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A Complete Guide to The Top 4 Proprietary Trading Firms

prop trading

Proprietary trading is one of the most ideal ways for skilled, but short-funded, traders to acquire substantial profits in line with their expertise. With the surging popularity and awareness regarding financial trading, several prop trading firms have emerged to bridge the gap between talented traders and lack of capital by offering real funded accounts. 

Typically, in order to acquire a funded account, traders are required to pay a registration fee and fulfill a set of challenges based on the guidelines established by the relevant prop company. After successfully passing the evaluation, the most skilled traders are given the opportunity to trade with the company’s capital under specified conditions and receive a portion of the profits generated. The catch is that the prop traders are NOT typically responsible to cover the losses – the firm covers them. 

Unlocking your trading potential shouldn’t be hindered by limited capital. That’s why we have curated a list of the top 4 proprietary trading firms here to help you trade without restrictions and fully realize your trading ambitions

1. SurgeTrader 

SurgeTrader, proprietary trading

Despite being a recently established company in 2021, Surge Trader has already gained a prominent reputation in the prop trading industry for its straightforward framework and the unparalleled convenience it provides. SurgeTrader sets itself apart as the leading prop trading platform with its “one-stage audition,” which can be completed without any time constraints or limitations on the number of days.

The company supports an array of financial instruments, including forex, metals, cryptocurrencies, energy, stocks, and indices. 

Participants can get funded accounts ranging from $25,000 up to $1 million after passing the Surge Trader evaluation. To succeed in the audition, clients must achieve a minimum return of 10% while ensuring that neither a daily drawdown of 4% nor a maximum trailing drawdown of 5% is exceeded.

As mentioned before, you can become a funded Surge trader in a matter of hours after passing the audition, without any obligation for minimum trading days or time restrictions. Upon becoming a funded trader, you are eligible to receive a 75% payout from your earnings. Note that the profit share can be increased to 90% and the standard leverage of 1:10 can be pushed up to 1:20 via add-on purchases. 

At Surge Trader, you can withdraw your profits anytime but not more than once per 30 days. Once a withdrawal is authorized, Surge Trader will automatically withdraw its portion of the profits, while also locking in the maximum trailing drawdown limit at initial account balance.

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Key takeaways: 

  • The firm extends 6 packages with different funding limits and a one-time audition fee. For instance, the starter pack offers a $25,000 account with a $250 registration fee while the seasoned package provides a $100,000 account with a $700 audition fee. The highest level supplies a $1,000,000 account with an audition fee of $6,500. 
  • There is no restriction of days in the evaluation period. Audition can be passed anytime as soon as the profit target hits 10%.
  • For both demo and live trading accounts, hard breach of rules i.e, daily loss limit of 4% and max trailing drawdown of 5%, will disqualify the account. 
  • Soft breach of these three rules: stop-loss placement on every trade, flat for the weekend, and maximum open lots with risk, will close all positions but you can continue trading. 
  • The profit split rate is 75% – which can be increased up to 90%.
  • No restrictions on trading strategies; you can rely on discretionary trading, hedging, algorithmic trading, or any other approach you desire.
  • There is a simple-to-use proprietary Trader Portal available where you can track all your trading activity and numbers like profit or loss amount to optimize your strategies. 

2. FTMO 

FTMO is one of the most reputable and well-recognized prop trading firms that claim to have paid out over $100 million to FTMO traders since its foundation in 2014. 

The platform assimilates a 2-step evaluation program consisting of the “FTMO Challenge” and “Verification” stages where participants must trade for at least 10 days each to fulfill the conditions. Note that users have to pay an audition fee to take part in the FTMO challenge; however, this fee is refundable if one successfully becomes an FTMO trader. 

After the verification stage, the company equips the successful clients with accounts ranging from $10,000 to $2 million according to their selected plan. All accounts exist in two risk modes, Normal and Aggressive; both of them include different profit and loss limits.

The standard payout ratio for FTMO Traders is 80:20 by default, but the scaling plan (upon the meeting of its conditions) not only allows for the 90:10 payouts but also boosts account balance by 25%.

To keep things convenient, FTMO supports both MetaTrader4 and MetaTrader5 platforms as well as cTrader where traders can experience genuine market conditions with ultra-low spreads and minimal commission charges.

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Key takeaways:

  • The FTMO challenge can be completed in a maximum of 30 days and a minimum of 10 days with profits targets of 10% and 20% for the “Normal” and “Aggressive” risk levels, respectively. Further, the maximum daily loss limit is set at 5% whereas the maximum overall loss limit is set at 10% of the initial account balance.  
  • The Verification stage can be finished in a maximum of 60 days and with no restriction of any minimum days. At this level, all core conditions remain the same as the FTMO challenge except the profit target which is reduced to 5% of the account balance. 
  • In the event that a trader meets all of the fundamental objectives with the exception of the profit target, he will be eligible for a free retry of the FTMO challenge.
  • The prop firm offers several custom apps to help the traders exercise discipline, analyze the markets, and maintain a trading journal. 
  • As a default setting, the profit split for the FTMO Account is carried out on a monthly basis, but traders also have the option to request a payout after 14 calendar days from the first trade on the account. Additionally, they can modify the Profit Split Day up to 3 times for each withdrawal.
  • FTMO does not impose any constraints on the trading approach of participants and allows them to opt for any style, including hedging, algorithmic trading, and EAs.

3. The Funded Trader 

The Funded Trader is another prominent prop trading firm known for its flexible operational design. The company allows its clients to acquire up to $600k funded accounts and benefit from extensive facilities, including broader drawdown limits and no restriction on lot sizes or trading approaches. 

The platform integrates four types of challenges – the Standard, Rapid, and Royal challenges include a two-phased evaluation process whereas the Knight challenge is a one-phase evaluation test. After successfully passing a challenge, candidates gain a funded live account where they can receive up to 90% of the total earned profit. Payouts can be requested via multiple payment methods, including bank transfer, e-wallets, and crypto while the withdrawal processing times differ from 24 hours to 72 hours according to the type of account.

The Funded Trader program allows traders to keep their positions open overnight and over weekends, as well as trade during market-moving news.

Key takeaways:

  • The Funded Trader offers accounts ranging from $10,000 to $400,000, with different challenge accounts having varying limits. Also, the firm rewards consistent traders by increasing their account balance by 25% once they meet certain conditions under the scaling program. 
  • The allowed leverage limits span between 1:30 to 1:200. 
  • Phase 1 of the Standard Challenge has to be completed in 35 days where a trader must achieve a 10% profit target while not hitting the maximum daily drawdown of 6% of equity & maximum total equity drawdown of 12%. After completion of phase 1, traders have to reach a 5% profit target in a 60-day period as part of phase 2. The maximum and daily drawdown limits remain the same as in phase 1. 
  • The first phase of the Royal Challenge requires achieving a profit target of 8% within a timeframe of 5 to 35 trading days. In the second phase, the profit target is 5%, which must be attained in a minimum of 5 days and a maximum of 60 trading days. Both phases have a maximum daily drawdown limit of 5% and an initial deposit drawdown limit of 10%.
  • In the Rapid Challenge, traders have to achieve a profit target of 8% in phase 1 and 5% in phase 2 with no limitation on minimum trading days. The maximum daily drawdown limit is fixed at 5% whereas the overall drawdown must not exceed 8%. 
  •  In the Knight Challenge, there is only one phase with a profit target of 10%, which can be achieved within an unlimited number of calendar days. The maximum daily drawdown limit in this challenge is 3%, and the maximum relative drawdown limit for equity is 6%.
  • Standard Accounts undergo a payout review and approval process that takes up to 48 hours, while Rapid Accounts receive a quicker turnaround time of 24 hours. Royal and Knights Accounts, on the other hand, require a maximum of 72 hours for the process to be completed.
  • Registration fees range from $139 to $1,958 which are refunded on the first payout. 

4. myForexFunds 

Founded in 2020, myForexFunds is a relatively new prop trading firm that has quickly built a solid reputation due to its flexible evaluation stages and reasonable drawdown limits. The company stands out in the industry with its Accelerated program where participants can start trading on a live account from day one – without going through any evaluation phase! 

On the whole, the firm offers three trading programs, namely Rapid, Evaluation, and Accelerated, tailored according to the needs of beginner to pro traders. 

The Rapid program, which is designed for new traders, offers trading bonuses to the participants from day one whilst they learn to trade with a demo account. Meanwhile, the Evaluation program is designed for experienced traders and grants them access to a funded account in as little as 10 days, along with an impressive profit split of up to 85%. As previously stated, the Accelerated program is meticulously designed to cater to the needs of full-time professional traders, allowing them to swiftly ramp up their earnings and enjoy rapid upscaling.

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myForexFunds enlists trading accounts ranging from $2000 to $300,000, where traders can have a maximum of $600k in capital across all evaluation accounts, with a limit of $300k per individual trading account.

All the programs integrate a one-time registration fee ranging from $49 to $4,900 according to the different account types and risk modes. However, the firm extends a 112% refund of this registration fee, more than the original amount, if you reach your first profit split point.  

Key takeaways: 

  • The Rapid programme assimilates a daily drawdown limit of 5% and an overall drawdown limit of 12% with no profit target. Note that the participants must enter a trade for at least 3 days per week as part of this phase. As compensation for the profitable performance, traders receive a 12% share of all profits earned.  Payments are disbursed every 2 weeks for Consistency Enabled Accounts whereas every 4 weeks for Non-Consistency Accounts.
  • Essentially, the profits earned on the demo Rapid account serve as the source of funding for the Live account. Upon reaching a live account balance equal to 10% of the initial demo account balance, participants receive a real funded account. However, this process typically takes a minimum of 3 months. 
  • The Evaluation programme includes 2 phases with profit targets of 8% and 5% respectively. The daily drawdown is set at 5% along with a 12% overall drawdown limit which must not be exceeded. Participants can complete this stage in a maximum of 90 days and a minimum of 10 days.  
  • After obtaining a live account, Evaluation programme participants can receive their first payout one month after the first trade on their account. After the first month, payments are made every 14 days.
  • The Accelerated programme furnishes accounts with two risk modes – Conventional and Emphatic. The Conventional mode sets a cap of 5% on the overall drawdown, while the Emphatic mode sets a higher limit of 10% on the overall drawdown. There are NO daily drawdown limits, consistency rules, and lot size limits in the Accelerated stage.
  • Upon reaching a certain profit target (10%-20%), the Accelerated accounts are scaled up by 1.5x or 2x in line with the selected risk mode. Traders are eligible to receive a 50% profit share every 5 days, regardless of the amount they earn. The first payout is processed 5 days after the initial trade, with subsequent payouts occurring every 5 days thereafter.

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