Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Problem With FTP

I gave it a good go, but yesterday saw the unsuccessful end to FTP.

I was so busy trying to pass the Combine that I failed to give the proper attention towards what I would do if I actually passed it.

While I don't want to focus on the negative, when entering FTP, it became clear what TST's marketing strategy is and that it's, at best, a bit cunning ...if not immoral.

The Combine entices you into pitting yourself against the market, with a daily stop and an overall, maximum draw-down. You have to trade at least 10 days which means it's very difficult to pass with luck. If you can pass a Combine, it's very likely that you have the attributes necessary to trade profitably long-term.

Then there's FTP.

You have 10 days with your draw-down before the rug is pulled from underneath your feet and you have to be positive- and stay positive -until you reach the lowered profit target. It's almost as if they don't want to fund you...maybe because the funded traders make up, by far, the smallest part of their profits...especially when the first $5000 withdrawn is given to the trader with no profit split!

The combination of having reduced contracts to trade (I went from being able to trade 3 instruments at once to 2), fewer instruments (you can only trade the ones you were profitable in) and no draw-down after 10 days, proved too much for me and forced me to make a critical choice:

1) Trade normally and accept that a normal, run-of-the-mill draw-down could occur during those crucial 10 days. This would mean failing FTP with a long-term, winning approach or

2) Try to modify my approach to guard against draw-down- take smaller wins, more trades etc.

I chose 2. If I were to do it again, I'd just accept that I may fail due to natural variance and leave it at that. But I'm not sure that I will because, IMO, one shouldn't be subject to luck after clearly proving their skill. Of course, if they were to set the same rules for the Combine, they'd find that their clientele would drop off as the offer would be far less inviting.

Time to come up with a plan B. Any comments and suggestions (or investors!) are welcome. Watch this space!

Monday, August 22, 2016

How Much Does It Cost To Pass A Combine?

Below is a breakdown of the total (fiscal) cost incurred to develop myself to the point of passing a Combine.

Things to note as you read through the data:

* Figures in bold that aren't underlined represent the monthly fee for the Combine- commas separate the months. E.g Two bold, non-underlined figures means the Combine lasted at least two months.

* Figures in bold that ARE underlined represent "account resets"- where rules were broken/limits were surpassed and the account was reset.

* The (mostly negative) figures after the backslash is the amount of profit/loss shown on each Combine account when it was closed/reset.

* Some Combines were paid for with "Ticks"- TST's currency that was paid out to people who participated in the "Community Journal" and in the "Squawk" chat room. (They've stopped offering Combines for ticks now).

* The monthly fee varies as I changed account size.

* Finally, the total cost is shown at the end in bold along with the total P&L of all the accounts...shown after the backslash.



1) 20-DAY Combine. Completed 09/07/14= ??? (~$300) (NO RECORDS) /-$5370

2) Combine. Completed 31/03/15= $279, $279, $100/ -$3280

3) 10-DAY Combine. Completed 18/05/15= $FREE (Ticks)/ +$552

4) Combine. Completed 13/05/15= $325/ -$2801

5) Combine. Completed 15/06/15= $150, $100/ -$1548

6) 10-DAY Combine. Completed 15/06/15= $FREE (Ticks)/ -$1594

7) 10-DAY Combine. Completed 23/07/15= $FREE (Ticks)/ -$288

8) Combine. Completed 24/08/15= $150, $150/ -$272

9) 10-DAY Combine. Completed 11/09/15= $FREE (Ticks)/ -$137

10) Combine. Completed 01/10/15= $150, $100/ -$1513

11) 10-DAY Combine. Completed 30/10/15= $FREE (Ticks)/ +$294

12) Combine. Completed 31/10/15= $150, $100/ -$1184

13) Combine. Completed 20/11/15= $150, $100/ -$1510

14) Combine. Completed 11/03/16= $150, $150, $150/ -$1133

15) (Combine. Completed 30/05/16= $100, $100, $100- Patient Pigeon Account.)/ -$240

16) Combine. PASSED 20/08/16= $150, $150, $150/ +1508

TOTAL COST: $3783/ -18,516


For those who want to follow my Equity Curve journey, that post is in the "featured post" section at the top right of the blog. This will save having to scroll back to find it :)