Prosper Trading Academy
Prosper Trading Academy is an investment education company that costs nearly $20k per year.
You can supposedly “copy and paste” the trades of the live trading room moderators for amazing profits. Unfortunately, 3rd party audited financial summaries for the trading room moderators are not available for public consumption. In fact, the company freely admits that “all trading is hypothetical” and “there are no refunds.”
The people running this company are all highly public figures and regularly appear on national media and the CME Group website. However, consumers should be greatly concerned that the people running this business were exposed in a highly damning investigation by the National Futures Association. In that investigation, it was discovered that nearly all of the students lost their investments. In short, students of this supposed “Trading Academy” should be highly dubious of potential profits and should thoroughly digest the investigative report provided by the National Futures Association.
Excellent marketing Decent support Basic overview of markets is not bad
The company appears to be a rebranding effort from Trading Advantage
Moderators of trading rooms are only hypothetical traders, as per disclosures
No actual account statements to verify
Company refused to cooperate with TradingSchools.Org review
NFA investigation and past affiliations cast much doubt to the authenticity
Thanks for reading today’s review of Prosper Trading Academy.
Who are they, and what are they selling? According to its website, the company is offering various courses, mentorships, and live trading rooms on how to invest in penny stocks, futures, Forex, options, and bitcoin.
The company operates out of a location located at 111 W Jackson Blvd STE 1122, Chicago, IL 60604.
According to Archive.Org, a website that tracks and documents when websites appear, and disappear, the Prosper Trading Academy business essentially became active and selling products sometime in 2018.
However, for the people that own and operate this business, this is certainly not the first time they have offered “how to get rich” investment products and services. These people have a very long, and very controversial past. More on that later.
Before we jump into the juicy controversy, lets first take a look at their social media profiles, and their extensive and highly public outreach over the internet.
Prosper Trading Academy: Highly Public Figures
A public figure is essentially a legal term that describes an individual or entity that has acquired fame or notoriety or has participated in a particular public controversy.
All of the primary individuals involved with Prosper Trading Academy are public figures. In fact, they can be found offering video investment advice on a near-daily basis at the world’s largest derivatives exchange: CME Group.
In fact, the CME Group website, according to industry tracking receives over 20 million page views each and every month. And since Prosper Trading Academy is prominently featured, this places them squarely within the Rubicon of ‘Public Figure Status.’
Why is this important? Whenever an individual has been given such a high perch to sing their songs of “get rich quick” investment advice, and do so in such a large public forum — they deserve to be examined much more deeply.
Many, many people are potentially impacted by what they are selling, what they are saying, and the general public deserves to know that a public controversy exists regarding these individuals.
Before we jump into the controversy, lets take a closer examination of what they are selling.
The Prosper Trading Academy Courses and Programs
The CEO of Prosper Trading Academy is a person named Scott Bauer. He claims on his website that he is a “full-time professional trader” that can teach you how to “get rich quick.”
He has been a commentator on Bloomberg television, and various other financial media networks and he claims over 25 years of equity and index options experience. Further, he claims that he worked for over 10 years as a market maker at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE).
However, according to National Futures Exchange, the Scott Ira Bauer resume appears to be as skinny as a malnourished puppy. In fact, his floor trading experience began on 08/22/2008 and promptly ended on 11/19/2008.
I am not sure how 3-months of experience qualify anyone as an expert at anything — especially teaching others on how to “get rich quick.”
I recommend that you verify this information on your own. https://www.nfa.futures.org/BasicNet/basic-profile.aspx?nfaid=YRsXkVoyO6I%3D
Regardless of this apparently thin and highly malnourished resume, Scott wants to teach you how to “get rich quick” with his Options Volatility Crash Course for “Just $499!”
In addition, Mr. Bauer is also offering a $4,995 Live Signal Trading Room which includes 3-months of “high potential trade signals.”
Incredibly, the annual cost appears to be nearly $20,000 to basically get “trading signals.” And from a man that the National Futures Association reports has only 90 days registered status!
It really makes you wonder who would be stupid enough to spend $20,000 per year for “investment advice.” If your trading account were $20k, you would need to make 100% per year — just to break even.
In the world of shady offerings, this has to be one the worst I have ever written about.
Investment Track Record of Scott Bauer?
According to the public-facing website at ProsperTrading.Com, there is no public track record that a prospective purchaser can view in order to determine the sort of investment returns supposedly generated by Scott Bauer.
In fact, I have to take the website at its word — ALL TRADING PERFORMANCE IS HYPOTHETICAL.
I really hate it when so-called investment educators can only offer hypothetical performance. As you are aware, by claiming that performance is hypothetical, you are given free rein to claim you “earn a million dollars a year” but in reality, it’s just a hypothetical piece of dogshit.
Not only does Scott Bauer have nothing but “hypothetical performance” to offer on his website, but he clearly states that there will be NO REFUNDS, NO EXCHANGES, and NO RETURNS.
Sure makes you feel nice and comfy spending $20k per year for “trading signals.”
Scott Bauer was given ample opportunity to prove himself. In fact, I called him personally and left a message. I was direct and clear, I just wanted to write a fair and honest review — but he refused to speak with me.
In fact, the sales department was so terrified of a review from TradingSchools.Org that when I introduced myself, they promptly replied, “We know who you are. We want nothing to do with you.”
Scoundrels and “get rich quick” artists are the sorts of people that hide from a review from TradingSchools.Org. Why? Because we always ask the tough questions, we ask for proof of performance. Apparently, this was too much to ask from Scott Bauer.
Charles Moon of Prosper Trading Academy and Moon’s Money Trades
The next “investment coach” to examine at Prosper Trading Academy is Charles Moon.
According to Charles Moon, he is a master at the art of “technical analysis” and he uses his supposedly masterful skills to divine the future of penny stocks.
Yes, you are reading this correctly. Penny Stocks — aka SCAM STOCKS.
According to FINRA, AARP, the SEC, the FBI, and United States Justice Department…penny stocks are the cruelest investment domain. The companies that are “penny” companies usually have no verifiable financial histories and are often subject to manipulation, and are pretty much the source of countless heartache for investors.
In short, penny stocks investing is a suckers paradise. Its the sort of place where an investor with $50 believes he can turn it into $500 million in a single year. People buy penny stocks because they cannot afford a $10 stock, they only have pennies to invest.
Apparently, Charles Moon wants to help you “get rich quick” by investing in these likely unregistered and unregulated securities. Oh wow, whenever someone claims to “show me the secrets” of how to get rich investing in penny stocks, I want to run and hide.
But Charles Moon wants you to believe you can get rich with him — by investing in penny stocks.
And the cost to learn these supposedly secrets methods to investing in penny stocks? Only $4,995 every 3-months. Or nearly $20k per year.
According to Charles Moon, he will send you “high potential trade signals” where you can copy and paste your way to penny stock riches!
And the supposed investment performance of Charles Moon? According to his promotional material, investors can reasonably expect to earn “200%, 500%, and even 1000% without trading full time. But what about Charles Moon’s verifiable and audited track record of results? What about his account statements that shows he is a professional penny stock investor?
Once again, please refer to the “Hypothetical Performance” disclosure document prominently displayed at Prosper Trading Academy and Moon’s Money Trades website.
Sure sounds like a get rich quick scheme to me.
Significant Public Controversy
As I state earlier in this article, both Scott Bauer and Charles Moon are significant public figures enjoying widespread media exposure, regarding a highly controversial subject.
And the subject, or controversy is whether these sorts of “Investment Schools” are of any value to the public at large.
Often, when I attempting to write an article about the authenticity or value proposition of an investment educator — the anchor that matters most is the individual trading performance of the people involved.
Since Prosper Trading Academy freely admits that all trading advice is simulated, then it becomes extra difficult apply a value.
However, with Prosper Trading Academy, we have a sordid regulatory trail in which to base our opinion.
And that regulatory trail leads directly back to a company named Trading Advantage.
Prosper Trading: the new Trading Advantage?
Prosper Trading Academy lists their address as 111 W Jackson Blvd STE 1122, Chicago, IL 60604.
However, this same address was also used by a company Trading Advantage. Yes, that Trading Advantage. The now-defunct company that was on the radio nearly non-stop for years and years promising that investors could “get rich quick” by investing in futures, stocks, Forex, and options.
And the sales pitch of Trading Advantage and Prosper Trading Academy is nearly identical…where investors would pay thousands of dollars each year to supposedly learn to “get rich quick” by purchasing a nearly non-stop stream of investment courses and then herded into live trading rooms where investors would supposedly earn massive profits by copying the trades of the trading room moderators.
And who were some of the moderators at Trading Advantage? You guessed it…Scott Bauer and Charles Moon.
The following images were scraped from archive.org that show Bauer and Moon both wearing nearly identical clown suits that portray themselves as floor traders.
The National Futures Association Investigation
The National Futures Association is the regulatory body that maintains oversight of commodity trading advisors, futures brokerages, and any person or company dealing in derivatives markets.
In approximately 2017, a series of complaints were filed against a Futures brokerage named Kingsview Futures and two individuals named Joshua Lewis and Noel Sinclair.
The complaints centered around the allegation that investors referred by the trading educational company; Trading Advantage were losing massive sums of money by following the investment advice of the moderators at Trading Advantage.
Both Scott Bauer and Charles Moon were moderators at Trading Advantage during the relevant period.
Kingsview Futures was a brokerage, with Lewis and Sinclair as the registered owners. The principle place of business was located was essentially in the same location as Trading Advantage.
According to the NFA, the investment educators steered students directly to Kingsview Futures to open investment accounts, where they could then “copy and paste” the trades of the educational providers at Trading Advantage.
NFA investigators also discovered that the investment moderators at Trading Advantage claimed they, “lived in mansions, had yachts, and drove Ferraris, and went to Vegas on weekends flying private jets.”
NFA investigators discovered that Trading Advantage moderators routinely displayed supposed “real” investment performance of exaggerated profits. They routinely claimed that “students were earning incrediable profits” by learning the so-called “investment secrets.”
But how did the students actually perform after purchasing the expensive courses, and attempting to ‘copy and paste’ the trades of the trading room moderators? Not very good. I hope you are sitting down…
Investment Performance of Trading Advantage Students
The National Futures Association audited all of the accounts that were referred by the Trading Advantage investment school. The following is the performance of those students…
In 2014, two hundred and thirty five (235) Trading Advantage students opened an account with Kingsview Futures. Two hundred and twenty six (226) of those students (96%) incurred total losses of more than $1.5 million dollars.
During that same time period, only nine students earned any profit whatsoever. The average profit per student was $4,777.
In contrast, Kingsview Futures earned almost $257,000 in commissions. And its estimated that those same Trading Advantage students paid $1,400,000 in courses and fees to attend the “live trading room.”
In 2015, the NFA recorded similar results…
- 203 customers lost 94% of their money or $1.9 million in investment losses.
- One customer lost $225k.
- Only thirteen customers reported any profit whatsoever. The average profit was $1,000.
- Kingsview Futures earned commissions of more than $208,000.
- Trading Advantage Students spent an estimated $1,218,000 on courses and fees to attend the “live trading room.”
If you are interested in reading the full investigator’s report, please read it here.
Obviously, these sorts of highly detailed investigations were extremely damaging to the reputation of Trading Advantage. And more specificially, the “investment educators” with their “live trading rooms.”
The National Futures Association investigation was finally concluded and settled on September 12, 2017.
A short time after — the Trading Advantage website disappeared.
Apparently, after the shuttering and “sweeping under the rug” of Trading Advantage, a new “Investment School” was formed by Scott Bauer: Prosper Trading Academy.
What I find hilarious and dark is that Prosper Trading Academy is operating out of the exact same address at Trading Advantage.
Should you trust Prosper Trading Academy?
In my opinion, there does not appear to be much difference between Trading Advantage and Prosper Trading.
It is essentially the same people, operating from the same address.
There is no publicly audited investment performance of the moderators on the public-facing website. And they now freely admit that “All performance is hypothetical.” And for good reason! They all appear to be sucky traders.
Should you purchase any products or services from Prosper Trading Academy?
In my opinion, I find it highly dubious that national media outlets are giving free promotion to Prosper Trading…
I find it highly irresponsible that all of this public information is already in the public domain, yet these major outlets appear to have not vetted any of these characters.
In the absence of audited, and transparent performance summaries…I would avoid Prosper Trading Academy. Its just looks like a rehashed version of Trading Advantage. The same people operating in the same location, selling the same investment crap, operating the same sort of “Live Trading Room.
Wrapping things up
Finally, Prosper Trading makes much hay about their supposed avalanche of supposedly positive reviews on Trust Pilot.
Well, before you place to much credibility on the reviews at Trust Pilot, you should read my comprehensive article on how many of these “Investment Education” companies have learned to game the review system at Trust Pilot.
Is Prosper Trading gaming the system at Trust Pilot? Well, I will leave that up to reader to decide. However, I did post a review at Trust Pilot concerning Prosper Trading Academy. You can read it below:
However, approximately six hours after I posted this review on Trust Pilot, concerning Scott Bauer and Charles Moon regarding their affiliation with Trading Advantage — the review was mysteriously removed.
When negative reviews are removed, and only positive reviews remain, how are prospective purchasers supposed to make informed decisions?
This is yet another reason to avoid Prosper Trading Academy.
Thanks for reading.
And a big thanks to Larry of Escondido, California; Raymond of Los Angeles, California; and Carolee of Bakersfield, California. This review was requested by you…and especially written for you.