Review of One up trader

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by caacapital, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Xela


    I follow your arithmetic, above, and the logic of what you're saying makes good sense.

    But in a couple of places I suspect your figures may be "out" ...

    I would think that such a huge majority of aspirants are probably paying OneUp only the minimum of $125 per month that the true average will actually be far lower than the $362.50 you're estimating.

    I strongly suspect, too, that this figure may be a long way out and that TST is funding far more than that. (A minimum for this figure can probably be found from their blog, on which I think they list the traders successfully funded.)

    Good luck!
    #11     Aug 15, 2017
  2. I was going on the fact that they had 2 sales 10% and 20% during the time of my evaluation and the inactivity of the community but you could be correct on the numbers maybe the other people just didn't post because of the inactivity. Good luck on getting the money out and continued profitability. If I hadn't been kicked out I would have tried again next month using a platform that I'm actually similar with(assuming I could catch another sale)

    #12     Aug 15, 2017
  3. 7 years later and not one trader has produced any decent consistent money with them. That tells you all you need to know about where the real profit from the company comes from. Selling dreams to dreamers.
    #13     Aug 15, 2017
    fan27, lovethetrade and caacapital like this.
  4. Haha, I'll tell you my anecdotal experiences about TopStep and I'll preface it with some background information just as a frame for reference.

    I've been a trader for the last ~10 years and only a professionally consistent and successful one for the last ~5. In my early career, I will fully admit that I was lucky and overzealous; I was in the right market at the right time, an early adopter of an instrument before a long-term favorable trend. It made me arrogant and led me to several large losses inevitably. This forced me to adapt.

    In this industry, it truly does take years of experience [think Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hour theory from his book Outliers] and thousands of hours of screen time to honestly learn patience, discipline, risk management, etc. Over time, I began trading the same position size and never compounding and I've been earning about $250,000 a year trading Oil futures since January 2014 [I trade 10 CL contracts at a time, taking only the highest probability entries, so I only trade about once every week or two on average]. You could say that I'm more of a positional swing trader at heart. If there's anything I've learned in my years of practice, it's that not every environment needs to be traded. Not every day/week/month, etc., needs to be traded. I've found that reducing the amount you trade counter intuitively leads to more profits and that day trading for a few ticks/day isn't feasible for longevity.

    About 1.5 years ago or so I discovered TopStep and thought, hey, I could increase my buying power with essentially no risk so that I could continue trading my own personal accounts while simultaneously operating a TopStep managed account. Why not? Anyways, and keep in mind this is coming from someone with a proven track record of making $250,000+ a year utilizing CL contracts, it took me 3 combines and 2 FTP to just get funded.

    Being forced to day trade with their parameters and drawdowns isn't realistic in the slightest. In addition, you're restricted from trading reports and miss out on a lot of momentum as a result (a large component of my trading strategy is capturing the report volatility because I can predict with an 80%+ accuracy every EIA report; truthfully, most API/EIA reports just resume the prior trend and don't result in a counter-trend reversal).

    When it comes to their drawdown and daily loss limits in particular, this is where you find your hamster wheel. You get fired for "one" bad day. It doesn't matter if 99 out of 100 days you were profitable, if you hit that daily loss limit just once, you're out. It doesn't matter if you made $1,000,000 for them, one bad day you're out. In the Oil market using CL, for example, you can easily lose several thousands of dollars in a day. This doesn't make you a bad trader as you can also easily make several thousands of dollars in a day and what really matters is your statistical market advantage (profit factor). After about a month of being funded, I hit the drawdown [because withdrawals count as losses], and basically got fired, despite the fact that my account was still green if you adjusted for my withdrawals. Back to the combine I go. Another annoying thing I didn't like is that I was receiving daily phone calls from their performance coach that I was forced to answer because my contract stated that if I didn't stay in contact, they reserved the right to liquidate my positions against my will and fire me. When I had good days, it was 'good job, but don't lose it, I've seen people lose it all the very next day' and when I had bad days, it was 'what are you doing, don't lose money, do you have stops in place?'. It was a very condescending attitude and you could tell by the tone of the guy's voice that he was an arrogant prick who felt he had authority because his status at TopStep brought him some pseudo-power. I also found it annoying that they would display my user-name when I made money, withdrew money, etc., and that they would continuously market mediocrity in blog posts, etc. It's like, I truly don't care if someone just made $1.7k in a month trading CL when I just made $10k using the same position size in my personal accounts. In this way, their marketing and advertising is very deceptive because even their best traders are still earning basically pennies with their potential.

    That right there should tell you everything you need to know about TopStep [the fact that even consistently profitable traders still get fired even with advantaged statistics and that even consistently profitable traders and grown adults are 'babied']. They're not interested in professional traders, mentoring potential candidates, or developing their best talent, they're interested in continued evaluation fees because the combine/FTP is basically like a gamble. Anyways, that is where I ended my relationship with TopStep and didn't look back; they're basically handcuffs that prevent learning how to become a 'real' trader and their parameters don't teach you anything except to be 'afraid' and 'fearful' of losses or having 'one day day' which leads to an extreme slippery slope of negative performance as it instills in you anxiety and panic instead of objectivity. As an aside, I earned $5k with them that month and in my own personal accounts that didn't restrict me, with the same position size, I earned $15k. Every day the performance coach called me over a loss, I couldn't help but laugh as I told him that I was forced to stop out with TopStep because of their parameters but that my personal accounts were going to be profitable -- and the next day, by simply just holding onto the position, they were.

    P.S. This was before they recently updated their rules to make it more difficult. With the revised rules on their website, I would honestly be surprised if more than 2% of attempts passed their Combine/FTP programs. This is why OneUp is such a threat to them, why they've attempted suing them, etc., and that is because OneUp's parameters are far more realistic and favorable for 'real' traders to perform on and as a result, will naturally attract more market share.
    #14     Aug 17, 2017
  5. Pekelo


    Oilfutures, you should post this in the TST thread too, because it is very informative and it tells more about TST than OneUp.

    Honestly, I don't think OneUp really wants to back traders, they are after the fees, plain and simple. Proofs are:

    -They copied the combine rules literally, and they made even more categories (5). 2 should be perfectly enough.
    -They also misstate the value of their combines. If they wanted to perfect TST, they had the chance to call it as it is, a 5-15K account.
    -If someone wants to back a trader and the trader does have real money profitable result, he should be able to shortcut and not to do a silly combine.
    -This not carrying positions over silliness also has to stop. The real money is in swing trading...
    #15     Aug 17, 2017

  6. I don't think that there's anything wrong in having an evaluation fee. I think the ideal would be a refunded evaluation fee if you pass, personally, but how a profit-seeking business runs its operations to maximize profits is up to their management. The reason why I think that OneUp is looking for traders rather than TopStep is because OneUp is basically a re-branded MES Capital. Even all of the contracts, communications, and accounts, are still using MES Capital's infrastructure. MES Capital operated for a few years and never took a dime from anyone nor did they promote brokers, trading education courses, trading room operators, etc. If you read the blog posts on websites like 'trading schools', you'll find that Emmett verified their capital source, verified the existence of subsidiary accounts for trading candidates, and discovered that MES Capital was running at a significant loss.

    I believe that MES Capital found out the hard way the reality that most traders lose and took on a TopStep scouting model in order to reduce risk and recoup their losses, while also staying committed to finding the 'real' traders -- the 2% who earn the other 98% combined. I would imagine that only a handful of each company's population is successful, but those successful traders are so talented -- in concept, think analogously of outliers like Olympic athletes, computer scientists like Bill Joy, etc. -- that they earn more than the hundreds of other traders combined. Before OneUp, TopStep had a monopoly on this business model, so it only makes sense that the first competitor (OneUp) to enter this market would have a similar layout.

    Otherwise, I agree with most of your other points. I believe the pursuit of fees is the primary objective and finding the unicorn trader is the secondary goal. The current margin for CL is around $3k so yes, you're not receiving a $150,000 account, you're receiving 15 CL contracts which is the equivalent of a $45,000 account, etc. I await the day that a new competitor really shakes up the industry and allows swing trading as you're absolutely right, the only true way to make 'real' money [AKA, millions of dollars] trading is swing trading with optimal entries/exits and not scalping ticks day trading [AKA, earning hundreds or thousands].

    One thing I will say with the track record for auto-acceptance though, is unless it's audited, results can be easily faked with photoshop, running multiple demo/shadow accounts simultaneously so that you're actually delta neutral but only show the profitable account, the list goes on. I think that requiring a trader to work in the system first is ideal to show the company the traders' performance and results in an environment that would be most similar to trading live.

    At any rate, I've not confirmed a payout yet, so all of this remains just conjecture until I have actual proof/validation. Hopefully I'll have an answer to everyone by next week.
    #16     Aug 17, 2017
  7. Pekelo


    Funny you say OneUp must be backing traders, because they used to do that as ES Capital. Yet:

    TST: Has been in business for 7 years and mostly makes money from fees.

    MES: Went out of business after a few years by backing traders.

    Clearly, the better business model is TST's, what is sad really/sad reality. Now you might argue that now MES/OneUp is trying to mix the 2 models, and it is possible, but it seems to me if they want to stay in business they have to rely on the fees more than on the trading profits...
    #17     Aug 17, 2017

  8. Both companies use the same rhetoric to attract potential customers, and that is that their chief objective is scouting for talent & funding the traders who pass their evaluations. Obviously you're right & the real money is in collecting evaluation fees, as there are far more people who lose in the evaluations because of failure to manage risk/parameters, than gain, which is why some estimate that TopStep brings in millions of dollars of profit per year (not from traders' compensation, but from the bottom line of evaluation fees); not too shabby for a privately owned company.

    I believe the last statistic that I read sampled a few hundred people and found that 79% of TsT users had spent over $1.5k thus far and had never received a funded account; that's really a testament to how infeasible their combine/FTP programs are. Furthermore, truthfully, as harsh as this sounds, the demographic of the population that 'needs funding' is also probably worse traders [the assumption here is that people in desperate need of money to trade are on average more uneducated, have less income, have more debt and insolvency, more risk-taking behavior etc.]. I like to say that this kind of business model attracts and propagates traders who are closer to gambling/playing the lottery than it is to 'real' professional trading and fund management.

    The reason why TsT also doesn't post this kind of data [trader retention rate, etc.] is because I seriously doubt that there are more than a handful of people who stay funded longer than a few months because what happens, inevitably, is what happened to me -- trading system variance hits, you encounter a drawdown [which might I add is perfectly normal, natural, and acceptable], but because withdrawals count as losses, your draw down triggers an account closure; your account is closed before your statistical market advantage allows for the recoup of losses.

    What I was referring to above though in regards to philosophy is that if you compare TsT to OneUp, I think that OneUp's philosophy to discover the 'real talent' is purer and more genuine. I base this off three primary facts:

    1)* the metrics like drawdown, daily loss limit, etc., are more favorable with OneUp. In the $150k account, for example, these parameters are better by >$500 -- this doesn't sound like a lot but actually is more favorable by ~10%-20%, giving you much more wiggle room to navigate with. Considering during times like this you're probably only trading 1-2 contracts, this is giving you an extra 25-50 ticks per day of wiggle room to recoup your losses -- this is A LOT of wiggle room to work with.
    2) you can hit your daily max loss limit and live to trade again, you don't automatically fail the evaluation/have your live account closed prematurely like with TsT.
    3)** your withdrawal threshold, although unfortunate that you can't withdraw money as fast as TsT, actually is similar in concept to other established companies in the sense that you buy-in/have seed money. This truthfully does give you a better chance at account longevity as it secures your drawdown so that you most likely [assuming you are the consistent trader that they're looking for] won't have your account prematurely closed due to inevitable trading system variance after you've been tempted to withdraw money as fast as possible. This prevents the kind of desperation behavior of earn $1k, withdraw $1k, have a drawdown, panic, account closed and instead supports the behavior of withdraw money patiently with the knowledge that you have $5k vested with them as a safety net. The former makes someone feel disposable with TopStep, someone that only works for a few weeks or months before being ejected, the latter makes someone feel like they actually have some skin in the game with the firm and can expect to work there for many years.

    * Yes, I propose that even with buying power of 15 contracts, the person still only trades with 3-5 during the good times and 1-2 during the bad times.
    ** You're eligible to withdraw this money if you want to leave OneUp, so it's not like the company keeps this forever. Rather, it's like as I said, the money is simply vested and solidifies the trader's safety net to prevent the trader's desire of taking out profit cloud their judgement with respect to risk management and discipline.
    #18     Aug 17, 2017
  9. Don't say this in the community someone will say your being negative and One up will keep you out. This is part of what I was trying to discuss in the One Up community. Basically being a profitable trader takes time (1) 30 day evaluation doesn't really prove anything. Most people take years just to figure out what trading method they are going to use let alone becoming profitable. Assuming they are legit One up is great but the very generous rules lead me to believe that something is up and simply wanted proof from the "community". Community members that they have been funded eased my mind and then claims to have been paid but when I saw that some were having issues with seeing their orders in the book my suspension came back. One up could have simply responded with what oilfutures2017 did that we reserve the right to start you on demo but you will still be paid as if it was a live account instead of deleting my post asking if any funded traders are able to see their limits in the book. But anyway this was just my experience with them to warn traders that they dont appear to be using a real account which may not matter if One Up pays you consistently but I'm not sure why a company trying to make money would consistently give away money to someone trading on a demo unless they have a model saying they will make money anyway in the long run. I would love it oilfutures2017 would post if he has gotten paid. Thanks for you feedback

    #19     Aug 18, 2017
  10. RDK91


    I've received this mail from OneUp when i asked about the switching between live and demo.

    "As you are aware, OneUp Trader does NOT directly fund traders. We are a recruiting and trader placement company and we work with multiple funding partners, hence we don't control or see how they treat their account, what security measures they have in place, or risk parameters placed on the accounts to mitigate risk.

    Once a trader is funded, it's out of our hands and all questions from their traders are directed at them. Only funded traders have access to their funding source and they answer all their questions."

    So basically i read this as a trader has no idea what will happen next, no idea when a funded partner will get rid of you, etc ...
    #20     Aug 18, 2017