This article was written when the Topstep Forex program was still running, but since April 2022, Topstep has said Goodbye to Forex markets and invited their Forex community to join the Futures program.
Why did Topstep shut down the Forex program?
Most members of the Topstep team are Futures traders, and it becomes harder for them to follow forex traders and the forex market globally. When the TopSep was created in 2012, it included only a Topstep futures program, and the Topstep Forex program didn’t start until 2018, but after 4 years of operating this program, Topstep team has chosen to cancel the forex program and return to their original field of trading, Futures trading.
Let us start by briefly examining FTMO and the old program of Topstep Forex, to have an idea of what they are about. Both of them are prop firms with funded trading programs whereby traders that display the required trading skills, are given access to funded accounts once they pass the tests successfully.
FTMO is looking for traders that will qualify for its funding program and have access to funds to trade forex. The company determines this through a two-step evaluation course and these steps are known as the FTMO Challenge and the Verification. The evaluation is designed specifically to identify talented traders so that they can have a chance at building successful careers in trading.
Get more details here about FTMO Evaluation.
Before the shut down of the Forex program, Topstep was looking to give Forex traders a platform to develop a wide array of trading skills that will set them up to earn significant profits in the forex market.
Topstep also offers a very popular evaluation for Topstep Futures traders that is still running, but in this article we will focus on the old Forex program that doesn’t exist any more.
Topstep had also, like FTMO, a two-step evaluation called “The Trading Combine”, that intending traders need to pass successfully, by displaying an effective application of Topstep’s software, excellent risk management, and implementation of a winning strategy. This is how the companywas able to determine traders who are likely to adequately manage the funds made available to them.
Get more details here about the old Topstep Forex Evaluation.
FTMO and Topstep: Available Account Sizes and Prices
FTMO Account Sizes and Prices
Below is a table showing the account sizes that are available in FTMO along with the corresponding fees to be paid and other necessary information:
Topstep Forex Account Sizes and Prices
Below is a table showing the account sizes that were available in Topstep along with the corresponding prices and other necessary information:
Accounts Differences between FTMO & Topstep
There are some striking differences between the two funding programs and we will start with the price or fee paid for the various account sizes.
Whereas the fee for FTMO is a one-time payment, it is different with Topstep as the payment were monthly until the trader passes the combine or deactivates the account.
Topstep had only three account sizes that traders can choose from with the largest account being the $500K account. On the other hand, FTMO has five different account sizes for traders to choose from, with the largest account being the $200K account. However, FTMO has a scaling plan through which traders can grow their accounts and access up to as much as two million dollars.
What was The real sizes of Topstep accounts?
When it comes to the Topstep accounts, the account size is the buying power of the account. What this means is that the account balance is what you have when you utilize the leverage on the accounts which is 1:100.
In essence, a $200K account size is in reality a $2,000 account.
Whereas with FTMO, what you see is what you get as the account size mentioned is the real account balance.
FTMO and Topstep Profit Split
Once traders have shown the capability to manage funds adequately and employ solid risk management strategies in trading, they are given access to funds from the prop firms to engage in live forex trading on the market.
When it comes to splitting the profit, traders are entitled to 80% of the profits both at FTMO and Topstep, which makes the profit split to be 80:20 ratio with the firm taking the remaining 20%.
However, there are slight differences in the process of receiving and accessing the profits.
With FTMO, traders can eventually become entitled to as much as 90% of the profits through the scaling plan that allows traders to continually grow their accounts and have access to more funds. In this case, the more traders can utilize the scaling plan, the larger the profit share they will have.
With Topstep, once trading with the firm’s funds begins, the first $5,000 in profits belongs to the trader. Subsequent profits are then subjected to the 80:20 profit share, and traders can withdraw their profits at any time. Also, withdrawals that are over $500 are free from wire fees.
FTMO Rules vs Topstep Rules
There are similarities between their rules as well as peculiar differences which distinguish them from each other and we will be examining those next.
FTMO and Topstep Evaluation steps
They both have two steps in their Evaluation process.
For FTMO, the first step is known as the FTMO challenge while the second step is called the verification. In Topstep, they are just referred to as Step 1 and Step 2.
for the FTMO challenge (Step 1), traders need to show that they are responsible and have a solid grasp of risk management. The main thing traders need to achieve in this step is to meet the profit target without breaching the drawdown that has been set.
For the verification (Step 2), it is all about testing the trader’s consistency; the ability to trade profitably over a long period without the violation of any rule.
Topstep Forex steps
in Step 1, traders need to prove their mettle that they can engage in profitable trading without breaking any of the company’s rules.
Step 2 is about traders demonstrating their levels of risk management and this is where the company determines if a trader is eligible for funding.
FTMO and Topstep Minimum trading days
For the two steps involved in the evaluation process of FTMO, there is a minimum of 10 trading days which means that for a trader to complete a particular step, he or she must have traded for at least 10 days in every step.
However, with Topstep, there are no minimum trading days in all steps, which means traders can take the least amount of time to achieve the target for the first step before moving on to the second step after which they can qualify for funding.
FTMO and Topstep Maximum Daily and Weekly Loss
The maximum daily loss is applicable in FTMO but there is no maximum weekly loss. While in Topstep, there is no maximum daily loss instead, the maximum weekly loss is applicable.
What is the FTMO daily loss limit?
FTMO has maximum daily loss which is referred to as the “trader’s daily stop-loss” rule. According to this rule, the maximum daily loss is 5% of the initial account balance. So at any period of the day, (Central European [Summer] Time), all closed positions plus the floating P/Ls (profits/losses) that are currently open, must not reach the defined daily loss limit.
What was the Topstep weekly loss limit?
Topstep has maximum weekly loss which states that the net profits & losses of a trader must not reach or exceed the weekly loss limit at any moment during the trading week, spanning from Sunday 4:00 PM CT to Friday 3:45 PM CT (where CT is Central Time). The weekly loss is based on the account equity of the trader, as of the previous Friday following the close of the trade, and it is usually calculated automatically on the trader’s dashboard.
This means that the weekly loss limit is incorporated into the calculation for each trading day’s accrued and unaccrued profits/losses. Therefore, if a trader’s account should fall below the weekly loss limit, any trades that are still open will be liquidated automatically which will cause such an account to be ineligible for funding.
FTMO and Topstep Maximum Loss
What is FTMO maximum loss limit?
FTMO refers to this as the “account stop-loss” rule, which states that under no condition or period during the duration of the account must the equity of the trading account fall below 90% of the initial account balance.
For example, for the FTMO Challenge with an account size of $200K, the lowest acceptable equity on the account is $180K. Also, it is an addition of both the open and closed positions as this is about the equity of the account rather than the balance.
The logic behind the calculation of the maximum loss is just like that of the maximum daily loss except that this does not cover a day but rather the total duration of the evaluation process.
The maximum loss is set at 10% of the initial account balance which gives the trader ample opportunity to prove that his or her account is worthy of being funded.
What was the Topstep maximum loss limit?
The maximum loss in Topstep is referred to as “the account loss limit”. It functions like a trailing maximum drawdown which means that it increases with every highest balance that the trader attains on the account.
For the $200K buying power account (the $2000 account), the account loss limit is set at $1,300 which is an indication that once trading starts on the account, the balance must not decline below $700 ($1,300 below the original starting balance of $2,000).
It should be noted that the account loss limit will never increase beyond the initial starting balance of the account, and in this case, it is $2,000. If the realized or unrealized account balance should ever fall below the defined account loss limit, all open trades get liquidated thus rendering the account ineligible for funding.
FTMO and Topstep Profit Target
What is FTMO profit target?
At FTMO, the profit target is the profit in the sum of closed positions that a trader needs to achieve on the trading account that has been provided within 30 to 60 days depending on the stage of the evaluation the trader is in.
For the FTMO Challenge (Step 1), the profit target should be achieved within 30 days and it is set at 10% of the initial balance. while for the verification stage (Step 2), the trader has 60 days to achieve the profit target and it is set at 5%.
What was Topstep profit target?
With Topstep, the profit target refers to the realized amount that the trader needs to attain to qualify for the next step of the trading combine. Once this is achieved, the trader needs to close all the open trades and such a trader will be moved to the next step when the trade report for that night is uploaded.
FTMO and Topstep Leverage
what is the FTMO Leverage?
The leverage offered by FTMO is 1:100 and it cannot be increased. However, it can be lowered if the trader makes the request.
what was the Topstep Leverage?
Topstep also offers the leverage of 1:100 which was alluded to earlier in the article. However, on some currency pairs, the leverage can be 1:50 or 1:33 due to fluctuating market conditions and traders should note this information.
FTMO and Topstep Trading Times
what are FTMO Trading Times?
FTMO allows traders undergoing the evaluation process to maintain positions overnight and even keep trades open over the weekend but once they become funded traders, such trading activities are prohibited to reduce the risk that traders are exposed to.
what were Topstep Trading Times?
Trading times in Topstep start from Sundays 4pm CT to Fridays 3:45pm CT and traders are not allowed to hold positions over the weekend as all trades must have been closed by the preset time on Fridays.
FTMO and Topstep Reset Option
The reset option is not available in FTMO, but Topstep provides it as a way for traders to get a fresh start in the trading combine whenever they have violated rules that have caused their accounts to be invalid and ineligible for funding. The charge varies from $89 to $139 depending on the account size, and there are no limits to the number of times resets can be used in the trading combine.
FTMO Pros and Cons
what are FTMO advantages?
- The profit split is 80:20, but that can be bumped up to 90% such that traders have a larger share of the profits while FTMO only gets 10%.
- Traders can eventually get to manage 2 funded accounts with a combined worth of $400,000 depending on the trading consistency displayed.
- Withdrawal of funds is straightforward and quick.
What are FTMO disadvantages?
- It may be difficult to complete the challenge successfully especially when traders lack self-awareness and emotional discipline.
- Breaching any rule will cause the account to be invalid and be ineligible to keep participating in the Evaluation Course. To keep participating, the trader will have to buy a brand new FTMO challenge.
- There is no option of a reset.
Topstep Pros and Cons
What were Topstep advantages?
- Traders was entitled to the first $5,000 in profit that they make.
- The profit split was 80:20 with 80% belonging to the traders while the remaining 20% goes to the firm.
- Traders had the option of resetting if their accounts become invalid and ineligible to keep participating in the trading combine.
what were Topstep disadvantages?
- There was usually no clear cost of the evaluation process, as it might take a longer time than expected for traders to complete the trading combine successfully.
- The performance criteria were quite rigid thus making it more difficult to get funded.
- The monthly fee needed to keep operating the trading combine account was expensive along with a steep reset fee that is about $100 on average.
Now that we have examined the information about FTMO and the old TopstepFX, it is clear that both are excellent prop firms that provide traders with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in trading that is both rewarding and fulfilling. Now that the Forex program at Topstep is not available anymore, FTMO is the best choice in the whole market at this moment, as we already know all existing offers in the market. It is up to traders to be determined and committed to achieving success and they will undoubtedly put themselves firmly in a position where they are eligible for funding from these firms.