While proprietary trading firms can be a great place to build on your trading skills and make money, which ones are actually worth your time? Read our picks for the top proprietary firms to find out.
The rise in popularity of proprietary trading (prop trading) has led to new prop trading firms opening left, right, and center.
This means that traders have more options to join a firm than ever, but unfortunately, not every prop firm is a winner.
In truth, the market is saturated with plenty of middle-of-the-road options.
If you’re an aspiring proprietary trader in search of a quality firm, check out our picks for the best prop trading firms to join now.
Best Prop Trading Firms
FTMO is a forex trading company that operates out of the Czech Republic.
It has a flawless reputation and is perhaps the most well-regarded prop trading firm out there.
FTMO gives you the freedom to trade these financial instruments:
It provides up to $200,000 trading capital to anyone who can demonstrate that they are consistently profitable traders through its FTMO Challenge.
The FTMO Challenge is a two-step process.
The first part of the challenge demonstrates your skills at trading, and the second half tests whether you can replicate your results.
While the traditional FTMO challenge requires an upfront fee, there’s a free version as well.
Also, to increase your chances of success, there is a trial challenge you can take to learn the ropes before you commit your hard-earned cash.
The leverage offered by FTMO is 1:100, which can be lowered upon request.
The swing account’s leverage is set to 1:30.
With FTMO, you keep up to 90% of the profit you generate and can have up to two $200,000 accounts, making your maximum trading limit $400,000.
One drawback to FTMO is that you can’t keep your positions over the weekend.
This is a departure from the FTMO Challenge where traders are allowed to hold positions overnight as well as over the weekend.
With such a high-profit split, however, it still outshines other prop trading firms.
TopStep is a Chicago-based proprietary trading company founded in 2010 that deals in futures trading.
The proprietary firm evaluates and assesses a day trader’s performance in real-time simulated accounts.
Many traders have reported that the firm has a very difficult path toward getting funded.
So if you’re an inexperienced trader, you might want to check out the other prop trading firms on our list.
Topstep does boast a slew of excellent educational materials, so this may balance out the difficult evaluation process.
When a trader passes their evaluation phase, they are awarded a funded trading account to trade on the financial markets.
Funded traders get to keep their first $5,000 in profits but are subject to the firm’s 80/20 split after that.
TopStep stands out with an exceptionally extensive educational support system that includes:
- Live classes
- Watching professionals trade live
educational materials, this firm is very accessible for new proprietary traders looking to develop their skills.
Another feature unique to Topstep is the sheer amount of platforms you can use to trade with.
Its website lists 14 platforms that you can trade on, including TradingView, NinjaTrader, Trade Navigator, and much more.
There is also a 14-day free trial if you want to test out the waters before you commit.
The firm offers up to $500,000 trading capital for professional and experienced traders.
Its funded account’s leverage is set to 1:100, which is par for the course with most prop firms.
Another great feature of TopStep is that you can hold positions over the weekend, which many prop firms do not allow.
TopStep also offers traders a very competitive 80/20 profit split; however, this is not as high as FTMO.
That being said, it’s still much higher than what many other prop trading firms provide.
Fidelcrest is a well-regarded proprietary trading firm that was established in 2018.
The firm has more than 6,000 successful traders operating from more than 170 different countries.
In fact, there are no country restrictions to joining this firm.
It offers funded trading accounts of about $400,000, with a scaling plan that maximizes at $800,000.
Fidelcrest pulls in top talent by providing one of the trading industry’s most competitive profit splits — though, not as good as FTMO.
Prop traders keep 80% of all profits generated, with an additional 25% for every 15% they make within a 3-month time frame.
You also have access to an impressive amount of trading instruments at your disposal.
Fidelcrest allows you to trade:
- Metals and much more
While it values and rewards experienced proprietary traders, the firm also offers lower-funded account options for newer, less experienced traders to play around with.
Fidelcrest’s lowest-funded account option is $5,000, which is perfect for proprietary traders who are not yet ready to manage larger accounts and risk.
The firm also offers four different account types and gives starters a second chance on the entry challenge free of charge.
After completing the Trading Challenge, you can opt for the Scaling Plan that allows you to double your account’s initial balance in 12 months.
One downside, though, is that many traders find Fidelcrest’s trading conditions rather strict.
Still, with so many financial instruments to trade with, this prop trading firm has appeal for a wide variety of traders.
One of the most well-respected proprietary trading firms around the world, The 5%ers offer funded accounts of up to $1,280,000.
This firm focuses on forex trading and is committed to helping traders reach their full potential.
The prop trading firm gets its name from the idea that its traders represent the top 5% of talent.
Even better, the firm has realistic, fair trading requirements and milestones.
For each milestone you reach, the firm doubles the funding on your account.
Many traders find this progression structure a lot more natural and rewarding than jumping from one massive funding tier to the next.
The firm allows up to 180 days to pass the initial trading challenge.
5%ers also has a training program known as the $100,00 Bootcamp Challenge that only costs £50 (about $56) to join.
It’s a three-step challenge in which you only pay the remaining fee (£250) if you pass it.
This is huge for newcomers who don’t want to potentially blow thousands of dollars to find out months down the road that they can’t make the cut.
The 5%ers also allow traders to hold trades over the weekend.
There are a lot of firms on the market right now that restrict trading to weekdays or have very strict rules about holding positions over the weekend, so it’s a nice change of pace.
5%ers also offers a 50% profit split to traders, which could turn some away.
If you’re looking for a higher profit split, you might want to check out FTMO first.
That being said, 5%ers really goes out of its way to help new traders, so if you’re inexperienced, you might want to start your search for a prop firm here.
City Traders Imperium
City Traders Imperium (CTI) is a leading prop trading firm based in London.
The firm started as a forex trade training company, selling forex education to ambitious traders.
When you look at its commitment to helping new traders build their skills it’s no surprise that the firm had its roots in training investors.
One of the standout features of this mentorship program is that it offers extensive psychological training to prepare you to make dispassionate and calculated trades.
Many other prop firms tend to overlook or skim over this as part of their training regimen so it’s a welcomed addition.
Not only do they welcome professional day traders onto their prop trading platform, but it also provides forex education for those looking to break through into the financial trading industry.
Also, if you prefer to trade with algorithms, CTI does allow traders to use an expert advisor (EA).
This is a welcomed departure from most prop trading firms, which explicitly ban the use of algorithms when trading.
Your access to capital ranges from 20,000 to $3,000,000, and the profit split can go as high as 70/30 — though, it does start at 50/50.
While this isn’t the best split out there, it’s still competitive.
Also, if you want to trade with an EA, your firm options are rather limited.
Should You Join a Prop Trading Firm?
Let’s have a look at some of the key reasons you might want to join a proprietary trading firm.
Proprietary trading firms provide successful traders with funded accounts.
This means you can trade with more capital than you would have access to as an independent trader.
Also, you have access to comparatively high proportions of the profit, but take on much less risk, if any at all.
This is a much more appealing starting position for new prop traders.
Higher Purchasing Power
Being funded for trading activities in financial markets means having more purchasing power behind you.
This could result in higher profit margins for successful traders.
Access to Better Tools
Many prop trading firms have their own sophisticated electronic trading platforms that feature great technical analysis tools.
Using these tools can make your work much more streamlined than it would otherwise be.
This saves time and energy and could result in a more profitable workflow.
Mentoring and Trading Education
Prop trading firms, especially those with rigorous entrance programs, house some of the best traders out there.
Mentorship from traders with proven success in the financial markets can fast track your development and propel your strategies to new heights.
Best Prop Trading Firms: Final Words
Prop trading is an ever-growing industry that shows no signs of slowing down.
More and more traders are flocking to join prop firms, as they provide a great way to hone your craft and make sizable profits at the same time.
These firms are also a great place to learn the ins and outs of the stock market if you are a relatively new trader and need solid mentorship.
Generally, proprietary trading firms also provide successful prop traders higher compensation (up to 90/10 profit splits) than other investment vehicles, such as hedge funds (2%).
If you already have a trading niche, we recommend searching for a proprietary trading firm specializing in a financial instrument you’re familiar with.
Best Prop Trading Firms FAQ
Take a look at our answers to the most commonly asked questions about the best proprietary trading firms.
What Is a Proprietary Trading Firm?
A prop trading firm is a bank or firm that uses its own money to trade financial instruments for a profit — unlike a hedge fund; these firms usually source third-party traders who can demonstrate consistent profitability and provide them with funded accounts.
Which Prop Firm Is the Best?
There’s no easy answer, but the prop firm with the best profit split on our list is FTMO; a profit split of 90/10 for select accounts is much higher than the industry average of around 50/50.
Do Proprietary Trading Firms Make Money?
Proprietary firms have a few ways of making money, which can include membership fees as well as profit splits in which they keep a percentage of the money made on a prop trader’s investments.
Is Prop Trading a Good Career?
Prop trading could be a good career if you pick the right firm and can demonstrate the ability to consistently make profitable trades; while many novice traders succeed in this field, it’s often better-suited to experienced traders.
How Do Prop Traders Get Paid?
Prop traders get paid through the firm’s profit split; a portion of the profits (between 50% and 90%) are paid out to the trader by the proprietary firm.