Program Counters Common Trading Advice

Originally published in The Johnson County Sun, February 16, 2011.

Ron Booth has gone to the airwaves to provide another perspective on personal investment strategies.

Ron Booth

Booth, president of the Online Trading Academy in Overland Park, made his radio debut on New Year’s Day with a program called “The Rogue Trader.”

That title is intended to convey what he offers. Namely, investment strategies that run counter to those commonly espoused by many other advisers.

Times and market conditions have changed, and Booth maintains that investors need to adjust in order to profit amid the new economic and financial realities.

“If you look at the local Saturday afternoon radio in Kansas City, it’s dominated by those I’d put in the buy-and-hold mutual fund prepayment classification. The belief is that if you buy and stay invested in the same thing long enough you can retire in financial security,” Booth said. “There’s a need in this market for a contrarian view. The idea that you can put your money somewhere away and then go to sleep under a tree for 20 years and wake up rich is just foolishness.”

That view of stubbornly sticking with mutual funds through thick and thin actually worked well from the mid 1970s to the mid 1990s, Booth said.

But in more recent years the extreme gyrations of the market have left most investors with little or no gain on their investments.

Booth wants to teach listeners of his new show some of what the Training Academy teaches its students.

It involves lessons in how to understand a wide variety of investment options and how to make sound decisions about when to get in and get out of them.

He emphasizes that neither he nor the academy gets involved in telling students exactly where to put their money, and they do not sell any investment products.

Instead, the emphasis is strictly on teaching how markets and online investing work, and how they can use all of that information to be a better manager of their fiscal fates.

“What we’re really talking about is how do you become a pro,” Booth said.

One bit of contrarian advice he gives involves market timing.

Individual investors are told they should not try to time a market, and Booth agrees that amateur investors usually get burned when they try to catch market upswing or avoid market slides.

But Booth said that with the proper training, people can learn how and when to get into and out of various investments at the right time.

“The normal guy can’t time the market, because he doesn’t have the experience or the knowledge. You have to find out what the pros do and how they do that. We try to help people find that out,” Booth said.

Even with the knowledge, Booth advises that new online investors not jump in too aggressively.

“I’d say get educated and find out what you’re getting into. Then, if you decide to get in, go with just a little bit and try it out. Make sure you understand risk management,” he said.

In recent months the stock market steadily has regained the ground it lost early in the recession, and many advisers are increasingly upbeat about investing there.

A recent USA Today headline read, “Experts agree: Get over your fear and get back into stocks.”

The contrarian Rogue Trader advises caution.

“It always scares me a little when a headline says ‘Experts agree,’” Booth said. “If we review our history, I think we’ll find the same things were being said before the last crash.”

Those who want more such Rogue advice, can enroll in the academy or get a sampling of it for free by listening to his radio program. You will have to be an early riser, however. The show is aired from 5 to 6 a.m. every Saturday on KMBZ, AM radio station 980.

The Online Trading Academy opened at 7501 College Blvd., Overland Park, in 2008. It has had about 400 students since then, Booth said. The parent company, based in Irvine, Calif., now has 34 academies around the country.


Ron Booth’s ‘Rogue Trader’ radio talk show is aired from 5 to 6 a.m. every Saturday on KMBZ, AM radio station 980.

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