If you have heard of TopstepTrader or you want to get into trading (whilst minimizing your risk and not having to invest your own capital) then this TopstepTrader review is for you.
But before we begin, lets define what a trader actually is. This way, if you are a complete beginner, you will know exactly what you will be signing up for if you decide to go ahead.
A Trader(s) is an individual person, aprofessional working in a financial institution or a corporation. They buy and sell financial instruments traded in the stock markets, derivatives markets and commodity markets, comprising the stock exchanges, derivatives exchanges and the commodities exchanges – (Source: Wikipedia)
There’s therefore a lot of different markets, and added to this a load of different ways to actually trade.
One of which, is trading Futures – the concept being that you buy a standardized forward contract (a legal agreement) to buy or sell something at a predetermined price at a specified time in the future. As such, you are trading in the future.
TopstepTrader (TST) is a proprietary trading online business that recruits traders. It first evaluates traders’ performance through real-time simulated accounts. TST generates it revenue both from their funded traders (20% of their profits) and by charging monthly fees for access to their platform.
This revolutionary trading business was started by Michael Patek, a former trader from Chicago who lost $90,000 of his own invested capital. He then learnt to trade on a simulated trading account, before returning to trading professionally. His experiences were the impetus to develop TopstepTrader.
Here is how TopstepTraders definition of their service:
At TopstepTrader, we fund traders. The Trading Combine® is an evaluation of your trading performance in a real-time, simulated account. If you meet the objective, you are eligible for a Funded Account with our trading firm. Funded traders keep 100% of their profits for their first $5,000, and an 80/20 profit split thereafter – an industry high.
In this TopstepTrader review, we are going to weigh up the pros and cons of becoming a trader on their simulation platform, and what you can expect if you do decide to go ahead.
We joined TopstepTrader, but did not complete the combine. Just for total transparency, we participated for one month to trial the platform but we did not blow out. We could have continued, but decided trading wasn’t for us as we didn’t have the time to commit to the learning that is required to become truly successful in this industry.
How it Works
TopstepTrader is in many ways trading reinvented. It’s a paradigm shift in the way you can get set up trading with absolute minimal risk.
How? Because they’ve understood how to identify teach and develop a successful trader, and then to leverage those abilities when the trader is ready.
In essence, you will prove to TopstepTrader that you know how and when to trade (through a trial account), you prove your trading skills and abilities, and then if you succeed – you will become an approved TopstepTrader.
From there, you will be trading with TopstepTraders funds, not your own, and you will keep a large percentage of your profit (they make money by taking a cut of your earnings). But the best part is, the first $5000 you make will be all yours, and TopstepTrader will not take any commission on those earnings.
Heres the simple overview:
- Prove you can profit. Demonstrate that you have a winning strategy for the futures market.
- Show you can manage risk. Establish consistency with your trading style to prove our capital is safe in your hands.
- Make real money. You keep the first $5,000 in profits & then 80% after that.
Prove You Can Trade
It all starts with proving to TST that you can trade, and that they can trust you with your capital.
In the simulated trading environment (known as the Trading Combine) you trade futures in real-time, proving your strategy in a simulated account with sizes from $30,000 to $150,000.
The Trading Combine tests your ability to profit from the market and keep our capital safe over two steps.
In Step 1, you demonstrate the basics of trading, making profits and controlling against a large drawdown.
In Step 2, you show consistency and profitability as they review how you manage risk.
Once you pass both steps in as few as 15 trading days you will earn a Funded Account.
The TopstepTrader Platform
To gain access to the simulated trading platform, you will need to sign up to one of four different plans.
All of the plans have the same features – the difference is that the different plans have different account parameters like profit target and trailing maximum drawdown.
TopstepTrader runs via the Tradovate platform. If you havent heard of them, Tradovate are a futures brokerage that operates via a subscription-based commission model:
Once you have signed up to one of the four plans, choosing the parameters that you think will be most applicable (the more expensive plans enable you to trade more in the simulated environment), you will be able to access a range of different screens and functionality. One of the core screens of the TST platform are charts
The charts can be manipulated in many ways to display your data. This includes the ability to view your data by candlesticks, bars, line, bid/ask volume, heiken ashi, renko, and point & figure. You can also display bars in time periods, ticks, volume, range, and momentum range. This is a great way to analyse your data depending on your preference.
We noticed that the charts were excellent in quality and clear and concise.
Aside from the charts, there are a range of other high-quality screens that are usually inherent within trading platforms. Two of which are the News Feed and Position Analysis Screen. These are very easy to follow and understand, and TST has invested heavily in the interface to ensure the data is easy to understand.
A further element of the TopstepTrader platform is the market replay feature where you can choose your start date & time, speed, and initial balance.
Trading via simulation enables you to trade any CME Group product, which is a real benefit to the learning capabilities. Once you become a funded trader you’ll even have access to EUREX products.
You’ll also be provided with a daily Trade Report which breaks down your trading activity to easily analyze trading statistics, while your Performance Coach helps you understand your behavior and provides tips for improvement.
Getting Funded – Using TST’s Capital
Now this is one of the reasons why your here, because this is where you can actually make money through TopstepTrader; its one of the most attractive features of the platform and sets it apart from many others out there.
As stated earlier in this TopstepTrader review, there are two steps you need to complete before you will be funded.
The first is to prove that you can be a profitable trader. This involves meeting certain milestones (seen above) that involves managing your losses and hitting a set profit target. Additionally, you need to ensure that while being profitable, you can be trade without a risk remit and that you are not trading with too much risk. This involves scaling in and out of your large positions, not holding positions into economic releases, and staying within a weekly loss limit.
The Key Benefits
Excellent for Unfunded and Developing Traders
The advanced simulation platform is an excellent way to learn how to trade futures. You can learn how manage risk in the futures markets and how to spot and react to market activity.
TST is an innovate, user-friendly platform with clean interfaces and all the essential screens to analyse your trading activity.
Minimal Risk – High Reward
TST is a chance for all traders (new or experienced) with little capital to trade full-time.
And once funded, you will only be trading with TST’s capital. As such, you are not risking any of your own finance which dramatically lowers your risk. As you are keeping 80% of your profits, you can also earn a substantial amount through the platform – and your earlier trading from the real-time simulated platform will prove its worth.
Prove you have the Knowledge
Passing the Combine and being funded ensures that you have the ability to profit. A such, you will gain an unrivaled level of confidence which will help you make better decisions and act when the time comes. It ensures you will have high standards and ensures you know exactly what you are doing (which in turn will minimize risk).
Learn from Other Traders
The chat room and squawk radio allow you to network with other traders, learn and gather insights from other more experienced traders. It is a very collaborative supportive community. There are regular appearances by professional traders and other experienced market experts who teach their approach and ideas.
Unrivaled TopStep Trader Review: Who is this Most Suitable For?
We would recommend TopStepTrader (TST) to any trader who lacks sufficient funding, but wants to advance as a trader. TST is a serious and professional trading platform, and it has been acknowledged and recognised by Forbes, CNBC and Fox Business.
TST provides an environment in which you can learn to trade without risking your own money. The functionality including the chat room and squawk radio allow you to network with other traders and learn and gather insights from experts directly. And there are regular appearances by professional traders and other experienced market folks who teach their approach and ideas. During our month using the combine, we were not enticed with any upsells or experience any hidden fees. We found the support staff to be easily accessible and supportive. The combine rules are also accessible, easy to understand and fair.
As any experienced trader will say, every new trader should learn to trade with simulated money before they trade with real money. You should be able to profit in a simulated environment before you even attempt to try in with your own capital. Moreover, simulated trading allows you to find out if your strategic approach to trading even works.
The subscription to the TST $50k combine plan costs $165 a month, which is a great price compared not only to losing your own money trying to learn, but also simply paying the data fees you would need to just have your own simulated account! You will also be provided with everything that you would need to trade (other prop platforms that you may need are included). So your $165 enables you to fully delve into trading, learn, grow and communicate with other successful traders in the industry (mastermind courses cost thousands).
We loved the structure that comes as part of the Combine, and the pressure of blowing out (and being required to pay an extra $100 to reset your funds if you want to do that before the month passes) simulates to some extent the pressure of trading real money.
TST is an excellent option for unfunded traders and we would recommended it highly to anyone interested in becoming a trader with little risk.
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