TOPSTEP review

TOPSTEP review

Topstep, Do Traders Become Successful Here?

Updated on: 2023-7-18

Traders who perform at a standard of excellence, normally start with a very strong ground game in their foundations, before learning to ignore the noise around. For new traders looking to be consistent in their game, and continuously digest new materials to beat the market, it’s important to know where some of the best resources may be at. One of the best places where you get consolidated resources from training, materials to study, trading guides, funding programs and trading experts to follow, can be found here.

 While everyone in their trading journey should aim to eventually reach a finesse level of financial freedom based on your trading profits, there are firms that actually help you get there faster. The best part? They train you and make sure you are sound enough to be profitable, and fund you to trade for yourself, and of course, with them. When you win, they win.

 One such firm that has gotten a lot of talk on the streets, is Topstep.

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Watch this short video to get a good idea about TOPSTEP: the company, the online presence, the rules, and evaluation programs.

Who Is Topstep?

Topstep’s humble beginnings, especially that of its founder, Michael Patak, is an all too familiar situation that new traders find themselves in. Blowing out his brokerage account for not once but 3 times; this is the bottom that Michael found himself in before developing the set of key skills and tools that began to help him profit steadily. This is the bedrock of motivation that pushed Michael to start a community to help other traders not reach a blowout state, but yet navigate the pitfalls and profit together.

 Topstep began in 2012 (known as Patak Trading Partners then), and has gone a long way to educate traders and prepare them to trade with funded capital. They are known for their Topstep Trader program where new day traders are put through series of simulation, and are able to access a plethora of tools, resources, and support to eventually prove that they can trade profitably.

Participants of the program who perform well will be rewarded by Topstep with a trading account fully funded by the firm.

 The firm currently has options for traders to partake in the futures market, where one will get to trade anything from crude to e-mini S&P 500 products, and Topstep FX, where traders will be able to trade the most popular forex products. We shall learn more of each shortly.  Topstep cancelled the forex branch in April 2022.

Topstep Trader’s End Goal Is To Mint Funded Traders

 Topstep Trader’s funded account program is a detailed but simple to understand process where traders follow certain steps to prove worthy of becoming funded. There are lesson plans and coaching materials aimed at making sure profits are made on a given simulation account. The learn and apply method is the most trusted and practical approach when it comes to trading, as feedback is immediately received by your wins and losses.

 Traders start off with a free simulated trial account that has $150,000 that is valid for 14 days to actually try out. There is no need to pay for anything here and is an effective and zero risk way to learn, and deploy strategies, concepts that were being taught to get market feedback.

However, Topstep Trader simulation program only allows budding traders to trade on futures. After passing all the rites of ritual and becoming fully funded, traders will then be allowed to trade commodities on the CME exchange, NYMEX, COMEX, CBOT (not EUREX).

When you become a funded trader, the first $5,000 profits will be 100% yours, where thereafter, every single dollar of profit will be split 80-20 90-10, where you will keep 80% 90% of the profit and 20% 10% will be kept by the firm.

 In 2021 alone, there were 8389 accounts funded. These guys are serious about minting traders that can walk the same walk as them to make money.

TopstepTrader Combine®

TopstepTrader Combine® doesn’t invoke an aggressive timeline on the traders for the targets that have to be hit here. Yes, you will have to have a minimum of 4-days, but there is no time limit here that is imposed for you to meet the profit targets (it’s on a monthly subscription basis).

TopstepTrader Combine® is split into a 2 step process since July 2023 has been reduced to 1 phase only! So, all you need to do is to prove your profitability and be focused on managing risk to be entitled to trade with real capital and keep 90% of the profits.

Topstep Futures Trading Rules

 As a firm taking the risk to fund the traders, it’s inherent for rules to be set that exhibit the ability to first prove that to-be funded traders, are consistently profitable and also, without being overtly risky and incur huge losses.

It’s a marriage between profitability and risk management. 

Account Parameters   Step 1 (Prove  Profitability) Step 2 Removed in 2023
Targets Profit Target
  Minimum Days (There is no deadline or time limit) 4 days  
  Rest day below 40% of total profits made  
Rules Do not hit or exceed the Daily Loss Limit
  Do not allow your Account Balance to hit or exceed the Trailing Maximum Drawdown
  Do not hit or exceed the Weekly Loss Limit  
  Do not hold positions into major economic releases  
  Follow the scaling plan  

 Profit targets, together with the daily and weekly loss limits(Topstep removed the “Daily Loss Limit” in June 2023) are tiered in accordance to the starting balance of simulated funds of each account ($50k, $100k, $150k).

Each account tier also comes with its maximum trailing drawdown (technically a representation of how much a trader can lose at any one point on an intraday basis when compared to their beginning of day’s account equity total) and if the rules are broken, a reset “penalty” of sorts will be imposed where not only does the simulation account resets to the original account tier balance, but the trader will also need to shell out $99 to renew his eligibility to try out for being considered a funded trader again.

TopstepFX For Forex Focused Traders

Topstep canceled all their Forex Funding programs suddenly at the beginning of April 2022.

This must have left a lot of traders disappointed and surprised, just as we were.

Their explain this by saying that their strength and the focus of their community of traders is Futures Trading, so that’s it, not much we or you can do about it; remember: all of the Funders, the Prop Firms, are private businesses and as such they are free to cut off any single program at any time; of course if you are a Funded Trader then they must stick to the contracts you signed; but that’s beyond the point we want to make here: you must USE the Funders for as long as you need them: make the most of the training offered, market analysis etc, and when you have enough experience and withdrawn enough profits then you must OPEN your own business! Be your own boss for good! Open your own account and off you go.

Most traders who have been through the starting points of chart reading have come across the FX markets, and most lose money there. It’s not surprising, FX markets’ moves are influenced a lot by sudden events, especially macro news policies. The key to master is still risk management when dealing with FX.

 TopstepFX allows traders to trade 22 pairs, in which the 8 major currency pairs are a staple, and subsequently currency cross pairs related to the 8 major currency pairs. TopstepFX doesn’t list exotic pairs on their platform as the wide spreads and low liquidity is a concern for a good advantage point for its traders.

 Unlike TopstepTrader simulation account tiers, TopStepFX accounts are larger in nature, with 3 tiers, $200k, $300k, and $500k.

 Although the key concept for Topstep FX is largely the same as Topstep Trader, in their FX simulation account rules, trades are allowed to be held overnight. Also, the concentration and determination criteria here is through successful execution of consistently profitable trades.


Topstep Trader Calendar

 In its efforts to streamline the tools for its traders, regardless of the programs you are considering offered by Topstep, its website has a specific section that features a calendar that is of value to every trader, budding or experienced.

It integrates key economic events, releases, and futures related production that will have an impact on the market. FOMC speeches, unemployment numbers, are followed religiously by many traders in the FX world, and this is an invaluable tool to streamline.

TopstepTrader Education

The resources that are on Topstep’s resource library, is an arsenal of materials that puts you through the grit and drills your foundation. Everything you need, to take on the market like a pro trader, is available from one single source. From constantly updated blog posts, ebooks, videos, and amazing podcasts.

 These content are a wealth of information that allow traders to constantly see how experts are looking through more experienced lens, what strategies are performing well, and trading playbook walkthroughs from the coaches at Topstep. For traders who want more of the coaches’ content, they can find more of it through group coaching or one-on-one coaching that will be sure to elevate the overall game.

Our Two Cents

From years and years of research…

The pros:

  •         Trusted and recognized by many in the market
  •         same day payout.
  •         First Payout Bonus™  the equivalent of the last subscription’s fee paid is given to you with the first withdrawal.
  •         Max loss is calculated at the end of day. This doesn’t count the unrealised losses thereby not impacting the available drawdown; (valid only for the evaluation phases though).
  •         Great vault of educational resources that can help traders turn pro.

The cons:

  •         There can only be 1 funded account® per trader
  •         Max loss in funded accounts®  also includes unrealized losses
  •         Traders need to pass 2 phases to obtain funding.
  •         Imposed restriction on trading during economic releases
  •         Max weekly loss is hard to keep track of.

 The trading industry is highly competitive. As a beginner trader, you will find it difficult to establish yourself as a successful trader. That said, I believe TopstepTrader is the right place to try your trading strategy without risk. With all the wealth of educational resources available on the platform, it can help you become a successful trader.

 The monthly fees based on the selected trading account’s size do add up if you don’t have a plan and direction, so we recommend that you commit yourself for a certain period to see if you can make it to minimize this risk.

A good way is to start with the free trial account, then move up after honing your trading skills.

Keep in mind that it’s still more affordable to enter a challenge than going at it by yourself: you have free access to the trading platform, and most important of all, to the live market data; these data can easily amount to hundreds of $ per month.

 That said, the coaching and dedicated breakout groups support that you can see in their forums are also hidden networks that push everyone to be sticking to what they’re taught, and not repeat silly and costly mistakes.

Overall, we do believe that traders will be successful at Topstep to begin their journey of being a fully funded trader.

Your opinion.

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