In recent years, prop trading has seen a significant growth in popularity. There are many aspiring prop traders who are looking to develop their trading skills and trade the capital of a prop. However, there is usually going to be a one-off initial fee in order to join a prop firm and take part in their trading challenge so that they can evaluate your performance before giving you a funded account. That being said, let us take a closer look at the cheapest prop firms to help you get the best value for money.
As we eluded to above, a proprietary trading firm is a company that provides capital to traders and receives a share of any profits that they generate in exchange. In addition to a financial investment, prop firms can also provide platforms, tools and education for beginners. This makes them a popular choice for traders of all experience levels, especially those who are talented but do not have enough capital to earn enough profits by themselves.
Not all prop trading firms are equal. Some will have more favourable conditions than others. The terms and conditions can vary greatly, but the general consensus is that they are looking for good traders who can make a profit whilst using sensible money management. After all, they cannot simply give funds to anyone as this would be extremely risky. It is in the interest of the prop trader and firm that things go well, as both will be seeing a share of the profits.
Whilst there are instant funding prop firms that will give you a funded account right away if you can prove you have a good historical trading performance, the majority of prop firms will have a variety of trading challenges that you can choose from. The purpose of this evaluation phase is to make sure that you have the required skills to trade consistently whilst following a specific set of objectives.
In order to pass the challenge, you will need to reach a profit target within an allocated period of time whilst staying below the maximum loss level and not breaching any of the terms. If you succeed, the prop firm can give you a funded account with an industry average profit share of between 80-90% and scaling options to grow the account as you go along.
There really is no fixed answer to this as it can vary depending on the prop firm you are using. Some of the cheapest funded accounts will just provide basic rules and objectives for you to follow. They might use a third-party broker for you to execute trades on a popular trading platform such as MetaTrader.
On the other hand, you have all-in-one proprietary firms that take things a step further. These might be more expensive but you get more bang for your buck. This can include professional platforms, powerful tools, data feeds, favourable trading conditions and one to one mentoring.
The industry average cost for a prop firm challenge is probably around the $100 mark. This will give you an entry level account at most prop firms. Some of them will even refund the fee if you pass the challenge or provide you with an option to retake it for a discounted fee if you fail. If cost is important to you, please see a selection of the cheapest prop firms below.
The FTMO challenge costs just €155 and they don’t impose any restrictions on the instruments or position sizes you can trade, so your trading strategy is completely up to you. You will even get the fee refunded if you pass, which is certainly possible considering the achievable profit targets and favourable trading conditions. The FTMO profit share is an industry leading 90% and funded accounts can be scaled all the way up to $2,000,000.
|Step 1. FTMO Challenge||Step 2. Verification||Step 3. FTMO Trader|
|Trading Period||30 days + 14 days||60 days||indefinite|
|Minimum Trading Days||10 days||10 days||x|
|Maximum Daily Loss||$500||$500||$500|
You can trade with leverage up to 1:100 and choose from an excellent variety of financial instruments including Forex, Commodities, Indices, Crypto, Stocks and Bonds. They have the user-friendly MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms, along with the powerful cTrader for professional traders. They might not be the cheapest prop firm in terms of price, but they certainly lead the way when it comes to reputation and features.
- One-time fee only (no recurrent charges or other fees)
- No limits or restrictions on your trading style
- Choice of platforms (MT4, MT5, cTrader)
- Access to some handy trading apps designed to help you with risk management and profit maximization
- Trade Forex, Commodities, Indices, Crypto, Stocks, Bonds
- No limits on the volume traded (lot size)
- Leverage up to 1:100
- FTMO’s scaling plan allows their most skilled traders access to up to $2 million of trading capital
- A thorough account analysis for every account
- The fee will be reimbursed to you with the first Profit Split
- Customer Support in 17 languages
- The most trusted and reputable Prop Trading Firm in the industry
- So many traders have used FTMO over the years that there is an incredible amount of trader-generated resources available, including lots of great advice on how to pass the FTMO Challenge
- Strict requirements for the test period
- Steep 10% profit target for the first step of the FTMO evaluation, however, it eventually drops to 5% for the second verification stage
- FTMO keeps all traders on demo accounts, even those that have passed the FTMO Challenge and become fully funded
- In order to receive a funded account, traders must first pass the FTMO Challenge, followed by a verification stage
You can get a funded account for as little as $50 with the Finotive Funding classic challenge. The Challenge is divided into 2 Phases, each having distinct performance goals that must be met in order to move forward. Depending on the account size you select, the evaluation programme account enables you to trade with leverage ranging from 1:100 to 1:400.
In order to pass the first evaluation phase, a trader must hit their 7.5% profit target while adhering to their 10% maximum loss or 5% daily loss limits. You should be aware that phase one has no minimum or maximum trading day limits when it comes to time constraints. You simply need to achieve the 7.5% profit target without breaking the maximum daily or maximum loss limit criteria in order to move on to phase two.
The second round of evaluation requires a trader to hit a 5% profit target while staying within their 5% daily loss or 10% maximum loss limits. You should be aware that phase two has no minimum or maximum trading day limits when it comes to time constraints. You only need to hit the 5% profit target without going over the maximum daily or maximum loss limits in order to move on to funded status.
When you successfully complete both evaluation rounds, you are given a funded account without profit targets. You are simply required to abide by the 10% maximum loss and 5% daily loss restrictions. Two calendar days have passed since the day your funded account received its initial position before you receive your first dividend. Keep in mind that following your initial payout, all of your subsequent payouts will be calculated on a weekly basis. Depending on how much money you generate on your funded account, your share of the profits will range from 75% to 95%.
- Offers instant funding
- Pricing starts at $50
- Unlimited evaluation free retries
- Profit split goes up to 95%
- Overnight, weekend and news trading allowed
- Expert advisors allowed
- Scaling account option up to $3,200,000 (aggressive instant funding)
- Very high 1:400 leverage available
- Great choice of trading instruments including forex, indices, commodities and cryptocurrency
- Popular MetaTrader 5 platform
- Simple and transparent trading rules
- Trade with tight spreads and low commission fees
- No free trials
- Reduced 25% profit split if RTP is breached once funded
- Scaling plan is quite complex
- Do not have MetaTrader 4
- Lack of educational content
The FundedNext evaluation phase starts at $99 for a $15,000 account. With two phases and quite attainable profit targets, your objective in this model will be to demonstrate your trading prowess. You will begin trading on FundedNext’s funded account with an 80% profit share once you reach the set goals. Depending on your performance, the profit split rate could be raised all the way to 90%.
|Maximum Daily Loss||$750||$1,250||$2,500||$5,000||$10,000|
|Maximum Overall Loss||$1,500||$2,500||$5,000||$10,000||$20,000|
|Maximum Trading Day||5||5||5||5||5|
|One Time Fee (Refundable)||$99||$199||$299||$549||$999|
FundedNext allow most trading strategies, including expert advisors, overnight trading, news trading and weekend holding. They have a great selection of instruments for trading on the MetaTrader 4 platform. However, they don’t currently support MT5 and there is a minimum 5-day trading rule.
- Profit split of 15% for evaluation stages
- Keep up to 90% of the profits
- Possibility to scale up to $4M account balance
- Allowed to merge accounts
- Expert advisors (EAs) and indicators allowed
- Overnight, weekend and news trading allowed
- Intuitive MetaTrader 4 platform
- Leverage goes up to 1:100
- Unlimited evaluation free retries
- A large variety of trading instruments (forex pairs, commodities, indices)
- Copy trading from other traders not allowed
- Consistency rule for express accounts
- Minimum 5 trading days
- No MetaTrader 5 platform
- No free trials available
You must successfully complete a two-part evaluation process consisting of the Challenge phase and the Verification phase in order to become a Fidelcrest funded trader. The company offers a wide range of account size options designed to suit traders with various levels of expertise and needs.
- You can receive up to $400,000 funding
- Leverage of up to 1:100 available
- Fidelcrest pays out 80–90% of profits to funded traders
- Fidelcrest has no minimum trading days for either stage of its evaluation
- If you pass the second stage of your evaluation, you will receive a bonus payout, up to $30,000
- Trade forex, stocks, commodities, metals, and crypto
- Regardless of your experience level, risk preferences, or strategy, you can find the ideal account for you
- Professional traders can sign up for a Pro Account with a $1 million initial account balance
- 5% profit target in phase 1 and phase 2 (Micro Trader accounts)
- Successful traders have the opportunity to double their initial capital with the scaling program
- MetaTrader 4 platform only
- Fidelcrest calculates your max loss based on your highest account balance, not on your initial balance
- Strict trading rules and conditions
- No educational content provided
- Phase 2 of the evaluation has tighter trading parameters than the Trading Challenge
- Almost overwhelming number of account options to choose from
- Do not have a free trial
When it comes to choosing a suitable proprietary firm for your own needs, there are a few key factors that you want to look out for. First of all, you should narrow down your search to those funded accounts that you can afford.
Once that is done, you will then want to make sure they provide the trading platform you are familiar with and financial instruments that you wish to trade. The profit share, payout frequency and scaling plan are also worth consideration. If you are swing trading then you will probably want a prop firm that allows weekend holding.
- Cost of the funded account
- Trading conditions and objectives
- Trading strategies that are allowed
- Partner brokerage firm
- Available trading instruments
- Trading tools and educational resources
- Profit share and scaling plan
- Maximum capital allocation
- Customer support and feedback
The cheapest funded account is Finotive Funding. The classic challenge costs just $50 which should be acceptable for anyone who is serious about taking part in a prop trading challenge. When you consider that they provide a 95% profit share on funded accounts that can be scaled up to $3,200,000, this is great value.
- Get a funded account with minimal investment
- Great range of cheap funded accounts to choose from
- Access to trading platforms, tools, educational resources and support
- Practice your trading strategies with little risk
- You could get your initial fee refunded after you pass
- Potential to scale funded account up to significant capital
- You will still need to pay an initial fee
- Takes time and effort to pass a trading challenge
- Need to stick to certain trading rules
- Can cancel your account if you are in breach of rules
- The prop firm might be cheap for a reason
As you can see from the cheap prop firms that we have listed in this review, there are plenty of options out there for traders of all experience levels and with different trading strategies. You can get started with as little as $100 and work you way up to a funded account into the millions if you are a talented trader. What’s more, the prop firm will take all of the risk so you can focus on your trading strategies.
However, it is important to not just choose a prop firm that is cheap. There are many other things that should be taken into consideration instead of just looking for the cheapest funded account. Sometimes you get what you pay for, so it might be worth forking out that little bit extra if there is a prop firm that has something you think can make the difference to your trading career.