Online Trading Academy Review

Let's face it. With more than 25,000 search requests per month, the Online Trading Academy is one of the market leaders in the trading education business. Some say size is everything, but are they really worth it? This Online Trading Academy Review answers this question. Let's talk about their trading courses, costs, and credibility.

Update: I received detailed feedback about the free one day class from an Online Trading Academy client. The feedback was thorough and contained a lot of interesting facts. I have added the information before the review summary.

Update 2: I received even more critical feedback about the free classes and the way how Online Trading Academy's way of making money. It is shocking to read those feedbacks. It seems that even the price tag that I evaluated on their site (55k) is not the limit, and the person I got feedback from was, as he said, "put under pressure to sign a pre-contract for a $62,000-education". For now, you should be aware of the fact that free classes exist to sell expensive courses. With the overall costs of up to $62,000, OTA is the most costly trading school that I have ever reviewed.

Update 3: The Federal Trade Commission sues Online Trading Academy for Running an Investment Training Scheme and note that Defendants target Americans with false or unfounded earnings claims. Here you find the latest updates at

The current developments indicate, that even if you stand entirely neutral to the FTC investigations, you are better served to consider the best trading courses first.

Feedback from one of my OTA review readers

I have access to many online trading courses. I am thankful that one of my readers provided in-depth insights into the free one-day on-site seminar offered.

He attended the one-day free class and asked for the fee structure for the upcoming classes. To his surprise, they told him that he has to pay $200 and attend to the 3-days workshop called "Market Strategy Training" before getting more detailed information about the overall costs.

That's an interesting aspect since it seems that they want to invest a small amount of money before giving you the details. And like many times in life, once you invested in something, you tend to spend more money on it.

I asked my source to explain in more detail what his experiences where.

He said that the one-day free workshop was suitable, with free coffee and pastries. Also, the location was a good one with trading rooms, voice recording, and so on.

The content during the one-day workshop focused on the need for encouragement to understand the importance of being able to handle a portfolio along with some general information about trading strategies and technologies available at OTA. During the one-day workshop, it became more clear, that the concept is based on modules in the way lined out in the Online Trading Academy review above.

Smaller investments enable you to get access to the more expensive ones. And those more expensive ones allow you to take the next course and so on. And this way it can become costly if you do not inform you at first about the total cost.

The interesting thing now is that it seems that attendees to an on-site course do not get the information needed to calculate the costs. Only if you invest $200, then you may get the information you need. That's a bit disappointing, IMO.

My source said: "This is the unique case of business in education that I have seen where the application fee is effectively both disguised and collected without given the student even the minimum hint of the overall tuition costs."

Most of the higher-priced services have a similar sales strategy and structure. But different from OTA, most of the competitors are more transparent.

If you read other reviews on this site, then you notice that more often than not, the section about the costs and subscription options is short and crisp.

OTA is different, and it's hard for me to make the review shorter because there are so many variables.

I hope that the information provided helps you to make the right decision, and also the insights from my reader may help you to start the free workshop well prepared and with the right mindset.

What is Online Trading Academy?

Online Trading Academy is an investment advisory service that's offered professional, state-of-the-art training since 1997.

With online courses and on-location classes, Online Trading Academy covers trading styles and asset classes like:

  • Day Trading
  • Swing Trading
  • Investment Theory for Stocks
  • Options- and Futures Trading.

Whether a novice or a professional trader, the team at Online Trading Academy aims to show you the same investment techniques used by professionals on Wall Street.

Back in 1997, when the Online Trading Academy had 180 traders averaging half-a-billion dollars in transactions per day, its team had one goal in mind: make you a better trader. Since 2001, Online Trading Academy focuses purely on trading education.

And here is the first important thing you have to understand. The Online Trading Academy is a franchise company. Everyone can apply for a franchising consultation with their Vice President of Business Development.

Why is this important?

Well, it's like with your favorite Starbucks, Pizza Hut or McDonald's. Everything looks similar everywhere. And it might be fine if you get the same coffee everywhere. When you spent a few thousand dollars for education, it might be different.

Some of the most important characteristics of trading educators are:

  • Authenticy
  • Experience
  • Proof of Success
  • Empathy

Right now, I count ~130 instructors on their website 17 people belong to their leadership team, and in total, about 1,000 people working at Online Trading Academy. I usually spend weeks auditing trading education businesses.

Those services are typically run by one head trader or a small team. During the time frame of a few weeks, it is possible to analyze such service thoroughly - the proof of performance, skill level, and education methods.

This OTA review is a bit different since with the Online Trading Academy, this is entirely impossible. Do we know their educators trade themself? No, we do not know. They don't have any proof that their strategies are working.

No bank account statements and no real proven track record. There is a counter on their site in the "why OTA" section, but how useful is it to know that 563 trades were made? What was the outcome?

My standpoint is that you should not expect to learn specific proven trading strategies at Online Trading Academy. Instead, the Online Trading Academy should be considered as a place where you can learn all the fundamentals about trading and investing. And then again, the question remains - Is Online Trading Academy worth it? Do they deliver for an acceptable price? So, let's take the Online Trading Academy one step further, looking at their best trading courses and costs.

Products | Services | Costs

With its extensive product offering, Online Trading Academy has something for everyone. How much does Online Trading Academy cost? Their focus is to educate you about the basics of trading and investing. Keep in mind, though, before registering for any courses, you have to enroll in its free online investing workshop.


It is the starting point for the whole education program. At first, it looks like a good structure with various elements. But the point is, for example, that to get into the mastermind community, you have to complete three XLT courses.

And to complete the first XLT course- the XLT: Core Strategy - you have to complete the Core Strategy Course before since it is a prerequisite before you can apply to the first XLT course.

You get the point....

Online Trading Academy Costs

Let's do the math! Let us become part of the Mastermind Community.

Free Half-Day Class:

  • Duration: half day
  • Costs: Free

Core Strategy Course (former name "Professional Trader Course"):

  • Duration: 14 3-hour sessions online
  • Prerequisites: Free Half-Day Class
  • Costs: No information on their website, no dates available (was $7,000 before:

XLT Core Strategy:

  • Duration: 12 weekls with 1 and 2-hour sessions
  • Prerequisites: Core Strategy Course
  • Costs: Again, no information on their website

Professional Futures Course or Forex Course:

  • Duration: 10 3-hours sessions
  • Prerequisites: Core Strategy Course
  • Costs: $5,500 each

XLT Futures Trading or XLT Forex Trading:

  • Duration: 12 weeks, 84 hours (only 7 hours per week)
  • Prerequisites: Professional Futures Trader
  • Costs: $9,350 for the first three months, then $700/month. Or $13,750 one time.

Mastermind Community:

  • Duration: lifetime
  • Costs: $15,000 for the first year, $5,000 per year thereafter, or $25,000 one time.

Let's do the math for only the Futures Trading Course. From the free half-day class to the Mastermind Community. Okay, now lean back. Think about it - more than $45,000 for only one learning path within the Online Trading Academy.

No Forex, not Wealth Solution, just the Futures Trading path. Let us put it in the right context. When you trade a funded trader account, then you do not have to invest anything at all on your own risk.

You manage a funded trader account, you get educated and all of this for fees as low as $100 per month. You keep 80% of profits there. With the amount of money that you would spend for the Online Trading Academy, you could pay for 453 months for a funded trader account.

That's ~38 years with the chance of making money with other people's money! I think you are realistic enough to see the pattern of the education scheme here. It's all about upselling.

With any trading course package at Online Trading Academy, you unlock another course that has to be paid again. If you are fine with paying that much money, then proceed reading the Online Trading Academy Review. Otherwise, I recommend you to read my lead article Best Trading Courses

Now, let's get into the Online Trading Academy course details.

Free Investing Workshop

The Free Investing Workshop is a half-day online webinar that teaches you how to generate income and grow wealth within financial markets.

The course introduces you to Online Trading Academy's product offering and helps you decide which service is right for you.

Some topics covered include:

  • How to buy at wholesale and sell at retail
  • How to read volatile markets
  • Common mistakes novice investors make
  • How to time the market
  • How to spot entry and exit points
  • A simple rules-based strategy for trading

As mentioned, the webinar is both free and required if you want to sign up for any of Online Trading Academy's other courses.

Core Strategy Program

The Core Strategy Program outlines several strategies and approaches to profit within financial markets.

Within the offering, you have two options to choose from:

  1. Core Strategy Online
  2. XLT Core Strategy

Core Strategy Online

Taught over a seven day period, the Online Trading Academy Professional Trader Course costs $7,000. Throughout the course, instructors outline the skills and techniques you need to buy and sell ETF's like a professional trader. The strategy teaches you about market turning points to help you stay on a winning track.

So what else will you learn?

  • How to identify two types of traders and recognize their activity
  • How to get the best price and manage risk effectively
  • How to spot supply and demand imbalances using advanced technical analysis
  • How to take emotion out of the trading equation

The course is taught by traders, who either have previous capital market experience or who graduated from Online Trading Academy's program in the past.

XLT - Core Strategy

The XLT - Core Strategy Course delivers three sessions per week where you trade in real-time with one of Online Trading Academy's instructors. The course is designed to extend the educational theory taught in the Core Strategy Course and apply the tools in a real-life setting.

Upon signing up, you also gain access to a weekly one-hour Learning Reinforcement Session where you can ask questions and discuss any challenges you're facing. Keep in mind though, to sign up, you first need to complete the Professional Trader Course.

So how much does the Online Trading Academy XLT Course cost?

You have two options: you can pay $8,500 for the first three months with a $625 monthly fee thereafter. Or, you can pay $12,500 for the first three months and have the ability to retake the class for life.

And what's covered?

  • Mastering the Trading Blueprint to identify profitable opportunities
  • Learning how to anticipate market moves in real-time
  • Identifying low risk/high reward trading opportunities
  • How to use the rule-based strategy to perfect your trading game

Extended Learning Track (XLT) Courses

Like XLT - Core Strategy, Online Trading Academy offers plenty of other advanced courses. The training combines live in-market sessions with theory-based education to help you assess when assets are overbought and oversold.

Note: All XLT Courses (except All Asset) have the same sign-up costs as XLT - Core Strategy above. As well, portions of the curriculum are taught on-site at Online Trading Academy Locations in Toronto, Boston, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina as well as many others.

XLT - Stock Trading

To qualify for the XLT - Stock Trading Course you have to complete the Professional Trader Course. The Stock Trading Course is designed as an advanced version of the Professional Trader Course. 40% of the material focuses on theory and education, while 60% of the course centers on trading within a live market environment.

You learn:

  • How to plan a trade
  • How to trade real live markets
  • How to read the newswire
  • How to trade specific setups and order flow
XLT Forex Trading

To enroll in the XLT Forex Trading Course, you first need to complete the Professional Forex Trader Course ($5,000 cost). The XLT - Forex Trading Course allows you to choose your favorite currency pair while a trading expert teaches you the analytic and practical skills required to carve out a competitive edge in the currency market.

You learn:

  • Rules-based strategies for momentum, swing and positon trading
  • How to spot market turning points
  • How to identify commodity and currency relationships
  • How to incorporate currency futures into your trading toolkit
XLT - Options Trading

Like the others, to enroll in the XLT - Options Trading Course you first need to complete the Professional Options Trader Course ($5,000 cost). Using advanced techniques, XLT - Options Trading shows you how national and economic news trigger profitable options trading opportunities.

Instructors outline entry and exit points as well as teach how to diversify your positons and generate income at the same time.

What else is covered?

  • How to spot market trends and other factors that affect option prices
  • How to use butterflies and currency futures with your positons
  • How to measure volatility, apply leverage and minimize risk
XLT - Futures Trading Course

To sign up for the XLT - Futures Trading Couse you need to complete the Professional Futures Trader Course ($5,000 cost). The XLT - Futures Trading Course aims to take you into the minds of some of the best futures traders Online Trading Academy has to offer.

You learn:

  • Proven principles for profitable entry and exit points
  • How to use time of day, strength of level and commodity relationships to your advantage
  • Advanced techniques like All-Star Entry, Breakout and Bull and Bear Traps
XLT - ProActive Investing

Like the others, to enroll in the XLT - ProActive Course, you need to complete the ProActive Investor Course ($5,000). XLT - ProActive teaches advanced wealth management techniques so you can learn how to manage and grow your portfolio over the long-term.

The course covers:

  • Advanced asset allocation
  • Advanced market analysis
  • Advanced wealth management
  • Advanced risk management
XLT - All Asset Mastery

Like a total offering rolled into one, the XLT - All Asset Mastery Course provides the complete set of tools needed to trade:

  • Equities,
  • Futures,
  • Forex and
  • Options

under any market condition.

The difference between this and the other XLT Courses above is prerequisites are a lot stricter. To enroll, you need to complete at least three XLT Courses, complete all the On-Location prerequisites and enroll in the Mastermind Community program.

Mastermind Community

Joining the Mastermind Community is Online Trading Academy's version of an elite membership. It costs $15,000 for the first year and $5,000 for each year thereafter. Or you can pay $25,000 in the first year and be a community member for life.

As well, to be eligible, you need to complete at least three XLT Courses.

So what comes with a Mastermind Community membership?

  • XLT - ALL Asset Mastery
  • Pro Picks for each underlying XLT
  • Daily supply and demand zones
  • Market screener
  • Mastermind community clubhouse
  • Stock trading rooms
  • Mastermind teambuilding
  • Priority access to trades
  • Direct chat with top instructors

So what's the deal?

What do we think about the Mastermind Community and Online Trading Academy's other products? Well, for starters and the average trader, they're costly. With packages starting at $5,000, it's a large down payment for any trader to make.

And $45,000 for one learning path, well, that seems to be too expensive. By testing out the prerequisites first, you'll have plenty of data to decide whether the XLT or Mastermind Community programs are right for you. Our advice is to give it only a try if you have the bankroll to do so.

If your liquid assets are below $100,000, then you should stay away from Online Trading Academy. Otherwise, the relation between the money spent and the needed performance to make money back is too unbalanced. So if you consider investing that amount of money, make sure to spend some time talking to them.

Make sure that you do not speak with a sales representative but instead to a coach, teacher, and educator.

Free Trial | Promo Code

Unfortunately, Online Trading Academy does not offer a free trial for any of its products. The site offers a Free Investing Workshop that you must enroll in before you sign up for any of the other courses. As well, you can also sign-up for its free award winning newsletter.

Online Trading Academy Checklist

  • Founded: 2001
  • Company Address check: 17780 Fitch Suite 200, Irvine, CA 92614 USA
  • Verified income statements: No

Who is Online Trading Academy Best For?

Without a doubt, Online Trading Academy has you covered from all angles. But the course structure with its various prerequisites can lead to immense costs. Its programs are best for anyone with sufficient funds in the bank account.

We are not talking about $100 here that you get back or not. We talk about $5,000 and more, right? The Online Trading Academy offers on-location, live! online, and on-demand training. Their on-location training is somehow unique since most trading educators act only online.

Anyway, these days, nearly anything happens online, and Online Trading Academy can only offer such widespread on-location trading because they are a franchise company. And as mentioned at the beginning, the Federal Trade Commission is now investigating the business.

Online Trading Academy Review Summary

Please understand that $5,000, $15,000 or even $45,000 is a word for trading education. Please, do the math first. Calculate the overall costs based on your own education level target. If the whole way costs you $45,000 and you have only $50,000 in your account - well... know what I mean.

Online Trading Academy Costs

The pricing is probably one of the biggest Online Trading Academy complaints besides the current investigations by the Federal Trade Commission. Also, please also be aware of the fact that due to the franchising concept, it is impossible to know in advance if the trading educator is a great one or not.

There are many trading courses out there that are more affordable.

In our Best Trading Courses Review, many of the are covered, and three educators have unique selling points (Transparency: When you buy certain products from some of the sites which we link to, we may earn a small share of the revenue).

1) Trade Ideas A.I. Pro With a free live trading room, free webinars, ebooks, and artificial intelligence trading strategy development, Trade-Ideas provides top-notch services including automated trading and backtesting, that any investor can use for an affordable price. Make sure to read the Trade Ideas Review to learn more about Trade Ideas.

2) Weekly Money Multiplier - Nathan Bear is trading options every day. He shares his trading desk all day long. You can see him taking trades, analyzing the markets, and he also educates you via live-streaming. And best of all, his course costs only a fraction of Online Trading Academy.

3) Warrior Trading Ross Cameron's courses are cheaper, he's offering a live trading room, and WarriorTrading is the only educator that publishes his bank account statements.

  • The Online Trading Academy offers online trading education and on-location courses in the premium price segment. Total costs should be calculated before getting started.


  • Many locations
  • One of the few local trading educators


  • FTC Investigations ongoing
  • High costs
  • Users report unethical enrolment practices

Online Trading Academy FAQ

What are the major Online Trading Academy Complaints?

In 2010, Thomas M. Anderson, a contributor at went undercover and also identified the costs and the uncertainty regarding the proven track record of their educators as significant downsides. The current FTC investigation is also a major issue.

Where do I find the Online Trading Academy Reddit?

The Online Trading Academy doesn't have their own Reddit channel, but there a some of the discussion over there:

What are the major Online Trading Academy locations?

  • Online Trading Academy Austin
  • Online Trading Academy Milwaukee
  • Online Trading Academy San Diego

are some of the bigger locations.

Is Online Trading Academy Scam?

The transparency regarding the overall costs could be better.

It's upon us to do the research first and then make a well-informed decision. I hope that this Online Trading Academy review helps you in this regard.

Where is the Online Trading Academy Login?

The Online Trading Academy login can be found here:

Updated: April 17, 2020
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