Hedge funds vs Prop Trading Firms

Proprietary trading firms (prop trading) and hedge funds are both investment vehicles that aim to generate profits, but they operate in significantly different ways and cater to different types of investors. In this article, we’ll compare the key differences between prop trading and hedge funds to help readers understand which option may be better suited to their investment goals and preferences.

Accessibility and Structure

Prop Trading: Prop trading firms invest directly in the market using their own capital, rather than relying on commissions from clients or trading on behalf of others. In recent years, prop trading has become increasingly accessible to retail traders through online prop firms, offering individuals the opportunity to trade with the firm’s capital.

Hedge Funds: Hedge funds are limited partnerships made up of private investors whose money is managed by experienced fund managers. These funds typically target high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors, making them less accessible to retail investors. Hedge funds often employ a variety of investment strategies, including borrowing money and trading in non-traditional assets, to generate above-average returns.

Comparing the Fees and Compensation Between Hedge Funds and Prop Firms

Prop Trading: Prop traders are typically compensated through profit splits with the firm, rather than through management fees. For example, OFP prop traders receive 25% of all profits generated, creating a win-win situation for both the traders and the firm.

Hedge Funds: Hedge funds charge management fees based on the net asset value of each investor’s shares, typically around 2% of assets managed, as well as performance fees representing around 20% of earnings. These fees are used to fund the hedge fund’s operations and pay the fund manager.

Investment Approach

Prop Trading: Prop traders utilize the firm’s capital to make trades and generate profits. They are responsible for making trades and staying informed about market news and developments. Prop trading firms may have specific requirements for traders, such as a financial degree and a minimum level of experience.

Hedge Funds: Hedge fund managers employ a variety of investment strategies to generate returns, including fixed-income, news-driven strategies, and more. Hedge funds typically target capital preservation while providing investors with stable returns, often through long and short positions in fixed-income assets.


In conclusion, both prop trading and hedge funds offer unique opportunities for investors to generate profits in the financial markets. Prop trading may be more accessible to retail traders, while hedge funds cater to high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors. When deciding between the two options, investors should consider their investment goals, risk tolerance, and level of experience to determine which option is best suited to their needs.