TopStepTrader Review 2024: Everything you need to know

Jeremy Biberdorf
By: Jeremy Biberdorf
Jan 04, 2024
Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links. This means we earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you purchase a product through our links.
TopStepTrader Logo

4.6/5

4.6 rating based on 5 ratings

GET STARTED

In a Nutshell: TopStepTrader is a funded trader program that helps futures traders get funded. With 14 trading platforms supported, I recommend it as one of the best day trading platforms to learn and succeed.

Read my TopStepTrader review to learn more about what TopStep offers.

FeesService TypePromotion
From $49/monthSimulated live trading20% Discount
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Accessible starting capital requirements
  • Comprehensive support for popular trading platforms
  • Extensive range of educational tools with live classes
  • 14-day trial
Cons
  • Criteria for getting funded can be stringent
  • Membership fees, though reduced, may still be a consideration

Compare to Similar Services

TopStepTrader Logo
4.3 rating based on 5 ratings
4.3/5
LEARN MORE

FeesFrom $49/month

Promo20% Discount

Earn2Trade Logo
4.4 rating based on 5 ratings
4.4/5
LEARN MORE

Fees$150-$550

Promo20%+ discount

FTMO Logo
4.5 rating based on 5 ratings
4.5/5
Learn more

FeesRange from €155 to €1080

Minimum InvestmentN/A

TopStep Trader Overview

Initial Capital$50,000 – $150,000
Price Range$49 – $149
Profit Split90%
Daily Loss2%
Max Drawdown3% – 4%
Profit Target6% – 9%
Tradable ProductsFutures

Full TopStepTrader Review

Do you want to learn how to day trade and make big money? Focusing on futures trading, TopStep is ideal for those who want to day trade but don’t have a lot of capital.

TopStep is best for:

  • New day traders
  • Futures traders
  • Day traders who don’t have much capital

The goal of TopStep is to provide prospective day traders with a simulated account. Day traders who perform well and stick to specific parameters of the Trading Combine are rewarded with fully funded 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 futures 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 In 2020, more than $2 million was withdrawn by funded traders.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 my TopStepTrader review.

External TopStepTrader Review & Ratings

SiteRating
Traders Union4.8
Trustpilot4.3 from 1,875 reviews
Onlineproptrading4.7
DayTradingz4.3

Here are some reviews from traders who have experienced the platform firsthand:

“I’m a loyal Topstep client for more than a year. Started as a complete outsider and learned to trade during your combines. Your tight rules forced me to evolve and create good trading habits, as well as creating a sane risk management. I can only say good things about you and your service. I’m looking forward to retribute what knowledge I’ve learned by making money for both of us with my live trading in the future.”
“Great opportunity for beginners trying to get their foot in the door to the world of trading. Learn and test strategies with minimal risk and lots of potential for reward with success.”
“I appreciate that there is constant support. The Topstep family make it feel like they are really rooting for you to succeed, with free coaching, and this YouTube TV they have, the giveaways, and the way they interact with you makes this whole process and experience worth it. Shout out to Edward from Support who was friendly, patient and helpful. Thank You!”
“This is my first experience with a prop firm, and last. I feel I found a good all around prop firm and see no reason to go with another.
They have a really great customer service base. If you have connection issues? Strong support/customer service to fix your issues fast. having psychological issues with trading or in a slump?
They have Strong customer service w/ really easy to talk to Reps who give actionable advice and exude professionalism (Edward, Leslie and Vincent to name a few). Before prop firms, I had struggled with sticking to a blue print of rules that I’ve created. Coming from stocks/options to now trading futures, they lay out a great structure of how to approach your risk management (much different then I would of with options), trading psychology and execution. 10/10″

What is TopStep Trader?

Product NameTopStep
ServicesSimulated and live day trading platform
Fees$49 – $149
Education & SupportCourses, live classes, trading performance
Promotion14-day free trial

TopStep is a visionary proprietary trading firm founded in 2012 by Michael Patak. The firm, initially making its mark on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, has since evolved into a leading online platform, the Trading Combine®, designed to simulate futures markets trading.

This unique offering caters to both novice and seasoned traders, providing an authentic trading experience without the financial risks associated with real market trading.

Located near the bustling West Loop Gate neighborhood in downtown Chicago, TopStep has rapidly ascended as a major player in the prop trading world. Recognized by INC.5000 for its remarkable growth, the firm now commands a global presence.

It boasts a diverse trading community with representation from 143 countries and offers trading accounts in 10 different currencies. This global reach underscores TopStep’s commitment to inclusivity and accessibility in the trading world.

The platform’s support for 14 different trading platforms, including popular choices like NinjaTrader, TradingView, and TSTrader, adds to its appeal. These platforms offer a range of tools and features that cater to various trading styles and preferences, making TopStepTrader a versatile choice for traders at different levels of expertise.

Benefits of Trading With TopStep

TopStep has distinguished itself in the industry through its significant achievements. Since 2020, the firm has processed over $14 million in payouts to funded traders, a testament to its effectiveness and the success of its participants.

In a single month, they have funded as many as 5,000 accounts, highlighting the platform’s reach and impact. Additionally, their efficiency is evident in their swift average payout processing time of just 7 hours.

The core concept of TopStep is centered around the Trading Combine®. Here, traders engage in simulated trials, competing to demonstrate their trading acumen. Successful traders in the Combine are granted the opportunity to progress to a funded trader status, receiving an account backed by real money.

This progression system not only rewards skill and discipline but also provides a practical pathway for traders to transition from simulation to actual trading.

The Trading Combine® is designed with the dual goals of offering a safe, risk-minimized trading environment and providing an in-depth understanding of futures trading. Traders in the Combine are subject to a set of well-defined restrictions, including limits on trading days and weekly loss.

These regulations are crucial in maintaining the integrity of the program and ensuring that traders are adequately prepared for the challenges of real-world trading.

Upon achieving the funded trader status, participants are given the chance to trade with the firm’s capital. The initial profits, up to $5,000, are fully retained by the traders, fostering a sense of accomplishment and reward.

Beyond this threshold, a profit-sharing model is employed, with traders receiving 80% of their earnings. This structure not only incentivizes success but also aligns the interests of the traders with those of the firm.

In summary, TopStep stands out as a pioneering platform in the proprietary trading space, offering a unique blend of simulation and real trading opportunities. Its global reach, diverse trading platform support, and impressive track record of trader payouts and success stories make it a highly regarded entity in the world of futures trading.

Drawbacks of TopStepTrader

While TopStepTrader offers a comprehensive trading platform, there are a few aspects that users might find challenging, yet these don’t diminish the overall value of the service. One potential drawback is the multitude of account options available, which can sometimes be confusing. Understanding the specific rules applicable to the Pro Account, Funded Account, or Premium Funded Account might require some time. However, Topstep provides excellent customer support to assist users in navigating these complexities.

Another consideration for active accounts is the requirement to achieve five winning days, where the profit exceeds $100, before initiating a withdrawal of earnings. This stipulation is part of ensuring disciplined and profitable trading but requires traders to demonstrate consistency in their success.

Once traders become funded, the monthly fee from Topstep stops. However, I must note, unless you choose the completely free “Pro Account,” there are exchange data fees that need to be covered via a monthly subscription. This is an essential aspect to consider when planning the cost of trading.

Despite these considerations, TopStepTrader remains a valuable platform for those looking to professionalize their trading with a supportive and structured environment. The platform’s focus on discipline and profitability, combined with its robust customer support, ensures that traders are well-equipped to navigate any challenges and capitalize on the opportunities that active trading offers.

TopStepTrader Features

Topstep, formerly known as TopStepTrader, has evolved significantly since its inception in 2012, becoming a leader in providing simulated futures markets through its Trading Combine® program.

This program offers traders a unique and practical experience in futures trading with the opportunity to secure funding. Topstep is recognized for its fairness in the trading industry, requiring only two trading days to pass the Combine and adherence to a crucial rule — the maximum loss limit.

Here are some of TopStep’s most powerful features that I think potential users should be aware of:

Trading Platforms and Education

Topstep supports a variety of trading platforms to cater to the diverse needs of its users. While TSTrader remains a popular choice for beginners due to its user-friendly interface and no-fee structure for Combine trades, Topstep has expanded its platform support. It now includes TradingView, among others, offering a range of platforms suitable for different trading styles and expertise levels.

Each platform provides its unique features and fee structures. For instance, NinjaTrader is ideal for Windows users and offers discounted fees for funded traders. TradingView, known for its cross-device compatibility and third-party add-ons, is another excellent option for active traders.

In terms of education and coaching, Topstep excels in offering a range of resources to enhance trading skills. The firm provides daily live trading classes, lessons on trading psychology, and the ability to observe professional traders in real-time. This comprehensive educational approach is aimed at different skill levels, ensuring a clear progression path for traders.

Group and Performance Coaching

Topstep’s bi-weekly group coaching webinars offer an interactive environment for traders to improve their skills and stay updated with market trends.

Additionally, the Performance Coaching Plan, available at a monthly cost, provides personalized one-on-one sessions with experienced coaches. I think this service is particularly beneficial for traders seeking tailored advice and strategies.

Digital Coaching and Community Engagement

“Coach T,” Topstep’s digital coaching tool, offers features like checklists, personalized trading plans, performance tracking, and alert systems to help traders progress toward a funded account.

One of my favorite aspects of TopStep is the community building. Topstep boasts a vibrant community where traders can interact, share insights, and receive feedback, both in their interactive chat rooms and on social media platforms like Facebook.

Premium Funded vs. Funded Account

Topstep provides two pathways for traders to progress to funded status. The Pro account serves as a bridge between the Trading Combine and a fully funded account, offering simulated trading with a potential real-world payoff. Once traders reach a specific balance in the Combine, they can transition to a Pro account without monthly fees, albeit with certain trading restrictions.

On the other hand, a Premium Funded Account offers a starting balance based on the trader’s performance in the Combine, differing from the regular Funded Account, which starts with a zero balance. This distinction provides an additional incentive for traders to excel in the Combine and choose the most suitable path for their trading journey.

Topstep continues to provide an inclusive, educational, and supportive environment for futures traders, ranging from beginners to seasoned professionals.

With its diverse platform support, comprehensive educational resources, and community engagement, Topstep remains a leader in the proprietary trading firm space.

TopStepTrader’s Trading Rules

Topstep, founded in 2012 by Michael Patak as TopStepTrader, has distinguished itself in the proprietary trading firm space with its unique Trading Combine® program. This simulated trading environment allows traders to experience futures markets and secure funding at a low cost.

Notably, Topstep requires traders to pass the program in just two trading days without violating its cardinal rule: the Maximum Loss Limit.

In the Trading Combine®, traders are assessed based on paper money profits for a minimum of two days, demonstrating profitability and effective risk management. The key to advancing to a funded account lies in meeting specific objectives without breaching the one non-negotiable rule.

The Trading Combine® is straightforward in its approach. Traders must hit the Profit Target before encountering the Maximum Loss Limit. Topstep offers three account sizes in the Combine – $50k, $100k, and $150k, each with corresponding trading limits and profit targets.

For instance, the $50k account has a $3,000 profit target, but profits from single trades exceeding 50% of this target don’t count towards this goal. Similarly, the $100k account has a $6,000 target, and the $150k account a $9,000 target, with proportional adjustments in maximum position sizes and loss limits.

Topstep’s Trading Combine® enforces several key objectives:

  • Profit Target: Achieved when account balance exceeds the set profit target at the end of a trading day.
  • Consistency Target: A rule ensuring no single day’s profit exceeds 50% of the profit target, promoting consistent trading performance.
  • Daily Loss Limit: Specific to each account type, this limit is a critical parameter. Breaching it intraday deactivates the account for the rest of the day, but doesn’t count as a rule violation.

However, exceeding the Maximum Loss Limit results in a breach of the one rule and disqualifies the account from funding. This Loss Limit is a trailing account loss limit that updates at the end of each trading day, though it triggers intraday.

Topstep’s commitment to fair and real-world trading values is evident in these objectives. These rules, while straightforward, are designed to foster discipline among traders. Unethical tactics like using slow data feeds, account connection, or scalping algorithms lead to disqualification.

This approach ensures a level playing field in the Combine and aligns with Topstep’s ethos of fairness in the trading space.

Resets & Commissions

At Topstep®, a key component of the Trading Combine® program is the management of both success and setbacks. In the event that a trader violates the rules, particularly the Maximum Loss Limit, the account may need to be reset.

Unlike the previous structure, Topstep now imposes a reset fee, which is an essential consideration for traders utilizing the Trading Combine®. This fee structure is particularly relevant for those who might need to reattempt the Combine due to rule violations.

The reset fee in Topstep’s Trading Combine® is aligned with its commitment to promoting disciplined trading practices. This fee acts as a reminder for traders to adhere to the established trading parameters and manage their trades effectively within the defined rules, particularly the crucial Maximum Loss Limit.

In terms of commissions, Topstep has updated its approach. While the platform previously had different commission structures based on the trading platform used, the current commission rates and structures are now more streamlined.

Topstep charges specific transaction or exchange fees, which vary depending on the trading platform and the type of trade executed. It’s crucial for traders to be aware of these fees, as they directly impact the profitability of each trade.

Understanding the implications of resets and commissions is vital for traders in the Trading Combine®. These elements play a significant role in the overall trading strategy and success within the Topstep program.

I recommend Traders factor in these aspects when planning their trades to ensure they stay within the guidelines and work towards achieving their trading objectives effectively.

How to Withdraw Money From TopStepTrader

Topstep’s approach to payouts for its Funded TradersTM has been refined to enhance the withdrawal experience. As per the latest payout policy, once traders achieve the status of a Topstep Funded TraderTM, they can request payouts up to four times a month, subject to certain conditions.

The withdrawal methods provided by Topstep for Funded Accounts include bank transfer and ACH. The processing times for these withdrawals typically range from 7-10 business days. Although there is no commission charged for withdrawals, a fee set by the payment system may apply. If this fee exceeds $500, Topstep covers it; otherwise, a $50 charge is levied on the trader.

Under the updated policy, traders can request a payout after accumulating five winning days with profits of at least $200 each, with these winning days not necessarily needing to be consecutive. Additionally, traders can withdraw up to 50% of their account balance with each payout request. It is recommended that traders maintain a cushion in their account after each payout.

Breaking the Maximum Loss Limit rule will result in the closure of the trader’s account. In such cases, traders are entitled to receive 100% of their account balance based on Topstep’s 90/10 Profit Split arrangement. This underscores the importance of disciplined trading and adherence to the established rules within the Trading Combine®.

For the Monthly Trading Combine subscriptions, payments can be made using various methods, including Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, American Express, and Discover. Standard credit or debit cards are generally preferred, as certain types of credit cards or gift vouchers might encounter processing issues.

The timeframe for crediting funds to an account may vary depending on the payment method. While transactions through bank cards typically take 1-2 business days, electronic payments might be processed more quickly. It’s important to note that subscription payments do not require verification, but withdrawals do.

This revised withdrawal process and payout policy are part of Topstep’s ongoing commitment to providing a fair and transparent trading environment, along with offering an array of opportunities for traders to benefit from their trading skills and discipline.

TopStepTrader Alternatives

If after reading this far in my TopStepTrader review you are convinced it isn’t the right trader program to help you reach your trading goals, you are in luck, because they aren’t the only legitimate company in the prop trading business.

One competitor that deserves mention is Apex Trader Funding. Just like TopStep, Apex Trader Funding specializes in futures trading. With no cap on payouts, Apex Trader Funding users have generated millions in profits. Known for its straightforward, one-step evaluation process and minimal rules, Apex Trader Funding has become a very popular firm for trading futures. With an initial balance of up to a whopping 1.5 million dollars, profitable traders have a lot to gain with Apex Trader Funding. My TopStep vs Apex Trader Funding article will get into all the details you need to know to determine if their trading programs are right for you.

If you are looking for a trader program that allows you to trade more than just futures, FTMO is worth considering as a partner that can help you reach your profit objective the the competitive financial markets of today. Offering up to a 90% profit split and allowing its partners to trade forex, commodities, indices, crypto, stocks and bonds, FTMO is a solid choice for those who prefer to trade a wide variety of instruments. My TopStep vs FTMO review will break down the important details like profit goals, maximum drawdown, and minimum trading days so you can make an informed decision.

The last competitor I will cover in my TopStep funded trader review is Elite Trader Funding. Known for quick funding due to its flexible evaluation process, Elite Trader Funding has 5 different evaluations that cater to the diverse needs of futures traders. Elite Trader Funding offers a wealth of educational materials, making it an attractive option for traders of all experience levels looking to improve their trading skills with Elite Trader Funding’s training materials. To learn more details and see how they stack up, my TopStep vs Elite Trader Funding comparison is an excellent resource.

Final Thoughts

In our updated review of Topstep, we affirm that it remains a legitimate and compelling platform for aspiring traders. Since its inception in 2012, Topstep has established itself as a first-of-its-kind proprietary trading firm, offering a unique experience through its Trading Combine®.

Featured on CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business, Forbes, and MarketWatch, and recognized as one of the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in 2016, Topstep continues to stand out in the industry.

Topstep’s Trading Combine® is designed to be a fair and accessible path to funding, with a simple rule set focusing on maintaining a Maximum Loss Limit and achieving a Profit Target. This approach offers both new and experienced traders a practical way to develop their skills in simulated futures markets, with the added benefit of a wide range of free resources, including a vibrant Discord community, group coaching, and live trading sessions on TopstepTV.

The platform’s fee structure is now more competitive, with reduced monthly costs for various account sizes, making it an attractive option for traders looking to control their expenses while seeking funded trading opportunities. The payout policy, touted as the industry’s best, allows successful traders to request payouts up to four times a month, subject to achieving five winning days of +$200 each.

While the journey to becoming a funded trader is challenging and requires discipline and skill, the potential rewards are significant. In 2020 alone, more than 5,000 traders achieved funded status. However, traders should be mindful that maintaining success in a funded account is crucial, as failure to do so may result in a return to the Trading Combine®.

The platform does not currently support Forex trading, catering exclusively to futures markets. Additionally, Topstep, like many proprietary trading firms, is not regulated, operating with its capital and focusing on in-house trading activities.

In conclusion, Topstep continues to be a prominent and respected platform in the proprietary trading space. It offers a realistic and comprehensive training environment for traders aiming to refine their skills and achieve funded status.

For those considering a career in day trading or looking to advance their trading acumen, Topstep presents a valuable opportunity to pursue professional trading with a well-structured, supportive, and transparent approach – click here to get started.

Check out Topstep’s day trading platform and explore their offerings with a 14-day free trial.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Yes, it’s possible. You’ll have to pass some tests on the platform to do so. In 2020 alone, there were more than 5,000 newly funded traders.

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

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

Yes. Funded traders get to keep the first $5,000 they make in profit while using their funded account, and 80% of any profits made after that. However, you won’t be able to make a profit until you receive a funded account; virtual capital from the Trading Combine is merely symbolic.

No, TopStep does not offer Forex trading at this time.

TopStepTrader is located at 224 N Desplaines St, Suite 350, in Chicago, Illinois, 60661.

To learn more, and access their FAQ page, you can visit their official website at https://www.topstep.com/.

They can also be reached via email at support@topstepfx.com

No, Topstep, similar to many prop firms, lacks regulation. Prop firms typically use their own capital for trading, avoid soliciting investments from others, and refrain from operating as broker/dealers. Because of this, they aren’t bound by US financial regulatory standards.

Payouts are accessible only once you’ve completed the Trading Combine and activated your Funded tier account. Earnings cannot be withdrawn from a Trading Combine account. Withdrawals are allowed exclusively from Funded Level accounts, which include both Express Funded and Live Funded.

Save 20% on TopStepTrader TodayClick to Save 20%