Whether you're new to the game, or you're a veteran looking to network with other pros, day-trading schools can potentially give you the tools you need to succeed. But whether they're online courses, personal consultations, or group sessions, not all day-trading schools are created equal. In fact, they can vary widely, both in price and in quality.

Key Takeaways

  • There are a plethora of day-trading schools that teach the tools for success.
  • All qualified schools should helps students develop a keen understanding of the markets they wish to day trade, strategies to help them maximize profits, mentoring figures, and continued support, after the classes have ended.
  • Day-trading academies can focus on different markets, including equities, futures, and foreign exchange. 

Investopedia Academy's "Become a Day Trader"

In 2017, Investopedia launched its Become a Day Trader course, which covers everything from creating an overall trading plan to the nuts-and-bolts instructions for making trades. After watching a three-hour on-demand video, and practicing making mock trades, an instructor will walk you through a step-by-step playbook for making six types of trades that you can immediately put into practice.

Picking a Day-Trading School: The 3 Elements

High quality day-trading schools should feature the following three key elements:

  1. Foundation. This refers to a keen understanding of the market you wish to day trade, as well as strategies to help you maximize profits. Such information is available from online stock trading, options trading, or futures trading courses, as well as from textbooks--often for little to no cost. Many day-trading schools even divulge their core strategies for free, as an enticement to take their paid classes.
  2. Mentoring. To achieve day-trading success, it is essential to accept critical feedback from objective observers who can better evaluate your trading style. Simply put, it's hard to self analyze your own day-trading performance. Similar to the way it takes an outsider to correct your golf swing, it takes the sharp eye of a mentor, to detect and correct your day-trading flaws.
  3. Continuing Support. It's possible to develop post-graduation bad habits, therefore it's essential to maintain a robust network of supporters to keep you in check. Just like athletes, professional traders may experience slumps that can send them into a downward spiral, without outside help in place, to help them course correct.

Top Day-Trading Schools

Day-trading schools focus on different markets, such as equitiesfutures, and forex. The following day-trading schools excel in their individual specialties.

Note: listed prices are subject to change.

Stock Market Courses

The Online Trading Academy (OTA), one of the largest trading schools, began as the training arm of a trading floor in 1997. Though it began by offering daily coaching sessions, it soon expanded its offerings to provide classes, workshops, online courses, and free trading resources. In 2001, it opened a brick-and-mortar training center. Today's OTA community is more than 250,000 traders strong.

Although the OTA offers curricula covering forex, futures, and wealth-management courses, it chiefly focuses on stock market classes. For stock traders, the journey begins with a free half-day tutorial on creating a trading plan and implementing a rule-based trading system. This is followed by the two-part Core Strategy course. Part one, which costs $5,000, entails either a five-day live workshop, or 10 three-hour online sessions. Part two (costing $2,000), may either be a two-day live course, or four three-hour online sessions. After completing their training, students may retake the classes as many times as they like, to refresh their knowledge.

OTA chiefly focuses on supply-and-demand imbalances, a method which theoretically allows for low-risk/high reward trading. OTA also offers several specialty courses on topics such as trading psychology and technical analysis strategies.

Online Stock Market Courses

Day-trading consultant Stefanie Kammerman, aka the The Stock Whisperer, began trading in 1994 and started teaching her techniques in an online chat room, in 2010. Kammerman focuses on tape reading, spotting big buyers and sellers, volume analysis, support and resistance, and dark pools. Her popular course entitled "Counting the Cards of Wall Street" comprises three pre-recorded sessions, respectively costing $99, $199 and $199. Those who master the cards trilogy can sign up for her bi-monthly two-week boot camp and live seminar, which features competitive simulated trading exercises.

Options Trading Courses

Those interested in trading options may wish to consider TradePro Academy's Swing Trader course on making short-term options trades for both day and swing trading. Traders will learn reliable options trading strategies, where risk and reward are fixed on each trade. The course focuses on assessing volatility, placing orders, capital and trade management, and assessing profits and losses. The course, which offers students a full day of live trading, costs $99 per month. TradePro Academy's Trader Pro course focuses on futures trading and offers a daily live trading room. The monthly subscription to this service is $129.

Futures Trading Courses

The Day Trading Academy (DTA) teaches traders how to deal with a variety of market conditions in the futures space, by tracking a security's price over a prolonged time period. The DTA was founded in 2011 by professional day trader Marcello Arrambide, author of the popular Wandering Trader blog.

The DTA curriculum is siloed into beginner, intermediate, advanced, and professional sections. Topics range from simple themes like resistance areas, trend lines, and price action, to more advanced concepts like trading psychology, emotional intelligence and high-probability trades.

Those interested in this program may attend one live trading class for free. The course is currently $2,997 and includes all online access, three months of one-on-one mentoring, weekly webinars and live trading classes, plus video recaps. Packages with additional mentoring time are also available.

Foreign Exchange (Forex) Trading Courses

The forex market is open 24 hours, which allows for swing trading at all hours. Winner's Edge Trading, which began as a 2009 blog that provided free trade signals, strategies and advice, still offers these features today. Currently an online tutorial center and trading room, Winner's Edge freely provides its core strategy to more than 70,000 subscribers. It is known for its "Double Trend Trap" strategy, which can be used in any time frame, although trade signals are primarily traded on the hourly chart in the New York Session Trading Room. Joining the trading room costs $97 per month, however promotions are often available for multi-month sign-ups.

The Bottom Line

Quality day-trading academies can provide traders with the solid foundation of expertise they need to thrive. Continuing support networks go a long way in promoting lasting success, long after educational courses have ended.

[Important: Although cost is an important factor when choosing a day-trading school, it should not be the only consideration. Prospective students should also look at the markets covered, convenience, and access to mentors.]