Tantalizingly close to being a recommended trading service based upon the honesty of the moderator. However, he refuses to disclose whether he even trades, whether he has an active trading account, what degree of success he trades, or whether he is using a simulated trading account, or an actual live account. Therefore, must pass.
Today’s review is ClayTrader, a stocks educational firm founded by “Trader Clay”. The website, located at claytrader.com offers the following products and services:
Risk Vs. Reward: Learn When to Buy And Sell Training Videos $395
Robotic Trading: Terminate Your Emotions $297
Options Trading Simplified: Understanding Options Trading Made Easy $197
Mastering Level 2: Quite Trading Blind $197
The Penny Stock Survival Guide: $197
The Cash Flow Creation Guide: $29
Shorting For Profit: Becoming A Well Rounded Trader $397
Trampoline Trading: $297
Volcano Trading $297
Clay Trader University: All Videos and Special Webinars $1997
Clay Trader Inner Circle Live Chat Room $99 monthly
Let me first start off by saying that I have not seen any of these video products, nor have I visited the Clay Trader Chat Room. I cannot tell you whether these videos are worth hundreds of dollars, or a complete waste of time. The Clay Trader website was added to my list of companies to review back in November 2014. From November to April 2015, I received approximately 20 requests to review the products, and the live trade room. On April 2, I began to actively review and research the products and services of Clay Trader.
Initial Observations Of Clay Trader
The first thing that you notice about Clay Trader is how professional and clean the website looks. Everything is well organized, there are plenty of pictures of Clay, lots of nice professional graphics, some well produced videos of Clay, a link to a well visited You Tube channel, the website is not full of spelling errors (unlike my website), the grammer of written material is easy to read and very well written. Its all very impressive and really should be a model for just about anyone selling an internet product. However, the one thing I did not find was any information on the individual trading track record of Clay.
Searching For A Track Record
When evaluating a trading educator, and his/her offering of trading products, the most important piece of information is the following:
- Does the trading educator trade, and do they have a track record?
- Is the track record published, and can I verify that the track record is real?
These are the only two factors that matter. We are looking to make a profit with our trading. We as consumers want to purchase products and services from educators that actually trade, and trade profitably. We are willing to spend our money. We are willing to risk our money on trades. We need help. We only expect that the trading educators be honest with us, and give us a fighting chance at surviving the difficult financial markets. We understand that our own personal trades will not be as good as the seasoned veteran, but we are only asking to follow trading educators that actually trade. You would think that this would not be such a difficult or outrageous request.
Poking Clay Trader
During the months of January, March and April, I made numerous requests to Clay about his own trading performance. My requests started benign and usually began with, Hey Clay I want to purchase these products, but I just want to make sure your trading information is coming from a successful trader. I would get various responses from Clay, all very cordial and very well crafted. He would say things like, “This is a not a trade calling service” and “We are looking to teach people how to fish, not serve fish”.
My responses were also cordial. I would also say that I really want to send you $2,000 for all of your material, but I just need to verify that you trade. Is this really so outrageous? Clay wants me to send him $2,000 for his courses, and I am supposed to trust him.
During March and April, I turned up the heat a little bit. I next began to send cordial requests for trading performance using different email addresses, coming from different IP addresses. The purpose of this is attempt to see if the trading vendor will change the message, change the website, or respond in conflicting ways. I have to say, to much my chagrin, Clay stayed on message and responded exactly the same, over and over again, to many different personas. In addition to Clay staying on message and not attempting to bullshit me, I also followed his blog and read everything that he published into the trading community. I found Clay’s articles to be well written and helpful. In fact, one article that he published titled: 6 Multi Monitor Stock Trading Laptop Setups I found to be especially helpful and I used to build a new trading computer.
I certainly do enjoy poking Clay Trader about not disclosing trading performance. However, I cannot poke any holes in his blog where he posts a whole host of very useful trading information. No specific trading advice, but lot of good advice in general. All well written, well researched, and certainly deserves a lot of credit.
Poking Clay, Until I Need To Be Slapped
On April 29, 2015, I got slapped. Clay published a video onto his You Tube Channel titled: Stocks and Options Trading, Do You Need To Be Slapped? I am pretty sure that my constant poking and harassing of Clay, from many different personas and angles probably inspired Clay to create the video. What is included in the video? I have embedded the video below. The basic premise of the video is that anyone looking for actionable trading signals from Clay, or any other trading room is not learning to be a “professional trader, they are only learning to be a professional sheep”. Fair enough. However, Clay makes the gross assumption that a person simply cannot purchase trading signals, that simply purchasing trading signals equates to a 90% lose rate for the trader. This is flawed thinking, on many levels. Let me explain…Firstly, I own mutual funds and someone manages these funds, thus providing trading signals and giving me expert guidance. I also own rental real estate that has earned me rental income and steady profits for years, I paid a Real Estate Broker that specializes in rental property to find the property. He also manages the property and watches the market for me, alerting me to additional acquisitions and recommending when I should sell my property. I also invest in a commodity trading pool, which is managed by 20 year money manager that specializes in grain futures. This manager know when to buy and when to sell. He has a 20 year track record. I invest with him specificially because he has a track record. This track record gives me idea of what to expect. But the logic of Clay is not logical, instead Clay is attempting to confuse the viewer. Watch the video, and admittidly Clay makes a pretty good argument, unfortunately it probably works on the naive or those unable to process logical thought.
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What Annoys Me Most About This Video
The first 10 seconds of Clay’s video, he announces that anyone that does not agree with his logic, needs to be slapped. He then attempts to spin the next 10 minutes of the video. Attempting to create the argument that the trading history of a trading educator is irrelevant. That the prior published history and track record of a trading educator has zero benefit in evaluating any possible future benefit. This is insane! My god Clay, if I am hiring a trading educator, I want to know that he trades. I want to know that he practices what he preaches. I want to know that the educational materials that he wants me to spend my money on, is something that he uses successfully, every single day. Should we just hope that you actually trade successfully? Should we just trust the nice website and well produced videos? She we purchase your products and then invest our trading account on a set of principles that you yourself do not practice? Are there really enough rubes out there that purchase your trading products on just hopes and conversation?
Getting Closer To The Truth
On May 1st, I think that I might of gotten the answer that I was finally looking for. After going around and around, Clay sent me an email that said, “Am I paper trading? It could be.” and “I make no claims of having a winning %, I make no claims of making money, I am just a normal, average guy that teaches for the money”. Clay admitted to me that he is proud of the fact that he earns more from his teaching, than from his trading. An amazing admission that left me sort of speechless.
Clay is also correct, nowhere on his website does he post an account statement, any screenshots of account statements, any records of trades, never does he advise to the buying or selling of anything whatsoever. Yes, he does post You Tube videos of trades, after the fact, but he makes no claims that he actually traded anything. And yet, people buy his products and services on the perception of trading success.
My Personal Opinion Of Clay
I do believe that Clay is an honest guy. He puts a lot of hard work into his blog and there is absolutely no deception whatsoever. He is not on Profit.ly posting fake trades, like many others. He does not have screen shots of dubious trading account records. He does not claim $20,000 in profit every week, like many. In fact, he claims no success at trading whatsoever. So why am I defending Clay? In my heart, I believe that Clay is probably a winning trader. Not a big winner by any means. But he knows enough about the markets that it would be safe to conclude that he probably does make a profit. And I also believe that if he were to submit trading records, then his returns would be probably be paltry and embarrassing when compared to the loads of BS we see floating around the internet.
My Personal Hope
Maybe, if enough of us, make enough noise then perhaps we can convince Clay into simply giving us a % that he earned for the month. Or something like, “I made $350 this month, but at least I didn’t lose money”. Anything Clay, please just give us something. I am rooting for you and hope to give you a new review in a few weeks.
Thanks again for reading. Please do not forget to leave your comments below.