When it comes to prop firms, it’s likely that FTMO is the name that anyone interested in funded forex trading hears first. And it’s no surprise: the Czech prop firm is an industry leader, boasting thousands of traders on its platform. In this FTMO review, we’ll discuss everything the firm has to offer, as well as its pros & cons, pricing, withdrawals, and how the FTMO Challenge itself works.
FTMO is a Czech company that was founded in Prague by a group of experienced traders in 2014. The project was originally known as ziskejucet.cz – “Ziskej Ucet” is Czech for “get your account”. The philosophy behind the project was a mutual respect for self-discipline, and the ability to benefit from other people’s ideas and strategies.
The project was extremely popular, and after securing more funds, it was launched on an international basis in May 2017 under the current name.
FTMO meaning – what does it stand for?
FTMO is the first initial of the company’s four founders: Filip, Thomas, Marek, and Otakara.
FTMO Review – How does FTMO work?
The company is a prop firm. Prop trading, or proprietary trading, to give it its full name, is a great solution for competent traders who have the skill but not the capital. Traders using a prop firm basically use someone else’s money to trade with. Any profit is then split between the trader and the prop firm.
There are two different kinds of funded prop trading:
- A challenge-based evaluation, where you must trade within a set of rules and prove that you are profitable in one or more phases.
- Instant funding, where you pay a fee in order to get immediate access to a funded account. While there’s no challenge, there’s still going to be a set of rules you must respect, and breaching one or more of them will probably forfeit your account and fee.
FTMO’s flagship offering is the FTMO Challenge, which is obviously a skill-based evaluation. It consists of two phases. Once you’ve passed both phases, you can trade for real money. Plus, your challenge fee will be refunded. However, if you breach any of the limits as to how much you’re allowed to lose, your account will be invalidated and you’ll have to attempt the evaluation again.
FTMO funded account benefits
- If you pass the challenge, you can start trading with as much as $200,000 USD
- If you’re profitable on a long-term basis, you may be eligible to trade with up to $2 million USD
- The challenge fee is refundable when you pass.
- Once you’re funded, you’re immediately eligible for 80% of what you make, potentially rising to 90%.
- Wide variety of instruments to trade, including forex pairs, indices, commodities (e.g. XAUUSD and oil), futures, equities, and crypto.
FTMO review – how does the FTMO Challenge work?
It’s pretty simple. While prop firm evaluations are often referred to as a prop firm challenge, the FTMO evaluation process consists of two phases. “FTMO Challenge” technically only refers to the first phase of the evaluation. The second phase is the “Verification”.
The FTMO Challenge phase is pretty simple. Here’s a brief summary of the rules, which are known as Trading Objectives:
- You have 30 calendar days to increase the original account balance by 10%.
- You must trade for at least 10 days. These days don’t have to be consecutive. You just need to place at least one trade on one day, ten times.
- You must not lose more than 5% of the account in a single day.
- You must not lose more than 10% of the account overall.
Once you’ve done this, you should then be eligible for the Verification phase. This is very similar to the Challenge. Here are the rules and objectives:
- The rules on maximum daily and overall losses are the same.
- You have 60 calendar days to increase the original account balance by 5%. In other words, compared to the Challenge, you have twice as much time to increase the account balance by half as much.
If you breach any of the rules during either phase of the evaluation period, your challenge will be marked as invalidated and you’ll forfeit your fee. There is nothing stopping you from buying another Challenge, although FTMO does not offer any discount for subsequent attempts.
FTMO Review – FTMO Account types
There are a few extra account options that have an effect on the rules of your challenge. Firstly, you can choose a style of trading, either Normal or Aggressive. The Aggressive setting doubles the Profit Target and loss limits mentioned above. For the Challenge, your Profit Target is 20%, your daily maximum loss limit is 10%, and your maximum overall loss limit is 20%. The proportions are scaled for the Verification too: your daily and overall loss limits are also 10% and 20% respectively, and you have 60 calendar days to make 10% of the starting account balance.
Finally, you can pick between a “Normal” and “Swing” setting. With a “Swing” account, you’re allowed to hold trades overnight and over the weekend, and you’re also allowed to trade during news events. This setting also affects the leverage on your account: it’s 1:100 on Normal, or 1:30 on Swing.
FTMO typically doesn’t allow Normal account holders to keep trades over the weekend. In order to do this, you’ll need to contact customer support to get permission.
FTMO Account costs and sizes
The entry cost is pretty reasonable, and about average for the industry. You can have an account in Euros, British Pounds, Swiss Francs, Czech Krone, or American, Australian, or Canadian dollars. Regardless of which currency you pick, there are five standard account sizes. The actual amount of currency, relative to the other currencies, depends entirely on which currency you choose. For example, the highest available starting account in USD is $200,000, but the highest one in GBP is £140,000. At the time of writing, that is less than $170,000 USD, which is a huge difference. It’s definitely worth going through all of the different account currencies to make sure you get the best value in terms of account capital.
Here are the evaluation fees for accounts in US dollars:
- $10,000 account = €155 fee
- $25,000 account = €250 fee
- $50,000 account = €345 fee
- $100,000 account = €540 fee
- $200,000 account = €1,080 fee
- $10,000 account = €250 fee
- $25,000 account = €345 fee
- $50,000 account = €540 fee
- $100,000 account = €1,080 fee
Obviously, the more starting account capital and desired level of maximum drawdown, the higher the fee. The maximum highest capital evaluation you can take on the Agressive Risk style is the second-highest possible starting capital on the Normal Risk style. For example, the $200,000 USD or £140,000 GBP accounts are not available on Aggressive mode.
If you’re good – and consistently good – there’s the possibility of trading with much more than your initial account capital. If you can deliver at least 10% profit over four months (or 20% on the Aggressive risk mode) and with at least 2 payouts within that period, FTMO will increase your account capital by 25%. Your loss limits will stay the same as a percentage (5% maximum daily loss, 10% overall). This scaling can continue all the way up to $2 million per trader. It is this scaling that then switches the profit split from 80/20 to 90/10 in your favor.
FTMO Demo account
One really cool feature is the FTMO free trial. It lasts 14 calendar days, so minus the weekends, you’ve basically got 10 trading days. As you only have half the time of the Challenge, the profit target and minimum trading days are also halved. However, true to the real evaluation, the loss limits stay the same. There’s no obligation to pay for a real challenge once the trial is over, and you don’t even need to provide any payment details when signing up. It’s a fantastic way of getting a flavor of the real FTMO challenge before shelling out your hard-earned cash for one, regardless of whether our FTMO review convinces you or not. However, passing the shortened challenge on a demo account doesn’t change the process or prices for the real evaluation in any way.
FTMO MetriX & Account tools
The tools in the FTMO client area are really first class. The “MetriX” system has a break down of every single one of your trades, and vital statistics such as your win rate and risk-to-reward ratio. There’s also a chart showing the progress of your account, and a Trading Objectives section that makes it very clear where you stand in terms of the rules and targets.
One extremely impressive feature is the journal. You can make detailed notes about why you entered and why you exited a trade, and there’s even the option to upload “before” and “after” screenshots of the charts you used. Keeping a journal is definitely one of the best forex trading tips out there.
FTMO Frequently Asked Questions
Is FTMO Legit? Is the FTMO Challenge real?
Yes, absolutely. FTMO is a legitimate company and its evaluation is probably one of the most well-known prop firm challenges out there. The firm has won Deloitte’s Fast 50 award three times in a row, in 2019, 2020, and 2021. The award recognizes the fastest-growing technology companies in Central Europe. At the time of writing, FTMO has over 25,000 traders from over 180 countries.
The FTMO trading community has a substantial online presence. There is no shortage of FTMO traders on places like YouTube and Reddit talking about their trading career. There is an also an FTMO leaderboard that publicly lists the firm’s most profitable traders. Plus, the company recently introduced Proofscan on Challenge and Verification pass certificates, as well as Profit Split certificates. Simply scan the QR code and you can confirm whether or not a trader and their profits are real.
FTMO Review on TrustPilot
As further evidence of its credibility, FTMO also has a verified TrustPilot profile with thousands responses. At the time of writing, it has 2,838 customer reviews with a 4.9 star “Excellent” rating. Out of every 20 reviews, approximately 19 of them give the full five stars.
Is FTMO regulated?
FTMO is not regulated. However this is because the firm is neither a broker nor a dealer. As mentioned, traders simply pay a fee for the chance to trade on a demo account.
Is FTMO a scam?
No. FTMO is a legitimate and industry-leading prop trading firm. It’s a registered Czech business with physical headquarters in Prague. Its success has been verified by Deloitte, the business and financial services consulting firm.
What is FTMO Verification?
Verification refers to the second phase of the Evaluation. However, if you pass the evaluation, you will need to verify your identity and address due per the typical “KYC” (Know Your Client) anti-money laundering regulations.
FTMO Free Repeat – can I get a second chance?
While the rules on losses are watertight, there is a bit of flexibility when it comes to the Profit Target. FTMO knows that sometimes the market conditions may not be ideal for passing, and if at the end of your Challenge, you’ve traded for 10 days, you haven’t exceeded the loss limits, and your account is in profit, you’ll get a free repeat. You can attempt the evaluation again at no further cost.
And even better than the free repeat: if your account is in more than 5% of profit as of the last three days of your Challenge and you’ve respected the trading objectives, you’ll be eligible for a 14 calendar day extension. We think this is a really great feature that underlines FTMO’s core philosophy of rewarding prudent and disciplined traders. After all, a free retake is great, but it must be really frustrating to have to start again from scratch if you’re more than halfway towards the Profit Target. It’s great that FTMO realizes it’s a shame to push the reset button on traders even when they are making noticeable gains.
How can I get an FTMO discount?
FTMO does occasionally offer season discounts. For example, at the end of 2019, it offered a 10% end-of-year discount on all Challenges. But as mentioned, there are no discounts on additional challenges if you fail your first one.
FTMO EA – Can I use algos and Expert Advisors?
In this respect, FTMO is probably one of the most generous prop firms out there. As long as you respect the Trading Objectives, you can trade pretty much however you like. Expert Advisors, algorithmic trading, hedging, and so on, are all allowed. As long as your trades are legitimate and FTMO can replicate them on its own corporate accounts, your strategy is entirely your discretion. You can trade all of the instruments that are available in your trading platform, and there’s no limit on position size beyond the necessary margin.
However, if you use third-party algos and EAs, you should bear in mind that other traders may also use them too. FTMO reserves the right to deny you an account if they play a role in exceeding its maximum capital allocation rule. They will also ask you to adjust your EA settings if it causes hyperactivity on a server, which is fair enough.
FTMO Pros and cons
- Very well-known and trusted prop firm.
- Getting up to 90% of what you make is very generous. Some firms only offer 50%.
- There’s no monthly subscription, and you’ll get your fee back if you pass the evaluation.
- Excellent array of tools for keeping track of your trades and their results.
- Almost no restrictions in terms of strategy.
- The evaluation process is two stages, not one, and is potentially quite time-consuming. It can last up to three months. Fortunately, if you meet all the Challenge objectives by day 17, you don’t have to wait another 13 days before starting Verification. The same goes if you pass the Verification early. FTMO will start reviewing your results and set up your official FTMO trader account immediately.
- Making 10% of your account within 20 days of daying is pretty tough, although there is at least the possibility of extending or retaking the evaluation if you don’t quite make the target.
- Even if you pass the evaluation, you’ll only ever be trading on a demo account.
FTMO Review Verdict
If you’re looking for a tried-and-tested prop firm that offers good payouts, FTMO is definitely worth a look. True, the evaluation process is a little complicated and potentially quite long-winded, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Plus, if you pass the evaluation, you’ll get your fee back, which is really neat. We hope our FTMO review has given you a good understanding of their offering. If you’re not convinced yet, try the free trial.