1997 was a very different era in the online trading world. Remote internet trading had recently been introduced, but most traders had slow connections that made trading from home impractical. So they rented space in trading rooms that offered high-speed internet access along with professional terminals and software.
One of the largest such trading rooms was Momentum Securities—now Online Trading Academy. From its location in Southern California, traders booked as much as $600 million in daily transactions. But the owner, Eyal Shahar, noticed that many of the traders did not have the training and self-discipline to be consistently successful. He started offering trading classes in a back room—and from that germ of an idea the world’s most trusted source of trading and investor education was born.
As internet connections improved, centralized trading rooms became less relevant, and in 2001 Online Trading Academy made the transition to an academic institution. The fundamental concept was the same then as it is today: through education, traders can learn to harness their emotions, follow a plan, and increase their probability of success. Through training and experience, they can begin to see behind the markets and actually anticipate market moves before they happen in order to plan low risk, high opportunity trades.
That supply and demand trading strategy has been refined over the years—in fact it now has a patent pending—and multiple educational paths have been developed focused on equities, options, futures, Forex and wealth management. Online Trading Academy has returned to its roots with the Extended Learning Track or XLT—an advanced curriculum in which students share a virtual desktop with a master trader who is making live trades in the market. In addition, OTA now sponsors the Mastermind Community of Power Trader Nation—an online meeting place where the “best of the best” share trading ideas with others who hold their elite status.
Since 2001, Online Trading Academy has evolved from its original location to over 30 financial education campuses spread across the globe, and the organization also offers a complete curriculum online which is available to anyone with web access. During that time more than 150,000 people have experienced an OTA education. Eyal Shahar is still intimately involved with the company and is still guided by the idea that started it all: education is the key to success in trading the financial markets.