TopStepTrader House WIthin House

TopStepTrader House Within House Story

TopStepTrader House Within House Story

(one trader’s opinion … from the inside looking out)

Once upon a time there was this great concept of a company who decided to fund traders. Their name was TopStepTrader.

They made this company to help traders become funded and trade their money. At first, things were great. All you had to do was pass a 10 day trading combine and you would receive a funding trading account.

But …

They decided to start …

 

Now …

Before, we continue the narrative let me tell you about the house within the house story.

When, I first met my wife, Janice and we just started dating I use to drive by a house. This house was a nice house, but the owners must have decided they wanted something bigger and better. They must have at one time looked into selling the existing house and moving …

But …

What they decided to do was to build another house on top of the existing house. At first, the house project was moving along …

But …

At some point, some problems must have come along and you could see the existing house inside the shell of the newer house that was being built outside of the existing house.

All work ceased on the building of this house and it continued to look this way for many years. You could see the house that was the original home inside the house being built on top of it …

So what went wrong?

In trading, it is well known that you must beat the house (the market) to become a winning trader. This is most like the existing house in our story.

Then the concept of let’s build something bigger and better comes along, so the outside shell of the house started going up (TopStepTrader – TST) …

This is most like the good intentions of TST. When they first started with their mission of traders helping other traders to succeed and earn a funded account.

But … TopStepTrader House Within House Story

Somewhere along the way, they lost focus on what made them a very unique and awesome company. They started making rules within the rules that started to tie the hands of the traders that looked at them for guidance and support.

They developed the concept of the Funded Trader Preparation extending the trading period to become a funded trader from a minimum of 10 trading days to 20 trading days (or 10 more trading days).

Then they took away things that most normal traders rely upon to make trading a success …

One of the things you must understand is the concept of zero and day 9 in the funded trading account. We will tackle this issue in a bit.

My personal story as I am writing this … I am in my 3rd funded account and each time something came up to place a road block in my way of my normal trading activities.

In other words, the house within the house made rule upon rule to impact directly upon my trading operations and the funded account at TopStepTrader (TST).

Now, let me say this … the first time I failed inside the funded account can be directly attributed to my failure to understand ticks plus commission cost per trade. This brought me above the $500 max daily loss within one trading day, and let me state this was totally my misunderstanding and my mistake.

In other words, totally my fault.

But …

I do not feel the same thing on the second time I earned my funded account. And YES YOU do have to EARN it.

So you understand, the time period of qualifying for my first funded account stretched from July through September. This includes earning a final account balance above $31,500 in the TopStepTrader Combine, and also a profit objective of $750 inside Funded Trader Preparation (FTP).

I started my first real money funded account in October 2015, and traded 5 days before hitting the max daily loss and losing my funded trader status.

My mistake was believing I would qualify to go back into redevelopment, but the fine print says break a rule and you’re out.

So, I licked my wounds and made the decision to start again by taking on the $30K TST Combine, which I passed once again in October 2015.

Then, I went back into FTP and passed this as well for the second time. I told TST I wanted to take the rest of the year off before starting again as a funded trader.

My qualifying period was from October through early December 2015.

I paid my data fees in January 2016, and started trading the funded account.

Things were rolling along as expected in the 2nd funded account, until the first time I experienced TST making a trading rule inside my personal trading activities.

On a Wednesday, which also coincides with a FOMC decision day, we were prohibited from trading after the release of the FOMC Statement until they said we could trade again.

Now, one of my trading strategies is to wait 5 minutes after the FOMC Rate Statement, then trade it. On this day, I was unable to trade the funded account and watched as the market went decidedly in my favor in the tune of around an $800 gain trading one contract.

I was only able to trade this in my practice account. So here I stood with a paper profit only, which I could not trade in my real money funded trading account.

Needless to say, I was pissed at the missed opportunity and for TST telling me when I can trade and when I can’t trade.

I held onto this grudge throughout the rest of the time period of the 2nd funded account.

On day 8, I was above zero when I learned I had only one more trading day left to make a decision about remaining in the funded account. What I did not understand and what was unclear to me was the zero rule and trading day 9 at TST.

So what you have to be is above zero, which I was, but you also have to remain above zero as well or lose your funded account with no chance at the Redevelopment Opportunity.

What I mistakedly thought and believed was that as long as I stayed above my max drawdown, which was $1200 I would be fine …

Nope … TopStepTrader House Within House Story

You lose the max drawdown and it becomes zero after the 9th trading day. If you trade day 10 and fall below zero not only do you lose your funded account, but you lose any chance of going into Redevelopment.

Needless to say …

I felt bewildered, betrayed and unappreciated for all my hard work at TST. I felt I am not only having to beat the house, but I have to beat the house within the house as well.

I remained pretty pissed off from March through the month of April 2016. Then, I finally let it go and started requalifying for the 3rd time in late April and May 2016 on the $30K TST Combine and FTP.

For the 3rd time, I passed both of these obstacles and earned my funded trading acccount at TST.

In other words, I just traded at least 20 days profitably and made all the profit targets, while not breaking any trading rules established by TST.

During my 3rd funded account, which I am currently 5 trading days in, as I write this post, I am once again in another pickle.

But …

The first two trading days I traded the account to a high of $510. On day 3 and 4, I traded away most of my trading gains, but I felt comfortable in my trading decisions overall.

Sure …

I could have traded better, but I still felt like time was on my side. I had made a trading plan for the week of June 21st through June 24th, 2016, and waited for the week to commence.

What I didn’t know …

TST sent out an email on Monday that told all of the funded traders that Tuesday would be the last trading day of the week, because of the BREXIT Vote in the U.K.

Feeling …

I was feeling like TST pulled the rug right out between my feet and I went into Tuesday feeling this way.

Which, by the way, if I was a smarter person I would have simply walked away from the rest of the trading week and said the hell with it.

But …

I felt like I needed to make all the money in one trading day that I had planned for the trading week …

In other words …

I placed undue pressure upon myself to trade, which I am coming to understand is not a good idea. I suppose you can say, this is the same thing as trying to trade with scared money, that is money you can’t afford to lose.

Then another blow comes from the Funded Department as they send out another email telling us we can’t trade 5 minutes before an economic release, which I am perfectly fine with …

But … TopStepTrader House Within House Story

They also say you can’t trade until 5 minutes after the economic release.

Are they out for me?

Let me say this right up front, I am a paranoid human being and definitely feel at times the world is out to get me …

So …

This last blow leaves me feeling distraught to say the least …

Now …

Let me say this, so you can understand where I am coming from completely.

On Monday of this week, I sent a reply to the original email asking if I could trade Wednesday for the Crude Oil Inventory Release report.

They said … no exceptions and to stand down.

So …

I went into Tuesday knowing they just took away Wednesday from me … which is historically my best trading day … then the Wednesday email comes out about the 5 minutes before and after the economic release.

So …

I watch on Wednesday as my Crude Oil Power Inventory Strategy goes on to make over $1,000 per contract traded yesterday, which would have obviously brought me out of the trading hole and back above $500 at least in my funded account.

Does any of this sound familiar …

So then the hammer falls on Wednesday telling me now, I can’t trade until 5 minutes after the Inventory Report Release …

Is the deck being stacked against me? It sure looks like it to me.

So where do we stand …

I sent an email to the Funding Department Wednesday Evening asking for an exception knowing full well they haven’t granted one exception to any request I have made at this point in time.

So … TopStepTrader House Within House Story …

Here I stand at the crossroads here at TST with the full knowledge they just took away my most successful trading strategy from me.

I feel betrayed …

For those that don’t know my most successful trading strategy that is a consistent winner is my CLPIT Strategy. What I do is wait until the release of the Crude Oil Inventory Report, which normally comes out on Wednesday at 9:30AM CST each week.

Then I wait one minute until the time is 9:31AM CST and bracket off the market looking to go in either direction.

So …

Basically, in theory, I could take a trade as early as 9:31AM CST, but now this new trading rule from TST, I must wait another 4 minutes to take the trade.

For those of you that are day traders, if you have a trading signal and you have to wait another four full minutes to take the trade, then  you now understand how absolutely INSANE this sounds, right?

So …

What Would You DO?

 

Kind Regards and Good Trading,

David M. Knight
TradeCraze

P.S. Funded Trading Account Summary:

P.S.S. Recent Update on TopStepTrader Versus Casino Read more about it here:

TopStepTrader Versus Casino

Click To See How The Odds Are Stacked Against You Here!

 

 

 

 

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.

  • […] When you think about TopStepTrader versus Casino it is just the House … but the Market is the House … and now you have another House Edge TST … so I have talked about this previously on my blog post: TopStepTrader House Within House Story. […]