What is Topstep? Exploring the Innovator in Retail Trading

Jeremy BiberdorfBy: Jeremy Biberdorf

September 3, 2023September 3, 2023

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Founded in 2012, Topstep has carved a significant niche in the financial trading ecosystem. This unique prop firm’s platform enables aspiring traders to get funded trading accounts.

The Chicago-based company aims to transform people into better traders using virtual trading capital in their proprietary Trading Combine. This setup provides a risk-free environment for retail traders to test their strategies and build their skills.

Since its inception, Topstep has had a transformative impact on the trading world. It has funded thousands of traders globally, disbursing millions in withdrawals. This has effectively democratized access to professional trading opportunities, breaking down the barriers that typically exclude retail traders from high-stakes markets. Moreover, the company has earned several prestigious recognitions, including a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies.

Understanding what Topstep is and how it operates is crucial for retail traders looking to professionalize their trading activities. The platform provides educational content to enhance trading skills and imposes trading rules designed to foster discipline and risk management. As the fees for using the Trading Combine can accumulate, retail traders need to know what they’re getting into. Still, the rewards—both for skill development and the potential for earning a funded account—are substantial.

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What is Topstep? The Origin Story 

Topstep traces its roots back to 2012, when it was initially called Patak Trading Partners. The man behind the innovative platform is Michael Patak, a trader who endured a rocky start to his career. In a twist of fate that many traders can relate to, Patak blew out not one but three brokerage accounts before he could find his footing in the trading world. These initial setbacks were more than just financial losses. They served as critical learning experiences that reshaped his approach to trading.

Instead of seeing his early failures as a dead-end, Patak took them as a clarion call to devise a safer pathway for traders to hone their skills. Inspired by these formative experiences, he founded Topstep to provide traders with a secure, risk-free environment to professionalize their passion. The aim was straightforward but revolutionary: to allow traders to develop their skills and trade live capital without jeopardizing their life savings.

In a sense, Topstep serves as an educational crucible, allowing traders to learn by doing, which is one of the most effective ways to master any skill. Patak’s platform has become a game-changer in the industry by offering the Trading Combine, a simulated trading program. It lets traders cultivate discipline and risk management techniques without the looming fear of significant financial loss.

What Makes Topstep Unique? 

One of the standout features that sets Topstep apart from other trading platforms is its unique concept known as the Trading Combine. This is a simulated trading environment where aspiring traders can prove their skills without the immediate risks of using real capital. What’s remarkable about this offering is that it provides a gateway for retail traders to access funding for live trading once they meet specific criteria. In essence, Trading Combine is both a proving ground and a launchpad, offering a unique funding opportunity uncommon in retail trading.

The name “Topstep” itself pays homage to a significant tradition in the world of trading. In the heyday of trading pits, the term “Top Step” designated the highest, most prestigious tier where traders stood. This vantage point provided a complete view of all the action and offered better access to orders than those standing in the lower tiers of the pit. By adopting this terminology, Topstep aims to encapsulate the essence of that privilege, offering retail traders a platform where they can rise to the top of their game.

In addition to its innovative structure, the Topstep platform implements rigorous rules and guidelines designed to instill disciplined trading habits in its users. Through this blend of history, innovation, and strict trading discipline, Topstep provides an unparalleled experience.

Topstep Features and Services

Regarding features and services, Topstep is more than just a platform for executing trades. At its core, it aims to turn casual traders into seasoned professionals by offering robust tools.

One of the most compelling offerings is the opportunity to trade with virtual trading capital in the Trading Combine. This program is like a two-step audition, where traders must meet specific targets and follow guidelines to qualify for trading real capital. Here, traders can experiment with trading strategies and tactics without risking real money. It providing a safer route for those still learning the ropes. The simulation accounts come with various membership options, each with rules and targets that traders must meet to advance to funded trader status. Once traders meet these criteria, they can transition from simulated accounts to live trading, backed by Topstep’s funding.

Additionaly, Topstep goes beyond just trade execution and offers an array of educational content. This includes tutorials, articles, and other learning resources aimed at helping traders elevate their day trading skills. The educational content covers a range of topics from basic to advanced. It offers insights that can prove beneficial for traders at all levels.

Topstep’s features create a holistic ecosystem where traders can learn, practice, and prove their capabilities in a risk-mitigated environment.

Final Thoughts

Topstep has emerged as a groundbreaking platform in the trading world. It offers retail traders a unique opportunity to practice and enhance their trading skills without risking their money. Founded by Michael Patak, who experienced the ups and downs of trading, the platform provides a safe environment through its innovative Trading Combine feature. With diverse membership options that cater to different buying powers and risk profiles, it’s evident that Topstep prioritizes inclusivity.

Beyond its services, Topstep has received noteworthy accolades that further attest to its credibility. The platform has made it to the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies and is recognized by esteemed organizations such as Crain’s and Deloitte Technology. These honors reflect its financial growth and commitment to providing traders value.

Looking ahead, Topstep shows no signs of slowing down. The company continues to innovate and adapt, forever keeping the needs of its global community of traders at the core of its mission. With the future looking bright, Topstep remains committed to turning ordinary people into better, more profitable traders.

Now that we have answered the question “ what is Topstep? ”, are you ready to embark on your trading journey? Start exploring Topstep here. There’s a whole world of trading opportunities waiting for you.

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Jeremy Biberdorf
Jeremy Biberdorf

About the Author:

Jeremy Biberdorf is the founder of Modest Money. He's a father of 2 beautiful girls, a dog owner, a long-time online entrepreneur and an investing enthusiast.

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