The decision to start day trading is a serious one, and it can quickly become overwhelming.  Online Trading Academy specializes in educating and training individuals about stocks, forex, futures and options as well as investment strategies based on the student’s trading style. The website offer a variety of free and paid courses in addition to its Extended Learning Track, or XLT, offerings. Online Trading Academy was established in 1997 as one of the largest trading floors in the U.S., providing managers and high-performing traders with daily coaching sessions on trading with higher consistency and profitability.  In 2001, the organization switched its focus to a purely education model, building a community of over 200,000 investors.  (For more, see: An introduction to Day Trading.)

The Pros

The reasons for choosing Online Trading Academy as an educational resource certainly add up. For almost two decades, the organization has equipped a growing community of traders and investors with the skills necessary for making informed investment decisions. From live online courses to learning the popular TradeStation platform, there is no shortage of class offerings. Students have the option of participating on-location at any of the 35 Financial Education Centers worldwide or taking online courses at home. Online Trading Academy also allows interested individuals to sample the program via free courses prior to deciding to commit to its fee-based courses. Additionally, the organization boasts an extensive list of dedicated instructors.

The Cons

As robust as the program may be, it’s not without its potential downsides. Courses cost thousands and possibly tens of thousands of dollars, which may be the largest deterrent for potential students with financial constraints. Others may be unwilling to spend that much money on an education that cannot guarantee a return significant enough to offset the initial cost. Online Trading Academy’s disclosure even states that trading accounts should be considered speculative in nature, meaning one cannot be guaranteed protection against a financial loss.

How it Compares to Competitors

Online Trading Academy has an ongoing support system for exclusive students that allow for better feedback and interaction between instructors and students. Many of Online Trading Academy’s competitors such as Trading Advantage and Open Trader seem to have very similar services, but none list their prices. Visitors have to to enter in their contact information to receive additional information.  One can be certain that these offerings will be priced comparably to Online Trading Academy's offering.  A request for personal information in order to find out how much the courses cost may strike a prospective student as questionable, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the program isn’t on the up and up. (Related: Day Trading Schools.)


There are many choices out there when it comes to investing and trading education. One option is to check with brokerage houses like Fidelity, Charles Schwab (SCHW), TD Ameritrade (AMTD) and E-Trade (ETFC). Not only do these companies have a considerable number of online tutorials for their clients, they also have periodic on-site seminars in their branches. Local investment clubs are an affordable, easy way to build a trading knowledge base through conversations with those who are already doing what you seek to learn. There are a variety of websites out there that offer free tutorials as well as more in-depth videos for a small price.  Clearly, there is no shortage of options when it comes to finding educational trading and investing resources.

The Bottom Line

Online Trading Academy is a reputable organization that has been in the business of educating people about investing and trading for two decades.  Its on-location and online offerings are in-depth, and the organization gives students the flexibility to maximize learning possibilities in whatever environment suits them best.  However, Online Trading Academy’s steep price tag and the presence of substitutes can make the decision to sign-up much more difficult.  Fortunately, there are numerous more cost-effective alternatives out there for one to consider. One such option is Investopedia Academy's Become a Day Trader course which is taught by a 30 year veteran in the industry and was launched in June 2017.