Day Trading Futures with Prop Firms

Can you envisage finally kicking off your trading career, with $50,000 of capital to trade, for under $50? This scenario is entirely feasible if you choose to partner with a proprietary trading firm. Engaging in day trading futures with prop firms can be an exciting and lucrative avenue, with the firm providing access to capital, sophisticated trading tools and a well-organised and supportive atmosphere in which to refine trading strategies and skills. In this FuturesPropTrading article, we explore everything there is to know about day trading futures with prop firms, from the fundamentals of how it works through to effective strategies for success.

What is a Proprietary Trading Firm?

Proprietary firms (more often called “prop firms” for short) are financial institutions that use their own funds to trade a range of financial instruments – including futures contracts – and generate profits from the financial markets. Most prop firms employ a team of traders to trade on their behalf.

The four key steps to getting started are as follows:

  1. Establish an educational foundation: Before venturing into the world of day trading with a prop firm, it’s imperative to establish a strong knowledge base, ensuring you understand the fundamentals of futures trading, managing risk and technical analysis. Lots of prop firms provide educational contents to help you with this, such as group coaching or even one-on-one coaching, and some prop firms require prospective traders to possess a certain level of trading proficiency.
  2. Choose the appropriate prop firm: Prop firms differ widely in the services they provide, so it’s important to thoroughly research a number of firms and select one with a good reputation that will suit your trading style and objectives, see our Top 10 Futures Prop Trading Firms. Key factors to consider are a firm’s profit-sharing structure, the features offered to potential funded traders, the range of futures markets they provide access to, and the firm’s trading infrastructure.
  3. Initial evaluation: When you’ve chosen a prop firm you think you want to work with, the firm will require you to complete an evaluation process, also often called a challenge. While each prop firm has its own process, most evaluations assess your trading skills, how well you manage risk, and your levels of rigour and discipline.
  4. Funded trading accounts: Aspiring funded traders who successfully complete the evaluation generally then qualify for a funded trading account, with which the firm supplies capital for trading. The profits you generate are split between the trader and the firm according to the firm’s profit-sharing framework. Some of the best futures prop firms, such as Topstep, Apex Trader Funding (ATF), and MyFundedFutures (MFFU) offer up to 90% profit share, meaning you take 90% of the profits made and the firm keeps the remaining 10%.

To learn more about these leaders of the industry, visit our comprehensive reviews: (Topstep Review 2024, Apex Trader Funding Review 2024, MyFundedFutures Review 2024).

Benefits of Day Trading Futures with Prop Firms

Below we take a look at the key benefits of day trading futures with prop firms:

  • Access to capital: Prop firms give traders access to significant capital, enabling them to take larger positions in the futures markets than they might be able to independently using their personal capital.
  • Advanced trading tools: Good prop firms provide access to industry-leading trading platforms, as well as real-time data feeds and a range of sophisticated analysis tools, all of which can have a substantial impact on decision-making capabilities and trading efficiency. Topstep Trader even offers a tailor-made trading platform called TosptepX designed exclusively for Topstep users.
  • Risk management: Prop firms’ robust risk management protocols aim to safeguard your capital as well as the firms’. Through these processes, traders acquire important risk management skills while benefitting from guidance by seasoned traders.
  • Profit-sharing: Prop firms typically compensate their traders with a share of the profits generated by the trader (with the firm also retaining a smaller share). This structure helps to keep traders motivated to maximise their profitability. Some of the prop firms such as Apex Trader Funding (ATF) let their traders keep the first $25,000 they make in profits, therefore, profit share is 100%, and thereafter traders take 90% and the firm keeps the remaining 10%.

Strategies for Success

Τhe following strategies may help day traders working with prop firms to succeed:

  • Familiarise yourself with widely used charting software such as Bookmap, NinjaTrader or TradingView.
  • Think carefully about a trading plan which sets out your objectives, which trading strategies you will use, and your appetite for risk. You should then adhere to this plan in a disciplined way, rather than trading impulsively.
  • Managing risk effectively is imperative. Traders should make use of stop-loss orders and adhere to position sizing rules to reduce potential losses. It’s also vital never to risk more than you can afford to lose.
  • Given the ever-changing nature of financial markets, staying abreast of economic news and the latest trends and trading strategies is essential. Trading forums or communities can be helpful places for discussion with fellow traders.
  • It’s crucial to maintain discipline and composure at all times when trading. Don’t let emotions obscure your judgement and allow you to trade impulsively, particularly when market conditions are more volatile.
  • Be ready to adjust your trading strategies according to market conditions: what proves effective in a trending market may not have the same results in a range-bound market.

Conclusion

Day trading futures with a prop firm provides traders with access to significant capital and sophisticated trading tools, along with the chance to gain insights from expert traders with more experience. However, success is not a given, but necessitates self-control, effective risk management, and a commitment to ongoing education. Choosing an appropriate prop firm (Top 10 Best Futures Prop Firms), sticking to a carefully designed trading plan and continuously refining your skills will also enhance your prospects of success in the dynamic day trading futures industry. Do be aware, though, that trading is inherently risky, so it’s crucial to approach it well-primed and with caution.