Topstep Trading Platform: Pros, Cons and Who It’s For


So you’ve heard about Topstep, one of the hottest new trading platforms on the block, and you’re wondering whether it’s right for you. Maybe you’re an experienced trader looking to take your game to the next level or a total newbie hoping to dip your toe in the investment waters. Either way, Topstep has a lot to offer with its slick interface, low fees, and educational resources. But it isn’t perfect. Before you dive in, here are the key pros and cons you need to know to decide if Topstep should be your new go-to trading partner or if you’re better off looking elsewhere. By the end of this review, you’ll have a clear sense of whether Topstep is built for your needs and trading style or if another platform is a better fit. The choice is yours – let’s dig in!

What Is Topstep Trading Platform? An Overview

Topstep Trading Platform is an online brokerage service that offers low-cost trades and access to stocks, ETFs, options, futures, forex, and cryptocurrency markets.

Account Types

Topstep has three account levels: Basic, Premium, and Platinum. The Basic account has no minimum balance, $0 stock and ETF trades, and access to stocks, ETFs, and options. The Premium account requires a $25,000 minimum balance but offers lower margin rates and access to futures and forex trading. The Platinum account requires a $100,000 minimum balance and the lowest rates, as well as portfolio guidance and alternative investment access.

Trading Tools

Topstep provides an easy-to-use web-based trading platform, as well as mobile apps for trading on the go. They offer real-time streaming quotes, charting tools with over 100 indicators, virtual trading for practice, and trading idea generators. For the DIY investor, Topstep has all the tools you need to analyze the markets and place trades.

Customer Service

Topstep offers customer service 24 hours a day, 5 days a week via phone, email, and live chat. They have a reputation for very responsive and helpful service representatives. There are also educational resources on their website to help new investors learn the basics.

Overall, Topstep Trading Platform is a solid choice for casual investors to active day traders looking for low-cost access to a variety of markets. The three account levels allow you to pay only for the features you need. If you’re looking for an affordable self-directed brokerage, Topstep deserves your consideration.

Top Features and Tools on Topstep

Topstep comes loaded with tools and features to make trading easier.

Powerful Charts

Topstep has interactive charts with over 100 indicators to analyze trends and make informed trading decisions. You can customize charts with your choice of indicators like moving averages, Bollinger bands, pivot points and Fibonacci retracements. With a simple click, you can view charts for different time frames from 1 minute to 1 month.

Automated Trading

Want to automate your trading strategies? Topstep’s automated trading feature allows you to program your own trading bots or use pre-built algorithms created by other traders. You can backtest your bots over historical data to optimize your strategies before going live. Bots take the emotion out of trading and can potentially generate profits even when you’re sleeping!

Social Trading

Connect with other traders and see what they’re investing in. You can follow experienced traders and copy their trades automatically. Or become a leader and earn extra income when others follow and copy you. Social trading is a great way for new traders to learn strategies and for all traders to discover new opportunities.

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Low Fees

Topstep keeps costs low with no inactivity fees and low trading commissions. They charge no monthly subscription or software fees. You only pay when you make a trade – $4.95 per stock trade and $0.65 per contract for options. Bank wire deposits and withdrawals are free. Low fees mean more of your money stays in your account working for you.

Overall, Topstep provides an affordable, full-featured platform for traders of all experience levels. Powerful tools, automated trading, social trading and low fees – what more could you want? Open an account and start trading with Topstep today.

Pros of Using Topstep for Trading

Pros of Using Topstep for Trading

Trading with Topstep offers several advantages for investors of all experience levels.

  • Low fees. Topstep charges no commissions for stock, ETF, and options trading. They make money from interest on cash balances and margin lending. This can save you hundreds per year compared to traditional brokerages.
  • Easy to use platforms. Topstep’s website and mobile apps are intuitive and simple to navigate. You can easily check your positions, balances, and transaction history on the go. For casual traders, the basic platform has all the essential tools you need. More advanced traders can use Topstep Trader for an additional monthly fee.
  • No account minimums. You can open a Topstep brokerage account with as little as $1 and there are no minimum balance requirements. This makes the platform ideal for new traders who want to start small and build up their account over time.
  • 24/7 support. Topstep offers customer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via phone, email, and chat. Whether you have a technical issue or just a quick question about a trade, help is always available. Response times are usually very fast.
  • Education resources. Topstep provides useful resources for learning how to trade stocks, options, ETFs, and more. They offer video tutorials, blog posts, and even live educational webinars. This can help new traders get up to speed and experienced traders refine their skills.

Overall, Topstep is a solid choice for casual traders and new investors looking for an easy-to-use platform with low costs. The lack of commissions and account minimums makes it simple to get started, while 24/7 support and educational tools provide help whenever you need it. For active or advanced traders, other brokerages may offer more sophisticated platforms and tools. But for basic buy and hold investing, Topstep has plenty to offer.

Potential Drawbacks to Consider

While Topstep offers many useful features for active traders, there are some potential downsides to keep in mind.

Limited Educational Resources

Compared to some other major trading platforms, Topstep’s educational resources are rather sparse. They offer a basic introduction to trading and investing, but lack in-depth courses or tutorials on technical analysis, options strategies, or risk management. If you’re new to trading, you may need to supplement your learning with other resources.

Higher Commissions

Topstep’s $5 commission per trade is on the higher end of the spectrum. If you’re an active trader making lots of buys and sells, these fees can add up quickly. Their options commissions are also steeper at $6.95 per contract plus $5 per trade. While Topstep does offer discounted pricing for high-volume traders, the commissions may still be too high for some.

Limited Charting Capabilities

While Topstep’s charts get the job done for basic needs, the platform lacks some of the advanced charting tools offered by competitors. You only have access to a handful of technical indicators and few customization options. If in-depth charting and technical analysis are important to your trading strategy, you may find the charts limiting.

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Difficulty Shorting Stocks

It can be tricky to short stocks on Topstep, as they have limited shares available to borrow for many tickers. You may find it difficult or impossible to short smaller, lesser-known companies. If shorting stocks is an integral part of your trading approach, keep in mind you may face constraints on Topstep.

Overall, Topstep is a solid choice for casual traders and buy-and-hold investors who want an easy-to-use platform and don’t mind paying slightly higher fees. However, for active traders, especially those focused on technical analysis or options strategies, the platform may feel too basic. Make sure to weigh the pros and cons based on your own needs and trading style.

Is Topstep Right for You? Who This Platform Is Best Suited For

So, is Topstep the right trading platform for you? The answer depends on your needs and experience level. Topstep is best suited for:

Beginner traders

If you’re just getting started with trading, Topstep is a great place to learn the ropes. It offers an easy-to-use interface, educational resources to help build your skills, and low fees so you can start small without worrying about commissions eating into your profits. The simple design and layout make it easy to navigate the platform and place basic buy and sell orders.

Casual or part-time traders

If trading is more of a side gig or hobby for you, Topstep fits the bill. There are no monthly subscription fees or minimum balance requirements. You can log in as often or as little as you like to check on your positions or look for new opportunities. The low-cost, low-commitment structure takes the pressure off casual traders.

Mobile traders

Topstep has invested heavily in developing a seamless mobile trading experience. If you frequently trade on the go, their mobile apps provide full functionality so you can do everything from your smartphone that you can on the desktop platform. For traders who are often away from their desk, the mobile access provides flexibility and convenience.

On the other hand, Topstep may not be ideal if:

  • You’re an advanced or professional trader who needs sophisticated tools and research resources.
  • You trade high volumes frequently, as the basic platform and limited customization options could prove frustrating.
  • You need portfolio margining, short selling, or other advanced account features. Topstep primarily serves retail traders with basic needs.

So weigh your own needs and skill level. For many casual traders, Topstep provides an easy, low-cost entry into the world of online trading. But if you require more advanced capabilities, you may outgrow their platform quickly.


So there you have it, the pros and cons of Topstep laid out for you to consider. While it may not be for everyone, especially new traders, Topstep offers a lot for the active trader looking to up their game. The sleek interface, advanced tools, and low fees can help take your trading to the next level if you’re willing to invest the time to learn the platform inside and out. Like any tool, it comes down to how you use it. If you go in with realistic expectations about the learning curve, do your homework, and start slowly, Topstep could be a great way for you to gain a competitive edge in today’s fast-paced markets. But if you’re just getting started, you may be better off with a more basic platform until you find your footing. The choice is yours!

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