How to Choose the Right Proprietary Trading Education
Choosing the type of trading education that you want can be the difference between you making a career in proprietary trading or suffering big losses & and having to dig yourself out of a hole. Here is a guide to help you choose the trading education that was meant for you.
In order to evaluate the merits of any specific training program, you must first determine if the program fits your needs. You can use the following questions to determine whether the given program matches up with your criteria.
Here are the basics which you should be asking yourself:
1. What type of securities do I want to learn?
If you want to learn how to trade a specific type of security, such as equities, options, futures or Forex, make sure that you narrow down your list of educations within the type of security you are looking to trade. This should be determined by a number of factors including geographical location, work schedule, and any other factor which may limit your ability to learn and trade to specific hours or times. For example, if you work a 9am-5pm EST shift or take classes during the day, choosing a stocks or equities trading program would hinder your ability to actively participate or paper trade those markets in real-time - a critical element to cultivating a seasoned and disciplined trader. In that case, currency or futures markets would allow you to trade with investors and traders around the globe on your schedule but be careful - along with global markets, comes global competition.
2. Should I take scheduled live courses, or should I take pre-recorded courses?
This depends on your own schedule. Both types of learning styles have their own unique benefits. If you have a day job and do not have the time to set aside for the scheduled courses, then we advise that you look for education that has materials and pre-recorded courses built for you so that you can learn on your own time. Additionally, do not take a chance on scheduled courses if your own schedule is undetermined. You could lose out on a lot of money for the education that you chose by missing classes because of unforeseen conflicts.
3. How do I know that the education I am interested in purchasing is credible/worthwhile?
You should look at who developed the educational materials that you are interested in. Were they developed by someone with two years of experience and no track record, or by someone with a reputation for success? Did the person ever trade at all, or is he or she just good at teaching? Consider searching for the following credentials:
- More than 7 years of proprietary trading experience (a big plus for someone who is still actively trading as well)
- A verified track record with MarketFy, Profit.ly or trades verified by an auditor
- Has written and published books about the market and his or her insights. Be sure that the publications are credible.
Additionally, you should make sure that the strategies that the person is teaching, whether they are fundamental, technical, intraday, swing trader, earnings, post market or a mix, is what you are interested in learning.
The educational firm that you choose should have ongoing webinars and educational materials to help foster an ongoing learning process. This gives you significantly more value for your dollar.
Finally, beware of educational firms that provide chat rooms with entries and exits, as this can be used as an advantage for the educational instructor to front run his or her own students/customers. People seek out education so that they can progress by their own merits, not by following what others are doing. Under this type of structure you will never be independent.
4. What else is crucial in choosing an educational product?
Another important factor that you need to consider is the type of software being used to implement their education. Be sure to ask the education firm the following questions:
- What is the process in which you teach your students?
- What type of materials are used? (Powerpoints, videos, interactive programs, books and more)
- What types of technology are used to implement their education (LMS software)? Are they using their own software, or software by third-party vendors? If it's their own software, be sure to ask for a demo before you purchase anything. Third-party vendors are typically the best choice. Here are a few that have a lot of credibility, all of which are used by Ivy League universities and Fortune 500 companies:
- ProProfs (proprofs.com)
- Mindflash (mindflash.com)
- Upside Learning (upsidelearning.com)
- BlackBoard (blackboard.edu)
Ask about their streamline process and the way they manage their students, as this is an important factor that plays a role in how you retain and utilize information.
5. How else can I know if they are credible to separate them from other firms?
Recently, some educational firms have begun providing placement assistance with trading firms, investment advisory firms and/or hedge funds. This stands out from many other education firms, as the companies that work with them that are providing job opportunities must have a large amount of confidence in the educational and trading techniques used by that firm if they see potential in their past students. As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding.
Additionally, be sure that educational companies you are interested in still provide ongoing support once you have been hired through their placement assistance programs.