Prop Firms for Swing Traders

Prop firms can attract many different types of traders and can offer them a good opportunity to trade with a sizeable capital without risking the traders' own money. But prop trading is not suitable for every type of trader equally. In particular, swing traders may find it difficult to discover a prop firm that is suitable for them as limitations and restrictions that prop firms tend to have can make longer-term trading unviable. This guide explains why prop trading may be inconvenient for swing traders, what qualifications a prop firm should have to be viable for swing trading, and also provides a list of prop firms that swing traders may find suitable for their style of trading. But first, let us talks about definitions.

What is prop trading and what are prop firms?

Proprietary firms (or prop firms for short) are firms that give traders access to the firm's capital in exchange for a share of profits that the traders' profits. Traders are considered contractors, not employees, therefore they do not receive a fixed wage, therefore profits they make from trading are their only source of income, at least as the prop firm is concerned. The vast majority of prop firms have an evaluation process that traders have to pass to prove to the firm that they can make consistent profits and to get funded. There is a small number of prop firms that allow bypassing the evaluation stage, but they demand much bigger fees for the exchange. Prop firms also have requirements and limitations for funded traders.

Prop trading is an act of trading with the prop firm's capital, not the traders' own. The advantage here is that it allows traders to get access to much bigger capital than an average trade can muster and to not risk the traders' own money. The drawback is that the prop firms' rules can limit strategies and styles of trading traders can employ. How restrictive those rules are, depends on the specific firm as each firm has its own set of rules.

Who are swing traders?

Forex traders are often divided into two major categories: day traders and swing traders. Here is a short description of what they are:

  • Day trader — tries to catch small price moves during one trading session. Trades on short time frames and prefers to close positions before the session ends. Successful traders typically have a large number of small profits. Usually demands a very large amount of time and attention. It normally uses only technical analysis as the fundamental analysis does not help in such short-term trading.
  • Swing trader — holds positions for several days or even weeks, hoping to catch a big move. Successful swing traders typically have a small number of big profits. Is relatively less stressful as it does not require making frequent trades. Swing traders prefer to use technical analysis, though they can supplement it with fundamental analysis, especially if they want to catch a long-term trend.

What qualities make a prop firm good of bad for swing traders?

As is evident from the description above, swing traders need to have the ability to hold their position open for a relatively long time. The problem is that the rules of many prop firms do not allow this. Some such firms demand to close positions by the weekend, while others can demand to close positions by the end of each trading session. Another frequent requirement is to close positions ahead of some major event, such as a central bank's monetary policy announcement or a release of an important macroeconomic report. Obviously, such limitations prevent holding positions open for a prolonged period, thus prop firms with such rules are unsuitable for swing traders.

The logical conclusion is that for a prop firm to be considered favorable to swing trading it should not have the aforementioned limitations. It should allow holding positions overnight and over the weekend. It should also allow news trading. Additionally, it should not have a restriction on how long a position can remain open as well as a requirement of a minimum number of trades.

The list of prop firms for swing traders

Here is the list of prop firms that have rules allowing swing trading. The list contains fees, requirements, conditions, and other details about the firms. The conclusion portion for each firm explains how good the firm is for swing traders specifically.

FTMO

FTMOChallenge: two periods — 30 days + 60 days, minimum 10 trading days

Normal mode: maximum 5% daily loss and 10% total loss, 10% profit target during the first period (5% for the second period), €155 fee.

Aggressive mode: maximum 10% daily loss and 20% total loss, 20% profit target during the first period (10% for the second period), €250 fee.

Fee refundable with the first profit split.

Funded conditions: 10% max daily loss

News trading: Allowed in swing accounts only.

Balance sizes: $10,000 / $25,000 / $50,000 / $100,000 / $250,000 (unavailable in Aggressive mode)

Account currencies: USD, GBP, EUR, CZK, CAD, AUD, CHF

Payout rate: 80%/20% scalable to 90%/10%

Leverage: 1:100 (1:30 for swing accounts)

Trading instruments: Forex, commodities, indices, cryptocurrencies, stocks, bonds.

Commission: Yes

Trading platforms: MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader, custom prop trading apps.

Free trial: Yes

Payment options: Skrill, credit/debit cards

Other features: swing account available if you want to keep trades open over-weekend, account balance scaling available to successful traders, mentorship, performance coach.

Website languages: English, German, Czech, Vietnamese, French, Spanish, Italian

Conclusion: FTMO is probably the most well-known and respected among prop firms, which makes it a default choice for a new prop trader. While it has some restrictions that make it unsuitable for swing traders, those restrictions will not be applied if you choose the Swing account type. The Swing accounts do not have restrictions for holding positions overnight and over the weekends as well as trading around the news. The only downside of choosing the Swing account type compared with a regular account is lower leverage. Though, at 1:30, the leverage remains decent. The only serious drawback FTMO has for swing traders is the length of the evaluation process, which can be considered a bit short. In particular, the first step of the process is just 30 days, which can be not enough for a swing trader to achieve the required results, especially if they employ a longer-term strategy. Past the evaluation process, swing traders should have no problem working with FTMO.

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The 5%ers

The 5$ersThe 5%ers offer two schemes to choose from:

  1. Instant funding with two modes and three balance options. All modes and options support up to $4M growth with extended 10%/25% profit targets:

    • $24K, start with $6K, stop-out $5.75K, 50%/50% payout split — €235 fee:

      • Low Risk — profit target 6%, 1:10 leverage, 1.5% stop-loss required, max time 180 days.
      • Aggressive — profit target 12%, 1:30 leverage, max time 60 days.
    • $40K, start with $10K, stop-out $9.6K, 50%/50% payout split — €385 fee:

      • Low Risk — profit target 6%, 1:10 leverage, 1.5% stop-loss required, max time 180 days.
      • Aggressive — profit target 12%, 1:30 leverage, max time 60 days.
    • $80K, start with $20K, stop-out $19.2K, 50%/50% payout split — €745 fee:

      • Low Risk — profit target 7%, 1:10 leverage, 1.5% stop-loss required, max time 180 days.
      • Aggressive — profit target 12%, 1:30 leverage, max time 60 days.
  2. 100K Bootcamp — three challenges with 6% profit target, 5% max loss, 1:10 leverage, 12 months total time for three stages, €85 fee:

    • Challenge #1: $25K start
    • Challenge #2: $50K start
    • Challenge #3: $75K start
    • Funded conditions: $100K-$4M balance, 5% profit target, 4% max loss, 1:10 leverage, up to 80%/20% profit split (starts with 50%/50%), additional €215 fee.

News trading: Allowed

Account currencies: US dollar

Trading instruments: Forex, gold & silver, indices

Commission: $4/lot round trip

Trading platforms: MetaTrader 5

Free trial: No

Payment options: Bank transfer, credit/debit cards, giropay, EPS

Other features: long-term trading possible, news trading possible, free webinars, psychological coaching.

Website languages: English, Spanish, Arabic

Conclusion: The 5%ers is another well-known and well-regarded prop firm. It is well-suited for swing traders as it does not have limits on overnight, weekend, and news trading. Furthermore, it has a very generous evaluation plan that you can take up to 12 months to complete, which should be more than enough for any decent trader. Furthermore, it offers the option of instant funding. And while it has a time limit for reaching the profit objective at the first level of the program, it is not so bad — 60 days for Aggressive and 180 days for low-risk traders. There are no time limits on the subsequent levels of the instant funding program.

EarnForex rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5)

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City Traders Imperium

City Traders ImperiumCity Traders Imperium has three main trading programs: Standard Funded Trader Program, Classic Funded Trader Program, and Daily Trading Funded Trader Program. The only difference between the Standard and Classic programs is the conditions for passing evaluations. There is no difference between them once you have been funded. You can also decide to skip the evaluation via the Direct Funding Program, getting funded immediately. The registration fee is much higher in this case, though. The Daily Trading program is targeted toward traders who want to trade with higher risk and higher rewards. The company also provides educational courses as well as the option for 1-to-1 mentoring.

  1. Standard, Classic, and Direct Funded Trader Programs

    The only difference between those programs is the evaluation requirements (or lack thereof). Once the account is funded, its size can double each time the trader reaches the 10% profit target up to $2 million.

    Evaluation requirements:

    Standard program:

    • Maximum evaluation time: 6 months.
    • Profit target: 9%.
    • Maximum absolute drawdown: 5%.
    • Minimum active trading days: 30 days.

    Classic program:

    • Maximum evaluation time: 12 months.
    • Profit target: 7%.
    • Maximum relative drawdown: 5%.
    • Minimum active trading days: 30 days.

    Account size and registration fee: The registration fee depends on the account size and the funding program. They are shown in the following format: account size — Standard program fee/Classic program fee/Direct Funding fee.

    • $10,000 — £119/£109/-
    • $20,000 — £209/£199/£999
    • $40,000 — £389/£379/£1,799
    • $50,000 — £459/£449/£2,199
    • $70,000 — £659/£649/£3,099

    Maximum absolute drawdown: 5% for funded accounts.

    Stop-loss risk: 1.5% per position.

    Trading instruments: Forex, gold, indices.

    Leverage: 1:10.

    Trading platform: MetaTrader 5.

    Payment options: Credit/debit card, cryptocurrencies (only for paying fees, no withdrawals in cryptocurrencies are available at this time), and bank wire.

    Payout rate: 60%.

    Other features: Discounts for evaluation programs traders who have failed evaluation or the Direct Funding program, KYC documents required, affiliate program, educational courses, monthly withdrawals, weekend trading allowed, news trading allowed (the only exception is that no new trades allowed three minutes before and three minutes after High Impact news — news marked in red on the Forex Factory Economic Calendar), trade copying allowed (though you are required to provide proof that you are copying your own trades), algorithms and expert advisors allowed with some exceptions.

  2. Daily Trading Funded Trader Program

    To get funded, a trader needs to pass the two-stage evaluation program. Once funded, the trader can grow their account size by 30% each time the 10% profit target and several other requirements are reached up to the maximum account size of $200,000.

    To get funded, a trader needs to pass two phases of evaluation:

    1. Assessment phase

      • Maximum time limit: 45 days.
      • Minimum active trading days: 10 days.
      • Profit target: 10%.
    2. Qualification phase

      • Maximum time limit: 45 days.
      • Minimum active trading days: 10 days.
      • Profit target: 5%.

    Account size and registration fee:

    • $10,000 — £109 fee
    • $25,000 — £169 fee
    • $50,000 — £289 fee

    Maximum daily drawdown: 4%.

    Maximum overall drawdown: 10%.

    Payout rate: 70% after the first 10% profit target, 80% afterward, 90 after reaching the 10% profit target and several other requirements, 100% after reaching those requirements three times.

    Stop-loss: Required.

    Leverage: 1:33.

    Trading platform: MetaTrader 5.

    Other features: News, overnight, and weekend trading allowed with no restrictions; KYC documents required; hedging allowed; copying trades allowed only from your accounts (you will need to provide proof that you are copying your own trades); refund of the registration fee with the first drawdown; one free retake of evaluation if you were in profit during the qualification phase.

Conclusion: City Traders Imperium looks like another great prop firm for swing traders due to the minimal limitations on how to trade and the generous time limit for reaching the profit target during the evaluation for the Standard and Classic programs. But there is one big problem — traders have to close their positions before the high-impact news. This can severely limit swing traders in how long they keep their positions open. The Daily Trading program lacks this limitation but as the name suggests it is geared more towards daily traders. Though, if a swing trader manages to pass its strict evaluation process, then they will have few limits on how they can trade.

EarnForex rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5)

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Lux Trading Firm

Lux Trading FirmAll traders funded by Lux Trading Firm can potentially grow their account size to $2,500,000. The number of stages it will take as well as the registration fee depends on the starting account size:

  • $5,000 — £329 registration fee, 7 stages
  • $10,000 — £439 registration fee, 6 stages
  • $15,000 — £549 registration fee, 5 stages

Lux Trading Firm also offers Lux Elite Traders packages that can grow their account size to $10,000,000+ and include additional benefits, such as educational videos, one-on-one mentoring, etc. The registration fee depends on the starting account size as well as the number of payments:

  • $5,000:

    • 1 payment of £1,999
    • 4 payments of £549
    • 8 payments of £299
  • $10,000:

    • 1 payment of £2,499
    • 4 payments of £687
    • 8 payments of £375
  • $15,000:

    • 1 payment of £2,999
    • 4 payments of £825
    • 8 payments of £499

Profit target to get to the next stage: 6% for stages 1 (Evaluation) and 2 (Advanced), 10% for the subsequent stages

Time limit for reaching the profit target: None (even for the Evaluation stage)

Minimum of trading days to reach the next stage: 29 days for the Evaluation and Advanced stages, 49 days for the Professional stages; 15 and 25 days respectively for swing traders

Maximum drawdown: 4% (relative at the Evaluation and Advanced stages, hybrid at the Professional and Expert stages)

Required stop-loss: Equal to the drawdown

Payout rate: 75% for the account sizes up to $200,000, 50% for the account sizes from $500,000 and above

Trading instruments: Forex, indices, commodities, stocks

Leverage: 1:10 on Forex and metals; 1:5 on indices, commodities, and bonds; 1:1 on shares

Trading platforms: MetaTrader 4, TradingView, TraderEvolution

Payment options: bank transfer through Wise

Website languages: English, Spanish

Other features: fee refund upon passing the evaluation; option of account reset for £269 if the drawdown limit was breached or upon request; monthly withdrawals; overnight, weekend, and news trading allowed; EAs allowed; trade copying allowed between your own accounts; additional benefits for the Elite accounts: 3 free resets, a live trading room with daily market analysis and one-on-one mentoring, personal risk manager, workshop in Porto Montenegro with accommodation, Trading Central's software.

Conclusion: Lux Trading Firm provides very appealing benefits for swing traders. Besides the usual features like the lack of limitations on overnight, weekend, and news trading, it offers no time limit for the evaluation stage. That means you can take as long as you need to reach the profit target — a very nice benefit for swing traders! All in all, Lux Trading Firm does not have any obvious downsides for swing traders specifically. Unfortunately, there are downsides for traders in general. Among them are the restrictive drawdown limit and very small leverage. Another negative "feature" is the payout ratio. Usually, prop firms with scaling plans offer a better profit split the more successful the trader is. But Lux Trading Firm took the opposite approach, and more successful traders have a worse profit split. And finally, Lux Trading Firm requires you to use a similar lot size and risk percent per trade during the evaluation stages. This is not ideal for swing traders as their infrequent trades tend to be less predictable and consistent compared with those of day traders.

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Fidelcrest

FidelcrestFidelcrest offers two programs: Pro Trader and Micro Trader. Each of the programs is further subdivided into two types: Normal and Aggressive. The firm states that all Aggressive accounts are considered Swing accounts, and swing trading is allowed on such accounts.

Account size and registration fee depend on the program and the type of account you have chosen:

  • Pro Trader Program:

    • Normal:

      • $150,000 — €649 fee
      • $250,000 — €999 fee
      • $500,000 — €1,799 fee
      • $1,000,000 — €2,899 fee
    • Aggressive:

      • $150,000 — €999 fee
      • $250,000 — €1,599 fee
      • $500,000 — €2,899 fee
  • Micro Trader Program:

    • Normal:

      • $10,000 — €99 fee
      • $25,000 — €249 fee
      • $50,000 — €499 fee
    • Aggressive:

      • $10,000 — €149 fee
      • $25,000 — €249 fee
      • $50,000 — €549 fee

Evaluation consists of two steps: Trading Challenge and Verification. They have the following parameters:

  • Trading period: 30 days for Challenge, 60 days for Verification.
  • Minimum trading days: 10 days (the website has contradicting information about the minimum for Micro Trader Aggressive accounts — in some parts it states that the minimum is 5 days while in others it is also 10 days)
  • Maximum loss: 10% for Normal and 20% for Aggressive accounts during the Challenge stage, 5% for Normal and 10% for Aggressive during the Verification stage
  • Maximum daily loss: 5% for Normal and 10% for Aggressive accounts for each of the stages
  • Profit target: for each of the stages it is 10% for Pro Trader Normal accounts, 20% for Pro Trader Aggressive, 5% for Micro Trader Normal, 15% for Micro Trader Aggressive
  • Your share upon completing phase 2 of the evaluation: Depends on the account type and the starting capital:
    • Pro Trader Program:

      • Normal:

        • $150,000 — $3,000
        • $250,000 — $5,000
        • $500,000 — $10,000
        • $1,000,000 — $20,000
      • Aggressive:

        • $150,000 — $9,000
        • $250,000 — $15,000
        • $500,000 — $30,000
    • Micro Trader Program:

      • Normal:

        • $10,000 — $200
        • $25,000 — $500
        • $50,000 — $1000
      • Aggressive:

        • $10,000 — $750
        • $25,000 — $1,875
        • $50,000 — $3,750

Trading period: Every 30 days positions have to be closed and the account is reviewed for its performance

Minimum trading days: 10 days (again, it is unclear whether it is 5 days or 10 days for Micro Trader Aggressive accounts)

Maximum loss: 10% for Normal and 20% for Aggressive accounts

Maximum daily loss: 5% for Normal and 10% for Aggressive accounts

Profit target: No profit target after the account was funded

Payout rate: 80% for Normal and 90% for Aggressive accounts

Leverage: 1:100

Payment options: Wire transfer, Skrill, Neteller, Bitcoin, credit/deposit card (only for payments to the firm), PayPal (only for paying the profit split to the trader)

Trading instruments: Forex, CFDs, cryptocurrencies, commodities (including metals), stock CFDs

Trading platform: MetaTrader 4

Website languages: English, Spanish

Other features: KYC documents required before starting phase 2 of evaluation; performance coach; invite to Fidelcrest telegram group; news, overnight, and weekend trading allowed; stop-loss orders are not required; EAs and robots not allowed unless an exception is granted; trade copying not allowed; bonus options: Double Your Capital — the ability to open a second account of the same size and type you already have after passing the first trading period of phase 3 (funded trader), Second Chance for Free — the second account of the same size and type if you fail the first Challenge (phase 1), Fast Track — option for having no minimum trading days during Micro Trader Aggressive Challenges (phase 1).

Conclusion: Fidelcrest does not have limitations regarding overnight, weekend, and news trading which makes it look good for swing traders. In fact, the firm states all Aggressive accounts are considered to be Swing accounts. A good profit split and big leverage can also make the prop firm look attractive. But Fidelcrest also has many negatives for swing traders. The most glaring drawback is the 30-day period at the end of which positions should be closed. That can seriously hamper any long-term strategy, especially if you want to open a position closer to the end of the trading period. The short period of the first evaluation phase can make it hard for swing traders to get funded by Fidelcrest. And the minimum required trading days is also a big negative. Overall, Fidelcrest does not look like a very good prop firm for swing traders.

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Final thoughts

Prop firms can be appealing to many different types of traders. But they are especially attractive for swing traders who rely on the size of a profit from each trade due to the low frequency of trades. But rules and limitations imposed by prop firms can make swing trading hard or even impossible. Be certain to check the terms and conditions of a prop firm before attempting to join it as a prop trader. The list above can help you in choosing a prop firm.

If you want to share your opinion, observations, and conclusions, or simply ask questions about prop firms for swing traders, feel free to join a discussion on our forum.

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