FTMO Review
  • Pricing & Fees
  • Tools & Features
  • Trustworthiness
3.3

Summary

Have you heard about FTMO and their funded forex accounts program? FTMO is offering their clients training and more to help them become fund managers, but how legit are they? Before you buy, read our review to learn the truth.

What is FTMO?

In few words, FTMO is an online proprietary company which provides capital to traders, explicitly — successful traders who pass a challenge. The sole mission of the company is to seek out successful forex traders and turn them into Fund Managers by allowing traders to trade FTMO’s funded accounts and receive 70% of generated profits, whilst risking no funds of their own. Sounds pretty straightforward and very appealing, but is it really so?

The Beginning of FTMO

FTMO appeared on the market in 2014 under a different name ziskejucet.cz — ‘Ziskej Ucet’ literally translates from Czech as ‘Get your account’. The project was started in Prague by the current CEO and Founder Otakar Suffner and was essentially targeted at residents of Czech Republic. Anyone can still find ziskejucet.cz, as a matter of fact it is still fully operational and available for residents of Czech Republic, the main difference is the biggest initial capital provided by the company – 2,000,000 CZK which is roughly USD 86,000.

As the project grew and founders were able to secure more funding, in May 2017 the company launched their international version of the project under the name of FTMO.com, which is now widely known among Forex Traders.FTMO Team

What makes FTMO standout?

Unlike its competitors FTMO is well organised and appears to be truly focused on their clients (traders). Even though every challenge participant has to pay in order to participate in the Challenge and get a chance at managing FTMO’s capital, the company provides additional tools to help traders with their trading, daily access to fundamental and technical analysis, own account metrics, and most importantly — a Trading Psychologist. Yes, you read it right, FTMO offers a Trading Psychologist, pretty much like Wendy Rhoades from the popular Showtime series ‘Billions’. Another distinctive feature of FTMO is free trial. Free Trial allows traders to see how the Challenge is structured, access all the tools, and basically feel yourself in the shoes of a paying challenge participant without actually risking a dime.

Here is a brief introduction of FTMO’s psychologist:

FTMO Challenge

Challenge is the most important part of FTMO, to be frank, the whole business revolves around the challenge. Challenge is a two-step evaluation process, which is a way of vetting forex traders before anyone is offered any funding. Two steps are the Challenge and the Verification stages.

FTMO states that the course(challenge) is specifically tailored to discover trading talent within the trader. Upon successful completion of the Challenge, the trader is offered a placement in the FTMO Proprietary Trading firm, where traders get to manage capital of up to $100,000. Initial capital granted for trading after successfully completing the Challenge depends on the type of an account the trader chooses, we will discuss different account types a little bit later in this article. Funded FTMO Traders get to keep 70% of the profits generated, and if any losses arise the company will cover them.

FTMO Registration Process

Before taking part in the Challenge, traders have to register with FTMO, right away traders are given two options – Trial or a Full Challenge.FTMO Trial or Challenge

No matter which option is chosen, the very first thing to do, will be to provide general information for the Account, all the provided information can be modified at any later stage in the profile section of Client Area.FTMO Registration Form

After submitting the details, FTMO will send an email to the provided email address with Client Area details and an email confirmation link.

Challenge Application

Once the trader gains access to the Client Area, it  becomes necessary to apply for a challenge.FTMO Challenge Application

Challenge application requires traders to make quite a few choices: {{IMAGE 6 – Challenge 1}}

  1. Base currency of the account: the choice is limited to EUR or USD
  2. Risk: Traders are faced with two options ‘Normal’ or ‘Aggressive’
  3. a) Normal risk option allows a maximum loss of 10%, as well as sets a profit target of 10%, while requiring traders to maintain no more than 5% loss on any given day.
  4. b) Aggressive risk option allows a maximum loss of 20%, as well as sets a profit target of 20%, while requiring traders to maintain no more than 10% loss on any given day. Even though profit target increases with aggressive risk option, it might still be a better option for high-frequency traders, basket traders and traders with overly aggressive trading systems, which require additional ‘breathing space’ for the trades.
  5. Initial Capital: Initial capital ranges from $10,000 up to $100,000. Higher capital requires higher participation payment, furthermore, choosing Aggressive risk will limit trader to a maximum of $50,000.
  6. Broker: FTMO offers a choice of 10 brokers – Admiral Markets, Purple Trading, IC Markets, BOSSA, XM Markets, Blueberry Markets, ThinkMarkets, CrescoFX, CMC Markets and GBE Brokers. All brokers offer a wide range of trading instruments, 50+ currency pairs, as well as some CFDs and Indices. If trading style requires tight spreads, FTMO made it possible to compare spreads of all their supported brokers right here: https://ftmo.com/en/broker-review/
  7. Account Type: type of accounts available depends on the chosen broker
  8. Trading Platform: same situation as with the account types, Trading Platforms are offered by the brokers, every broker offers MetaTrader 4, some offer MetaTrader 5, and Purple Trading offers cTrader.
  9. Billing Information: this information is taken from the registration form, however it can be modified, in order to match the billing details of the payment instrument, in case if they are different from the ones provided during registration.
  10. Last but not least is the payment for participation. Payment can be made in four different ways – Paypal, Credit or Debit Card, Bank Wire or Skrill. Paypal and Skrill will have 3% added to the billed amount, as a processing fee, because FTMO does not cover them.FTMO Payment

Step 1 – Challenge Phase

The Challenge is the first step of trader evaluation process, and it can last up to 30 continuous days, but as long as trading objectives are met and no rules are broken, it can be completed earlier. Traders should bear in mind, that even if the challenge is complete before 30 days, it is necessary to have at least 10 trading days!

During the challenge, traders are required to meet the following criteria:

  1. Minimum of 10 trading days
  2. Not less than 50% of trading days to be positive
  3. Reach a profit target of 10%
  4. Maximum daily loss to remain under 5% of the total equity
  5. Make sure total loss on the account will never exceed 10%*

**In aggressive risk mode all the monetary requirements are 2x.

*!NB: FTMO’s ‘total loss’ actually refers to the drawdown, traders have to be very careful, since actual drawdown is based on the equity. If at any given moment account equity falls below 90% — the challenge is lost and so are the challenge participation fees.

Step 2 – Verification Phase

This is the final stage of the evaluation process. FTMO states that, the purpose of the Verification stage is to test the trading consistency of a trader. Verification phase has relatively lax rules as opposed to the challenge phase. In the Verification, the Profit Target is reduced by half and traders have to ‘survive’ and stay consistent for another 60 days. Once again, FTMO allows traders to complete this phase in less than 60 days, but not less than in 10 trading days.

During the verification, traders are required to meet the following criteria:

  1. Minimum of 10 trading days
  2. Not less than 50% of trading days to be positive
  3. Reach a profit target of 5%, as opposed to 10% during the challenge phase
  4. Maximum daily loss to remain under 5% of the total equity
  5. Make sure total loss on the account will never exceed 10%* (Drawdown)

**In aggressive risk mode all the monetary requirements are 2x.

FTMO Challenge Accounts

Traders who wish to take part in the challenge and get a shot at becoming a Fund Manager for FTMO can choose from 4 account types — challenge accounts have no difference between them except for the Initial Deposit amount promised by FTMO after completing the challenge.FTMO Accounts

If a trader would like to have a shot at a Funded Account with higher initial capital, but is unable or unwilling to pay the fee, FTMO has a scaling plan.

Scaling plan allows capital increase to take place in four-month cycles. For a capital increase, the trader has to reach a total gain of at least 10% in four consecutive months, out of which at least 2 months have to be positive. Traders who succeed with scaling objectives can request their capital to be increased by 25%. The best part about the scaling plan is that it has no ceiling — if a trader is consistently making 10% or over every 4 months, trading capital will keep getting increased by 25%.FTMO Scaling Plan

Who can join FTMO?

Literally anyone from anywhere in the world can join FTMO, at least this is what the company claims to be the case.FTMO Who

However, before joining any Forex Challenge, it is advisable to look a bit further right away, to the point when the trader starts managing company funds. When traders trade for anybody, but themselves, it is considered Fund / Asset Management, and therefore some local restrictions might apply. We strongly advise all traders to seek advice from a local solicitor, whether such activity is permitted in the country, or whether certain certifications might be required.

Tools for Traders

As we mentioned in the beginning of this article, FTMO is not your regular Funded Account provider, they do go the extra mile when it comes to taking care of their traders. For this reason, FTMO has developed a couple of tools to help traders improve and learn from own mistakes.

Account MetriX

This is a custom tool developed by FTMO exclusively for their traders. Account MetriX is a web-based application, which monitors trader’s progress towards becoming a Funded Trader.

Account MetriX allows traders to have a  full overview of the Trading Objectives

  • General information about your Challenge
  • u Overview of objectives
  • Balance and equity curve
  • Daily Summary
  • Daily loss for the day
  • Risk/Reward Ratio
  • Average Profit/Loss
  • Expectancy and Profit FactorFTMO Account MetriX

Every seasoned trader knows, that this information can be generated in trading terminal, calculated on their own or generated in more detail by services such as Myfxbook, FX Blue or MQL5. But even though, it is nice to have this information handy in your Client Area. It is especially nice to have a full overview of the goals and losses right in front of you, when you have invested your money in the challenge.

Statistical Application

The Statistical Application displays number-based probabilities of market behaviour that traders can use to their advantage.FTMO Statistical App

This is indeed an interesting application, which many traders will find handy. We cannot comment on the accuracy of provided information, however some of the features are definitely beneficial. Range traders will definitely appreciate Range Analysis of the tool.FTMO Range

Mentor Application

The Mentor Application helps traders achieve better results through strengthening their discipline. It is worth mentioning, that Mentor Application only works in the Metatrader 4 and Metatrader 5 platform, it is not available for cTrader or any web-based platforms. Mentor Application is technically a sophisticated reminder or notifier, its purpose is to notify a trader via Alerts in Terminal, Emails or Push Notifications when certain predetermined conditions of the account have been met.

FTMO Mentor Application1FTMO Mentor Application2

Economic Calendar

Last, but not least mention-worthy application is an Economic Calendar. Economic Calendar provided by FTMO has nothing special about it, as a matter of fact, it is below basic. Nevertheless, it has one very important purpose — it displays events during which trading is strictly prohibited. Trading 5 minutes before or after restricted events will be a cause for immediate account termination.FTMO Calendar

Future of FTMO

We reached out to FTMO’s management and asked them about any future development plans for their business, this is the response we received: 

It is our long-term goal to create an international fund of successful retail traders and have investors to invest in our portfolio. Nevertheless, this is a long-term plan as we have stated. Currently, traders only manage private funds as we are still looking for more traders and developing our project. 

Reviews

Since FTMO is one of the oldest Funded Trader companies, and one that seems to be most engaging with their clients, they do have a decent amount of reviews. Average review score is 4.5, however, due to some suspicious reviews, we would like to refrain from commenting on objectivity this score. Many reviews on FPA https://www.forexpeacearmy.com/forex-reviews/15019/ftmo-forex-training seem very similar and almost repetitive. Reviewers are giving 5 stars to the company during a challenge phase, and for their tools, which as you now by now are simple tools provided by a lot of services. Another concern is endorsement of trading rules, FTMO’s trading rules are pretty strict and quite demanding, usually professional traders will be put off by such rules, not endorse them.

FTMO has an active thread on ForexFactory, which anyone can access by navigating here: https://www.forexfactory.com/showthread.php?t=707034, the CEO himself is answering a lot of questions and assisting traders with their daily issues.

Conclusions For FTMO

Successful traders have many other ways to get funding, especially without paying a company for enforcing unreasonable set of rules, which are not only very strict, but will often be the main cause of failure. FTMO claims to be looking for serious traders, who can generate consistent profits, at the same time, they allow traders to finish both stages of the challenge within 20 trading days. Hardly any 20-day long activity can be considered consistent. No trading strategy will be profitable, let alone capable of delivering 10% every month. If a trader joins the challenge during one of unfavourable months, invested participation fee will be lost, as well as the opportunity to acquire funding from FTMO. Of course, if you are one of the traders who never had a losing month and 10% profit per month is nothing unusual – FTMO might be a great option.

PROS

  • Trading Psychologist for Traders
  • Scaling Plan to increase capital
  • Good choice of Brokers
  • CEO openly talks to the public

CONS

  • Rules are very unfavorable
  • High participation fees
  • Trading during major news is not allowed
  • Tools are pretty basic
  • Educational videos are not for skilled traders