Author: Eduardo Montero
Last Updated on March 5, 2024
If you are interested in futures trading in the following list you will find what in my opinion are currently the best futures proprietary trading firms. In the last few years I have reviewed and thoroughly tested numerous prop firms, not only offering the futures market but also other instruments such as Forex, stocks,… I have also looked at the positive and negative opinions of other traders to know their experience working with these companies and finally here you have my assessment along with the main features of each of them:
What are the best futures prop firms?
|Prop Trading Firm
|Funded Account Balance
|50k balance for
100k balance for
150k balance for
More info at https://www.topstep.com
|25k balance for $147/month
50k balance for $167/month
75k balance for $187/month
100k balance for $207/month
150k balance for $297/month
200k balance for $517/month
300k balance for $657/month
Prices for Rithmic/NinjaTrader plans (Tradovate/NinjaTrader plans available)
More info at https://atf.com
|25k balance for $150/month
50k balance for $180/month
100k balance for $220/month
150k balance for $305/month
More info at https://www.leelootrading.com
In the following comparison table you will find the main features of these futures prop trading firms:
Why are these the best futures proprietary trading firms?
As you know, futures are one of the most traded financial markets in the world. Futures contracts exist for all types of assets such as equity indexes, metals, energies, agricultural products, currency pairs, cryptocurrencies, interest rates, etc. They are used both for speculation purposes (trying to take advantage of price movements to obtain profits) and for hedging purposes (for example by portfolio managers, companies, etc. who wish to hedge their exposure to a certain instrument, a certain currency, etc.).
Among the advantages of the futures market we can point out:
- It is a financial market with greater transparency than others as we can easily access information on prices, participants, volume of transactions, etc.
- Futures markets are open almost 24 hours a day, unlike many of the underlying assets that are traded for only a few hours a day.
- Trading costs are quite low.
- There is a high level of leverage.
- It is easy to open short trades.
- The volatility of the futures market is quite high.
The main disadvantages of futures are:
- It requires more advanced knowledge than is necessary for trading other instruments.
- The time commitment to develop a profitable trading strategy is usually high.
- It requires an average amount of capital to make significant profits.
This last point is where proprietary trading firms add value by offering traders with a profitable strategy the possibility of:
- Access to a funded account in which to manage a much larger balance than they could trade with their own capital.
- A generous profit split scheme for the trader (up to 90%).
- And without the trader taking significant risk as it is not their money that is at stake.
Finding prop firms to access a funded account with which to trade Forex (list of best prop firms for Forex), stocks (more information: What are the best prop trading firms for stocks?) or cryptocurrencies (best crypto prop trading firms) is quite simple as there is currently a wide range of this type of companies on the market. For example, here you can see what I consider to be the best proprietary trading firms today, where you will see popular prop firms such as The Funded Trader, Fidelcrest, The Trading Pit,…
Finding prop firms for futures is not so easy anymore because the offer is drastically reduced. In addition, in the case of prop firms for Forex or stocks it is common to find companies where the fee for accessing the evaluation period consists of a one-off payment or there are even proprietary trading firms that offer instant funding without evaluation or challenge of any kind. In the case of futures, most prop firms require a monthly fee to access the evaluation period and you must pay it as long as you do not exceed the evaluation period. That is why it is important to work with reliable and experienced prop trading firms whose objective is to attract profitable trading talent and make money from their share of the profit split and not other firms with a professional appearance that only seek to entangle you in a never-ending evaluation process and make money from the access fees.
Therefore, in order to draw up the comparison table on this page of what I consider to be the best prop firms for futures, the most important aspect I have relied on to show these companies and not others is:
The experience and reputation of the prop firms.
Both Topstep, Apex Trader Funding and Leeloo Trading are three US companies with years of experience in the market and have funded thousands of futures traders worldwide. Topstep is a trademark owned by Topstep LLC based in Chicago, Apex Trader Funding is owned by Apex Trader Funding Inc. based in Austin, TX and Leeloo Trading is owned by Natural Trading LLC based in Montana. These companies have good reputations and the majority of customer reviews I have found are positive: For example Topstep has at the time of writing an “Excellent” rating on the Trustpilot with 4.3 out of 5 stars out of over 1400 user reviews. The majority of reviews (74% give it a 5 star rating). Here you can see my Topstep review for more details. Apex Trader Funding has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 on Trustpilot with over 4100 ratings. Leeloo Trading is a lesser known company than Topstep or Apex but the rating is equally “Excellent” on Trustpilot with 4.7 out of 5 stars and 90% of users give it 5 stars.
In addition, Topstep offers this discount that will allow you to save money on your first month’s subscription to any of their funded accounts.
Other factors that I have found positive about these futures prop firms are:
- Timely and uncomplicated profit payments.
- Good customer support to resolve doubts or any incident that may occur.
- Wide range of futures to trade.
- Possibility of using professional futures platforms such as NinjaTrader,…
Is Futures prop trading legal?
Futures contracts are standardised legal contracts between two parties involving the purchase or sale of a commodity or financial instrument at a specified price for delivery at a point in the future. The contracts are traded between buyers and sellers on futures exchanges. Futures trading, for example in the United States, is regulated by the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission), which is responsible for market security and participant protection. The CFTC has supervisory and sanctioning powers if any person or company violates the regulations.
Prop trading for futures trading with funded trading accounts is legal but is not subject to the same level of regulation as trading with a futures broker and managing your own capital. Futures trading prop firms are not financial intermediaries or online brokers. A trader who trades with a futures prop firm does so managing the firm’s capital and not his or her own funds. The trading conditions, the profit sharing scheme,… are private agreements between both parties.
Which platforms can I use with these futures prop firms?
The trading platforms you can use will depend on the futures proprietary trading firm you work with. The range of platforms available varies from prop firm to prop firm.
In the case of those that we consider to be the best prop firms for futures that you can find in the comparison table at the top of this page, the trading platforms that they allow you to use are the following:
The main Futures platforms supported by Topstep are NinjaTrader and Quantower. Please check the official Topstep website for current conditions and prices for both trading platforms. Please note that there is usually a commission per futures contract traded and there may be other license fees,… which may vary if you are in the challenge phase or if you are already working on a futures trading funded account.
On Topstep you can also use other futures trading platforms such as these:
If you do not find your preferred platform among this list you can contact Topstep directly and ask them if it is possible to use it or what solution they can offer you.
Apex Trader Funding
Apex Trader Funding offers 2 different programmes depending on the trading platform you use: Rithmic/NinjaTrader Plan or Tradovate/NinjaTrader Plan.
NinjaTrader is the preferred futures trading platform at Apex Trader Funding and the licence is included free of charge with all plans. NinjaTrader 8 is the permitted version and previous NinjaTrader version cannot be used.
Tradovate can only be used on Apex Trader Funding if you trade futures on NinjaTrader, Tradovate Web / Mobile and TradingView.
You can also use any of the following trading platforms on which your Rithmic login can work:
For more information on the use of these futures platforms, please visit the Apex Trader Funding website and contact them if you have any questions.
In Leeloo you can use any trading platform compatible with Rithmic data, for example:
Inversor / RT (Linnsoft)
Some of these platforms can only be used in webtrader format while others are available for download on desktop computers with Windows, MAC or Linux operating systems or from mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. For more information, please visit the official website of the futures funding prop firms.
I hope this information has been useful for you. If you want to tell me about your experience with any other futures prop trading firm, do not hesitate to contact me.