Topstep is a leading proprietary futures trading firm that has been around for over 10 years. The program provides traders the opportunity to earn funding in a safe environment while also honing their skills in areas such as discipline and trade execution. The Trading Combine for traders of all levels whether you are brand new or a season veteran. For profitable traders, this means putting someone else’s money on the line and keeping the lion’s share of the profits while virtually eliminating personal downside. For traders new to the market, the Trading Combine is a safe environment to develop your skills as a trader without paying full price for your mistakes. The first $5,000 is 100% for the trader and then a 90/10 profit split after that. In fact, registered clients withdrew over $3 million in profits in 2021. Our review will cover how Topstep works, how to pass the 2-step evaluation program called the Trading Combine, ongoing fees, available instruments, and more.
To earn a funded account with Topstep and be eligible for payouts from trading, traders first need to prove that they can trade profitably within a simulated account called The Trading Combine, the program is an experiential learning and evaluation program for futures traders. Traders grow and test their skills in simulated markets and earn funding upon achieving certain trading objectives. While earning a Funded Account® is one possible goal, the discipline and habits promoted by the Trading Combine benefit traders of all experience levels.
Topstep offers simulated accounts with different starting balances, numbers of open positions allowed, and daily and total loss limits. Importantly, the balance of the simulated account that traders start with will be the size of the funded account they choose themselves and plan to pay for in the future if they succeed in becoming a funded trader.
Topstep offers a unique program called The Trading Combine, with three different account sizes, which have a monthly recurring cost. Pricing varies according to the size of the simulated account – the least expensive account, with a $50,000 starting balance, costs $165/month, while the most expensive account, with a $150,000 starting balance, costs $375/month.
These are simulated accounts, in which you can trade with the account size you choose and pay for. Note that while Topstep offers a 14-day Free Trial, trades made during this trial are not considered for promotion to a funded account.
Topstep has a number of built-in trading platforms that traders are able to use during their simulations and for their Funded Accounts. The most popular platform is TSTrader powered by Tradovate. This charting software has an intuitive interface and has a lot of useful features, including the ability to set hotkeys, plot trendlines and retracements, and buy and sell straight from the charts. The platform also includes a basic stock news ticker page, and the page lets you to track your profits-and-losses during the simulation period.
TSTrader offers traders a replay function so they can analyze a previously executed trade and learn whether its performance was successful or not. The replay functionality is somewhat limited in terms of options, as there is no way to fast-forward to a specific time point or to choose specific asset classes to replay.
To get a funded account, Topstep requires traders to prove first that they can trade profitably and second that they can trade without losing capital in the process. To evaluate traders on these two requirements, there are several rules that must be achieved in order to achieve a funded account:
Find below the rules you need to comply with:
- You will have to follow the scaling plan, in which the number of contracts you can trade is based on the available balance in your account balance.
- Follow the Daily Loss Limit. This is a strict rule and will be calculated intraday on unrealized PnL.
- Follow the Trailing Max Drawdown. This calculates at the end of the day so you can break it intraday as long as you finish back above by the end of the day.
- Have all positions closed by 3:10 pm CT
- For Step 2 there is a 40% Consistency Target which means your greatest winning day cannot be more than 40% of your total profits.
- Topstep has a great Help Center to explain the rules.
Topstep trading hours: Positions are not allowed to be held on trading days between 3:10 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Central Time on Trading Combine accounts. Some futures markets close before 3:10 p.m. Central Time. If you are trading one of these products, you must exit that market before the daily close of the products. You should also take into account the days considered holidays according to the CME Protocol.
More info about the Topstep rules an trading hours at https://www.Topstep.com
Traders earn funding by passing Steps 1 & 2 of the Trading Combine. This means reaching the Topstep profit target, while achieving the Trading Objectives for each Step.
Topstep’s trading objectives aren’t random obstacles, they are tried, and true risk management tools developed by their professional traders. Follow them and you will become a more disciplined trader.
Because trading is very challenging, about 22% of traders make it to becoming funded traders. However, those that do have the potential to earn money from Topstep. Funded traders keep their first $5,000 in profits and then 90% of all profits thereafter.
It is important to note, however, that rules and fees still apply even for funded traders. While the monthly simulation fee is removed, traders are responsible for paying exchange fees upwards of $116/month per exchange.
Group Coaching is a great way to connect with and learn from our experts and peers! Discuss current market trends and news and get answers to your burning questions live from futures trading veteran, John Hoagland, every Monday and Wednesday at 1 PM CST.
(NEW!) One-on-One Coaching:
Check-in with an expert regularly to discuss your trading approach, risk management, and mindset needed to get funded and pay yourself. Our coaches are here to help you succeed!
Topstep is in the process of building this new and free opportunity for all active traders. Join their waitlist to be alerted when openings are available!
Digital Coaching with Coach T:
Topstep’s trading dashboard features Coach T, their digital performance coach that provides tools and personalized trading stats to help you become a smarter, more disciplined trader. Coach T guides traders in achieving Funded Trader status every time they get in front of the trading screens.
- Opportunity for traders with little capital to achieve a funded trading account
- Prop trading firm with over 10 years of experience in the industry with an excellent reputation.
- Funded traders keep initial $5,000 in profit and 90% of profits thereafter
- Free training and coaching program to help you succeed in becoming a Topstep Funded Trader™
- Simulator forces you to have extremely high standard for trading and to minimize risk
- 20% discount offer (no code required) on the purchase of your first Trading Combine
- Industry leading Trader Support team. Offers email, phone, screen share, and chat support.
- Uses Deel for payouts which offers over 15 payout options. Great for non-US citizens.
As a result of our analysis, we have determined that Topstep could be well suited for any traders who have a passion for trading but struggle with trading consistently. The Trading Combine provides exciting conditions for both beginners and experienced investors, including access to various platforms, educational resources, however, we would recommend inexperienced traders to utilize resources the Topstep makes available and take advantage of the demo that the company offers free of cost for 14 days.
You may find out more and open an account on Topstep by visiting their official website at www.Topstep.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Romain is an independent trader and investor specializing in financial market analysis and trading systems. He worked as a professional long/short equity trader for a trading firm in New York and has a passion for building mechanical trading strategies. He has been in the industry since 2008.
This post expresses the opinions of the writer and is for information, entertainment purposes only. Romain is not a registered financial advisor or certified analyst. The reader agrees to assume all risk resulting from the application of any of the information provided. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns and financial trading is full of risk.) Please read the Full Disclaimer