Ever since the bubble popped in bitcoin, I have been amazed at how so many people who have most likely suffered potentially substantial financial losses, seem to hold a narrow mindset still that bitcoin is going to the stars. Cognitive dissonance seems to be rife within the ranks of its proponents who seem entirely unable to give up there overwhelming confidence in bitcoin despite its recent setbacks. In turn, this has also created a wealth of new trading educators to spring up out of nowhere praying on the weakness of those who may have significantly lost funds during the collapse
The Template Of Enticement
Note the majority of what I am about to write is based purely on my observations as this is a delicate area to quantify. Within the online community, there seems to be a trend whereby people tend to unwittingly become involved in schemes which inevitably end in the shattering of there fantasies. After having observed quite a lot of these from start to finish, I started to notice that these schemes tend to follow a very similar pattern. In essence, this patterns lends itself to high-pressure marketing tactics that appear to have a very high success rate in luring people in and is not uncommon from what we find on the high street. The template looks like this;
- Create a desire
- Moral appeal
Let us investigate these principles further;
Create a desire – this is when the initial seed gets sowed. At the initiation of the scheme, a seed gets planted within the marks head. Although this may seem difficult from the outset, it turns out to be the most natural step. Typically this is something that is desired by the masses, and the most commonly used is wealth/wealth creation. Wealth is generally central seed that gets sowed but with wealth come other presented benefits. Being financially independent, being your boss, working from home, owning your dream property or car etc., I am sure you get the idea. The scammer may not directly advertise, but instead might indirectly sow the seed, for example, white beach turquoise water laptop opened on a table with a cocktail next to it — claims of outrageous performance. No losers- 90% winners – claims that you can start at $200 and make a living — screenshots of PnL without any verification to if they are on real or demo accounts.
Moral appeal – the scammer will attempt to make out that he/she wishes to help others share their success. They are literally wanting to help you out not for monetary gain but more for the satisfaction of helping others, using a line such as its lonely at the top etc. Whenever negotiating its easy to strike a deal when both parties feel they are getting a good deal, a recent line I have heard is “I want to reach more people”, here the scammer is trying to say you can help me by me helping you.
Scarcity – here the scammer uses yet another powerful marketing tactic by enforcing a time limit of their offer. This tactic is precisely the same as all the lines we are well familiar with from a retail world for example “Offer open while stock last”, “January Sales” and the one we all know too well due to those difficult to forget visions of “Black Friday” shoppers fighting over electrical equipment!
I want to start off by presenting probably one of the best examples of a trading educator creating a desire for the lifestyle that trading presents. This was taken from Jacko’s Forex House of Pleasure and Pain thread over at forexfactory. Jacko supposedly ran off with millions, and nobody’s managed to track him down yet.
Why do I trade Forex?
Because I am ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED that this is the best “business” in the world.
1. no rent of offices (that is, NO dealing with Realtors, Lawyers, and government departments…man, what a pain in the ass). Also no office fit-out costs
2. no staff, (man, unless you have had large numbers of staff depending on YOU for their paypacket each week, you cannot know what a huge pain in the ass it is. They ALL want you to solve their problems)
3. No inventory or stock to buy. No shrinkage (theft of stock) and no “slow moving” items. No massive amount of funds tied up in inventory
4. You can “borrow” as much as you want (by increasing your leverage), WHENEVER you want. (Try running a big business and going to the bank for a short term loan for $10 mill…it will take a month minimum). I am trading $10-12 mill all the time and I get it instantly through the brokers by the use of leverage.
5. If the business becomes a hassle for whatever reason, you can shut it down (that is, close all positions) instantly…and re-open (initiate new positions) whenever YOU want to re-open your “business.”
6. You can “scale” your business to whatever size YOU want simply by increasing/decreasing your positions.
7. Absolutely minimal paperwork. Simply send your 12 month summary Profit and Loss Statement to your Financial Accountant for tax payment purposes.
8. You can trade from anywhere in the world. My wife and I travel most of the year. (take your laptop or PDA or whatever else they will come up with and trade while sipping a nice drink as close by as your local cafe or as far as some open air cafe in some remote little town in beautiful Italy while you watch a bocce match at the park.)
I could keep telling you more of the benefits of this business, but suffice to say…this is the best “business” in the world. I run a multi-multimillion dollar business from my laptop.
And did I mention that it was exciting and fun????
Below are a few examples whereby the salesperson has used tactics as above to promote their service. If any readers have cases they think are worthy of being posted here, please contact me, and I will add them to this post. Notice how they tend to contain tactics I talked about above.
I post free trades here, but if you wanna see all of them I’m opening a 5-month subscription for only $99. Only 10 seats available, 9 left. Current subs will be automatically upgraded. I wanna reach more people.Scarcity, Moral Appeal
Its become apparent to me that the life of a trading educator is not as fulfilling as it once was.Moral Appeal
As such I have decided to cease all training, shut down my site, and live a private life trading my personal accounts.
Before I go, I’ve decided to run one final program for the fans that I’ve made over the years who might not have had an opportunity to train with me:
If you want to become a member of X you can have a look at what we offer at x.comScarecity
1 years membership is now $299 (from now until 01 January 2017 $100 year offer is open again – 100 seats available)
I am offering a few discounts ahead of Holidays. Starting right now and ending January 1st, 2013, I am offering three of my software packages at big discounts, plus a coaching program for people who can’t afford my one on one eight weeks coaching:Moral Appeal, Scarcity
One month daily coaching program: $299. This will begin January 7th, only 10 seats available. Contact me if you want to reserve a seat.Scarcity
To access the offers, please use the contact form on my website and I will send you more information about the offers and how to order.
Thanks and happy holidays!
Five seats already taken.Scarcity
Thank you for choosing X.com!
20 seats left for £25/month.
The above are just a handful of examples gathered from < 5 minutes worth of research. So what is the next steps in enticing the unwitting mark to part with there hard earned cash? Once again there tends to be quite a lot of similarity amongst promoters. The next two steps can occur either way around.
- A cult/relgion is born
- The group is removed from the public eye.
In the words of Ronald Hubbard
If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion.
Religion can be transposed with one of the many trading educator scams. Companies that are headed by ‘David Koresh’ type figures who hypnotise their followers into parting with their cash in exchange that they can become wealthy and successful traders from a $200 starting balance.
During the latter stages of the operation, the group will remove its activities from the public view; money cannot exchange hands in plain sight. The con man or one of his minions or aliases will suggest a Skype group or trading room be set up. Within a short period, this will quickly evolve into a trading fund, subscription blog or trading room. These guys are pros and will even go to the lengths of setting up multiple aliases to backup the groups claims in how much they have personally learned and made from joining the group. An example of this can be seen very often on Twitter with many retweets of a so-called new member’s testimonial typically by members or owners(and their aliases). Another reason why the group tends to remove itself from public view is so that censorship of customer feedback can take place and only positive experiences shared..
2 thoughts on “The Real Hustle”
Very interesting post. Have you heard of Tradeciety? They employ such disgusting tactics. Claim to be real profitable traders, traveling the world, etc… took their course, just a bunch of recycled stuff freely available online. Possibly some plagiarism in there as well. Was very disappointed. But it was a good lesson. Never am i buying anything from them again.
When I first set out I wasted a lot of money on these educators, there are literally hundreds out there, but they all seem to follow similar tactics which is how I was able to build a template to look out for them. The goal of this post was to spread the word and hopefully prevent others getting ripped off by these, if you find it informative please retweet or share to spread the word. Thanks.