All of the funded futures trader evaluation companies allow you to reset your account if you break a rule. The question is should you reset your account. Below are the aspects to consider before you fire away on resets.
How Much Time Until Your Account Monthly Billing
This is the more obvious thing to consider, but even still I’ve seen people reset without remembering that they will end up paying more in the long run based on the amount of time left until the rebill.
As an example, say you sign up for TopStep Trader on May 1st. You will be on a monthly billing schedule, so your account will rebill on June 1st if you haven’t already a) passed or b) cancelled.
The evaluation itself takes a minimum of 15 days. In TopStep Traders evaluation, Step 1 is 5 Days minimum, Step 2 is 10 days minimum. Trading days. There are only about 22 trading days in a 1 month period, give or take. Also factor in any holidays where you aren’t allowed to trade.
Based on the above, if you are more than 7 trading days in, there is no way you can reset your account and pass before you are rebilled. It someone varies with TopStep since with them you just go back to the beginning of Step 2 if you are in Step 2, so you’ll have to do the math.
May 18th you break a rule in Step 2 and fail. You decide to reset. You can still finish the evaluation before your billing. Assume May 18th is a Monday. Monday to Friday are Days 1 to 5, and Friday is the 22nd. The following week, Monday to Friday are the 25th to 29th, days 6 through 10. Perfect, you pass, cancel your billing and pass before the June 1st rebilling.
Keep in mind though, you have to pass in about 10-11 days in this case. Is it the end of the world if you are on the cusp of passing and have to get rebilled? Probably not. At that point you know you are most likely passing, and might be okay, not thrilled, but okay, with having to pay one more month.
Point of it all is do the math, see if you can still pass before being rebilled. If not, you are probably better off canceling your account and signing up again. You are going to have to pay the full amount regardless, save yourself the reset fee.
Are You Mentally Ready To Keep Trading
Timing of billing aside, you just failed an evaluation. I know from experience it can be defeating, and usually I’m on tilt at this point. I’ve blown more resets on Day 1 than I care to admit. The classic story is make it several days into an evaluation. Have a bad trading day, break a rule. On tilt. Reset, and on a mission to make as much as I can day 1 of my reset. Usually this results in breaking a rule. Reset again. Repeat. At some point once I’ve spent a few hundred on resets it finally sinks in that maybe, just maybe, I’m not mentally in a place to be trading.
You have a few options. First, don’t reset. Sit on it for a day. Think about if you really are in a good place for the next few weeks to take on a trader evaluation. Another option, reset, put in 1 trade, and walk away. You may still be on tilt, but at least start the clock on your 10 or 15 days. I’ve done this for a few days in fact. It sounds weird, but being on Day 4, even if you haven’t made much ground on the financial goal, you have invested time. Being on Day 4 of 15 means you are that much closer to finishing. You’ve probably also cooled off some and screwed your head on straight for trading and are ready to tackle the markets again.
Can You Financially Afford It
Depending on your life circumstances, the $100 reset fee that is pretty standard may be a lot of money. If you saved up to enter a trader evaluation only to break a rule, paying another $100 may sting. For others it may be a drop in the bucket.
Each person has to ask themselves if it makes sense for them to reset. As the above story mentions, I personally have had times where I reset multiple times in 1 day. Complete waste of money. I knew full well I was in no mental state to try trading that day. Using the logic that you (or I) want this to count as day 1, only to fire away with reckless abandon and blow it again gets you no where.
When you are paying for reset after reset, take a step back. Take a day break, a week, or just put trading on hold until you can wrap your arms around what will make you a successful trader.
Weigh The Amount Invested In Trader Programs vs Opening Your Own Account
Again I speak from experience. I can make arguments for both sides, but sometimes I wonder if the money I spent on resets and evaluations I took when not really in a mental state that was great for trading, or I was simply too busy, would have been better just set aside and put in my own trading account. With account minimums of $400 for example for NinjaTrade Brokerage, one could take the money they are putting into evaluations and instead open an account. Of course there are additional costs – you’ll have to buy trading software, you’ll have to pay for data, etc.
All of the above are important. I think the very first step is to just calculate how much time until your next rebilling. If it is right around the corner, you may be better off canceling and signing up again. Or with TopStep Trader, they actually give you a free reset at your rebill date IF your account is below starting balance. Something to consider.
Also consider why you broke a rule to start, and are you ready to resume trading? Taking a few days off can do wonders. Lastly, do consider the finances. In the heat of the moment you may want to get right back in there and trade at any cost. Those resets do add up though.
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Futures and forex trading contains substantial risk and is not for every investor. An investor could potentially lose all or more than the initial investment. Risk capital is money that can be lost without jeopardizing ones’ financial security or life style. Only risk capital should be used for trading and only those with sufficient risk capital should consider trading. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.
Hypothetical Performance Disclosure:
Hypothetical performance results have many inherent limitations, some of which are described below. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those shown; in fact, there are frequently sharp differences between hypothetical performance results and the actual results subsequently achieved by any particular trading program. One of the limitations of hypothetical performance results is that they are generally prepared with the benefit of hindsight. In addition, hypothetical trading does not involve financial risk, and no hypothetical trading record can completely account for the impact of financial risk of actual trading. for example, the ability to withstand losses or to adhere to a particular trading program in spite of trading losses are material points which can also adversely affect actual trading results. There are numerous other factors related to the markets in general or to the implementation of any specific trading program which cannot be fully accounted for in the preparation of hypothetical performance results and all which can adversely affect trading results.
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