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The Difference Between a Trading Course and Full-Blown Learning Program:

In the world of trading education, the term “course” gets thrown around a lot. I often get asked: “Who offers the best day trading course?” or “Where can I find the best swing trading course?”. But the sad truth is that the vast majority of them are lousy – attracting uninformed individuals with promises of “fast, explosive profits” through “magical indicators” and “holy grail systems”.

Trading Courses Versus Learning Programs - What's the Difference

Since every self-proclaimed trading guru in the world can easily hop onto YouTube and start recording videos, the trading education industry has become overloaded with courses – with the vast majority of them offering shallow, low-quality content. I’m sure that these insane levels of “fake expertise” are a problem in every single industry, but’s it’s especially pronounced in trading education. Wherever false promises of making money and achieving financial freedom can be made, scammers will flock just to make a buck.

The worst part about it is that not only are these courses ineffective, but in many instances they’re utterly harmful – pumping beginners with misleading expectations, encouraging bad habits, and delivering incomplete information. This is why I personally prefer full-blown learning programs to courses. Almost anybody can record a few videos and label it as a course, but it requires a substantial level of expertise to create a legitimate, comprehensive learning program. It’s like comparing a tutorial to a university-level education.

Overall, trading success isn’t as easy as most fake gurus and marketers make it sound online. It requires real effort and the acquisition of specific technical and mental skills. The success rate is low because most people fail to find the right educational resources.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Trading Courses and Learning Programs:

The main advantage to trading courses is that they’re generally cheaper, ranging anywhere from around $0 – $1,000. But other than that, full-blown learning programs are usually far superior. Of course it depends on the exact courses/programs being discussed, but generally speaking the full-blown learning programs with professional training have a lot more to offer.

  • Cost-Friendly
  • Less Effort Required


  • Missing Critical Information/Concepts
  • Can Be Created By Almost Anyone
  • Don’t Tend to Offer Much More Than the Basics
  • Disorganized and Confusing Video Lessons
  • Learn From a Legitimate Mentor
  • Organized, Comprehensive Curriculum
  • Interactive Tasks For Deeper Learning
  • Overcome Roadblocks With Professional Support


  • More Expensive
  • Rigorous Training

The main disadvantage to learning programs is the cost, ranging anywhere from around $1,000 – $5,000+ depending on the exact one. But with that being said, they’re typically far more structured and comprehensive than a simple course. I’ve seen numerous so-called trading courses that are merely a jumble of old, confusing video lessons packaged together. Learning programs, on the other hand, tend to offer a more organized, strategically-constructed curriculum. They also provide the support necessary for long-term success.

Thomas Kralow’s University Grade Trading Education, for example, is something I categorize as a learning program. The curriculum certainly constitutes a course, but it’s much more than just that. It also offers a ton of interactive tasks, homework, quizzes, and exams for deeper learning. So it’s not just teaching you about trading conceptually, but practically as well. In addition to that, there are multiple packages to choose from depending on the level of personal assistance and mentorship you desire.

As you can see, a complete learning program from a proven mentor can be much more valuable than a basic course created by some random person online. The difference can be well worth the cost if you’re legitimately dedicated to your own trading success.

Top Rated Day Trading Course and Learning Program Recommendations:

After using and reviewing dozens of trading courses, programs, services, and tools throughout the past ten years, these are my current top rankings for a day trading course and learning program. If you have any personal experiences with either, please share within the comments section below. I’m always interested in hearing thoughts, experiences, and feedback from other traders.

#1 Course – Trading Tickers 2 By Tim Grittani |Read Full Review|

What is in Trading Tickers 2 By Tim Grittani

Trading Tickers 2 is a premium course created by day trading legend, Tim Grittani. Tim started off just like many of us – blowing up multiple accounts trying to chase hot stock alerts. But after realizing this approach wouldn’t work, he dug his heels into educating himself as much as possible. It took him nearly a year to find consistent success, but at this point in time has exceeded $13M in total trading profits. He initially released Trading Tickers back in 2015, which was easily the best course provided on the platform, and just launched Trading Tickers 2 earlier this year. It was an anxiously awaited updated version of the original – and doesn’t disappoint.

#1 Learning Program – University Grade Trading Education By Thomas Kralow |Read Full Review|

University Grade Trading Education By Thomas Kralow

Thomas Kralow’s Trading Program claims to be university grade trading education, and in my experience, it’s the closest thing I’ve found to that. Unfortunately, much of the focus within the trading education space is on alert services and chat rooms that masquerade as learning programs, but are mostly just concerned with attracting oblivious subscribers in order to pump stocks. I’m not saying that all services and chat rooms are bad, but shady practices have certainly occurred. Thomas Kralow’s program, on the other hand, is completely focused on education. He’s not interested in sending out trade alerts. His focus is on training his students for durable market success.

The Dangers of Free Courses – Be Careful With the Information You Take Into Live Trading:

Thanks to the internet, free information is boundless. This is typically a great thing – having access to reviews, how-to articles, and other information can certainly be extremely beneficial for making decisions and fixing problems, for example. But it also comes with some downsides – particularly, how do you properly filter the good information from the bad?

This delicate balancing act between free/premium and good/bad information is something that almost every new trader has to deal with. The difficult part is that free information isn’t always bad and premium information isn’t always good. Which is one of the main reasons why I started this website – to help separate the strong trading courses, programs, services, and tools from the weak – so that you don’t have to. This process of content-consumption and analysis, however, is time-consuming and expensive.

Frequently Asked Trading Questions

The biggest issue I see with new traders is thinking they can find a free course online and then jump right into live trading. But I’ve never personally come across a free course that would completely prepare someone for consistent trading success. Most free courses are junk, then there are a bunch that are decent, but none will turn you into a great trader by themselves. In my experience, free courses only serve one purpose – to discover basic concepts/terminology and allow you to decide if trading is right for you.

It might feel good to think that you can just use articles on Google and videos on YouTube in an attempt to learn the craft of trading for free. I’ve known a couple people who have tried this method, including myself, but the actual cost oftentimes ends up being more than simply paying for a legitimate learning program. Between the unreasonable amount of time wasted searching/filtering and the thousands of dollars lost in the market thanks to improper guidance, purchasing premium training is usually the better way to go.

Just make sure that you understand the hidden cost of free information – both the time it takes to sort through and determine if it’s good or bad, as well as the potential money lost in the market due to poor advice. This is a case where free isn’t always free.

Conclusion – Legitimate Learning Programs Are Superior to Courses:

Right at the beginning of your trading journey, it’s fine to go through some free courses. That’s the natural first step. It’s the discovery phase – a time to learn some basic terminology and concepts, and decide if active trading is really something you want to pursue.

From there, however, top rated premium courses and learning programs are preferable for efficient progress to be made. Things like FAQ and Free Resources can only take you so far. You need deep practical learning and strong support in order to really grow.

Best Day Trading Courses and Sites For Beginners

Don’t get me wrong, it’s possible to learn trading through free online resources. But it takes so much time to distinguish the good information from the bad. And the information should also be applied within a demo/simulated environment first – not live trading. Believe it or not, paying for a robust curriculum from an authentic mentor typically ends up being cheaper in the end.

There’s also something to be said about actually paying a fairly large sum of money for something like a full-blown learning program. It shows commitment to your end goal of becoming a consistently profitable trader. When you receive something for free, you don’t typically value it as much. You take it for granted and fail to use it appropriately. The high cost weeds out those who aren’t serious.

So it’s no wonder why those who join learning programs experience much higher levels of success. Not only is the actual content within the programs better quality, but the mere fact that they paid so much for it commits them to achieving their ultimate goal.

Learn More in the Trading Success Framework Course

Written by Matt Thomas (@MattThomasTP)

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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).

One Comment

  • Vanabell says:

    I can’t thank you enough for the education provided in this article. Honestly before now I never thought of courses vs. learning programs this way. Indeed it requires a level of legitimate expertise and hardwork to put together a whole full learning program. I myself have fallen prey to the unending learning courses on the net particularly on Forex. Lost cash too, so I had to stay away. Now I know better what to do. Big thanks!

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