Prop Firm Trust 101: Navigating Integrity

Navigating Integrity lack of regulation prop firm

Table of Contents

A Highly Competitive Industry Should Be Good For Traders

The online prop firm industry is highly competitive, a new firm pops up almost every day, but which firms are operating with integrity?

For traders, competition between firms should be great news. More competition should mean lower prices, higher profit splits, more competitive promotions, and better trading conditions. Unfortunately, a lot of online prop firms do not offer a great service, and it can be difficult to differentiate the good firms from the bad. Read on to see what things you should consider when choosing an online prop firm to trade with.


Lack of regulation makes navigating the industry difficult for traders

The online prop firm industry is largely unregulated, so it can attract people who only care about making quick money. These people can manipulate trading conditions, refuse payouts, and terminate a trader’s account for practically any reason they like.

This situation creates a minefield for traders to navigate and fuels the demonization of online prop firms in the trading community.


How to differentiate the good from the bad

Fortunately, some firms have an outstanding reputation for both great trading conditions and for reliably paying their traders, and there are some key things traders can look out for to help them make a well-informed decision when choosing an online prop firm to trade with:

  • How long has the business been running?
    • The longer the better. A long-running firm has worked with many traders, so if there are any issues with trading conditions or payouts they are more likely to have been reported.
  • What is the Trust Pilot score?
    • A high overall score is important, but take a look at the lower scores to see what causes them. Are there many traders complaining about the same thing(s)? How has the firm responded to those complaints, if at all?
  • How are the trading conditions?
    • A firm with poor trading conditions is likely not operating with the trader’s best interests in mind. Wide spreads, lots of slippage, poor execution, and buggy trading platforms are all signs that the firm might not be on the trader’s side.
  • What does their Management team/CEO community engagement tell you?
    • Is the firm’s management team active on social media? What do they say? Are they young? Do they have experience in the industry? Are they positive people with values that align with your own?
  • How do they design their programs?
    • If a prop firm allows traders to gamble then the trader is more likely to have problems with payouts and trading conditions in the future. Rules like enforced stop losses, news trading restrictions, copy trading restrictions, minimum profitable days or minimum trading days, and unlimited time to pass evaluations are all signs that the firm is set up for longevity and is more likely to offer a consistent service to the trader.


Let’s look at some examples


  • FTMO was conceived in 2014 and was fully operational as a global online prop firm by 2017, so they have been operating successfully for almost 7-10 years now.
  • Their Trust Pilot score is 4.8.
    • A look through the 1-star reviews highlights that most of the complaints about this firm are from traders who haven’t taken the time to read and understand the firm’s terms before attempting an evaluation.
  • FTMO are well known for having great trading conditions with excellent customer service.
  • Whilst their management team aren’t particularly active in the trading community, FTMO do have an active YouTube channel with trader interviews and educational content, as well as a trading academy and a free trial account. This shows that they care about their traders having the opportunity to be well informed and well practised before they attempt a paid evaluation.


  • The5ers (who won our ROI comparison by some margin) opened in 2016, so they have been operating successfully for 8 years now.
  • Their Trust Pilot score is 4.8.
    • A look through the 1-star reviews highlights that most of the complaints about this firm are from traders who don’t know what they’re doing and haven’t taken the time to read and understand the firm’s terms before attempting an evaluation.
  • The5ers are well known for having tight spreads, low commissions, and great trade execution.
  • The5ers‘ management team are very active on social media. They are regularly putting out educational content and are quick to publicly respond to trader concerns and major events in the industry.
  • The funding programs at The5ers are set up to reward consistent traders with extremely aggressive scale-up plans, and they take risk management very seriously.

Nova Funding

  • I looked and could not find out when Nova Funding opened.
  • Their Trust Pilot score is 3.5.
    • A look through the 1-star reviews highlights that many traders have complained about payouts being delayed, or not processed at all.
  • The trading conditions at Nova Funding are not well known.
  • I can’t find any social media interaction from the Nova Funding team.
  • There is limited information regarding their funding programs on the website
That’s three firms, two very well known trustworthy firms in The5ers and FTMO, and one lesser known firm that appears to have a poor reputation and limited available information in Nova Funding.

There Are Many Prop Firms, Start With The Most Trustworthy Firms

Of course, other firms have also proven themselves to be trustworthy. Most notably Audacity Capital, Funding Pips & Alpha Capital Group. When you choose to trade with an online prop firm you are going to dedicate a lot of time and energy to trading with that firm, so do your due diligence before choosing which firm you would like to trade with and save yourself a lot of potential pain and frustration later on.


There are many online prop firms to choose from, start with the firms that have been proven to operate with integrity. Why take the risk of trading with a firm that operates with less integrity than another that operates better? A lot of the firms that operate with less integrity are more like marketing firms than prop firms, they often offer flashy marketing with huge discounts. Why? Because they’re trying to attract as many traders as possible. They care about the quantity of traders over quality. Traders are often enticed by the low prices offered by these firms, but for the traders, this is a false economy, the discount means nothing if the trading conditions will make you much less profitable and/or if the firm is going to find reasons not to pay you when you are profitable.

Have you had any issues with a prop firm not living up to their promises?! Have you had a great experience with any prop firms? Let us know on our social media channels: Twitter Facebook Instagram TikTok 

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