A Complete Funded Futures Account Breakdown: The Rules

This post may contain affiliate links. By purchasing products through these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. In addition, any charts for financial instruments in this article are for education only. The examples shown here do not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument. Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.
If you would like to learn more, please read this Disclaimer for details.

This is Part 2 of this series of A Complete Funded Futures Account Breakdown, in which I will explain every aspect of the funded futures account.

Now that you’ve read up on all of the costs associated with this evaluation, you may have your credit card ready. But before picking the right firm for your funded futures account, it’s good to learn all of the rules. In this article, I’m going to go over all of these rules, for both the evaluation and funded account phases.

There aren’t many, but some of the rules with futures accounts become more stringent once you’re funded. So it’s a good idea to be familiar with them before beginning.

Most firms have some common rules, which I’m including in the first section. Afterwards, I will discuss the rules unique to each firm, to help you see where one excels and another falls short. You should consider which system seems to suit your trading style and personality best.

Rules, Rules, Rules

You might already know the most common rules for funded futures accounts. Feel free to skip ahead if you are not new to this.

Some of these rules apply to the evaluation phase only, where you are proving your ability to trade in a controlled and responsible manner. Other rules are introduced only in the funded account phase.

The evaluation that is the most straightforward, and thus easiest to pass, is better for experienced traders. The ones that are strict and limit you from gambling may be better for beginner traders.

Whichever type of trader you are, these programs are serious. You MUST follow the rules if you want to pass. There is no wiggle room most of the time. If you break them, you will blow your account and have to start over.

Sound unfair? It’s really not. This process helps stress the importance of being a professional when you’re trying to get someone else to back your business. If you struggle to follow rules, trading may not be for you.

The Maximum Drawdown

Depending on the firm and the size of the account, there will be a hard limit for losses. This should be self-explanatory; losing a ton of money should never be allowed. Thus, you can expect strict rules on how much you can lose in any funded futures account before it is considered a failed evaluation.

There are three main types of drawdowns.

  1. If the account has a static drawdown, this means your account is evaluated after you close a trade. So if your drawdown is $3,000, and you are down $500, you’re fine. Keep trading and make it back.
  2. If your account has a trailing drawdown, this drawdown will move up with your account balance as it changes, even if the position is not closed yet. This is the most difficult system. Assume you have an open trade with a profit of $1,000. Your drawdown will move up $1,000 (with each tick). If you happen to close your trade at $0 or even a loss, the drawdown stays at the starting point +$1,000. It will not go down a single tick from the max profit of your unrealized trade. Keep this in mind when going for large winners on your evaluation account.
  3. Finally, some firms feature an EOD trailing drawdown. This is similar to the trailing drawdown, but it will only be moving at the end of the day, and not with open positions.

Daily Loss Limit

Some evaluations also feature a Daily Loss Limit. This is simply a limit that you cannot exceed in a single trading day, and it works in one of two ways. I’m going to refer to them as either soft or hard limits.

Soft Limit

The soft daily loss limit is the point at which you can no longer place trades that day. If you lose this much money in a day, you have to stop trading. If you try to trade more, the system will reject the order.

Hard Limit

The hard limit is similar to the drawdowns discussed above – if you hit this, you fail the account. This is rare, but a few firms do use it still.

Scaling Rule

Sometimes, a firm will have a rule on scaling. This just means that if your account has a max of 10 contracts, you cannot start trading the maximum size on day 1. As you build your account to a certain threshold, you will be permitted to increase the size, typically by 2-4 contracts at each threshold.

In the evaluation phase, this is rarely enforced, it is a strict rule on certain funded accounts. The Leeloo funded “Investor” account (link here) is an example of this. Earn2Trade, on the other hand, requires traders to follow scaling rules during both the evaluation and on the funded account.

In my eyes, this is a great system for beginners, and a hindrance for professionals.

Consistency

Some firms enforce a consistency rule on evaluations. This essentially means that you cannot earn too much of your profit target in one day (or one trade). Instead, they want traders to prove that they can place winning trades consistently, with several small or mid-sized winners rather than one big one.

Depending on the firm, you will have to follow a guideline that limits your max single day’s profits to some percentage of your profit target.

Minimum Days Requirement

There will often be a minimum days requirement. Even if you have reached the profit target on your evaluation, many firms still require that you meet this requirement for multiple reasons.

First, they want to ensure that you are not gambling your way to getting funded. Some traders may open a trade with the maximum size, get lucky, and achieve the profit target that first day. This is not sustainable, especially if it was a gamble. Thus, most firms will expect such a trader to continue to trade and show consistency in their strategy.

Second, it’s a successful business strategy. If you mess up on an evaluation account that requires 15 trading days, and your monthly subscription is almost due, you are forced to start a new subscription instead of resetting the account for a smaller fee. For better or worse, this forces traders to spend a little more money than they would have to if there was no days traded requirement.

I consider this a drawback, because it forces a talented trader to waste time.

However, it is there for a good reason, too. Gambling in the markets is not a good approach, and it deters those that are not doing this seriously. With that said, I am still counting it against the prop firms to have a higher trading days requirement.

Multiple Accounts

Most firms don’t mind if you use multiple evaluation accounts to increase your odds. But you might be interested in managing multiple funded accounts to multiply your returns as well. There is often a limit to how many funded accounts you can have at any firm.

At some, this limit is as low as 2. At others, it goes up to 20. I’ll include this in the complete table, but always verify this part when signing up for more than one account. This way you won’t accidentally pay for more accounts than you can actually get funded with.

Avoiding Major News Events

Several firms have a rule prohibiting traders (especially funded traders) from trading during major news releases.

The time may vary. Each firm that uses this rule specifies that for a few minutes before and after a news event, you are not allowed to have any open positions if that news event pertains to the market you are trading. Don’t make the mistake of leaving positions open without being aware of what news is coming out that day.

However, while the rule is straightforward, I consider it a disadvantage. Not being able to trade during those times is a massive blow to the technical trader that knows how to play those news releases correctly.

This is the calendar I use to stay on top of upcoming news.

Holding Overnight/Over the Weekend

These accounts are meant for day trading, so holding overnight is almost never permitted. If it is, they will specify it, and I will mention as well. I’ve only seen it a few times with regards to futures accounts, and for good reason.

Holding overnight or over the weekend carries extreme risk in some cases. If you do not follow it you will instantly fail, at every single firm on the list.

Something to keep in mind is that every funding company also has slightly different rules for this. You may have to close all positions by 15:10 CT at one company, but another will allow you to wait until 15:59 CT. I will mention this under each company’s main section.

Platforms

I won’t be saying much about platforms, because there’s such a wide variety of platforms and most firms allow you to use almost any of the most popular ones. You can see the supported platforms at OneUp Trader below.

For the most part, traders go with something like NinjaTrader, especially because most firms provide a free license to funded traders. But I use Rithmic a lot, and have been enjoying the free version of Quantower as well.

Apex Trader

At Apex Trader, there’s a few unique rules to be aware of. You have to trade for a minimum of 7 days for each evaluation.

Positions at Apex must be closed by 14:59 CT each day.

Consistency

If you are trading 1-2 e-mini contracts during your evaluation, and then you start trading 4 or 5 on the last day, you may have a problem. Apex doesn’t have a rule of profit percentages, but they do want to see you trade similar sizes through the entire evaluation and for this to continue in your funded account.

With that said, they claim that they are quite lenient during the evaluation phase. It may be more strict during the funded account, so just establish the right habits early.

Trailing Drawdown Does Not Stop Trailing

There is an extremely important distinction to make here between Apex and other firms. While the trailing drawdown typically stops once it reaches the account’s initial balance, the drawdown at Apex will continue to move up regardless of how much money you make.

For example, on the $100,000 account, you have a profit target of $6,000 and a trailing drawdown of $3,000. When your balance reaches $105,000, this trailing drawdown moves up to $102,000. At other firms, this drawdown would typically stop at $100,000, giving you a buffer of $5,000. At Apex, the drawdown is always $3,000 below your maximum unrealized profits.

This applies to the evaluation phase only. During the funded account, the drawdown stops at the initial balance +$100 (excluding the static drawdown, where it does not move), similar to other firms.

Funded Account Rules

No Trading Activity Required

If you go on vacation for 2 months, your funded account stays intact. This is definitely an advantage, but keep in mind you will still be billed monthly if you opt for the monthly fee instead of the one-time activation fee.

No Trading News

I had to reach out to confirm this, but ApexTrader does not allow trading the major news releases during the funded account. You must have all positions closed 5 minutes before, during, and after the release.

All Positions Must be Closed Before Market Close

You already know by now that you’re typically not allowed to keep a position open into the afternoon close or over the weekend. However, at Apex, you cannot even keep an open order while the market is closed, or you will lose your account.

This is another distinction that you should be aware of, which may not be the same everywhere. Be sure to cancel all open orders before you shut it down for the day.

Check out Apex Trader here.

BluSky Trading

In the evaluation, BluSky Trading requires 8 trading days. In addition, you must follow both the trailing drawdown and daily loss limits. Outside of these two rules, there is no way to fail your evaluation.

At BluSky, the system rejects orders placed outside of the permitted trading hours. In addition, positions are auto-liquidated 15 minutes before markets close. This is both a good and bad thing, but for beginners, it provides some relief. You know that if you step away, your account will safely close all positions for you.

At the same time, do your best not to rely on this system in case it somehow fails to close your positions – you don’t want to blow an account for something this simple.

Consistency

The consistency rule here requires you to earn no more than 30% of your profit target in one day. So for a $25,000 account, you must stay below $750 total profit on a single day. If you do earn too much in a day, you will have to earn more, until your single day counts as less than 30% of total profits.

This rule does not apply to the funded account.

Funded Account Rules

At BluSky, there is a process that takes place during the funded account, in which your BluLive account gets upgraded to a Live Brokerage Account. The rules are also different here. I’ll explain.

When you finish your evaluation, you are given access to a BluLive account, which is live but has no eligibility to withdraw profits. As you increase your account balance past a certain threshold (profits of 6%), your account becomes a Live Brokerage Account.

At this stage, your attained profits remain in the new account, but you are given a fixed drawdown instead of a trailing drawdown. There is also no daily loss limit in the funded account. You are free to trade news, and BluSky even offers consideration to increasing your contract sizes as you progress in the same account. This is not mentioned by most firms.

Check out BluSky here.

Bulenox

Bulenox requires a minimum of 5 trading days to pass their evaluation. In addition, there are two types of funded accounts, with slightly different rules on each.

Positions at Bulenox must be closed by 15:59 CST each day.

No Scaling Account

The only rule on the No Scaling Account is to stay above the trailing drawdown. This trailing drawdown stops moving up once it reaches the initial balance, like with every other firm (except Apex Trader Funding).

EOD Account

Daily Loss Limit

On the EOD Account, there is a daily loss limit, which is quite strict relatively.

Bulenox EOD AccountsDaily Max Loss
$10,000$400
$25,000$500
$50,000$1100
$100,000$2200
$150,000$3300
$250,000$4500
Scaling Rule

In addition, there is a dynamic scaling plan, which you must follow for both the evaluation and funded EOD Accounts. You can see the thresholds below.

Bulenox $25,000 EOD AccountProfit Required
2 Contracts$0-$1,500
3 Contracts$1,500+
Bulenox $50,000 EOD AccountProfit Required
2 Contracts$0-$1,500
4 Contracts$1,501-$4,000
7 Contracts$4,000+
Bulenox $100,000 EOD AccountProfit Required
3 Contracts$0-$2,000
5 Contracts$2,001-$3,000
8 Contracts$3,001-$5,000
12 Contracts$5,000+
Bulenox $150,000 EOD AccountProfit Required
5 Contracts$0-$4,000
8 Contracts$4,001-$8,000
10 Contracts$8,001-$12,000
15 Contracts$12,000+
Bulenox $250,000 EOD AccountProfit Required
6 Contracts$0-$5,000
12 Contracts$5,001-$12,000
18 Contracts$12,001-$20,000
25 Contracts$20,000+

Outside of these rules, there isn’t much to worry about. You can trade news on either account. You can trade as much size as you want on the No Scaling Accounts.

Check out Bulenox here.

Earn2Trade

Earn2Trade requires a minimum of 15 days to pass their Trading Gauntlet. In the past, they had a 60 day evaluation, so this is quite an improvement, but still not matching the most competitive firms.

You might recall the “Trader Career Path” I mentioned in Part 1 of this series. I won’t go into it much here, but the rules are the same for both types of evaluation.

Positions at Earn2Trade must be closed based on the following closing times:

  • All positions and working orders must be closed by 15:50 CST until 17:00 CST.
  • GF/HE/LE must be closed by 13:05 CST until 17:00 CST.
  • XC/XK/ZC/ZL/ZM/ZS/ZW must be closed between 7:45-8:30 CST and then again between 13:20-17:00 CST.

Consistency

Earn2Trade’s consistency rule is the same as BluSky’s. You must make sure your biggest day does not exceed 30% of your total profit by the end of your evaluation, however long that takes.

This rule does not apply to the funded account.

Scaling

Earn2Trade enforces a scaling rule during both the evaluation and funded phases. You can view the scaling thresholds below. This system is only found at a few of the firms on this list, and Earn2Trade’s thresholds are much lower than others I’ve seen.

Earn2Trade $50,000 AccountProfit Required
2 Contracts$0-$1,500
4 Contracts$1,501-$2,000
6 Contracts$2,000+
Earn2Trade $100,000 AccountProfit Required
3 Contracts$0-$1,500
6 Contracts$1,501-$3,000
9 Contracts$3,001-$4,500
12 Contracts$4,500+
Earn2Trade $150,000 AccountProfit Required
4 Contracts$0-$1,500
6 Contracts$1,501-$3,000
9 Contracts$3,001-$4,500
15 Contracts$4,500+
Earn2Trade $200,000 AccountProfit Required
5 Contracts$0-$1,500
7 Contracts$1,501-$3,000
10 Contracts$3,001-$4,500
16 Contracts$4,500+

Check out Earn2Trade here.

EliteTrader Funding

EliteTrader has five separate sets of evaluation accounts, the rules are slightly different for each. You can view the main details of each account in Part 1 of this series. For the most part, you only have to trade a minimum of five days and avoid your drawdown. Depending on the account type, this drawdown might be static, trailing, or a combination of an end-of-day trailing drawdown with a daily loss limit.

Perhaps the most interesting account offered is the Diamond Hands account, allowing holding overnight and over the weekend. However, the other rules are essentially the same as what I’ve covered already.

Positions at EliteTrader must be closed by 15:59 CST each day.

Funded Account Rules

Active Contracts Only

One interesting “rule” here is that funded traders must trade the most active contract of any market they are trading. So when the contract expiration date is coming and the previous contract is no longer the most current, you must be aware and switch to the more active contract.

This is mostly common sense for experienced traders, but beginners are less likely to know this. Now you know.

There is no rule for scaling or trading news/volatile sessions.

Check out EliteTrader here.

Leeloo Trading

Leeloo Trading requires a minimum of 10 trading days, but not much else. During the evaluation, you are basically free to do anything you want, except hit the drawdown.

You are not allowed to hold positions overnight like with most firms, but Leeloo explicitly grants permission to hold up to 3 micro contracts through the close on funded accounts. If you’re interested in holding a larger position overnight, you may be allowed depending on how well you are doing.

During practice accounts, you can hold your positions through the 1 hour close each day.

Outside of 3 micros or being granted special permissions by Leeloo, all positions must be closed by 15 minutes before the close of that instrument (for most markets, this means 15:45 CST).

Funded Account Rules

One of the big advantages at Leeloo is that there’s very little restriction on trading strategy, even in the funded account. While you must obey a scaling system, there are two separate funded account types, called the Accelerator and Investor.

The Accelerator

With this account, traders must scale up to reach the maximum position sizes allotted for their account. In addition, the drawdown is a static $625, which forces traders to be careful with their risk initially, but quickly increase their positions if they are profitable.

The Investor

On the Investor Account, traders can trade maximum size from day 1. This is only an advantage if you really know what you are doing. The trailing drawdown here is dependent on the account size, but will trail until it reaches the account balance + $100.

Check out Leeloo Trading here.

OneUp Trader

At OneUp Trader, there’s a few rules to be aware of. In addition to the 15 required trading days, which is among the highest, traders must follow consistency rules during the evaluation. A few rules are also added once you get funded, which I’ll cover below.

Positions at OneUp Trader must be closed by 15:15 CST each day.

Consistency

The consistency rule is unique and works in two ways. I’ve explained the first way here, but to reiterate, your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th most profitable days must add up to at least 80% of your 1st most profitable day. If you are making similar profits each day, you will be fine.

Second, your consistency is evaluated in terms of how many trades you take. If you are taking 500 trades during your evaluation by scalping, you will be expected to keep up about 50% of your pace when you are funded. You cannot take 100 trades per week during the evaluation and then only 5 trades a week once funded.

To play it safe, trade less frequently during your evaluation, and aim for bigger wins. If you overtrade, you will be forced to trade at a higher rate than you may want to, once you’re funded.

This rule does not apply to the funded account.

Funded Account Rules

Once you’re funded, a few new rules get added. You must avoid major news releases and follow a scaling system designed to limit your position size until you hit a certain profit threshold.

No Trading Major News Events

You must be flat for one minute before and after every major news release. If you violate this rule, you will get a strike. A second violation will cost you your funded account.

OneUp retains the right to not count those profits, so I advise you not to risk it.

Scaling System

OneUp doesn’t have a system for scaling during the evaluation, which is a good thing. But it’s a bit deceptive for beginners.

If you’re new to trading, you may be able to pass the evaluation by securing some profits on larger positions. However, once you’re funded, you must not trade greater than the allotted size, or you will get a strike and/or lose your funded account.

You can see the profit thresholds for each account size below.

OneUp $25,000 AccountProfit Required
2 Contracts$0-$1,500
3 Contracts$1,500+
OneUp $50,000 AccountProfit Required
2 Contracts$0-$1,500
4 Contracts$1,501-$4,000
6 Contracts$4,000+
OneUp $100,000 AccountProfit Required
3 Contracts$0-$2,000
4 Contracts$2,001-$3,000
6 Contracts$3,001-$5,000
12 Contracts$5,000+
OneUp $150,000 AccountProfit Required
5 Contracts$0-$4,000
8 Contracts$4,001-$8,000
10 Contracts$8,001-$12,000
15 Contracts$12,000+
OneUp $250,000 AccountProfit Required
6 Contracts$0-$5,000
12 Contracts$5,001-$12,000
18 Contracts$12,001-$20,000
25 Contracts>$20,000

Check out OneUp Trader here.

TakeProfit Trader

TakeProfit Trader has a 5 trading day requirement and a consistency rule as well. They also take a firm stance against several things: trading news releases, carrying positions into extremely volatile days, being inactive, and executing any form of high-frequency trading.

Positions at EliteTrader must be closed by 15:00 CST each day.

Consistency

To meet the consistency requirement, you must make sure that no single day’s profit exceeds 50% of the overall profit target. In other words, if the profit target is $6,000, make sure you don’t make $3,000 in a single day.

This rule does not apply to the funded account.

Funded Account Rules

No Trading News Releases

Once funded, traders must abide by a few rules. Positions must be closed for one minute before, during, and after any major news release.

Limit Up/Limit Down Days

Something I never see mentioned by other firms is the incredible limit up/limit down market conditions that create massive trends and claim the accounts of many novice traders. When this happens, it means the market has fallen or risen past what is permitted in a daily session. In these situations, the funded trader must have closed their positions before the limit is hit. If you do not, you lose the account.

No Extended Breaks

You must place a trade at least once per calendar week. This is an easy rule to follow, but still something to be aware of if you ever go on vacation with those profits.

No High-Frequency Trading/Scalping

TakeProfit Trader does not want traders taking a ton of trades in a single session. There is a hard limit of 50 filled trades allowed in a single day, regardless of size. So if you buy 5 contracts, and sell them one at a time, each sale will count as a separate executed trade.

Be careful and count your executions if you’re someone who often takes more than 20 or 30 trades in a day.

Check out TakeProfit Trader here.

TickTick Trader

With TickTick Trader, there is no minimum trading days requirement.

Positions at TickTick Trader must be closed by 15:59 CST each day.

Consistency

There’s no consistency rule here. You can pass in a single day if you are good enough.

Funded Account Rules

There is a scaling rule that takes effect once funded, on what they call the “TTPerformance Account”.

The daily loss limit during the evaluation is below.

TickTick Trader AccountsDaily Loss Limit
$25,000 (Starter)$500
$50,000 (Advanced)$1,250
$100,000 (Pro)$2,500
$100,000 (Express)None

Scaling Rule

You can see the TickTick Trader scaling system below. The thresholds here are much higher than the ones I’ve seen elsewhere. However, they also allow more contracts per account than most firms.

This must be followed on all accounts, including the $100,000 Express.

TickTick Trader $25,000 AccountProfit Required
2 Contracts$0-$1,600
4 Contracts$1,601+
TickTick Trader $50,000 AccountProfit Required
2 Contracts$0-$1,600
5 Contracts$1,601-$5,000
8 Contracts$5,001-$8,500
10 Contracts$8,500+
TickTick Trader $100,000 Account*Profit Required
3 Contracts$0-$2,100
6 Contracts$2,101-$5,100
10 Contracts$5,101-$8,500
14 Contracts$8,500+
*=This same system applies for the $100,000 Express

Check out TickTick Trader here.

TopStep

At TopStep, there isn’t a minimum trading days rule, but a consistency rule covers it.

Positions at TopStep must be closed by 15:59 CST each day.

Consistency

If you earn more than 50% of the profit target in a single day, you will have to attain a higher overall profit target that would help offset that single day.

Like at some other firms here, you are free to achieve the max profit quickly, but you must be careful not to overdo it in one trading session. Other than that, nothing stops you from attaining funding in just a week.

Scaling Rule

During the evaluation, traders do not have to follow a scaling rule. But during both the Express and Live Funded Account phase, you must follow the following scaling plan.

Note that once you cross a threshold, you are not allowed to immediately start trading a larger size. You must trade the size that is allowed based on your balance at the beginning of a trading session.

TopStep $50,000 AccountProfit Required
2 Contracts$0-$1,500
3 Contracts$1,501-$2,000
5 Contracts$2,001+
TopStep $50,000 AccountProfit Required
3 Contracts$0-$1,500
4 Contracts$1,501-$2,000
5 Contracts$2,001-$3,000
10 Contracts$3,000+
TopStep $50,000 AccountProfit Required
3 Contracts$0-$1,500
4 Contracts$1,501-$2,000
5 Contracts$2,001-$3,000
10 Contracts$3,000 – $4,500
15 Contracts$4,500+

Express Account vs. Live Funded Account

Between the evaluation and the fully live funded account, there’s a phase called the Express Account. Traders in this phase have to meet certain requirements, and then the account and all profits are transferred to a live funded account.

In the Express Account, you need 5 separate trading days with $200 profit each, while following scaling rules.

If you are able to meet these requirements, you will be notified and your account will be switched to a live brokerage account. Traders are allowed to withdraw profits during either of these two phases.

Live Funded Account Rules

In addition to following the same general system, the live funded account places tighter restrictions on traders.

First, the drawdown switches from an EOD Trailing Drawdown to an Intraday Trailing Drawdown. This means that all unrealized profits will move your drawdown, and you have to be more careful about capturing profits in time.

Next, the max position size does not automatically scale at the start of a trading session. You have to notify TopStep to adjust your account for you when you meet the next threshold.

Finally, traders are subject to CME Exchange Data fees when in the live account. I have gone over these fees in the first installment of this series.

Check out TopStep here.

TradeDay

TradeDay requires you to trade for a minimum of 10 days.

The evaluation doesn’t have any rules that deviate much from what you’ve seen already above. However, they enforce their consistency a little more explicitly than some other firms.

Positions at TradeDay must be closed by 15:59 CST each day, and are recommended to be closed 10 minutes before market close.

Consistency

If you have reached the profit target in just 5 days, you must continue trading in a similar manner, until you reach 10 days. If you scalp with micro contracts to pass the days requirement, they will require you to produce more reliable results until those 10 days are met.

On top of trading in a similar way for the whole evaluation, your most profitable day cannot exceed 30% of the profit target. To play it safe, just stop early if you are having one of those days.

TradeDay provides this example:

“For example, the profit target is $2500 x 30% = $750. This is the maximum you should make in any one day if you want to have all days marked as consistent on the day you reach the profit target.”

Neither of these consistency rules apply to funded traders.

Funded Account Rules

Upon passing the evaluation, traders have the option to go to an intermediary Funded SIM account, or straight to a Funded Live Account.

No Trading News Releases

Positions must be closed two minutes before and after news releases. There is a zero tolerance rule for this, and any profits gained during news releases will be removed.

Funded SIM

On the Funded SIM, the account is set up within 12 hours. There is no account activation fee, professional market data charge, or real trading going on, but you will be able to withdraw up to $5,000 that you earn here.

Once you produce $5,000 of profits on the Funded SIM account, your account will be moved to the Funded Live Account, and any excess profits will not be kept.

Funded Live

Instead of earning $5,000 in the Funded SIM, traders can opt to go straight to trading live. In the Funded Live Account, setup takes about 5 days. Traders have to use Tradovate, which requires that you are identified as a professional. Professionals pay $122 per month to trade futures, per exchange traded.

In addition, there is a new rule implemented, called the 20/20 rule.

The 20/20 Rule

First, let me remind you that the trailing drawdown here is applied only at EOD.

With the Funded Live Account, there is an important rule that works as a limitation on daily losses. They call this the 20/20 rule.

“If a funded trader incurs losses to within 20% of the Trailing Maximum Drawdown (TMD), that is losses of 80% of the TMD, all open positions will be liquidated and trading shut off for the day. The trader’s position limits will then be reduced to 20% of the maximum position limits for that account, and the trader can resume trading the next day.”

In other words, if you are losing anywhere over 80% of the maximum drawdown possible for your account, you will be stopped from trading. All your positions will be liquidated, and your maximum position limits will also be reduced to 20%.

This works in your favor as a safety precaution, in case you are not managing your risk appropriately. Once you get your account back in the green, the position limits are removed. And if you bring your trailing drawdown up to the account’s initial balance, the 20/20 rule is also removed.

UProfit Trader

UProfit has a requirement of 5 minimum trading days.

In addition, there are scaling and consistency rules, but scaling takes effect only in the funded account.

Positions at UProfit must be closed by 15:10 CST each day, and are recommended to be closed 10 minutes before market close.

Consistency

The consistency rule is to keep your single day’s profits no higher than 30% of the profit target on that respective account. We’ve seen this before, so I won’t explain it again here.

Funded Account Rules

Scaling Rule

Once funded, the scaling rule is as follows. UProfit permits scaling at lower tiers than most other firms, especially on the larger accounts.

UProfit $25,000 AccountProfit Required
2 Contracts$0-$1,500
3 Contracts$1,500-$2500
4 Contracts$2,501+
UProfit $50,000 EOD AccountProfit Required
2 Contracts$0-$1,500
4 Contracts$1,501-$4,000
6 Contracts$4,000+
UProfit $100,000 EOD AccountProfit Required
3 Contracts$0-$2,000
4 Contracts$2,001-$3,000
6 Contracts$3,001-$5,000
12 Contracts$5,000+
UProfit $150,000 Limited Edition AccountProfit Required
5 Contracts$0-$2,500
6 Contracts$2,501-$5,000
8 Contracts$5,000+
UProfit $200,000 EOD AccountProfit Required
3 Contracts$0-$2,000
4 Contracts$2,001-$3,000
6 Contracts$3,001-$5,000
12 Contracts$5,001-8000
20 Contracts$8,000+

Weekly Trading Activity is Required

UProfit Traders cannot be inactive with the funded account. You must place one trade per week, minimum, or risk losing your account.

Check out UProfit Trader here.

Where Does Each Account Type Rank for its Rules?

This table covers just about everything regarding each evaluation, and prepares you for the system you will need to trade when you get funded. The scaling rule is often only implemented for the funded traders, but you’ll see a few evaluations incorporate it as well.

You’ll be aiming for about the same profit target no matter which firm you pick, as long as the account size is the same. The drawdowns and monthly costs are similar, and can be viewed in each firm’s respective section in Part 1 of this series. I’ve left them off to save space.

I’ve also omitted the contracts you get per account, but this variance is worth consideration if you’re a serious trader. The difference between 5 contracts at TradeDay and 8 contracts at Leeloo on the same $50,000 account is significant. To brush up on the account sizes, please visit Part 1.

Days RequiredConsistency RuleDrawdown TypeDaily Loss LimitScaling Rule (* if during evaluation)Can Hold Overnight?Can Trade News?Max Funded AccountsResetsMy Grade
Apex Trader7Size should be consistentTrailingNoneNoNoNo (+/-5 min)20$80-1007.25/10
BluSky8Biggest day < 30% of total profitTrailingNoneNoNoYes2$856.5/10
BluSky (Static Growth)8NoneStaticNoneNoNoYes2$858/10
Bulenox (No Scaling Account)5NoneTrailingNoneNoNoYes11$789.5/10
Bulenox (EOD Account)5NoneEOD TrailingHard LimitYes*NoYes11$788/10
Earn2Trade15Biggest day < 30% of total profitsEOD TrailingHard LimitYes*NoYes3$1005/10
EliteTrader 1 Step5Biggest day < 40% of total profitsTrailingNoneNoNoYes20$758.5/10
EliteTrader EOD 5Biggest day < 40% of total profitsEOD TrailingHard LimitNoNoYes20$757.75/10
EliteTrader Fast Track5 (14 max)Biggest day < 40% of total profitsTrailingNoNoNoYes20N/A8.5/10
EliteTrader Static5Biggest day < 40% of total profitsStaticNoNoNoYes20$759/10
EliteTrader Diamond Hands5NoneEOD TrailingHard LimitNoYesYes20$758.5/10
Leeloo Trading (Accelerator)10NoneTrailingNoneNoOnly up to 3 micros*Yes10$859/10
Leeloo Trading (Investor)10NoneStaticNoneYesOnly up to 3 micros*Yes10$859/10
Leeloo Express Account10 (10 max)NoneTrailingNoneYesOnly up to 3 micros*Yes10N/A9.75/10
OneUp Trader1580% of Biggest day <= Next Top 3 days’ profits TrailingNoneYesNoNo (+/- 1 min)3$1005.25/10
TakeProfit Trader5Biggest day < 50% of total profitsEOD TrailingHard LimitNoNoNo (+/- 1 min)3$1005.75/10
TickTick Trader1NoneEOD TrailingHard LimitYesNoYesUnlimited (No Copy Trading)$858/10
TickTick Trader Express Account10 (10 max)NoneEOD TrailingNoneYesNoYesUnlimited (No Copy Trading)N/A8.75/10
TopStepNone^Biggest day < 50% of total profitsEOD TrailingSoft LimitNoNoYes1 Live (+3 Express Accounts)$496.75/10
TradeDay10Size should be consistentEOD TrailingNoneNoNoNo (+/- 2 min)1$996.75/10
UProfit5NoneEOD TrailingHard LimitYesNoYes?$598.25/10
UProfit (Limited Edition)5NoneEOD TrailingNoneYesNoYes?$1759.25/10
*= Profit must cover the position’s maintenance margin overnight/over the weekend on the Funded Account.
^= No trading day requirement, but based on consistency rules, it will likely take at least 3 days.

How to Use This Information

As you see in the table, there are a few major differences when it comes to certain rules. Ask yourself these questions to better understand what kind of system is more suitable for you:

  • Are you a trader who often gets large profits on one day but not throughout the week? Consider a firm that doesn’t have a consistency rule.
  • Do you prefer to be held accountable by a daily loss limit, that forces you to stop trading if you are having a bad day? Consider a firm that enforces a (soft) daily loss limit.
  • Is it too easy to earn 6% in 10 or 15 days, to the point that you consider waiting an extra week a waste of time? Consider a firm with fewer (or 0) required trading days.
  • What if one of your trades has a big unrealized profit? Does your system tell you to let it run, even at the risk of price coming back all the way to your entry or stop loss? Consider a firm that does not use a trailing drawdown.
  • Do you need to trade news releases? Consider a firm that has no rules against this, but most of them do.

I have considered these companies from the point of view of both an experienced trader (whom can capitalize from them the most), and a beginner trader (whom seems like the average new customer). In all likelihood, your personal approach will demand a different type of account, and that’s okay. Just be honest with the above questions and feel free to ask me if you need more personalized advice.

How I Graded These Firms

My grades are based on what a professional trader thinks about an evaluation like the ones presented. The more restrictions placed on the trader, the lower the score.

If you know what you’re doing, you can pass every single one of these evaluations in one try. But some traders don’t enjoy having so many restrictions in the funded accounts, regardless of experience.

With that said, the easiest and most straightforward evaluations are the ones that earned an 8.0 or higher. The ones with lower scores will be a bit more frustrating to deal with.

Note that none of this is considering the cost. A funding company may score high on this ranking while being a terrible investment because of its pricing. if you want to read more about the costs, you will have to visit Part 1 of this series.

My Grading System for The RulesPoints
Required more than 5 days-1
Profit-Based Consistency Rules-1
Unrealized Trailing Drawdown-0.5
EOD Trailing Drawdown-0.25
Enforces a Daily Loss Limit-1
Scaling Rules (during Evaluation)-0.5
Scaling Rules (during Funded)-0.25
Not allowing News Trading-1
Less than 5 accounts allowed-1
Not allowing copy trading-0.5
Not allowing resets-0.25
Allowing holding overnight+1
Refunded Evaluation Cost (Express Accounts)+1

In Conclusion, Follow the Rules

The best way to get funded is to do it on the first try. This takes preparation, especially if you are new to trading. This will not be possible if you employ a gambling strategy, so I advise against treating these like a casino. What I recommend is that you read up on every single rule, write them down if you can’t memorize them, and view them before you begin each trading day, and again at the end while closing all of your positions.

A routine like this should be adopted when you establish your own trading system. The difference is that while you can technically break your own rules, there’s no deviating allowed here.

Early on, I made the mistake of leaving a position open until the market halt at 4:15 EST, and immediately failed one evaluation. Another time, I closed a position 30 seconds before a news release (instead of 1 full minute), and received a strike on my funded account.

Over time, having these restrictions shaped my trading system, but altogether it’s been for the better. I suspect you will have a similar experience if you approach this as a way to improve your discipline.

Feel free to share your thoughts, in case there’s something I missed or a perspective you can add.

Which funding company seems the best to you, based on rules alone?

Review Part 1 to refamiliarize yourself with the cost of a funded futures account. Or, move on to Part 3, where I share everything you’ll need to know before withdrawing your profits.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *