Author: Eduardo Montero
Last Updated on September 28, 2022
Choosing a Proprietary Trading Firm is never easy, whether you are beginner or professional. You want to get the most for your money and also matches your needs. The easiest way to do this is by comparing the table below. This will make you much easier, especially when searching online which overwhelms with so many results! We’ve compiled a quick-easy comparison list of the best prop trading firms to help you choose be it forex, stocks or futures. They offer funded trading account from little as $10k to all the way up $1M and even $2M too.
|Prop trading firm||Initial balance||Features|
BASED IN NAPLES, FLORIDA. COMPETITIVE PROP FIRM.25k balance for $250
50k balance for $400
100k balance for $700
250k balance for $1.8k
500k balance for $3.5k
1m balance for $6.5k
More info at https://www.surgetrader.com
5% Off use code 5BEST5OFF
HEADQUARTER IN CYPRUS. TOP RECOMMENDED10k balance for €99M
25k balance for €249M
50k balance for €449 M
150k balance for €649
500k balance for €1,599
1m balance for €2,699
More info at https://fidelcrest.com
Limited time offer: 2 accounts for the price of 1.
GOOD start IF YOU ARE ON BUDGET. Scale up to $300k10k balance for $84E
20k balance for $139E
50k balance for $299E
100k balance for $499E
200k balance for $979E
More info at https://myforexfunds.com
Refundable registration fee. No evaluation in Accelerated program.
BASED IN CHICAGO, HIGHLY TRUSTED FUTURES PROP FIRM50k bp for
100k bp for
150k bp for
More info at https://www.topstep.com
20% Off (no code required).
BASED IN CZECH REPUBLIC. FOR SERIOUS TRADERS10k balance for €155
25k balance for €250
50k balance for €345
100k balance for €540
200k balance for €1080
More info at https://ftmo.com
Top Proprietary Trading Firms
SurgeTrader is a prop firm based in Florida, USA, founded in 2021. Despite its short history it is growing strongly thanks to the advantages it brings to its users such as its simple one-step audition process, the possibility of getting a funded account with up to $1,000,000 from the start with no capital contribution and a sharing scheme where the trader keeps 75% of the profits.
It is a company that has surprised me positively. In my opinion, it stands out for having very simple trading rules. You are not dealing with a prop trading firm that is going to impose dozens of complex rules to comply with in order to let you manage its capital or an endless evaluation process.
Check my SurgeTrader review.
SurgeTrader offers 6 packages, the most basic is the Starter ($25,000 account balance and $250 audition fee).
Details are available at https://www.surgetrader.com
The payment to access the audition is a one-time payment, it is not a recurring monthly payment.
The profit target for passing the audition is 10% of your account balance.
There is no minimum number of trading days or single trades required.
The only rules to follow are:
- Daily loss limit: 4%.
- Maximum trailing drawdown: 5%.
- You are required to place a stop-loss on every trade you place.
- No open trades are allowed over the weekend.
- Maximum number of open lots equal to 1/10000 of your account size.
With this proprietary trading firm you can use any trading strategy without restrictions.
You can request withdrawal of your profits at any time (once per calendar month).
There is no minimum withdrawal amount and payout processing is fast.
SurgeTrader offers good quality and fast customer service, especially through its online chat.
- Short track record (started as prop firm in 2021).
- Cannot hold open positions over the weekend.
- Low leverage 1:10 (Forex, Metals, Oils and Indices), 1:5 (Stocks) and 1:2 (Cryptocurrencies).
- Fairly high profit sharing percentage: 75%.
- You can manage an account with up to $1,000,000 of capital from the start with no scaling programs.
- 1-step audition process and no minimum trading days.
- Simple trading rules.
- Allows any trading strategy without restrictions.
- You manage a real money SurgeTrader account by passing audition. No demo accounts.
- You can withdraw your profits at any time. No minimum amount and fast processing.
- 5% Off using the code: 5BEST5OFF
Fidelcrest is a prop firm founded in 2018 with headquarters in Nicosia, Cyprus and representative offices all over the world including USA, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Turkey, South Africa,… It is a prop trading firm not as well known as FTMO or Topstep but it enjoys good user reviews and is trusted by more than 6,000 traders.
It offers one of the highest profit shares in the sector, reaching up to 90%, and allows you to manage a funded account of up to 1 million dollars from the very beginning, without complex scaling schemes.
In this link you have my in-depth review of Fidelcrest.
Fidelcrest offers two different programs: Micro Trader and Pro Trader.
And two trading styles: Normal (80% profit sharing) or Aggressive (90% profit sharing).
The most affordable account is $10,000 for a one-off payment of €99 with no recurring payments.
Step 1: Trading Challenge
30 day period with a profit target of 5% or 15% if the account is Normal or Aggressive.
Step 2: Verification
60 day period with the same target and you receive 40% or 50% of the profits on passing this step.
You will then manage a funded live account and the profit share is up to 90%.
The trading rules are quite simple. You can see them on the https://fidelcrest.com website.
There is a bonus called Fast Track which eliminates the minimum trading period.
- In the second step of the evaluation the maximum total loss is half of what it was in step 1.
- The percentage is affordable, especially for Aggressive accounts, but it can make it difficult to pass this phase.
- The one-off access fee for Fidelcrest accounts is non-refundable after passing the evaluation.
- You can manage up to 1 million dollars from the start without complex scaling plans.
- Profit split of up to 90% for the trader.
- You can earn money during the evaluation (up to 50% of the profit earned in step 2).
- 5% profit target in phase 1 and phase 2 (Micro Trader accounts).
- Wide range of financial instruments to trade: cryptocurrencies, Forex, CFDs, shares,…
- Automatic payments by bank transfer, Bitcoin, Paypal, Skrill or Neteller.
- “Fast Track” bonus for quick access to a funded live account.
- There is a limited time OFFER from Fidelcrest where you get 2 ACCOUNTS FOR THE PRICE OF 1.
- A) You can choose between a second free account if you fail the evaluation period.
- B) Or have a second real account that doubles your funded capital.
3. My Forex Funds
My Forex Funds is a proprietary trading firm based in Toronto, Canada, founded in 2020. It is probably the fastest growing firm in the industry last year, funding more than 40,000 traders from around 120 different countries.
I would highlight its versatility by offering 3 different programs that can be adapted to different profiles of traders, even one of them does not require prior evaluation and you manage a real funded account from the beginning. Profit sharing can reach up to 85% and you can control an account of up to $2,020,000.
Here is an in-depth review of My Forex Funds.
My Forex Funds offers 3 different programs available on a one-off payment basis with no recurring monthly fees.
Get 12% profit from day one while you pass the evaluation process.
Funded accounts ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.
Two-stage evaluation process (with a profit target of 8% in the first stage and 5% in the second stage).
Equally funded accounts ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.
A program with no evaluation process where you trade with a live account from day one.
Balances from $2,000 to $50,000 and can scale up to $2 million.
The rules to comply with this prop firm vary depending on the program chosen but the most common are:
- 5% Maximum Daily Drawdown
- 12% Overall Drawdown Max
- A minimum of 1 trade per day for a minimum of 3 days per week is required.
You can see all the rules on the official My Forex Funds website: https://myforexfunds.com
- Support by mail or online chat although the waiting queue is often very long.
- More rules to comply with than other prop trading firms and the scaling up program is more complex.
- Profit split up to 85%.
- With the escalation program you can manage a funded account of up to $2,020,000.
- 100% refund of the price paid once you pass the evaluation process.
- Wide variety of options and programs with affordable access starting at $84.
- No evaluation in the Accelerated program.
- High level of leverage available (especially in the Rapid program which can reach 1:500).
- Bi-weekly payments via bank transfer, cryptocurrencies, Paypal, Wise,…
Topstep is a futures prop trading firm with a good reputation built up over more than 10 years of activity since its founding in 2012. It is based in the United States in Chicago and in that time has funded thousands of traders around the world and distributed millions of dollars in profits year after year.
It is a company in which I personally highlight its profit sharing scheme in which you keep 100% of the first $5,000 you generate and 90% from that amount. It offers accounts for trading futures up to $150,000.
To learn more about Topstep I recommend you to have a look at my Topstep review.
Topstep has a two-step evaluation process called Trading Combine.
You can choose from several types of futures like equity indices, Forex, agriculture, energies, interest rates, metals,…
Futures accounts from $50,000 (for a monthly cost of $165) up to $150,000.
Depending on the account you choose in this proprietary trading firm, you must comply with a series of rules and objectives.
You can check the details on the company’s website: https://www.topstep.com.
The payment to access the evaluation process is recurring month by month.
Topstep does not impose a maximum time limit for completing the assessment but charges you monthly until you pass it.
- Only offers futures trading.
- The evaluation process involves a monthly recurring payment. You may be able to accumulate several fees.
- For withdrawals of less than $500 there is a $50 bank transfer fee.
- Prop firm with excellent reputation and more than 10 years of experience.
- High profit split: 100% of your first $5,000 and 90% thereafter.
- Good customer service department.
- Good training program and free coaching to improve your trading.
- 20% DISCOUNT OFFER on the purchase of your first funded account (no code required).
FTMO is the world’s leading prop trading firm. It was founded in 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic.
Thousands of traders have made money with this prop firm. Last year 2021 they have distributed more than $27 million in profits to their funded traders.
Their trading rules are quite simple, with their scaling program you can manage an account of 2 million USD with no capital contribution and achieve a 90% of the profits you generate.
Do you want to know more about FTMO’s features? Check out this FTMO review.
FTMO offers several account types with a balance ranging from $10,000 to $200,000.
One-off account opening fee (e.g. €155 for a $10,000 account).
The evaluation stage is designed in 2 steps:
30 days duration and profit target of 10% of your account balance.
60 days duration and profit target of 5% of your account balance.
You can check the rules on the official FTMO website: https://ftmo.com
- Avoid a Maximum Daily Loss of 5% for Standard accounts or 10% for Aggressive accounts.
- Avoid a maximum account loss of 10% or 20% respectively.
After passing the evaluation you become an FTMO Trader and you will get up to 90% of the profits you generate.
FTMO allows you to trade all types of financial instruments (currencies, commodities, stocks, indices, cryptocurrencies, etc.).
- The evaluation process is slower than in other proprietary trading firms due to the duration of the 2 steps.
- Trades will always be executed on a demo account (even after the evaluation process).
- This does not affect your profits but FTMO does not give details of whether it replicates the trades on a live account.
- FTMO is the industry leader, a prop trading firm with a good reputation and experience.
- The profit split can be up to 90% for the trader.
- With the scale-up program you can manage an account balance of up to 2 million USD.
- FTMO only charges a one-off fee when opening an account, which is 100% refundable after passing the evaluation.
- You can use any trading strategy without restrictions.
- FTMO offers many tools to analyse performance and improve risk management.
- You can withdraw your profits at any time by bank transfer, Skrill or cryptocurrencies.
What is Prop Trading?
The definition of proprietary trading, or prop trading, refers to the trading operation that a company carries out with its own capital in order to obtain profits rather than with the capital of its clients.
In this context, the figure of the independent trader who manages the capital of the prop trading firm arises. The trader trades all kinds of financial instruments such as currencies in Forex market, stocks, bonds, commodities, indices or cryptocurrencies with the prop firm’s money, rather than with his or her own money, in order to make a profit that is usually shared between the proprietary trading firm and the trader.
This way of working has grown significantly in recent years thanks to the advance of new technologies, the emergence of online brokers and the possibility that anyone can trade in the financial markets from anywhere in the world at any time simply with an internet connection and a computer or mobile device.
There are many traders around the world, in countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Nigeria, India, South Africa, Italy, Canada, Germany, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia,… who have developed profitable trading strategies but lack the capital necessary to generate significant profits to be able to engage in this activity on a full time basis.
This is where prop trading provides a funding solution for these traders to maximise their profits: It is much easier to reach profits of say $2,000 per month with a $50,000 or $100,000 account than trying to reach those same profits from scratch with a $100 or $200 account.
What is a Proprietary Trading Firm?
The Proprietary Trading Firm is the one that provides the necessary capital to the trader to trade in the financial markets and earn money for them in exchange for a percentage of the profits. Moreover, it is this prop firm that assumes any losses, as the trader does not risk his own capital at any time.
How proprietary trading firms work?
But there is a catch. In order to access a funded trading account, the trader must assume the initial payment of a certain amount and, in very rare cases, none at all. Prices depend on each firm and usually on the amount of balance available for trading. Some proprietary trading firms charge a monthly fee (subscription) and others a one-off fee that may sometimes be refundable.
Most prop trading firms require you to pass a challenge so-called evaluation phase. This basically means that they will have set a profit target, loss limit, etc., which you will have to meet before you can move on to managing a live account. Once you prove to them that you know how to trade and can be profitable, then they will let you trade with their capital and refund any expenses in the process that you have incurred before (again it depends on the firm). But some firms will not bother you to go through the evaluation step, but will let you manage their capital once you pay the one-off fee or subscribe on a monthly basis: are those known as instant funding prop firms.
All prop firms use a more or less strict set of rules and tools to avoid a high level of risk or incurring large losses. They usually impose a series of requirements such as placing stop loss orders at a certain maximum distance, daily loss limits, overall account loss limits, maximum position sizes, maximum number of open positions, impossibility to use certain strategies or to keep open positions during the weekend,…
For success in this activity it is essential that you carefully read and understand the trading rules of your proprietary trading firm. The quickest way to lose your initial fee and have a bad experience with a prop firm is to break any of the rules and see your account closed.
You should also choose carefully the prop trading firm you work with. There are many such prop firms and new ones popping up every day with aggressive offers and a professional appearance but many are not aligned with the interests of their traders but instead try to profit from access fees and entangle you in an evaluation process that is either impossible to pass or full of traps.
How proprietary trading firms make money?
These prop trading firms online make money in 2 main ways:
- Through the profit split scheme of the traders’ operations (we can find from prop trading companies that keep 50% of the profits to those that give up to 90% and keep only the remaining 10%).
- By charging fees for access to their funded accounts, which tend to be higher the higher the balance you want to have available in your trading account. Depending on the company, these fees can be monthly (recurring) or a one-off payment. In some cases the fee may be refundable once you have passed the evaluation process.
What is the Best Prop Trading Firm?
At 5bestproprietarytradingfirms.com we will try to help you find the best prop firms on the market. Based on my wide experience in this sector and the user reviews I have read, I have been testing and analysing in depth a multitude of proprietary trading firms over the last few years.
In the best prop trading firms comparison table at the top of this page you can see the ones that I consider to be the most reliable, have a proven track record and a good reputation. You can also see the main features of each of them and I recommend that you visit their official websites for full details of their offers. I hope you find this information useful and that you can find the best prop trading company for you that will provide you with the capital you need to make money as a trader.
If you prefer, you can also watch this video I have made about what I consider to be the 5 best prop trading firms today:
What are the Pros and Cons of Proprietary Trading Firms?
Access to more trading capital: You are not limited to trading with your own money and can profit from trading higher amounts.
Lower risk: You don’t risk your own capital as these companies require no capital contribution from the trader but you must worry about being consistently profitable or the prop trading firm will no longer allow him to manage his capital.
Lower commissions: Commissions and fees are usually lower than when trading individually due to the agreements these prop firms have with the brokers they work with.
Remote trading: One of the advantages of prop trading is that you can work remotely from home or anywhere in the world. Proprietary trading firms remote allow you to trade without having to go to an office and to choose the trading hours that suit you best.
Training: Many firms invest their resources in training and improving the trading skills of their traders as they rely on their success to increase their own profits.
Experience required: To be successful you must have a good, consistent and low-risk trading strategy in place.
Initial payment and evaluation: In most prop trading firms you have to make a payment to access your funded account and pass a challenge or evaluation process that proves you are profitable before you move on to manage the prop firm’s capital in a live account.
Need to maintain long-term profitability: If you make losses or break the proprietary trading firm’s risk rules, your account will be terminated.It doesn’t matter if you have a good track record or if it was just a bad run. You will have to start over or change of prop firm.
How to Select a Proprietary Trading Firm?
It is very important to choose the right Prop Trading Firm to avoid wasting time and money.
These are the factors that I consider most important:
Factor 1: The reputation of the prop firm.
Beyond the percentage of profits or the capital that the prop trading firm makes available to you, the most important thing is to work with a reliable and professional company.
A proprietary trading firm with great profits on paper is worth little if it doesn’t pay you your share of the profits or disappears from one day to the next.
I tend to look at the opinions of other users about a particular prop firm. Even if I have personally tried it and had a good experience I like to keep up to date with the experiences of other traders and see their complaints or positive ratings to assess the commitment and level of service of the company.
It is important to look for well-reasoned reviews because it is often the case that, no matter how reputable they are, these types of prop trading firms always generate negative opinions. Many of the reviews are from disgruntled traders who usually have not even bothered to read the firm’s trading rules.
Factor 2: Profit sharing.
Although it is obviously the proprietary trading company that puts its capital at risk, it is the trader who must do all the work of having and maintaining a profitable strategy over time. It is therefore important that the percentage of profits he receives is high and that his daily work is rewarded.
It is essential that the prop trading company takes care of its profitable traders and makes them share most of the profits. I also consider prop trading firms that pay a percentage of profits during the evaluation process and those that reimburse the account access fee initially paid by the trader to be a positive aspect.
Factor 3: Simple trading rules
It goes without saying that the proprietary trading firm that puts up the money has a vested interest in establishing a set of rules to protect its capital, but this must be at odds with the fact that as a trader you can trade with comfort and a degree of flexibility. The fewer rules the less stress and the easier your day to day life as a funded trader will be.
There are prop firms with few rules (typically with daily loss limits and overall loss limits) and others that take it to the opposite extreme with limits on the size or number of positions, restrictions on leverage or financial instruments to be traded, impossibility to keep trades open at night or weekends, restrictions on certain trading strategies or operations in times of high volatility in the markets,….
I am particularly annoyed by those that do not provide clear information on all these rules.
Factor 4: Tradable financial instruments
Almost all prop trading firms are to a greater or lesser extent specialised in the Forex currency market, being also known as Forex prop firms, but I consider it important that they allow trading with other financial instruments such as futures ( you can find in this link a list of the best futures proprietary trading firms), cryptocurrencies, commodities, stocks, indices, bonds,…
The more instruments available, the more versatile the prop firm is for the trader and the more options he has to execute his strategies, especially considering that certain strategies have more difficulties than others to get the right market conditions frequently. Being able to combine with other strategies in other instruments can be a must for some traders in such a demanding short and long term activity as prop trading.
Factor 5: Training and coaching
This is a business for traders with a certain amount of experience in which training or the tools provided by the proprietary trading firm are not usually valued at first glance, but rather the previous factors are given much more weight.
But I think it is still important to analyse the resources that the prop firm puts at the trader’s service because investing in these aspects shows a strong commitment and a clear alignment of interests between both parties.
There are proprietary firms that develop really interesting resources to analyse trades, improve performance, better control risks,… Others even opt for personal coaching sessions with their best traders.
Factor 6: Customer service
As with the previous factor, a proprietary trading firm’s resourcing of its customer service department is important and shows its commitment to quality and level of service.
There is nothing more frustrating than having a question or problem and not being able to resolve it in a timely manner or not getting the right response.
Before opening an account with any prop firm I usually ask their customer service department several questions usually via online chat and also by email to see the response times and information they provide.
Is Prop Trading Legal and Regulated?
The activity of prop trading with funded trading accounts is legal but is not subject to a licence requirement or strict regulation as is the case, for example, when dealing with retail clients’ money in financial markets.
Proprietary trading firms are not brokers or financial agents and therefore avoid most international regulations.
In the case of brokers or agents who trade with client money, they must be regulated by the supervisory bodies of the countries where they are based or in which they offer their intermediation services. Examples of such regulators are the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in the United States, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in Australia, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) in South Africa,….
Prop firms are limited to trading in the financial markets with their own funds and do not interact with retail investors or hold third party capital in custody. The terms and conditions with the traders who manage the funded trading accounts are private agreements between the two parties.
It is very common that even trades during the evaluation process are executed on a demo account and are not replicated in the market. Once the evaluation process is over, there are some prop trading firms such as FTMO that continue to keep the trader’s trades on a demo account and do not provide information on whether they replicate these trades in full or in part on a live account.
Most trade on live accounts after evaluation and there trading is usually done with internationally regulated brokers, the funds are kept segregated from the broker’s own funds and are only used to cover the trades that are made. In any case, the trader is trading with the proprietary trading firm’s money and not with his own. The risk to the trader is limited to the fee initially paid to open the account or that the company may go bankrupt due to poor risk management and he will no longer be able to continue trading with his capital.
That is why the prop firms we review and recommend here are the most reliable in the market, backed by the positive experience of thousands of traders, with solid track records, on-time payouts and currently enjoy a good reputation.