Shadow Trader + TD Ameritrade = Big Investor Losses

Shadow Trader
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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, 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,,,, and

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.

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35 Comments on "Shadow Trader + TD Ameritrade = Big Investor Losses"

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The dweeb and Dr. Evil …

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Its funny, i stumbled across this article from todays uploaded youtube clip. Whats even funnier is fact that they are now charging a monthly fee for trades and peter has also brought on some no name guy “scott gillam” the dude comes on the broadcast for less than a year and now he’s already selling his services through shadow trader, like wtf? I’ve been listening to the broadcast since 2011 and regarding someone else comment it has got a lot worse over time. The best part is now i read in this article about the pending hearing in december 2017… Read more »

I’m glad word is finally getting out on these guys.
I know several other folks whom been in the room for a long time are just completely discusted with where its headed and refuse to listen.
I also think you have a point about TD canning them.
TD now has a TD Network that was launched about a month or 2 ago, and most likely the Shadow program wont be necessary.
The Shadow Trader broadcast has become nothing more then a marketing platform to peddle their garbage anyhow.

Thanks for the update John.

I’ve followed Jim Dalton and his trading methodologies for a several years until I’ve gathered enough evidence that is does not trade for a living and never did trade for a living. It is quite evident with just the way he calls trades out in the room, always after the fact, never calling the entries only the exits. He says he’s going to retire then comes back with a new scheme to convince his audience that he trades ES option contracts, not the ES futures, so that he can provide cover to his claims of success. Believe me, I didn’t… Read more »

Dalton is not a fraud. What he teaches, however, is not easy and anyone who thinks that they can cut and paste themselves to success is lazy at best and a fool at worst. I had zero training in the market profile before I got started and now am successfully trading using it. It works and Peter’s morning comments are extremely valuable educational tools. Not everyone is cut out for trading but that’s not the fault of Dalton and Peter.

Nothing pleases me more then to see comments sticking up for hustlers. Why dont you produce some brokerage statements ,and better yet, show some from good old James & Pete? What great guys , helping people out shucking one product down their throat at a time. If you are successful doing it , you dont need to sell anything , pretty simple. Dont take it personal , my only hope is your not Karen the so called super trader. If you are successful , I doubt you follow either one of those clowns. All the full time traders I know… Read more »

This is the garbage that has to stop.
Free seminars marketed to TD Clients to sell shit..
Its just damn sleazy ….

Still time to register for our free Tape Reader/Cumulative Tick Live event tomorrow morning:

I am a professional trader and I couldn’t disagree more with this review. First of all Shadow trader is free and you dont have to buy any of those add ons. The 2 guys that run the squawk are Brad and Peter and they are very good traders and they call out all their trades live on squawk along with their sells. They say when they lose money and dont only show their winning trades. TD Ameritrade doesnt force this chat room down peoples throats like this review states. When you download the platform the only way to get the… Read more »
I been in the room since 2010 and seen a huge change in the last year. When you align yourself with frauds like James Dalton , bring in Market Psychologists , and have ears of entire platform, and not show the position in your account ( if you call trades) then your a fraud yourself. The problem is conflict of interest and being empowered by the platform. Obviously no one forces it on you, but there are ZERO other choices and for new people its easy to get sucked into the bullshit VERBAL trades. IF you’re going to trade, SHOW… Read more »
I listen to the room for Brad and Peter and to get trade ideas on potential positive technical set ups. Brad gives great set ups and although he doesnt post them on a website he does call them out live and call out live when he sells and scales out. He calls out when he loses money and I trust that hes being truthful. Typically when someone pays for a room they are looking for trade ideas and I do get that from Brad and Peter. As far as the other upsells like Dalton and market psychology I just ignore… Read more »
You made my point. Verbally telling people what your trading and showing it are 2 entirely different things. Its real easy talking about a loss when there is nothing proving you took the trade. In fact, one of the un written rules of trade room trickery is to throw in few token small losers here and there to make you look legit. Its all part of the act. The simplest way to shut people up like me, SHOW YOUR FUCKING TRADE , SHOW YOUR ACCOUNT, SHOW THE EXECUTION. No magic needed for that. Let me ask you then, when they… Read more »
Really wish I would have screen captured todays session. An ES trade was called out, suppose entry , then a scale out of a multi contract trade. All verbal, not once showing the Active Trader to prove the trade even happened. Then a few other calls, one long on Blue Apron (IPO) for a scalp (I guess). Not a single trade was shown or even the position in the account. Think or Swim has privacy settings, so no need to say the bullshit about showing an account number. Complete utter nonsense . Its just a complete shame and empowered by… Read more »

As long as human greediness exists such services will prosper. Everybody wants quick and easy money and forgets that there is no easy/free money (especially big) in the world!


So what are the other chatrooms in TOS besides Shadow Trader? There was a futures squawk and something else? Is that still around? I have not been on there in a few years. Just asking for an update. Thanks.

Futures Squawk still there, but no calls are made in that room , just an info chat with same guy Ben spitting out bid/ask on ES. There is no real options outside the Investools tool sheds who basically spew Sosnoff’s theory of short everything until your hands bleed and pray for a meltdown. My issue with these guys is they have direct access to thousands of people and call trades out with no accountability or verifiable track record to prove their methodology (whatever it is). Lately , there is now a whole slew of charlatans working for the shadow with… Read more »

This is being pushed like a viagra for ED..
Sickening … It could be free but you know what the goal is ..
No comments from any of the sheeple in the room since this review.. Almost like they are afraid they will be thrown out …

This has got to be the biggest hustle going in the industry right now. Most recently, James Dalton (the self proclaimed master of market profile) gives regular free seminars about his market profile theory (which honestly is a load of horse shit ). Peter seems to have teamed up with James to give these bait seminars so James can hawk his dopey seminars on market profile. If anyone has ever sat through one of Dalton’s seminars, you know all too well, you feel like you had a Jorgensen Clamp tightened on your head for 4 hours when your done. Dalton… Read more »
The only thing worth it to a newb by James Dalton, imo is his book, 1st or 2nd ed. on market profile, a decent intro (also plagiarized by FT71 as clearly heard in his videos) , an alternative to reading Stedlmeyer, which you can get used for 10 bucks similar to Brooks. . This news about him doing seminars and selling courses etc. reeks of desperate vending and not able to trade for a living or failure to “ascend” to hedge fund “advisory” status. You’re still the most trustworthy reviewer by far Emmett despite the low bar for positive reviews,… Read more »

If you think ShadowTrader and such are bad, wait till you get a load of Matt Davio’s various entities: Misstrade, Market Profile Trading Academy, OneMinuteTrader. Can’t wait till Emmett gets a review on him!

Rob B

Way to go Art!! The regulators are not doing jack shit, so maybe suing the brokers is the only way to stop this scam circus. BTW, Emmett loved the way you brought up the trading shrinks, another part of the overall scam picture and I have met idiots over the years that were dumb enough to use them and think that will be the solution to profitable day trading.

Art if you decide to do a class action lawsuit against Ninja, count me in.

I was introduced to daytrading by TOS several years ago. I remember Sosnoff would bring in all these scam educators under the guise of wanting to help us traders. He’d talk shop with them and then stay on throughout their presentations, and then do some Q&A at the end. It was basically a precursor to the ecosystem concept that Ninja has come up with. As a novice it seemed for real. The fact that the CEO of the company was endorsing these guys gave them credibility. Ninja Trader isn’t the only bad guy on the block. The other brokers are… Read more »
TOS was primarily an options platform in its earlier years although you could trade stocks, it was pretty slow on an early java TOS and not great for attempting scalping. Those educators must have been the old legacy ones such as Pristine, Nison, even Woody. Carter’s and Woody’s indicators are still on TOS today although the code is locked and TOS wasn’t a good platform to do affiliate indicator hawking deals as thinkscript is interpreted and recursive and it never got that big a cesspool as Ninja helped by bmtfioforum and the explosion of tradingroom webinar sites selling ninja indicators.… Read more »
It was primarily an options platform but around this time Sosnoff seemed to be trying to attract futures business. Some educators I remember presenting were Woody, John Carter, Hubert Senters, Steve Bigalow, John Person, David Elliott, Tim Sykes, Price Headley, and of course Shadow Trader was around then as well. And notice what did Sosnoff do after leaving TOS? Continued promoting BS such as “Karen the SuperTrader” who turned out to be a fraud. What a great marketing piece she was though… a 50-something woman with no financial experience who watched some webinars, read some books, and next thing you… Read more »
Originally she said her personal account gained 50% from a 100k account. Then somehow she got venture capitlist funding and she started managing a 20 million account, then in subsequent updates on tastytrade with Snotoff, it was up to a 100million and beyond. I remember simming the strangles in tos and it was ridiculous how a major sudden move in the market would cause a massive loss like getting runover by a bulldozer trying to pick up nickels. Dang, I’m repeating myself. RobB and I mentioned this already ad nausem months ago. Good point Emmett, this is supposedly professional securities… Read more »
Rob B

Your post reminds me of listening to her on Tastytrade with that idiot and he asked about the flash crash and she said no effect on her. And I was like, “Using options and her leverage , how was that possible”.

Sure I remember Karen the “supertrader” when she first got on the scene. I don’t recall it was Snotoff promoting her as much as a retail vendor but rather as a showpiece for the retailers to get tastytrade more attention which would lead to more tos commisions. She did a bang up job costing venture funding losses with her risky massive strangles and trying to defer the losses of a side of the stangles without having to report them like an accountant which she was previously. Yes, I remember tos had the “prophet tools” leftover from their earlier incarnations. It… Read more »
Being a long time user of the thinkorswim platform, I can confirm with the review the shadowtrader sqwakbox chatroom is embbedded in the platform virtually like a free included chatroom where the platform has a few other rooms but squawkbox is the biggest with at least two thousand logged in a day. Yeah, Peter sounds kind of like a NYC tennis sports commentator and has pet nicknames for the “nye-See” tick that you hear over and over ad nauseum. However, rarely are trades called out in the room and it’s more likely the poor investing guy who lost his 500k… Read more »