Yet another trading 'mentor' that professes to know "the secrets of trading penny stocks." Materials for sale range from $397 for DVDs to 'ultimate trader experience' at $4,900.
The owner of the CSquared Trading, Ben Brinneman refuses to disclose personal trading performance. Refuses to answer any questions regarding prior trading history. Won't even admit if he has a live trading account.
Claims to have been a former employee of US Bancorp as an "Institutional Bond Trader", yet US Bancorp has no record of prior employment. US Bancorp recommended that we check Finra for registrations of Series 7, 53, 65, or 82. Finra.org has no information or registered licensing for 'Ben Brinneman' at US Bancorp.
Is affiliated with, and a student of well-known internet con artist named Tai Lopez.
Thanks for reading today’s review of CSquared Trading
What is CSquared Trading? The company is a trading educational company owned and operated by Ben Brinneman, out of North Carolina. The primary focus is trading penny stocks. The company is offering the following products and services:
- $397 DVD set
- $997 Trader Bootcamp
- $4,900 “total immersion, elite trading course, personal mentorship”
There is no “real-time” trading component. Rather, CSquared Trading appears to be sold as a ‘funnel’ product. In other words, a person starts with a special offer for an inexpensive primer on technical analysis. And then a serious of promotional offers begin to emerge. The client is taken through the sales funnel, where Ben attempts to curate a sense of trust and caring, with the final goal of closing the client for the $4,900 personal trading mentorship.
Ben Brinneman is a master at the ‘soft sell’. He is not a high-pressure guy. The image that he portrays through social media is one of wholesomeness, family man, gentle and kind.
History of CSquared Trading
A review of Archive.org reveals that the company first appeared on the trading educational scene sometime in 2009.
The company also occupies the following social media web properties:
No track record
During the months of December 2016, as well as February 2017, TradingSchools.Org reached out to Ben Brinneman of CSquared Trading and requested more information on his own personal trading results. The big question that we wanted to know, does this guy even trade? Does he have a track record? Has he ever displayed any form of success at trading stocks? Unfortunately, Ben ignored all questions regarding his own personal trading performance. All emails are embedded with live tracking links, so we could watch (in real time) as Ben opened the emails, and then a short time later, he would simply delete the emails.
It is important to note that our emails requesting performance information contain a very friendly tone, are non-accusatory and are simply trying to build an argument as to why we should invest thousands of dollars with Ben Brinneman and CSquared Trading. Unfortunately, Ben is not willing to talk about this. At any level.
In addition to not disclosing any personal trading performance, there are several other ‘red flags’ that prospective purchasers should be aware of.
Ben Brinneman, in multiple published articles, claims that prior to becoming a full-time trading mentor, he was an institutional bond trader with US Bancorp. That this experience served as the foundation for offering his institutional level trading education to the general public.
However, there seems to be no history of Ben Brenneman ever working at US Bancorp as an “institutional bond trader.” TradingSchools.Org contacted the human resources department at US Bancorp and requested confirmation of Ben Brenneman ever working as an institutional bond trader for the company, at any time. They responded that they have no records for a Ben Brenneman working for the bank.
US Bancorp also recommended that we contact Finra in an attempt to identify this person. They explained that anyone “trading bonds on behalf of US Bancorp would be required to register with Finra.Org, and would be required to have at least a Series 7. In addition, a person working in this capacity would also, more than likely be required to registered for the following licensing:
- Series 53: Municipal Bonds
- Series 65: Investment Advisor
- Series 82: Private Securities and Bonds offering
TradingSchools.Org scoured Finra and an attempt to discover the licensing history of Ben Brinneman, unfortunately, nothing appears to corroborate the self-professed history of Ben Brinneman.
Another Red Flag
In my opinion, the biggest red flag is Ben Brinneman’s affiliation with Tai Lopez. Many readers might not be familiar with Tai Lopez. He is an internet ‘celebrity’ that sells courses and instructional products on everything from picking up women, trading Forex to earn millions, trading stocks to earn millions, flipping real estate to earn millions, copying his internet marketing strategy to earn millions, starting an ant farm to earn millions, etc. etc.
Tai Lopez has been exposed countless times. He creates hundreds of clever marketing videos where he claims to own mansions, private jets, private yachts, rubs shoulders with celebrities, travels all over the world, etc. Its all a sham. A clever fraud. Everything is rented.
The Tai Lopez scam is a pretty simple and straight forward pyramid scheme. He proclaims to own some sort of ‘secret knowledge’ that you can purchase for a fee. If you refer your friends, and they purchase, you get a portion of the sales.
Tai Lopez also sells specialized marketing courses on “how to copy Tai Lopez” so that you can emulate his marketing techniques and overlay then onto whatever business you are currently involved. The guy is a scammer to the core. And you should be highly suspicious of anyone that affiliates themselves or professes to be a student of Tai Lopez. What genuinely worries me about Ben Brinneman is that he openly brags about being a student of Tai Lopez. Not a good sign.
I don’t want to become too sidetracked on Tai Lopez, but I will include a few ridiculous (100% fraudulent) promotional videos…
- Tai Lopez rental mansion, rental cars.
- Tai Lopez “get rich quick investing in real estate” course.
- Tai Lopez “get rich investing in gold.”
- Tai Lopez “how to get pick up women” course.
- Tai Lopez “all of my nice cars”
As you can see, Tai Lopez is quite the marketing charlatan. Am I translating the affiliation of Tai Lopez with Ben Brinneman to mean something more nefarious? Yes. In my opinion, both are selling the dream. The dream of financial success. Tai Lopez is a seasoned fraudster, and Ben Brinneman is more the ‘pan fry’ cheap version. A student of the master.
Wrapping Things Up
Many readers are curious why I am even writing about Ben Brinneman, on the surface, it appears that he is a ‘small fish’. However, what most readers do not realize is that Ben Brinneman of CSquaredTrading.com is a very active advertiser on YouTube.
In fact, for the past several weeks, I cannot seem to avoid his various marketing videos. All paid advertisements. I must admit, the marketing videos are done in good taste, and he makes no outrageous claims of trading success. But it is obvious that he is putting himself out onto the internet quite aggressively. Better to ask Ben the tough questions now, than to wait until dozens of people start complaining to TradingSchools.Org.
So to wrap things up and condense the review of CSquared Trading:
- No track record of investment success.
- Not willing to answer any questions about regarding trading history.
- Claims to have been an “Institutional bond trader at US Bancorp”, yet US Bancorp has no record of prior employment.
- Finra.org, the financial regulatory body has no record or licensing information regarding Ben Brinneman.
- Is a student of, and greatly admires a well-known marketing charlatan named Tai Lopez.
That’s it for today. Don’t forget to leave a comment below. And if you have ever purchased any of Ben’s materials, or have an opinion, would love to read it below.