Spend enough time in the trading arena and you are sure to run across someone saying that those who sell systems or books or other information are only doing so because they can’t make money trading themselves. You might even be guilty of thinking or expressing a view something like that yourself.
Yes, I said “guilty”. I use that term intentionally because it represents an incorrect mindset.
“if you are a good trader why do you need me to fund your effort that does not make sense but it tells me you make more money selling than you do trading”
I received the above via email yesterday. It was in response to an invitation I sent to my mailing list to pre-order a new course I’m putting together. It’s on the subject of using simple chart analysis methods to recognize market strength and weakness. This is stuff I use every day and I have been thinking for some time about recording a video (or set of) to share them. I’m finally getting around to doing just that, and will be using the proceeds to support the volleyball organization I used to run – as I have done with most of the revenues I have taken in over the last year plus.
In case you were not aware, several years ago I started a youth volleyball club program in Rhode Island. I ran it for five years (I was also a college coach during that span). A couple years ago, however, I stepped away from volleyball to get back into the market full-time (I’d been out for about 7 years). The new employment meant a move away from the area, so I couldn’t stay involved with the program in any direct fashion anymore. The club continues on, though, and I try to support its efforts as much as I can (and other RI volleyball teams where possible). That means financially. The cost of gym space, uniforms, equipment, and all the other stuff that goes into running a program continues to rise, so finances are really tight. Since I have all this knowledge and experience in trading and the financial markets, it makes sense to use that to create a mutually beneficial situation where I can provide information to traders and investors and use the proceeds on the volleyball side. I don’t keep any of the funds for myself.
Now I included the above information in the email I sent about the new course, so I’m not sure where this particular emailer is suggesting that I’m making more money selling than trading. I’m not personally making any money selling, so there’s no comparison to be made.
Basically, this person is telling me that I must be a poor trader since I’m in the education business. Of course they know next to nothing about me, so they really have no basis for drawing any conclusion one way or the other. This sort of thinking is indicative of a failure to consider all the reasons why someone might get into education in the first place.
Yes, there are certainly those out hocking systems and whatnot who are insincere and unscrupulous. That’s the reality of things. Of course trading is hardly alone in that. There are always going to be con artists in every venue where they see the potential for profit.
But that’s really not the main point of this “those who can’t trade teach” thing. Let’s step back and take a look at the wider “those who can’t do teach” thing. It’s a complete crock, of course.
Think about it. If no one who ever could do taught, then the bulk of our educational system would be gone. Think of all the college professors who are experts in their fields who both do and teach. If no one who ever could do shared what they do, no one would ever learn the doing!
For my part, I’ve been active in educational efforts of one sort or another for many years. I started coaching volleyball while still in high school. I was talking with my alma mater’s Finance Department chair about program adjustments as soon as I got into the professional market arena. I was certainly not getting paid for either. It would be more than a decade after I did my first volleyball coaching before I finally started getting paid for it (sub-minimum wage if you count the hours I was putting in). I didn’t earn a penny on trading education until Wiley published my book, The Essentials of Trading, which was after I had already spent a couple of years contributing in the university classroom (not being paid) by presenting much the same material to college students as ended up in the book. And if you think I’ve made a lot of money off my book you are sorely mistaken.
I love helping people learn, develop, and reach their potential. That’s why I spent so many years getting paid very little to coach volleyball full-time. It’s why I spend much of my spare time thinking about ways I can help people with their trading and investing. It’s very rewarding. I fully expect to be an educator on some level or another for as long as I live, regardless of my level of wealth.
There are definitely other people out there like myself. I’m certainly not alone, so let’s try not to be so cynical about things.
And other motivations aside, do we begrudge people for making a secondary income? If you have a job and you trade on top of that, it’s the same thing. You’re doing something additional to improve your financial situation. It’s a bit hypocritical to cast aspersions on folks who pursue an income from selling trading educational material. If they are putting out complete crap or it’s dangerous, then criticism is certainly fine and justified. If, however, they are providing at least as much value to those who are purchasing their products as they are receiving from them, then what’s the problem?