What is the Scaling Plan?

As you build/lose equity, your buying power will increase/decrease based on your end-of-day PNL, according to the graphs below.

The Scaling Plan is a part of the objectives in the Express Funded Account. It will be evaluated each day when the Trade Report is updated. (Note: It is also a part of Step 2, which is no longer a part of the Trading Combine Program)

The scaling plan is in place to ease traders into the live market environment and build their equity consistently without taking undue risk. Since we implemented the Scaling Plan, the longevity of our traders has significantly increased.

Traders will initially be required to scale their trading plans in order to survive an initial drawdown and to allow a true chance of success in the Express Funded Account. 

In the Live Funded Account, once your cumulative profit is greater than $10,000, you can request adjusted risk parameters.

Why it is Important:

  • Acts as a guide on how to responsibly leverage a growing account
  • Over-leveraging causes the most damage to long-term success

*Please Note: Micros products are considered full-sized lots in the Topstep program. For example, 1 lot in ES is considered the same as 1 lot in MES in regards to the Scaling Plan.

The graphs below are based on your account size. Inside the bar graph is your account balance, and to the right is the correlating Maximum Position Size.

XFA charts - hc.png

  • NOTE: You are not required to trade the maximum number of contracts. You are welcome to trade with fewer contracts than is specified for your account balance level (for example, you can trade 2 contracts at one time even though your account balance permits you to trade 3 contract(s).

Your maximum number of contracts allowed to trade under the scaling plan does NOT increase throughout the trading day. Once you surpass one of the thresholds according to your account size, you will need to wait until the following session to trade the next Scaling Plan level. 

We recommend that you check your trade report each day after it is updated at 5 pm CT to identify the number of contracts that will be available for your account during the next session.

If you have questions about how to calculate your net positions with simultaneous long and short positions in multiple products, please see an example here.

Why it is Important:

  • Acts as a guide on how to responsibly leverage a growing account
  • Over-leveraging causes the most damage to long-term success 

Does my trading platform prevent me from exceeding the Scaling Plan?
Tradovate, NinjaTrader, and all Rithmic-based platforms will attempt to stop any order that would exceed your current lot limit for the Scaling Plan. This prevention is not guaranteed. You can confirm your current Scaling Plan daily on your dashboard.

The T4 platform is unable to prevent any orders in relation to the Scaling Plan due to technical limitations. We strongly recommend that you enable order confirmations and monitor your total open lots.

The following error messages are provided when an order is rejected due to the lot size for entry:

  • Tradovate platform: "Your maximum order quantity has been met."
  • NinjaTrader & Rithmic platforms: "Rejected at RMS - Total buy/sell quantity of contract would exceed its limit."

What happens if I accidentally put on more contracts than the Scaling Plan allows but then immediately correct it?  Will it count as a rule violation for the day?

Traders should always be aware of their net position size and stay within the limits of the Scaling Plan. However, we understand accidents happen and are not in the business of penalizing traders who fat-finger a trade.

**Errors in the Scaling Plan corrected in less than 10 seconds will be ignored**

If traders leave on too many contracts for 10 seconds or more, even if only by a couple of seconds, then their account may be reviewed. Traders always need to know their net market exposure and are able to correct errors in real-time.

If you find yourself exceeding the Scaling Plan rule, we recommend trying the following:

  • Set up your trading platform workspace to include open positions and orders.
  • Enable the Order Confirmation setting on your trading platform.  This will require you to re-confirm an order before it is submitted.  See instructions here on how to enable for each platform.
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