I have come across a few traders online offering courses that teach you their strategies. The big promise is a fast track to success which bypasses the tedious and painful learning curve they had to go through themselves.
I am in two minds about this. For now, I have decided to do my own thing until I understand trading better, know what I want to get out of it and what my preferences are. I think there are quite a few questions I’d need to ask myself before signing up for a course.
- First of all, it is difficult to know who is the real deal, and who is actually a failed trader trying to make some money off me instead of the markets. Thus, I keep an eye on some of the “gurus” on Twitter or their websites to see what they come up with over time.
- Is a great trader also a great teacher? Like some academics who are brilliant researchers but poor lecturers, the same may apply to traders. It might help to read their blogs or watch their tutorials and see if their explanations make sense to me.
- Do I like their attitude? Many trainers will state that trading is not about getting rich quick, but then shout about the big wins of themselves and their students. Of course, success stories are excellent ad material if conveyed the right way. Which of the two messages comes across more genuine though? Can I get a feel for their attitude and, thus, their target clients?
- Does their trading style suit my personality? If I pay a few grand upfront, I’ll have to stick with the course or write off the money for nothing. I’d probably chat to them about my expectations if I was ever interested in a course.
- Do I even know my trading personality as a newbie? When I started looking into things, I wanted to become a day trader. Now that I have dabbled in the real market a little bit, there is no way I want to get into the fast-paced world of day trading.
- Do the trainer’s schedule and demands suit my lifestyle? For example, working a full-time job can make it difficult to follow a trainer and complete all the “homework”. Another point I’d enquire about before signing up.
- What account size would they want me to trade with? Can I afford it? Would I feel comfortable? Do I agree that the suggested sum is needed for a training account? Are they happy to compromise, or will they give me grief all the time? Thinking in the opposite direction: Would the training only run with a dummy account or will it involve real money? Obviously, I’d want to test their system with real money whilst I can still get their feedback on my trades.
There are probably more questions that would crop up once I was seriously considering investing into a course, but that’s all that comes to mind just now.
Check out Darren Reed’s interview on Chat with Traders. I listened to it shortly after I published this blog post. He makes some excellent points on training new traders.