Questrade and the Online Trading Academy

A few months back, I was perusing on Questrade’s site and saw a free workshop for “Learn to Trade” with Online Trading Academy.  I thought it would be helpful to pick up some tips as there was a free lunch.  I have trouble passing up free lunch and education! Online Trading Academy is an affiliate of Questrade.  One of the main reasons I went was that they said that the Professional Trader course is free and paid for by Questrade through a tuition rebate.  More on that later.

The Online Trading Academy has been educating traders since 1997.  They have multiple locations throughout the world.

So I signed up for their Power Trading workshop (a half day session).  In the workshop, we got to meet with a professional trader and an instructor of their Professional Trader 3-7 day course.  It was a good half day session.  The trader tells us that he does his thing on the market for 30 minutes before he goes to work, and then he’s done for the rest of his day (and goes to his regular job- that’s the great thing about living on the west coast–the time difference!).  I found that for myself, I’m more of a swing trader.  I hold stocks and trade them in a matter of days to weeks.  The Online Trading Academy was more advocating for a daily trade- they encourage not to hold overnight because you never know what might happen.  They exert a lot of control with their trades.  They teach you technical analysis and how to trade in any type of market (up, down, sideways).

The selling points of Online Trading Academy are:

  • they give you THEIR money to trade with to learn (because you really can’t learn to trade in the market unless you got real money- it’s all about the psychology) though when I asked how much capital they gave the class to start off, I don’t think it was very much.
  • you can have unlimited class retakes (again, good for people who can take time off work easily) and
  • you can go to any Trading Academy centre around the world (they have one in Dubai, lol!) and retake it

The tuition rebate was actually that Questrade will rebate you 10% of your commissions (read: $0.50 to $1.00 of $4.95 to $9.95) until your tuition is paid off.  The tuition is roughly $5000 for one and $3750 for a couple for the 7 day workshop, so after about 3000-7000 trades (if you sign up for the couple option), your tuition will be paid off through your commissions.  That probably seems like a lot of trades (well to me it is), but if someone does lets say 4 trades daily M-F, that’s about 80 trades a month, so in about three years +, your tuition will be fully paid off.  Hmm. Still seems like a lot to me though.

Here are some unbiased reviews on Online Trading Academy, some people also mention the ‘hard sell’ tactic in the one day seminar.

Right now, in Canada, the Online Trading Academy is only available in Toronto and Vancouver.  If you live near these cities, I recommend signing up for their half day workshop if you have the time.  They were quite pushy in terms of trying to sell you their product after lunch (well, free lunch comes at a price, doesn’t it?).  But at least Questrade offers a rebate program, though it’ll take a while before you become fully compensated.

Another reason why I didn’t sign up was that in order to trade, you need to sign up for a direct access trading platform (to bypass the broker and execute a trade instantly in fractions of a second versus seconds to minutes).  That can cost about $75 a month.  Questrade does offer a simplified version of the direct access platform for free if you do 20 trades a month (it’s usually $20 a month).

I think if I didn’t have to work a full time job (or was able to easily get 1 week off) I would do it.  But because I do have to work and would rather go on vacation with that money and time, I will pass.

Now onto my humble giveaway!!

I have one of their Online Trading Academy 2 CD sets that I got from the seminar to give away (for all y’all that aren’t located near one of their schools):

This post wasn’t sponsored by them or anything, but I just had an extra CD set so wanted to pass on the good karma =)  Hope they’re okay with that!

One CD is the Ten Laws of Trading, and the other is the 7 Pillars of Trading both with Mike McMahon (he’s a course instructor and developer for the Online Trading Academy).  I found it pretty informative, both are about 30 minutes long.

To win, please subscribe via email or RSS and follow me on twitter- please also leave a comment so I  know that you did so (and I can enter you into my spreadsheet).  If you already are subscribed and following, just leave a comment.

I’ll pick the winner with  Good luck!

Contest deadline is: Sunday April 11, 2010 at 9pm PST


Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty and the main "twitter' behind Young and Thrifty's twitter account. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals. If you like what you read, consider signing up for email updates.

21 Responses to Questrade and the Online Trading Academy

  1. Was already subscribed, now following on twitter! Am already a Questrade customer so I would love the CD set.


  2. If I charged per trade like Questrade I would be talking about day trading too!

    There is one strategy that never seems to fail….Buy strong companies that are undervalued and ideally pay dividends and hold onto them. Decrease risk the closer you get to retirement.

  3. People lookig for free information to learn how to trade don’t have a chance at achieving consistency in the market. You are all dreamers. Professional traders have spent thousands on education and have had personal time with others to develop the skill. What chance does the general public have, especially when they go to the market because there fed up with their financial advisor! Dumb money in the market in my opinion. GLTYA, you’re gonna need it

    • @Leo17- Yeah, the market has really changed now, compared to before, because of the ability to trade online. Thanks for sharing your voice, Leo!

  4. Those free CDs are also free links on the Online Trading Academy website, so anyone can access them, but it’s nice that you are wanting to help people out. I just went to one of their workshops myself

    • @Leanne- Oh really? Thanks for letting us all know :) How did you like the workshop, Leanne? What did you think of it?

  5. Has anyone in Vancouver actually taken the course and can vouch for their own steady progress? I’m scheduled to attend the workshop on Mar 23 and I’m told the price is $5500 (after taxes). I’m definitely not cut out to be a day trader (I tried at one point, I did OK, but the stress was too much to handle and I was glued to the trading platform for hours. This was not how I wanted to live my life). Anyways, I’m interested in practical feedback from people who have gone through the course.

    • @Michael- I haven’t myself taken the course (mainly due to the price). I don’t think I am cut out to be a day trader either for the same reasons (too much stress), and I think it would be hard to find an exit and entry point without letting the “ego” (something they mention lots at the workshop) get to you. Please let me know what you thought of it after the course (if you end up taking it!).

  6. I tried the introductory 2 parter…mixed feelings on it.

    For theoretical…you can probably pick a lot of this from different places for your style… for someone starting out, it’s going to be a lot of information at once…for someone really advanced, it won’t be worth your time.

    For direct application…this is where it really seemed of value, so for the introductory or novice this is actually pretty good. For someone used to investing for a buy and hold, and looking to do swing or day, or other methods, this will give you a direct taste.

    Is it work the $5.5k? I’ll leave that to others to decide.

    For myself, I felt that maybe 3-4k would have been reasonable.

    • @JtotheA- Thanks for the review. I have not actually taken the course as I couldn’t take the time off and didn’t want to shell out that much money. Have you been able to apply what they have taught and become successful with the outcome?

  7. NP. I had taken it about 4 weeks ago, and I’m just starting to apply it slowly but surely. I’ll report back in 5 more months :)

  8. I am not sure if the CDs are still available as it’s almost an year ago this was offered.

    However, I would like to record my sincere appreciation for coming forward to give away something very useful.

    The world revolves only because of people like this and hopefully the winner actually uses this information and put it out to gather dust.

  9. Young,

    I have a friend who does a lot of trading and works at a large Brokerage House in Toronto. My understanding (from him) is 10% of active traders make money, lots of money, 30% to 40% break even (at the end of the year) the balance lose a little to a lot at the end of the year.

    I am curious to know if any readers who trade a lot, make any real money at the end of the year.

    • @Brian- Cool, thanks for sharing! I had a feeling that it was very difficult to make money as an active trader. The only entity or person that makes money 100% of the time is the brokerage house!

  10. @Young,

    I come across a lot of do it your-selfers. Some do well and do better than anything I could do. 2010 was a classic, the market went up for the first 6 months and then later in September was down at one point almost 15% or more. The some people I talked to (do-it your-selfers) lost money by the end of 2010. So hours and hours spent trying to figure out the market for the year got them nowhere.

    I think the general frustration is when people make no money, fees are blamed. One must lower fees. What happens when the markets don’t do what they are supposed to do like go up? Look for areas that go up. Unfortunately that works until it does not.

    Taxes, inflation, government rule changes (like CPP, RRIFs government claw backs like OAS, etc.) are almost never looked at. Also, what is the end game plan…how to make the money last a lifetime? Rates of return works to some degree when you are retired, but how about 10 years before retirement or in retirement? A market pull back always screws up projections.

    The major problem is there is no formal Financial Model.

    The planning falls in three areas:

    No Planning

    Occasional Planning

    Occasional planning tends to result in putting things off and to always be one or two steps behind, never quite having enough money or having it in the right place.

    Single Need Planning

    Many people wait until they are forced to make financial decisions. Single need planning focuses on planning for only one financial need at a time.

    Financial Planning

    Financial planning is a process that is heavily mathematical and requires a significant amount of number-crunching. Financial planning focuses on establishing several needs and goals and plotting a course of action to satisfy them. Financial planning typically uses fixed assumptions for taxes, rates-of-return, inflation, time, and other variables as determinants for the outcome of the plan. Since the world in which we live is changing, the fixed assumptions are difficult to predict and need constant updating and review.

  11. This is my take on this company: The instructors at this place are supposedly highly educated and very experienced professionals but if you look closely at the resumes of some of their staff, you will quickly realize that they are for the most part self-taught individuals just like any of us.
    This young guy Dale at Questrade didn’t have neither the hands-on experience or education to teach me anything I didn’t know already.

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