Best Funded Trading Programs

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Contributor, Benzinga
May 23, 2024

Proprietary trading, also known as prop trading, has gained popularity in recent years. Prop traders use their own funds or provided company funds to buy and sell financial instruments. Using this approach, financial institutions earn profits from the financial markets rather than relying on client commissions. Funded traders may retain a share of the profit and don’t have to risk their own capital.

Finding the funded trading program that meets your needs is sometimes challenging. Benzinga has reviewed some of the best-funded trading programs to help you make the an informed decision. 

Quick Look: Best Funded Trading Programs

Best Funded Trading Programs

The best-funded trading programs offer prop traders a range of financial instruments and a reasonable profit share. Fees and leverage are also essential considerations in choosing the most appropriate funded program. 

Best for Beginner Futures Traders: Apex Trader Funding

Apex Trader Funding is a unique platform that allows you to get started faster and access more funds across a range of account types. Generally, traders can get approved in as little as 7 days, and they can seek somewhere between $400,000 and $4 million for their trading. You can connect with Rithmic or Tradovate, trade on holidays and much more.

Because you get to keep the first $25,000 you make and profit splits remain at 90% for the biggest accounts. Also, there are no daily drawdowns as you get to work.

Pros

  • You can easily scale your accouny based on your needs at any time
  • Because the platform offers up to $4 million in funding, it can truly help you become a full-time trader

Cons

  • It may take quite some time to scale your account properly for your needs
  • Some people may need a platform that goes a bit slower and offers more information

Best for Experienced Forex Traders: The 5ers

Offering trades in forex, indices, metals and securities, the 5ers provides some of the most generous profit shares in the industry. The company allows up to 100% split and even salary offers for top traders. Traders can access the platform immediately after passing the evaluation, the price of which starts at $95. There are no subscription fees. 

Users gain access via MT5. Standard leverage is 1:10 but can move upward to as much as 1:30. Capital funding ranges from $6,000 to $4 million with easy scaling options and the freedom to develop your trading strategy. 

Pros

  • Because you can start small, this is a good place to learn about trading
  • Because you’re not paying to subscribe, you can simply pass the test and start trading

Cons

  • The large amount of funding that you can get, coupled with leverage options, could be very risky

Best for Stock Traders: Trade the Pool

Offering access to over 12,000 stocks and ETFs, Trade the Pool, launched in 2022, is a newcomer to prop trading. An offshoot of 5ers, Trade the Pool has four funded trading programs starting at $20,000 up to $260,000 with an unlimited scale-up plan. Single-phase evaluation ensures that traders can quickly get to work. Active traders keep 80% of their profits. Funded accounts start at $20,000 and up to $260,000. Traders can test the system using the 14-day free trial. 

Pros

  • The trading programs allow you to scale up on an unlimited basis so that you can keep growing until you reach the site’s cap
  • You can start small if you’re not sure how much you want to trade

Cons

  • Because this platform is tied to The 5ers, you may feel like you need to sign up for both to get the best experience
  • The funding levels are low compared to the competition, and the profit shares are also low compared to some of the competition

Best for Seasoned and Undercapitalized Traders: Top One Trader

When you want to try prop trading, you may run into obstacles or need additional trading if you want to change careers and earn a living ont he markets. Recently, Top One Trader has become a favored host for those who want need the backing that a prop trading firm can provide. 

There’s a 1 and a 2-step evaluation that allows you to get started with at least $200,000, but you can scale your account up to $5 million if you perform well. The evaluation is simple and easy to manage, there are no minimum or maximum trading days and you can even try weekend or news trading. 

You can even use EAs if you prefer. There are also tools like the Economic Calendar where you can track details from the markets at-large and make better decisions. Payout splits rise as high as 90%, you get a refund of your evaluation fee with your first payout and you can reach out to the customer service team any time for help.

Pros

  • Simple scaling
  • Choose your own evaluation that works for your situation
  • You start with more than enough money to get established

Cons

  • With more options comes more chances to lose your money. Trade with care.

Best for All Futures Traders: BluSky

BluSky allows you to create a funded futures brokerage account that offers both educational tools, high profit splits and the support of a solid community. It’s easy to withdraw your funds every day, and you receive the support you need to jumpstart your career as a futures trader.

Other benefits of the Blusky platform include:

  • A quick path to approval
  • Profit splits starting at 80% and rising the more you withdraw, up to 100%
  • Free 1-on-1 coaching for all traders
  • No consistency or minimum trading requirements
  • Integrates 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
  • You can use trading robots

Pros

  • Integrations on the platform offer you more support than other platforms
  • Joining the community gives you another place to learn
  • Tiered payouts allow you to earn more the longer you trade

Cons

  • You can only trade futures, which may seem stifling to some investors

Best for Experienced Yet Undercapitalized Forex Traders: Tradiac

Designed for experience yet undercapitalized forex traders and beginners alike, you can use Tradiac to access up to $100,000 in funding for your prop trading career. Plus, you can scale up to $1 million in some situations with maximum drawdowns and 15% to 30% daily loss limits.

Those who want to get started only need to complete a single-phase evaluation that leads to instant 90% profit splits. Traders can also:

  • Use EAs
  • Hold weekend positions
  • Hold overnight positions
  • Contact customer support at any time
  • Access up to 20:1 leverage

Funds are provided by London hedge funds that institute risk management protocols that work for everyone, allowing you to trade freely and confidently at the same time.

Pros

  • You don’t need to do any “extra work” or settle for lower profit splits before getting to 90%
  • You have more flexibility with weekend and overnight positions
  • Customer support ensures that you get the help you need while trying to maintain the integrity of your account

Cons

  • With flexibility will come risks that you must plan for
  • Even with risk management protocols, you must be careful with your account and each investment

Best for Experienced Traders: FXIFY

As you get started with FXIFY, you will find that there are several benefits, including:

  • Profit splits up to 90%
  • Up to $4 million in funding
  • MT4 and MT5 functionality
  • Customizable leverage
  • Tighter spreads than the competition
  • No trading restrictions
  • Instant payouts
  • No consistency rules
  • Unlimited trading days
  • 125% refund on your assessment fee after your first payout

You can get into prop trading right now, turn this activity into a career and receive the funding that many traders simply cannot get. This platform allows you to take a one or two-phase assessment depending on how comfortable you are with trading. Plus, you can work at your own pace so that you can build confidence and earn more.

Pros

  • Very easy to use and very forgiving of the trader
  • Because they refund your assessment fee, you aren’t losing money just to get started

Cons

  • The lack of guidance could be an issue for some traders

Best for Accelerated Trader Funding: SurgeTrader

SurgeTrader is a multi-national proprietary company with headquarters in Florida. The SurgeTrader portfolio contains a broad range of financial instruments, including forex, cryptocurrencies, stock and commodity market assets. 

Traders must pass an exam to qualify for $25,000 to $1 million in working capital and pay an audition fee in line with the fund size. SurgeTrader charges no monthly fees. The company offers 10:1 leverage and 20:1 on metals and forex. Traders have access to MetaTrader 4 and 5 and 24/7 customer support. 

Pros

  • Margin ratios are safer than those offered by other platforms
  • Because you can choose from a massive range of assets, you can diversify without feeling as though you’re only trading in one thing

Cons

  • Even though you may be excited to receive a million dollars in funding, that level of funding is difficult to manage

Best for Instant Funding: OFP Funding

If you’re working on your trading skills and want to get into the prop trading space safely, you can dip your toe in with OFP Funding. The platform offers 60% to 90% splits, multiple account types that will match up with your needs and leverage up to 100:1.

New traders can grow on this platform and invest in indices, forex, crypto, bonds, stocks, commodities and more. Plus, you can trade on MT4 and MT5 for the best experience. However, you cannot use copy trading or EAs, but even so, you can learn quite a lot and make money at the same time with no challenges or tests from OFP Funding.

Pros

  • You can choose the trading platform that works best for you
  • You can take leverage on your account on any of the assets available
  • The catalog of assets is quite robust

Cons

  • Some traders who want to start small might not like the low profit splits
  • You’re not allowed to use EAs or copy trading, which can severely limit your investing

Best for Futures Trading: OneUp Trader

The OneUp Trader business model is somewhat different from the other Prop Trading businesses. OneUp Trader partners with several prop trading firms that provide trading capital. Traders must complete an evaluation to access funds. There are several accounts, ranging in value from $25,000 to $250,000, each with its own risk restrictions. Traders can keep 90% of profits and can withdraw all their funds on reaching $10,000. OneUp Trader doesn’t limit profit withdrawals and charges no data fees. Users receive a free license to NinjaTrader and can try the program free for seven days. 

Pros

  • The 90% profit split is very competitive in the industry
  • The freedom to withdraw and manage your money helps you feel as though you truly have ownership over your account

Cons

  • There are plenty of platforms that offer more than $250,000 in funding

Best Day Traders: FundedNext

Incorporated in 2022, FundedNext offers prop traders a choice of two accounts and a wide range of financial instruments. Traders must complete a two-part evaluation to receive a funded account. FundedNext allows traders to keep 15% of profits made during the evaluation and 60% thereafter.

During that evaluation phase, you can choose from the Stellar Challenge account, which has no time limits and a balance-based drawdown, the Evaluation model or the Express model, depending on your needs and expertise.

The percentage rises to 75% and then 90% after the first and second withdrawals. Funding amounts start at $15,000 and rise to $300,000 or even as much as $4 million (with the scaling option). Funded traders have access to 100:1 leverage and must pay a one-time fee. 

Pros

  • The tiered profit shares are a good motivator for those who want to start small and grow
  • Because you can keep profits from the evaluation, you don’t feel like you’re doing something for nothing
  • Payouts come very quickly
  • Traders in over 195 countries can join
  • Join their Discord to learn from other traders

Cons

  • A massive amount of funding requires quite a bit of stewardship, and you must be careful as your account grows

How Does a Funded Trading Program Work?

Funded trading programs follow a similar process.

  • Application: Traders apply for funding, providing the trading firm with information about their experience, trading style and performance.
  • Evaluation: If the trading firm accepts the application, the trader must pass a trading evaluation process to demonstrate their trading skills.
  • Training: Many trading firms provide funded traders with training and education to improve their trading skills. Training may include access to educational resources, trading courses and coaching from experienced traders.
  • Funding: When the trader has completed the evaluation and training process, the trading firm funds the account.
  • Trading: Funded traders use the funds to trade financial instruments. They keep a portion of the profits. The trading firm receives a percentage for funding the trade.
  • Risk management: Trading firms often have strict risk management rules to protect the trader and the firm's capital. These rules may include maximum position sizes and stop-loss orders.

How to Make the Most of Funded Trading

You can make the most of your funded trading journey by following some simple guidelines. 

  • Trade as though you were using your funds: This means following your trading plan, managing your risk and sticking to your trading strategy.
  • Follow the rules: Trading firms have rules and risk management guidelines you must follow. Make sure you understand these rules and follow them closely.
  • Stay disciplined: Stick to your trading plan and strategy and avoid emotional decision-making.
  • Keep a trading journal: Track your progress, identify patterns and learn from your mistakes with a trading journal.
  • Keep learning and improving: The markets perpetually evolve. Successful traders constantly learn and adapt. Keep up with market news and trends, stay informed about new trading strategies and tools and continue to hone your skills.
  • Be patient and realistic: Funded trading programs usually have profit targets and timeframes that you must meet to keep the funding. Don't rush to make a profit or take unnecessary risks to meet your targets. Instead, focus on sticking to your trading plan and building your skills.

Compare Funded Trading Programs

Benzinga offers insights and reviews of the most prominent financial service providers. These include prop trading firms or funded trading programs. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

How much do traders make at prop firms?

A

How much prop traders make at prop firms depends on how profitable their trades are. Prop traders keep a percentage of their profits.

Q

Are prop firms a pyramid?

A

Prop firms are not pyramid schemes. They are companies that fund prop traders who try to profit from trading in financial instruments. 

Q

Should novices try prop trading?

A

There are platforms where novices can start prop trading, but that is not the right choice for everyone. Review your options before moving forward.