I went down to the Online Trading Academy today to meet Sam Seiden. I had to sit through a good hour and a half of talk about the “academy” first before Sam could get a word in. Let me walk you though the experience.
I arrived and was greeted by friendly reception and was offered some lousy coffee and stale chocolate brioche. It’s free, so can’t complain too much. I was then led to the training room and was introduced to several members of staff, I think there were six present. There were about 50 people in the room and the place seemed well kitted out with trader PCs (about 20 or so), an overhead projector, etc. There were many members of staff present in the room and I had to sit through about an hour of information on the history of the company and how great they were, office locations, blah blah blah. Gene Longobardi spoke for a while as did Sam Evans and Viktor Grauaug. There were a couple of other members of staff but I didn’t get their names.
Sam Seiden was very good, seemed to know his stuff and lived up to my expectation of a real professional trader. He walked through many examples of recent successful trades (with no statements mind you to prove it) and it did look impressive with high R trades. Sam showed on his example charts where he placed his demand and supply zones but he wouldn’t tell the group for free the criteria for the zones. He mentioned that he was looking for around three to five “odds enhancers” but wouldn’t say what they were. One thing that did surprise me a llittle was that he didn’t care whether the candles were bull candles or bear candles (bull being the close higher than the open price) and said that he could just make them all black.
Sam said that price should accelerate away from a demand/supply zone and not spend much time there. This shows imbalance in the supply/demand equation and gives clues as to where to mark the zones. He did say that demand/supply levels were different to support/resistance levels but wouldn’t clarify exactly why, I presume because he was out of time and needed to rattle through the slides so that we could be told more about the academy from the other instructors.
The rest of the day had little educational content and the whole experience was unsurprisingly a sales/marketing operation. There was some information on Futures markets, but that was just “filler” material and had little educational content. At this point I had written down a series of questions and wanted them answered so I went to find Sam during the break. Viktor noticed me looking and asked to help. I said I had some questions for Sam and he said come into my office I’ll help you out. I was then subjected to a strong hard sell of the courses. I was quite taken aback how shameless this guy was. He was reasonably polite, but was very firm telling me that I needed to take the Pro trader course. I asked him what asset class that course was and he said Stocks. I had already told him that I had no interest in stocks and only wanted to trade forex and futures. He seemed to ignore me and told me that those could come later. It seemed to me at this point that he was merely trying to get me to take as many courses as he possibly could and thus extract the most amount of money from me. He offered my something called the Lite Permier Passport which comprised of:
- Pro Trader course (or forex trader, although I was steered away from that)
- Lifetime extended learning pack (XLT)
- 1 year pro picks – I told him I was not interested in that whatsoever
- Platform training on TradeStation (I already know TradeStation)
I told Viktor that I was not going to spend any money today, especially a large sum like that. I told him that when buying a car or a house I would never make a decision on the spot, I would think about it and chat it over with my spouse and sleep on it. He was not going to let me do that. He kept pressuring me and by this time all the other delegates had gone back to the training room. I said I should get back. He told me to go and call my wife and tell her that I was buying the training. I couldn’t believe it. He also didn’t seem to care that he hadn’t answered any of the questions I had written down, he was only interested in selling me courses and closing the deal.
I sat and listened to one more session from Sam Seiden and waited for the break so that I could get out of there. On the break, Viktor tracked me down with his elite sniffer dog nose and told me he would offer me a further £250 discount. I said I would think about it. He told me to go and call my wife again and talk it over with her, he then said that I didn’t even have to do that because he could just simply return my money if I changed my mind. I told him I really like the course and I would probably buy it, but I’m not buying it today. I would phone him tomorrow and order then. He said well, the price will go up to £11,000 tomorrow, you have to do it now. I again, reaffirmed that I was not going to buy it today.
At this point alarm bells were ringing in my head, but it was rather confusing. On the one hand I was listening to one of the world’s most respected and renowned futures traders and on the other hand I was dealing with an unprofessional second hand car salesman – both in the same company. I decided at this point to gather my things and just leave.
The Sam Seiden sessions were good, but I’m not even sure they were worth me taking an entire day out of my schedule, and resisting the barrage of trading education salespeople was, by the end of the today unbearable. I find it a bit sad that someone of Sam Seiden’s calibre is associated with such an unprofessional sales team, but I guess that’s an issue for Sam. Maybe he’s not what we think he is after all.
EDIT 7 June 2013
Comments have now been disabled, I think we have enough and people are resorting to name calling which I won’t tolerate.