I haven’t seen anyone really address this issue directly before.
But I feel that it is something that needs to be understood, in order for you to really get the most out of the best trading education that is out there. You see, you might be avoiding certain educators or courses, simply because the trader does not publish their trading track record.
That can be a huge mistake. I’ll show you exactly why in a bit.
But first, what qualifies me to talk about this? I have been very fortunate to have this blog, through which, I have come into personal contact with many professional traders, some of which I have actually met in person.
As a result of these conversations over the years, I have slowly pieced together these 9 reasons why legit traders who have courses don’t always publish their track records.
Trust me, there are perfectly valid reasons.
So if you are searching for quality trading education, but are wary of what is out there, I don’t blame you, there is a lot of crap out there. However, let me show you why you should consider all of the possibilities.
It probably is NOT what you think.
While you read this, all I ask is that you imagine for a moment that you are professional trader who has an education business. This shift in perspective will help you understand the following better.
1. They ARE a Scam
Alright, since you are already thinking it, let's get it out of the way. Most people think that just because a trader doesn’t publish his track record, that automatically means that he is a scam.
That is certainly a possibility and there are a lot of scams out there.
Like this one, for example.
You should be careful.
With that said, let's dig deeper into the idea of trading scams…
I would like to think that the general public is getting smarter about trading education and that scams are having a harder time surviving. One sign that I see this is the general downtrend in the number Google searches for the term “Forex.”
I interpret this to mean that the general public understands more and more that trading is hard work (just like anything else worthwhile) and they are on to the next “easy opportunity.” While it means that it is harder for legitimate traders to make money with their courses, this also means that the students that they get have a better understanding of what they are getting into.
…and that’s a good thing.
But a scam is a scam, so is there an easy way to spot one?
Can you spot a scam just by their website? Here is a screenshot from a site that someone shared inside our private Facebook group.
It looks like it was designed in 1997. Would you trust that site?
The person who posted that site in our group confirmed that the site was a scam and the owners of the site just pounded people with emails to buy trading robots.
But guess what, I know some other sites that are perfectly legit, but are also not so well designed. The first one that comes to mind is the site of this legendary trader.
So before you write something off as a scam, take the time to do some homework.
Talk to people who have actually taken the course. Do a few Google searches on the trader.
Email the trader and ask questions.
Before I move on, I’ll leave you with one important thought on trading scams:
In life, you will usually find what you are looking for.
If you are looking for scams, you will find scams. OK, so you found a scam…now what?
Does that help you further your trading education? Does that make you a better trader?
No, it just makes you mad, distrustful and probably means that you skipped over a few courses that could legitimately change your life.
Focus on finding quality trading education and you will probably find it. Do some due diligence, of course, but after that…sometimes you have to take a risk and get the course.
Just like in trading, it’s all about the risk reward ratio.
2. They Don’t Trade
Your knee-jerk reaction might be to lump these non-traders in with scams. I was in the same camp for a long time.
How can anyone who doesn’t trade at all, teach trading?
But one tweet from Adam Jowett made me reconsider.
Think about it this way…let's look at some famous coaches in the sports world.
Scotty Bowman – The NHL coach who has more wins than any coach in history. But he stopped playing hockey as a teenager, after a stick to the head severely hampered his playing ability. See more legendary NHL coaches who were bad players here.
Clyde Drexler – Two-time hall of fame NBA player. Member of the Dream Team. Only lasted two years as head coach of the University of Houston. Never coached at that level (or higher) again. See more legendary, non-player college basketball coaches here.
So before you write someone off as a bad coach, just because they don’t trade…stop yourself for a minute. They still might have something valuable to teach you.
…as long as they disclose that they don't trade. Of course, if they lie about not trading, that's another story!
3. Unrealistic Expectations
Now let’s get into the more “behind the scenes stuff” that you probably won’t hear about on most blogs. OK, imagine for a minute that you are a trader that can double your account every 1-3 months.
It is possible.
There is Paul Rotter, of course. But he has a different type of advantage.
On a smaller scale, I know of two traders who can do this FX and Futures. They are both women. It’s a very, very (very) rare talent and most of the best traders in the world cannot create this type of return.
This is because success is all about trading within your personality.
But even if you are a man, let’s just say that you can do this. 😉 Now if you are going to teach someone to trade your method, what if they “only” make 20% a month?
That is still world-class.
How about 15% a year? Still better than most fund managers.
But it’s not 100% a month.
See what I mean?
If you give students the expectation that they can trade like you, then they might be deeply disappointed, even if they are doing really well by anyone else’s standards.
…and that defeats the purpose of trading education.
It is a valid reason for not publishing a track record.
On the other hand, you might be an ultra conservative trader and make 10% a year, but with very low drawdown. But maybe your system could produce much bigger returns, if traded by another trader.
So why limit the potential of your students by thinking that they will make 10% a year, when they are capable of much more?
4. Legal Reasons
If a trader is full-time, chances are good that they probably manage money or trade for a fund of some sort. There can be a clause in their contract that prevents them from disclosing their trades.
This is to protect the clients of the fund and the fund itself. If you ran a hedge fund, would you want your traders broadcasting all their trades over Instagram?
Then you will get phone calls from armchair quarterbacks asking why a trader got into that trade or this trade. It would be a client relations nightmare. Funds need to protect their sanity and intellectual property and that is why they prevent their traders from showing their trades.
Makes sense right?
I have to give Walter Peters credit for pointing this out to me on our podcast.
5. Unnecessary Headache
Publishing your track record comes with certain obligations. There are always going to be people who second guess your trades or will want to brag that they traded better than you during a particular week.
Who needs that headache?
Legit educators are usually traders first, teachers second. Dealing with hecklers only takes time away from trading and building quality education products.
6. It Might Not Matter For Marketing
I met up with a professional trader that I had known for a long time, in San Francisco. We mostly talked about trading and education.
He mentioned some unexpected results that came from publishing the track record of one of his students. This student is a fantastic trader, his best student ever.
So naturally, he thought that publishing the track record of this trader would help sell training courses. But guess what?
It didn’t. Sales were exactly the same when he showed the track record, compared to when he didn’t.
If that is the case, then why bother to got through the trouble of compiling the results?
7. Too Many Trading Methods
Like I have mentioned before, there are different trading personalities.
Some traders stick to one method…
Others trade many.
If you trade 15 different strategies, imagine trying to sort through all of them, especially if they are in one account. You would have to label them, print the chart and write up an analysis for each method.
That’s a full-time job in itself. This method can help, but is it worth hiring someone just for that?
8. Messes with Their Trading Psychology
This one is huge.
When you are on a losing streak, it can be tough enough. But when people are looking at your track record and telling you: “why should I buy your course, you had a terrible week,” that can really mess with your head.
To protect your sanity as a trader, some things just shouldn’t be published. Again, it depends on your personality, some people are resistant to this type of criticism.
But generally, it is a good idea to eliminate as much bullshit as you can.
9. Personal Privacy
Then there is the issue of personal privacy. Some people just don’t want others to be all up in their business.
To take it a little deeper, if you are a successful trader, publishing how much you make can make you a target. This is especially true if you have a family.
I heard about one guy who got his watch collection stolen after he published it on Instagram.
Of course, this is going to be rare, but it can happen.
There are a lot of crazies out there.
Final Thoughts on Publishing Trading Track Record
All that being said, is there anyone who does publish their trading track record?
Sure, there is.
If you absolutely need to see trading results, I would recommend checking out Joel Kroeger. I have been a Pro level member of his site for 6 months.
He has a live trading journal where he publishes his trades and running performance, and you can even get an email when he closes a trade.
Another trader that I follow is Tim Sykes. Although he is a stock trader, I don’t hold it against him 🙂
He really is pushing the level of trading transparency and is a trader/educator that I really respect. While you are on the Profitly site, also check out Fatbeetrader.
He is a FX trader that does very well.
So I hope you now see that the fact that someone doesn’t publish their track record, doesn’t automatically rule them out was someone who can help you trade better. Yes, there are a lot of people out there who have bad intentions, but if you only concentrate on finding the best (and stop trying to expose everything as a scam), you will usually find it.
Do your research. After you start talking to educators, traders and students, and you will usually get a feel for who is legit and who is not.
Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments below!
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