FTMO Account Vs FT+ Account
Are you looking to open an FTMO account? If so check out this comparison of FTMO and Funded Trading Plus accounts. FTMO is one of the first online prop trading firms and now the biggest in the industry. Funded Trading Plus (FT+) is one of the newest. So why are many traders now choosing FT+ over FTMO when looking for a funded trader program?
Compare FTMO Account with Funded Trading Plus
The basic business prop trading model of both companies is the same and the price point of their programs are not that dissimilar but there are some key differences which we’ll try to cover. I, of course, as a Funded Trading Plus director, am biased, but I will try to be fair to FTMO. Any product details of FTMO will have been sourced directly from their website and will not be speculation or hearsay.
In 2021, FTMO had nearly 1 million funded trading account openings by clients (please see link to FTMO blog post for statistical facts at bottom of this post). The number of clients will be much less, as many clients will have failed a number of times and will have opened second, third and forth accounts. Without doubt FTMO are the big daddy of the prop funding firms. Note: The next biggest firm is probably MyForexFunds and they have also recently published their statistics for 2021.
The headline numbers published by both FTMO and MyForexFunds grab traders’ attention and suggest high numbers of funded traders are being paid high figures by these companies. But when you drill down a little you find that the percentage pass rates are shockingly low and are in no way encouraging for new traders looking to get funded.
Key Differences between FTMO and FT+
FTMO offers 100:1 leverage, FT+ offers 30:1
Higher leverage enables traders to place much bigger positions and that’s very tempting. But it also means traders are tempted into taking positions that their funded trading account just can’t cope with. Good trade discipline and trade management seems to get thrown out of the window with larger leverage and the result is very high failure rates.
We speculate (based on FTMO’s own figures, see below) that FTMO has a very low account pass rate, at less than 1% of FTMO accounts passed. And we think this higher leverage is the main cause of this.
As industry insiders we know that brokers and prop funding firms use leverage to entice customers because all the data shows that this higher risk results in higher failure. Higher failure means greater profits for the company. This is why the European regulator (ESMA) limited leverage across all brokers; because higher leverage was considered as causing very high failure rates.
8x Trader Success
So far at Funded Trading Plus we currently have a 8% trader evaluation pass success rate and we’d like this to be higher. We don’t get complaints about our leverage size, 10:1 offers sensible successful traders a real opportunity to prove themselves. We’ve had traders make over 15% in one day trading!
We believe lower leverage increases the number of account passes by a factor of at least 8.
- FTMO Static Drawdown, FT+ Trailing then Static
- FTMO leverage 100, FT+ 10
- FTMO success, FT+ success x 8
FTMO is a demo only environment
All trades executed on FTMO platforms by all traders, whether on evaluation programs or as funded traders are not placed in the real market. No money is made and no losses are incurred. This is known in the business as running their own “book”.
FTMO are big enough to do this. They can afford to pay the winners directly out of their profits, especially given their very low success rate. This is therefore a loser pays the winner model, the many pay the very few.
Now, in reality does this matter to the client trader? Not really. For most traders, what matters is getting paid not who pays them. For the industry and new start-ups however this does create a problem.
Demo or Real Money Funded Account?
Newer funded trading companies can decide to do the same and run a “book” or not, but doing so comes with big risks. When you have fewer clients, it becomes more likely that you may not generate enough money to pay a highly successful trader or a number of clients who have all done well at the same time. Running a “book” before you have a very large number of clients is very risky, it is however done by a number of firms.
Recently, the firm ‘Funding Talent’ was unable to pay a number of successful traders when the market went their way. The firm closed down, taking the traders’ money with them. Only last weekend, DT4X also closed down. We suspect this is for the same reason. Be careful other prop firms will close in the near future.
At Funded Trading Plus we place all funded clients in the real market. This means we will lose money with a number of these traders. When they fail, we take the loss. We have measures in place to limit our losses and hedge where necessary to ensure our company is not buried through losses. This is the risk that we bear and the reason why traders come to prop firms in the first place. We won’t close because of trader losses.
Great Trading Can Ruin Demo Prop Firms
Counterintuitively it’s the upside that has the potential to ruin a prop trading firm. If many traders all have a great week and generate lots and lots of profit and want paying out then using our real money model, that profit really does exist and we can pay them. This protects us and our traders from “doing a Funding Talent”.
Successful traders make us and themselves real money. It’s a partnership and we work hard to help our traders succeed, it’s in our interest to do so. Traders who come to us appreciate the difference.
If you want to know if a funded trading firm is running a “book” or placing you in the real market, ask them. If they are not making it clear on their website, then the chances are they are running a book. Check their terms and conditions, do your due diligence.
I don’t think there is a single prop trader who’ll be happy to hear the prop firm hasn’t generated the funds to match their winnings.
Drawdown – Fixed drawdown versus trailing drawdown
We can fit the different drawdown models into 3 boxes: Static Drawdown, Trailing and Trailing then static.
The static drawdown method is used by FTMO. The maximum you can drawdown is fixed by the program and stays at the same rate. FTMO are able to use this method because they have such a high number of clients and besides because they give clients such high leverage the majority will breach this drawdown anyway, remember if only 1% get paid, 99% fail.
The trailing drawdown method is used by most of the Futures Prop Trading firms. This is where the allowed drawdown percentage moves up with successful trades at the same percentage distance as the equity of the account increases. This drawdown amount stays the same distance from the equity “high water mark” and the trader always has to trade above the drawdown level and cannot afford to increase risk as the account equity grows.
The FT+ Drawdown Method
At Funded Trading Plus we use the trailing then static method. Our drawdown starts at the same or similar level as FTMO but moves up as the trader makes profit in proportion to the profit. The amount of drawdown remains the same. As the trader increases the profit, the drawdown will at some point equal the starting balance of the account. At this point the drawdown stops trailing. The trader is then able to decide whether to withdraw profits or continue to increase the account size for later withdrawal.
When there is a trailing drawdown the trader is forced to continually question their risk and trade management on every trade and this is something that all traders should do if they are to succeed. Yes, our traders have to think more and we think that’s a good thing, and so far, our traders agree.
Downside Trading Risk Management
Having the trailing drawdown is the “cost” of putting our funded traders in the real market. Every time we fund a real trader with real money that money immediately is subject to high loss risk. If the trader trades badly, straight down, then we lose all that money. Each time they trade well however, that risk is diminished by the trailing drawdown until the risk is removed. It’s this risk removal that enables us to fund another new trader.
FTMO will give you free rein, do as you wish. We’ll ask you to consider good trade account risk management. Which of these two approaches do you think is more likely to help a trader have a long term career as a prop trader?
Minor Differences between FTMO and Funded Trading Plus
There are other differences between the two firms, but most of these are minor and will only be important to some traders.
Who you deal with
FTMO had nearly 1 million accounts last year. As a trader you can only ever be a number to them. You’ll maybe get to communicate with a customer service representative who can deal with a set number of standard issues. Good luck if you actually want to speak to someone.
At Funded Trading Plus the directors are hands on. You can speak to us directly and we have spoken personally with every one of our funded traders. We’ll listen to your suggestions and we’ll try to help you become profitable.
Difficult for me to comment to directly of FTMO’s rules. Certainly they have many more than we do. These rules are not that easy to initially ascertain from the website and without purchasing an account we can’t be sure what other rules their accounts have. Forums and Trust Pilot have a number of complaints about rules and how the traders were unaware of them. For example different market symbols may have different news announcements you are not allowed to trade over. We’d like to see better clarity on FTMO rules.
FTMO have both maximum and minimum trading days for their accounts. They may call their fee a one-off but if you have to restart every 30 days, then that’s not exactly a one-off fee.
Minimum trading days don’t work from a prop firm or trader perspective, if you make the profit target in 1 day, waiting 10 days and taking 9 meaningless, spread only trades to get over this rules does seem a bit pointless to us.
Maximum trading days is the one we don’t like the most. Effective, safe and well risk managed traders take their time and wait patiently for set-ups. A maximum number of days forces them to speed up and take higher risk. This inevitably leads to a higher failure rate.
We’d very much like to thank all of the traders who have come over from FTMO to trade with us. We believe that your choice to move will prove to be a great decision – and that is what being a great prop trader is all about. Making great decisions and managing risk.