Best Funded Trading Accounts

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Contributor, Benzinga
May 16, 2024

Funded trading accounts give talented traders the opportunity to trade with a large pool of trading capital in exchange for a percentage of profits. Funded trading or proprietary trading also known as prop trading has become an increasingly popular option for traders and financial institutions offering numerous benefits to both parties. 

If you currently trade in a consistently profitable and strategic manner in your own account as a retail trader, you might want to consider funded prop trading since you can significantly reduce your financial risk and increase your income. 

Benzinga reviews some of the top prop trading funding firms in the following article so that you can make an informed decision on which one would best suit your needs. 

Quick Look: Best Funded Trading Accounts

Best Funded Trading Accounts

In general, the best-funded trading accounts for you would be the ones that best meet your personal preferences and needs as a trader. Criteria you might add to your search for the best-funded trading account provider to partner with can include: 

1. Best for Beginner Futures Traders: Apex Trader Funding

When you start with Apex Trader Funding, you can get set up in as little as 7 days, keep your first $25,000 earned and use Rithmic or Tradovate to enhance your portfolio.

This platform allows you to trade at your own pace, scale up whenever you want and choose the account type that makes the most sense for you in the moment. You can obtain up to $4 million in funding, with the low end starting at $400,000 with no drawdowns.

Pros

  • Excellent profit split or payout
  • Two payouts per month
  • No total cap on the maximum payout
  • Relaxed trading rules
  • You can use the resources you need to make the most of your portfolio
  • You can continue to scale your account for as long as you need

Cons

  • Only supports future tradings
  • Some people might need more time to get qualified and scale up their account

2. Best for Experienced and Beginner Forex, Indices and Metal Traders: The 5ers

One of the most affordable ways to get a funded trading account and start trading is through The 5ers, a firm that was named after the top 5% of profitable traders. Through the 5ers’ new high-risk, high-reward program called High-Stakes Challenge, you can start your trader evaluation process for only $39.

The 5ers support the popular MetaTrader 4 and 5 trading platforms, which allow traders to code and use Expert Advisor (EA) automated trading software, as well as other trading tools and custom indicators. You can also download the MT5 app from the Google Play and Apple stores to trade from your mobile devices. 

The 5ers offer three different account types, and you can easily

Pros

  • Quality Bootcamp training program
  • Unique challenges
  • Low evaluation fee
  • Profit split up to 100%
  • Large range of exclusive resources
  • A program as a solution for every trader style and objectives

Cons

  • Hypergrowth and leverage may be too much for some investors
  • No access to stock or ETF markets

3. Best for Stock Traders: Trade the Pool

You can trade more than 12,000 stocks and ETFs on Trade the Pool with a funded account that starts at $20,000 and rises up to $260,000. There is also an unlimited scaling plan that can take you even further. You get an 80% profit split, and the platform is quite intuitive, making it easy for you to get started and trade with confidence.

Pros

  • Unlimited buying power
  • 14-day free trial
  • More the 12,000 stocks and ETFs to trade
  • This platform is tied to The 5ers, giving you even more versatility as a trader
  • This is a good place to start at your own pace and use a long trial to learn about prop trading

Cons

  • Funding levels are relatively low compared to the competition
  • Unlimited buying power can create over-leveraging

4. Best for Seasoned and Undercapitalized Traders: Top One Trader

Making a living on the markets can be difficult if you don’t have the backing that you need. This is why you might want to start with Top One Trader. What makes the platform simple is the:

  • 1 and 2-step evaluation options
  • Starting with $200,000 in funding
  • Scaling up to $5 million
  • No minimum or maximum trading days
  • Weekend and news trading options
  • Open to the use of EAs
  • The economic calendar
  • Up to 90% profit payout

You also get a full refund of your evaluation fee when you take your first payout. This is a simple place to learn and grow your career without the twists and turns that come with other prop trading firms.

Pros

  • Massive opportunities to scale your account
  • Easy to get started with the evaluation
  • You can use EAs to help as you learn about the markets
  • Generous payout ratio of up to 90%
  • Fast and seamless bi-weekly payouts 
  • 100% refundable challenge fees at the first payout
  • Fast funding access of up to $200,000 ($5 million via scaling)

Cons

  • You may feel as though you want to invest in more unique assets
  • Doesn’t support copy trading from multiple accounts not owned by you

5. Best for All Futures Traders: BluSky

BluSky allows you to create a funded futures brokerage account that you can bring to full strength in as few as 2 days. Choose from the accounts they offer so that you can get into the exact situation that you prefer. BluSky stands out by allowing you to learn more about futures, offering an easier path to approval and helping you succeed so that you profit splits can increase.

Other benefits include:

  • Free 1-on-1 coaching
  • No consistency or minimum trading days
  • Works with Tradovate, NinjaTrader, TradingView and Rithmic
  • Connects to the CME, CBOT, COMEX, NYMEX and EUREX
  • Free Discord server where you can learn from the community
  • Trading with robots is allowed

You can earn profit splits starting at 80% and rising up to 90% the more you withdraw, and you can even get up to 100% profit splits as you continue to withdraw. Because of the design of the site, you are provided with the finest platform for investing and growing your career over time.

Pros

  • The 1-on-1 coaching helps you learn more and faster
  • There are fewer rules that complicate things for you
  • You can invest in a number of places and with several integrations
  • Generous profit share of up to more than 90%, depending on your account's lifetime profit withdrawal
  • Flexible funding sizes
  • Simple single-phase evaluations with modest rules

Cons

  • Strictly for futures traders
  • Cannot hold positions through the close of the exchange

6. Best for Experience Traders: FXIFY

FXIFY is offers profit shares up to 90% and funding up to $4 million. You can take the one or two-phase assessment, depending on your trading expertise. You can use MT4 or MT5, enjoy commission-free trading, avoid consistency rules and get instant payouts.

There are no trading restrictions, and you can customize your leverage depending on how far you want to expand your portfolio. Use the relatively tight spreads and the option to try automated strategies to make the most of your trading, earn a living and turn trading into a career.

Pros

  • High profit splits help you earn more over long periods of time
  • You can build a massive portfolio with millions in funding, something many competitors cannot offer
  • Instant payouts on demand
  • No consistency rules or trading restrictions
  • Unlimited trading days
  • Expert Advisors (EAs) allowed
  • Up to 90% profit share

Cons

  • With massive funding can come greater responsibility and higher expectations

7. Best for Experienced Yet Undercapitalized Forex Traders: Tradiac

If you want to turn prop trading into a career, you can try Tradiac. The platform may not be available in the U.S., but it offers:

  • As much as $100,000 in initial funding
  • 15% to 30% daily loss limit
  • Maximum drawdowns
  • Single-phase evaluation
  • 90% profit splits with no add-ons
  • Up to $1 million in additional funding
  • Free use of EAs, overnight and weekend positions
  • Up to 20:1 leverage

Risk management protocols on this site help protect you, and you can reach out to the customer care team at any time if you have questions or concerns.

Pros

  • The platform offers a level of freedom that others do not
  • You can complete the evaluation without allowing it to take over your life
  • Scaling options also allow for recovery if there are slip-ups
  • Generous payout ratio of up to 90% without add-ons
  • Fast funding access of up to $100,000 ($1 million via scaling)
  • Competitive leverage of up to 20:1 across all instruments 

Cons

  • Yes, you can scale your account, but that’s not the right decisions for everyone
  • Holding weekend and overnight positions can be quite risky

8. Best for Instant Funding: OFP Funding

OFP Funding stands apart from other prop firms by offering instant funding and catering to ordinary retail consumers who are not necessarily experts. There are no tests to complete, and there are several account types from which you can choose so that you can trade at your own pace and at your skill level. 

You can get profit splits anywhere from 60% to 90%, and there are no profit requirements. Again, this means you’re your own boss and working at your own pace with OFP.

As a result, this platform works well for undercapitalized traders, scalpers, multi-asset traders, position traders and those interested in forex, indices, commodities, stocks, bonds and crypto. Leverage ratios can reach 100:1, MT4 and MT5 are available and instant funding and profit payouts are all that you need to get started today

Pros

  • The platform offers instant funding, which can help you get to work when you are ready
  • Because you are not tested or challenged, you can work at your own pace and become an expert over time
  • Available leverage ratio of 100 to 1
  • Supports MetaTrader 4 and 5 platforms

Cons

  • Because you’re not allowed to use copy trading or EAs, it can be difficult for some traders to succeed on this platform

9. Best for Prop Traders Looking for Capital to Fund Futures Trading: OneUp Trader

Highly rated on the user review website Trustpilot, OneUp Trader gives prospective traders a one-step account evaluation to get a funded prop firm trading account with clear and attainable targets. Account costs range from $125 a month for a $25,000 funded account to $650 per month for a $250,000 funded account.

Other valuable features you will enjoy with OneUp Trader include:

  • Free 7-day trial account
  • No data or hidden fees
  • Unlimited and free profit withdrawals from day one
  • No daily drawdown
  • Free NinjaTrader license with Level 2 real-time market quotes
  • Advanced reporting, data analytics and performance analysis tools
  • Dedicated trader community
  • Full transparency at all levels of the evaluation and funding process
  • Wide range of supported trading platforms
  • Community and social trading dashboard
  • 24/7 customer support

Many advanced traders choose OneUp for their easy one-step evaluation process and guidelines. They also appreciate the fact that the company charges no additional fees. OneUp account sizes include $25,000 to $50,000 accounts with a profit split of 80/20, and $100,000, $150,000 and $250,000 accounts with a profit split of 90/10.  

Once you have successfully completed the initial evaluation process, you will be able to trade with OneUp funding. You may also be eligible for placement with one of OneUp’s funding partners, although you must trade a minimum of 15 trading days to achieve eligibility. 

Overall, if you can show profits, consistency and regularity in your trading and adhere to all of the rules in the evaluation process, then OneUp funding might be a good fit for you.   

Pros

  • Simple account setup and evaluation
  • No Data Fees for Funded traders
  • 24/7 Real-time customer support
  • Access to accounts between $25,000 and $250,000

Cons

  • Not everyone will be placed with a partner
  • Minimum of 15 trading days required

10. Best for Accelerated Trader Funding: SurgeTrader

One of the best all-around funded trading companies, SurgeTrader offers a profit share of up to 90% of your profits depending on your trading expertise. The company has a profit target of 10% and a maximum 5% daily loss limit for its traders and offers no limits on instruments traded and has no minimum trading days for your initial audition. SurgeTrader auditions begin at $250 for a $25,000 Starter account up to $6,500 for a $1 million Master account. 

Other features SurgeTrader offers include:

  • Prompt funding after your initial evaluation
  • Easy account setup
  • Excellent educational resources and blog posts
  • Simple, easy-to-use trading platform and dashboard
  • Easily accessible customer service

SurgeTrader has developed a straightforward program with simple trading rules, making it easy for qualified traders to get started. In addition, you can track your performance with the company’s advanced platform and dashboards. 

One of the best features SurgeTrader offers traders is the lack of a time limit for your initial audition. As long as you produce a return of 10% without incurring a daily drawdown of 5% or a trailing drawdown of 6%, you’re eligible to start trading in a SurgeTrader account. 

Unlike other prop trading firms that take at least two business days to fund your account, SurgeTrader will fund your account within 24 to 48 hours after registering your account as an independent contractor. 

Assets tradable through a SurgeTrader MetaTrader 4 or 5 (MT4 and MT5) account held with by the online broker eightcap include forex, metals, oil, indices, crypto and about 250 of the most traded stocks on the MT5 platform and 90 stocks on the MT4 platform. 

Leverage ratios for forex pairs, metals, oils and indices range up to 10:1, while individual stocks can be leveraged at a 5:1 ratio and cryptocurrencies at 2:1. An add-on can be purchased to double the leverage ratio.   

Pros

  • Quick evaluation process
  • Several platforms available
  • Up to 90% profit share
  • Scalable funding plans
  • No monthly, hidden or recurring fees

Cons

  • Leverage options vary widely
  • 90% payout only available with add-ons

11. Best for Day Traders: FundedNext

Prop trading is often a wise decision for those who need the backing required to trade regularly. That’s where prop trading firms come in, and this is where FundedNext can help. With FundedNext, you can obtain up to $300,000 in funding (or up to $4 million with the scaling option). 

You can try the Stellar Challenge account, which allows you to learn during the evaluation phase and earn 15% profit splits. There’s also the Evaluation or Express version. You can choose the one you prefer based on your personal needs and current trading expertise.

Because traders can use MT4 or MT5, payouts even during the challenge phase, there are raw spreads and several account options that work for every trader, there’s something for everyone here. Yes, the platform is fairly new, but it offers affordable commissions and the option to earn while you learn, which is more than enough for beginners. Plus, experienced or underfunded traders can come here to get the cash they need to begin truly day trading. 

Pros

  • Earning during the challenge phase will help you feel more confident when you get started
  • The scaling option allows advanced traders to access massive amounts of funding
  • The platform is trusted by and featured by worldwide news and review outlets
  • You can trade from over 195 countries on this platform
  • Payouts are very fast
  • There’s a Discord where you can meet and talk to traders just like yourself

Cons

  • Not every investor will be approved for the mass funding that could be available

How Does Funded Trading Work?

A funded trading account is a proprietary trading account traded by a third-party trader to benefit the trader and the company funding the account. One of the best features of trading in a funded account is the low level of risk to the trader and the wide array of tradable assets available, as well as sufficient funds to be able to trade them. 

Not everyone can access a funded trading program. Funded account providers thoroughly test candidates’ trading skills to evaluate the best prospective traders to select. Once you have met all the requirements and get a funded account, you may be able to keep as much as 90% of your profits depending on the funded trading program.  

Funded trading can be a highly profitable endeavor for the trader and the prop trading firm. For the trader, the prop firm generally offers access to advanced trading and market modeling tools and market information that can significantly benefit the trader. These tools, unless the trader was extremely well-funded, would not be otherwise available.  

The prop trading firm makes significantly more profits participating in the market than just collecting fees and commissions. In addition to directly participating in market profits, prop trading firms also collect fees and commissions on their trader’s transactions. 

Who Should Try Funded Trading?

Funded trading accounts are typically best suited for individuals who have some experience and knowledge in trading and are looking to trade with the larger capital sizes that can be provided by a funding firm like any of the providers mentioned above. 

While the specific requirements for getting funded may vary across different trader funding firms, certain characteristics and skills can be generally beneficial for those considering funded trading. Also, funded trading tends to be more appropriate for traders of the following types:

  • Experienced traders: Funded trading is typically not recommended for beginners or individuals with limited trading experience. Traders who have a solid understanding of the financial markets, trading strategies and risk management methods and who have demonstrated some level of success in their trading activities are more likely to be suitable candidates for funded trading.
  • Consistently profitable traders: Funded trading firms often require traders applying for funding to demonstrate a consistent track record of profitable trading over a specified period. This requirement helps ensure that the trader can generate consistent returns and manage risk effectively, which makes them a better candidate for funding.
  • Underfunded traders: Some traders may lack the funding to make trading a full-time business, even though they have accumulated a great trading track record using a well-thought-out strategy that shows consistent returns with acceptable drawdowns. Such traders can often really benefit from partnering with a trader funding company so they can scale up enough to reap the rewards they deserve from their trading activities.
  • Traders with strong risk management skills: Effective risk management is crucial to successful trading, and trader funding firms often place a strong emphasis on this aspect of a trading plan or strategy. Traders who can demonstrate their ability to manage risk, implement appropriate stop-loss orders, size positions appropriately and control drawdowns are generally preferred for funding over those who lack those skills.
  • Traders with discipline and emotional control: Trading can be psychologically challenging, so it is important to maintain discipline and emotional control over your trading activities, especially during volatile market conditions. Funded trading firms tend to look for traders who can stick to their trading plans, avoid impulsive decisions and have the emotional control needed to handle both wins and losses with composure.
  • Traders who display compliance with rules and guidelines: Funded trading firms typically have specific rules and guidelines that traders must adhere to when operating with their money. Traders should be comfortable with following these guidelines, which may include position size and leverage limits, trading during specific timeframes and other restrictions that can affect the profitability of your preferred trading strategy.

Keep in mind that each funded trading firm may have its own specific requirements and evaluation processes, so your strengths may seem more attractive to one firm than another. You should also thoroughly research and understand the fees, terms, conditions and expectations of any funding firm before considering participating in a funded trading account arrangement with them.

Funded Trading Strategies

Traders can use various funded trading strategies to generate consistent profits and meet the requirements set by funded trading firms. Some examples of funded trading strategies include:

  • Scalping: Scalping is a short-term trading strategy that aims to profit from small market movements. Traders using this strategy typically execute numerous trades within a short timeframe, typically taking advantage of bid-ask spreads. Scalpers often employ technical analysis and use tools such as tick charts to make quick trading decisions.
  • Day trading: Day trading involves entering and exiting trades within the same trading day with the goal of profiting from intraday market fluctuations without running the extra risk of holding positions overnight. Day traders often analyze technical indicators, chart patterns and market news to identify short-term trading opportunities. They typically close all positions before the market closes to avoid overnight trading risks.
  • Swing trading: Swing trading involves holding trading positions for a few days to several weeks to take advantage of medium-term market movements with the goal of capturing both trends and retracements. Swing traders might analyze various technical and fundamental factors to identify potential trends and reversals. They often use tools like moving averages, momentum indicators, trendlines and candlestick patterns to make their trading decisions.
  • Trend or position trading: Following trends is a longer-term trading strategy that involves identifying and trading in the direction of established market directional market movements or trends. Traders using this strategy aim to profit from sustained market movements by entering positions when a trend is confirmed and exiting when the trend shows signs of reversal. Trend traders may use indicators like moving averages, momentum indicators, trendlines, channels and chart pattern breakouts to identify trends and when they seem likely to reverse direction.
  • News trading: This strategy involves taking advantage of market volatility that occurs as a result of major news events, such as economic data releases, corporate earnings announcements, geopolitical developments or monetary policy decisions. Traders using this strategy closely monitor news sources and economic calendars to identify upcoming events that could have a significant impact on the financial markets. When a relevant news event occurs, traders aim to quickly react to the market's immediate response and capitalize on market fluctuations.
  • Mean reversion: Mean reversion is a trading strategy based on the assumption that markets tend to revert to their average or equilibrium levels after deviating. Traders using this strategy typically identify overbought or oversold conditions in the market using momentum indicators and then take positions with the expectation that the market will move back toward its mean level. Mean reversion strategies often involve using technical indicators like Bollinger Bands, momentum oscillators and statistical analysis.
  • Arbitrage: Arbitrage is a trading strategy that involves exploiting pricing discrepancies between different markets or financial instruments to generate risk-free or relatively risk-free profits. Traders using arbitrage strategies simultaneously buy and sell related assets to take advantage of temporary price differences. This strategy requires quick trade executions and access to trade in multiple markets.

Remember that the choice of trading strategy you use in a funded account should be based on your individual personality, preferences, risk tolerance and expertise level. You should thoroughly understand and test any trading strategy before implementing it in a funded trading account, and you should also remain ready to adapt your strategy to market conditions and to the specific requirements and rules set by the funding firm you decide to partner with.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Can you make a living as a prop trader?

A

Proprietary traders are individuals who trade with the capital provided by a financial firm. While proprietary trading can be highly competitive and demanding, it is possible to make a living as a proprietary trader since they typically receive a portion of the returns they generate via their trading activities.

Q

What is the success rate for prop traders?

A

The success rate for proprietary traders can vary significantly and is influenced by several factors, so no universally applicable success rate exists. Success typically depends on an individual trader’s personality, skills, strategies and the specific market conditions they operate in. With that noted, some research suggests that roughly 90% of all retail proprietary traders fail, while professional proprietary traders operating at financial firms may show a better success rate closer to 50% from the flow of customer business they often see.