What is the Scaling Plan?
Updated over a week ago

What is the Scaling Plan?

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

  • As you build or lose equity, your buying power will increase or decrease based on your end-of-day P&L, according to the graphs below.

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

  • Traders will initially be required to scale their trading plans 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 is the Scaling Plan 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 Trading Combine, Express Funded Account, and Live Funded Account. For example, 1 lot in ES is equal to 1 lot in MES in regards to the Maximum Position Size in our Trading Combine and Funded Accounts.

*Micros and minis are calculated differently on TopstepX. If you are trading on the TopstepX platform, please click here for more information on Micro and Mini sizing.

  • 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
  • You are not required to trade the maximum number of contracts. 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. If your earnings meet or exceed the required amount to scale up, you still 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 see the number of contracts that are available for your account during the next trading session.

  • If you have questions about how to calculate your net positions with simultaneous long and short positions in multiple products, please take a look at the example here.

Does my trading platform prevent me from exceeding the Scaling Plan?

  • Certain platforms may prevent you 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, but prevention is not guaranteed.

    You can confirm your current Scaling Plan daily on your dashboard.

The T4 platform cannot prevent any orders from exceeding the Scaling Plan due to technical limitations. We strongly recommend that you enable order confirmations and monitor your total open lots when trading on T4.

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

  1. Tradovate platform: "Your maximum order quantity has been met."

  2. 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 few seconds, their account may be reviewed. Traders always need to know their net market exposure and should be able to correct errors in real time.

How can I avoid exceeding the Scaling Plan?

If you need some tips to avoid exceeding the Scaling Plan, 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 this for each platform.

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