• Mark Dallmann

Online Trading Academy - An honest review and my experience with



So, you are thinking about day trading and are wondering if Online Trading Academy, otherwise known as OTA or simply TradingAcademy.com, is your best option for learning to trade. After all they are extremely expensive, and you owe it to yourself to make sure your will be money wisely spent. Maybe you are like we were.  Our careers going away, our income less than half what it was just a few years earlier, older, and unable to find work that pays anything close to what we were used to. If so, you owe it to yourselves to read this in its entirety. It will save you many 10’s of thousands of dollars. Do not believe what I am about to say? The OTA staff brushes off these criticisms as simply being from disgruntled students who did not take the time to do what they were taught. Again, you owe it to yourself to read this in its entirety and read through the FTC complaint of Online Trading Academy Fraud at the end of this story. There you can read for yourself the governments charges against them directly from the FTC website. It truly is a must read for anyone thinking of giving them money and was an “ah ha” moment for many students who were frustrated by the inability to take what they teach and make money. I had been hearing the Trading Academy ads on the radio for many, many years and always thought they were a hoax. However, I figured that after all those years, if they were not for real, they would have been shut down by now. Knowing our financial situation was not going to change anytime soon and knowing our reserves were not going to get us into retirement, I responded to the OTA talk show on WISN in Milwaukee and gave them a call.   Their initial free 3-hour class gives an overview of the market and how it works. It is quite compelling; they are INCREDIBLY good at putting on a show and selling you their product. The point of that 3-hour class is to get you to sign up for their $299 3-day class which gives a brief overview of what they teach and the different asset classes you can sign up for; Forex, Futures, Stocks or Options. To someone who has dabbled in the market, this all sounded pretty incredible and it looked equally convincing.  The whole point is to show you how easy it is and how you too can make a living trading. Next comes the sales pitch.  

  • Lifetime retakes of the classes.

  • Highly skilled and experienced traders to teach you.

  • Includes a year of “ProPicks” free, a daily library of trades that you can take to help you make money while you are still learning.

  • Online sessions with instructors to watch and learn.

  • You get everything you need to be a successful trader.

  • Besides at this point in your life what other options do you have to generate income?

  • And let OTA help finance that!

"All you have do is follow our training", they say. They did not say it outright, but one thing I read between the lines was you need to invest the time to be successful. As I said, it sounds quite compelling and they know how to hit your trigger points during their sales pitch. That is why you need to do your research before signing up with them. There are LOTS of places online where you can read reviews besides this one. Just do a search of Online Trading Academy Fraud or Scam. Join some Facebook trading groups. Follow some successful traders on Twitter. Here is a small sample of what is available,


The cost at the time we signed up in 2018 started at $25,000 for either Forex or Futures. Another $5,000 if you wanted to add options training and another $5,000 if you wanted to add stock trading. Or you could sign up for their Mastermind membership which included most everything, for only $55,000. You read that right. After you sign up, they will enroll you in their “Core” class which teaches their supply and demand method of trading and how to find fresh “zones” to take trades in. After that week you need to sign up for the Forex or Futures training. It may take 6 months to get into a class. They only host them a few times per year.  I will say that after a class you feel pumped and confident you too can do this too. Although they give you a survey to rate the class afterward, the survey should come months later after you have had a chance to practice what they teach. After 18-months and countless re-reading and re-watching of the material (we put way more time into studying the material than we should have needed to), we just could not make what they teach work. We and everyone we stayed in touch with from the class were all losing money. Retaking the classes 2 more times did not help, but what you do start to notice is they are cherry picking the setups of what they are showing you. Yes, there are setups that work occasionally, but there are way more times they do not work. As they say, "even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile." There are other problems too. Their ProPicks library of trades. They have been caught editing the trades to give a higher success ratio of wining trades. That just begins the stories of fraud, many of which the FTC lays out in their lawsuit. Online Trading Academy may say they know people who are making money, but I can assure you from the people we know, they are not trading strictly based on what OTA teaches. In fact, what is really infuriating is that when you get to the FTC documents you learn that the instructors are only required to make one trade per year and that trade can be a simulated (not real) trade. The much-touted Sam Seiden the “inventor and patent holder” of the OTA method (who has since left OTA) cannot make money either. I do know a couple of OTA students who are making money, great money, but they have ALL needed to expand their education by spending even more money to learn what Online Trading Academy failed to teach. Trading Academy only teaches supply and demand. There is no price action, moving average, channels, RSI, Fibonacci, Elliott Wave, volume profile, … they don’t teach indicators, just fresh supply and demand zones and I assure you, you can’t consistently make money looking at just that. Yes, what they teach is valuable, but it is like teaching you how to drive and only showing you how to put the key in the ignition. It costs you a lot of money to buy that car, but gets you nowhere. Complain the OTA system doesn’t work and ask for a refund citing all the fraud as described in the FTC Complaint, and they offered us a free Mastermind upgrade or they simply say "we taught you what we said we would teach you" … well, not exactly, you said you would teach me what I needed to know to make a living trading. All I did was lose money because OTA only gave us one very small piece of a much larger puzzle. To this day, we are still in contact with several fellow students who are all still losing money and are still looking aimlessly trying to figure out why. Probably because they spent so much money on this education that they can not accept the fact it does not work! After realizing we were not going to make money doing the OTA method of trading we started looking elsewhere for more knowledge. I am happy to report you can make money trading and there are some excellent resources out there to help you learn. Please though, save yourself a boatload of money and do your research online and read through the FTC complaint of fraud and deceptive practices before giving OTA a dime, and that includes the franchise location in Milwaukee. If you still want to make a living becoming a day-trader, look elsewhere.  There are MANY resources out there that work and are a small, VERY small fraction of the price.

FTC Case 8:20-cv-00287-jvs-kes If you are going to only read one of these, read this one (1.48 MB)

Complaint for Permanent Injunction and Other Equitable Relief (554.19 KB) There is so much more in there, but here are a couple takeaways,

  • Defendants target older consumers "with visibility to retirement age, near retirement or retired."

  • Has already taken more than $370 million from consumer victims across the nation.

  • OTA's trump card is fake. Defendant Kimoto's trading has yielded a net loss of tens of thousands of dollars over the past several years, despite a historic bull market.

  • Defendant Seiden, held  up as the inventor and most-skilled practitioner of OTA's method, has done very little trading in recent years and the trades he did make yielded a net loss of approximately $20,000.

  • OTA makes no effort to ensure its presenters are actually successful traders.


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