Online Trading Expo Report

Discussion in 'Events' started by Baron, Aug 20, 2001.

  1. Baron

    Baron ET Founder

    Well, considering this was my first year attending the Online Trading Expo in Anaheim, I really don't have a standard to judge it by. However, I did ask other people who have attended the event over the last couple of years to compare it with past shows. Everyone agreed that the crowd was older and that there was definitely a significant drop-off in attendance this year. I guess that's to be expected considering the economic slowdown and the resulting market meltdown over the last year.

    One thing worth mentioning is that several large day trading firms said they were not attending this year because the show lost it's focus when the name changed from Day Trading Expo to Online Trading Expo. And in a certain sense, I can't blame them. I mean, there were booths from Datek, ETrade, Dreyfus, Scottrade, and Fidelity sitting in close proximity to RealTick, Terra Nova Online, CyberTrader, Hold Brothers and others.

    Without a doubt, RealTick and Terra Nova Online get the award for the most active booths. They were the top two sponsors and they intended to let everybody know it. They each had an army of employees working the floor to make sure that any interested parties got personal attention. They must have had at least twenty computers running demos of their software. I like that.

    One thing I hate is when you go to a booth and have a question about a product, but the booth is either empty or the attendants avoid you because they don't feel like dealing with the public. I went to the S&P Comstock booth and got totally ignored by two separate attendants for ten minutes straight, and I was the only person they even could have talked to. Same thing happened at CyberTrader and Ameritrade.

    One goal I wanted to accomplish while I was at the show was listening to Bright Trading's seminar on being a "professional" trader. Within five minutes, I was already getting annoyed. The Bright brothers seem to have this hang up with bashing the Nasdaq Stock Market and anybody who trades it. They referred to Nasdaq traders as amateurs and the Nasdaq market as being "just plain silly". I'm sorry but statements like those made Bright look extremely unprofessional in my opinion. In fact, some of their statements about the Nasdaq and retail traders were so absurd I just had to walk away.

    Aside from the Bright seminar, I was really disappointed at the showing made by Interactive Brokers. They had a one person booth displaying a two-page pamphlet and one business card with no particular person's name on it. They had no computers running their software, no demonstrations, or anything. Considering the number of reviews that IB has got on this site, I really expected them to show up with a much better presentation. In my opinion, they would have made a better impression by not showing up at all.

    Speaking of no-shows, MB Trading was non-existent from this year's show. Word is that they are getting very close to releasing their new long-awaited MBT Navigator execution software.

    Hold Brothers had a nice booth and several nice attendants that were ready and willing to demo their product. The only problem is that their software seems to be more of a "me too" product than a market leader. I asked the attendant one question: "Can you tell me what features your product has that other order execution platforms like RealTick don't?" He said, "With our software you can highlight Market Makers on the Level II screen to track their movements..."
    I said, "Wow".
    He said, "Yeah, it's cool isn't it?"

    I moved on... :)

    Seminars were happening all over the place of course, with MarketWise, Pristine, and Online Trading Academy all going after the same crowd - the beginning trader who knows little, if anything, about day trading. Never have I seen three outfits so good at taking a chart, drawing trendlines or support and resistance lines on them, and then telling everybody how these stocks were played almost effortlessly for insane profits "last year". I love how these seminar speakers still talk about last year or the year before like the market is still that way today. Sometimes I just wanted to stand up and take over the presentation so everybody could have more realistic expectations, but I managed to sit on my hands like a good boy.

    I don't want to sound really negative here because the truth is, there were some decent presentations and some good aspects of the show. By far, my favorite part about the event simply was meeting so many other traders. In fact, just about every person I met said, "I visit Elite Trader all the time. The discussion there is the best..." One principal of a day trading firm even said, "I enjoy reading the message board on your site because it let's me know where the industry is heading. I find that the hot discussion topics are good indicators of what I can expect to find in Active Trader magazine three months down the road..."

    If I have some time later, I'll post some more of my thoughts as I go through the tons of literature, CDs and other promotional nonsense that I collected this weekend.


  2. PKJR



    "thumbs-up" for your review. good comments. I have stopped attending those seminars as they are, in my opinion, designed for speakers and /or brokerage houses to gain 'new' and unexperienced audience/customers .

    Thanks again,
  3. WarEagle

    WarEagle Moderator


    Wow, thanks! I've never been able to attend an Expo, and I've always wondered if they had any value. I figured they were setup mainly for seminar "gurus" to sell their services to hungry newbies. I would, however, enjoy meeting other traders, particularly some of the folks on this board. Maybe someday I'll get to one, but for now your review will have to do.

    Thanks for keeping us informed!

  4. Good work Baron. I wish I could have been there with you.
  5. TonyOz


    Hello Baron and forum members,

    I just wanted to stop by and drop a quick note.

    Baron, I really enjoyed meeting you (finally). I am sorry I didn't get to say thank you for the coffee or good-bye.

    FWIW, I have heard from many traders at the Expo that this board is by far the best one around. I will try to read some of the posts when I return from Japan and maybe even engage in some arguments, but remember to take it easy on me, I've been away from the boards for a long time, so I feel like a newbie ... ;-)

    As you said in your report, "By far, my favorite part about the event simply was meeting so many other traders." This is what it is all about to me. I look at the expos as a party for traders, and I try to participate in as many off-the-expo-floor events that I can. I was somewhat disappointed that I went to bed before 1:00AM every night. This is a first for me. I've stayed up much later with fellow traders in all past Expos. I guess the structure of this Expo made it more difficult, because everyone was staying in different hotels.

    Trade Smart Everyone!
  6. youcef


    Hi everybody,

    I'm new to day trading and have a simple question:

    what is the difference between terrranova online and terranova-MB ?

    I'd appreciate any comment.

  7. exce26


    Good Job, Baron!
    On Nov 15, there will be 'Online Investor Expo" in Las Vegas.
    Do you plan to attend it & write about it?
    I hope you do....

  8. ChrisRT


    Hey Tony,

    I think the hotel thing made it hard too. It was a 15 minute drive to get to anyone's hotel, and a few were pretty far from the convention center itself. Even when we met up with you guys after dinner at the hotel lobby bar that first night, it was a hassle to get anywhere unless you had a car and most didn't. The better of the parties I think was a couple years ago out in California. Jay had the balcony party and there were a lot of traders to talk to and finally see. Since then, it's kind of dwindled, but still fun for me. Maybe at the NY one, it will be easier. Looking forward to it. It's always fun putting faces to internet nicks as well as seeing old friends again. We'll have to make sure Farley brings his coat this time :p

  9. Baron, thanks for the review of the Anaheim show, and even the "annoying" part about our presentation. We tend to focus too much on the trader who fits into the category of "potential serious trader" when attending these shows. The NASDAQ bashing has been toned down a lot (why beat a dead horse, as they say), and now that there have been some changes in trading rules, there are actually prop traders doing ok with it.

    We do speak from facts gathered over the years, and try to stay as current as possible. My annoyance comes from the people who try to sell the unwary on products that simply don't work, won't work, and cannot work (you know who I mean), or those "booksellers" and others who really don't trade, and don't have much experience in the market.

    We have been proven "right" in many ways, albeit a shallow victory, when the "bubble burst" and most of the Naz firms have gone by the wayside.

    We have become a bit more "kinder and gentler" and will do our best to temper our presentations so as to not annoy as many people. Don't want to get too boring, though!

    Your comments will help our next free sessions in NYC in February. Please introduce yourself, and if I am annoying people, let me know. :)

    And BTW, I am gaining respect for your site and what you are doing, and what you are "allowing" to be posted. A little controversy can actually lead to a good, open forum!!
  10. WarEagle

    WarEagle Moderator

    Anyone attend the Vegas expo this weekend? I had wanted to go but was unable to make it. Just curious if there was a good crowd and if any ET members got together. I think the main benefit of these things is meeting other traders. Eventually I'll get to one.

    #10     Nov 19, 2001