Day Trading Education Programs: Reviewed
Day trading isn’t just for the rich any longer. These days with a decent computer, an Internet connection and a little knowledge any one can learn to trade stocks successfully. The question then becomes what is the best way to gain the knowledge necessary to succeed. Traditional university financial programs don’t offer the necessary skills needed to become a successful stock trader. In fact, most of what you would learn in a traditional program would only allow you to go work for a financial company which is the polar opposite of what most people that want to learn to trade from home want. There are quite a few programs online ranging in prices from a few hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars. The goal of this article is going to be to highlight some of the best programs and review them on an individual basis to help you make a rational decision regarding which program you should pick. Unfortunately there are some scams out there as well, so we’re going to try and find the programs that others have identified as scams, so that you can stay away from those altogether.
Online Trading Academy
Among all of the programs available, easily one of the most popular is Online Trading Academy. These guys started way back in 1997 and continue to this day. Their claim is that they want to train their students to be a direct electronic trader, by giving the skills and emersion in the market. They do this by teaching their students how to manage risk, one of the biggest aspects of learning to trade professionally. They actually got their start teaching floor traders at Block Trading how to trade successfully. These first students were managing about half a billion dollars per day. But it was in 2001 that Online Trading Academy shifted its focus solely to education as opposed to participating in the market directly. They have dozens of traders that teach their students. The beauty of the setup that they use is that traders of any level can join their program and be successful. In fact, since 2001 they’ve trained around 24,000 students. Online trading academy was also a partner of the very first international trading exposition. They have over 30 centers where they train on location. Ands they teach trading of stocks, FOREX, options and futures. Beyond their actual program they also have what they refer to as a Mastermind Community where groups get together to share information. Cost of their program varies, but you’ll certainly need to bring your checkbook if you are serious about signing up with Online Trading Academy. The program is not cheap, but it is highly recognized which is one reason why they can charge as much as they do. As with any quality education, you will most certainly get out of Online Trading Academy what you put into it. They offer programs that are as short as ½ a day all the way up to 12 week advanced courses.
Overall Online Trading Academy has received relatively high reviews. One of their previous students had the following to say about Online Trading Academy:
“OTA give you the complete deal or rather teaches you what the complete deal consists of and then gives an opportunity to trade live in class for 4 days under the guidance of a coach. Only in this method can a rookie trader see his own faults and then start to develop a personal strategy that will ensure that these personal faults will not impinge upon his/her trading ability. Also stressed is the importance of risk assessment and mangement, following a trading plan, being unattached from trades also focusing upon minimal losses.”
However, another had this to say:
“I took the protrader course about a year ago and I’ve kept in touch with others from my class. None of my classmates are making money. I did learn some fundamentals, but this course leaves a great deal to be desired. I’ve done a lot of study since and now have a much stronger toolset than OTA gave me, but I’m still far from being a regularly profitable trader. I also found the XLT course only marginally useful because they teach very little about advanced indicators and other helpful techniques. All in all, there are much better deals around.”
And yet another had this to say:
“Online Trading Academy has worked extremely well for me. Simply put, your dedication and courage to follow what they tell you, more importantly, what they SHOW you, and above all, have the patience to follow their program step-by-step.
The Online Trading Academy here in Orlando, provided so much education content and support after the “LIVE” class, that sometimes I am overwhelmed by what has been given to support me in my Trading as a Trader, I am now trading for a living. The first three months of trading was a challenge for me as I discovered my way around, made mistakes, and tried to change things the way I thought they should be changed. In month four I joined their XLT Training program which is short for Extended Learning Track. Within the first week I was pleasantly surprised by what I what I saw, day after day, right before me. This training REALLY works. There is an incredible support team of top notch traders right at your fingertips.”
With any program like this there are going to be mixed reviews, but if you pick the appropriate course that goes along with what you are interested in learning, it looks like Online Trading Academy might be a good choice, especially for beginners.
The Trading Authority
Another popular and well-known trading education program is The Trading Authority. Unlike the Aforementioned Online Trading Academy, though, there’s quite a difference. For instance, The Trading Authority offers 2 basic programs (they call them modules), Spitfire and The Balance Beam module. The site looks quite spammy and they offer very little information on what these modules actually provide. They do, however, tell you up from that if you want to buy both modules (which of course they recommend) that you are going to spend around $2,500. These both appear to be online courses that involve no live interaction with actual individuals. Both modules have several sections that teach various models for charting and tracking stocks.
Here’s a review from a previous student at The Trading Authority:
“The trading authority .. will give you different models of there day trading swing trading system ..and teach you all fib and structure trading .. again models are something very basic and which u can get on your own watching few videos or develop on your own … the most important part of there training like many other will be money management discipline .. how to back test the system you created and trade it .. Thats all i have came to know .. So if you dont have any system or idea .. i would suggest you to look around Bmt . lots of profitable ideas floating around here .. and trading authority is not going to provide you any stuff better then here . that i am sure of .. Just my one cent ..”
And another person said:
“I attended a few days of free live room sessions a week or 2 ago. They really stress doing your own backtesting with the system and doing the work to have confidence in the system. But as was previously mentioned, the meat of the system is just MACD Bollinger Bands with signals at the cross of the zero line. The “fib dots” as they call them are just the Super Trend indicator. BMT has both of these. The “TraderTrend” is some combination of RSI and a couple of EMA’s. The “BigMo” is just an EMA with a channel drawn a couple of ticks to each side of it.
The manual has some good things in it, especially filters to consider and multiple contract strategies. But they really leave it up to you to decide what filters to incorporate into your trading plan and it is sort of lame that most of the indicators they sell for the system are probably just modified from freely available indicators around the web.”
Based on these reviews, it would be fair to say that despite the spammy appearance that they do offer some valuable information in their course. I have no doubt that for the amount of money they charge, they probably wouldn’t be around as long as they have if they were ripping off clients. Interestingly enough, they offer a number of free videos and a manual that you can download free as well. These will give you a basic idea of what you are getting into before you shell out any hard currency.
Pristine.com is another popular online trading school and one of the first things that you’ll probably notice about Pristine.com is that the site is put together relatively well. They also offer a number of free videos and white papers. This is to get your foot in the door, sure, but it’s also a great way to see how their material is organized and may help you make decision on whether or not you’d like to try their other products. They recommend a 2-day seminar to start your training. It’s not cheap, in fact it will cost you $2,995, but according to their site it’s a great starter course for someone interested in getting into Day trading. Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of reviews on Pristine.com. Looks like if you want to find out if it’s worth the money, you’ll have to take the plunge yourself!
If you’re looking for some free information on the basics, have you considered checking out Reality Trader at realitytrader.com? They have a great information section that includes both articles and videos that you can watch for free. If you’ve never traded before then this might be a good place to start. If you read his information and decide day trading is for you, then one of the paid courses might not be a bad idea.
Scam Sites to Stay Away From
I’ve come across a few sites that (START DISCLAIMER:) OTHER PEOPLE have suggested staying away from for one reason or another. The author nor website owner support this opinion. But I do want to share what others have written.
- Premiere Trade AI
- 4x Made Easy
Of course, like anything thing else, it’s highly recommended that you conduct your own research and take these suggestions with a grain of salt. Remember that just because someone else wasn’t able to succeed, doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to do so. Read up on every program you consider in depth and make the final judgment call for yourself.
Just like with anything else that you decide to do in life, if you do decide that you want to become a day trader, then you should be aware that it’s going to take hard work and dedication to make it. As the saying goes, “there’s no such thing as free lunch.” Even if you buy the absolute best trading education program that you find it doesn’t guarantee your success. That’s going to come from your hard work and dedication, which you can only provide if you are truly passionate about what you’re doing. It takes heart and dedication to make it to the top of any field, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that trading stocks, futures, options or FOREX is no exception to the rule. In fact, just because it is possible to master doesn’t mean that everyone that tries will succeed. But I can guarantee you this: if you try and fail, but work hard to succeed, then it’s only a matter of time before you will succeed and your goals will be achieved. No matter what anyone tells you, never give up the drive to be the best and follow through with every single thing you start.