Caution with Online Trading Academy

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)
The price? £7,990!

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.


73 thoughts on “Caution with Online Trading Academy

  1. Paul

    Seems like you made the right decision.
    Almost threatening you that the course would be £11k tomorrow is such a cheap, desperate sales technique. Ands as for telling your wife you’re buying the course….well my wife would have my b*lls.

    Keep up with your trading.


    1. keymoo Post author

      Lol, thanks Paul. It surprised me because at the beginning they were actually quite professional and I expected some marketing, that’s the whole point of the day, but to be subjected to a hard sell like that indicated to me that maybe they weren’t profitable traders after all.

      1. Ifyouknowmemailme

        If you are such an experienced trader, why did you bother going to an OTA presentation? The women you get accosted by at the expos are much more attractive than the OTA staff and its hardly for the tea and cakes.

        1. Moo Trader Post author

          This comment is made a year after the original post. At that time I was not consistently profitable, I was still seeking for the holy grail. Things are different now, and I don’t need to go to these events. I never go to expos.

          1. Ifyouknowmemailme

            Not even to chat the birds in the mini skirts? C’mon , It must be worth a look see.

  2. Fernando

    Amazing review! Thanks for it.

    I can’t believe the “call your wife and tell her that I was buying the training” thing…. probably Sam is not what he looks like if he is selling that stuff on that way

  3. Srini

    Thanks for the review.
    I was at one point intrigued, specially after watching some of his webinars over at fxstreet. but here are the things –
    requirement for Pro is that you have to take their basic training which costs heck a lot of money. All they teach in the basics is usage of different indicators. I specifically asked this question to Sam – “You dislike indicators and you dont use any of them, so why do I need to take a course that teaches me indicators before i can learn your method that doesn’t use any indicators?’ He didnt have an answer or he simply gave a very vague answer. Thats when I knew, XLT was not for me. I think i made a wise choice. And I think you did too!
    Good luck.

    1. keymoo Post author

      Yes I think so, I was disappointed because they have a long history and the company is actually quite large, so they must be doing something right. Now I’ve discovered what they are doing right. It’s not that they are profitable successful traders and they have your interests at heart, they are successful because obviously their aggressive selling tactics seem to work. I’m glad I didn’t sign up, and all the information on trading Sam’s style is on the internet for free anyway, I’ve worked it out myself already. I found it interesting browsing through the Forex Peace Army reviews, similar to my own experience a lot of them.

      1. muleman

        I had the same experience in Dallas. One of the most vicious sales person I have ever met.

  4. vijidas

    Thanks for that great review keymoo. It shows that traders who are successful doesn’t have to make a living out of teaching and those who teach may not be what they claim to be.

    In trading we are on our own. Success is something we have to find it on our own. No one can help us with that.

    Great post keymoo. Thanks.

  5. Jason Gram

    Terrible review. You sound like someone searching for free information, hoping to compete with professionals. I am a graduate of OTA. I have taken classes and have sat through events such as this. Never have I ever been in a “hard sell” or pressured into doing anything. The event is meant to introduce you to the school. OF COURSE they are not going to try to teach people in one day something that takes months and years to learn. I love this school and the staff. The education is better than anything you can find out there. I know because OTA has changed the way I trade and allowed me to progress from a losing trader into a consistently profitable trader.

    I have been viewing this blog for a little while now and have thought there were some good things on here, but after this post, which only CLEARLY serves to defame a perfectly good school, I am no longer interested in it. You should strongly consider a retraction, but that would only happen from one whom does not have ulterior motives.

    1. keymoo Post author

      Hi Jason, thanks for your honest opinion. I respect that. IF you have been reading this blog “for a a little while” then you will realise that my overriding main objective is openness and honesty. I post my losing trades, my winning trades, I expose my vascillations, my system hopping, all my flaws, tales of frustration and desperation are all laid out bare for all to see. Why do this? Well, I want a record of my trading journey and education, and a great way to do this is to record it on a blog. I have an intrinsic desire to help people, and I think that showing how hard this business is via a blog sheds some light on the journey to others starting out in this business. I have also received countless private messages and some public comments and made some new valuable trading friends this way. So the blog has many uses to me too.

      The trading event marketed by Online Trading Academy was not marketed as a sales presentation for their courses. It was not marketed as an introduction. Here are some points directly cut and pasted from their marketing email for the FREE Sam Seiden day (I have taken the liberty to apply bold to some parts):

      “In this special event you’ll learn the truth, including:

      * How the world’s largest brokerages were making billions in day trading… at the same time they urged their customers to “buy and hold”.
      * Identifying supply and demand levels… how you too can “buy at wholesale, sell at retail” like the big institutional traders.
      * How to treat trading like a business and make an investment in yourself.
      * How to find trade set-ups with an optimal risk/reward ratio… increasing the probability of success on every trade.

      Get answers from a master trader at this complimentary event!”

      They clearly did not deliver what they promised. I did not expect a comprehensive education in one day, that would be silly, but they couldn’t even deliver on their marketing email. I don’t care whether you had a hard sell or not, I’m reporting that I did. If you don’t believe me I don’t care either, I’m just continuing the spirit of the blog and merely reporting what happened.

      Regarding the hard sell. Just be honest with yourself and ask if this is hard sell or not. You get pulled into a side-room one-on-one expecting to have your questions answered (which they weren’t). You are asked to pay £8000 for a trading course that doesn’t meet your needs (I was asked to do a stocks course). I say to the salesperson, it looks good and I’ll think about it, let me speak to my wife and book it tomorrow. To then be told that would not be possible I must book it today or the price goes up to £11,000. It’s simply ridiculous and crude selling tactics. If the course was that great it should sell itself. When does the average person spend that amount of money on a whim? Sleeping on it for a day and doing some research via websites like Forex Peace Army is simply due diligence.

      On question for you. Why would I “CLEARLY” try and defame a “perfectly good school”? Think about motives. Why would I be motivated to do that? I’m not a vendor or system seller, I’m just a struggling trader trying to make a huge lifestyle change in my own life. You mention that I should consider a retraction. Please tell me which part, because I will retract anything that is untrue.

      From the tone of your comment, you come across as a sycophant, and would not be surprised if you were an instructor or member of staff at online trading academy. Oh, and please tell me what my ulterior motives are. I don’t expect that you will reply.

      Sincerely, Moo Trader

      1. Jason Gram

        As with most of your reply, you are wrong. You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine. The difference is, I have actually been to the school. I have actually purchased a class. I have actually emailed, talked with, sat with multiple staff members and instructors. They have all lead to a first class experience. You can try to discredit me and call me all the names all you want–it doesn’t matter.
        I am just simply here to stick up for an organisation that is unique and true to their word. When I see you dragging their name through the mud I must respond.
        And for the record, no, I do not think any of what you wrote was indicative of a hard sell or not delivering on what they promised. They are a business not a charity. What did you expect that they would invite you to an event and not ask you if you would like to come to the school? And when you said “no” is it so unusual that they persisted? Good businesses ask for your business–it doesn’t bother me.
        This business hasn’t been successful because they treat people badly or because their product doesn’t work. That’s fact not opinion.

        1. keymoo Post author

          OK let me ask you this. When you go and buy a car for say £8000, do you look at it, test drive it and buy it on the spot? No, you think about it, chat it over with friends/spouse, etc and maybe sleep on it. Does the car salesman say you have to buy this now because tomorrow it will be £11,000? No, that never happens – it’s a ridiculous sales technique. Does the car salesman try and sell you an automatic when you want a manual? No, you tell them what you want, and the good ones will show you and sell you what you ask for. Viktor tried to sell me a stocks trader course for £8000 when I told him I was interested in forex/futures.

          Where am I wrong precisely? I merely reported what happened. How can that be “wrong”? Anyway, enough. I am clearly wasting my time responding to you.

        2. muleman

          I got the same results in Dallas. The toughest sales pitch I have seen in my life.

          1. Ifyouknowmemailme

            Muleman,sorry to hear you had a hard sell in Dallas but you with the strength of personality to be a trader will h know how to counter it.

      2. BJ.

        I like to shed some light on OTA and the Jason Gram doesn’t sound credible. I actually purchased the Diamond plan with OTA and I’m so glad i’m not associated with OTA as a student any more. OTA definitely has a hard sell approach…none of the invitations for “free courses” are really educational courses. They are designed to bring in new students or to upsell current students.

        When I first visited OTA I knew nothing about trading and investing and signed up for the power trading workshop. I was very excited to be there but in the middle of the presentation I was called into a room…which I thought was odd. Then a very hard sell took place…me being a lawyer….I said no.

        But eventually maybe a year later I signed up for the Forex courses. I was disappointed by the onsite class but I still believed in the school…well really Sam Seiden. So I signed up for the XTL and then eventually the Diamond Plan which had everything. Big mistake…..because I was not profitable….but I took it as it was part of the learning curve and I liked the guys at OTA.

        But I started to notice that no one was profitable…..but they liked the people…..and you will find that most people will give good reviews but they are not profitable and they have been coming there for years. Then I began to wonder strongly why these traders would travel all across the country but they were supposedly successful traders.

        I feel ashamed that I recommended a friend of mine to OTA even though I wasn’t profitable. It wasn’t until I connected with some real successful traders that everything I was learning at OTA was the complete opposite of what I should be doing.

        I thought that Sam Seiden was a trading God…..he’s not it’s mathematically impossible. These new traders I met got me into options and trading with a mathematical edge. And I figured out that the supply and demand approach at OTA is bs. I never was into fundamental analysis always just technical analysis…..both of the methods will never in the long run beat more than a 50/50 chance. This means that you can do all the fundamental research you want learn all the technical analysis you want…..or you can just pick a stock because you like how the Company’s logo looks……and your probability of success is 50/50.

        OTA teaches if you risk 1…..your reward should be at least 3……this is the complete opposite of what you should do. OTA teaches stop orders….I thought I was so smart learning this…..but I would always get stopped out. There is a reason for it….you can look at an option chain and see that you had an almost 100% chance of being stopped out based on probability of touching.

        There is no mathematical way to be successful just picking whether an underlying will go up or down without a probability based method on top of it. This coming from some of the smartest traders in the business.

        My point is to not waste your money at OTA or any school that relies on fundamental analysis and technical analysis. Stock movement is random and you must make money like casinos do with mathematical edge. OTA’s odds enhancers is just some more BS technical analysis. Sam Seiden claims that the supply and demand method taught at OTA is different from regular technical analysis…’s not. You will never learn at OTA how to buy Apple puts and Short Nasdaq stocks against them to buy duration to wait until you are right and take profits.

        Do not waste your money. These are not profitable traders….you can not make money just being a stock picker…they did another study this year and most of the so call best stock pickers where barely 50/50 and there was a normal distribution curve.

        Don’t believe they hype.

          1. BJ.

            Man, shut up. I’m an options trader and it can be mathematically proven stock movement is random. Stock movement in an efficient market is 50/50 with a positive drift equal to the risk free rate. You are not a real trader….eat a dick.

  6. vijidas

    Jason, Post a retraction? who are you kidding? I bet you are some way related to OTA. keymoo seem to have posted his experience. If you had a positive experience then share it with us instead of going on all out attack. If someone has something positive to share they would just share it. But your comments were all out attack to defend a company. No one would do that unless they are related to the company in some way.

  7. bd01

    re Jason Gram’s response – anyone who is that aggressive & states that he is right therefore you are wrong has an agenda & has done more worse than good as now people will associate his comments with OTA, & if they are linked then more the shame of OTA.
    How can anyone who wasnt at OTA the day you attended claim to know that you are wrong? This has made his defence completely ridiculous.
    The guy is clearly an idiot, and if thats the sort of people OTA attract then, regardless of how bad your experience was, would you want to be associating yourself with half wits like this. Nope.
    Good blog btw.

  8. Jason Gram

    I can see we have a continuation of mindless morons here. First off, I am related to OTA. As I have said, I am a STUDENT. How many times do I have to write that? So in other words, my experience has been overwhelmingly positive enough that I have spent money with them. Second, where Moo Trader was wrong, was that he called me names and tried to discredit me and then doubted I wouldn’t reply. Well, sorry for you people I did reply and up until this post I have refrained from calling anyone, including Moo Trader, a name.
    So, to sum it all up, my opinion was that Moo Trader’s review lacked accuracy on a school that I believe to be first class. If the you people prefer to attempt to trade using the inaccurate and limited information you find on the web and books, go right ahead. The market is already full of them. My apologies if my post is negative, but I just find this level of ignorance to be irritating.

    1. keymoo Post author

      Hi Jason,

      1) Where did I call you names precisely? As far as I can tell so far you have been the only one doing that. I find that irritating.

      2) Where and how exactly did I discredit you? I doubt you will reply because you seem to have an inability to reply directly to my direct questions.

      3) You still cannot seem to be able to reply with accurate, factual statements and continue to promote in a woolly fashion an academy that had, in my experience, dubious sales practises.

      4) How is my review inaccurate? You still seem unable to answer that.

      1. Jason Gram

        Quoting Moo Trader:
        Hi Jason,

        1) Where did I call you names precisely? As far as I can tell so far you have been the only one doing that. I find that irritating.
        —-“From the tone of your comment, you come across as a sycophant, and would not be surprised if you were an instructor or member of staff at online trading academy.”

        2) Where and how exactly did I discredit you? I doubt you will reply because you seem to have an inability to reply directly to my direct questions.
        —-Oops, wrong again Moo. I am replying and please see above quote where you attempt to discredit my post by saying I am an employee

        3) You still cannot seem to be able to reply with accurate, factual statements and continue to promote in a woolly fashion an academy that had, in my experience, dubious sales practises.
        —What more factual, accurate statements do I need other than “I am a student. All my experiences with the instructors, sales team, coaches, etc have been positive”? You are just reaching now.

        4) How is my review inaccurate? You still seem unable to answer that.
        —let me post back your writings so you can hopefully see
        “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.”

        You write this but then go on to write another post that the marketing email said:

        “* Identifying supply and demand levels… how you too can “buy at wholesale, sell at retail” like the big institutional traders.
        * How to find trade set-ups with an optimal risk/reward ratio… increasing the probability of success on every trade.

        Get answers from a master trader at this complimentary event!”

        They clearly did not deliver what they promised. I did not expect a comprehensive education in one day, that would be silly, but they couldn’t even deliver on their marketing email.”

        So you see Moo, you seem to be either inaccurate of your experience or just flat out contradictory of it. You got what you were promised BUT DIDN’T GET WHAT YOU WANTED (like a comprehensive explanation of odds enhancers) AND THEREFORE SEEM A BIT BITTER ABOUT IT, so you focus on a sales process which is your justification to discredit the school. When I come across this kind of stuff on the internet it just ticks me off. This is my last post. I am done wasting my time with someone who can’t reads what he writes. I would be surprised if you posted this. I admire your determination in becoming a trader and your hard work in creating a site like this, but I just have to vehemently disagree on this subject because OTA has become a family to me and I stand up for my friends and family.

        1. Bostjan

          I was in ota 7 day class protrader 1,2.It was very good,clear and I understand trading much much more.I started with trading one year ago and spent 500$ every month for books,strategyes etc,usualy worthless.Tha OTA was my best disision. Anzzar

          1. Kirk

            I hear the good and bad. I have only been to the intro one day class.
            But I am curious as to how well you have done since then.
            Is it improving ? Was it really worth the money? I know it takes time to learn but how do you feel about the class?

    2. Peter

      The op of the blog was clearly relaying his experience thoughts and feelings about his time at the specific OTA session that he attended and was not a review of the school itself. You have come in ‘guns a blazing’ saying how wrong he is. How can he be wrong, he simply stated his experience. You on the other hand with your aggressive response seem to have an agenda. Instead you could have politely said that you are sorry that his first impressions were negative but as a student I have a much more positive view and this is why… etc etc. However you chose not to. You give the impression that you have a hidden agenda and in the process you have have further instilled the negative impression of OTA. I very much think that with the very low emotional intelligence that you have displayed you are not a profitable trader, which further undermines OTA.

  9. Paul

    Hey Keymoo,

    I’m a long time reader of your blog, but it’s my first time posting. We seem to share a lot in common, from our IT background (and the use of VMs for our infrastructure backend), to following Sam Seiden until getting tired of his ‘odd enhancers’ selling tactics, all the way to a common mentor (albeit a fraud one… LOL).

    Don’t listen to whatever Jason Gram says. He sounds just like one of those trolls at the FF forums. Reminds me of those Jacko worshipers who would jump and attack anyone who had the courage to try to uncover the truth. If he is not one of OTA’s staff, I bet you he doesn’t even know how to properly trade, so how would he even know whether what OTA is feeding him is even good material or not. With that being said, I’m not doubting Sam Seiden’s trading abilities, I just don’t see the point of all his supposedly ‘free’ webinar where all he does is try to does it try push you the XLT courses; Also I wished he had would show us some real account statements 🙂

    Keep up the good work,


    1. Moo Trader Post author

      Thanks for the comment Paul, I appreciate it. We should talk offline about VMs and “geek out” about that. My Hypervisor probably needs upgrading from v4.1 but I don’t have the guts to do it… 🙂

      I don’t have a problem with Jason defending OTA, if they’ve been good to him, then great. They’re just not for me.

      1. Paul

        Nothing to thank me for, Moo. Yes, we should get offline sometime. I must admit though, that I’ve left my geek-self aside more and more since I began trading professionally.

        I’m also still stuck on 3i as my current HP ML110 servers run 32 Bit procs. Looking forward to upgrade them, too!

        Keep up the good work.

  10. bob

    Register for free on the OTA website.
    Go to the priority pass section.
    Enough free online course material for a basic introduction.
    Then you can decide.

    1. Niranjan

      I attended a power trading workshop by OTA in MD yesterday. Of course, I wasn’t expecting them to reveal any of their secrets. Neither was I expecting to learn something new. I just wanted to know more about their training program. The program sounds promising. I am not able to make a decision to join, as it costs close to 7k for the 7day program. That is a lot of money, and I need to be sure it is worth it, before I sign up. If anybody else other than Jason has attended their professional trader program, it would be great to hear from them. I am searching web to read about the experience of ex-students. All can I find is the negative rant about them based on the introductory seminar, which I think is not fair to them, whether it is a sales pitch or not.

      1. dlane

        I’ve gone through OTAs ProTrader class as well as their XLT futures and technical analysis courses. The discussion this far has been pretty skewed, so perhaps I can just address the issues that have been brought up thus far in discussion.

        Does OTA employ high-pressure sales tactics? Yes. In fact, they would put a car salesman to shame. Neither I nor my father were relentlessly pursued by OTAs staff at the seminar (or “The Sales Pitch,” as I like to call it) as was Moo Trader, but when we sat down with one of the coaches to go over the details he did tell us that we had to make a decision then and there, or he would sell the seats to someone else. Additionally, they do periodically pitch new programs and additional courses to students – all of which weigh in at several thousand dollars.

        Speaking only from my experience with the Atlanta campus, this isn’t really much of a big deal, although it may be different at other locations. When I’ve declined to sign up for additional programs & services they’ve respected my position and moved on. No pestering, no high-pressure “you’ve got to do this now” type of stuff. I say no, they say okay.

        Is it worth the money? This depends on what you believe your money is being spent on. OTA will not provide you with a license to print your own money. The core strategy that they teach at OTA (supply and demand) is effective, but, as has already been stated, isn’t anything so sophisticated that you shouldn’t be able to figure it out by carefully studying Sam Siden’s webinars. I’ve met plenty of frustrated students who think they’re spending $7,000+ to learn some industry secret that will turn them into a millionaire in two years time. The fact of the matter is that the educational material that they provide, as well as the intricacies of the OTA core strategy, are not by themselves worth the several thousands of dollars you pay to get in the door.

        Instead, what you are paying for is access to successful traders and coaches. Some people may weight this more lightly than I do, but being able to sit down 1-on-1 with a variety of instructors either in person or via email is worth the high initial cost. If I have a question about the markets, strategies, etc., I get answers detailed to my satisfaction. The coaching staff is always willing to sit down with me and go over all the details of my trading and the XLT programs (online) offer regular opportunities to work with instructors in the live markets.

        The only caveat worth mentioning here is that some of their instructors are reluctant to talk about proprietary systems they may use individually, outside of OTA. That is to say, while most of the instructors will go into detail about how to effectively execute the OTA strategy and any nuances they personally add to it, some of the former floor traders in the school who employ their own strategies will either keep certain things to themselves or teach those strategies only to students in their classes. Nothing critical, of course, but note-worthy nonetheless.

        Do they practice what they preach? As far as I can tell, yes. When they teach these classes they typically do so during trading hours (excluding XLT, which are always done in the live market). They go over whatever material they are supposed to cover and then they trade the strategies, explaining to students what they’re doing and why. Moreover, they don’t do any window dressing. If a trade doesn’t work out or a strategy fails, they don’t try to hide it or paint it as a flook. As a matter of fact, they devote a considerable amount of time talking about bad trades, strategy failure & risk management. (Ironically, a portion of the education most students seem to miss completely.)

        Do they force you to take ProTrader? I can’t verify this. While it was conveyed to me that this is a prerequisite for the other courses, I’ve met a couple of students in XLT courses who never attended nor signed up for the class. It is a stock-focused class with very little time devoted to futures or FX, as has already been mentioned. Requiring futures or FX traders to take it is a bit silly when you consider some details, but I could take a wild guess that it has to do with risk management since they have students trade live money on day 6 or 7 of the class. Having 40 people who don’t know what they’re doing pressing buttons in a futures or FX room could get expensive quick.

        Why would a highly successful trader teach? Apparently, life gets really boring when you only work from 9 to12. This has to be the no. 2 most frequently asked question by students when an instructor introduces him/herself to a new class (next to “how much money can I expect to make doing this?”).

        In all seriousness, though, these guys teach for various reasons. Some guys do it because they have nothing better to do, some of them do it for the additional money, and some just enjoy teaching. The important thing is that they are successful at trading, not why they happen to be there. There aren’t any shenanigans going on, as one poster here suggests might be the case.

        Is this the Wild West? This… Is a pretty accurate assessment of trading education. As I mentioned, you are paying for access to experienced, successful traders, not “education.” The bulk of material OTA will provide you with can be found on the internet. In fact, I’ve had my coach refer me to several non-OTA sources for information relating to various matters. So I can’t make a case for the value being in the technical aspects of their programs. It’s all in the access to instructors and coaches. There is no gold-standard trading methodology and any astute observer can become a successful trader with the right skills and dedication. OTA simply cuts down on the learning curve and (hopefully) prevents you from blowing up your account.

        1. Kirk

          Thank you for your information. It sounds very true. I have contemplated taking the course but was never sure if it was worth the money . But from what you are saying it is really up to the student to be taught and learn on their own as well . the word coach is a good term.
          I went to the one day class I had NO pressure sales on me. In fact I have been 2 times over a 2 year period.
          But I wonder if it is possible to learn on your/my own by following what they teach on line.?
          Thanks again

    2. Kirk

      I have thought about taking the class but not sure if it is worth it.
      have you taken the class? If so how was it?

  11. Peter

    If you know where to look you can get OTA XLT course for about $500 recorded seminars and live trading. There is no way I would pay £7K. After viewing such material of a friend who bought it, I can honestly say there isn’t that much more information you can take away from the course compared to what Seiden offers for free elsewhere as long as you are prepared to put the work in and go over his fxstreet videos many times over..

  12. EnocFX

    I have been trading Forex making and losing for 7years since 2005, I never recovered from my first blow up when I first started. Forex is a very hard market to trade, it does not really respect any levels or direction for very long and will slice right through when you least expect it. All the retail FX trader/Teachers out there are all BS IMO, the really big players dont post or teach they may give an interview or right a book on some high level stuff like soros, but its few and far. Again its all to make money from newbies, who end up blowing up again and again. FXstreet and these sites FF are a honey pot to suck in new traders and keep the cash flowing. They are a whole bunch of FX education money suckers and systems out there looking to take your money. develope or find your own thing and do what you want dont listen to and throw your money for education its full of snakes and schemers FX and trading in general is the wild west. with the disclaimer they can do whatever they want.

  13. Dan DeLave


    That was nicely put and, I think, pretty accurate about what you can expect from OTA. I am a graduate, spent plenty of money there, and feel that I got and am getting what I paid for. As dlane put it, you get access to other like minded and similarly educated people making the Market work for them.

    1. diy

      Question for Dan Delave, How long did it take for their method to work and how long were you trading before joining ota?

  14. OTA XLT Sam Seiden

    I found your website the other day and after reading a handful of posts, thought I would say thank you for all the great content. Keep it coming! I will try to stop by here more often.

  15. Bulky

    OTA – Still on the fence on taking the Pro starting course. I echo what Keymoo cites in many ways and yet want to “shorten that learning curve” as Diane mentions. BUT – make no mistake, a portion of the free “workshop” is a high-pressure sell session. Since we are all in control of our own wallets, it is not hard to demur or say “no”.

    But it was uncomfortable and “funny” in some ways. A key pressure point (besides saying “the price goes up $2k unless you sign today”), is that they imply they only want people who are decisive. Otherwise, the implication is that you will never be a good trader. Implying that if you have to “ask your wife” you lack that decisiveness that they want at their courses. Kind of pissed me off but not that I would show it. Once you indicate you are not buying today, you are dropped like a hot potato.

  16. ramadon

    The proof of the pudding of the OTA course is what return did you make on your investment and how long did that take?

  17. T

    I went to one of their free presentations in London recently.

    Here are my thoughts:

    1. Nobody tried to sell me anything – whatsoever. They seem to be good psychologists and know in advance who is gullible and who is not. They probably saw my TAG and a Prada manbag and thought ‘Shouldn’t waste time on this one’! In fact, when I tried to ask Sam Seiden questions, he answered them quickly and moved away from me. He was avoiding me. As I turned around, I saw him chatting away with another guy taking his time. So, they try to figure out their potential ‘victims’ and those who are more of less on the ball.

    2. When Sam Seiden introduced himself in the beginning, he said ‘My name is Sam Evans’ (!!!) I acually wrote it down! Why would he say that? Well, that’s suspcicious. Is it because Sam Evans is easier for the British ear than the Jewish Seiden?

    3. I talked to a lady called Karen Trisko during the break. She is American and also teaches there. A very presentable lady. I asked her if she traded for living. She said she had a management consutancy, traded options and taught classes at OTA. When I googled her later, she says on her LinkedIN profile that she co-FOUNDED OTA and SOLD the business recently! Wow, I thought she is the boss! Then, I went on Wikipedia and it says that OTA was founded in 1997 by some Arabic guy. Hmmm. Appears people are not really what they appear to be at OTA! I hunted her down on the Internet and she lives in some remote village in Colorado where average household income is below national average!

    4. Talked to another ‘instructor’ during the break. Asked him ‘do you trade?’ He said NO. Why would I want to be instructed by a theory guy? When a sales rep called me the next day, I asked about this guy to which the rep replied immediately ‘On he is new, he doesn’t teach’ Huh?

    5. To be honest, I find this all too good to be true. No technical analysis, no fundamentals, nothing. True, I don’t believe in technical analysis but fundamentals do play role.

    6. The advertised 3 day course was offered at £1,000 for all three days but then they dropped in to £299! Isn’t it unbelievable? £299 for three days and they advertise it for £1,750 on the website? They must be desperate! why would successful traders who are making that in a day, would teach for £100 a day?

    7. The advertised 3-day course was not even on their calendar online.

    In a nutshell, I am sure Sam Seiden knows his stuff but there are just too many inconsistencies which when they add up, make it all a bit suspicious. The people are not exactly what they seem to be!

    1. Moo Trader Post author

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I big problem I have with trading educators, especially the educating companies is: If they are so good at trading, why are they teaching? I know some people like to teach, and you can come up with all kinds of reasons, but if you were making millions trading, would you bother to set up a company to teach it? I highly doubt that Sam Seiden is as successful as he makes out he is, not that I even care anymore…

      I am very fortunate now to have found a mentor that really knows how to trade, and I am testing his ideas right now. How much does he charge? Nothing! Zilch. He’s doing it because he loves it, and probably feels sorry for someone like me that has spent years trying to learn and got nowhere.

    2. Ifyouknowmemailme

      You sir are talking the most massive load of bollox. The senior education person based in the UK is called Sam Evans, I presume you can distinguish between accents. OTA was founded by Eyal Shahar in 1997 and he comes across as very genuine person. This short youtube vid says it all. ALL of the OTA instructors are traders, they have to prove this before they can even be accepted in the teaching role. What OTA will give you is the set of checklist things you MUST HAVE before you consider before you trade live. The biggest barrier with most people is an unwillingness to face their own faults and the market is a great humbling device. Oh sure the hard sell is part of it, I personally don’t like it but as a businessman I can accept it. Remember this.
      Most people are looking for a quick fix to riches, what you will learn at OTA is just how greedy and lazy you are with a preference to listen to the fundamentals and technicals of others..

  18. rolliby

    ONE this you have to ask yourself:

    IF this course was so successful, then why do the sales-people even exist? They should be using their own techniques and being “coaches” at a fee, IF it actually works the way the school tries to say it does.

    ‘Nuff said.

    BTW, Jason is def a Troll. Take it from a 14 yr. SEO and social media professional. His posts are meant to inflame and cast doubt on your honest opinion and observations.

  19. Ned

    Excellent review and exactly the same experience I had in the New York City office. I’ve been listening to their podcasts for quite some time and they do seem like they have a great methodology. However, I was so strong-armed by their sales person, that I decided they were more interested in sales than content. I left amicably enough, telling the sales person I was at least 6 months away from making a decision and I would call when I was ready. I specifically told him not to call me but to email me if he wanted to follow up.

    Well, 3 months went by and the salesman called right before my father’s funeral was about to start. Thinking it was a relative who needed directions to the funeral home, I answered the call. After he identified himself, I told him I was in the middle of my father’s funeral and not to call me again. He had the nerve (in NY, we call it chutzpah) to send me a very nasty email, telling me that I had let him down and had not stayed in touch with him!

    I still listen to their daily podcasts because I find their information very informative. No, I don’t expect something for nothing, but their current sales approach is a huge turn-off. That’s really funny because they have such a strong contrarian nature which I like but they act really come off just like Jim Cramer on TV.

  20. Steve

    I’m a graduate of OTA and have had mixed experiences. Though I never had an actual class with Sam, several of his proteges taught classes I’ve attended. I’ve also read a quite a bit of Sam’s stuff and have attended many of his webinars. By all accounts he’s definitely the real deal and a world class trader.

    The biggest problem with OTA is that they are a publicly traded company and are ultimately driven by the bottom line. Consequently, their primary goal is to sell classes and trading is always subordinate to that reality. If you’re willing to drop $15-25K+ you’ll probably learn everything you need to know and receive the support you need to become consistently profitable, but not many people have that kind of coin to drop.

    Other than the pricing I think for the newbies coming in off the street they also set unreasonable expectations. There is no way a person can sit in one week’s worth of classes (which is heavy on theory and light on actual trading practices) and become consistently profitable. They know that, but allude to the fact that you will be. Once you realize one week is not nearly enough they will be more than happy to (surprise surprise) sell you another class either in another asset class but probably an XLT course to give you the support/mentoring you need.

    The OTA I began my trading education at had a very family like atmosphere and there was no hard selling. They simply presented their spiel and let you decide. It was then bought by some guys from Teach Me to Trade and the culture changed overnight. Everything became a hard sell and most of us that had been around a while quietly left.

    If you’ve got really deep pockets it can be a great place, but there are courses where one can learn what you need to know about trading, get the support you need, and spend pennies compared to what they charge.

    1. Kirk

      I would like to know where because I don’t know where. I can not afford the class.
      thank you for any help.

  21. Ifyouknowmemailme

    For Steve:
    Trading is a serious business. If you want a luvvie approach I suggest you visit a brothel, pm me for a listing and services in your area. OTA is a franchised organisation the franchise owners must produce results which might explain the push up of sales during business ownership exchange.If you want to study with Sam Seiden then find out where he is teaching and make time to go there. What is sometimes sold is the 3 hour trader approach but to get there is a lot of hard work. Think of yourself as someone who joins a Gym for a year but after a few sessions still looks like a fat obese useless knacker without a shred of hope in pulling the chicks. Trading takes application and hard work to learn, not achieveable in a 7 day course but at least you will not lose all your money in the first 6 months.

  22. Peter

    The really sad thing about OTA and their like are that they play on greed.They know that the people that show up at their presentations are yearning to find a way of making money without actually working. People belive that is possible because because people want to believe it is possible. People want to believe that there is a secret formula that successful traders use. But there isnt. If just one person in the world actually had a formula that could consistently make money then if you think about it they would very rapidly amass all the money in the world because they could just reinvest their profits in ever bigger trades.
    There is no formula, there is no secret ,there are no rules that can make you consistently profitable.

  23. peter

    These courses prey on the greedy and the gullible. The people who are attracted to them are desperate to find an easy way to make a living. But there isnt one. There is no secret, no formula and no rules. Playing financial markets is essentially predicting the future. It is just not possible to trade profitably consistently. All good traders have good times and bad times, and the definition of a good trader is very often just a lucky one that through “survivor bias” stays in the game longer than most. If any of them had a system or formula that worked, why would they have bad patches?. The key to successfull trading is to have a pool of capital large enough to see out adverse movements, but the type of people that attend these courses dont have a large pool of capital because they are hoping that trading can somehow provide them with an income. It cant. If anyone actually had a formula that consistently worked they would soon amass all the money in the world since they would simply reinvest their profits in ever larger trades. They dont. Why on earth would anyone who knew how to profitably trade consistently waste time and effort teaching when they could be trading ever larger sums of money?.
    I hope this post lasts long enough for people to read it and reflect on its content. It is here to challenge and help.Ignore it my all means but please dont just delete it.

    1. Ifyouknowmemailme

      Why do you bother to spout on a forum like this? Why not just rest on your laurels and leave things to the banks? Trading is a risky game no 2 ways about it but you don’t need masses of capital to be successful. The first thing taught by OTA is that we are all GREEDY and LAZY. There is no magic solution but by understanding how the markets work,and what real risk management is all about then at least there is a good chance that a trader will not lose all of his or her capital.
      Peter I have to say you are a gormless pillock who has emotional hangups that will never allow you to become a self assured trader.

      1. Moo Trader Post author

        You sound very passionate about trading but please have a bit more respect. There is no need to stoop to the level of name-calling.

    2. Ifyouknowmemailme

      Just twigged, You’re the same piece of dirt that is selling recordings of XLT online. From your IP address you tried to sell to me awhile back. Useless fraud that you are.

  24. Smitenas

    I am ota student but got mixed expirience too.Sam Seidan looks like a real trader but those salesman who pushes hard you to buy more and more confusing me.Still not profitable,still thinking to buy xlt programme,,just looking for information is it wort to buy,,,I nearly had to fight with salesman ,,,a bit stupid if it is a serious company,,,

    1. Ifyouknowmemailme

      Know the experience. Hate the hard sell attitude but remember a salesman sees you as a sales lead. OK I know they call them counsellors (whatever the hell they are) but any sales lead that turns down a proposal is never forgotten about, they may come back with a better deal later in the year.
      The XLT programme means that every week you can log on to live webinars , most in the live markets where you will see what price action does. Many of my friends from the XLT have gone on to form effective trading floors , take this option if this is your thing. It is not possible to learn trading in a 7 day course, whatever background you come from. Trading requires discipline for strict money management above all so whatever personal demons you have you must confront them because if you take them into the marketplace you will be crushed.
      Before you think about XLT try contacting a group of your fellow students. If all of you have the same question then mail your course instructor. Take advantage of the service that is on offer.
      Above all TRADE YOUR PLAN.
      The first, middle and last lines say: I AM IN NO HURRY TO LOSE MONEY.

  25. Ifyouknowmemailme

    Hard to have respect but I will not condone fraud or lies. Who really gives a skibmeriggys sckomberjanlk what somebedy else makes on a trade? The onus is upon the individual who places that trade.

  26. Peter

    To Ifyouknowmemailme,
    I write a short message outlining my belief that having spent 30 years trading, both for myself and a large bank, that there is no secret formula for trading financial markets. I firmly believe that you actually do need a large pool of capital to successfully trade because there is no way you can no go through a bad patch. It is because of this I outlined my belief that virtually everyone that attends these courses, any course pretending to be able to turn ordinary people into successful traders is a fraud. It is ,in my opinion complete folly to pay someone to teach you how to trade when if they knew they would almost cetainly be better of trading for a living than teaching.
    As I said, these courses play on the hopes of the greedy and exploit them.
    Save your money, dont pay anyone anything to anyone who tells you they have the midas secret.
    And for this peice of advice, Ifyouknowmemailme, calls me a “gormeless pillock with emotional hangups” and “a useless fraud” for apparently trying to sell a XLT recordings. Well, I have never sold any such thing.

    1. Ifyouknowmemailme

      For Peter
      If you know where to look you can get OTA XLT course for about $500 recorded seminars and live trading.
      That is a direct quote from yourself in August of last year. Perhaps you would be so good as to point me in the direction of these recordings for sale.
      You are not the only one who has spent 30 years trading, in fact I think next year is the 30 year anniversary of the “Big Bang”. I was trading shares through a broker before that. For anyone else who is reading this, you do not have to have a large pool of capital to be successful at trading, all you need is a sensible risk management strategy of say 1-2% risk per trade and rigidly follow that strategy. Where a whole lot fall by the wayside is they do not have the self discipline to have a set of rules and then follow them. To say that you cannot teach ordinary people to be traders is wrong. In the 80s I used to teach military training and some at the beginning were the most weedy sulky children yet we turned them into valuable servicemen just by teaching them who is the boss and what the rules were to survive. Just like the markets.
      If OTA has 1 major failing it is that they will sell to anybody who comes through the door, and to be fair there are many who do the training and still think they know better than the market so they fatalistically want to be right all the time. This is a franchised business that I assume relies upon sales targets (student numbers) so I see the reasoning behind the hard sell, but it doesn’t mean I like it. The ones who are successful are the those that take the training, apply the training as they have been taught, constantly review their own failings and refuse to fall prey to fear and greed.
      You probably aren’t a gormless pillock with emotional hangups but neither are you showing that you have the attributes to be a successful trader.

      1. Peter


        For the record, I have never sold or attempted to sell any seminar or training course of any kind, recorded or otherwise to anyone ever.
        My post is an attempt at persuading people not to pay for these courses which I believe are a waste of money.

        1. Ifyouknowmemailme

          If you know where to look you can get OTA XLT course for about $500 recorded seminars and live trading.
          That is a direct quote from yourself in August of last year. Perhaps you would be so good as to point me in the direction of these recordings for sale.
          You clearly know the price of these fraudsters selling what is copyrighted material it logically follows that you are in the business of offering a massively reduced service with the same content for a massively reduced price. If I was a criminal fraudster I would probably do the same. It suits you to discredit OTA based upon the price of the investment, that way the more gullible will buy from you not them. I go to the occasional Traders Expo, mainly to hook up with friends. As for people who turn up there to discredit their trading theses and practises, I have never seen evidence of this. But I do realise that there also a goodly number of pricks that turn up there as well. Your best bet to sell this course material is probably under the counter at say the Queen Elizabeth Centre in November just like the street hawks of old. In the meantime I have your details and will pass them on to the appropriate agency for action.
          The trading world in the UK is a lot smaller than you think.

          1. peter

            I just don’t know what you are talking about. I have never offered to sell anything to anyone.
            To repeat. I don’t think anyone should pay ANYTHING for any course, course material or advice from anyone, ever. Not from you, not from me, not from anyone.
            My strong advice is not to pay even one cent for trading advice from someone pretending to know how to trade when if they did they would almost certainly be better off trading themselves rather than teaching.
            If you buy a recording you are being ripped off. If you buy a place on a course , you are being ripped off.
            It may be difficult for you to comprehend but I am not selling anything. I just don’t want people wasting their money.
            Something tells me however that you do have a vested interest in selling people these courses. If so you are a fraud and you know it.

          2. Ifyouknowmemailme

            I just don’t know what you are talking about. I have never offered to sell anything to anyone.
            If you know where to look you can get OTA XLT course for about $500 recorded seminars and live trading.
            That is a direct quote from yourself in August of last year. Perhaps you would be so good as to point me in the direction of these recordings for sale.
            Sorry sunbeam. you cannot renege on an offer. You have offered recordings of copyright material for sale presumably on some black market or even ebay. The second your address is made known to them you will be sued under copyright law. You say you are a trader, well lets see what your risk management is like.

  27. Jae

    I just wanna say, i can see the bigger picture. online trading academy is a good school, i payed money to attend their market timing class, however, i don’t see a reason to pay anymore for their classes. I won’t attending them. now, there is nothing wrong with OTA, they’re a great school and they are marketing themselves hard. they offer real education, if you don’t like what they have to offer, it’s okay too. As for me, I feel like I don’t need to take their classes in order to learn about supply and demand and about risk management. I will venture this on my own. However they DO offer great support for their students and it’s great. I’m in between both you guys.

  28. peter

    No it is not a direct quote from me. You have simply made this up. I never said this. You are mistaken, it was not me that offered you anything. Indeed, it would be slightly odd don’t you think for someone who is trying to sell recordings for $500 to be posting on here warning people not to part with a cent for any course, course material or advice whatsoever from anyone.
    Why would I have posted what I have if it was me trying to sell you something?

    But you clearly do make money peddling a dream you cant deliver.

    1. Ifyouknowmemailme

      Peter August 21, 2012 at 9:07 am

      If you know where to look you can get OTA XLT course for about $500 recorded seminars and live trading.
      Don’t tell your miserable lies on this board we see through them.
      I don’t sell anything, in any case what product would you like to see delivered. Is trading a dream? For some perhaps it is, the world is full of people who think they know better and go it alone. Most of them have wiped out accounts inside a year.


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