Martin Lee @ Sg
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Lessons from Get Rich Courses

Last Sunday, an article written by Lorna Tan “Lessons from get-rich courses” was published in the Straits Times.

The article spoke about the numerous advertisements for “get rich courses” you see in the newspaper every day.

Some samples of what you can see in the adverts:

“Our graduate made 770 per cent profit and turn $1000 into $78000 from Forex trading in 2 months”.

“How to create wealth in the stock market 30 minutes a day.”

If you see these advertisements repeatedly in the newspaper, it means that they work very well. In case you get me wrong, no, I’m not referring to the strategies that are being taught. Instead, what I’m saying is that the advertisements work well in attracting people to the free previews and subsequently converting the attendees into paying customers.

As long as the advertisements continue to be profitable for the advertisers, they will continue to appear, week in and week out.

Lorna spoke about her experiences in signing up for an options trading seminar. She paid $5000 for a 4-day course, and the session was attended by about 500 students. At $5000 a student, the organiser would have grossed a cool $2.5 million from organizing the course.

The course covered the basics of options along with the strategies for trading them.

So did Lorna become an expert trader or start making money after the course?


She actually did nothing.  Whether it was information overload, too busy with other stuff or being not hungry enough, she didn’t try to apply the things she learnt. Before long, the stuff she learnt faded from her memory. This actually happens to 80-90% of people who attends such courses. I have encountered people who have attended half a dozen of such courses and they are still trudging along, ready to attend another course that can (hopefully) give them a breakthrough.

Should you consider attending such courses yourself?

You have to be very selective of what course you sign up for. You will hear many claims from different trainers but remember, most of them are trying to sell you something. Don’t sign up on the spot and always go home to do research on the trainer first. Establish from an independent source whether his claims are true or not.

Don’t be pressurized by their special price which is only available for that day. You can easily get the so-called special offer they give you by attending another preview session on another day.

The traders/trainers I respect are those who are upfront and tell the audience (the fact) that trading is difficult. You would actually have done well if you don’t lose money in your first year.

If somone promises that he can help you make GUARANTEED returns from trading, stay away! Anyone who gives you the impression that trading is easy (and you can make money easily) is causing you more harm than good.

Overconfidence has been the downfall of many traders. Would you want to learn from a person who starts you on the wrong footing?

Personally, I would avoid any training course that is packed with 100+ participants. Even if you don’t mind paying top dollar to learn from a professional trader, what you need is a coaching session and not a lecture based training. Learn the basics yourself, then find someone who is trading professionally to guide you along on a one-on-one basis. There is no point paying so much for basic information that is readily available everywhere.

Learning to trade is just like learning a sport.

Will you pay $5000 for a 3-day training session from Tiger Woods?

What if the training session  is attended by 100 other people? How much do you think it will benefit you?

Will you become an expert golfer after the training?

There will be improvements to your game but let’s be realistic. Tiger Woods works with his coach every day for years to get to where he is. Three days will not magically change your game by many notches.

Also, the benefits you get from getting him to improve your game would be much greater than getting him to teach you how to play the game.

However, results ultimately come from years of training (trading), and not from a 3-day boot camp.

I find it ironic that MAS regulates and has certain rules on the giving of financial advice on a personal basis, yet does not regulate investment/trading courses. More harm can be done in giving the wrong advice to 100 people than to one person.

Recall that private schools were also previously not well regulated and you get all the nonsense with degree mills, etc.

The Caveat Emptor approach might not be the way to go for everything.

Leave a Comment:

rahimi says 10 years ago

people are talking of millions of dollars and how to get rich we are seeking for just 1$ donation to buy a book for women literacy class is it fair? you spend hundreds of dollars on scam sites to get rich. is 5$ donation hard thing to do?

east_europe_fraud says 12 years ago

The big money comes from seminars, NOT from the trading itself.

Similar to some MLMs, the big money comes from those seminars and overseas travel trips that the syndicate organises for its members. NOT from the product sales itself.

James Tan says 12 years ago

Hi Lion,

Evidently Lorna is not aware of such courses (only one in S’pore & rest online) which comes with full course fees refund guarantee if not satisfied within 90 days and no question asked.

So far, I have already taken more than 50 such courses online and got back every cent of it, so much so I am now being blacklisted by Clickbank, the 3rd party guarantor for such courses.

It’s ok with me, as nowadays from nowhere supposed gurus/experts just simply e-mail me for free trial online trading methods & strategies for forex, stocks & options.

    lawho says 12 years ago

    Wonder if those courses offered here in Singapore also have such refund guarantee. If so, some guarantor may well be losing a lot of money given all the noise made by frustrated attendees in the press – and in the courts.
    Indeed as James mention, there are so many free trial online trading methods and strategies available – why try to “pick up tips” quickly by attending such costly courses? Beginner’s luck may be there – but how long can it be sustained just relying on some expert advice or chart points – shouldn’t one be developing own strategy and grasp of the market? And I always wonder why would someone who is so successful making a lot of money will not continue to make them him or herself rather than imparting the “secrets”. Greed begets greed – is there really any diminishing marginal utility when it comes to money?

      lioninvestor says 12 years ago

      Hi Lawho,

      Some of them offer some kind of guarantee.


      1) you can walk out after the first day with full money back guarantee with no questions asked.

      2) Can walk out at the end of the course with full money back.

      Depending on how the lesson is conducted, the refund rate might be a few percent.

      or some form of conditional guarantee

      3) Apply my strategies for 6 months and if you do not make money, you can get a full refund.

      The conditional one is harder to meet as it requires you to show some proof, and if the methods don’t work for you, the trading losses would be much more than the course fees. 😀

    lioninvestor says 12 years ago

    Hi James,

    yes, there’s a lot of ebook and ecourses on the internet and sold through clickbank that offers full refund.

    In fact, sites like investopedia offer information for free.

    But some people have the impression that learning from a live person is better as you get the real thing which books can’t give.

    At the end of the day, it is really information overload if you really attend/read every single product out there, most of which are rehashed materials.

      lawho says 12 years ago

      tks lioninvestor

      I agree there will always be info overload – especially in these modern dates. It is still the learner who must take responsibility of how he or she will make good use of the knowledge (and at times, a lot of gibbilish crap) available. Learning from a live person is a plus but to be effective, there must be enough two- or multi-way dialogue. Listening through a lecture or even a conversational piece may be counter-productive because one may be picking up the pieces from a totally different perspective. Well getting a refund is just a consolation .. and hopefully something that will pay off the heartache.

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