Let’s start with the elephant in the room. Which trading course is the best? This is one of the questions that I always hear, as well as “Which trading course should I buy?” and “What is the best trading course?,” asks Markus Heitkoetter of Rockwell Trading.
Here’s something that may surprise you: There is no “best” trading course, there’s only “best for you.” What does this mean? This is where many traders make a mistake in the beginning.
You need to know what you want from a course before you buy it. So, what do you want from a course? You probably want to make a lot of money, and that’s cool, but how exactly do you want to do this?
Criteria to Consider
Let’s go over some criteria. What do you want to trade? Do you want to trade stocks, or do you want to trade options? Maybe you don’t care, and you just want to trade whatever makes the most money, and that’s cool, we can talk about this.
Do you want to day trade or do you want to swing trade? What’s the difference? When day trading, you need to be able to spend time in front of the computer. You might not be in the position right now to be able to do this, therefore, swing trading might be better suited for you.
Another important factor to consider, your account size. Do you have a small or large account? This is important depending on your goal. Are you trading for growth, meaning that you want to grow your account, or are you trading for income?
Do you want to have a strategy that you can trade on a larger account, like a $200,000-$400,000 account, or are you in the stage in your trading life where you have a rather small account of maybe $5,000 or $10,000 and you want to grow it?
These are important criteria to consider when deciding what the best trading course is for you. There is no one-size-fits-all trading course. I mean, I would love to tell you, “You know what? I have the perfect trading course for you.” This actually might be true depending on your criteria.
It’s really important that you understand what to look for when you look for a training course. Let me give you just a few more criteria that I think are universal criteria for any training course.
For example, is the instructor of the training course a real trader? I mean, is he actually putting money on the line? Is he trading a real account? Or is he just showing you woulda, coulda, shoulda trades and saying,
“You know what? Here is how much money you could have made if you bought Tesla last year and now it is up, 500%” or something like this?
It’s important to know if the instructor is placing real trades so that you see he is actually trading for income. I would say, are they trading for income? How is the instructor making money? Because honestly, I think if you can’t make it as a trader, if you cannot trade for income, you have no business teaching others.
In my opinion, one criteria of great trading courses are those that provide coaching and support.
Now let’s talk about are trading courses worth it?
Are Trading Courses Worth It?
So let’s talk about this, and let’s be honest. There are many free resources available out there, especially on YouTube. This is where I think it is very important that you don’t feel pressured to buy anything just yet, especially if you’re a beginner or new to trading.
You want to have a basic understanding first.
You need to learn some of the basics like how to place an order, the difference between a call option and a put option, what is theta in options and so on. For basic stuff like this, I don’t believe that you need to pay anybody anything.
Here’s the important thing: Trading courses, or no trading courses? Trading courses are not the magic bullet that will solve all your problems, and here’s why. Trading is a skill. Think about it, how do you acquire a skill? Do you acquire skills from just reading a book or watching a video? No, you actually have to do it.
If I wanted to learn how to paint, is it enough if I just read a book on how to paint to become a great painter? No, I have to try it. If you want to learn how to play golf should you just get a book that tells you how to play, and now you can magically play golf and participate in tournaments? No. Same in trading, right?
Trading is a skill like everything else, and so I hate to break it to you, but there are no shortcuts to success. You have to put in the work. This may not be what you wanted to hear, but if you were hoping that I would give you the magic course that automatically makes your money hand over fist, honestly it doesn’t exist.
A trading course teaches you the basics and it teaches you some tips, but you have to learn how to trade for yourself.
How do you do this? The best way to do this is on a simulator. I want to give you a very specific example from my personal life right now. My daughter is 15, her name is Vivian, and Vivian has a learner’s permit. She would like to get to her driver’s license once she’s 16.
Now, there is the possibility that parents, here in Texas at least, can teach their kids how to drive. I am Vivian’s instructor, I’m sitting next to her in the car, but she has to drive. What we’re doing right now is putting in 50 hours of driving. Vivian has a little spreadsheet on the back of her door where she’s marking off every time that we drive for an hour.
I wish that this would exist for traders, that they have to put in at least 50 hours on a simulator with an experienced instructor before they trade live, but unfortunately, this is not how it works. We do 50 hours of driving, and out of these, we have our goals.
For example, we will do 10 hours of night driving, because driving at night, as you can imagine, is different than driving throughout the day. We will also do 10 hours of interstate driving. If you’re on the interstate you need different skills because now suddenly everything is much faster. This is how we have broken it down into different skills that she needs to acquire.
So are trading courses worth it?
To recap what I mentioned earlier, I believe that trading courses are worth it, and here’s why, with a few “IF’s.” I believe a trading course is worth it IF the instructor is an experienced trader.
Think about it, in order to be able to teach my daughter Vivian how to drive, I need to be an experienced driver. I need to have a driver’s license. I need to have a spotless record otherwise, I wouldn’t be allowed to teach her, right?
If you want to learn golf, wouldn’t you hire an experienced golfer instead of just asking your neighbor? I believe this is important because after all, we want to make money with trading.
Now, the other important thing is, trading courses are worth it if the instructor can give you shortcuts. What do I mean by this? I mean, you can acquire any skill on your own. I believe this. I believe that you could learn how to play golf if you read a book, watch a few videos, and then just put a lot of time and effort in there, but what do I mean by shortcuts?
Shortcuts are there to save you time and money, especially when trading, right? Example: if the trading course and the instructor can help you to avoid a few losing trades.
Losing trades are easily a few hundred dollars, sometimes a few thousand dollars. However, if you could trade losing $1,000 versus investing a few hundred dollars in of course would you do this? Or if you could avoid losing $20,000, would you invest $2,000 in a course? Probably, right?
I also think that this is super important, especially for trading, but I believe trading courses are worth it if there are coaching and support involved, and here is what I mean by this. A tool is just helping you a little bit, right? I believe that this is a bonus. A trading course is super helpful if there are tools involved.
Back to the golfing example, if you want to learn how to play golf and you get lessons from a pro and he says, “Oh, yeah, and by the way, before you diddle around and get the wrong clubs, I actually have the perfect clubs for you.” Wouldn’t that be much easier?
I think training is very important. This is where, for example, a training course is helpful if it gives you the important things about getting started, then also how exactly do you trade stocks, and how exactly do you trade options.
If we are looking at trading stocks, you need to know what are the different order types, how do you place a stock to the long, how to short, wow to set profit targets and stop losses, right?
It’s really important that a trading course shows you how to do this, and as I mentioned earlier, I think that coaching and support are super important. This is where you need ongoing handholding, so for me, this makes a lot of sense.
Are trading courses worth it? Which trading course is the best? It really depends on what you need. I know that some of you have wasted a lot of time and money on various training courses just to find out that it is not for you.
This is why I say before you buy a course, know what your goals are. Know what you want from a course. Know exactly what you need help with, then you can choose the right one. There is no one size fits all. Trading is a skill; you have to put in the work.
Learn more about Markus Heitkoetter at Rockwell Trading.