Research Insights into Educated Retail Traders & Investors

We recently conducted a student activity survey in April 2021 with over 1000 students responding. 

For us, it is absolutely critical to have our finger on the pulse of our students.  We gain tremendous insight into how our students are consuming our education. What’s working and what’s not.   And most importantly, how we continually evolve our offering as the markets evolve.  Its all about our relentless commitment to invest in continuous improvement and innovation.  Not least of all revolutionizing the student learning journey having developed a first-of-its-kind, all-in-one trading platform called CliK, integrating education, analysis and trading, embedding its rules-based, step-by-step methodology, education, and risk management-focused approach.

Here are a few insights from the survey which most caught my attention …

  • Responding students reported that prior to coming to OTA, the majority had little or no experience. 70% said they had either no experience or were novices.
  • 70% of responding students reported that they are trading live in the market (OTA encourages newer students to stay practicing in simulator mode), and 37% report that they spend more than 6 hours per week doing so, across a range of asset classes, Stocks, Futures, Forex and Options, with 83% reporting that they do not trade Cryptocurrency.
  • Nearly 2/3rds (64%) of responding students report that they are not day trading (intraday).  Nearly half (47%) report they are swing trading (few days to a few weeks), with another 17% reporting that they are position trading and long-term investing.
  • More than half of responding students report that they spend more than 4 hours per week in their education, with 20% saying they spend more than 10 hours per week, predominantly spending that time in weekly online sessions with instructors and each other; 38% report that they are spending more time in their education since COVID but more than half (53%) report that they still prefer in-person classes (OTA is looking forward to reopening its centers)
  • 81% of responding students said they feel more knowledgeable about how the markets work
  • 76% of responding students said they were more knowledgeable about how to manage risk
  • 64% of responding students said they were more confident in managing their money
  • When focusing on the key concepts of the Core Strategy methodology that Online Trading Academy teaches, responding students reported a weighted average score of 7.55/10 (75.5%) for understanding the concepts of Core Strategy and 7.37/10 (73.7%) for being confident in knowing where to set a stop loss;  Most importantly, 85% report that they created a trade plan (Online Trading Academy’s Core Strategy methodology teaches this as the first step of risk management, which is the foundation of everything it teaches).
  • When asked why students felt they were or were not achieving their objectives, the two most critical factors were “sticking to their rules” and “managing emotions”.
  • More than two thirds of responding students (69%) said they wished they had started their education with OTA sooner. 

Wow!  More than two thirds.  Now there’s a testament to not delay.  There is no time like the present.  Don’t be like that two thirds of our responding students who wished they had started with OTA sooner.  Education is essential.

Find out more at the OTA Research Center.  There we are dedicated to research to contrast educated retail traders and investors with their uneducated counterparties.  There is a rising tide of interest in the voice of retail traders and investors as an increasingly important and not well understood segment of the financial markets.  Having served over 80,000 students with lifelong trading and investing education, Online Trading Academy is well placed to research the sub-segment of educated retail traders and investors.