Education Resource

Profile of an Online Trading Academy Instructor: Russ Allen

Master Instructor Blog

Today we’re featuring one of our Online Trading Academy instructors: Russ Allen! Russ tells us about his own trading journey and how he relates to his students.

Russ Allen has had a professional path that many OTA students would like to emulate. After an extensive career in business, in 2003 he quit his job and became a full-time trader. He learned the basics at Online Trading Academy, and soon after became an OTA instructor.


“I had been CPA,” Russ explains, “so I never considered paying an advisor to manage my money. Most advisors don’t do any better than the indices. Plus, like a lot of other OTA students I’d been successful in other ventures and thought, how hard can this be?” He chose Online Trading Academy from the several options available at that time because it offered classes at a physical location where he would be able to do “real time trading using real money.”

His first year was a struggle, however, because he “was looking for a mechanical solution.” Russ focused on technical indicators after completing his Professional Trader class and overlooked the broader and more important signals provided by trends and supply and demand zones. Then, he took advantage of his privilege for lifetime retakes of any on-location class and repeated Professional Trader. Russ says, “I was able to finally grasp that the process I was trying to automate was not the right process.” Since then his trading results have been consistently profitable.

Russ had done some teaching as an aspect of his financial consulting business, and in 2006 was invited to become an Online Trading Academy instructor. He covers a wide range of in-person and online courses including ProActive Investor, Futures, and Options. He e also writes a weekly options column in “Lessons from the Pros.”

“One of the things I have to offer is that I come from a completely different career. Not that long ago I was a complete novice about trading and investing. So when students ask a question it’s easier to get inside their head than someone who has grown up in a trading environment. And if they have the questions, it’s likely others have it too.”

Russ advises his students to follow what he calls the “Laws of Trading.” First, go with the flow of the market instead of trading in the opposite direction of the larger trend, unless you have a very good reason. Second, respect the trend of your own stock or other asset. Third, only buy in demand zones and sell in supply zones and make sure you have an adequate reward to risk ratio. Fourth, always have a stop in place. And finally, wrapping around all the other laws, you must have a trading plan. “If you’ve heard this before,” he sums up, “it’s because it works.”

This newsletter is written for educational purposes only. By no means do any of its contents recommend, advocate or urge the buying, selling or holding of any financial instrument whatsoever. Trading and Investing involves high levels of risk. The author expresses personal opinions and will not assume any responsibility whatsoever for the actions of the reader. The author may or may not have positions in Financial Instruments discussed in this newsletter. Future results can be dramatically different from the opinions expressed herein. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Reprints allowed for private reading only, for all else, please obtain permission.