Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions About the Topstep Trader Program:
This is a detailed compilation of the top 10 most frequently asked questions about Topstep. Before starting the process of earning a funded Topstep account, this resource can help you understand the ins-and-outs of the Topstep Trader program.
1. What is Topstep?
Topstep is an established funded trader program founded in 2012 that offers individuals the opportunity to pass an objective test in order to earn a funded forex or futures trading account. The objective test is a 2-step process known as the Topstep Combine.
Topstep also offers a number of educational resources, including: blog posts, YouTube videos, podcast episodes, group coaching, and a Facebook community to support you in your quest to earn a funded account – and officially become a Topstep Trader.
Between the Founder, Michael Patak, and many of the Topstep Performance Coaches: John Hoagland, Dan Hodgman, Mick Ieronimo, and more, there are a number of professional traders providing support. Topstep is a company built FOR traders BY traders.
2. What is Topstep Futures?
Topstep Futures is one of the two major funding opportunities that Topstep offers that allows you to earn an account trading various CME futures products: E-mini S&P 500, E-mini NASDAQ 100, Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Corn, Wheat, Gold, Silver, and more.
With Topstep Futures, there are three different account sizes to choose from for the Combine: $50,000, $100,000, or $150,000. You also have your personal choice of over ten different integrated trading platforms to use, including: TradingView, NinjaTrader, and TSTrader.
3. What is Topstep Forex?
Topstep Forex is the other major funding opportunity that Topstep offers that allows you to earn an account trading popular currency pairs, such as: EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, USD/CHF, AUD/USD, USD/CAD, NZD/USD, EUR/JPY, and more.
Unlike the Topstep Futures program, which allows you to choose from a large number of trading platforms, the Topstep Forex program only offers MetaTrader4. I personally prefer trading futures over forex, but forex is the world’s largest financial market.
4. What is the Topstep Combine?
The Topstep Combine, as quickly mentioned previously, is an objective test that traders must go through in order to earn their funded accounts. It’s essentially a 2-step tryout with specific profit targets and risk management rules for each step.
If we take Topstep Futures for example, starting the Combine with a $100,000 simulated account has a step 1 profit target of $6,000 and a daily loss limit of $2,000. There is also a maximum trailing drawdown of $3,000 and maximum position size of 10 contracts.
If you can grow the account to $106,000 or more without breaking any of the rules, you move on to step 2. For step 2, your account is readjusted back down to the initial $100,000 and you have to hit the $6,000 profit target yet again – with some additional rules.
The main rule added for step 2 is a weekly loss limit. You also can’t hold through major economic releases and the profits from your best day can’t exceed 40% of your total profits. This proves that you can capture consistent profits while appropriately managing risk.
If you pass step 2, you earn the $100,000 funded account. Feel free to check the Topstep Help Center for full details on the rules.
5. How Much Does Topstep Cost?
There are two separate costs to consider – the fees associated with the Topstep Combine and then the fees associated with a funded account (if and when you earn one). The Combine fee depends on the program (Futures or Forex) and account size.
For Topstep Futures, for example, the $50,000 account is $165 per month, the $100,000 account is $325 per month, and the $150,000 account is $375 per month. While it’s possible to pass within just one month, it will realistically take two or more months.
For somebody who goes into the Combine prepared with legitimate trading skills, they can expect to pay in the range of $500 to $1,000 in order to earn their funded account. But again, it depends on the program, account size, and how long it takes you to pass.
Once you earn a funded account, the recurring monthly Combine cost goes away, but then there are commissions, platform, and data fees. The commissions and platform fees depend on your trading platform and the data fees depend on the markets you trade.
Data fees are roughly $100 per month (per market). But since the other costs are mainly tied to your trading platform and frequency, they can vary drastically from trader to trader. TSTrader, for example, has no platform fees and a $0.79 commission per contract.
6. Are There Discounts Available For the Topstep Combine?
There are discounts available for both the Futures Combines and Forex Combines (all account sizes). Use the links below for 20% off the first month of your chosen Combine. The discounts are embedded within the links – no discount or coupon codes required.
7. Does Topstep Offer Any Free Trials?
Topstep offers a 14-Day Free Trial trading futures in a $150,000 simulated (and unevaluated) account. This free trial can help you get familiar with the Topstep dashboard, Combine rules, and the TSTrader trading platform powered by Tradovate.
There is no free trial opportunity currently available for the Topstep Forex program (maybe at some point in the future).
8. Is Topstep a Scam?
In my opinion, Topstep is nowhere close to a scam. Instead, it’s a tremendous opportunity for individuals who would otherwise never be able to fund their own trading accounts to potentially earn the capital required to realistically trade for a living.
But with that being said, I have seen a few complaints about Topstep, mainly in regard to the Combine. These skeptics claim that the cost of the Combine is ridiculous and just a way to separate hopeful traders from their money. They think it should be free.
But you have to keep in mind that Topstep is in the business of recruiting profitable traders, providing them with capital, and then splitting the profits. Making the Combine free would attract far too many gamblers who aren’t serious about their success.
In general, people need to have something on the line in order to take it seriously. But not too much to make it dangerous. In my opinion, Topstep provides an extremely safe environment compared to what most traders tend to provide for themselves.
They scoff at paying $500 for an opportunity to earn a $150,000 trading account, but then choose to impulsively throw $10,000 around in the markets – untrained and unprepared. The reasonable Combine fee is nothing compared to massive trading losses.
9. Who is Topstep Best For?
Topstep is best for passionate futures and forex traders who don’t have the financial means to fund their own trading accounts. The unfortunate reality is that you need money in order to make money in the markets, so talent alone isn’t enough.
But through Topstep, you can earn a fully funded account to use as a tool for generating substantial profits in the market. You don’t have to be confined by the limitations of your own small account – you can earn a large five or six-figure account instead.
Even for individuals with the financial means to fund their own trading accounts, having the structure of a program like Topstep can be ideal. And on top of that, they don’t have to risk their own money – which can then be put to use in some other way.
10. Is Topstep Worth it?
Even though there are some fees involved with the tryout process and within funded accounts, as well as an 80/20 profit split, I still think Topstep is completely worth it for most retail traders. Truthfully, the fees are peanuts compared to the potential rewards.
If you’re a relatively new trader with a $10,000 account, for example, how much do you expect to make in one year? For the sake of example, let’s say you can capture a 100% return – which is incredible by the way and highly unlikely for a complete beginner.
But if instead you chose to spend $1,000 on the Combine to earn a $150,000 Topstep funded account, and captured a mere 10% return, you’d still make more than you would with a 100% return on your own $10,000 account ($11,000 vs. $10,000).
So it’s clear that a larger account, even with a profit split, provides much more profit-potential in terms of dollars. It can help you produce a full-time income instead of pocket money. Just imagine a 100% return on a $150,000 account instead of a $10,000 account.
Overall, Topstep provides a safe environment for building good trading habits and potentially earning a large account. Please share any additional questions or personal experiences you have with Topstep in the comments section below.
Written by Matt Thomas (@MattThomasTP)
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