Day 9 Live Funded Trader at TopStepTrader

I opted to go into Redevelopment today at TopStepTrader.


Because, I didn’t completely understand the rules of the live funded account.

If I would have known the trading rules better of the live funded account, then this would have had me in a different frame of mind taking on different kinds of trades. In other words, I would have only traded HPT trade setups; instead of, the way I traded the market.

As you may have seen in my past day trading, I will rope a dope a lot with the market. I expect losses, but I also expect big winning trading days to offset the treading water days. I had to make a couple of adjustments to my trading method to more effectively allow myself to not only pass the Live Funded Trader Qualifications, but more importantly build a base first and foremost.

Where I made my error in judgment was thinking I would be fine as long as I kept above the Max Drawdown on the trading account. But, I learned this was not the case as I entered into today’s trading. I came into today’s trading up $16 on my trading acccount … but … a couple of trades handled differently and a lower threshold on my allowable tick loss per trading day would have been all I needed to make it work.

It was one of the most frustrating trading experience’s for me. To be right in how I approach the markets, but told I am wrong as it relates to the trading rules at TST. Not exactly what I wanted to hear today from them. But … let me say … rules are rules. They have the gold and I either adjust my trading plan to accomodate the way they see things or move on.

SO …

In other words, today during my trading session there was only two valid trading signals during the trading day. Both would have been on the short side. We had a fakeout around the R1 line today and then we had a High Volume Blue Bar come in (highest volume bar) at 10:14AM CST.


I didn’t completely understand the Live Funded Account and being above zero and also the Max Account Drawdown.

I thought that if I kept my trading account above the Max Account Drawdown or in this case $-750 I would qualify for redevelopment after 10 trading days.

But … if you are below zero after 10 trading days … then rule number 2 kicks in before redevelopment kicks in.

This would have had me taking on the last 3 trading days a lot different than the way I took them on in my live funded trader account.

In fact, I would have taken on all the days a lot differently knowing how I would have to trade in the live funded account versus the Combine and FTP. They are completely different animals.

This is very frustrating for me as I will be turning 49 this year on March 10th, and I saw myself crossing the finish line and getting my first trading account withdraw out of my trading account.

Believe and Achieve Mentality!

But …

Here are the facts … I am going back into the Combine and then I will have to pass the FTP once again or 20 trading days to get my Live Funded Trader Account back.

If I would trade the 10th day, then it is either be above zero after 10 trading days or lose the free combine. The otherside of being above zero and trading 10 trading days and going into redevelopment is you do not have to go into the FTP.

Knowing …

What I know now … I would have traded my live funded trader account completely different than the way I trade normally. In other words, I would have only taken HPT setups on with a greater chance of success so I could build my trading account base.

I only looked at the Max Drawdown and thought as long as I am above that then I am fine … but this is not the truth.


I would have traded differently … than the way I took on my trading opportunities knowing what I know now. It would have had me only looking for a very specific trading setup(s) to get into a trade.

I am tired of learning lessons in my trading at TopStepTrader. There is a part of me that simply wants to quit and move on. I feel like the deck has been stacked against the trader from the very beginning. The rules are not up to interpretation.

But …

I am not the only trader who has not completely understood the trading contract you sign with them. Honestly, I feel a little let down by TopStepTrader by not understanding the point of the zero line.

In addition, my true live funded trader account balance should have been above $700 or more; because I would have maximized out my trading gains a little better than where I took my profits on my winning trades plus the missed opportunity cost of not being able to trade after the FOMC release last week by them.

I feel handicapped by TST and not able to trade my full trading method at TST.

I am very frustrated right now knowing I have to trade 20 more days to get back into the live funded trader account. Definitely, feel the deck is stacked against traders.

But …

Do I have a better opportunity elsewhere?

I can’t honestly answer that fully … but this would had me only going for 1/2 of the trading loss or 30 ticks; instead of, 40 ticks as my stopping point against the $500 max daily drawdown. IN other words, I would have managed my risk a lot differently.

This would in net effect have had a swing of $220 at minimum and I would have traded today completely different not taking on the max daily loss.

I would have stopped at minus 11 ticks today … and still been positive on my trading account around the $500 trading mark. I honestly made another mistake in understanding the trading rules at TST and it cost me my live funded trader account today because of it.


Kind Regards,

David M. Knight

P.S. I don’t feel I lost this round … I only had another learning experience placed in front of me once again. What I did do is prove that I can make it here … I just have to adjust my trading rules one more time to make it work for me here.

P.S.S. I would have handled at least one trade I made differently on my win day. Instead of, being happy with 3181 I would have went for the 3P profit target at 3207 and there was another trade I would have taken out 3P during this LFT at TST … instead of 1.5P. Just those two trades managed differently would have been all I needed to stay above zero plus the 30 ticks against the 50 ticks. I will make this adjustment … it’s a shame … really it’s a shame … you know the if and buts were candy and nuts crap …

About The Author

David M. Knight

I am a 30 Year Futures and Commodities Trading Veteran. In addition, I enjoy games of skill and chance like: poker, craps, blackjack and roulette. During my professional career, I have developed and implemented successful trading strategies and methods; along with winning systems in games of skill and chance. Join with me on our mutual journey together.