How to choose the best trading course
I’m going to tell you what you need and what you don’t need from a trading course, but first I need to be blunt:
Most trading courses are a waste of your time!
Because most suffer from the following three major issues:
1) They neglect trading psychology
Talking about trading psychology doesn’t sell courses. Most aspiring traders looking for trading courses want to hear about strategies and technical indicators – the exciting side of trading. This is often combined with ‘selling the dream’. Showing cars, cash and other things that to suggest their trading course will enable to student to ‘get rich quick’.
It’s an even easier ‘sell’ because most people want this to be true so badly, that they’ll forgo their common sense because they are being told what they want to hear. They do not want to hear about how their psychological biases will hinder them, or the work required to acquire a professional trader’s mindset.
Let me be clear: If you fail at trading it is almost certainly be from a lack of trade discipline and this comes from a lack of a developed trading psychology.
2) They focus on hindsight
Anyone can take a chart and say, “You could have gone long or short here with this setup”.
Great, if only we could trade what has already happened. We would all be millionaires.
That’s one of the most deceptive things about trading. It looks so simple and easy after the fact. The classic ‘moving average strategy’ – where traders think they can go long or short depending on moving average crosses – is a perfect example of this. Of course, when you become more experienced with trading, you realise that the moving averages didn’t look like that at the time the cross occurs.
Trading is harder when you need to make decisions at the time and an uncertain environment. This is the only way to make profit. This is why we have run our Live Trade Room since 2013. Because the best way to teach people to trade is to trade in front of them.
3) The trainers aren't traders
I am going to let you in a on a little ‘secret’. It’s not that hard to make a convincing trading course that can be marketed and sold. Lots of people have discovered this and that is why they get involved in the trading education industry. They don’t actually have to trade themselves, they can make money telling other people how to trade instead.
The thing is, once you become more experienced you will be able to tell who actually trades and who doesn’t.
The golden question we encourage people to ask is, “Is this person willing to do what they are teaching in front of me?” If they are not, why not? After all, live trading adds credibility. Credibility enables the educator to sell more courses etc.
You know the reason they won’t trade live in front of you. It’s because they can’t and are not profitable. Don’t accept any excuses like ‘they are too busy’, ‘it’s too much work’ – it isn’t too much work to set up as webinar / stream these days…
What you need from a trading course
This is a list of criteria you need for a trading course to actually benefit you.
That’s right, you need to be presented with the realities of trading. No sugar-coating, no false hope and none of the ‘trading bling’ rubbish that so many people like to portray.
Ever seen an image like this?
I hate this image.
Do you really think professionals trade on a beach with a laptop?
If it sounds too good to be true then it is. Here are some massive red flags that tell you a course / service is a waste of your time.
"It's quick and easy"
Trading is not quick and easy. Trading is hard work which is why the majority of people fail. If it were quick and easy don’t you think everyone would be doing it?
"Just 30 minutes per day"
Do you think professional traders sat at the desks of investment banks, hedge funds and other professionals are trading ’30 minutes per day’? No, of course not.
"You can get rich quick"
No you can’t. Don’t be stupid.
"Look at my Lambo"
If you look at someone on Instagram who is posing with a someone else’s super car, wads of prop cash and a fake Rolex watch and think that is what trading is about, then there’s no helping you. You are destined to fail.
No serious or professional trader / educator would do that.
Cutting out the noise
A good trading course will teach you what you need to know, and more importantly, cut out the things you do not need to know. For example, a lot of aspiring traders think the solution’s to success trading is through technical indicators. Whilst this is true to some extent, there are far too many indicators with most being useless. What’s the point of teaching you about some obscure indicator that has no practical use?
Support and help
There are likely to be elements of a trading course that you do not quite understand (perhaps they’ve not been explained as well as they could be!) or additional questions you have. You need your trainer to be on-hand to provide support. Our view is we can always find 10 minutes for a phone call or to exchange a few emails.
Make sure you are able to get the help and support you require during and after you take the course.
A focus on the process
The practical side of trading is very simple. The only thing we can control with trading is when we get in an out of the market. We have no control over what the market does.
How we decide to get in and out of the market is the process of trading. Again, it is all we control. Most traders focus on the outcome. This is understandable as we are wanting to trade to make money, and money is the outcome. The aforementioned ‘trading bling’ reinforces this as being the focus of trading.
The problem is without a quality process there will be no outcome we desire. The outcome is a product of the process. The outcome is a product of the process.
Making money is a by-product of a quality process.
A structured process
A trading process can be broken down in to phases. The phases featured in our psychology course consist of the following:
1) The monitoring phase.
The monitoring phase is where we are looking at the markets we trade and waiting for an opportunity to arise. We may do this identification by simply looking at the markets, or we may incorporate alarms for when certain things occur, for example, the market reaches a certain price point or a technical indicator reaches a certain value. The monitoring phase allows us to think about what may happen in a trade.
2) The opportunity phase.
The opportunity phase is where we decide there’s an opportunity in the market i.e. identify through whatever means, technical or otherwise, that one thing is more likely to occur than another in the market. For example, let us say a support level is going to be tested and we think the market will reverse. This is where we plan our entry, stop and profit-taking levels.
3) The execution phase.
This is where we need to execute our trades flawlessly. This is where so many traders make a trading error. They usually enter a trade too soon or too late. If you start a trade off badly, it has a high chance of being a bad trade. Remember that the only tow things we control are when we get in and get out of the market.
A trading idea is nothing without the correct execution.
4) The management phase.
The management phase carries the highest risk for us. This is because we have the opportunity to modify our plan. If we have now done the necessary preparation this becomes mentally easier for us to do. How many times have you justified moving that stop loss a little further out? You will make all sorts of excuses for your behaviour like, “It needs a little more room to breathe” during an open trade. The more inadequate our planning and preparation, the more mental room for manoeuvre we leave for ourselves to do the things we know we should not be doing.
5) The exiting phase.
The exiting phase is the final phase of a trade and again is another high-risk area. Are you taking a win or a loss? Is it a win or a loss in accordance with your plan? What feelings and emotions will the exit create? Anger and the desire for revenge with a loss? Or euphoria and over-confidence with a win? Have you ever been there where you have taken several unplanned trades after a losing trades, and afterwards asked, “How did that happen?” If you have, this is because your existing phase is lacking.
When we work with traders and they tell us about their trading mistakes, we try to get them to think about each phase and identify which is the phase, or are the phases which cause them to have issues with their trading and which cause them to have undisciplined trades, of which we will be discussing later.
What is successful trading?
We have spoken about what you don’t need, but what do you actually need? How do people like my team and I go about designing content that is going to teach and help people become successful traders?
Well, and it sounds obvious, you have to know what traders need. So how do we know? Well, we started out as people who had no idea what they were doing when it came to trading. We made every trading mistake out there. We followed the wrong people, took the wrong education and experienced plenty of other things that derailed our trading progress.
Essentially we found what works for us, networked and saw what worked for other successful traders and then put this all together to make Trade Room Plus. TRP is about giving aspiring traders exactly what they need to succeed.
There are two parts to successful trading. Trading psychology and trading strategies. Most traders and trading educators focus on the latter. Why? It’s because that’s what people want to hear and ultimately buy. The problem is the psychology is the most important part and you need trading courses to cover both aspects.
Trading courses for beginners
When people start trading, there can seem like there is an overwhelming amount of information. Anyone who is teaching a beginners trading course needs to keep this at the forefront of their mind and design a course that focuses on what is essential. From learning about news, fundamentals, technical indicators (of which there are many), to charting, the different instruments to trade, how to use a trading platform, perhaps MT4 etc etc.
What beginner traders do not realise is they do need to know ‘that’ much to trade effectively. For example, we teach traders of all levels that they need to be able to define what they are basing their decisions on. If you’re not making a decision based on something then get rid of it. The classic example being the beginner trade who loads their charts with lots of indicators.
No! Very often in trading less is more.
A trading course for beginners needs to give you a solid foundation and only the essentials for your stage of development. When I teach beginners I want them to have an understanding of the following:
– That trading is challenging and they need to have their expectations inline with reality.
– That taking losses will make or break your trading success.
– That execution is everything. The only thing a trader controls is when they get in and out of the market. Nothing else.
– That they are taught profitable trading strategies.
You should come away from a trading course for beginners with the confidence to begin trading.
Trading psychology course
Let’s take a look at a small part of our members’ area:
Oh look, a trading psychology course. Let’s have a brief look at what it contains so you know what you need to learn to be successful. Ours is a 7-chapter series and here are the chapter summaries:
- Chapter one is ‘Laying the foundations’ where we look at structuring how we think about trading in a manner that allows us to analyse what we do, how we think and use this information to begin to improve our trading psychology.
- Chapter two; Trading psychology – how we think part 1, is about looking at our mental flaws and biases. Once you know why you behave in the manner which you do, and why you feel like you do, you can begin to address and change it.
- Chapter three; Trading psychology – how we think part 2, looks at other relevant psychological areas of trading which are not biases, such as what motivates us to trade.
- Chapter four deals with the large topic of identifying our trading beliefs and processes to change them. Our beliefs are at the core of our behaviour and dictate how we behave.
- Chapter five specifically deals with how to handle losses. If there is one thing any trader could wish for, it is the ability to take a loss. It is what will make or break your trading success.
- Chapter six looks at a professional trader’s mind-set and the states they perform successfully within.
- Chapter seven are the final steps. We look at some of the practical techniques in more detail and look at combining some of them for a greater effect.
On the positive side, you can take comfort that your trading success is mainly going to be in your control. Only you control when to get in an out of the market. No one else does. You have the power to improve and get better at trading through developing you trading psychology. Our trading psychology course has everything you need to behave like the professional trader.
Trading strategy course
Having great trading psychology skills is all good and well, but what about the other essential part to being a successful trader.
Once you are on the right track with your trading psychology, then you need to have the trading strategies to that will actually make profit in the market. There is nothing more satisfying then when you become the professional trader by having profitable strategies, but also the mental skills and mindset to execute the trades correctly.
We have always found a combination of pre-recorded training (as the strategy videos at the top are) and live trader training are the optimum way to teach people trading strategies from a theoretical point of view.
What is also essential is that you are taught a range of profitable strategies that work in lots of different market conditions. It’s all good and well have strategies that work in trending markets, but what about ones which are sideways? Does the strategy cope with changing volatility?
What about specific strategies such as ones that can take advantage of something like the ‘Santa Rally’ (where indices usually go up in December), of the ‘FOMC drift’?
Let’s say you have the trading psychology course and you have the trading strategy course that puts you in a good position with the theory of trading. How do you reinforce it?
The answer is to watch the person / people who have taught you actually trade themselves. What could give you more confidence than seeing the strategies you have been taught live in action demonstrated with rock-solid trading psychology?
As I wrote above, most people who provide trading education cannot trade themselves which is why they don’t. Don’t accept any excuses. Any who proclaims to be a trader will be trading, so what difference does it make it they trade in front of the people they teach? It makes no difference so don’t accept any excuses.
There are a huge range of trading courses out there. Most of them rehash the same material that is easily available online taught by people who who do not trade themselves.
Whether a trading course for a beginner, or for someone more advanced, remember, a trading course needs to be realistic. Promising ‘get rich quick’ and being sold around ‘the lifestyle’ are red flag. Trading is hard and anyone teaching a course should acknowledge that.
You need psychology as well as strategies. One does not work without the other.
The people who are teaching you should be willing to trade live in front of you. Don’t accept any excuses as to why they won’t. If they claims to be traders who are actively trading, it takes little time to enable you to see them trading.
If you have any questions about trading course or trading education in general, then please do not hesitate to get in touch on Whatsapp or Telegram below.