FTMO is the latest in a burgeoning series of scouting programs. Propriety trading firms or “prop firms” put traders to the test (for a fee) through evaluations and challenges. The lucky few who pass are then funded with capital, and successful trades are split down a percentage with the broker. As scouting firms go, FTMO is an excellent all-rounder. Alongside a decent 80% payout for successful traders, FTMO equips users with webinars, workshops, and coaching.
The FTMO has a visually stunning interface and makes bold claims to be the “best proprietary trading firm you can find.” Does the package live up to the wrapping paper? Let’s unpack the details of this popular scouting program and assess whether it provides enough bang for your buck.
FTMO: What’s it all about?
The idea behind using prop trading is to maximize your leverage with minimal capital. For a sign-up fee (€155), you can then test your trading skills. If your mettle passes the test, you can begin trading with up to 100k in your account. Trading proprietary firms differ in the deals they cut with their winning traders. FTMO scores highly on this metric, with a base payout of 80% and up to 90% on profits over 25% ROI.
FTMO began operations in 2017 and won the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 award for the last three years. Prague-born engineer Otakar Suffner is the CEO and founder of FTMO. His trading background began with Forex, but he moved to CFDs and futures to gain access to more “freedom with your position sizing.” Enter the CFD Challenge, where if you play your trading cards right, you could be trading with 400,000 euros in your account.
What are funded accounts?
Scouting firms such as FTMO use inbuilt “challenges” to scout for expert traders. For a small sign-up fee, traders can test their abilities through a number of tests. The small percentage who pass the evaluation are then funded and can begin trading in partnership with the scouting site. The firm in question will assume the risk of losses but will share the rewards with the trader. Scouting firms are not to be confused with depository prop firms (also known as first loss or broker-dealers) or traditional prop firms. These latter companies use more formal arrangements, hiring traders on a long-term or spot basis instead of via challenges.
Scouting firms have been accelerating in popularity over recent years because of their accessibility. Retail traders held back by their lack of funds can vastly increase their leverage once they have proved themselves. The firms vary in features (evaluation fees, trading capital, educational resources), and this is how we will assess FTMO. How does it compare to other scouting firms?
FTMO Challenge review
Overall, the FTMO Challenge blows many competitors out of the water. You will find only the disgruntled traders who failed the challenge are likely to complain – the lucky few can trade with up to $400,000 and walk away with up to 90% of the profits. This generous profit split is one of the highest in the industry. Consistently successful traders may also find their available leverage increasing up to a total of $2 million. Best of all, profits are shared but FTMO will take the hit of all losses.
The FTMO Challenge opens doors to more than just forex, traders who pass can then access futures, metals, and equities. This trading flexibility adds significant shine to the FTMO Challenge. The feedback features are another impressive add-on; FTMO Challenge traders are helped along the way by real-time advice and tracked trading to help improve their performances.
The targets are built on a sliding scale which is trader-friendly. In the first phase of the FTMO Challenge, there is a 10% profit target. In Step 2 of the Challenge however this is halved to 5%. Finally, the fact that FTMO reimburses the sign-up fee to the traders who pass the challenge is a generous gesture (not replicated by all prop firms).
Pros and Cons
Let’s talk about the good stuff…
As we can see, FTMO is a much-lauded platform and one of the leaders of the niche prop trading industry. Let’s cover the advantages and benefits of using this trading site before moving on to any chinks in the armor.
Evaluation fee: FTMO charges a one-time fee only. This is in positive contrast to other firms which may have recurring charges or fees for their traders. The sign-up fee is reimbursed with the first profit split for those traders who pass the FMTO Challenge and begin trading with leverage.
Opportunity: Another win for FTMO is that even if you don’t make it through the challenge, you can try again for free! (Provided you did not violate any of the rules the first time round).
Trading Conditions: FTMO has generous conditions for its traders when we break down the numbers. They provide leverage up to 100:1, alongside a decent ratio of 1:1 of losses vs. profit). There is no limit on lot size (the volume traded) or restrictions on trading style.
Support: FTMO offers customer support in 15 languages and an in-depth breakdown of each account.
Challenge duration: Each trader has 30 days to complete the initial FTMO Challenge (details differ for the 2nd round).
Flexibility: FTMO allows overnight weekend positions but no weekend positions.
Reward ratio: Successful traders share profits with FTMO with an 80% base and 90% on gains above 25% return-on-investment.
Extra features: FTMO comes out favorably on this assessment, offering its traders informational webinars, tutorials, and even coaching from mentors. Moreover, FTMO allows access to other platforms such as cTrader and MT5.
...and the bad
"Not all that glisters is gold," however. FTMO may have a decent package, but it is not perfect. The evaluation fee will set any trader back, and trading is heavily limited during news announcements. The “daily limit” is, in matter of fact, two limits; one on the day and the other for each trade (regardless of time). This subtlety (alluded to in the small print) does have an impact when it comes to specific strategies, such as profitable swing trading. Users have also complained about the platform freezing and a lack of customer support.
To truly evaluate what FTMO brings to the trading table, we decided to score each aspect of the FTMO Challenge individually.
Challenge difficulty: The FTMO Challenge is not a piece of cake, but for a good reason. The idea behind prop firms is to headhunt expert traders. To get the most out of FTMO and begin trading with undreamed leverage, you need to be able to offer value to the company in return.
Customer support: This is a rather marmite issue. On the one hand, the in-depth reports and performance coaches offered to traders provide excellent support. However, there have been complaints of disgruntled users finding it hard to get a response from FTMO, so for this, we scored them at a 5.
Fee: The FTMO Challenge is neither free nor cheap; however, nor is it the most expensive of the prop firm challenges by a long way. Moreover, FTMO is one of the rarer scout trading sites that offers a refundable fee.
Payout scheme: FTMO scores highly on this metric as their payout is generous compared to some rival prop trading sites.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What is FTMO?
FTMO is what is known as a “proprietary trading firm.” Also known as prop firms, these sites offer traders the opportunity of trading with enormous leverage (up to $2 million in the case of FTMO) for a share of the profits. First off, interested traders need to pass the “FTMO Challenge” which they can enter for a one-off fee. Successful applicants can then join the trading scheme and begin leveraged trades, keeping up to 90% of profits and safe in the knowledge that FTMO will accept the losses.
Is FTMO a scam?
FTMO is definitely not a scam. They are a legitimate company with a strong presence of social proof through customer testimonials, comments, and reviews making their product reliable for potential successful traders. As proprietary trading firms go, FTMO is an excellent all-rounder. Alongside a decent 80% payout for successful traders, FTMO equips users with webinars, workshops, and coaching. They are worth the try.
What is FTMO Coin?
FTMO Coin (BNB) is a cryptocurrency and more specifically the native token of the FTMO prop firm. In fact, BNB was initially launched in order to be used to fund the creation of the propfirm. BNB can be traded for other crypto-assets and tokens on FTMO, while those users using BNB to pay their fees, earned discounted rates. Moreover, users who choose to hold 50 or more BNB in their FTMO account for more than a month, also earn lower transaction fees and scaling of their held amounts.
Where is FTMO based?
The FTMO headquarters are located in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. The FTMO team can be contacted via an online form, telephone or an in-person visit (if organized in advance).
Who can do the FTMO Challenge?
The FTMO Challenge is open to any traders worldwide. The only prerequisite is that the applicant is at least 18 years old. No advance qualifications are needed. That said, the prop firm also recommends that only traders with adequate experience, knowledge, and risk management techniques attempt the challenge.
Find out how FTMO compares to other leading and popular cryptocurrency prop firms through direct comparison reports.
FMTO, worth a punt?
In resumen, FTMO has an impressive offering. Traders wishing to up the stakes and open greater positions than they would ordinarily be able to afford to have the chance of proving themselves through the 2-step evaluation. The lucky few who make it through are then accepted onto the FTMO Proprietary Trading firm. Through their placement, traders can access up to USD 400k, keeping 90% of the profits and leaving the losses to be borne by FTMO. There are downsides and bear in mind that only the minority walk away with significant gains. As prop challenges go, however, FTMO is a sensible choice.
By trading with securities you are taking a high degree of risk. You can lose all of your invested money. You should start trading only if you are aware of this risk. All the opinions expressed on our site by individual author is solely their own and does necessarily represent or correspond to the views of the site’s management. No information or opinion contained on this site should be taken as a solicitation or offer to buy or sell any currency, equity or other financial instruments or services.