FF Podcast with Axi Select’s Greg Rubin: “Demo trading model” is unsustainable

Rick Steves

FinanceFeeds is excited to announce the release of the 31st episode of the FF Podcast, hosted by our Editor-in-Chief, Nikolai Isayev, and featuring Greg Rubin, Head of Axi Select, who brings deep insights into the prop trading space and its future.

FinanceFeeds Podcast Greg Rubin Head of Axi Select

Greg Rubin is a seasoned financial market professional with a rich background in trading and market analysis, and a career that spans key roles in commodities trading, risk management, and educational mentorship. He currently leads the charge as the Head of Axi Select.

Listen on your favorite streaming audio platform or our YouTube channel.

Axi Select is a unique prop trading program developed by Axi*, formerly known as AxiTrader, a well-established online Forex and CFD trading brokerage firm founded in 2007 in Australia. Axi has grown to offer a wide range of financial instruments, including Forex pairs, commodities, indices, and cryptocurrencies for trading on its platform.

Unlike traditional prop firms, Axi Select stands out by eliminating the common practice of charging registration fees and instead offers traders the opportunity to trade with real funds from the outset. This innovative model is focused on sustainable trading growth and education, providing traders with the resources and support needed to develop their skills. What makes Axi Select truly unique is its commitment to creating a trader-centric environment, where education, skill development, and a fair profit-sharing arrangement are prioritized, offering a more equitable and supportive path to trading success.

Axi Select, known for its substantial capital allocation program offering up to $1 million in funding per trader, is actively seeking new talent at a pivotal moment for the prop trading industry, which is currently navigating through a series of challenges.

Listen on your favorite streaming audio platform or our YouTube channel.

What is going on in the prop trading space?

In this episode, Greg and Nikolai discuss the rapid changes within the proprietary trading industry, addressing the challenges and opportunities arising from regulatory shifts and technological advancements.

They explore the impact of brokers and platform providers withdrawing from the prop space, leaving many firms in search of new partnerships. This situation raises questions about the adaptability of traders and the willingness of new players to enter the prop trading arena.

Listen on your favorite streaming audio platform or our YouTube channel.

“MetaQuotes seems to be pulling back from the space,” Rubin admitted. “MetaQuotes are pretty much the face of the prop industry as well as the face of retail broking. We also know that certain brokers, the mainstay brokers in the space, have been showing signs of leaving.

“So we’re left with a situation with many prop firms looking for new brokers, looking for new platform providers. And many questions that we’re left with: are traders going to follow these firms to different interfaces, to different platform providers? Is there even an appetite for some of these other brokers or platform providers to enter the space? Are they going to be potentially shut down or potentially subject to regulatory issues if they do enter the space such as what we’ve seen sort of transpire over the last few months? So I think there are a lot of questions or more questions than answers at this point regarding what it would look like.”

The “demo trading model” is unsustainable

Greg also highlights concerns regarding the sustainability of the current prop trading model, criticizing the reliance on registration fees and the lack of robust financial firm characteristics among many prop trading entities. He predicts significant shifts towards more sustainable and regulated models, possibly leading to a consolidation in the industry.

“I think what’s often overlooked in this instance is the actual model. In my opinion, there is a flaw in the actual demo model, charging a registration fee, and this is something that the regulators are picking up on. We’ve seen a significant number of firms that have all set up basically offering the same thing. And the way that these firms profit is by claiming client registration fees. Again, this is something that’s going to raise eyebrows with regulators. To be a financial firm, you do KYCs and AMLs. Most of these firms wouldn’t be doing such things. They’re more marketing products. So I don’t believe it’s sustainable if I’m being perfectly honest, the current model that we are seeing.

Listen on your favorite streaming audio platform or our YouTube channel.

So I think we’ll be seeing changes. And I think we are already seeing those changes. We’re also seeing brokers in the space. So, you know, something like us, AxiSelect, when we set up, we offer a model that is more, in my opinion, more user-friendly or there is more likelihood for traders from a profitability perspective, from a trading perspective as opposed to a speculative perspective.”

“You can see why regulators are stepping in”

The conversation also delves into the broader implications of these changes, including the potential for regulatory intervention, especially from US authorities, and the overall saturation of the prop trading market. Greg points out the crucial role of technology providers in lowering barriers to entry, leading to an influx of new firms with limited financial expertise or risk management capabilities.

“Most have no financial knowledge. Most have no understanding of risk management or how markets actually work. And most don’t understand the scrutiny that the finance or the markets have in terms of regulations. And these are not regulated. It’s important to point out. You know what we said earlier, you’re trading a demo account, you’re paying a registration fee, and it is not considered a financial product. So there is no regulation, no controls and you can see why it got to the US market. Now I’m not referring to every firm, but naturally, you had a market with a few firms to now a market of thousands of firms that have entered the space. The offering to the uninformed is pretty attractive. Get huge sums of money for a few days of trading and it’s promoted as a very easy thing to do. So you could see why it became appealing, but you can also see why regulators from the US (and elsewhere) are stepping in […] It’s unlikely to be a short-term issue. You can see why the industry is likely to change off the back of this.”

Why Axi Select is the better choice

Greg Rubin also shares insights into Axi Select’s approach, differentiating it from traditional prop firms by eliminating registration fees and using real-life trading accounts. This approach aims to foster a more sustainable and trader-focused environment, emphasizing education, skill development, and fair profit-sharing arrangements.

Listen on your favorite streaming audio platform or our YouTube channel.

“Axi Select is completely different to what else is out there in the marketplace. And the first major difference, the big major difference, I guess, is we do not charge a registration fee. Axi Select is 100% free for clients to join. We don’t have a registration fee and we don’t have an evaluation stage. What we do require, however, is for traders to put their own funds into their Axi Select accounts, which are the traders’ funds. They can withdraw them at any time, but they can also of course lose their funds. It is their funds in a trading account. We set up a trading account to trade alongside it with our funds in, with a certain multiplier which ultimately, depending on the funds that the trader starts with, can decide on what ratio they want our funds to be copied at.

“So, ultimately, the model is different. Another big difference is we use real-life accounts. There are no demo accounts at all in the Axi Select program. All clients get the exact same trading experience as our existing Axi clients get. In fact, they even get the option to choose if they want to use our pro accounts or our standard accounts. So you get to choose your live account and we do not use any demos at all. Something that’s often overlooked is the program structure. It’s all very well saying how much funding are you going to give me? What percentage are you going to keep? But we take pride in the actual program structure that it’s a bit more long-term, it’s a bit more holistic. I will always say that trading is difficult. It is not easy. Don’t expect to get a million dollars of our funds in two weeks.

“We go the opposite route, but what we do is we provide the tools that one needs. So yes, trading is not easy, but we have an all-inclusive side to the Select program. We’re not saying here’s just funding go off by yourself. We have a dashboard, a leaderboard, an edge score, and an exclusive trading room where you can learn from traders.

Listen on your favorite streaming audio platform or our YouTube channel.

“I don’t like the “built by traders, for traders” cliche, but Axi Select was created with the best interest of traders in mind. We know that trading, again, is not easy; and that you’re going to go through bad periods. So instead of sending you a hard breach email at your first bad week or bad month, we offer three attempts on the program. So you get three attempts on the program before you drop out and you can then start again. So that is a big difference.”

Listeners can expect an enlightening discussion that sheds light on the evolving landscape of prop trading, offering valuable perspectives for both novice and experienced traders.

The Axi Select programme is only available to clients of AxiTrader Limited. CFDs carry a high risk of investment loss. In our dealings with you, we will act as a principal counterparty to all of your positions. This content is not available for AU, NZ, EU, and UK residents. For more information, refer to our Terms of Service. Standard trading fees apply.

This content is provided solely for general informational purposes and should not be construed as financial product advice or an investment recommendation. It has been prepared without considering your personal circumstances.

*The Axi Group of Companies is licensed in multiple jurisdictions.

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