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Trading Education Posted by Team Topstep January 19, 2021

Q&A with Topstep Founder Michael Patak

Topstep’s founder and Chief Visionary Officer, Michael Patak, is full of trading knowledge, and he loves to share it. Michael recently joined Topstep Performance Coach Dan Hodgman for a LIVE Q&A session where he fielded questions from Topstep community members. The questions ranged from bi-lingual content integration to risk management and a whole lot more.

Below you will find just a few of the questions that Michael answered with links to additional resources for your guidance.

How Is Your Trading Going and How Do You Set Your Trading Goals?

Like many traders, Michael did not find success overnight. It took a few years before he started to be profitable, and he credits learning to be patient and consistent as keys to his development as a trader. 

Michael describes himself as both an active participant and an active watcher. He’s trading small, adhering to strict risk parameters, and waiting for the right setups. Looking at higher timeframes to find direction then moving to shorter timeframes to find entry and exit levels is Michael’s best advice for getting started.

One of our favorite quotes from Michael is that “if you can’t trade small, then you can’t trade big,” meaning there’s no point in trading over your head when you’re not prepared to take the risk. You need to build that foundation of solid risk management skills before sizing up your positions. This will likely help you hold onto your trading account much longer. 

To set proper trading goals when you’re getting started, Michael recommends lowering your expectations and raising your standards. Your trading plan is organic, and it should continue to evolve as you become more consistent. Keep a journal and compare your performance month-to-month and build off of that.

The markets are moving, and it’s a great time to be trading. Always keep an open mind and have a flexible bias in trading.

Placing Stops and Handling Cold Streaks

You’re inevitably going to put on a losing trade. There isn’t a trader alive with a perfect track record. It’s all about how you dig yourself out of the hole when you’re down. Learning how to take a loss is a big part of bouncing back.

Michael uses a baseball reference in his response to how he trades out of cold streaks, “just get on base.” What he’s saying is that the easiest way to turn things around is to go slow. You’re not likely to make back all of your losses right away, and you’ll be putting yourself in danger of blowing out your trading account if you try to chase it by increasing your size. So trade small and take small profits until you rebuild your confidence. 

Also, never move your stops. Keep those stop orders static. Have a plan and stick to it.

How Long Can You Stay In A Funded Account?

Short answer: forever. Here it is, as long as you don’t break a rule, you can stay in your Funded Account® for as long as you want. We have traders who have held onto their accounts for many years

There are several benefits to staying in your Topstep account instead of opening your own brokerage account. At Topstep, you are never required to deposit funds into your trading account. We also maintain a very generous profit split, where you keep 80% of the profits you realize. If you do a little research on the profit splits that typical proprietary trading firms offer, I think you will find our 80/20 split to be very generous.

Close It Out!

Bigger account sizes are on our radar, and we see the value in it. Our mission remains to provide a safe environment for traders to professionalize their passion. We believe that success is more than just a winning trade. We’re here to keep you in the game for the long haul. We want our traders to spread their wings, so keep checking back for bigger and better developments!