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Shadowtraders system. Scam or real? (

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Elite Member
Mesa, AZ/USA
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, ThinkorSwim
Broker/Data: AMP Futures/CQG, TDA
Favorite Futures: Currency Futures, my Harley Davidson
Posts: 100 since Jun 2012
Thanks: 42 given, 127 received

My ST perspective

After reading through this entire thread I’m going to put my $.02 in, will probably regret doing so later, but will do it anyway. I’m not going to directly quote anyone’s previous remarks as they appear to have been heavily bantered around by this time.

I’ve taken the basic ST and 4-day course and have and use some (not all) of their software. I took the course because I didn’t know anything about trading futures at the time and after some research they appeared to offer a reasonably good starting point. The cost was not too expensive ($1000 at the time) and for me was a good investment. They update their software frequently providing enhancements to it and keeping it in sync with the Ninja upgrades, at no additional cost. I’ve seen improvements in their web site and the training material on it which is upgraded with new instruction and information on how to use their indicators, both existing and any new ones introduced, again at no additional cost.

Occasionally ST comes out with new training for additional costs, like the 4-day webinar ($700 at the time). This is a onetime fee and the user can retake the course as many times as they desire. I’ve done it at least 5 times now, again at no additional cost. Any of you folks with college degrees attempt to retake your college courses? I have no direct experience with their off-site training as I’ve never taken it, but just recalling the costs at about $1000 for 5-days including room and board does not seem unreasonable to me. Granted the sites chosen, although in popular places (Las Vegas, the Bahammas, …) are in off season so the rates are better anyway. That is how they keep the costs down. All-in-all I don’t consider it a rip off for these services which may help to put them in a "non-scam" category.

The Wednesday and Thursday classes taught by Melanine are all free. Melaine was an early student of ST and teaches her style of trading that is significantly different than Barbara’s, as was mentioned before. She trades (real money) for between 2 and 3 hours a day and no more. She readily admits to having good days and some bad ones. She also admits to having lost a lot of money at various times until she got her psychological act together. So the choice here is whether or not to believe them.

As to whether or not it’s a “Scam” I can’t answer that directly unless someone will define what they consider a scam. From what I can tell they have a good following so either people are both stupid and have deep enough pockets to keep trying until they can’t. Or, they are successful enough (whatever that is) or believe they will be to keep following their style of trading. My son who also took the basic course makes money partially because of what he learned and who knows what his other reasons are. I’ve watched him trade and I shudder.

As to the marketing which I have also heard mentioned, how many things (products or services) are out there where there is not some sort of marketing? To my knowledge, ST does not have a marketing organization, and everything is done by word of mouth and their Tuesday night webinar. So of course if you attend it would you not expect at least some sort of a marketing pitch. I’ve never got a marketing call and only occasional marketing related emails when some event was coming up. I subscribe to various market related research newsletters and every time I get an invite to attend a “free” webinar to gain “insight” to what is going on in the world, Washington D.C., Europe, …, I know for sure the will be a marketing pitch for some new newsletter, trading service, or whatever. But so what, I attend anyway, learn what I can and tolerate it until they get heavy with the marketing and then hit the big “X” button.

By now there are those that probably think that I am a ST “shill”. I am not. I’m retired and over 70 y/o. I can tell you for sure that nothing, I repeat “nothing” works like it did 30-40 years ago. So for me having the ability to retake training again and again with no additional costs until it penetrates my thick skull is a benefit. Unfortunately there is no guarantee that no matter how many times I take the training that I will be “successful”, especially when measured according to another's definition. So I respectfully request that any or all of you who are experts and successful please, please put something together that allows me to become as successful as you are. I will gladly attend. However, should you decide to do so be ready to get labeled or criticized because it is impossible to make everyone happy. By no means do I consider ST to be perfect in what they do, I have my peeves too. I do get responses to my emails, albeit not necessarily to my liking and are mostly pretty curt. And I do not like that there is no notification process when new software or training videos are added to their site, and so on..

BigMike’s site does a wonderful job of pulling many talented people that are willing to share their ideas, indicators, methods, concepts, etc. for which I am grateful. However, some of these things are well beyond my current level of understanding. Learning how to use some of the things (indicators, etc) offered here is mostly attained by reading related threads, a time consuming process. This is what I see as the value of formalized training where the course is designed to teach in a progressive manner. Anyone here take calculus before algebra? As I see it ST does a pretty good job at this.

As to whether or not Barbara is a professional trader. To my knowledge and as per her claims she is a mathematician and programmer, turned trader. When that happened I have no idea. If she is making good money trading because of what she knows and can do from her other talents, that makes her professional in my eyes. Having to work in the pits, manage a hedge fund or whatever is not a requirement as far as I’m concerned. I’ve seen her in her morning trading sessions trade in a live market, both on the sim and real (which she doesn’t announce unless asked and always afterwards) and consistently get 3-4 ticks. As mentioned elsewhere she is a “gap” trader, goes for 3-4 ticks, and uses 5 contracts. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t pay what I do for commissions, and if she can average 90% success with 10 trades/day in 2-2.5 hours, and 5 contracts I would happily do it too. Unfortunately I’m ill suited for that kind of trading.

Say or think what you will, but if you were to ask me if I would do it again my answer is “Yes” even though I have not attained the level of success that I desire (yet). That is a problem of my making and not theirs. I’ve spent far more money for other trainings (stock and options) and have gotten nowhere near as much out of them. Unfortunately I haven’t seen an aptitude or psychological test for fledgling traders and if there were ones I might even fail, who knows.

Last edited by Cheech; October 30th, 2012 at 07:19 AM.
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