Shadow Trader is a real-time, day trading chat room that is deeply embedded within the ThinkOrSwim trading platform.
TD Ameritrade, which owns ThinkOrSwim, have been aggressively and enthusiastically recommending the investment educational experience, and the live trading room of the Shadow Trader chat room. In fact, the owner of Shadow Trader is a longtime employee of TD Ameritrade and ThinkOrSwim.
It appears that Shadow Trader is nothing more than a “carnival barker” attempting to drum up aggressive commissions for the ThinkOrSwim/TD Ameritrade brokerage carnival.
Some investors, in a desperate scramble to replicate the supposed ‘winning’ live trades of the Shadow Trader trading room has experienced devastating financial losses.
Thanks for reading today’s review of Shadow Trader
What is Shadow Trader? The company is a trading educational company with a trading advisory service, and a day trading chat room. The company is owned by Peter Reznicek and is located at 521 W. Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, PA.
According to Archive.org, the Shadow Trader website first came onto the day trading educational scene, sometime in 2008. The company appears to have several “irons in the fire” with several additional website URL’s registered and awaiting promotional development. Those websites include ShadowTraderPro.net, TradeScan.com, WallStreetMinds.net, InvestorsLane.net, and TranslucentCapital.com.
A search of the Finra Broker Check website reveals that Peter Reznicek is a registered stock broker and a previously registered Investment Advisor. Peter’s work history includes EchoTrade, ThinkOrSwim, TD Ameritrade, and SpeedRoute. There are no negative regulatory actions and the profile looks very clean.
Shadow Trader is occupying the following social media accounts:
What is Shadow Trader selling?
The Shadow Trader website is selling a bevy of trading products, from a smorgasbord of so-called ‘trading experts’. Complete list below:
- $195 Tape Reader Indicator
- $95 Cumulative Tick Indicator
- $20 Intraday Volume Measure Indicator
- $295 Portfolio Protection Course
- $495 Trading Psychology Series
- $20 A Trader’s Journey ebook
- $650 Field of Vision Course by James Dalton
- $775 Recorded seminar by James Dalton
- $175 Trading Like You’ve never Heard Before seminar by James Dalton
- $75 Shadow Trader Pairs spreadsheet analyzer
- $250 One Hour Consultation with Benjamin Lee
- $1,000 Five Hour Consultation with Benjamin Lee
- $100 One Hour Consultation with Tom Cook
- $450 Five Hour Consultation with Tom Cook
How is Shadow Trader marketing products and services?
Shadow Trader is deeply integrated into the ThinkOrSwim trading platform. For those not familiar, ThinkOrSwim is owned by TD Ameritrade. The combined web traffic of ThinkOrSwim and TD Ameritrade is well over 1 million visitors each month. This is by far the largest retail trading platform in the United States.
What do I mean that Shadow Trader is deeply integrated with ThinkOrSwim and TD Ameritrade? When a TD Ameritrade brokerage customer logs into the ThinkOrSwim trading platform, they are presented with an option that screencasts the supposed, live trading screen of Shadow Trader.
The Shadow Trader live trading room is quite literally built into the ThinkOrSwim trading platform. You cannot avoid it. TD Ameritrade attempts to avoid any perceived relationship with Shadow Trader with a tiny disclaimer box that declares “TD Ameritrade is not responsible for the trading recommendations of Shadow Trader!”
However, it is very difficult to separate the meat from the bone. Considering that Peter Reznicek is a long time employee of both TD Ameritrade and ThinkOrSwim, you have to wonder if there has ever been any true attempts to separate the Shadow Trader live trading room, from the TD Ameritrade brokerage business. This is a massive conflict of interest. If you use ThinkOrSwim, you are essentially being force fed the live trading recommendations of Shadow Trader.
I am going to repeat this. This is a massive conflict of interest. If your broker is TD Ameritrade, and you use ThinkOrSwim, you are essentially being force fed the live trading recommendations of Shadow Trader. Eat from this buffet at your own risk.
Why would TD Ameritrade/ThinkOrSwim ‘Force-Feed’ customers to Shadow Trader?
The answer is quite simple. TD Ameritrade is a broker. And TD Ameritrade makes money every time you buy or sell a stock, option or futures contract. The more you buy and sell, the more money that TD Ameritrade makes in trading commissions.
TD Ameritrade has designed the ThinkOrSwim trading platform as a ‘quasi-slot machine’ with the immediate purpose of encouraging customers to trade their live trading accounts. Included is the live trading room ‘Shadow Trader’ that aggressively encourages buying and selling of stocks, options, and futures contracts.
Remember, Peter Reznicek is a stock broker. And a former longtime employee of TD Ameritrade and ThinkOrSwim. He understands the business model. The more encouragement that the live trading room can provide, in the form of trading recommendations, then the more trading commissions will be generated.
Of course, TD Ameritrade loves this arrangement.
Shadow Trader also understands that most day traders lose. This is not opinion, rather it is a fact. The more times that a person hits the Buy and Sell button during the trading day, the odds of being a net loser increase exponentially. And once a customer starts losing money at day trading, they usually start looking for products and services to “fix this problem”. As you can see from the extensive list of products and services available for sale at Shadow Trader–they have a product for you!
Need a special trading indicator? Shadow got that. Need to have your head shrunk? Shadow got that too. Need your hand-held? Shadow got hand holders to wipe away your trading tears. Only $250 an hour.
Supposed trading performance of Shadow Trader
There is nothing wrong with selling a trading indicator, product, or course. Nothing wrong with selling a live trading room. As long as the vendor selling the product has some sort of verifiable track record of prior success, then why not sell a trading product?
But where is the track record of Shadow Trader? Specifically, the trades called within the live trading room? What happens to a person that religiously attempts to replicate the live trading recommendations of Shadow Trader? Do they make money?
TradingSchools.Org contacted Shadow Trader in hopes of displaying some sort of track record of the live trades posted inside of the live trading room. We called, we emailed, we made multiple attempts–all were ignored.
Additionally, we hoped to obtain the personal trading records of the multiple ‘mentors’ offering all manner of investment advice. Once again, Shadow Trader ignored our requests.
Apparently, when you have the implicit and explicit backing of TD Ameritrade, with a monthly web traffic of over 1 million visitors…who needs to fuss with transparency and honesty? Like a meat grinder, TD Ameritrade is constantly feeding fresh faces into the commission generating machine.
A conversation with Arthur Leider of Investors Arbitration Specialists
Nearly nobody has ever heard of Arthur Leider. Unless you are a stock broker. Or work at Finra. Then you definitely know Art Leider.
Art Leider is a Lawyer and investor advocate that specializes in broker “clawbacks.” If a broker has ripped you off, Art Leider is the guy to call. In the past 15 years, Art has won over 300 Finra arbitration cases and been awarded over $20,000,000 in client restitution. Over the past few weeks, Art and I have had a series of colorful conversations regarding the relationship between brokers and the investment education industry.
Art Leider agrees that the investment educational industry is largely filled with hucksters, charlatans, and outright fraudsters. Art also feels that many of these brokers are willingly “turning a blind eye” towards many of these investment education charlatans. That it should be plainly obvious, and a terrible idea that 92-year-old, Aunt Mable is selling uncovered calls from an investment newsletter that is recommended by the broker.
What average investors do not realize, is that regulated brokers have “know your customer” rules that help to prevent situations of intolerable risk and investor unsuitability. For instance, suppose that you are an older, blue-collar worker with little financial sophistication, and you receive a $500,000 settlement from a disability lawsuit. You walk into your local TD Ameritrade office and explain to the stock broker that you are physically disabled and looking to earn a stable income from the $500,000 settlement.
Any morally centered broker would look at this disabled person and recommend maybe a utility stock that consistently pays a dividend every quarter. Or maybe a corporate bond, or municipal bond. Helping to provide a stable monthly income for the disabled person.
However, this sort of singular transaction yields little to no benefit for the broker. The customer is only going to buy a stock once, and probably never sell it. This is a broker’s worst nightmare.
And so, what does the TD Ameritrade broker do? The broker recommends that the customer “learn to trade” with the ThinkOrSwim slot machine and that the customer should simply “copy and paste” the trades from within the Shadow Trading chat room.
As crazy as this all sounds, this is exactly what recently happened to one of Art’s clients. And as you can imagine, the results were disastrous.
In fact, it didn’t take long before the customer was desperately attempting to replicate the staccato style of rapid day trading that was recommended by Shadow Trader.
As the customer struggled, the account balance began to disappear quicker than a glass of ice water in hell. Before too long, the customer had lost everything. The $500,000 account balance was completely wiped out.
TradingSchools.Org attempted to contact Shadow Trader for comment, but no reply.
Currently, the case is in arbitration at Finra and is scheduled to he heard sometime in December 2017. TradingSchools.Org will update this story, after the arbitration ruling.
Thanks for reading. Would love to know your opinion. Please comment below.