So, you want to dive into futures trading but don’t have the capital to fund your account? Prop firms are the solution. These firms provide traders access to their capital and trading platforms in exchange for a portion of profits. It’s a win-win.
As a trader, you get to focus on what you do best—analyzing the markets and placing trades—without worrying about coming up with six-figure funding. The prop firm handles all the overhead and administrative work, giving you more time to trade. They also often provide education and mentorship to help you become a better trader.
In return, the prop firm receives a percentage of the profits from your successful trades. The percentages vary but are usually around 20-50% of profits. The more profits you generate, the more the firm makes, so they have an incentive to see you succeed.
Does a prop firm sound like the right move for your futures trading ambitions? If so, research to find a firm that suits your needs. With the right fit, prop trading could be your ticket to a lucrative trading career.
Top Five Futures Prop Firms
When it comes to futures prop firms, you have options. The top five best prop trading firms dealing in futures are:
- Top Step Trader – Best overall, especially for experienced traders seeking a rewarding environment. They offer a generous profit split and up to $1 million in funding.
- Earn2Trade – Best for traders seeking comprehensive educational resources alongside prop trading. They provide video courses, live webinars, and one-on-one mentorship to help traders learn the ropes. Once funded, you’ll get an 80/20 profit split.
- Elite Trader Funding – Best for traders looking for a straightforward path to becoming a funded trader. They offer simple evaluation criteria and provide funding up to $500,000 with an 85/15 profit split.
- Take Profit Trader – Best for beginners due to its comprehensive educational resources and trader support. They offer video courses, a dedicated trading coach, and chat rooms to help new traders get started. Funded traders receive an 80/20 profit split up to $200,000.
- Bulenox – Best for traders who prioritize a higher profit split and a flexible trading environment. They provide funding up to $500,000 with a 90/10 profit split. Traders have access to various markets and the freedom to trade once funded.
TopStepTrader is one of the most popular prop firms for new futures traders. Their funded trader program starts at just $165/month and is open to traders worldwide.
The platform works on any device and has basic charts to help you manage your trading. It also supports add-ons from other companies like TradingView. You have 14 platforms to choose from as you work toward a funded account. TSTrader is the most popular, but NinjaTrader and TradingView also work for most traders.
If you qualify, you can immediately upgrade to a funded account or start with a Pro account. The Pro account is a step between the Trading Combine and a funded account. It lets you trade with more capital while qualifying for a funded account.
With TopStepTrader, you can start day trading futures without needing much of your money upfront. The funded trader program provides the capital you need to get started. You must pass their training program, the Trading Combine, and get a funded trading account.
The Trading Combine evaluates your trading skills through a simulated trading environment. If you meet their profit targets during the Combine, you’ll earn a funded account with a capital of $50,000 to $200,000, depending on the level you choose.
TopStepTrader wants to see consistent profitability and risk management. But if you struggle in the Combine, don’t worry. You can restart the Combine and try again. Many funded traders had to restart at least once before passing.
Earn2Trade is an online education platform that prepares traders to become professionals at prop firms. They offer paid trading courses and evaluation programs to help you learn the skills needed for a career as a proprietary trader.
For $150 per month, the Trader Career Path course provides a self-paced introduction to futures trading with virtual money. You can go through the lessons and practice trading on your schedule with no time limit. This flexible plan is ideal for beginners who want to learn the basics before advancing to funded trading.
The Gauntlet Mini evaluation program lets you choose a starting capital amount to determine your trading goals. You’ll get real-time data and tools to trade futures contracts with virtual funds for a fixed period, typically 3 to 6 months.
If you meet the profit target for your account size, you’ll be connected with a prop firm to begin trading with real capital. The Gauntlet Mini costs between $300 to $750 per month, depending on your starting capital.
Earn2Trade provides the education and skills development for a career as a proprietary trader. Their paid programs offer virtual trading environments to practice strategies and prepare to trade futures professionally at a prop firm. With hard work and the right mindset, Earn2Trade can help you achieve your goal of becoming a funded trader.
Elite Trader Funding
Elite Trader Funding is a leading prop firm that provides funded trading accounts to qualified traders. They offer two types of evaluations for traders to prove their skills.
With 1-Step Evaluations, traders start with a trial account ranging from $10K to $300K. You’ll have a fixed number of trading days, typically 10-30, to meet the profit target while staying within the maximum drawdown limit.
For 2-Step Evaluations, you’ll first complete a trial period with a simulated account. If you meet the profit and drawdown targets, you’ll move on to trade with a live-funded account. The parameters are usually more challenging than 1-Step Evaluations.
The transparency and trustworthiness of Elite Trader Funding set them apart. They provide clear details for all their programs so you know exactly what’s expected to qualify for funding. Their commitment to supporting dedicated traders in achieving their goals makes them a top choice for futures traders looking to take the next step in their trading careers.
Take Profit Trader
Take Profit Trader is an excellent choice for futures traders seeking funding. Their model provides funding for traders to use their skills and generate consistent profits. Traders get to choose their preferred asset class and the size of the capital they want to manage based on their skills and experiences.
To get started, traders prove their competence by hitting a profit target and following a set of risk rules. Subscription fees range from $150 to $360 per month, depending on the account size, which can be as low as $25K or as high as $150K. The Pro account has a one-time fee without recurring monthly payments.
The profit-sharing structure at Take Profit Trader primarily benefits the trader. Traders get to keep a whopping 80% of all profits made. Take Profit Trader offers more than 30 platforms to choose from. They typically suggest using the CQG Data Feed over the Rithmic Data Feed for data feeds.
Take Profit Trader helps fund a trader’s journey, especially those specializing in futures trading. Their simple model provides the capital; you use your skills to generate reliable gains. Select your preferred financial vehicle and the amount of funding based on your abilities and experience.
Prove your ability by achieving a profit objective and following risk rules. Fees range from $150 to $360 per month, depending on the account size, starting at $25K up to $150K. The Pro account has a one-time charge with no recurring fees.
The profit-sharing structure primarily benefits the trader. An 80/20 split allows traders to keep 80% of all profits. Take Profit Trader offers 30+ platforms. They typically recommend the CQG Data Feed over Rithmic.
Bulenox is a futures prop trading firm that provides funded trading accounts from $25,000 up to $250,000 for qualified traders.
To become a funded trader, you first go through Bulenox’s evaluation program using a Qualification Account. This allows you to demonstrate your trading abilities in a simulated trading environment. If you meet their profit target over a set period, you’ll graduate to a live-funded Master Account.
The Master Account is where you start earning real money. Bulenox will withdraw the first $10,000 in profits commission-free. After that, they take 10% of your profits as commission, while you keep 90%.
You can request payouts anytime within the first month, and payouts are processed every Wednesday. The minimum withdrawal for 1-3 payouts is $1,000 ($500 for a $10,000 account). Payout requests can only be processed after you’ve completed at least ten individual trading days.
Bulenox provides an excellent opportunity for serious traders to earn a living from futures trading without needing a large amount of starting capital. Their tiered account levels and profit-sharing model allow traders to start small and scale up as their skills and profits increase.
Futures Prop Firms Verdict
As you evaluate which futures prop firm is right for you, consider what’s most important for your trading needs and style. Some offer higher payouts but charge higher fees, while others provide top-notch resources and education but take a bigger cut of profits. It comes down to finding the best balance for you.
Some prop firms offer payouts of up to 80% of profits but charge higher membership and platform fees. If maximizing your paycheck is key, focus on firms with high payout rates. However, lower fees mean more of your capital can be actively traded, potentially leading to higher total profits.
Evaluate each firm’s full fee schedule to determine the real net payout. Look for a prop firm offering an intuitive trading platform with advanced tools, charts, and indicators to help you make data-driven decisions.