As a trader in a proprietary trading firm, it is common to receive questions on the practicability on paying for a trading course.
While paying someone thousands of dollars to master the “secrets” or “holy grail” to beat the financial market sounds like a good idea, allow me to share my humble point of view.
Trading Firm’s Interview Question vs Trading Courses’ Advertisements
I still remember going for my interview at my first proprietary trading firm, part of the interview questions were:
- Are you able to survive the first 6 to 9 months without a paycheck
- Are you willing to put in long hours every day to watch and learn the markets
- Are you aware that only about 5% of the people can make it in this competitive field and what makes you think you are one of them
Now compare the above questions headlines one usually sees on trading courses’ advertisements:
- Student made $1,628 in the first month of live trading
- You just need to spend 15 minutes a day reading charts
- Jane, a full-time housewife, makes $1000 passive income every month by trading in her free time
Here is the difference.
One is telling you the reality of trading while the other is selling you the fantasy of a dream. While their claims may be true,how many people actually have a positive return on investment from the courses they attended?
Before You Start Paying For A Trading Course
If you really think that the course is worth attending, go for their preview seminar and ask yourself or the trainer the following questions:
- Is the course material unique and proprietary?
- Can the information be found anywhere else on the internet? You should never pay thousands to learn basic indicators or candlestick patterns that are available online but packaged nicely and rebranded as their own “system”.
- Is the trainer willing to trade live in front of the participants? Showing a historical chart and claimed that he/she made money means nothing. Hindsight is always 20/20.
Things To Look Out For Before Registering For A Trading Course
During the presentation watch out for these further red flags:
- Unrealistic claims or projections of market returns.
- Lifestyle marketing. Showing off their luxurious lifestyle and possessions. These are marketing gimmicks to direct your state of mind towards greed. People make silly decisions in the moment of greed
- Poor credentials. Some of the trainers don’t even have a professional trading or investment background. You deserve someone well qualified and experienced to be your mentor
There are also subscription-based signals providers whereby one pays a recurring fee to get into this “exclusive group” where the signal provider gives tips and signals for you to put on a trade. If attending a trading course is similar to learning how to fish, signing up for signal services is basically asking for a free fish.
Always be skeptical on the type of “fish” are you getting. Whether their calls are correct or wrong, you still have to pay for the subscription. This means that the risk is entirely on you.
My colleagues and I often joke selling trading courses should we not be able to make money from trading. We simply term our trading courses as “Free Money” and at the end of the day whoever has the last laugh is pretty obvious.
Secret To Trading
The real secret to trading successfully is hard work, strong mental capacity and discipline. Having attended trading courses myself, I realised that these course providers are nowhere near compared to be being in a professional trading environment of a real trading firm.
I would recommend applying to join a proprietary trading firm to learn from real professionals who are making real money. Proprietary trading firms have every interest to make you succeed because ultimately, it is the company’s money you are trading with.
Good luck and happy trading!
Seedly Contributor: Vincent Foo
Vincent does full-time trading as a futures trader in a proprietary firm.
Constantly at the front line of risk management for his trading, he applies the same principle on his interest in the stock market and watches investments.
Editor’s note: The above is a really insightful article by Vincent Foo who is a part of our Seedly community. For readers who are interested in the lifestyle aspect of personal finance, check out Seedly’s content on Investing!