What is the scaling plan?

In Step 2 of the Trading Combine®, your account will be evaluated against the Scaling Plan at the end of each trading day.  As you build or lose equity, your buying power will increase or decrease based on your end of day P&L, according to the graph below:

*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.

Inside the bar graph is your account balance and to the right is the correlating Maximum Position Size.

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  • 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 contracts).

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 checking your trade report each day after it is updated at 5 pm CT to identify the number of contracts your account is eligible to trade during the next session. You can see the number of lots your account is allowed to trade under the rules section of your dashboard.

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If you have questions about how to calculate your net positions with a simultaneous long and short position 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 breaking the Scaling Plan?
TSTrader, 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. If a rule violation occurs you will need to reset to become eligible again. You can confirm your current Scaling Plan daily in Step 2 of the Trading Combine and in the Pro Account on your dashboard.

The TradeStation & T4 platforms are unable to prevent any orders in relation to the Scaling Plan due to technical limitations. We strongly recommend enabling order confirmations and to monitor your total open lots carefully.

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

  • TSTrader 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?

We believe 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 not break a rule**

If traders leave on too many contracts for 10 seconds or more, even if only by a couple of seconds, then their account will be deemed to have violated the Scaling Plan. We believe that traders always need to know their net market exposure and are able to correct errors in real-time.

If you find yourself breaking 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.

 

How is the Scaling Plan different in the Funded Account™?

In the Funded Account™, you will need to e-mail the Funded Account Specialist to upgrade your account to the next tier. Also, in the Funded Account™, once your cumulative profit is greater than $5,000, you can request adjusted risk parameters and potentially trade more lots than your original Maximum Position Size.

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