Investment training courses can be appealing on the surface. Promises of high finanancial growth and easy money make it seem simple!
The truth is, getting stuck into the stock markets, investing, and trading is a great way to create a financial growth strategy for your future.
But let’s be honest: they don’t exactly teach you how to do this at school, do they? It means we’re all a bit daunted about investing at first – and that’s where investment training courses come in.
The ’gurus’ leading many of these courses profit off their knowledge. But do they really work – or are you being scammed? We’ll help you discover what these course leaders don’t want you to know!
This guide will help you to decide if investment courses are worth it (especially at the often-high price tag) and which ones we reckon will give you the best foundation to become a confident investor.
The five things they don’t want you to know
1. A lot of the claims are hype
Watch out for the hype. A lot of these programmes make very big claims about what returns you will receive as a result of doing their course and following their system. You certainly shouldn’t take the course on the basis of these claims. There is no guaranteed way to make big money.
Offering this kind of claim on a course sales pitch also demonstrates how irresponsible the course provider is: there are no guarantees in financial investments. So much so, that independent financial advisers are incredibly highly regulated and face huge consequences for deliberately misleading you or making you invest in a fund they’ve got vested interests in.
2. Making big money through investing requires a lot of time and energy
Investing successfully takes time, effort, determination and risk. Obviously, you’re not going to get rich just because you’ve attended a training course. You also can’t make fantastic money overnight (unless you’re Warren Buffet).
Frankly, you should meet any company that makes big promises with a healthy suspicion. Most reputable courses will usually only promise to teach you the skills you have come to learn, not make too-good-to-be-true claims.
3. These courses aren’t for everyone
It is also important to remember that the way you, the student, respond to a course will be a determining factor in its usefulness. People learn in different ways so bear that in mind when approaching a course.
For example, if you learn best by watching videos, then a text-heavy book is less likely to be beneficial to you.
Equally, ask yourself what you want to achieve from this course. Is it simply to get the basic information you require? If so, you might want to consider books and free internet resources before you splash your cash.
If you feel you need a teaching environment and would benefit from being able to ask a professional expert questions then weigh that up against the cost of the course. Ultimately, whether the course is worth it or not will be, to some extent, dependent upon what you need and what you are prepared to pay.
4. There are alternatives to spending big money on a training course
There are many traders who have never attended a training course who learn how to invest from free resources and hands-on experience. When you’re starting out on your investment education journey, sometimes the best basic information comes from free internet resources and library books.
When you’ve looked at these resources, you’ll have a better idea if investing is something that interests you – before you pay for any courses! If you get bitten by the investing bug when you’ve tried free online and written resources, then you can think about spending money on the courses.
You don’t have to pay for instruction in stock market investment. Here are some great free resources on trading the stock market.
- The Open University – Runs free online courses on equity finance
- Morningstar’s Investing Classroom – Tons of info for investment newbies
- Udemy – Short and longer courses, free and paid options available
- Babypips.com – Lots of information to start learning from the ground up
- Fool.co.uk – An excellent resource to learn about investing
- Alison.com – A site full of free educational material with a healthy section on investment
- Investopedia – lots of current information for UK and international investing
- Moneymagpie free investing guides – a selection of material to help you learn to invest.
Cheap books –
Firstly – and we mean this most sincerely – you should get Jasmine’s investment opus Beat the Banks which is aimed at the complete investment novice. It shows you how to approach investing, what to look out for, how to divide your money into different assets and what are the best types of products to invest in.
When it comes to trading per se, there are LOADS of books on how to trade in individual shares. To start yourself off, take a look at this list of the best books for new investors.
Practice your portfolio investing –
Lots of online trading platforms let you experiment with the stock market without investing a single penny. Spend plenty of time getting to know the platform – we mean months, not days – and the way stocks and shares behave.
You’ll start to see how trends work in the markets, and discover where your strengths (and weaknesses!) lie when it comes to investing – without risking any money.
The London Stock Exchange virtual simulator is a great place to start, and you can also try out the virtual portfolios on platforms like eToro, too.
5. Several of the investment trading courses have mixed reputations
Whilst the websites of these training courses often have glowing testimonials from happy customers on their websites, you’ll find that the general reaction off site is a lot more mixed.
Many people who have attended some of these courses complain that there is a focus on the hard sale, that the prices are too high for what you get and that they are often aimed at people with some level of investment knowledge.
Don’t miss out on our free investing guides.
Investment Training Courses
When you’ve exhausted your free online resources and library books, it’s time to consider a paid course.
Here’s a look at five courses offering investment trading:
Learn to Trade
Learn to Trade, formerly known as Knowledge to Action, is one of the most well-known brands offering investment training courses. Their website says that they are one of the largest international brands providing education in Foreign Exchange and the stock market. The company was founded by Greg Secker, an English trader and entrepreneur.
Who is it aimed at? – Learn to Trade say that their courses are suitable for beginners who are starting from scratch and for intermediates who want to deepen their understanding of the stock market and are looking for professional advice.
What’s on offer? – There’s a variety of different courses available but the two main programmes are the Traders University Programme and the Ultimate Forex Profits Programme, both of which run for two days. Before you sign up for either of these courses you are required to attend a free seminar.
Cost – The cost of the courses, not on the website, varies, depending on which course you go for, between £2,000 and £13,000. There are free day seminars, too.
Reputation – There are many people who say they have benefited massively from attending Learn to Trade courses. One contributor to a trading forum said he owed his trading career to attending these programmes.
However, many more people who have attended the free seminar said there was too strong a focus on the hard sale. Taking a look at the website and the videos there is the sense that Learn to Trade are very good sellers, but this does not mean that you will necessarily receive the best training.
Others who have taken the course have said that there is often an attempt at an ‘up-sale’ and you are encouraged to attend further, equally pricey, courses. It is also worth noting that these courses are considerably more expensive than some other comparable courses.
The biggest takeaway from reviewers is that you need to have a solid understanding of investing fundamentals before you take this course. If you start out a total beginner, you’re going to find a lot of the content goes over your head – and feel like the course cost is wasted.
Win Investing/The Wealth Training Company/ Darren Winters
Previously known as WIN Investing, Darren Winters – a well-known forex trader for over 20 years – now runs The Wealth Training Company.
The name change may have something to do with the negative press and claims of false advertising the previous iteration of the training company received.
Who is it aimed at? – The courses are suitable for beginners and anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of the stock market.
What is on offer? – There are a variety of different seminars available depending on what you are after.
Cost – Prices vary. At time of publication, both the Wininvesting.com site and the Wealth Training Company websites did not load for price-related pages (when tested several times, too!). Darren Winters’ home study DVD course is £2,000.
Reputation – The questionable reputation of the previous company and Darren Winters himself doesn’t appear to put some people off the courses. Checking the TrustPilot reviews, you’ll see most attendees claim to have found the course helpful.
However, when reading independent reviews, it’s always worth researching several review sites and forums, as some companies offer payment (or free courses) in return for good reviews.
Alpha Trading Floor
An online ‘trading room’ community with daily hints and tips, the Alpha Trading Floor offers a range of training courses across the UK. From one day beginner courses to a 12-week in-depth investment course, there’s something for most new investors.
Who is it aimed at? These courses are aimed at new or intermediate stock and shares investors. It’ll help to have a basic foundation in trading before you go on the course, though.
What’s on offer? Take a one-day course for total beginners, a 12-week course, private one-to-one mentoring, or an online training course to take in your own time.
Cost: The one-day course is £159, while the online course is £399 (including VAT). The price rockets for the 12-week course to £2,995, and private mentoring prices aren’t listed.
Reputation: The company’s Facebook page has many glowing reviews – which are harder to fake than some other third-party review sites.
Trading College aim to train people with all levels of investing experience and help their students maximise their potential. They say they are a community and that all their courses are designed according to student feedback. It was set up by ex-footballer Lee Sandford, who once trained on a Greg Secker two day course.
Who is it aimed at? – The trading college says it is for investors of all levels, beginners to advanced investors.
What’s on offer? – There are a variety of trading courses on offer including the Pro Trading System training program for beginners. There are online courses as well as day courses you can attend. You can repeat the course for free within six months.
Cost – Prices vary depending on whether you take an online course or choose to attend a course in person, although they do not list the prices on the website. The total beginner’s course requires a £50 deposit, which is refunded to you if you complete the courses – there are no other costs.
Prices vary from £97 for the online apprentice trader course to £997 + VAT for the Pro Trading System training program, with the software included in the price. Monthly membership to their website costs £97 and includes the Apprentice Trader programme, plus twice-weekly trading insights.
Reputation – There is a mixed reaction across the web. There are, again, testimonials from those who have said that the courses have been a good grounding for their investment career. Others, however, have said they felt it had more to do with selling indicators and software than providing great training.
One trading forum member said that most of the information could be learnt from the internet. The program is also CPD accredited, which is a positive sign: courses and trainers must meet strict requirements to achieve CPD status.
London Academy of Trading
Claiming to be the UK’s first accredited trading academy, this training company offers a wide range of investment education options for total beginners to advanced investors. They don’t offer a quick way to make money; instead they promote their ability to teach you the skills to understand trading in-depth and make better decisions.
Who it’s aimed at: While it says total beginners can access the course, a foundation in trading will help you get the most out of it.
What’s on offer: The most popular course is a 3-month diploma taken as evening classes, but you choose from a considerable number of accredited investment courses.
Cost: Take a two-day course for £400 or go all-out with a Masters of Science in Finance qualification (with a focus on global trading) for a massive £16,000 (£1,000/month equivalent).
Reputation: The Academy passed its 2017 accreditation process with flying colours. Online reviews are hard to find – but the ones we found were glowing.
Making the right decision
If you’re keen to start investing, we recommend the first step should be using all of the free resources at your fingertips – like Moneymagpie!
Investment courses can be incredibly expensive and don’t come with overly satisfying recommendations. As you’ve seen from some mentioned above, it’s a field where potential scammers and dedicated educators stand side-by-side.
If you’re thinking of investing in a classroom course, visit the classroom site. Ask lots of questions about the course content, delivery methods, and accreditation. If you’re looking at online courses, look for plenty of reviews from third-party review sites to make sure it’s got a good reputation before you hand over your money.
*This is not financial or investment advice. Remember to do your own research and speak to a professional advisor before parting with any money.