If you want to know whether or not you could pass a prop trading firm challenge, you should definitely sign up for an FTMO free trial. FTMO is one of very few prop trading firms that allow you to put your skills to the test on its platform, without having to put up a single cent. That way, you can see for yourself if paying for an FTMO challenge would actually be worth it.
FTMO free trial: what is it and how does it work?
Firstly, we’re a huge fan of demo accounts and a strong believer in the idea that you should first demonstrate that a forex trading strategy is actually profitable before risking real money on it. And frankly, we don’t see why prop firm challenges should be an exception to this rule. After all, prop firm trading challenges cost money to do, and the majority of them end in failure. Fortunately, FTMO has a solution so you can see if you’ve got what it takes to crack one.
Simply head over to FTMO.com and click the button for a Free Trial. There’s a quick registration, but it only takes a couple of minutes and you won’t even need to provide any payment details.
At this stage, you’ll be able to choose the following:
- The account size
- The account currency
- Your trading platform, either MT4 or MT5.
- Your level of risk. The two options are “Normal” and “Aggressive”.
- Your account type. A normal account comes with 1:100 leverage. The Swing account type permits you to trade during news events, and to hold trades overnight and over the weekend.
FTMO free trial registration complete
Once you’ve done that, you’ll then get an e-mail confirming the details above. You will also receive links for downloading your chosen trading platform onto your device. MT4 is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices.
As for your trading platform login credentials, you can find these in your Account MetriX area. From the FTMO home page, simply click “Client Area”, then “MetriX”, and then click “Credentials” at the top. There’s a little icon of a key next to the link. This will open a pop-up window with the account number, trader and investor passwords, the server name (usually FTMO-Demo in this case), and a couple of links for the trading platform software if you need to download it again.
Note that you must activate your free trial within 7 seven days of receiving the e-mail that welcomes you to it. If not, the trial account will be deactivated. You can activate it simply by placing your first trade.
Differences compared to a real challenge
There are basically only three differences between the FTMO free trial and the paid challenge. The main one is the duration: the free challenge only runs for 14 days, whereas the paid one lasts for 30. The other differences concern the objectives, namely trading activity and the profit target – both are essentially halved. Your target for a 30-day paid challenge is 10% profit, with a minimum of 10 trading days. In order to “pass” the free trial, your profit target is 5% and you need to trade for at least 5 days.
Note that you can only have one free trial running at any one time. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to reset the account manually. If you want to go to the starting point, you will have to claim another free trial, which you can only do once your current one has expired.
The trial itself
Once you’ve got everything set up, you basically get exactly the same features in the Client Area that a paid challenger gets, such as a graph showing your account balance, some basic stats regarding your trial, including its start and end date, your results for the day, and your trading objectives.
The trading objectives are simply just a condensed version of the first phase of the FTMO Challenge:
- You have 14 days to increase the starting account balance by 5%
- You must trade for a minimum of 5 days. These days don’t have to be consecutive.
- You must not lose more than 5% of the starting balance in a single day.
- You must not lose more than 10% of the starting balance throughout the trial.
The Trading Journal
By far one of FTMO’s best features is the Trading Journal, which thankfully is available to you even on the free trial.
The Trading Journal is a log of all of your trades. It records the following details:
- The unique ID number of the trade, known as the Ticket
- When the trade was opened
- Whether the trade was a buy or sell
- Lot size
- The SL and TP. Note that the FTMO free trial does not require you to use a stop loss. Some challenges do, and some prop trading firms consider the opening of a trade without a SL as a breach of the rules.
- The price of the instrument when the trade was closed
- Swap fees
- Commission fees
- The number of pips gained or lost
However, what is really great about the Trading Journal is that you can really use it as a journal. You can categorize your trades by giving them custom tags, make a note of your reasons for entering and exiting the trade, and you can even upload two screenshots of your charts per trade – one at your time of entry, and another at your exit. Keeping a journal is one of the best forex trading tips, so we think this tool is a real win.
You should bear in mind that “passing” the free trial will not give you any additional eligibility for a funded account or change the rules for getting one. Nor will it give you any discount on a real paid FTMO challenge.
That being said, the free trial is a splendid way of getting a taste of what a funded trader challenge is like, without having to shell out any cash for the experience.
Alternatively, if you want to go straight into a paid FTMO challenge, don’t miss our article on this topic, which includes some tips from an FTMO funded trader on how to pass. Good luck!