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Is Jim Dalton a Scam – Are His Market Profile Trading Courses Legit?

Jim Dalton is a trader and trading educator/mentor with over 40 years of in-depth market experience.

For perspective, he’s been a member of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), the Senior Executive Vice President of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and has written 2 classic trading books – Mind Over Markets (1993) and Markets in Profile (2007).

Several years ago – in order to provide a more up-to-date and immersive learning experience for those interested in auction market theory, market profile, and the other critical concepts discussed in his books – Jim Dalton launched Jim Dalton Trading.

Through the Jim Dalton Trading website, Jim Dalton now offers 2 main trading courses: Foundation & Application of the Market Profile and Market Profile Advanced Nuances & Exceptions – which provide recorded video lessons organized into various chapters.

Market Profile Trading - What is Market Profile Trading?

But he also offers a seasonal Live Intensive that includes daily prep, review, trade identification/dissection, live commentary, homework assignments, and more. The recorded courses are for linear learning, but the Live Intensives are for real market immersion.

So based on Jim Dalton’s extensive personal experience as a trader, executive, author, and mentor – why would anyone call him or his trading courses a scam? What would lead certain people to be frustrated, dissatisfied, or angry about what he has to offer?

#1 Reason Why Certain Individuals Call Jim Dalton and His Trading Courses a Scam:

Most people who enter the trading arena are complete beginners looking for fast, easy answers to market success.

In other words, they’re holy-grail seekers. They just want some guru/system to tell them exactly what to do (where to buy and sell). They’re not all that interested in the actual work involved in being a trader – they just want the rewards/profits.

Entertainment vs. Training in Trading Education

So when they go out and pay for a trading course/program, they typically want and even expect automatic trading profits through nonsense like text/email/chat room alerts – which they can simply receive and then proceed to blindly copy.

Top Training Program For Developing Real Market Edge → PROFILE TRADING DEVELOPMENT PATHWAY

But this isn’t how Jim Dalton operates at all. He’s not offering some lousy service that generates “10 hot picks” each week/month, for example. All the newsletters and chat rooms that do this sound great in theory, but they’re largely ineffective.

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Alert/signal services are popular because they present easy ways for hopeful traders to start making money fast. But they tend to be ineffective because they undermine legitimate trader development. Being a copy-cat/blind follower isn’t a sustainable approach.

So what Jim Dalton does instead is teach you how to think like a trader from a logical perspective – based on market dynamics and structure – so that you can effectively organize, interpret, and capitalize on the data yourself and become entirely self-sufficient.

The Wrap-Up – Is Jim Dalton a Scam or the Best Market Profile Teacher?

Since the trading education industry is full of get-rich-quick promises, it sets people up with improper expectations. It makes the masses think that incredible profits are possible by merely copying some guru (blindly following them in and out of trades).

But any course, program, or service that offers incredible returns with limited to no work involved on your end is complete nonsense. It doesn’t exist (at least not in any sustainable form). You might get lucky at first, but any luck will eventually run out.

As a result of this “spell” that the masses are under, most people don’t realize that what Jim Dalton provides is 100% authentic trading education. He’s not selling magical answers – he’s selling legitimate training (which goes against much of the industry).

In the absence of specific trade alerts, anger/frustration kicks in for ignorant traders – and that’s the main cause of “Jim Dalton Scam” remarks. But in my opinion, there’s no actual substance behind them – just an aversion to the real work required to be a trader.

As a beginner, would you rather: 1) learn how to properly think like a trader (which requires months of training) or 2) be promised massive profits with limited to no training involved. The masses are much more apt to choose option 2 (even though it’s ineffective).

Personally, it took me too long to realize that option 1 is the shortcut. Chasing option 2 is the harder/longer/more expensive path.

Written by Matt Thomas (@MattThomasTP)

Related Pages:

Matt Thomas

Founder of, Creator of the Trading Success Framework Course & Trading Paradigm Skool Community, and Intraday Futures Trader Using Auction Market Theory & Profiling (Volume & Market Profile).


  • Patrick Anthony says:

    From what I see Jim Dalton is not a scam and offers some really valuable teachings from his in-depth knowledge, but my main concern is why are his courses so darn expensive?
    Most beginners and some so-called seasoned traders have run low on money and are trying to explore new adventures. Why not find a way to let the little guys and girls in with a more economical course that if it’s working will move up to his next course after making some money. I’m much older now and it’s been my experience that when someone who appears to have a lot of money is asking for a lot of money it turns into a huge Red Flag! Yes even $200 dollars is a lot of money for someone who doesn’t have it let alone $1400.
    Please don’t come back with “well if they don’t have $100 they shouldn’t be in the stock market”. Maybe someone is preparing for when they do have the money to invest

    • Matt Thomas says:

      Hi Patrick – I appreciate you sharing your thoughts/opinions on Jim Dalton and his trading courses.

      I think he prices his offerings at a level where him and his business partners deem fit. I don’t think they’re necessarily concerned about providing free/cheap courses just to attract people. Instead, they’re looking to attract individuals who are deeply committed to developing a high level of market competence/skill. Creating a community full of dabblers isn’t the goal. They want students who are willing to pay for real education, training, and mentorship. There are economical options for getting started learning from him – like his books, webinars, podcast interviews, and primer course. So those would be the free/low-cost options for exploring whether or not you want to take your training deeper. But if you don’t see the value in what he’s offering, you can simply pass on pursuing any of it. That decision is entirely up to you.

      I’ve learned a lot from Jim Dalton and would certainly consider him one of my trading idols/mentors. But if you’re looking for education/training on auction market theory and profiling (both market profile and volume profile) at a relatively low price, then I would highly suggest Trade With Profile with Josh Schuler. In my opinion, this is one of the most under-appreciated trading programs available online and should honestly be selling at 2-3X the cost. There are only a handful of trading educators/mentors that I really like (Josh Schuler, Aaron Korbs, Merritt Black, Jim Dalton, Morad Askar, etc.) – and they all offer great training & mentorship courses/programs – but I think Josh Schuler’s Profile Trading Development Pathway is the best value. It provides so much bang for the buck – and he also provides free 30-min insight sessions and 7-day trials so you can be sure it’s the right path for you before fully committing.

      You might also find these articles extremely helpful:
      Free Futures Trading Education – Top 5 Educational Resources
      Best Futures Trading Mentors – 3 of the Best in the Industry
      Best Futures Trading Course With Expert-Level Mentorship
      What is Profile Trading – Volume Profile & Market Profile

  • arisara says:

    Whether or not Jim Dalton is a scam is what I needed answered before checking his courses out further. Because in reality we do not know who works with the heart. Deceived or not deceived. Trusted or unreliable. And it seems like you only recommend products & services that center around legitimate education and training which isn’t always the case with others

    • Matt Thomas says:

      Hi Arisara – thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      The landscape of trading education is really tricky because on one side – we have the vast majority of people who are looking for the easiest path to profits, and then on the other side – we have marketers/salesmen who often create lousy products & services in order to satisfy these get-rich-quick desires. But every get-rick-quick product/service is ineffective because the real path to becoming a consistently profitable trader requires personal change and development – not blindly copying guru alerts or hot picks, but actually building the right habits/skills for sustainable success. Most people, however, don’t actually want the work/process that’s involved – they just want the rewards/profits.

      I’m on a constant search for the best trading education and training I can find – and I only recommend the courses/programs I firmly believe in because it would be wrong to recommend nonsense/gimmicks. Sadly, the nonsense/gimmicks tend to sell really well – so that’s why you see alert/signal services and trade rooms being promoted/advertised all over the place, but they just don’t help people actually become skilled, competent traders in my opinion. It would be like if you wanted to become a professional baseball player, but I told you not to train, practice, or build/refine the required habits/skills in order to do so. Instead, just “subscribe” to my “alert service” that tells you when to swing, where to run, how to place your glove, etc. As you can probably imagine, this approach wouldn’t work out very well in live situations. Do you really think you’d be consistently successful as a batter going up against a pitcher throwing 100mph without any legitimate skills? Me telling you to swing or not would be completely useless. Yet this is the situation most retail traders put themselves in all the time with hopes of generating millions by being copy-cats/blind followers. They put minimal to no effort into creating trade plans, journaling, tracking trades, reviewing/analyzing their process – and have no idea how to generate trade ideas or properly manage/execute good trades in real-time – but want automatic rewards/profits. That line of thinking just doesn’t make any sense – you can’t cheat cause and effect. Trading is a skill-based, peak performance endeavor.

      I mention all of this because people are so used to all the nonsense out there that they actually start to believe that legitimate education and training (like what’s offered at Trade With Profile, Apteros Trading, and Jim Dalton Trading, for example) is a scam – because it involves legitimate hard work and dedication (of course it does!). Remember – most people want the easy way (which doesn’t actually exist); they don’t want the actual process, just the profits. Overall, I don’t think most newcomers to trading start off on the right path. I know I didn’t. I wasn’t thinking about what the best training program would be for me to build the right habits/skills for becoming a skilled, competent trader (even though that’s what I should’ve been thinking). I was thinking who can I follow that will feed me the best alerts/signals/picks. It wasn’t until several years later when I realized that proper training right from the start would’ve actually been the “shortcut”. I wasted a lot of time and money chasing fairytales when legitimate training would’ve actually been the faster and cheaper path. If I were to start all over again, I wouldn’t bother with any of the typical alert services, newsletters, or chat rooms. I would start with my free Trading Success Framework course to understand what trading truly entails and then move on to an immersive, methodical, and comprehensive training program like Trade With Profile. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t need anything more than those 2 courses in order to develop the values, principles, habits, skills, and edge necessary to succeed.

  • Lorenz Valdez says:

    Hey Matt!

    I have heard of Jim Dalton. When I first started trading, I remember one of my mentors mentioning his name!

    I do agree that most newbies who come into this space, they look for easy success and that’s just not going to happen. It takes work to become successful as a trader. Hard work and patience is key!

    I do believe that Jim’s teachings are authentic. Thank you for sharing your take on it.

    • Matt Thomas says:

      Hi Lorenz – Jim Dalton has over 40 years of in-depth industry experience (as an institutional trader and manager, CBOT member, CBOE Vice President, and more), and yet, his courses and training programs are still questioned by some as being “scams”. And the typical reasoning is because he doesn’t offer his students specific alerts or setups. He actually forces them to gain a deeper level of understanding in regard to the complexities and nuances of real markets – and learn how to pinpoint high-probability/good risk-reward opportunities for themselves, unlike so many other trading services that attempt to spoon-fed subscribers “hot picks” and “foolproof systems” (that never work). So what he offers is really the exact opposite of a scam – it’s legitimate education and training, but the actual study/learning/training required (which can’t be avoided if becoming a long-lasting, consistently profitable trader is your goal) makes some people upset because they want the [nonexistent] “easy” way.

      This just goes to show how frustrating the trading education industry can be – because the vast majority of people don’t really want the actual education/training required to become skilled, self-sufficient traders. They just want shortcuts to money/profits. So of course that’s why there are so many nonsense alert services, chat rooms, and course sellers out there – they’re just offering people what they want (even if it’s largely ineffective). Sadly, this gives the industry a bad reputation – and also makes people skeptical of everything (rightfully so). But the worst part of all is that many of those offering legitimate education/training sometimes have trouble garnering attention because they’re not spewing nonsense and creating advertisements with penthouses, yachts, Lamborghinis, etc. The end result is that many of the worst trading services become extremely popular while many of the best have relatively small followings.

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