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Contributors

Our Lessons from the Pros authors are Online Trading Academy instructors and experts in the asset class they write about.

Sam Seiden

Online Trading Academy, Chief Trading Strategist

As the Chief Trading Strategist at Online Trading Academy, Sam shares his ideas on day trading, investing for beginners, online Forex trading and his personal passion—the futures markets. Sam brings over 15 years experience of equities, forex, options and futures trading which began when he was on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange where…
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Brandon Wendell

Instructor, CMT

As a former stockbroker, brokerage trader, and hedge fund trader, Brandon brings various market views and insight to his trading classes such as the Forex trading course and lectures on advanced futures trading, options strategies and more. He has held NASD securities series 7 and 63 licenses. An Online Trading Academy graduate himself in 1998,…
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Sam Evans

Instructor

After leaving University in 1999, Sam thrust himself into the media world, working as an executive producer and part-time presenter for London’s Capital FM. Roles in the record and film industry followed, where Sam conducted many promotional interviews and honed his presentation skills for nearly 7 years. With a strong desire to work for himself,…
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Diana Hill

Professional Real Estate Investor Instructor

Born in California, Diana Hill graduated from California State University Long Beach with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Accountancy. Diana learned about real estate investing at 17 while working in a real estate office on the weekends in high school. In college she started investing in real estate and even though she…
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Dr. Woody Johnson

Instructor

Dr. M. Woodruff Johnson has actively and successfully traded stock options, forex and futures since 2000. He is the former Executive Director of the Kaiser Permanente, Watts Counseling and Learning Center. He holds certifications in Accelerated Learning, Neurosensory Development and hypnotherapy, and he is a Certified NLP Master Practitioner. Dr. Woody is also an Associate…
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Michael Atias

Director of Tax Services, Instructor

Michael Atias joined the OTA Tax Pros executive team in 2011. Mr. Atias’ experience in tax consultation, tax planning, tax preparation, audit representation and business consultation began in 2002. Mr. Atias is an enrolled agent with the IRS with an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, one of the top 15 business schools in…
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Rick Wright

Instructor

Rick Wright’s goal as an Online Trading Academy Instructor is to accelerate the student’s learning curve, whether they are interested in High Frequency Trading or Investing for Beginners. He teaches classes on Online Stock Trading, Forex Trading and Futures, among others. Rick studied economics and psychology at Iowa State University, and entered into the brokerage…
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Gabe Velazquez

Instructor

Gabe got his start in the markets as a broker trainee for Paine Webber, a mere 3 months before the market crash of 1987. He witnessed the gut wrenching fear of investors during that time period and the wild speculative euphoria of the late 90’s. That experience brought to light the importance risk management plays…
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Russ Allen

Instructor

Russ teaches investing classes on how to buy stock and options trading, among many others, and he shares his expertise through articles in Lessons from the Pros. With extensive experience in trading, education, and business in general, Russ decided to make his lifelong passion, trading, his full-time occupation in 2003 and sought the highest-quality trading…
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Sam Seiden Sam has been trading equities, Forex, options and futures since 1991, beginning when he was on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange where he facilitated institutional orderflow. He has educated thousands of traders and investors through courses, seminars, expos and daily advisory serves. As Chief Trading Strategist, Sam is intimately involved with…
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Students lucky enough to sit in on Cathie Morrison’s classes will benefit from a lifetime of experience in teaching combined with the skills of a master trader. She has inspired at every level as a public school teacher, college instructor, technology trainer and owner of a test preparation company as well as Online Trading Academy instructor. Cathie has…
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Zani Patasin

Author

Recruited from the securities industry to work for the nation’s premier homebuilder, Zani has been involved in more than half a billion dollars of new home construction. He was appointed as the youngest Division President of a Fortune 100 company and served as EVP for Atlanta’s largest homeowner. Returning to the securities industry, he applied…
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Merlin Rothfeld

Instructor, Host - Power Trading Radio

Merlin Rothfeld has been actively involved in the financial markets since 1996. After receiving his degree in Business Finance, Merlin worked for a large financial planning firm in California where he applied traditional, long term investment strategies. In 1998, he began day trading his own money using a variety of DAT trading platforms. Over the…
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Diana Hill Born in California, Diana Hill graduated from California State University Long Beach with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Accountancy. Diana learned about real estate investing at 17 while working in a real estate office on the weekends in high school. In college she started investing in real estate and even…
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Clarence Churn

Tax Accountant

Clarence has been a tax accountant for the past 7 years. He has been preparing income taxes since 1984, which he began doing while serving in the Marine Corps. He graduated from California State University, Long Beach, in 2004 with a B.S. in Business Administration. Clarence was employed with a local CPA firm for over…
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Ron Fields

Instructor

Ron Fields began investing in real estate when he got out of the service in 1971, and never looked back. Over the years, he has built a comfortable lifestyle for himself and his wife, helped his children secure their financial stability and is now helping create a strong financial base for his two grandchildren. As…
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Joe Short

Instructor

Joe Short made his first real estate investment in 1976, and has been hooked ever since. While employed as an electrical engineer in the 80’s, he worked part time as a real estate entrepreneur and learned that finding real estate deals was the key to profit. He soon left the corporate world to pursue real…
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Bill Addiss

Author

As the principal of an international training firm, Mr. Addiss develops and facilitates educational programs for major financial institutions and governments. Prior to establishing Amherst Financial Training in 1994, Mr. Addiss had a 23-year career on Wall Street.  Starting with E.F. Hutton, he worked as an analyst with the Interest Rate Futures Department, Retail Stockbroker…
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Jason Tom

Instructor

Jason Tom served as a senior investment advisor with a leading commercial real estate firm for over 10+ years, specializing in sale and leasing of multifamily, retail and mixed-use property in California’s San Francisco Bay Area. As an OTA Real Estate instructor, he shares this valuable real-world experience with students following the multifamily and commercial…
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Joe Russo

Author

Joseph Russo has a multi-faceted background that makes him uniquely qualified as an OTA Real Estate instructor. He studied sociology in college, then worked in Italy for several years where his team was responsible for designing the holographic security image on the Euro banknote. His study of human nature and exposure to international commerce helped…
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Larry Jacobson was first introduced to trading in 1995 through an article he read in Bottom Line Personal. In 1998, he became fascinated with Warren Buffett and was inspired to begin trading stocks. In 2010, he found his way to Online Trading Academy where he honed his skills as a stock, options, Forex, and futures trader, as well as…
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Dr. Barke is a family physician in private practice in Newport Beach, CA. He attended undergraduate college at U.S.C. and Medical School at U.C. Irvine completing his Family Medicine Residency at U.C. Irvine Medical Center. He is an elected School Board Member for the Los Alamitos Unified School District currently serving his third term. Dr….
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Gary Tole

Instructor

Gary Tole has a successful career investing in and managing a wide variety of businesses and has been a real estate investor since 1996 with hundreds of deals under his belt. He has been a licensed Realtor since 2004 and leader of the “Tole Team” at Keller Williams in Dallas, TX since 2012 with the…
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Nick Mango

Author

Nick Mango is a freelance writer and editor whose work in the investing, trading, and financial communities spans more than 12 years. He’s co-author of the book, Traders at Work (Apress, 2013), and has consistently published content across major media outlets and the Web’s most well-known and respected financial portals, including OTAcademy.com. A strong proponent…
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Steve Moses

Author

Steve Moses has been an active options trader since 2004, when he was dragged to a trading workshop by his wife. Once he learned to trade, options immediately became his preferred strategy. Both the leverage, as well as the ability to profit regardless of what direction the markets were moving, are what attracted Steve to options….
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John O’Donnell

Director of Research

John O’Donnell came to Online Trading Academy in early 1998. As one of the first employees and pioneers in the education division, he helped transition the company from a floor based model to the largest global DMA franchisor trading/investing school currently operated today. Mr. O’Donnell is instrumental in Online Trading Academy’s extensive business development initiatives…
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Thomas Jones

Tax Manager

As the Tax Manager at OTA Tax Pros, Thomas brings over 10 years of experience in start-ups, marketing, tax, and finance. He provided consulting services to tax firms around South Bay while completing a Master’s in Accounting. He has also worked at H&R Block as a Tax Manager, served as Treasurer and Finance Director for…
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May Tran

Tax Accountant

May has been a tax accountant for over 10 years. She is experienced in Individual, Business, and Estate & Trust returns. She has been an Enrolled Agent since 2008 and has been representing clients before the IRS and State tax agencies. She worked at H&R Block as a Master Tax Advisor. She has a degree…
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Tim Pesut

Author

Tim’s experience as an investor, broker, branch manager, and trader allows him to bring an understanding of the unique challenges of trading to the classroom. — As an instructor, he strives to give each student the ability to apply the various aspects of trading in a real world environment. He wants each student to feel…
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Josip Causic

Instructor

Before starting his professional trading career as an LLC, Josip was an educator. He taught English at the University of Toronto, and, since his relocation to the United States has also taught science and math at various private and public institutions. During this period Josip also completed an additional degree at Cal State Fullerton. Later,…
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Don Dawson

Instructor

Don has been trading the futures markets since 1987. Students who want to learn how to invest or day trade find his futures courses at Online Trading Academy invaluable, and he shares the same knowledge about where to invest money in his Lessons from the Pros articles. Don obtained his series 3 license in 1990….
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Ed Ponsi

Instructor

Ed Ponsi started trading stocks in 1994, became a broker in 1996 and graduated to Wall St. trader in 1998. He began trading Forex in 2002, and it has been his preferred asset class ever since. In addition, he began trading real estate in 2008, taking advantage of the market bottom from which prices have recovered…
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As an actuary, professional wealth manager and serial entrepreneur, Ara had high expectations when he began searching for a quality trading education. He found what he was looking for at Online Trading Academy, and became a student in 2008. He now shares his expertise as a popular instructor. — Ara teaches lessons on impactful investing,…
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Sarah graduated cum laude from Nova Southeastern University, School of Law in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  She then attended the University of Miami focusing her studies on the specific areas of tax and estate planning.  She obtained an LL.M. in Estate Planning from the University of Miami in 2009.  She is licensed in both Texas and Florida advising clients…
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David Warner

Author

David Warner grew up a stone’s throw from New York’s financial district, and knew from an early age he wanted to become a trader. He started trading in 2004 and joined a stock trading club in college, leading to what he calls a “healthy obsession” with the financial markets. David developed a focused and disciplined attitude…
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