... seldom discussed: the students aptitude and the teachers ability to demonstrate live trading. It's coming up to Christmas time and there are probably many folks out there who are looking at trading as a way to provide an income in uncertain economic times. Indeed a reoccurring theme on ET is traders or wannabe's looking for mentoring, training or education. Some vendors charge $25k+ for a long shopping list of fluff and stuff you can be trained in, but seldom does a spark touch fuel. As they say, hope is a great breakfast but a poor supper and it seems most trainees finish the course full of belief but are soon disappointed in the actual money making ability they are left with when they try to apply all their new tools and training. In fact it becomes a sure fire way to lose more money. Seeing is believing and unless you see it live, what appears real can be very far removed from a profitable method. It is easy to annotate a chart after the event and claim infallibility as has been proffered on ET. An impressive list of things it seems you need to know can turn out to be worthless and as there is perhaps no one more vulnerable to snake oil than someone wanting to learn the skills of trading, how does a budding trader protect ones self? Some Smart Alec thinks 3yrs tax receipts or account statements are the proof. But what if the method is failing now and the trader is selling a has-been method that worked under prior market conditions. You and he are destined for the same sad end. So let's get the ground rules straight: if a trader is selling a method it should not be his beast method because copying it will affect his liquidity. So let's say you're getting a 2nd rate method - you must see it in operation before you part with coin or you are just buying a sales pitch. Colored crayons after the event don't come near to an acid test. The bigger the money claims the greater the proof needs to be because anyone who makes big money trading doesn't touch training traders. Even if it is free training, if you don't see the proof demonstrated live you can be pouring your life into a vortex of worthless fantasies. But there is another aspect to learning and that is your aptitude. But the only way you can truly evaluate that is if you are 100% certain a method is as good as it is claimed to be because you have seen it in action. Then if it is not working for you, you know the trouble is with your perceptions. If it is working for your piers then it is all the clearer that you may not have what it takes. I trained a group of traders on a one-off basic boot camp and that was as far as I would take it. One was scratching a living and after the training now makes a few million a year. One failed but continually reviewed the training and kept in touch with those who made it and is now well on the way to making a million this year. Another is scraping a living with great stress using the same tools, time and training. Yet another gave up on the training because he wanted to mix it with other ideas and went from a little success to blowing his account because inexperience had not prepared him for the wiles of the market. So there are four examples of different outcomes with the same training. The guys saw live calls and soon were able to make their own live calls because they did what they saw, and that seems to be the most common outcome. If you get a lot of waffle, you get lost in a sea of words. If you see it work, you copy what you see. Perhaps these guidelines might save a few people from wasting a lot of time and money to say nothing of the emotional cost. I'd be interested in hearing from others who have had experiences of wasting time and money on training and whether the problem was the training offered or your personal make up and how much was spent on training.