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 random.org.  Good luck!

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

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