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October 18, 2023

August 7, 2023

Typically July and August are pretty lazy months in the prop trading universe, but not so in 2023! Almost every prop firm I cover had a major announcement, starting with some insane discounts out of our favorite prop firm in Chicago, and ending with a flurry of prop firms contemplating the nature of time. 

I’m not sure who downloaded the stock photo of an hourglass or infinity sign first, but time-related graphics were in hot demand this summer. 

Yes, even the venerable FTMO got in on the action. Here’s the prop trading firm headlines from the last few weeks.  

The 5%ers Announces UNLIMITED TRADING DAYS

Graphic from the 5%ers announcement of "Unlimited Time, Unlimited Opportunities" with an infinity sign.

As far as the prop firms I cover, I think the 5%ers were the first to go unlimited on all of their accounts. They’ve made a lot of great changes this year, and I really need to update my 5%ers review. For the longest time you went to the 5%ers for instant funding and little else, but they’ve added some really interesting programs, and their integrity and trader support remains at the top of the class.

If you needed any other evidence of the 5%ers influence, just look what happened once they announced all programs would have unlimited trading days. Clearly the 5%ers have become the thought leaders in the prop trading world, as their big announcement was followed by…

FTMO Announces UNLIMITED TRADING DAYS

Graphic from FTMO's announcement for unlimited trading period. Also features an infinity sign.

Yes, FTMO, the stubborn industry stalwart, changed its ways. They’ve had the same 30-day / 60-day two-step evaluation since my son was in short pants, and he’s old enough now to buy me a beer (He’s not 21 yet, but we live in a place that’s pretty lax when it comes to alcohol laws.) 

If you’re a fan of this newsletter you’ll recall that I wrote a little blurb two months ago about how FTMO NEVER changes, and now they’ve gone and proved me wrong. They even through in a 10% discount — only the second significant promo I can remember from FTMO. Of course, it only lasted 24 hours.

I also think they could have been a little more original with their graphic that accompanied the announcement, however. Looks nearly identical to what the 5%ers used.

True Forex Funds Announces TIMELESS FUNDING

Graphic from True Forex Fund's announcement of "timeless funding" featuring a purple clock.

True Forex Funds also made the change to unlimited trading days, albeit with a slight twist. They called the new rule “Timeless” rather than unlimited. I like that. Timeless. It makes me think of a couple in a ‘50s film, meeting at a greasy diner but dressed to the nines for some reason. It’s raining outside. Their love is forbidden and yet it’s… timeless. Kudos to the TFF marketing department. I want to sign up for an account and buy a trench coat.

The Funded Trader Announces UNLIMITED TRADING DAYS

Our knights in shining armor also made the switch a few weeks after the 5%ers. CEO Angelo Ciaramello summed things up pretty nicely on the Funded Trader discord channel: “the industry is changing, and we must continue to adapt…”

What to do with UNLIMITED (TIMELESS) TRADING DAYS

The cynics among you might think this industry shift is just a marketing ploy, and that’s a big part of it, no doubt. But the intended or unintended effect is that unlimited trading days are a huge boon for low-risk traders. The grinders. The traders who book small profits, avoid big losses, and patiently look for trading opportunities, content to sit out a session if nothing presents itself.

If that’s you, you are in luck. If that’s not you, it should be. Without time constraints, you can take your time to get funded. Have a clear understanding of the risk/reward ratio behind every trade. Wait out the market and find your setups. Don’t over-lever yourself. Be smart. Be cautious. Get funded. That’s the bottom line. 

Topstep Update

In case you’ve spent the summer off the grid in the Andes or someplace, our friends at Topstep had a massive sale. We’re talking 70% off or more for my favorite prop trading company. How did that go? So well that they’ve had to open up a waiting list for prospective traders.They were overwhelmed. I’m pretty sure they’ll be accepting new traders again shortly, but I’d guess that prices will go back up close to normal. So signing up for the waiting list to lock in these great prices last is probably a good deal.

Sending traders to a waiting list is pretty unusual in the prop trading world, but I think it speaks to how Topstep values their traders. Rather than overbook themselves and offer terrible customer service – which most prop firms would do – Topstep is hitting the pause button so that they can give every trader the attention they deserve.

Economic Calendar

There’s some significant data dumps coming on Thursday and Friday according to the TradingView economic calendar. US core inflation inflation rates come out Thursday. For obvious reasons inflation has been on the forefront of everyone’s mind the last few years, but doesn’t it seem like we’re getting far more inflation data than we used to? Is there inflation data inflation? Discuss.

On Friday the UK will release its GDP data, and we’ll see just how confident the University of Michigan believes the typical CONTINENTAL American consumer is. Yes, the Michigan Consumer Confidence Index ignores the good people of Hawaii and Alaska, despite the fact that they achieved statehood in 1959. Get with the times, Michigan! 

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