On Get Rich Seminars


Don’t be fooled by those “get rich” seminars, says a Sunday Times article today (as I interpreted it).

Flip open the papers, and you’ll see some advertisements on “How to make lots of money doing XYZ“, where XYZ can be “options trading”, “forex trading”, or “shares trading”.

As some will say, the only person definitely getting rich is the person who runs the seminar. Some of them charge thousands of dollars and upwards for a ticket to their seminars.

But are these seminars really effective? My guess: Out of every 100 people who paid good money to get the “exclusive” training, most will not benefit monetarily, but there will definitely be at least 1 or 2 lucky ones who made money.

Yes, only 1 or 2.

Were they simply lucky or did the techniques really work for them? That’s a good question, and we get a hint from the Sunday Times article:

“The Sunday Times spoke to 20 people who had attended previews… only six said they had benefited.”

Of the 3 people interviewed for the article, one spent $3,600 on a forex course and have made $2,000 (further?) loss so far, while another who attended some of such seminars claimed that they “merely sell hope”. The third person “studied and practised hard for six months” and made enough from forex trading to just recoup his fees.

In my opinion, all 3 were failures.

As I said, there will obviously be some lucky ones. 1 or 2 of them.

And it seems that such seminars are always quick to capitalise on these lucky ones. You sometimes see the advertisements claiming this guy or that gal managed to make N% return or $X profit after attending their seminars.

What the ads fail to highlight is the success rate. For all we know, maybe the success rate is only 10%.

Clearly, it’s a marketing tactic. Will you pay $5k if only 10% are successful?

If school teachers were to adopt such marketing tactics, every single one of them could publicly claim he/she always produces a top pupil!



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  1. > Will you pay $5k if only 10% are successful?

    Depends on your definition of successful. If I have to pay $5k for a 10% chance of being able to get out of the structure of office work, and trade when I want and feel like, with an income of (say), SGD10k/month, the answer is a resounding YES, OF COURSE.

    The fact is that trading is HARD WORK. The courses tend to deemphasize this very important factor and instead draw our attention to the glamor and wealth that the top 0.01% traders get.

    Just like this options trading course conducted by a certain Dr. My friend went to the course, and guess what he remembered the most out of that course? The fact that the Dr. made USD12k in one night using a USD12k investment by playing Google. Sigh.

    Not that we can blame the trainers. If you tell people that to trade options successfully you have to approach it like a full time job, doing hours of analysis, research, and study every day, and you can go for months initially without making any profit, even losing a big chunk of your trading capital, would they go to your course? Of course not!

  2. i wld put the rate of success at 30% for 1 trade, 10% for 10 trades and zero for 20 trades and above. even trader who do this as a profession find it hard – the level of discipline required is amazing & a lot of time it takes a little craziness to be successful. I know, I’ve been there.
    If these people promoting such get rich seminars are true to their claims – why do they bother to waste their time with seminars..they can earn 10x they get per seminar within a few trades, as claimed. Out of their good heart to share their success? Gimme a break…

  3. SmartTrader on

    “If you tell people that to trade options successfully you have to approach it like a full time job, doing hours of analysis, research, and study every day, and you can go for months initially without making any profit, even losing a big chunk of your trading capital, would they go to your course? Of course not!”

    If you need to put in so much effort, you might as well read books and study yourself, as stated at the end of the article. Why pay $4-5K for the course fees ? When you pay so much, so would be looking for a magic bullet that works more than 50% of the time and give higher gains and lower losses when it fails. But then again, in a bull market, even the neighbourhood aunties are investment experts.

  4. wait and wait on

    1. I think the trainers generally knows their trade. Standing in front of a big crowd speaking isn’t an easy affair if they don’t know what they are talking or teaching.

    2. These trainers are businessmen. They know the rule of Income = Value X Leverage. They know they can earn $100k a year by themselves alone, but by teaching many people at the same time in seminars they can earn $1 mil a year because of leverage. The swimming instructor can earn $20 a hour teaching 1 student, or he can earn $200 a hour teaching 10 students at the same time. Same theory applies in ALL trade.

    3. Most people won’t get maximum returns after these trainings because most of them won’t follow 100% of the teachings. They treat it as a movie, get entertained and motivated and go home sleep after that. No actions = No results.

    There is a saying, “There are no right or wrong decisions. It’s what you do after making the decision that makes it right or wrong.”

  5. 1. No doubt they know what they are talking about. Whether they believe in what they are talking about is a different story.
    2. Cause if they believe that success in fx, options etc is so easy, why teach? Yes you can leverage and make lots of money but you can also spend a few hours a day and make millions, if the adverts are to be believed.
    3. I think many who pay put in the effort – and lose money. It’s not a recipe for success ie even if one follows 100%, the chances of making money just improves from maybe 1/10 to 2/10.

    To me such adverts are no better than those put out by slimming centres. By the way my friend appeared in one of those satisfied customers for a “bust enlargement” program. She never even took the program. Pack of lies from the word go. The sad thing is that people want to believe that they are the one who wil lmake $100,000 in 3 days or will lose 10kg in 1 month. They waste their money on such hopes and there are those who willingly (or should i say “freely”) take that money in the name of “business”.

  6. wait and wait on

    Yes, I think those slimming centres are a waste of time and $$. Just go jogging and swimming everyday consistently for many months will lose weight already. And it doesn’t cost much to jog and swim.

    Back to the topic. I believe the trainers CAN make $$ themselves. They know what to do. They teach because they can earn MORE $$. Basically that’s the main reason. Bill Clinton probably earns around less than $500k USD per year while in presidency. After he left office, he makes about $1 million per speach. And he makes many of them a year! That’s the power of leverage. That’s why he is a speaker. And that’s why there are thousands of such trainers on the senimar circuit.

  7. I respect your view. Just that I don’t think they can make the kind of money they claim their students can. And here I am talking about FX options, futures etc Honestly, I can give such a seminar and I can guarantee that 5 out of every 10 students will make money – just get the latter to go long and the former to go short.
    But I do agree that motivational speakers and ex-presidents/CEOs who have made it can demand high fees for going on the speakers’ circuit. And rightfully so. But they are of a different class and very importantly they don’t claim to help people make money (& EASILY too) like these guys in the papers do these days.
    p/s Plus I dont think they earn more from teaching if one is to believe that you can make $10,000 in a few hours. But i do believe they earn more from teaching because they personally do not trade the market. I await the day they make public their account statement to show us all the trades they have done to prove their methods do work.

  8. wait and wait on

    I think it is pretty stupid and boring to sit behind a computer all day long doing trading. No life… Sad but most people like the idea that they can hide at home without meeting any people or selling anything and make lots of money. Zero communication skills. Losers mentality. (Sorry if I offend anybody.)

    Start a business. Learn to network and socialise with people. Earn real money. Then invest the money earned from businesses into stocks/real estate and let it grow passively and sleep well every night. That’s the right way. This way, few people will attend such courses, thus fewer complains! 🙂

  9. I think it’s not hiding at home from other human beings as much as: (1) freedom from a fixed schedule, and (2) promise of more control over their lives that attract so many people to these courses.

    If you really like trading, it won’t feel stupid or boring to do it all day long (although personally I would trade on a much longer timeframe, no time/energy to sit all day long). Whereas if you don’t like trading… then why bother at all?

  10. wait and wait on

    If these people really like trading soooooo much, why not be a full time remisier? I believe they don’t because they don’t like to meet and talk to people. They don’t like to do business with people. They like to stay at home and talk to computer. Losers.

    Remember that Singapore’s Peter Lim is almost a billionaire. That “freely fella” is considered poor when standing next to him..

  11. I’ve been skeptical of the “free fella” since the get go, especially after finding that his successful ex-students are not using his method!

    And believe it or not, there are people who like trading on their own time without the whole structure of work or employment in place, and that has nothing to do with how antisocial they are.

  12. wait and wait on

    Any traders here successfully made >$100k per year consistently no matter bull or bear market? Care to share?

  13. Depends on your capital mah. If your starting capital is 100k and you make > 100k/year, that’s fantastic. Keep it for 20 years straight and you’re gonna be bigger than Buffett.

    So far my own return is so so, good during bull, bad during bear. Taken together it’s probably about 10-12% or so (that’s why I’m still doing this part time…)

    I’m sure the freely folks are not doing any better though. In fact those I know who did go for the course are no longer trading.

  14. wait and wait on


    Very true. I personally think 10% – 12% average is very good already. $10k compounded at 12% for 20 years gives you about $96k! Not bad.

  15. Pingback: Eye Surgeon Lost 15k USD in Options Trading | Salary.sg - Your Salary in Singapore

  16. Just do the maths … 1 student pays $3,000. If there are 100 students enrol, the trainer makes $300K per course and he only teach 2.5 days – saturday, sunday in hotel meeting room plus 1 week night in his office. If he managed to run 12 classes in a year, that’s a wopping $3.6m! And he only work once in a month, only 2.5days per month. And since he booked a hotel room, he probably would gather more students. You can do the maths … if there are more than 100 students in a class.

  17. I believe it also depend on whether that individual actually understands what the seminars are trying to teach.

    I’ve attended one of the preview seminars for the Millionaire-Investor-Program (can google it), and find that really interesting.
    I was a real idiot in investing until the speaker taught a technique called value investing.

    One possible reason for people not benefiting the seminars, is that, whether they have participated in the correct one or not. Agree?

  18. value investing? No need to go seminar to learn..it’s like saying I went to a preview semianr where I was thought diversification is good.

  19. sell my secrets on

    if u hv a winning strategy, do u think u’ll teach others? or do u secretly use the strategy to the max and make lots of money yourself?

    the seminar “gurus” always claim they want to “share” with the world, or has a calling to do so, but what i think is that their main source of income is in the seminar route. they are merely novice traders who can’t make much money.

    one such guru claims he can get 10% profit per month consistently, implying he can get 10x his capital in 2 years. if that’s really the case, he can just pump in $10k and get $1 BILLION in 10 years. why is he wasting time giving powerpoint presentations?

    see this too:

  20. An investment tip: you might want to consider buying aud/usd. It has 2 great advantages when you go long on it: 1. aussie dollar is paying a much higher interest than usd, and holding it over a long term automatically earns you interest, 2. aussie dollar is closely linked to gold price. With inflation fears, aussie dollar looks likely to continue to rise in the long term.

  21. this type of program is like selling koyok!
    the person lecturing is just another guy who feels that he can make more money by sharing his experience rather than doing stocks

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