The 9 best funding programs for traders

Objective vs Subjective approach.

I eventually realized that you might be new to the funding programs and there is just too much information to take in so, in a break from my usual detached and objective approach, I am going to tell you here which funding programs are the ones I prefer, and the best prop firms, based on my personal experience and feedback received by you.

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Wish to learn all about every Funder? Read my full reviews in my blog here.

1: TOPSTEP (Forex and Futures)

I like to define TOPSTEP “the original funder”: offering funding to retail traders since 2012, this is the company that served as the model for all the others that came out since.

In March 2021 they funded 1178 traders, and in these first 3 months of the year they paid out over 1.2 Million $: very impressive!

It’s great to see them sharing this information, you are in good hands with TOPSTEP’s challenge.

Read the in-depth review about Topstep here.

  • as trustworthy as they come.
  • first 5K$ in profit at 100% to the trader.
  • Max loss is calculated at the end of day: so the drawdown doesn’t take in consideration the unrealized losses.
  • great amount of educational material: from coaching to podcast.
  • is the only funder offering both Forex and Futures.
  • the rule about max weekly loss seems unnecessary to me.
  • the traders must pass 2 phases to obtain funding.
  • restriction on trading over economic releases.
  • only 1 funded account per trader.
  • Max loss in funded account takes in consideration also the unrealized losses.

The 10K Swing program allows the Futures trader to hold positions open when the market is closed, and to trade with Micro Futures contract, it’s affordable and a great way to train yourself from simulated trading to real with all the time in the world (monthly subscription). I believe you should enrol in an evaluation program only when you feel truly ready: practice for as long as need in SIM, save more money, I recommend enrolling in programs with larger accounts so to have the largest risk allowance, and the highest potential gains.

2: The5%ers (Forex)

The5%ers is the kind of company that gives me a strong feeling of being run by traders for traders, I love that: they offer a trading course, trading ideas, an accurate weekly market analysis, even a trading room. But I love even more the fact they fund traders in real right away! The only phase you have to pass you are forced to use a smaller account but the profits are yours to take already, once you reach the profit target then you are fully funded with the large account. What more can you ask? Read the in-depth review about The5%ers here.

  • in real right away.
  • up to 180 days to pass the only 1 phase.
  • capital increase up to 1.28M$.
  • strong community of traders and an open live trading room.
  • you get paid your profits even if you break a rule.
  • low profit share at 50%.
  • a bit expensive.

As for other funders: be patient, take your time, trade for as long as needed in SIM and when ready to trade with The5%ers pick a larger account for more risk allowance and higher potential profits, from phase 1, remember: you are funded in real right away!

3: EARN2TRADE (Futures)

Earn2trade is a very solid company, with great customer support, and plenty of educational material, now also available in spanish, portuguese and arabic. They started back in 2017 with The Gauntlet, which remains to this day my favourite of all the evaluation programs; this was followed later on by The Gauntlet Mini: the traders must pass just 1 phase to obtain funding. Read the in-depth review about Earn2trade here.

  • perfect customer support, in multiple languages.
  • plenty of free stuff when you enroll: video course, NinjaTrader, Journalytix etc.
  • no restrictions on trading over economic releases.
  • micro futures are available in all the programs.
  • only 1 funded account per trader
  • no capital increase
  • max loss: the trailing drawdown includes unrealized profits as well (since July 2021 max loss includes only unrealized losses, as most funders do).

The Gauntlet because is the closest it can get to real life trading: 10% of static max drawdown allowed, 60 days to pass, swing trading allowed, I wish it was available with a larger account. You are allowed to trade Micro futures contracts in all of the Gauntlet Mini, and very few rules apply: I recommend to get prepared very well, be patient, take your time, and work to obtain a large account.

4: FTMO (Forex)

FTMO is a Czech company and yet it’s so solid and well run that it’s probably the most popular forex funder worldwide. This is the only funder offering a static max loss (instead of trailing), and as much risk allowed as profit required (other funders allow less risk than profit required). A generous capital increase is offered to the funded trader, all the way up to 400K$: you are in safe hands with FTMO. Read the in-depth review about FTMO here.

  • STATIC max drawdown.
  • the risk allowed is as large as the profit target (not less)
  • high quality applications for journaling, account analysis and more.
  • multiple accounts allowed and capital increase available.
  • SWING program allows trading overnight, weekend and news.
  • profit share goes from 80% to 90% when capital is increased.
  • must pass 2 phases to obtain funding.
  • limited time to pass.

All the evaluation programs by FTMO are very good, just pick based on your budget and strategy: I recommend practicing in SIM for as long as necessary, be patient, prove that your strategy is profitable, then enroll in a program with a large account and keep trading as you did, don’t change anything. FTMO supports you to be very patient by offering a “free repeat”: if you don’t reach the profit target in time you are entitled to start again for free.

5: City Traders Imperium (Forex)

City Traders Imperium fund traders in real right away! You have to pass just 1 phase of “real evaluation” where you are forced to use a smaller account and lower profit share, the profits are yours to take already; it’s a company run by forex traders: the Mastermind Program is very complete with weekly webinars, market analysis, trading room and more but it’s also rather expensive. Generous capital increase offered up to 2M$. Read the in-depth review about City Traders Imperium here.

  • in real right away.
  • up to 1 year to pass the “real evaluation” phase.
  • capital increase up to 2M$.
  • the trader is not disqualified for breaking a rule (only for Max Loss).
  • Max Loss is fixed when funded.
  • All trading styles allowed, even automatic strategies and swing trading (but must use Stop Loss orders).
  • low profit share from 50% to 70%.
  • no free education offered.
  • Mastermind Program is expensive.
  • the only platform allowed is Metatrader 4.
  • Minimum of 30 trading days.
  • no discount offered to my readers 🙁

I personally haven’t focused much on trading forex as yet, so I don’t have experience with CTI but I’ve had good communication with them;  I very much appreciate the fact that the trader can withdraw profits from phase 1, and he is not pushed into rushing his performance since there is as long as 1 year to be reach profit target and be moved to the full funded account.

6: LEELOO (Futures)

LEELOO is growing fast, even I underestimated it until last year, I believe it’s the funder offering the easiest path to Futures trading; with only 2 rules to follow: profit target and max loss. Read the in-depth review about LEELOO here.

  • only 2 rules to follow.
  • very affordable to get in via the Express program.
  • Micro Futures allowed in all programs.
  • fixed max loss in the Glide program.
  • up to 6 funded accounts are allowed per trader.
  • max loss: the trailing drawdown includes unrealized profits as well.
  • very little education offered.

The Express program is your best first evaluation program: very affordable, with a single fixed payment, only 2 rules to follow, the only limitation is the duration, 14 days to pass only; but if you trade well, and yet fail to reach the profit target in time, you have the opportunity to enrol in a standard program at a reduced fee and keep the profits you built! The Glide program is very interesting as well: static max loss, swing trading allowed and so is the use of Micro contracts (all programs allow you to trade Micros). The 100K standard program is good value for money.

7: SAVIUS (Futures)

Savius is a small reality yet established for many years now, it’s perfect if you like that “boutique funder” feeling, as I do; it’s the only funder offering swing trading on micro futures for both CME and EUREX Futures (Micro Eurex are here), they even offer a fee refund, a discounted repeat, and fixed monthly income to the funded traders! Read the in-depth review about Savius here.

  • CME and EUREX Micro Futures allowed.
  • boutique company, with a human touch.
  • support in italian.
  • up to 2K$ fixed income available for funded traders.
  • very few rules: not daily or weekly max loss.
  • phase 1 and 2 are limited to just 30 days to pass.

The Savius Limitless Pro is the program that allows for swing trading of both CME and EUREX Futures, micro contracts well, and highly rewards the consistent trader: the capital increases in time and a fixed income of up to 2K$ is offered to the funded trader from phase 5 onward; with up to 6 phases but don’t be put off by this:there are no time limits to reach the profit targets.

8: TRADER2B (Stocks)

I don’t have any personal experience with Trader2B but I have a very good impression from their online presence; they offer a free video course of 20 hours, and unlimited time to reach the 6% profit target in their evaluation program. Read the in-depth review about Trader2B here.

  • a well established funder for Stocks traders.
  • just 1 phase with unlimited time (monthly subscription).
  • fee refundable.
  • capital increase available.
  • no need to enrol in the evaluation program if you can provide a solid trading record.
  • must use the Haywood Trader App.

I don’t have personal experience trading stocks but 6% profit target with unlimited time doesn’t seem hard to reach to me. Beware of the max trailing drawdown, as per usual, and having to use the one trading platform might be an obstacle.

9: T4TCapital (Forex)

I don’t have any personal experience with T4TCapital (please share your experience with us if you can) but I have had a very good impression: its evaluation programs are unique in requiring 1 single fixed payment but allowing unlimited time to reach the profit target, very few rules, and mentorship is offered throughout the program. T4TCapital is a business branched out of Traders4Traders: an acclaimed trading academy with many years of experience, online and in person. Read the in-depth review about T4TCapital here.

  • just 1 phase with unlimited time (monthly subscription).
  • fee refundable.
  • capital increase up to 1M$.
  • a bit expensive.
  • the only platform allowed is Metatrader 4.

Requires 1 fixed payment and offers unlimited time to pass: do I need saying more? If your wallet is full you might try to obtain the 1M$ account, or opt for a smaller one and make the most of their generous capital increase plan which coincidentally goes up to 1M$.

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