader. Also, throughout the day you will be able to listen to interviews from TST's President Mike Patak and several other experienced traders to help improve yourself as a trader.

 

All in all, if you want to be a trader this is the place to be.

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Everyone should know that TST makes misleading impressions on their website about the account sizes funded at. For example, you're not "really" given a 35k account or any reasonable % therefore but I think its like 2x your max daily loss limit. So for the lowest tier its $1,000 loss limit. That's an extremely tight loss limit for futures... Meanwhile they take 1/2 your profits for giving you 1k. However in the try out you had to make 2k in profits.

 

So to get funded at 1k loss limit you have to risk $175: so you're actually getting about $800 of risk if you pass the stringent requirement. And you're giving up what 40%-50% of your profits each month for this $800 "backing" -- which if you do well enough to pass means you're making 2k and giving up 1/2. This isn't enough capital to make worthwhile profits, esp after splits. The business appears to be geared to generate an income from combine fees rather then from actual trading profits.

 

Based on the sum total evidence, I would not recommend this program for anyone unless they were already consistently able to meet the objective.

 

I can tell you as a futures trader, a tiny futures trader, I already loss and made back many multiples of times the risk limits given to these trades. These tight risk limits will make it extremely difficult to consistently meet such high expectations. That's not to say I haven't entertained it, myself. Also any such students would like benefit from my upcoming software. But reality its a very tough hurdle they've put up.. and until they release books of top traders then I'm not inclined to believe they're making any money.

 

Really instead of promoting account sizes that have nothing to do with when the trader is cut then they should just post the max loss limits. I think this is my biggest problem with them. If they believe a 1k loss limit/cut limit back to sim makes sense then they should just post it. There is no reason to put 35k. Just put up what you actually offer...

 

my 2cents

 

 

 

Does anyone know about topsteptrader ? If so would you share? Thanks
Edited by Predictor

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A loss limit is relative to a trading capital, I thought. How can you have a loss limit if the capital doesn't exist?

 

 

Everyone should know that TST makes misleading impressions on their website about the account sizes funded at. For example, you're not "really" given a 35k account or any reasonable % therefore but I think its like 2x your max daily loss limit. So for the lowest tier its $1,000 loss limit. That's an extremely tight loss limit for futures... Meanwhile they take 1/2 your profits for giving you 1k. However in the try out you had to make 2k in profits.

 

So to get funded at 1k loss limit you have to risk $175: so you're actually getting about $800 of risk if you pass the stringent requirement. And you're giving up what 40%-50% of your profits each month for this $800 "backing" -- which if you do well enough to pass means you're making 2k and giving up 1/2. This isn't enough capital to make worthwhile profits, esp after splits. The business appears to be geared to generate an income from combine fees rather then from actual trading profits.

 

Based on the sum total evidence, I would not recommend this program for anyone unless they were already consistently able to meet the objective.

 

I can tell you as a futures trader, a tiny futures trader, I already loss and made back many multiples of times the risk limits given to these trades. These tight risk limits will make it extremely difficult to consistently meet such high expectations. That's not to say I haven't entertained it, myself. Also any such students would like benefit from my upcoming software. But reality its a very tough hurdle they've put up.. and until they release books of top traders then I'm not inclined to believe they're making any money.

 

Really instead of promoting account sizes that have nothing to do with when the trader is cut then they should just post the max loss limits. I think this is my biggest problem with them. If they believe a 1k loss limit/cut limit back to sim makes sense then they should just post it. There is no reason to put 35k. Just put up what you actually offer...

 

my 2cents

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kuokam,

 

They've actually changed this page from how it was originally listed. I guess they realized the original was deceptive. But, if you look you'll see 35k and then you'll see they added a new column "max drawdown". This didn't exist in a previous version: I applaud them for adding it. They've also increased this to 3x the daily loss limit from where it was originally 2x. I suggested that a minimum 4x to 6x loss limit would make more sense. Perhaps they realized how ridiculous it looked:

 

Live Trading Room | Trading Program | Topstep Funded Trader

 

So, I stand somewhat corrected. It is not quite as deceptive. Still, the loss limits are very conservative -- esp for the desired returns that traders would want to make based on their combine performance.

 

Also, I'm not sure how the come up with the account size values. You have a max of 3 contracts which is 15k overnight margin and then the $1500 loss limit implies an account size worth about 17k -- not 35k. If you limit yourself to intraday trading then the account size would be closer to 3k +1500 or about 5k. I know some will say it is based on 2% loss limit per day or nonsense but that doesn't mean much when your total loss limit is only 4%.

 

A loss limit is relative to a trading capital, I thought. How can you have a loss limit if the capital doesn't exist?

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This dumb still can't follow your calculations, Predictor.

The page shows allowed starting trading capital of 30k to 150k, with daily weekly and overall loss limits. Nothing extraordinary imho, every investor has his requirements to safeguard his money. All you are bringing to the business is your ability to trade consistently profitably and take 60 to 80% of the profits. You can only achieve this by taking but close to perfect set ups and constantly managing your risk.

 

 

kuokam,

 

They've actually changed this page from how it was originally listed. I guess they realized the original was deceptive. But, if you look you'll see 35k and then you'll see they added a new column "max drawdown". This didn't exist in a previous version: I applaud them for adding it. They've also increased this to 3x the daily loss limit from where it was originally 2x. I suggested that a minimum 4x to 6x loss limit would make more sense. Perhaps they realized how ridiculous it looked:

 

Live Trading Room | Trading Program | Topstep Funded Trader

 

So, I stand somewhat corrected. It is not quite as deceptive. Still, the loss limits are very conservative -- esp for the desired returns that traders would want to make based on their combine performance.

 

Also, I'm not sure how the come up with the account size values. You have a max of 3 contracts which is 15k overnight margin and then the $1500 loss limit implies an account size worth about 17k -- not 35k. If you limit yourself to intraday trading then the account size would be closer to 3k +1500 or about 5k. I know some will say it is based on 2% loss limit per day or nonsense but that doesn't mean much when your total loss limit is only 4%.

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kuokam.. As I said previously originally they did not show the loss limits but instead just showed the ACCOUNT SIZES. In reality, you trade futures on leverage and they would cut you at a small loss which makes the account size irrelevant. What matters is the loss limit because it tells you what the payoff is if you pass the requirements.

 

TST program is setup where the trader pays a fee to have a chance to get backed. It is critical to understand how much the pay off is in relation to how much the fee is in order to understand whether the deal makes sense or not.

 

I think the most honest approach would be to just leave the account size off completely or calculate it based on the risk allocation and the margin for max contracts permitted.

 

If you can't see how showing a trader that they are "funded with 35k" but in reality will be cut (sent back to sim) if they lose $1000 is dishonest then I'm not sure how I can make it any more clear. It'd be like me saying: Pay me $1,000 for a chance to trade my MILLION DOLLAR TRADING account. Only catch is that if you lose $1500 then I'm cutting you. You see how ridiculous that is? Do you also see how most people see the million dollars and wouldn't read the fine print?

 

Do you by chance work for TST? Because this is pretty basic stuff that I'm sure most readers will understand. Apparently even TST realized it wasn't right because they changed the page to now show the loss limits -- which I fully agree with.

Edited by Predictor

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Predictor, thanks for explaining the realities

 

I had never heard of TST before… it looks like a good spinoff for an IB (or a ___) :)

 

The questions those considering application would need to ask and answer…

in light of the actual ‘returns’ for the ‘tuition’ costs – would it be worth it?

Although they probably paint it like it’s the answer for everyone, their ‘training’ will ultimately reveal itself to be a ‘niche’ approach… of all the combine members, what percentage will really be a fit for that approach? Typically, it’s about one in a hundred.

Are you that one in a hundred?

Would it be safe to say - "If you don’t need the training, you don’t need TST." ???

If you become a trader with them, are you contracted for a time period?

etc.

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zdo... Good points. They let you trade own account if you pass but I think they put up a 1 year hold if you leave (before you to go another prop shop). They don't offer training. They do have a psychologist and offer various "products" -- most of which fall into the entertainment category.

 

I think the program is much better then it used to be. Now the total loss limit is 3x the daily loss limit before it was just 2x loss limit which was just plain ridiculous Note, if you touch the daily loss limit on any day then its back to the sim.

 

I have considered it. The last time I evaluated it I just couldn't make the numbers work -- to make sense. But, if they improve the program/odds then it could be worth trying. None of the other prop firms will take remote traders.

 

 

Predictor, thanks for explaining the realities

 

I had never heard of TST before… it looks like a good spinoff for an IB (or a ___) :)

 

The questions those considering application would need to ask and answer…

in light of the actual ‘returns’ for the ‘tuition’ costs – would it be worth it?

Although they probably paint it like it’s the answer for everyone, their ‘training’ will ultimately reveal itself to be a ‘niche’ approach… of all the combine members, what percentage will really be a fit for that approach? Typically, it’s about one in a hundred.

Are you that one in a hundred?

Would it be safe to say - "If you don’t need the training, you don’t need TST." ???

If you become a trader with them, are you contracted for a time period?

etc.

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They don't offer training.

 

The links below aren't ‘training’ ?

("Training" that you better be at if you expect to 'make the team' ?)

 

 

Step 1

Membership(Optional)

Warm up and work out your trading skills with a no-risk development program. Gain access to our trading coaches and classes, experience the Live Squawk Radio (Squawk Box), and utilize our trading tools as long as you’d like as you become a confident futures trader.

Trading Program Online | Learn to Trade | TopstepTrader

 

and

 

With the help of a professional trading coach, use this time to create, learn or develop a successful trading strategy; all the while utilizing access to the trader development tools listed on the left.
Learn to Trade | Trading Program | TopstepTrader Membership

 

///

and more...

Trading Coaches | Trading Tools | TopstepTrader

Trading Resources | Trading Education | TopStepTrader

Trading Classes | Learn Futures Trading | TopstepTrader

 

This isn’t ‘training’ ?

 

fwiw, I'm generally vendor neutral - all the while broadcasting that vendors are typically a fit for far fewer 'students' than they claim... Just being a devils advocate for noobs here ... since the usual suspects haven't picked up the ball (- yet :) )

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zdo:

Michael Patak, patak head-honcho, has stated numerous times they don't train traders. They don't offer training of any sort. They may have changed this recently but that's been their line from Day 1. They offer psychological training but not how to trade. I'm just trying to inform the readers here of what their deal is.

 

I honestly believe this is one of the few things they do that make sense.. as a prop firm you don't want everyone trading the same way.

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I became involved with Topstep over a year ago and its truly amazing how I have grown as a trader over the last year. I wanted to be a trader and when I graduated college TST just seemed like the perfect place to get started. I had always kept an eye on the markets but didn't have any real trading experience, TST provided me that experience without having to open an account with my own capital.

 

In my opinion, this is the best place you can be if you have a desire to make trading a career. Whether you are an advanced trader or a beginner (like myself), TopStep Trader provides you a great opportunity to improve your trading without losing a fortune by first proving you are profitable on a simulated account. After you prove you can make money on a simulated account, they will pair you with an equity partner to begin trading real money. This is a place that will shoot you straight because they don't succeed unless you succeed. They don't offer you the "next hot trading tip" and won't sugarcoat anything. It is up to you, the trader, to make your own success and TST certainly provides you with more than enough tools to become successful. The mission of TST is to scout and develop trading talent - and they will do anything to help you develop.

 

While you are trading at TST, you are required to be in a chat room. Eddie, the market broadcaster, moderates the room of 140+ traders that consists of both recruits and live traders. Eddie and his partner, John Hoagland, are located right next to the S&P pit and do a great job of sensing the market atmosphere. The chat room is a special place and really does have the feeling of a community. Traders are constantly sharing their trading ideas with each other and Eddie does a great job of keeping the traders' spirits high, something that I feel is necessary to be a successful trader. Also, throughout the day you will be able to listen to interviews from TST's President Mike Patak and several other experienced traders to help improve yourself as a trader.

 

All in all, if you want to be a trader this is the place to be.

 

Is that dummy number 1? ... ok,put me on to dummy number 2......

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Topstep Trader has a great community of both beginners and advanced day traders. They have a chat room and a market broadcaster who keeps us up to date with news and pit action. They also have a course called Intuitive Development for Traders, which helps a lot in understanding the psychology of trading, and how to stay focused and disciplined. In order to get a live account with them, you have to reach a profit objective and adhere to their scouting rules. I would strongly recommend this program to anyone interested in learning how to day trade.

 

Dummy number 2? ...looking forward (not) to you and your mate's 2nd ever post which really belong in ET

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mitsubishi: Yes, the first ever posters stick out like a sore thumb. However, I'm glad that TopStepTrader chose to post here because it allows for an unbiased discussion about their offerings.

 

I applaud the admins here for providing a positive atmosphere where both vendors, trader/vendors, and traders can share and discuss without being viciously attacked. Some forums go quite far in protecting their "streams of income", i.e paying vendors, at the cost of honest and unbiased discussion -- while at the same time stifling trader/vendors (non paying) from sharing and contributing.

 

I've been shut out of more then a few discussions because I offered a trading system or sold a product. And the reality was that I was offering the best information, the best content, of anyone in the group. The tendency to stereotype and come to wrong conclusions is common. As such, I know both sides of the coin.

 

One of the reason I'm versed on the TST program is because I've monitored it sense inception as I considered to do it. I believe the IDEA has a lot of promise. There aren't many sources of funding for traders.

 

The question each has to ask is whether or not the value proposition is there... When they first started, I decided for me it wasn't there. Perhaps due to exposure or better sense, they've made changes to the program for the better. Right now, I'm undecided if the value is there. I don't suspect it is but I'll continue to monitor the program.

 

You know one of the main problems I have with the whole idea still is that if I'm funding a trader and they perform consistently then I will ramp them up to the maximum leverage I'm comfortable with them using quickly. I actually met and discussed a position at one of the largest prop firms in the US (stocks not futures). The head guy said listen: we don't start you at much but as you prove yourself we'll ramp you up to unlimited buying power. I didn't take the position because the firm was clearly having trouble. But this was the real deal and what he said made sense.

 

As such, it has always felt strange to me that they have tiers. If I'm a backer then I'm always going to start a trader at the minimum leverage and make them prove themselves -- least risk for me. I once talked to a joker on the phone who wanted to know if I could handle a 100 lot-- anyone who would start an unknown trader at 100 lot doesn't have too many marbles. At the same time, if a trader is consistent then like the head manager at the firm I spoke with, I'm going to ramp him up the maximum I'm comfortable with very rapidly. I guess they could have their reasons, i.e psychology or whatever. But still the tiered approach has always seemed "unique" to me.

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zdo:

Michael Patak, patak head-honcho, has stated numerous times they don't train traders. They don't offer training of any sort. They may have changed this recently but that's been their line from Day 1. They offer psychological training but not how to trade. I'm just trying to inform the readers here of what their deal is.

 

I honestly believe this is one of the few things they do that make sense.. as a prop firm you don't want everyone trading the same way.

 

Hello guys- I wanted to jump in this thread and provide the opportunity to answer any of your questions.

 

As for training traders, the market is your best teacher and the longer you are immersed in the market the more you will learn about it and yourself. With the failure so high in this business we designed the Combine, where traders can get the time, feedback, and opportunity to showcase their talent without risking any trading capital.

 

I am open to questions you have. As for the dummy 1 and dummy 2.. Those are actual traders we have funded.

 

mp

aka "nebraska" in our Squawk Radio broadcast and interactive chat room.

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Hi Michael, and welcome!

 

When you say that some conditions can be customized, does that include over night positions in some products that don't gap much ?

 

 

Hello guys- I wanted to jump in this thread and provide the opportunity to answer any of your questions.

 

As for training traders, the market is your best teacher and the longer you are immersed in the market the more you will learn about it and yourself. With the failure so high in this business we designed the Combine, where traders can get the time, feedback, and opportunity to showcase their talent without risking any trading capital.

 

I am open to questions you have. As for the dummy 1 and dummy 2.. Those are actual traders we have funded.

 

mp

aka "nebraska" in our Squawk Radio broadcast and interactive chat room.

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Hi Michael, and welcome!

 

When you say that some conditions can be customized, does that include over night positions in some products that don't gap much ?

 

Kuokam- We do review each customized proposal. If you would like to customized your Combine evaluation to allow for holding a position when the electronic market is closed you can review our page and send your proposal.

 

We will then look to get this approved with our equity partner. Approvals for overnight trading are case by case.

 

mp

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I just got this in my inbox today...I think this is a step in the right direction. I will have to re-evaluate the offering. I am too busy to try it immediately but I'm more open to attempting one now. I have never been negative in my real money trading. So, it would be nice to have a backup.

 

I'm sure many would like to see me try and fail. .lol

----------

 

Traders who have received funding after successfully completing a $30K (or $50K) Combine have consistently proven to be some of the most disciplined and consistent traders we have trading in the live market. Therefore, we've made the following changes:

The 10-Day Combine profit target for the $30K account has changed from $2,500 to $1,500

The 20-Day Combine profit target for the $30K account has changed from $4,000 to $2,000

For those who receive a funded account after successfully completing the $30K or $50K Combine are now eligible to receive additional buying power once an account cushion of $5K+ in profits has been built.

 

AND

 

Those who receive a funded account after successfully completing the $30K Combine may receive an increased daily loss limit once an account cushion of $5K+ in profits has been built.

 

Previously, a funded account would have been required to establish at least $15K in cumulative profits for these two parameters to be negotiable for an increase.

 

As a reminder, you are always welcome to customize your Combine objective for any of the Combine options, learn more here.

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I'm really thinking about trying this. For the record, I believe that it was originally setup as a way to generate fees from the combines. However, if they can make the "math" make sense then they may get some real traders -- like me. I've did well in my personal account but it might be good for me temporarily take a rest break.

 

I still have to look at the math and see if it makes sense. The reduced goals should up my odds though.

 

Michael, you are now offering a NinjaTrader version?

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I've submitted a custom combine. However, on second look at the website I notice some things. There are still some inherent/fundamental problems in what they offer, that to me, would need to change for me to say the math actually made sense:

 

Max risk is only 2x daily loss limit for higher plans. Max risk should be at least 4x-6x the daily loss limit to enable a trader to realistically assume the daily risk given. For example, on the highest plan the max drawdown is only 4k while the daily loss limit is 3k.

 

That is not realistic. It is not an honest offer. An honest offer would say okay, if I'm giving you 3k daily loss limit then I'm going to give you 12k loss limit.

 

I mean ask yourself, would you trade a system that stated up front it could lose 3k in a single day with only 4k allocation? It doesn't make sense. You wouldn't do that unless you were an idiot.

 

So what's the real daily loss limit for the 4k account... you guessed it 1k before splits or about equivalent $600 after splits. Not bad but not what is advertised. What would you need to trade under same parameters? 600*4 = $2400 account + intraday margin or about $3500-$4500.

Edited by Predictor

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Hello guys- I wanted to jump in this thread and provide the opportunity to answer any of your questions.

 

As for training traders, the market is your best teacher and the longer you are immersed in the market the more you will learn about it and yourself. With the failure so high in this business we designed the Combine, where traders can get the time, feedback, and opportunity to showcase their talent without risking any trading capital.

 

I am open to questions you have. As for the dummy 1 and dummy 2.. Those are actual traders we have funded.

mp

aka "nebraska" in our Squawk Radio broadcast and interactive chat room.

 

 

Oh good.They looked like 2 obvious 1 post spammers to me but i'm sure they'll be contributing to the community any day now on a whole range of topics.My mistake ,sorry.

Will any more dummies..dammit i mean traders be coming on to tell us their "amazing" stories?

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I've submitted a custom combine. However, on second look at the website I notice some things. There are still some inherent/fundamental problems in what they offer, that to me, would need to change for me to say the math actually made sense:

Max risk is only 2x daily loss limit for higher plans. Max risk should be at least 4x-6x the daily loss limit to enable a trader to realistically assume the daily risk given. For example, on the highest plan the max drawdown is only 4k while the daily loss limit is 3k.

 

That is not realistic. It is not an honest offer. An honest offer would say okay, if I'm giving you 3k daily loss limit then I'm going to give you 12k loss limit.

 

I mean ask yourself, would you trade a system that stated up front it could lose 3k in a single day with only 4k allocation? It doesn't make sense. You wouldn't do that unless you were an idiot.

 

So what's the real daily loss limit for the 4k account... you guessed it 1k before splits or about equivalent $600 after splits. Not bad but not what is advertised. What would you need to trade under same parameters? 600*4 = $2400 account + intraday margin or about $3500-$4500.

 

Don't worry,it's nothing a bit of spamming and sales patter wont rectify.Don't worry..it must be good 'cos these guys work in the pit,,just like Oscar used to.And everyone knows Oscar is whiter than white,honest as the day is long.Don't believe me? Just ask Larry Levine,an early promoter of "the next big thing" -pit traders who make sooo much money in the pits but are desperate to help a bunch of retailers get rich...

Why are you agonizin' over this "deal"..is it greed? i mean you do trade right? What the hell do you need anybody else for?

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