Ethics and Transparency
At Prosper Trading Academy, we take our mission to educate seriously. Our Professional Trading Instructors “PTIs” all have a deep background in their respective fields and are dedicated to teaching their craft. In choosing to teach it is imperative that we do so with complete transparency. We have a steadfast commitment to making sure we don’t misrepresent ourselves or the risks involved in trading.
Our “PTIs” Professional Trading Instructors
Scott Bauer is the CEO of Prosper Trading Academy and the Options Volatility Instructor with nearly 30 years of market experience. Scott is a featured contributor for TD Ameritrade with nearly 30 years of professional equity and index options experience at the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), and as a former Vice President/trader for Goldman Sachs. He is also a respected market commentator often seen on Bloomberg, Fox Business, CNBC, and other major financial networks. Scott graduated with Honors from the University of Illinois Business School and has taught classes both at his alma mater and at the CBOE.
Charles Moon is the Equities trading instructor at Prosper Trading Academy. Prior to joining Prosper, Charles was a proprietary equities trader with Great Point Capital LLC where he developed a strong background in technical analysis and active portfolio management.
Michael Shorr is the Short Term Options instructor for Prosper Trading Academy. Michael began his career as a derivatives floor trader of the CME, and CBOT. His experience trading on the floor has given him broad market knowledge ranging from agricultural to treasury markets which makes him a valuable coach for almost any trader. Michael has also taught options theory classes for a number of years
Howard Greenberg is the CryptoCurrency Trading Instructor for Prosper Trading Academy. Howard spent three years as the President of the American Blockchain and CryptoCurrency Association before joining the Prosper team as an instructor. Howard has a degree in Economics from DePaul University.
How our PTI’s Experience is Applicable to Equities, Options and Cryptocurrency Trading
Our Professional Trading Instructors “PTIs” may have experience that differs from direct retail trading experience in their respective fields. Working as a market maker, floor trader, prop trader, and trade association executive is not exactly the same as trading from home on a retail basis. However, all Prosper “PTIs” specifically have deep experience in their respective markets that is relevant to retail traders that want to become more capable market participants. Prosper Trading Academy was started in part specifically because Scott Bauer was asked by the CBOE to teach options trading techniques and raise awareness of the derivatives markets.
We Are Not An Investment Advisor
Prosper Trading Academy does not offer investment advice. We are not registered as a securities broker-dealer or a registered investment advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) or with any state securities regulatory authority. We do not engage in financial planning, and the materials we present should not be construed as retirement advice. We are an educational publishing company that specializes in trading education through the use of “LTS” Live Trade Signals, our Live Trading Rooms, and the Online Campus. Our Live Trade Signals are designed to help validate our educational methodology and are intended for use as a research tool and training.
Why We Choose To Teach
All of our “PTIs” at Prosper Trading Academy were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to pursue a career in their respective fields. We teach to make the opportunity and knowledge we received available to others. We believe that financial literacy is extremely important and empowering. It is our mission to help people from all walks of life understand the financial markets as well as the risks and challenges associated with them. With the evolution of the internet and technology, individual investors have been exposed to more sophisticated trading technology and market forces along with greater access to the financial markets. We believe this increase in complexity and access has made education and coaching critical for those that intend to trade.
Educating yourself about the financial markets either on your own or with Prosper is not a pathway to start trading and “get rich quick.” Trading is difficult, risky, and doing it successfully takes hard work and dedication. It does take time and effort to learn. We do not and will never offer any service that proposes a quick and easy path to wealth. It is important that you have sufficient cash resources to purchase the education, to trade if you choose to do so, and also sustain the inherent financial risks.
Prosper Students are Trained and Expected to do the following:
- Take responsibility for your own trading results
- Advocate for yourself and do your own independent research
- Monitor your own positions
- Take responsibility for managing risk
- Own the fact that only you are responsible for both your wins and your losses
Markets are constantly changing. Our PTIs are professionals but they too are students of the market and there is always more to learn.
“No Private Jets”
We do not misrepresent our own wealth or success. Both owning and operating a business and trading are potentially lucrative. We are educators with professional financial market experience and business owners. Trading successfully can provide a certain lifestyle but it is not without risk. We do not rent private jets to film commercials or pay for celebrity endorsements. We believe marketing ourselves as anything other than teachers to “sell the dream” is disingenuous and in direct conflict with our desire to be as transparent as possible.
As business owners we may earn income from business activities as well as our personal trading activities. We do not misconstrue success derived from our business as success derived from our trading activities.
What is a Live Trade Signal or “LTS”?
Throughout the course of our educational activities we release viable trading alerts which are hypothetical that we define here as Live Trade Signals “LTS.” Performance results of all “LTS” are tracked on an individual, per share/per contract, hypothetical percentage basis, and posted in real time. This is not a running P&L as position sizes along with the size of gains and losses may vary. “LTS” are designed for use with different amounts of capital as each “LTS” has different risk/reward parameters. Additionally, each individual trader has a unique risk profile and may allocate differing amounts.
The release of “LTS” Live Trade Signals is designed to be educational in nature allowing our students to follow along with the methodology and reasoning used by our “PTIs” with the ultimate goal for you to be able to originate signals on your own. We do have students that choose to use our research capabilities on an ongoing basis by literally following our signals to supplement their own trading strategies which you may do at your own risk.
Front Running – Price Action Influence “PAI”
Performance of our Live Trade Signals is posted on a hypothetical basis specifically because we do not take ownership of securities to avoid a conflict of interest called “Front Running.” Our hypothetical “LTS” Live Trade Signal system is specifically designed to have no direct influence on the price action of a specific security or cryptocurrency. We do this to maintain the sanctity of price discovery in financial markets as well as ensuring that we do not benefit from advantageous price movement at the expense of our students.
Specifically, buying or selling an illiquid security before releasing an “LTS” to our students could theoretically allow a student’s orders to move the price of a security we have already purchased to our advantage and at their expense. This would be a violation of securities law… and extremely dishonest. We have reason to believe other publishers may do this and we refuse to be one of them which is why we have taken steps to avoid price action influence in the financial markets.
Depiction of Live Trade Signal Performance in Marketing Materials
We are proud of our best work and at times we highlight some of our most successful Live Trade Signals in our marketing materials. Sometimes we have losers. However, our dedication to providing a balanced and truthful depiction of our services, as well as our robust culture of transparency is evident simply due to the existence of this document. Like all market watchers we don’t always choose winners.
Additionally, the vast majority of Prosper Trading Academy students start their educational path through our low cost entryway offerings giving them the opportunity to see the efficacy of our education before making an expanded commitment to our programs.
We choose to let our members and students speak for themselves. We do not actively solicit testimonials, no compensation has been paid for any testimonial, and testimonials are not necessarily representative of the experience of all students. All claims made in testimonials that you see depicted in our marketing material have been verified by Prosper Trading Academy and signed off on by the members that have given them. Verified testimonials encompass “experience” reviews that highlight the personal experiences of working with our team and “performance” testimonials where we verify trading success of students who have enrolled in our programs.
Given the broad reach of the internet, testimonials and reviews of our programs that we have not been able to verify can be found on various websites across the internet which are beyond our editorial control.
While we do very much enjoy hearing positive things from our students and it is critical to our mission that everyone is satisfied with their journey with Prosper, we encourage you to take both verified and unverified testimonials for what they are.
Self Risk Assessment “SRA”
All students are encouraged to take a Self Risk Assessment “SRA” upon enrollment with Prosper Trading Academy. A “SRA” can help you determine whether or not trading is appropriate for you and how a trading plan can fit in with your unique financial situation. Depending on your objectives, the specific trading strategy you employ may differ. Traders looking to trade full time as a career are going to have a different risk tolerance and plan than those simply trading as a means to generate supplemental income. A trader that is participating in the financial markets solely for “Investatainment” will have a completely different set of goals and risk parameters. Students should only trade with capital they can afford to lose, as taking risk with funds that are earmarked for other financial commitments can have deleterious effects on a long term financial plan.
We do not recommend trading with funds that have been placed in retirement accounts.
We do not recommend trading with funds that are required to cover basic living expenses.
We do not recommend sacrificing your ability to earn income full time to pursue a career in trading without first seeing GREAT success on a part time basis.
We do not recommend taking concentrated risk in specific positions within trading accounts where one trade could ultimately make or break your trading career.
Trading Risk Impact “TRI”
Part of completing a Self Risk Assessment is understanding the Trading Risk Impact of a specific trade to your overall financial health.
Trading Risk Impact has to do with the amount of capital being placed at risk relative to your overall financial resources. A trader that is risking 1% of their available capital would be taking a low level of risk, whereas a trader putting 25% of their capital at risk is taking a high level of risk.
The level of acceptable risk a trader can take is variable based on each trader’s individual circumstances. Only you are capable of determining what level of risk is acceptable. Prosper Trading Academy cannot be held responsible for a student taking irresponsible risks.
New Student Orientation
The new student orientation process is the entrypoint to our client service experience.
Given the inherent risk in trading, it is recommended that all Prosper Trading Academy students complete a new student orientation and onboarding process before accessing the live materials on our campus, as well as the instructors, educational material and “LTS” Live Trade Signals.
The level of service offered in the orientation as well as the specific requirements to complete your orientation and receive campus authorization will depend on the complexity of the specific educational service that you select and enroll in.
In addition to helping our students get started, the most important part of the orientation process is acknowledgement of the risks involved with trading and the limitations associated with any educational service. Prosper Trading Academy does not provide investment advice or services nor do we guarantee successful trading results.
Student Service Team
Prosper Trading Academy is proud to maintain a student service team dedicated to the highest level of transparency and customer service. The student service team is an educational resource designed to help students progress through the learning process and navigate through the campus.
Our team prides itself on the long lasting relationships we build with our students, in many cases becoming a true educational concierge.
You can reach the student service team by clicking here: firstname.lastname@example.org
SIM Trading Protocol
We strongly recommend that all students trade on a simulated or “paper trading” basis while learning trading techniques. Regardless of whether a student is learning from Prosper, doing research with other trading educators, or coming up with their own strategies, we believe it is important to practice / test new trading strategies on a simulated basis until there is a real level of comfort with risk and position size management as well as the realization of consistent sim profits.
Even if your simulated trading produces consistent paper profits, it is not a guarantee that your trading will be successful once you begin live trading. Live trading presents unique challenges that are not faced in simulated trading. Traders may experience slippage on order execution and diminished liquidity that can dramatically impact live returns. In addition, the emotional impact of trading with real money can affect decision making and impact trading success.
Global financial markets and conditions are also constantly changing. Even the best vetted and most promising trading strategy that shows successful results during simulation may fail to perform when taken live.
Remember, you are the only person who can truly determine whether you are prepared to assume the risk necessary to begin live trading, if at all.
Live Foundation Trading Room
Prosper Trading Academy maintains and staffs a live “Foundation” room for students who require hands on assistance with their basic trading skillset. The Foundation Room may be a helpful resource for students that are either still SIM trading or simply not achieving the results they are looking for.
The Foundation Room offers students a resource that can help with everything from basic explanations of trading strategies to definition of technical terms.
We strongly suggest that you enter the foundation room as often as is necessary until you understand the basics before working on the more complex concepts taught in the live trading rooms.
Prosper Trading Academy has proudly invested in a compliance infrastructure designed to ensure compliance with this code of conduct at every level of our organization. Compliance procedures have been designed to verify the accuracy of information you receive, make sure you have a complete understanding of the risk associated with trading and simultaneously avoid Price Action Influence that could harm financial markets.
No Fine Print
At no point will we ever bury anything that you should know in a fine print disclaimer. All representatives of Prosper Trading Academy are bound by our Code of Conduct and the terms of their employment require them to be 100% transparent in disclosing all known risks and conflicts of interest. We never will “gloss over” our disclaimers or hide them where they can’t be easily seen, read or understood.
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