The world of online trading has witnessed exponential growth in recent years, with an increasing number of traders seeking opportunities to showcase their skills and access additional capital through proprietary trading firms. Among the leading players in this space are Topstep and FTMO, two prominent firms offering aspiring traders a chance to demonstrate their abilities and potentially secure funding for their trading endeavors. In this article, we will conduct a thorough comparison of Topstep and FTMO, highlighting their key features, similarities, and differences, to help traders make an informed decision about which program aligns best with their goals and trading strategies.
Background and Company Overview
Topstep is a futures prop trading firm that was founded in 2010 and is based in Chicago. The firm has been recognized as one of the fastest growing US companies by INC5000 and has a reputation for providing excellent services to its clients. Topstep’s main offering is its Trading Combine® program, which is a real-time evaluation program that allows traders to demonstrate their trading skills within predefined risk parameters using live market data. Traders who pass the Trading Combine® are eligible for a funded trading account with the firm, where they can trade with the firm’s capital and keep a share of the profits.
FTMO is a global proprietary trading firm that was established in 2015 and has offices in Europe, Asia and Africa. The firm has gained popularity among traders for its opportunity to trade with FTMO’s capital while retaining a significant portion of the profits. FTMO’s evaluation process consists of two phases: the FTMO Challenge and the Verification. In the Challenge phase, traders need to meet a 10% profit target while following a maximum daily loss limit and a maximum loss limit. In the Verification phase, traders need to replicate their performance with a 5% profit target and only a maximum loss limit. Traders who successfully complete both phases are provided with a funded account and can trade with FTMO’s capital.
Trading Evaluation Process
Topstep Trading Combine®
Topstep’s evaluation process starts with a free practice account, where traders can test their strategies and get familiar with the platform. After that, traders can enroll in the Trading Combine®, a multi-step evaluation program that tests traders’ ability to achieve profit targets and follow strict risk management rules. Traders can choose from different account sizes and risk levels for both the futures and the forex markets. During the evaluation, traders must meet profit targets and keep drawdown within predetermined limits. Traders who pass the Trading Combine® receive a funded account, where they can trade with the firm’s capital and keep a share of the profits.
FTMO Challenge and Verification
FTMO’s evaluation process also consists of two phases: the Challenge and Verification. In the Challenge phase, traders select their desired account size and must achieve specific profit objectives while adhering to predefined risk parameters. The profit targets and risk limits vary depending on the account size and the aggressive option. The Challenge phase lasts for 30 calendar days. If traders successfully complete the Challenge, they proceed to the Verification phase, where they need to replicate their performance with a lower profit target and a higher risk limit. The Verification phase lasts for 60 calendar days. Traders who successfully complete both phases receive a funded account with FTMO, where they can trade with the firm’s capital and keep most of the profits generated.
Account Funding and Risk Management
Topstep offers different account sizes with varying risk targets, providing traders with flexibility based on their risk tolerance and trading experience. Traders can choose from accounts with sizes ranging from $30,000 to $150,000 for both the futures and the forex markets. Traders must follow strict risk management rules throughout the evaluation process and during live trading, ensuring responsible and disciplined trading practices. Traders who pass the Trading Combine® must pay an activation fee, which covers the setup for the funded account and the cost of a live account if an offer is sent to the trader. Traders can also trade multiple funded accounts at the same time, which can help them diversify their trading strategies, products, markets, and platforms.
Similarly, FTMO provides traders with various account sizes and risk levels, allowing them to choose an account that best aligns with their trading objectives. Traders must adhere to strict risk management guidelines, which are designed to minimize drawdown and ensure that traders maintain consistent and disciplined trading behavior throughout their evaluation and beyond. Traders must respect the maximum daily loss limit and the maximum loss limit, which are calculated based on the initial balance and the account size. Traders must also observe the trailing drawdown rule, which means that the maximum loss limit adjusts according to the current equity of the account.
Topstep offers a diverse range of trading instruments, including futures, Forex, and cryptocurrencies. Traders can choose from various markets and products, such as indices, metals, energies, grains, meats, currencies, and digital assets. This variety allows traders to explore different opportunities and strategies that match their expertise and preferences. Topstep caters to a broad range of traders with different trading styles and capital requirements.
FTMO also provides traders with access to various instruments, covering essential markets such as Forex, indices, commodities, stocks, bonds, and cryptos. Traders can trade all the instruments and assets that are available on their chosen platform, such as MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, or cTrader. FTMO gives traders complete freedom to trade the instruments they prefer and the strategies they are comfortable with. FTMO appeals to a wide range of traders, particularly those interested in Forex trading and major indices.
Support and Education
Topstep provides extensive educational resources and support to traders at every stage of their trading journey. Traders can access webinars, trading guides, podcasts, and personalized feedback from experienced coaches to help them improve their strategies and performance. Topstep fosters a learning environment that benefits traders of all skill levels and backgrounds. Traders can also reach out to the Topstep support team via phone or email for any questions or issues they may encounter.
FTMO also offers a range of educational materials and guidance to help traders enhance their trading skills and deepen their understanding of the financial markets. FTMO supports traders during the evaluation process and after they receive a funded account. The goal is to ensure that traders have the necessary tools and knowledge to succeed as professional traders. Traders can also access trading apps, such as the Account MetriX, Statistical Application, Mentor Application, and more. Additionally, traders can contact the FTMO customer support via email, phone, or live chat in 16 different languages.
Both Topstep and FTMO offer aspiring traders an excellent opportunity to prove their trading abilities and access additional capital for their trading journey. Deciding between the two programs depends on various factors, including risk tolerance, preferred account size, and the range of trading instruments offered. Regardless of the path traders choose, participating in these evaluation programs can be a valuable learning experience and a stepping stone towards becoming successful traders in the competitive world of financial markets. As always, it is essential for traders to conduct thorough research and fully understand the terms and conditions of these forex prop firms before committing to them, ensuring a well-informed decision that aligns with their trading goals and aspirations.
Self-confessed Forex Geek spending my days researching and testing everything forex related. I have many years of experience in the forex industry having reviewed thousands of forex robots, brokers, strategies, courses and more. I share my knowledge with you for free to help you learn more about the crazy world of forex trading! Read more about me.