page title icon Prop Firms Turn to ThinkMarkets; Crazy Stats from the Funded Trader – Prop Trading News

March 12, 2024

My logo that says Prop Firm News, in a sort of 70s font that is derivative of the New York Post logo.

August 28, 2023

Hello again, friends! Welcome to another of my weekly prop firm updates. Today I’ll cover some broker changes, some very interesting statistics from the Funded Trader, and we see what happens when AI goes up against a real, flesh and blood financial advisor.

I should mention at the top that this newsletter is, as always, written by my own proprietary LI (limited intelligence) as opposed to AI. All intelligence found in this newsletter – or lack thereof – comes strictly from the not so vast expanse between my own two ears. 

Promo of the week!

I’m shocked that Topstep is still running their outrageous promo. They’ve cleared their backlog and are accepting new traders at prices that exceed 70% off. They really can’t keep this up forever, so I’m telling you, if you ever wanted to try Topstep’s futures prop trading program, do it now! 

I’ve rated them my best prop trading program for two years running, and *SPOILER ALERT* I’ve begun my annual review process, and they’ll almost certainly be in the top spot once again for 2024.

SurgeTrader migrates all traders to ThinkMarkets

SurgeTrader has been with EightCap forever, but that all changed this weekend. On Tuesday, SurgeTrader sent out an announcement over their Discord and other social media channels that they were making the switch to ThinkMarkets. 

There seems to be a lot of shuffling going on amongst prop firms and their brokers lately, so this wasn’t a huge surprise, but I was a little taken off guard by the speed at which they wanted to make the transition. They asked all traders to close positions by the end of trading Friday, so that they could migrate all accounts to ThinkMarkets before the market opened Sunday.

It seems like the transition has gone pretty well thus far, despite some inevitable confusion, although I’m writing this on Sunday night. We’ll know more once everyone starts trying to place trades on Monday.

In general, I think most traders will applaud this move. EightCap’s reputation has taken a hit amongst prop traders lately, and although SurgeTrader thanked EightCap for their long standing partnership, they cited “more accurate market depth, pricing, and execution” as the reason for the move to a new broker. 

The one thing that concerns me about this move is the timing. For one, they did it awfully quickly. I don’t recall any announcements regarding a broker switch prior to Tuesday. Most prop firms would provide at least a few weeks notice for such a drastic change. 

The timing is also suspect because it comes on the heels of the SEC’s announcement regarding SurgeTrader CEO Jana Seaman’s husband’s alleged ponzi scheme. As a rule of thumb, any time a prop firm is under siege a big announcement or change can be a sign that they are not out of the woods just yet. Things still seem to be business as usual for SurgeTrader, but I’m still going to be cautious with them – for at least the next few months.

About ThinkMarkets

SurgeTrader isn’t the only prop firm using ThinkMarkets. In late April, the Funded Trader also moved a number of accounts from EightCap, but since ThinkMarkets is still a relatively unknown commodity, I thought I’d write a brief introductory blurb.

ThinkMarkets was founded in 2010 and is based in Australia, although they have offices worldwide. They are considered a very safe broker due to their compliance with the FCA, CySEC, FSCA, ASIC, JFSA and FSA. They offer MT4, MT5 and their own proprietary trading platform known as ThinkTrader. They have a lot of tradable assets – through SurgeTrader they offer more than 1,500 – including forex, CFDs on equities, cryptocurrencies, commodities, indices, futures and more.

They’re also for the most part well-reviewed, so here’s hoping they can offer an improvement when compared to EightCap’s spreads and occasional slippage.

“The craziest statistics ever dropped by a prop firm” 

That’s a quote from Funded Trader CEO Angelo Ciaramello when they released some figures on Discord. I’m a little shocked by the Funded Trader’s transparency in general, so I couldn’t wait to see what they were revealing now. I wasn’t disappointed!

The numbers were released in mid-August and covered “the last three months” of trading. The Funded Trader revealed that their three biggest spending traders had each purchased more than $40,000 worth of challenges in that time frame – and none of them were actually funded! That’s insane!

So why would someone who had that much capital deal with a prop firm at all? Why not just trade those funds rather than deal with a prop firm’s rules and risk losing it all if you don’t pass the evaluation? Well, the answer came in the next set of numbers, which covered a 12-month time frame. 

The Funded Trader’s top trader spent $55,279 on challenges and withdrew profits of $553,213.That’s an ROI (return on investment) of greater than 900%. Additionally, the Funded Trader reported multiple traders with ROIs higher than 16,000% in the last 12 months. 16,000%! Their top trader, in terms of ROI, bought one challenge for $949 and pocketed $173,953 in profits, for an ROI of 18,000%+! That’s pretty good! ROIs that high are only possible if you can significantly scale your capital, which is why we’re all willing to put up with the red tape that comes with using a prop firm. 

Here’s a link to the Funded Trader’s data dump, albeit with a warning – it’s an Adobe file that for whatever reason was left on edit mode, so it has more or less been vandalized with comments, highlighters and a scribble or two. 

Financial advisor vs. AI

I really enjoyed this article over at Fortune – the writer pitted ChatGPT vs. a real financial advisor to see who gave better advice. It has a real John Henry vs the steam driller vibe – the nearly obsolete human pencil pusher vs ChatGPT, which has access to all the knowledge ever recorded in human history.

And who won? 

The human! 

As expected, the human was able to develop a more nuanced retirement plan based on writer Coryanne Hicks’ scenario, but financial advisor Thomas Kopelman even bested the machine in math. That’s a big victory for those of us with pulses.

Economic calendar

There’s a lot of European economic data coming in this week, starting with Germany announcing consumer confidence on Tuesday and inflation data on Wednesday. On Thursday inflation data for all of Europe will be announced, and we’ll also hear the thoughts of the European Central Bank.

Stateside, we get inflation data on Wednesday and unemployment data on Thursday.

Be patient and trade well, friends!

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