TopstepTrader and Patak Trading Partners- Any and all questions answered here

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by MichaelPatak, Aug 31, 2012.

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  1. Hello,

    I have started a thread so anyone who has questions about TopstepTrader or Patak Trading Partners can get these questions answered here. Members of the TopstepTrader team answering questions will be TST_Hoag, TST_Eddie and myself.

    MichaelPatak:
    http://www.topsteptrader.com/ViewProfile/NEBRASKA/0/p/0

    TST_Hoag:
    http://www.topsteptrader.com/ViewProfile/HOAG/0/p/0


    TST_Eddie:
    http://www.topsteptrader.com/ViewProfile/EDDIE/0/p/0

    Lastly, lets only ask questions that move us forward and help everyone find out if this is something for them or not.

    Michael Patak
    CEO and Director of Scouting
    TopstepTrader, LLC.
     
  2. Hi Michael


    Why do you charge $350+ for one combine that gives you the equalivant of a few thousand in perchasing power? (You will unplug people who do poorly, and you do not take positions past the close, so there really is no $150 k account -unless I'm wrong with all this) Granted your lowest combine is $100-$200, but this is for a very small account. One thing is for certain, it does NOT cost you $350 per 'combine' to run a sim account and evaluate. Brokers offer free demo accounts all year long with realtime data and broker-server order exchange. Where is the $350 going? I wonder how many get a refund...



    Also, why is there no information on employment on your website? When I checked it out, it was implied that a check would be mailed to the trader, even if they were young or in a foreign country. I doubt this is the case -if it's not, why not publish some more info?



    Many, such as gmst, HurricaneUS and myself (I view gmst and HUS as rich guys with excellent trading skills, like myself ;)) have at least some doubt about your operation. Given the vast number of "recruits" versus live traders, and given you ran an online gaming/gambling website very similar to topsteptrader in the past, it's logical to view TST as simply a clever revenue operation first, and a recruiting zone second.



    None of this is intended to be a provokation, just honest questions that myself and others have. Great looking website, and overall a cool idea...thanks for starting the thread -mike
     
  3. Lucias

    Lucias

    Michael,

    Thank you for taking the time to answer questions. I think the most important question is whether or not you really fund traders. I know that you do provide some funding but if your program and rules are realistic then you should have several traders who've achieved more significant success.

    So my questions are simple:

    1. Do you have more then 12 traders who have net (before splits) at least 30+k? Do you have more then 4 traders who have cleared 100k (before splits)?

    2. Do you make more from the combine fees or from trader's trading profits?

    3. If a trader hits their daily loss limit after going live over 1 session or multiple sessions, what happens? And how do they get back to live trading? Say my loss limit is $500.. I'm cleared for live. I'm down $250 first day then $250 next day, would I be sent back to sim? If yes, how do I get back to live? How many days am I down? Let's say it happens again, do you have a dollar cut off for traders and if so what is it for each funding tier?

    4. Are you a CME exchange member and if yes then why don't you pass on those savings to your traders?

    Since going live trading the ES about 6 months ago, I've did extremly well, imo. I don't want to be down from trading to trade in sim. I know you have a custom combine for successful traders. What types of things do you make adjustments for in the custom combine?

    Also, I look forward to when you add Ninjatrader. I use OEC and their DOM is rock solid. I tried the T4 DOM and had many problems.
     
  4. Colonial dr.. great questions...

    The Combine is our way of evaluating traders who can trade todays market. Many traders send their track records into prop firms or say they can trade. We simply ask, don’t tell us show us. This was the reason for the Combine. Track records of how great you where a year ago or whatever say nothing about how good you are today. This is also how many of the prop firms evaluate and test their traders before putting any capital behind them.

    The Combine has a fully refundable deposit. This holds all recruits accountable for their actions and adds skin in the game for them to gain the closest feel to trading a live market like they would in their personal account. Those in the Combine that complete the requirements found here: http://www.topsteptrader.com/deposit are given the opportunity to receive a full refund (and go their merry way at absouletly no cost to them) or roll their deposit over to a new Combine and use the expereince from the prior Combine to develop and move themselves forward to a profitable trading stategy/methodology.

    We have many recruits that receive a rollover as it is not terribly difficult to have a trading average greater than $0 at the end of your Combine and complete 2 of the 3 performance requirements while making sure 50% or more of the days traded are positive (greater than $0 for the day).

    To answer your question on the vast amount of recruits verse live traders you will need to look at the success of traders in the industry. The failure rate is so high it makes me sick, BUT it is the truth. Lets not argue it just know that that is what we are up against, much like any professional sport would have.

    I about fell into it failing and quitting entirely though I was able to find a prop firm that evaluated traders similar to the TST model when I was completely out of capital and wanted to continue doing something I loved. If forums/website/articles say the failure rate is 90% (which we would and the clearing firms brokerage house behind close doors say is higher) than our goal is to find the 10% of traders that are ready and develop the 90% into the 10% with time and repetition in the markets. Much like anything you need to continually do it over and over to get good and know what to fix.

    So to add to this, I had to humble myself and recognize something needed to change as I was not on the path that was putting money in my pocket or even showing any consistent results therefore I curbed my ego and traded with the prop firm on a sim with a $300 daily loss limit. This taught me patience conviction and instilled discipline. This allowed me to build up my trading. Eventually buying myself out of the prop firm and trading on my own.

    The road has never been easy but I was doing well which leads me to the gambling site that you mention. I do want to clarify that this was not a gambling site but a skilled based competition site by law (think golf tournaments at a local course where you pay an entry and win a price) that people could challenge each other on FIFA, Tiger woods, etc and win points or prizes. We did this in college, putting a pizza or whatever on the game before we played. It was fun and entertaining.

    To make a long story short. I along with a couple of other traders put money together to start this. I was trading at the time but another revenue stream is always nice. This did not pan out so we scrapped it and took a loss. No different than putting on a position. This was my position in another market..

    I hope that helps a bit.

    mp
     
  5. Colonial dr- I did forget to answer the first part in better detail... In the Combine you are not just on SIM. You get all the tools that a trader needs to develop.. For simplicity purposes and not being salesy I have a link to all the tools we offer ( its on the left hand side of the page): http://www.topsteptrader.com/membership

    Quickly- we have breaking news squawk box (typically ransquawk, trade the news, traders audio charge at least $125 a month just for this), an interactive chat room, an in-house trading psychologist that answer YOUR questions (trading psychologist charge $300 an hour or more, grant this is a group session but the point still holds), Scouts that at the end of your Combine call you and provide feedback, etc etc.. These are extremely costly and we eat this cost when a trader rolls over as a scratch trader (and that is typically the type of trader who is rolling over). A scratch trader is a sound trader that we want to continue to develop with us (again we scout for talent or those that show an increased aptitude for trading)

    mp
     
  6. Michael






    Can you clarify if live traders are paid with a k1 or 1099 ?



    Also can you provide any stats on the performance of live traders versus how they did in the combine ?
     
  7. Volente- TopstepTrader does not back the traders. TST is a trader education and recruiting firm that feeds its talent to Patak Trading Partners, LLC (and in some cases other interested parties/firms). The traders funded at PTP are taxed as 1099-misc independent contractors. PTP does not accept, ask or require ANY capital contribution or risk capital. PTP is strictly proprietary capital.

    As for the question on the status of performance of live traders verse how they did in the Combine. This is a case by case scenario as some recruits that get brought up to the live funded account at PTP do exceptionally well while others may have performance anxiety and struggle. Either way, trading coaches at TST work with funded traders (no cost as you are a proven recruit of the Combine) and help them get back on track.

    mp
     
  8. TST_Hoag

    TST_Hoag ET Sponsor

    1. Do you have more then 12 traders who have net (before splits) at least 30+k? Do you have more then 4 traders who have cleared 100k (before splits)?

    First, to clarify, TopstepTrader is a trader education and recruitment firm, that feeds its talent to Patak Trading Partners. Patak Trading Partners financially backs the traders.

    Patak Trading Partners does not disclose information on the traders that they capitalize or the status of their accounts. That is private information.

    Any individual who is interested in becoming a Recruit or is currently a Recruit with TST, receives ALL information that directly affects them: the Combine requirements to become a funded trader AND the requirements for Funded Traders to remain trading on the account.

    The financials of current funded traders in no way affects any potential Recruits or Funded Traders.

    2. Do you make more from the combine fees or from trader's trading profits?

    Combine fees are fully refundable, the requirements to receive a deposit refund can be found here: http://www.topsteptrader.com/deposit. The TopstepTrader model isn’t to churn these fees. We are a source of education and an opportunity. The goal is to financially back traders who prove their results within the structure of our Combines. Clearly there are multiple ways to generate revenue within our structure, however, the largest source of that is and always has been the financial backing of sound, disciplined traders.

    3. If a trader hits their daily loss limit after going live over 1 session or multiple sessions, what happens? And how do they get back to live trading? Say my loss limit is $500.. I'm cleared for live. I'm down $250 first day then $250 next day, would I be sent back to sim? If yes, how do I get back to live? How many days am I down?

    Our traders are allowed to lose twice the amount of their daily loss limit (BELOW the initial balance). Therefore, if a trader is trading a $150K account, we are willing to risk $6K on them. If a trader hits his loss limit ($500-$3000) he would be sent back to the Combine. These requirements are only in place UNTIL an account cushion has been built ($5K for $30K and $50K accounts and $10K for $100K and $150K accounts). Once an account cushion has been built, virtually all expectations/requirements are lifted off the trader.

    IF a trader’s performance is not living up to expectations, the trader is offered the opportunity to return to the Combine to continue to develop as a trader and work towards getting their live account back. If a funded trader is sent back to the Combine, meets the objectives set forth and is then taken back to funded trader status, they start with the account balance reset and the trader does NOT have to make up their losses. ALL losses beyond the initial account balance are absorbed by the Patak Trading Partners.

    4. Are you a CME exchange member and if yes then why don't you pass on those savings to your traders?

    As previously answered on a different thread: Yes, Patak Trading Partners is a CME exchange member. Patak Trading Partners is not a discounted brokerage house. We can not compete with commissions of discounted brokerage houses. This is what Patak Trading Partners has worked out with our clearing firm. It is fair. If we have high volume traders (which we do not) then we can go back to the clearing firm and work something out as we will work to retain any talent that we find. That is not in the cards at this time. To add to this, there are no platform fees cost for squawk, or any other tools as a funded trader (excluding the advanced charting option that the platform provider debits the trading account of the funded trader if they request that they want it).

    5. Since going live trading the ES about 6 months ago, I've did extremly well, imo. I don't want to be down from trading to trade in sim. I know you have a custom combine for successful traders. What types of things do you make adjustments for in the custom combine?

    We always accept custom Combine objective proposals: http://www.topsteptrader.com/customevaluation. As an example of some of the exceptions or agreements we have made: there have been lowered profit targets and adjusted performance requirements. Strategies and methods differ, therefore we are willing to work with a Recruit on an individual basis in order to provide them the best and most fair opportunity for funding.

    6. Also, I look forward to when you add Ninjatrader. I use OEC and their DOM is rock solid. I tried the T4 DOM and had many problems.

    We are very excited about the changes forthcoming. NinjaTrader is a dynamic platform that many individuals are comfortable with. By offering Ninja in our program it serves to better represent our Recruits and their trading abilities should that be their preferred platform.
     
  9. Maverick74

    Maverick74

    Michael, you're doing a great job answering their questions. You have to be pretty patient with this bunch. I'm glad everything is civil now. As a heads up, very few people on this message board understand the prop industry and fewer understand futures. So you might have to go out of your way to clearly define things for people. Most the people here are pretty nice but there are a lot of young guys here with big ambitions. Nothing wrong with that. We were all there at one point. Nice to see you became a sponsor and you are taking the time. Welcome to ET! :)
     
  10. Lucias

    Lucias

    I look forward to my questions being answered. Michael/PTK when you answer those please answer them using # by # reference. I think we need to first establish

    A. If you really fund traders and please do not point to a list of "funded traders" but we need to see if you fund them at a level where at least some can be successful over a longer time/ to a reasonable level.

    And B. We need to establish exactly what passing the combine gets one because it clearly does not get one the account sizes listed. I want you to go in every clear detail what happens in Question 3.

    Questions 1 and 3 are most important. Please spend most time on question #1 and #3 in my list.
     
    #10     Aug 31, 2012
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