Looking to take your trading career to the next level by getting funded by FTMO? You’ve come to the right place.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about FTMO, from what it is and how it works, to tips and strategies for passing the FTMO challenges and succeeding as a funded trader.
What is FTMO?
FTMO (which stands for Funded Trading Markets Online) is a proprietary trading firm that provides talented aspiring traders with funding to trade the markets.
Rather than trading your own small account, FTMO will provide you with a large, funded trading account once you pass their rigorous evaluation process.
The accounts range in size from $10,000 for a mini account up to $100,000 for a full FTMO account.
As a funded trader, you get to keep a portion of your trading profits, while FTMO receives a cut as compensation. It’s a win-win arrangement – you get capital to trade larger sizes and make more money, while FTMO profits on your trading success.
The company was founded in Prague in 2018 and has since funded over 80,000 traders globally. They currently have over $350 million in assets under management.
How Does the FTMO Evaluation & Funding Process Work?
Gaining funding from FTMO is a multi-step process designed to identify skilled, disciplined traders who can successfully manage risk.
Here is an overview of the FTMO trader funding steps:
Step 1 – Apply for FTMO Evaluation
The first step is to create an account on the FTMO website and apply for a trader evaluation.
You’ll choose the account size you’d like to get funded for – options are $10k, $25k, $50k, or $100k. The larger the account, the tougher the evaluation requirements.
Application fees range from $290 to $690 depending on account size.
Step 2 – Verify Your Account
Once your application is submitted, you’ll need to verify your account and identity. Expect to provide personal ID and proof of residence documents.
This ensures accounts are being used by real traders, not bots. It adds security and protects FTMO’s assets.
Step 3 – Pass the FTMO Challenge
This is the core of the evaluation process – the FTMO trading challenge. To get funded, you’ll need to pass the challenge assigned to your account size.
The trading challenge lasts 30 days. You’ll need to meet targets for:
- Minimum total profit – 10% of account size
- Maximum drawdown – 5% of account size
- Number of trading days – 70% of days must be traded
You’ll trade on a demo account with virtual funds, but real market conditions. FTMO provides a custom platform for the challenge.
If you meet all the challenge rules within 30 days, you pass! If not, you can re-attempt for a reduced fee.
Step 4 – Funded Trading Account
Once you pass the evaluation, you’ll gain access to your funded FTMO trading account.
This account uses real money and is monitored for performance metrics like your challenge account.
You’ll split profits with FTMO – usually 80% for you, 20% for them.
If you consistently meet targets, the account is yours to trade as you see fit. Be careful though – excessive losses could get the account closed.
And that’s the general process for gaining funding through FTMO! Next let’s look at tips for setting yourself up for success.
How to Prepare for & Pass the FTMO Evaluation
Passing the FTMO trading challenge is not easy. Less than 50% of traders who attempt it succeed on the first try.
Here are some top tips to prepare yourself and trade effectively during the evaluation:
Develop Your Trading Strategy
The most important thing is having an edge in the markets. Take the time to identify and thoroughly backtest a viable trading strategy before applying to FTMO.
Make sure your strategy fits the challenge rules. For example, focusing only on long-term positions may not generate enough trades. Look for strategies with fairly frequent trading opportunities.
Paper trade your strategy for at least 3 months to develop skills and confidence before the challenge. Track detailed metrics too like profit factor, win rate, risk/reward ratio, etc. Tweak and optimize the strategy as you go.
Having a proven, profitable strategy you understand inside out is key to passing the evaluation. Don’t rely on hunches or guesswork.
Learn Risk Management Best Practices
Controlling risk is equally as important as returns. To pass the FTMO challenge, you’ll need to keep drawdown under 5% while growing the account by 10%.
That takes exceptional risk management skills – limiting position size, using stop losses, diversifying trades, and maintaining discipline around strategy rules.
Study risk management concepts in-depth before attempting the challenge. Develop the habits and mental fortitude to stick to your trading plan no matter what.
Demo Trade In The FTMO Platform
Get familiar with the custom web platform FTMO provides for the challenges. Spend time demo trading so you’re comfortable with the interface and avoid tech issues during the actual evaluation.
Pay attention to key stats provided like running profit/loss, drawdown, number of trading days, etc. These directly relate to the challenge rules and targets.
Simulate The FTMO Challenge Settings
Once you’ve demo traded your strategy profitably for a few months in normal markets, it’s time to simulate the FTMO challenge environment.
Demo trade for 30 days using a starting capital equal to your desired FTMO account size. Follow all of the FTMO trading rules and targets. See if you can pass their criteria successfully.
Repeating this simulation multiple times helps develop the consistency needed to pass the actual challenge.
Analyze & Improve After Each Attempt
If you don’t pass on the first real evaluation attempt, don’t get discouraged. Very few traders do.
Treat each attempt as a learning experience. Analyze your trades to see where you fell short. Look at mistakes around entries, exits, risk management, and mental focus.
Then work to improve those weak spots before re-attempting the challenge. With persistence and the right attitude, you’ll eventually get funded.
Passing the rigorous FTMO evaluation takes dedication, practice, and mental toughness. But the rewards of funded trading make it well worth the effort.
Pros & Cons of Trading with FTMO
Trading with FTMO capital provides huge advantages – but also some potential downsides to consider. Let’s examine the key pros and cons:
- Trade larger size: The main benefit is trading larger position size than your own small account allows. This magnifies gains (and losses).
- Keep most profits: You get to keep 80% or more of the profits you generate. Great incentive to maximize returns.
- Gain capital & flexibility: No need to save up years to trade big. FTMO provides the capital. You also avoid tying up your own money.
- Prove yourself: Successfully passing the evaluation benchmarks your trading skill. Trading profitably with FTMO capital further validates your abilities.
- Potentially permanent capital: If you meet targets consistently, the FTMO account can become permanently yours to manage long-term.
- High minimum profit targets: You may need to adjust your strategy to shoot for 10%+ monthly returns to pass the evaluation. This can influence risk-taking behavior.
- Stress of evaluation: Attempting the FTMO challenge adds pressure and stress to your trading. The psychological aspects can be as challenging as the rules themselves.
- Loss of agency: With a regular trading account you have full control. FTMO accounts must follow strict rules or risk being closed down.
- Funds not guaranteed: Even after being funded, excessive losses can see your account shut down. Access to capital is contingent on ongoing performance.
As with most things, there are upsides and downsides to trading with FTMO. But for serious traders able to meet the challenge requirements, the benefits tend to outweigh the drawbacks.
FTMO vs Competitors
While FTMO is one of the largest and most well-known prop firms, they aren’t the only player in the funded trading space.
Let’s compare FTMO to some of their biggest competitors:
FTMO vs MyForexFunds
- Account sizes: MyForexFunds offers more flexibility on account size, with options from $5k up to $200k. FTMO currently caps at $100k.
- Profit split: MyForexFunds offers up to 90% profit share, while FTMO caps at 80% for most account levels.
- Challenge rules: Both firms have similar challenge rules, though MyForexFunds has a maximum 10% drawdown vs only 5% for FTMO.
Overall MyForexFunds offers slightly better profit potential, but FTMO evaluation may be easier to pass for smaller accounts.
FTMO vs TopstepTrader
- Evaluation format: TopstepTrader uses a 5-step combine to earn funding, while FTMO has a single 30-day challenge.
- Account offerings: TopstepTrader starts accounts at $500. FTMO minimum is $10k. Topstep offers stock trading too.
- Profit split: Topstep offers up to 90% profit share compared to 80% max for FTMO.
Topstep appeals to newer traders with lower minimums. FTMO focuses on larger forex accounts for experienced traders.
FTMO vs The5ers
- Challenge structure: The5ers has a two-part evaluation, with an initial exam followed by a trading combine. FTMO is just the trading combine.
- High water mark rules: The5ers has a rolling high water mark traders must beat to keep receiving payouts. FTMO has fixed profit targets without a rolling benchmark.
- Loss limits: The5ers will shut down accounts after just a 15% loss. FTMO allows for 20% loss on larger accounts before closing.
The5ers offers a more extensive evaluation process. FTMO provides more loss leeway, but fixed profit requirements.
Overall FTMO stands out as one of the industry leaders due to their strong brand reputation, extensive trader education, and robust evaluation process. But other prop firms have unique strengths like lower minimums and higher profit splits.
Pick the company that best aligns with your goals and skill level as a trader. Many apply to multiple firms to maximize their chances of getting funded.
Getting Started with FTMO
If you want to get started trading with FTMO capital, here are some steps to take:
- Learn everything about their process – Study their website and trader education materials so you know what to expect.
- Demo trade their platform – Get used to their proprietary web interface by demo trading for a few weeks before starting the evaluation.
- Review challenge rules – Make sure you fully understand the minimum profit, maximum loss, and frequency requirements.
- Backtest and optimize your strategy – Develop and practice a profitable trading strategy that fits FTMO’s criteria.
- Simulate the challenge environment – Demo trade for 30 days as if it were the real challenge to prepare.
- Apply for an evaluation – When you feel ready, apply for a challenge account that matches your risk tolerance and goals.
- Trade your plan – Stick to your strategy (and risk management rules) without overthinking or second-guessing during the evaluation.
With dedication and practice, you can join the ranks of successfully funded FTMO traders!
FAQs About FTMO
Still have questions about the FTMO funding process and trading with their capital? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
What instruments can you trade with FTMO?
FTMO currently offers funding for forex and indices trading. Supported markets are forex pairs, gold, S&P 500, Nasdaq 100, Dow Jones, DAX30, Nikkei 225, and ASX 200.
What is the maximum loss for FTMO accounts?
The maximum loss allowed depends on account size. For the $50k account the max loss is 20% or $10k. For the $100k account the max loss is also 20% ($20k). Losses are based on the high water mark, not the original account balance.
How long do you have access to a FTMO funded account?
If you consistently meet the profit target (currently 10% monthly), maximum loss limit, and activity requirements, your funded account can remain open indefinitely. There is no set time limit.
Can you withdraw money from a FTMO account?
Yes, you can withdraw any profits above the 10% monthly minimum at any time. FTMO allows one free withdrawal per month. Additional withdrawals incur a small fee.
Does FTMO provide tax documents?
Yes, at the end of each tax year FTMO provides required tax forms like 1099s to funded traders based on their profit sharing income. Taxes vary based on trader location and account type.
What is FTMO’s activity rule during evaluations?
You must trade a minimum of 10 trading days per 14 day period, with a maximum of 7 inactive days. At least 70% of days must show activity over the 30 day evaluation period.
Can you trade any strategy with FTMO?
FTMO allows most common trading strategies including day trading, swing trading, scalping, trend following, mean reversion, etc. Strategies with very long holding periods may struggle to meet the activity requirements.
What is FTMO’s maximum position size rule?
No single trade can risk more than 5% of the account balance. For a $50k account, max position size would be $2,500. This encourages proper risk management on all trades.
And that covers the key questions we often hear about FTMO! Reach out if you have any other questions.
Trading with a funded account from FTMO can be an excellent way to take your trading career to new heights.
Their stringent evaluation process ensures only skilled traders get access to capital – setting you up for the best chance at long-term profitability.
However, the challenge phase is not for the faint of heart. It takes rigorous preparation and mental stamina to pass.
If you have the persistence to eventually get funded, the rewards can be well worth the effort.
Just be sure to always put risk management first, stick to your tested trading strategy, and remember losses are expected. Don’t get discouraged.
Overall FTMO provides an incredible service to let aspiring traders access life-changing amounts of capital. Just be ready to work for it!
Hopefully this comprehensive guide provided you everything you need to know about trading with FTMO funding. Here’s to the success of your trading career!
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