OTA was once all about technical analysis and risk management. I took the entry level class in 2007, then called Pro Trader, with a great instructor named Fernando Gonzales, and after that a great class called Broad Market Analysis with a fabulous instructor named Brandon Wendell who really knew his stuff. Lots of technical analysis.
Around 2008 they replaced their director of curriculum with an experienced trader named Sam Seiden. He is the originator of the "Core Strategy" patented method of identifying supply/demand zones. This is different than classic definition of support/resistance zones, but they often overlap. I consider Core Strategy to be more precise.
Most classic support/resistance zones will also show up in Core Strategy supply/demand zones, but it identifies additional zones, besides being more precise. That is my opinion after having worked with Core Strategy. Anyway, it took several years for OTA to develop and fully implement the Core Strategy curriculum and transition out of the focus on the teaching of classical technical analysis. Then the instructors had to be convinced this was the right thing to do. That took time I suppose. I also took an investment course called Proactive Investing which involves long term management of IRAs, 401Ks etc.
After I retired at the end of 2009, I had more time to devote to the markets. In 2019 I retook the entry level class. By then the Core Strategy curriculum was mature. There was very little similarity between the classical technical analysis of Pro Trader in 2007 and the "patented strategy" of Core Strategy in 2019. Because I had been away from classroom instruction for over ten years, I first took a live 5-day online Core Strategy class as a re-take, though in fact it was a pre-view, at no additional charge, and then a month or so later I took the 7-day in class Core Strategy, again at no additional charge.
Then I did the same thing with Proactive Investing, online re-take as a review of the old and preview of the new, and shortly after that the 5-day in class version which is now called Strategic Investing. And I use the online XLT webinar sessions which are available live multiple times every week, and they are available recorded if I am unable to attend live. The point is, the money I paid in 2007/2008 was not just to take a class or two. It has been an ongoing and evolving education for me.
So how am I doing with my trading/investing after the education? Clearly I am better investor/trader than ever, steadily improving. Most of my monetary success comes from the Proactive Investing and general market technical education, more so than Core Strategy. I have been easily meeting my minimum targets to die with more money than I have today, while making ample withdrawals as needed for my retirement. I am not swinging for the fences, but for consistent profits in all market conditions.
I am a happy customer mainly because of two big advantages I enjoy over someone coming to OTA now.
1. The price I paid in 2007/2008 is in the range of one fourth of the prices today and 2. I feel fortunate to have been introduced to the Core Strategy concept basically for free, after having an awesome classical technical analysis education by a series of OTA instructors back in 2007/2008. So for me, it has all been good. Knowing what I now know, would I have done it in 2007 at today's prices (less inflation) if I only got the Core Strategy and Strategic Investing without the classical technical analysis education? Probably not. Too expensive.
While I use their Core Strategy technique when it is appropriate (often) and I am clearly a better trader/investor for having that knowledge in my quiver, I am not a hard Core Strategy focused trader. The quality of the instruction is generally exceptional. I had some outstanding instructors who were very experienced and knowledgeable traders. It is worth something to spend a week with such a person and be able to ask them whatever you want.
At the end of my Core Strategy class, clearly many students were struggling with execution of the strategy. The instructor made a big point that continuing resources were available to anyone who needed them. Both online assistance and personal coaching was available as needed.
My point is, for those students who never got it, they were not just educated and abandoned. I experienced a genuine care for the trading success of the students. Clearly OTA wants every student to become a successful trader. It just isn’t possible. That said, I believe some people are just not cut out to be successful traders – perhaps most.
It takes disciple and emotional management skills many can’t or won’t achieve. Understand that you could be one of these. If you get into any formal instruction program on trading, you have to have the right mindset going in or you are destined for failure. That mindset is that - I understand that most people who want to be traders will never be successful traders. But I have a burning passion to be one of the minority who succeed. I take full responsibility for every trade I make. I have to forge my own trading strategy, my own plan, with the benefit of solid education.
Trading is risky – real, real risky. I can’t blame any lack of success I may have on anyone but myself. It is absolutely untrue that I can approach trading lackadaisically and be even modestly successful because of some training I have taken. OTA (or any other trading educator) is not responsible for my success or lack of success. Only I am responsible.
If you want someone to teach you to make trading easy, take the advise of many other reviews here, and run as fast and as far as you can, not from OTA, but from trading..
Hope this helps at least one person.