Many trading systems are proprietary in nature and the owners of the system feel obligated to protect the systems and technologies they have developed. As courses become more popular, either through effective marketing or word-of-mouth success stories, the owners of the trading systems are able to command a greater price for their products. Some traders have developed a very recognizable brand name and this allows them to charge a premium price for the product they have developed.
The question a potential new trader must ask himself is whether the value of the course is equal to the premium price the owner of the course is charging. This is a very difficult evaluation to make, as no breakthrough technologies in e-mini day trading have emerged. The fact of the matter is startling; most trading educators use a similar set of oscillators and price movement analysis to determine potential trades. Granted, new oscillators have appeared in recent years, though none have provided that "Eureka" moment many traders are looking for.
Quite simply, trading is a learned skill and learning to recognize potential setups is gained through experience and a basic understanding of the technologies and setups that can result in potentially profitable trades. Needless to say, some trading systems are better than others. But most time-tested trading systems have been around for quite some time and employ similar trading techniques. Oscillators, duel time frame analysis, channel analysis, price movement analysis... these are all common to nearly every trading system currently on the market. I will admit that some trading educators deploy and utilize the information gleaned from charts and indicators and a more effective fashion than others, but there is a striking similarity between most systems on the market.
One common question trading educators are asked is to post their success record for evaluation. I am in sympathy with most trading educators and being hesitant to disclose this sort of information because potential traders enter trading with a very different skill set. One trader may be very adept at identifying and visualizing a range of indicators and price movements in a very effective manner. On the other hand, there are those students who struggle with these sorts of abstractions and have a very difficult time succeeding. In short, all potential traders are not created equal. Some new traders assimilate information very quickly and translate that assimilation into trading success, while others are slower at learning the information and implementing it, and still others are unable to trade effectively under any circumstances.
In short, the price you pay for an e-mini day trading course is directly related to the value a potential investor perceives in the system being promoted. If I were in the market to purchase an e-mini day trading system I would shy away from advertisements claiming bombastic and incredible rates of return. As most seasoned traders know, the e-mini day trading business is not a get rich quick proposition. The real chance of earning 1000% on your money in the first month of trading is remote, at best.
It is not unfair question to ask a trading educator what his or her success rate with students who continue in the trading business might be. Many studies have pegged the failure rate for new traders at nearly 90%. There are many reasons for this, and an explanation for this failure rate is a topic for another article. In my opinion, any success rate near 50% would be a good indicator that the course is reputable.
Still, why the high price for the e-mini day trading courses?
Whether it is brand recognition, celebrity status of the trader, or word-of-mouth recommendation from other traders, most trading educators are going to charge as much as the market will bear. In other words, if trading educators can consistently sell courses in the $5000 range; they will do just that. It is up to the potential student to gauge the value of a trading course and evaluate its potential benefits relative to their current financial situation.
Personally, I feel most trading courses are grossly overpriced for the value they deliver. But I am a longtime trader, and my opinion may be biased as I have seen many of the systems in various shapes and forms throughout the last 25 years. The truth be known, not much has changed in trading in the last 25 years. Yes, some fads in trading have come and gone as the market changes in personality, but most courses employ similar technologies and techniques to achieve their end.