Quality of Education
Credibility of Educator
ClayTrader is a day trader who sells educational courses on technical analysis, level 2, options, forex, and other trading topics. ClayTrader markets himself as a normal guy that doesn’t drive a Ferrari or live in a mansion. The frontpage of his website says “I’m not a hot-shot Wall Street trader, but thanks to the stock market, I’ve gained the ultimate wealth: being my own boss. Let me help you achieve your freedom.” While I commend his honesty, there is something to be said about his position from a marketing standpoint. He pitches himself as the “anti-guru” while pitching the same products as the gurus he reviles.
Clay sells 14 training courses, and an “inner circle” subscription product which includes chat room and newsletter access. His most expensive course is $397, and you can get all of his courses for $1,997, which is significant, considering the average trading guru charges that for one course.
In this article to discuss ClayTrader, his services, products, and Clay the person.
Who is ClayTrader?
On ClayTrader’s about page, one can get a better idea of who Clay is as a person. He’s a 33 year old family man who quit his job at Honeywell through stock trading. He pays additional lip-service to his “anti-guru” persona, which probably plays really well with traders who are sick of seeing gurus flaunt their sports cars and women. One red flag I found, however, is the fact that he doesn’t disclose his real name. I understand his desire to keep his personal life private, as he does have a family, but, most people are uncomfortable giving a man hundreds of dollars without knowing his name.
When the topic of trading gurus comes up, the discussion shortly arrive at their track record. What’s Clay’s annualized rate of return? What’s his lifetime gross trading profits? What did he clear in 2017 pre tax? Well, ClayTrader doesn’t disclose any of that information.
One should always keep in mind that in the regulated financial services space, disclosure isn’t a choice. Among the first questions one usually asks a potential financial advisor is about their track record. Should you treat your online trading gurus with the same rigor? That is up to you.
One can get access to ClayTrader’s “Inner Circle,” which gives you chat room access, for $99 per year. Relative to his industry, Clay’s prices are quite cheap, as $99 will only get you 1-2 months of chat room access from most other trading gurus.
I spent a few weeks watching Clay’s chat room while trading and watching the markets. After spending time in a multitude of chat rooms, I’ve developed somewhat of a critical lense towards them, some are atrocious, while others are amazing, supportive, and worth your time/money.
Clay’s chat room is full of friendly daily regulars who exchange trade ideas and alerts day-in-and-day-out. It was especially exciting to see that members of the room were actually contributing, and not just asking questions or giving useless information. In order to fully appreciate the chat room, you must be familiar with Clay’s trading “lingo,” which requires you to purchase his courses or go through tons of his YouTube tutorials. You’ll see technical levels, catalysts, and potential setups all called out in the chatroom. If you get one actionable trading idea per year from this chat room, it’s paid for itself.
Clay’s training courses are his bread and butter. He has 14 of them, and I’d venture say that they account for the majority of his business’ revenue. Of all of his courses, Robotic Trading seems to be his most popular course. The broad theme of Clay’s courses is removing the emotion from your trading and becoming one with the charts. The subject matter of each course is a subset of technical analysis. Whether that’s breakout trading, short selling, or mastering level 2, everything has to do with technical analysis.
In his Robotic course series, and throughout all of his courses, Clay emphasizes the importance of “being a robot,” or not allowing human error, emotions, or bias enter into your analysis. In his view, one would ideally program their brains to trade a certain way and allow that code to run on autopilot.
Personally, I have gone through his Robotic Trading Skill Sharpening, Risk Vs Reward Trading, Trampoline Trading, Shorting for Profit, Volcano Trading, Robotic Trading, and Mastering Level 2 courses. Of all of them, I have only found Mastering Level 2 and Shorting for Profit to be of significant value, because these topics have much less freely available information on them.
In Mastering Level 2, Clay effectively explains the market microstructure aspect of understanding level 2, as well as the psychology and goals of each market participant, and how this shows up on level 2. He goes into how to spot market maker activity and profit from it, how to spot the large institutions hiding their size, and how to spot naive retail traders (who are usually late and can be a contrarian indicator).
In Shorting for Profit, while not offering any proprietary material, Clay spends hours talking about short selling, the psychology of it, and various short setups. He takes the liberty to name common short setups like “Ruthless Short,” “Disgruntled Short,” “Dream Crusher Short,” “Dead Cat Bounce,” and “Broken Window Short.” The reason for this course having practical value is that short selling is not that popular in the trading community, and much less in-depth information is available on it. I’ve definitely made my money back from my purchase of Shorting for Profit, as I’ve successfully traded the “Dead Cat Bounce” (name not his), countless times.
My gripe with ClayTrader’s training courses is that the material is all so basic. In the majority of cases, the material in his courses can be found on Investopedia or similar sites. While this can be said about many trading courses, this is especially true in Clay’s case. Other trading gurus use their trading experience to give first hand nuanced advice about these concepts, showing their past trades as case studies, explaining their psychology while in the trade, and pointing out their rationale for their entries/exits. Clay’s material, on the other hand, feels too clinical. He even shows himself looking through scanner results for case study examples, rather than pulling from his own trade history.
One should note that Clay doesn’t make any big claims about his trading returns, career, or lifestyle. Only that he quit his job through trading. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him make any concrete statements about specific trades or activity. Because of this, it’s hard to be overly critical of his business model. He isn’t flaunting sports cars and models and selling a dream lifestyle. Further, his prices are actually quite fair, relative to the industry.
However, most of the content that he sells can be found for free in the form of Investopedia articles, Youtube videos, and clever Google searching. There are even fully fledged free courses out there, like Adam Grimes’ course, which goes much further in-depth, and clearly pulls from firsthand experience.
This isn’t to say that Clay isn’t good at explaining concepts or doesn’t go in-depth, just that’s it feels to clinical if you’re an experienced trader. New traders who want all the content wrapped up in one course will get their money’s worth, if the money is expendable. Traders living paycheck-to-paycheck with tiny brokerage accounts are better off spending the extra time to search for the information individually.
- No hype
- Clay is a great educator
- Excellent community and chat room
- Competitive pricing
- Feels too clinical
- His track record isn’t shown
- Other free options are available