TopStep vs Apex Trader Funding 2024: Which one is better?

Jeremy Biberdorf
By: Jeremy Biberdorf
 
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Navigating the world of proprietary trading firms can be a daunting task, especially when deciding between top prop firms like TopStep and Apex Trader Funding. In this article, I will provide an in-depth comparison to help you choose the right platform for your trading journey.

TopStep is Better for: Apex Trader Funding is Better for:
Traders who prefer strict risk management rules to keep their trading in check.Traders who appreciate a trading platform with minimal rules, offering flexibility in their trading style.
Traders who require educational resources to improve their trading skills.Traders who are comfortable with a one-time payment plan, eliminating monthly subscription fees.
Traders who value having a profit target to aim for in their trading journey.Traders who can make the most out of the larger initial balance provided by Apex Trader.

Introducing the Platforms

TopStep

TopStep has carved its niche in the market by offering a unique model known as the Trading Combine. It’s a two-step evaluation process designed to help traders demonstrate their ability to manage risk and generate profits. Upon successful completion of the combine, traders are given a funded account and allowed to trade real capital in the financial markets.

The platform also places a strong emphasis on education, offering a wide array of resources to help traders improve their skills and knowledge. You can learn more about their approach in my in-depth TopStep review.

Apex Trader Funding

Apex Trader Funding stands out for its simplicity and trader-friendly approach. Instead of an evaluation process with numerous stages, Apex Trader opts for a straightforward, one-step evaluation. Traders are offered a larger initial balance to trade with, and successful traders are rewarded with a funded account.

The platform prides itself on minimal rules, offering traders significant flexibility in terms of trading styles and strategies. Furthermore, the unique benefit of 100% profit retention makes Apex Trader an appealing choice for many traders. Explore more about what makes Apex Trader a desirable platform in my comprehensive Apex Trader Funding review

TopStep Apex Trader Funding
Type of Service Proprietary Trading Platform Proprietary Trading Platform
Trading Platforms Various platforms MetaTrader 5
Profit Share 80% 100%
Initial Balance $50,000 - $150,000 Up to $1,500,000
Max Positions 1-15 Up to 12
Risk Management Strict rules Minimal rules
Pricing Monthly subscription One-time payment
Current Promotion

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Factor 1: Risk Management

Apex Trader offers a more flexible approach with minimal rules

  • TopStep has strict rules like daily and weekly loss limit
  • Both have a max drawdown limit

Risk management is a crucial aspect of trading that can significantly impact a trader’s success.

TopStep: Strict Risk Management Rules

TopStep enforces strict risk management rules with daily and weekly loss limits and a trailing drawdown. While these rules may seem restrictive, they serve to protect traders from making impulsive decisions and guide them toward consistent and disciplined trading habits.

Apex Trader: Minimal Risk Management Rules

On the other hand, Apex Trader Funding operates with minimal rules, providing traders with greater flexibility in their trading style. There is no daily loss limit; however, they do have a maximum drawdown rule. I think this approach might appeal to advanced traders who are confident in their trading strategy and risk management skills.

Factor 2: Profit Share and Targets

Apex Trader offers 100% profit share with no specific profit target

  • TopStep provides 80% profit share with profit goals in place
  • Both firms don’t charge any additional fees on profits

The profit sharing model and targets set by prop firms can greatly influence your potential earnings.

TopStep: Set Profit Target with 80% Share

TopStep operates on a profit split model, providing traders with 80% of their profits. They also set a profit target that traders need to reach, which encourages traders to aim high and push their limits.

Apex Trader: No Profit Target with 100% Share

Conversely, Apex Trader is an attractive option because they offer a remarkable 100% profit share for skilled traders, meaning you keep all the profits you make. They do not set a specific profit target –– thus allowing traders to set their own goals and trade at their own pace.

Factor 3: Pricing Structure

TopStep works on a monthly subscription fee model

  • Apex Trader charges a one-time payment for the evaluation step
  • Each platform has its own pricing model, so choose the one that works best for you.

The pricing structure can significantly affect your trading expenses, so I advise to choose wisely.

TopStep: Monthly Subscription Fee

TopStep operates on a monthly subscription fee basis, with prices varying depending on the trading combination chosen. Although this might seem like a recurring expense, TopStep frequently offers discount codes to ease this cost.

Apex Trader: One-Time Payment

Apex Trader Funding, however, requires a one-time payment for the evaluation step. Although the upfront cost may be higher, traders save in the long run as they will be able to access sufficient capital with no recurring monthly fees.

Factor 4: Educational Resources

TopStep offers a range of educational resources for traders

  • Apex Trader focuses more on the trading platform with fewer learning materials
  • Both platforms support traders in becoming successful in the market

Educational resources are beneficial, especially for traders early in their trading journey.

TopStep: Comprehensive Educational Resources

TopStep provides an array of educational resources, including webinars, podcasts, and a trading blog. These materials can be an invaluable asset for improving trading skills and understanding the nuances of the financial markets.

Apex Trader: Fewer Educational Resources

Apex Trader Funding offers fewer educational materials, with the focus primarily on providing a robust trading platform. While this might be suitable for experienced traders, beginners may miss having detailed learning resources.

Factor 5: The Consistency Rules

Apex Trader Funding: Embracing Trading Flexibility

Apex Trader Funding values the freedom and individuality of traders, opting not to restrict them with an abundance of rules. The firm encourages traders to pursue the strategies and trading plans that resonate with them personally.

However, Apex does expect traders to exhibit a level of consistency. The goal is to identify traders who can demonstrate continual profitability and adhere to essential rules. Despite the lack of a specific consistency rule, traders should understand that any violation of other rules could result in failing the evaluation. Apex’s approach is about balancing freedom with the necessity of consistent and rule-abiding trading.

TopStep Trader: Defining Consistency with Targets

TopStep, on the other hand, introduces a defined measure of consistency known as the Consistency Target, particularly evident during the Trading Combine’s second phase.

This rule is a litmus test for a trader’s ability to generate profits consistently while effectively managing risk. The Consistency Target stipulates that no single trading day should account for more than 40% of total profits within a given period. If a trader’s most profitable day breaches this threshold, they must continue trading until the balance is restored.

This rule reflects TopStep’s commitment to fostering disciplined and steady trading habits, ensuring that profitability is achieved through sustained effort and risk control.

The Verdict: Apex Trader Funding Takes the Lead

While both TopStep and Apex Trader Funding provide excellent opportunities for traders, Apex Trader edges ahead with its minimal rules, flexible trading style, one-time payment plan, and a generous 100% profit share. If you’re ready to start your trading journey with Apex Trader funding today, click here.

However, TopStep should not be overlooked –– especially by traders who appreciate the discipline of strict risk management rules and desire comprehensive educational resources to enhance their trading skills. If you believe that TopStep is the platform for you –– go here and start trading today.

Learn More About Apex Trader Funding

Learn More About TopStep

FAQs

What is The 7 Day Rule in Apex Trading?

The 7-day rule can be explained as follows: To qualify and demonstrate consistency in trading ability, one needs to trade on a minimum of 7 different days, ensuring that the profit target is achieved and all rules are followed.

How Long Has Apex Trader Funding Been Around?

Apex Trader Funding has been around since 2021. Established by Darrell Martin, Apex Trader Funding has rapidly grown into a vibrant community of traders, encompassing over 25,000 members across 150 countries.

What Does TopStep Trade?

TopStep focuses exclusively on futures trading for Forex traders.

Is TopStep a Regulated Broker?

No, similar to many proprietary trading firms, Topstep does not fall under regulatory oversight. Proprietary firms typically use their own capital for trading and do not solicit external investment or operate as broker-dealers, thereby not falling within the purview of US financial regulatory bodies.

Is TopStep International?

Topstep supports traders globally, meaning that non-US citizens are eligible to earn a Funded Account with Topstep. However, there are certain countries with which the firm cannot legally operate. Individuals holding citizenship in countries on OFAC’s Sanctioned Countries list, or those who cannot be provided an account by Topstep’s brokerage partners, are not eligible to trade with Topstep.

Jeremy Biberdorf

About the Author:

Jeremy Biberdorf is the founder of Modest Money. He’s a father of 2 beautiful girls, a dog owner, a long-time online entrepreneur and an investing enthusiast.