Trading Gurus, Secret Trading Systems, and Chat Rooms – Where Is E-Mini Education System Headed?

A relatively new trading room review site ( has been open for less than a year and created quite a few waves in the e-mini trading community. I suppose this site has reviewed 50 or so trading rooms to this point and the result of the reviews has been, to say the least, a bit shocking. The reviewer has chosen to focus his analysis upon user experience and documented performance. You might be surprised at some of the “gurus “deficiencies in trading results and documentation. To be sure, the reviewer has taken on some of the larger and more popular e-mini trading rooms in an unbiased fashion.But this article is not centered on or their reviews; rather, I read every review (and subsequent comments) and was shocked by how similar the deficiencies in the lower rated trading rooms were; with some exceptions, the similarities of trading room efficiency was relatively uniform from negative review to negative review. This came as a shock to me! Granted, I run a relatively small operation that focuses students who want break from the traditional (and deficient) trading curriculum espoused by the majority of trading educators and want a more institutional based trading education. So, I don’t pay much attention to what other people are doing but get my information from new students as they and enroll in my course and describe the trading methodology and psychological principles exhibited by previous trading education experiences.One group of these rooms operated as a sort of “cult of personality.” Regardless of performance, these rooms are popular because of the superior communication skills of the owner/moderator. I don’t suppose that this should come as any surprise, as individuals with magnetic personalities tend to have the ability to attract willing participants. Most surprising, when the performance of the “cult of personality” type trade room is published, the actual room participants are quick to defend their charismatic leader despite an inferior record. I am about is charismatic as a block of granite, so this revelation was truly surprising to me. Coming from institutional investing, where performance is the only variable of evaluation, the loyalty to the owner/moderator of the “cult of personality” is truly remarkable and interesting.On the other hand, there is no shortage of individuals who have developed a new and revolutionary “secret trading system.” After nearly 30 years on the institutional investment side of things, I can tell you the only real new things in trading are massive advances in technology and quantum analysis. Since most of the new technology is available (at a price) to every retail traders I thought that this variable was well understood. Quantum analysis has also made inroads into all phases of trading. That being said, I haven’t met the retail trader who considers himself/herself a “quant trader” and most have a rudimentary, at best, understanding of algorithmic trading. There are no secrets in trading, there is great trading technique, experience, and patience; these are the qualities of a competent trader.Finally, many frustrated traders turned to e-mini trading forums in an attempt to gain insight into what particular deficiency they may have in their trading technique. In most cases (but not all) there is a good deal of negativity in these forums and rationalization for past failures. Above all, good traders possess the ability to look in the mirror and understand their problems begin with themselves. You would be hard-pressed to find complementary comments about any given trading system, trading educator, or the trading business in general. Needless to say, I only visit these forums after I’ve had a good day e-mini trading and am prepared for the onslaught of negativity that I often encounter. This is not to say that there are not some great threads in these forums, because some members ask genuinely good questions and get positive feedback and possible remedies for their trading problems. In general though, there is a good deal of complaining and finger-pointing at a wide variety of individuals and trading systems.As I said, I am not one to really worry much about what other individuals are doing in their programs; but I was flabbergasted at the repetition of themes in substandard trading rooms. There are a very small number of actual trading “gurus” in the trading business and they generally confine themselves to work at the institutional level. With the exception of technology and algorithmic trading there is very little that is new in trading, with the exception of anecdotal stories about the next great indicator. Finally, while there are occasional good threads in trading chat rooms, I strongly recommend you avoid much of the negatives that are part and parcel of most e-mini trading forums.

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