TopStepTrader Review 2021: The Best Funded Trader Program?

Bob Haegele By: Bob Haegele

June 24, 2021

TopStepTrader Logo

4.3/5

4.3 rating based on 5 ratings

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In a nutshell: TopStepTrader is a funded trader program enabling new and experienced day traders with low capital to hone their skills and qualify for a funded trader account. With 13 trading platforms supported, our TopStepTrader review recommends it as one of the best day trading platforms to learn and succeed.

Fees Service Type Promotion
From $165/month Simulated live trading 14-day free trial

Would you like to try day trading, but don’t have the equity you need to get started? TopStep Trader can help with its funded trader program, starting at $165/month.

Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Not much capital needed to start
  • Good support for popular trading platforms
  • Solid range of educational tools with live classes
  • 14-day free trial

CONS

  • Unlikely to become a funded trader
  • High membership fees

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Full TopStepTrader Review

Do you want to learn how to day trade and make big money? TopStepTrader is one of the best platforms available for aspiring day traders with low capital.

TopStep is best for:

  • New day traders
  • Day traders who don’t have much capital
  • Day traders who want to be part of a community

The goal of TopStep is to provide prospective day traders with a simulated account. Day traders who perform well and stick to specific parameters are rewarded with fully funded day trading accounts.

The platform is open not only to U.S. citizens but the whole world, with 143 countries represented within the trading community.

Funded traders can trade with TopStep using the firm’s money and keep most of the profits. In 2020, more than $2 million was withdrawn by funded traders.

Read on to find out more in this TopStepTrader review.

What is TopStep Trader?

Product Name TopStep Trader
Services Simulated and live day trading platform
Fees Minimum $165 per month
Education & Support Courses, live classes, and the opportunity to watch professionals trade live
Promotion 14-day free trial, no credit card required

TopStepTrader was founded by Michael Patak in Chicago in 2012. It’s been named one of America’s 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies according to a list from Inc.5000.

The concept of the platform is traders can create an account and compete within simulations to be the best. Traders who qualify have the chance to be promoted to the status of funded trader.

As a result, they can actively day trade with the firm’s money. The first $5,000 in profits are kept for funded traders, with traders retaining 80% of profits thereafter.

TopStepTrader Features

Our review on TopStepTrader believes day traders have all the tools they need to not only improve their day trading skills but to turn it into a profession.

No-Fee Trading Platform

Although TopStep Trader supports more than 13 different platforms, the best beginner platform is TSTrader.

TSTrader comes with no fees and includes all the basic charts for managing your day trading career. While it lacks many of the advanced features of trading platforms like NinjaTrader and TradeStation, beginners can get acquainted with all the basic concepts with TSTrader.

Charts

TopStepTrader has a surprising lack of advanced charting options. When compared to other platforms and the high-risk nature of trading, serious traders will likely need to use a third-party charting platform to extract the most value from their trades.

TopStep contains all the basic charts you would expect, such as:

  • Candlestick charts
  • Bar charts
  • Line graphs
  • Point & figure
  • Heike nashi
  • Renko

You can also display data for ticks, volume, range, and momentum. However, for day traders these charts can be clunky and can get in the way of trades.

As any short term trader knows, every second is crucial. The clumsiness of these charts, as a result of no auto-scaling, means these charting options may not provide the right amount of support for the serious trader.

Education and Coaching

Top Step Trader’s commitment to education and coaching enables not only beginners but veterans to learn new tricks to increase their profitability. Some of these coaching options are free, whereas users with more capital can invest in personalized performance coaching sessions.

Its primary education offerings include:

  • Daily live trading classes
  • Lessons on trading psychology
  • Ability to watch the professionals trade in real-time

All classes are aimed at different levels, with high marks given for the clear progression paths on offer to account holders.

Performance Coaching Plan

Get rid of your bad trading habits quickly with the Performance Coaching Plan. Every month, you’ll receive a one-on-one session with your coach. You will have the opportunity to go over your trades and receive advice on where you made mistakes.

A monthly subscription to the Performance Coaching Plan costs $395 per month, whereas for funded traders this service is free.

As part of the service you’ll receive:

  • 30-minute kickoff session.
  • Personalized advice on your trading strategies.
  • Daily meeting and a weekly personal coaching session.
  • Access to the private trader group chat.

These coaches have years’ worth of experience in trading on the open market. Many of the coaches employed by TopStepTrader have also worked on real trading floors and have experience in coaching and mentoring new traders to achieve their goals.

Squawk Radio

If you’ve yet to reach the status of funded trader, or you don’t have the money to invest in one-on-one coaching, tune in to Squawk Radio with Eddie Horn.

Horn has more than 25 years of experience in the trading world. This broadcast show places an emphasis on interaction, so you can gain perspectives on the market and important tips from traders with long track records of success.

Community Help

One of the best features TopStepTrader has to offer is a thriving community. Users may ask questions in the interactive chat room, where both simulation users and funded traders are happy to answer questions.

There are also active TopStep communities on social media. Its Facebook community is by far its most active.

TopStepTrader Pricing

TopStepTrader offers four different membership options for traders who are trading on simulation accounts. There is also a 14-day free trial, with no requirement to add a credit card. Our TopStep Trader review considers this a major perk.

Membership fees are monthly and come with different targets to meet to be considered for promotion to funded trader status. There are also different maximum positions, buying power, max drawdowns, and weekly loss limits to adhere to.

$50k Buying Power – $165/month.

$100k Buying Power – $325/month.

$150k Buying Power – $375/month.

There are a lot of rules put in place for trading with TopStepTrader. So, what happens if you blow up your account by making a bad trade?

There are fees associated with blowing up your account during the simulation trading phase. TopStepTrader will charge you $100 for every reset.

Considering the fact these fees are charged based on virtual funds, this is essentially a barrier to newer traders who may want to experiment with new trading strategies.

Finally, there are commissions to take into account. While the platform does claim to offer no-commission trading, this is untrue. Instead, the commissions are charged as a “transaction fee”. Even though it’s only $0.18 per contract, the commission does need to be factored into any trade you make.

Similar platforms, such as NinjaTrader and MarketDelta, don’t charge these sneaky commissions.

TopStepTrader FAQ

Have questions about TopStep Trader? We answer the most common ones below.

Is TopStepTrader Legit?

TopStepTrader has been in business since 2012 and has been featured on CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business, Forbes, and MarketWatch. It has also won several awards, including being named one of the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in 2016.

Can I Become a Funded Trader?

Yes, but it’s unlikely. Unless you pass the platform’s tests, you’ll have to keep paying the monthly fee and keep trying. But there were more than 5000 new funded traders in 2020.

On the other hand, becoming a funded trader isn’t the end of your journey. Traders who fail to succeed when they get funded are liable to getting knocked back into the simulation phase.

This can happen for any reason and reviews on TopStepTrader claim that the platform isn’t always transparent about the reasoning behind demotions.

Can I Make Money on Top Step Trader?

Yes. Funded traders get to keep the first $5,000 they make in profit, and 80% of any profits made thereafter.

Is TopStepTrader Right for You?

So what are our final thoughts on TopStepTrader?

TopStepTrader is completely legit and can be a great platform to test your skills. The array of educational content can enable you to take your day trading to the next level.

However, monthly fees are expensive, so we recommend only committing to a month or two. That should be long enough for you to work out whether you have what it takes to become a funded trader.

Overall, TopStepTrader is a great way to get into professional day trading.

Check out TopStepTrader’s day trading platform and start your 14-day free trial

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Bob Haegele

About the Author:

Bob Haegele is a personal finance writer, entrepreneur, and dog walker. Bob has been writing about personal finance for three years and now manages several personal finance sites, including The Frugal Fellow, Modest Money, and Blooming Wealth. You can also find him contributing to popular websites such as Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, and GOBankingRates. You can see more of his work on Muck Rack and Contently, or connect with him on LinkedIn.