I’ve become very interested recently in fellow investment blogger Phil Town’s site, and so I’ve been reading it from start to finish. After reading much of his site, I’ve come to enjoy his style of writing and investing. Ever the skeptic though, I wanted to make sure he’s not just some shill on the web hawking his wares to an unsuspecting public. Everything I found has been good, and I was even able to find a new resource that he recommends frequently called the INVESTools Investor Toolbox.

About Phil Town

It’s important when investing to pick your advisors carefully. I have kind of a rating system for investment advice.

Poor – Any guy on the web. Pay little attention.
Fair – What he says passes the reason test. I’ll listen skeptically.
Good – Good track record, good advice. I’m listening, but still fact checking.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to ever turn off your brain when listening to others, especially when it comes to matters of money, spirituality, and politics. If you do, you leave yourself open to a world of pain and disappointment. No one person is more qualified to manage your money than you, and as such, the intelligent investor should not become an absent manager. Use your brain; God gave it to you for a reason.

While trying to bring InvestorGeeks into the investment blog mainstream I came upon Phil Town’s blog and discovered that a lot of what he had to say sounded legit. At this point, I’m not educated enough to trust “stock picks” online, as he sometime provides for illustrative purposes, but I do think, from my reading, that his analysis of stock passes the reason test; that is, his writing seems to jive with everything else I’ve been reading, so I upgraded him to a “Fair” rating. Only time will push Phil Town to the coveted “Good” status 😉

Phil Town, former Green Beret and river guide, began investing after a fateful white water trip down the Grand Canyon. One of his clients, an exprienced and successful investor himself, became determined to teach Town the ways of investing. Because of this client’s training, supposedly within 5 years Town turned $1,000 of borrowed money into a million dollars. He now teaches his methods around the country and speaks with the likes of David Bach, and Rudy Giuliani. Phil started the Rule #1 blog in March 2005 and will be publishing his first book, Rule #1, this coming March 2006 through Random House. I checked into all this, and it seems to be legit as well. Here’s some links to a publishing trade journal that mentions his new book, and discussions online.

Article on Publishers Weekly
Discussion Thread on Scam.com

[EDIT]: Phil Town’s publisher sent me an advanced copy of Phil Town’s book and I wrote a review of Rule #1 on InvestorGeeks, which provides more information about it.

Honestly, I couldn’t find a hell of a lot on the guy, except on other investment blogs like this one, but from what I’ve read they think this guy is going to be the Suzie Orman of investment.

Town’s investment philosophy is a combination of value investing while taking advantage of the highs and lows of the stock in the short-run. From what I’ve read he’s no ordinary speculator, but he does like to select high quality companies with bright futures using Graham-style valuation techniques and then take advantage of Mr. Market’s mood swings in the short-term. It sounds very interesting, which is why I’m looking forward to his book next quarter.

About INVESTools

INVESTools is an education company that sells training and web-based tools to bourgeoning investors. Their web portal, “Investor Toolbox,” which Phil Town recommends on his site, is a professional grade analysis portal similar to the free Reuters, Yahoo! Finance or MSN Money sites. Before going more in-depth with Investor Toolbox, let’s just briefly talk about commercial analysis software.

Why pay for access?
These days every variety of technical data is available to you, for free, online. However, companies like INVESTools offer commercial packages, such as Investor Toolbox, at a fairly substantial price. Reasonably, you may ask why such an expense is necessary if everything is available to you for free? While every manner of data about a company is available to you online, this data may be scattered across a handful of web sites, and if you choose not to pay for commercial software, you could waste valuable time searching this information out. Commercial software simply lets you be more productive and provides the kind of reports that afford quick, accurate decision making.

This is in no way an endorsement of Investor Toolbox specifically, just merely a point of fact. Businesses that revolve around advertising are more interested in showing you more ads, which may mean spreading information across more pages than necessary. However, businesses that revolve around subscriptions are more interested in keeping you happy and productive. Makes common sense, right? So if you are looking to invest seriously, seriously consider investing in tools that trims the fat and want to help you do your job well. Think of it this way, would you rather build a house with a $5 screwdriver or a $300 cordless drill? Now let’s talk about Investor Toolbox.

The Real Deal™ with Investor Toolbox
I’ve spent a lot of time over the last week investigating as thoroughly as possible anything I could find online about Investor Toolbox. Honestly, like Phil Town, there wasn’t much out there, but again, from what I could find, it looks pretty great. First I went to the INVESTools web site and ran through all the demos and articles provided for the Investor Toolbox. I have to say, if you can do everything they demonstrated, I’m very impressed. Again, I’ve seen a lot of what they provided on other ad-based sites like Reuters and Yahoo! Finance, however, not nearly as well designed, or in such an informative way.

As far as cost is concerned, there’s no real clear prices on the INVESTools web site, but what I gathered online was that the costs are as follows:

Investor Toolbox Pricing:
1-day Training Course: $1,000 (pay at the end only if you like it)
Subscription: $600/yr

The costs are fairly high, but after looking at two other similar products, it doesn’t seem that these prices are unheard of. As my father says, “You have to spend money to make money.”

Next, INVESTools is a publicly traded company which means that there is much less of a chance that this is a scam. Since financial records are public I decided to review the company’s financials on Reuters. The company doesn’t look to be in terribly good shape based on their financial statements, but they’re viable and their sales are growing rapidly, so that’s positive.

I also looked for third-party product reviews and competing products to Investor Toolbox and although I wasn’t able to find any reviews, per se, I was able to find two similar tools, MetaStock (a Reuters company) and TradeStation. I didn’t spend much time reviewing them, but from what I did see, their prices were in the same ballpark as Investor Toolbox, but neither looked as easy to use.

Finally, I did my best to look for reviews or complaints from users but was only able to turn up a post by TellitStraight on Google Groups which expressed discontentment about the price of the training courses and the fact that appearently much of the time during the training course is spent selling attendees on other training. Phil Town, who I have to give credit for being so proactive among the user community, agreed with the user’s compalint about INVESTools’ hard-sell approach and responded to the pricing issue by pointing out that professional tools, though expensive, make investors much more productive, which is absolutely true. Additionally, while looking for user feedback I found a number of user groups online at sites like MSN Groups for Investor Toolbox, which is always a nice fall back if you run into trouble.

Wrapping it up

When looking for advisors on matters of money, one should choose very carefully who he listens to. Though many think they know what they are talking about, few actually do. Much of choosing advisors involves listening skeptically and checking the facts. After all my research Phil Town seems to pass that test, but while I’m looking forward to finding out more what he has to say I have to remain skeptical. I am my money’s manager, and like a parent I never stop being concerned about it’s well being. I recommend taking a look at Town’s book when it comes out this March. You may just pick up a few practical words of wisdom that you haven’t found somewhere else.

Additionally, after looking at INVESTools Investor Toolbox (I wish it had a shorter name), I’m really impressed, and considering going through their training course. If it’s satisfaction guaranteed and you pay at the end only if you’re happy, then there’s very little downside, right? The tool provides a lot of great information that will be very useful in picking up on buy and sell signals in the market, and may be worth it to have a look yourself.

great article! thanks. it’s cool that somebody is putting info about phil and investools all in one place where others can find it.

I just bought the course from them – paying tomorrow, expect it to be here next week. I’ve gone through the materials already (my parents had the course first), and it looks like a great place to get started.

The $1053 course pack comes with 6 months of Investors Toolbox access, so I’m going to paper trade for 2 months until I’m comfortable, and then begin with real money. Goal? Not having to work by the end of the year 🙂

you should let phil town know about your progress if you reach your goal, Q – he likes to write about peoples’ success stories on his site. by the way, awesome goal. you should blog about it as you go. ; ) if you do, let us know where we can read about it.

I’m not sure where ypu got the figure of $1,000 for the training. I went to one of their free seminars. Not surprisingly it truned out to be an 3 hour infomercial. You cannot subscribe to the Investools Toolbox unless you take their training. I was told that two days of training or their CD self paced training was normally $5000.00, but for those attending the “seminar” that day, the price for both would be $2,999 including a six month subscription to the Toolbox which is $50poer month. So the traing and Cd set woulod cost $2,600. They offered a money back guarantee if you were unsatisfied at the end of the training, but that certainly seems a steep fee to be trained on their toolbox system.

I also attended a seminar today (Get Motivated Seminar which was awesome by the way). It included Phil Town who spoke about the Investools software. Everything seemed really great and simple to use, however, I was skeptical as I have attended other seminars in the past where everything seemed “too good to be true”. I then research them when I get home and find a bunch of bad posts about the program. This program, however, I haven’t found much info on in either direction or about Phil town for that matter. I am very interested in trying out the software but one thing that has really discouraged me are the supposed “deals” for signing up the day of the event. I really hate it when seminars do this, especially, when you find out that it really isn’t a “deal”. So my question is: Why so many different prices and why not just be upfront about the actual price? I realize you like to present a sense of urgency to get people to sign up before they go home and change their minds. It’s just reminiscent of other bait and switch programs and false deals.

In summary, if any knows (including the poster above) please confirm the price you have paid for this course. If someone from Investools (Chandra I think I spoke with you on live chat before I got disconnected) or Phil Town himself sees this, please post with more info.


Through BusinessWeek Mag’s website, you can attend a 4-hr introductory session for free. Investools also struck a deal with CyberTrader (Charles Schwab’s online daytrading arm) to provide discounted trading for Investools members to make trades directly from the Investools program into which the member is logged. I’m not a member yet, but Investools has solid business relationships with Charles Schwab, Success Mag, and BusinessWeek Mag. It appears that their business plan is to link their product through other subscriber companiesw where it appears that they are not in direct competition. Investools is a major Ad sponsor at Morningstar.com’s Stock page.

I was first exposed (not literally) to Phil Town and Investools at the GET MOTIVATED Tour, with the likes of Colin Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Suzie Orman, Zig Zigler. Phil Town was one of the speakers and offered attendees at the TD Waterhouse in Orlando (1/25/06) to sign up for a 2-day seminar and get the 233-page manual that explains in detail the Software, as well as 4 DVD’s that give the info in a visual format. The package was given at the conference, which surprised me; so, of course, I signed up…no strings attached. I keep the manual and videos, and I do not have to show up for a seminar. The two-day seminar is supposed to go into technical detail about how to use investools for your needs. The cost is $3k. The subscription being $600 annually. The free 4-hour seminar I suspect is a teaser, but the 2-day seminar is the nuts and bolts. I am not aware of any other training offered; so, I don’t think they are trying to milk you with training.

From what I’ve seen in the manual, this Investools is handsdown the most extensive andat the same time user-friendly stock-picking software I’ve ever seen. Like your article stated, all of the info is collected into one neat package to saqve time…and time is money, especially to fee-for-service professionals like myself. Additionally, the search engine and filters have most parameter’s set at recommended, time-tested values so that it automatically spits out the top 25 stocks to look at, then goes through another technical process to narrow the choices. It also gives updated news info on the stock, and holds the news for 90 days. And with a CyberTrader account, you can make your trades directly from Investools, without having to open another window to log into CyberTrader separately.

This appears to be the most sound investment system…but I’m not in it yet, so what do I know. I know that I found your article because I’ve been scrutinizing this thing hard. There’s a lot of garbage out there. I also looked at their corporate figures. Their gross profit and revenue numbers are great, but their net income is not…typical of a startup, lest we forget how long it took Amazon.com and eBay to return a net profit. Investools is spending a lot of money marketing for subscribers. And as we know, with a great product, the rest is upward history.

Once I’ve traded using Investools for several months, I’ll come back to let you know how it is.

I also attended the GET MOTIVATED seminar in Orlando (Jan 25, 2006). I was impressed with Phil Town’s presentation and signed up for the 2-day INVESTools seminar. They advertise the first day free and only pay the $2,000 if you stay for the second day. However, the paperwork I signed when I picked up the ‘free’ material says:

Attend the workshop at no risk. If you are not fully convinced that SUCCESS Magazines’ Investor Education can help you to achieve your financial goals, simply return your materials by the end of the first day of the workshop, and your credit card will never be charged!

I plan to attend the first day ‘for free’ but not the second day. My concern is this: If I open the DVD package, will they charge me?

Lee Barba of Investools emailed InvestorGeeks on January 22, 2006 in regards to the following statement in this article: “The company doesn’t look to be in terribly good shape based on their financial statements, but they’re viable and their sales are growing rapidly, so that’s positive.” While, our wording does place a judgement on the financial health of this company, with 5 years of actual net losses, and a debt-to-equity (D/E) ratio of 130% we believe our characterization was accurate. I have posted more information about pro forma results in my article “Pro forma Earnings.” What follows is Mr. Barba’s email:

Chris, I am the Chairman and CEO of INVESTools. We appreciate any and all commentary on our Company and our courses as we have a diverse community of over 200,000 graduates. Phil Town speaks for Success Magazine, only one of our distribution partners.

The only point I would like to make regarding your commentary is about our financials–INVESTools (AMEX: IED) is a very profitable Company and this is often misunderstood because of our deferred revenue accounting policy–in fact, we are a Harvard Business School Case Study on this point. We guide our investors to understand our financial progress by looking at a Reg G disclosure, a non-GAAP presentation of pro forma operating cash flow (all of this is in our Investor Relations package on our http://www.investools.com site).

I appreciate that if you are not an accountant this is somewhat arcane, but it is factually inaccurate to state that we are not profitable–we reported Q3 pro forma operating cash flow of $6.9mm or an approximately 17% return on sales.

I respect your opinion on our content and fulfillment, as we do all of our students. However, I did want to point out the inaccurate statement regarding our financial results. Our stock is approaching a 100x appreciation (yes, 100x) from the $.06 it rraded at 36 months ago….we have been one of the top performing AMEX stocks two years in a row and have some of the largest and best known mutual funds active in our stock, the surest sign that we are performing well against both our student and shareholder objectives.

It’s all about the student….


Lee Barba

These are some interesting posts. I have yet to find any however that post the success users of investools are having. If you have been wiht investools wiht great results, please send a note. As far as Phil Town I would have to give him 4 thumbs up as he has answered severak of my questions in a mentoring manner without any profit on his end. People like Phil are what this world needs giving knowledge without a chip on the shoulder that says I’m special and thus I’m rich. I do know a guy personally that uses Investools and from what I hear he gets a 6% return on his money monthly.
The key to investing is definetly part of rule #1 if not entirely. Finding a great stock at a discounted 50% because of market conditions is an all American idea I really dig that captures the heart of the truly studious investor that will not not succomb to gambling. God Bless. In him you will find salvation, joy, peace and prosperity.
Jake Man

i too am supposed to attend a certain seminar…my father had attended and he was pleased…i decieded to check up on thise software and these companies doing this trading stuff….id love to belive taht hes not gullable…..but i cannot find information that confirms nor denys this being a hoax…

thanks for the informations..and ill get back and inform you guys on how it goes…


A few days ago I attended an Investools 4 hour (free) seminar in Houston, Tx. One had to pay $2999 to get access to the online Investools software, a two day free training course and an instruction book. No other cost package was offered.

I think the $2999 fee is excessive so I passed on the opportunity.

Other comments posted at this site mentioned lower fees, which would probably interest me.

I too signed up at at a Get Motivated Seminar in Orlando, and yesterday went to Day 1, but opted out of Day 2. The bottom line is that after 8 hours I really didn’t know anything more about how to actually do online investing than I learned from Phil Town during his presenttion.

I did hear lots of anecdotes about the success of the instructor, ithe success of his wife, his son, their boat, their son’s Jaguar. etc. etc. They ask you to fill out an automatic renewal of the website subscription while you are there. One of the instructors said it was because a high percentage of people don’t renew after three months. In spite of all that, I plan to do enough research to make myself comfortable and if they really do have the best website, I may end up there yet.

Great that I came to this site and read through the article and each comment.

I went to the free seminar on 2/4 in Santa Clara, CA and also signed up for the $2999 education package including both on-line course, 2 days workshop and 6 months toolbox subscription. I still have some doubt about the education and the tools. Whatever the instructor said were just too good to be true.

From what I read from their brochure and their website, it looks like the training may be teaching us how to use their tools. Can anyone confirm? Thinking about if I shall skip the training and just play around the tools myself.

And I also want to find out the real price of the training. Is $2999 really a good deal? Q McFarlan mentioned he just spent $1000 something for the course and 6 months service. Not sure the same thing or not.

I just attended the get motivated Seminar in Sacramento and I too signed up for the Investing class. The class was offered at Sacramento and other valley locations for $1995. I signed up, firgured what the heck I can always back out and not be out anything. I don’t spend money with out doing my fair share of research so the first thing I did this evening was jump on the net and start looking for info on Phil Town and Invest tools. I found several blogs including phil’s and this one. The idea Phil presented makes sense to me. That old saying of “follow the money” came to mind when he talked about the big boys and the fact that they could move in and out of stocks quickly without making waves. If the big boys are moving, there is a reason. The stock market is a good ol’ boys club no matter how you look at it. Who gets the IPOs, the boys who invest A LOT of money with the various brokerages. Fund managers are in the know. I am going to do more research, read more, probably buy his book, skip out on the $1995 class. Thanks bloggers

Had the following chat conversation with an agent from Investools. Pleasantly surprised with the honesty. Changed the agents name to “Agent”, just to protect the innocent. The chat took 45 minutes. Mostly near the end, waiting for a reply.

info: Welcome to Live Chat! An online representative will be with you shortly. You are number 1 in the queue. Your wait time will be approximately 0 minute(s) and 30 seconds. Thank you for waiting.
info: You are now chatting with ‘Agent’
Agent: Welcome to the Admissions Live Chat. How may I assist you?
Investor: Hi. I attended the get motivated siminar yesterday and have a couple questions.
Agent: Okay.
Investor: Phil Town mentioned that we could go on the site and use the “play money” to see if we wanted to move forward. I want to do this but am concerned that if I open the softward and try it out, I own the $2000, regardless whether I like what I find or not. please advise.
Agent: You’ll be fine. You only have to pay if you attend both days of the workshop.
Agent: You can attend the first day and make your decision.
Investor: Not sure that is true. The paperwork I received says that if I am not 100% satisfied, just return the materials at the conclusion of the workshop for a full refund. That implies the end of the second day. Can you clarify?
Agent: That may be true. They just went to a 2-day format and so that makes sense. It used to be only one day, so you had the day to make a decision.
Investor: Agent, you are being very helpful. Just one more question. I immediatly googled your company and Phil Town and found several blogs. One of the most frequent complaints was that half of the training class (which I am paying for) is spent trying to sell me more and very expensive training. I want to take the course but do not have a vast amount of resources to throw at this. Can you comment? Thanks again.
Investor: Last Question while you type. If I cannot make the class or if I simply decide that this is not for me…..how do I return the materials? Would rather not have to drive to the class in that case.
Agent: You’ll need to call Student Services. That number is 1-800-693-7460 ext. 8014
Investor: for which question?
Agent: If you don’t make the class and need to return the materials.
Investor: Thank you. Can you address the first question? I am interested in the class but do not wish to pay $2000 to have someone attempt to sell me more. This is a common concern for your potential customers. In fact, even Phil stated in one of his posts that it is an issue. Just curious if that is trully the case. Please be honest. I am not wealthy and my time is valuable to me.
Agent: I will be right with you.
Investor: Thank you. Holding.
Agent: I’m back. Sorry about that.
Investor: No problem…I too am multi-tasking
Agent: You are free to open the materials and log on and use the site. I promise you will not be charged until you have attended the full workshop.
Agent: In fact, if you don’t show up, it is automatically considered a cancellation. But you should call the number I gave you to be sure and so you can send the materials back.
Investor: Will do. Any comment on the percentage of time the instructors use in trying to sell me more? I understand that I am asking a bit of a loaded question and your supervisor may be advising you to avoid it. If that is the case, I understand.
Agent: Thank you for waiting. I’ll be with you in just a moment.
Agent: I’m sorry for the delay. Thank you for your patience.
Investor: Not a problem. This is important to me. I appreciate your help.
Agent: I’m sorry for the delay. Thank you for your patience.
Agent: Sorry. I tried to get back before that happened.
Agent: I would guess about 30%
Investor: Thanks Agent. That is helpful. At least I will be going in knowing what to expect. I don’t suppose they tell you when they will be selling so you could show later to avoid it. Probably not. Have a great day.
Agent: You too. And no they don’t.


I just wanted to tell you that Phil Town’s publisher, Crown Publishing, has sent me an advance copy of his book coming out this March. I am currently reading the book and will post a review on this site.

Just called Success Magazine to cancel my attendance for the two day workshop in Sacramento. I explained that I did not want to attend and would like to know how I can return the materials. After being transfered 3 times, and waiting for 10-15 minutes on hold… I was finally given the address where to send back the materials. Should’ve done more research before signing up.

Just cancelled my attendance to the seminar and they asked if I wanted to do the home course. The customer service rep said “you can take the home course if you like for $995” Basically it is just keeping the material that comes in the box. She said the 4 DVDs in the box cover the same material they cover in the seminar. Ineresting that on the invoice for the seminar it says the 5 hour DVD set is $45.

I also went to the Sacramento Get Motivated Seminar and was impressed with Phil Town. He said things I have never heard before that make a lot of sense. But I am skeptical, and still debating what to do about Investools. In response to Hmmm, Comment # 18, what was the address to return the materials? It also seems the prices for Investools are all over the board. Check out the prices for INVESTools materials on EBAY – http://search.ebay.com//search/search.dll?from=R40&satitle=investools
I wonder if the Chairman of INVESTools would be willing to explain their pricing strategy? If I could access the tools and the training at an affordable price, I would really be interested. $2600, or $1995 or $995 is not affordable. however.

I’ve actually enrolled with Investools and I’m underwhelmed with the results. Here’s why: I’ve found potentially good stocks from their search results, of which there are many variables. Found several stocks that look like sure-fire winners according to their criteria; 3 green arrows/breaking thu ceiling/big volume, etc.
However, here’s the kicker where reality sets in.
If the stock does happen to rise that’s good; you might see a 10-11% gain (or the stock could just go down from there) and you set a stop loss per their teaching about 3% below the support….which is what you lock in! A loss or at best a significant decrease from the high. I’ve seen many of my stocks go up, but still no sell signal; when do you sell according to their program? Not until the stock drops down below support at which time, all previous gains have been wiped out.
In class, they’ll retroactivelylook at stocks that gained huge amounts and make it look so easy; but looking BACK at stocks IS easy in hindsight.
Invertool is sold as a can’t miss program, but that’s the marketing side. Very disappointing.

I’ve attended 2 workshops in the past two weeks. They are: 1) InvesTools and 2) Better Trades. I also ordered a manual sold by 3) Top Trader that teaches only Option trading.

1) It appears to me that InvesTools offers excellent software, although expensive, especially if you buy their full package. The basic software is $2999, and advanced software is an additional $5000 or $6000 (I forgot).

2) Top Trader teaches only Option trading. You may keep their manual for 30 days without cost. Instruction is provided only by phone. Sorry I forgot their price.

3) BetterTrades provides basic software plus training at a 2 day workshop and and textbook self training over a few days prior to the workshop. The cost is $3000. Their approach is to teach complex Option trading. Better Trades is the only company to offer full money back if you don’t make $9000 during the training period. However, the money back offer was not in writing. Practically the whole workshop jumped up to pay the $3000 after hearing of the money-back offer.

I would like to learn the InvesTools and the BetterTrade methods. It would be fun (and expensive) to sign up for both classes.

I also attended the GET MOTIVATED seminar in Orlando (Jan 25, 2006). I signed up and have attended the 2 day seminar, which cost me $2,000. It would have been risk free if I had returned the material at the seminar.

After that the investools software is $600 per year.
To continue your education with respect to equities traiding, you then have 3 coaching options – Associates (5K), Masters (11K), PHD (23K). yes that is thousands.

First let me say that the investools software does everything that it says it can do. I actually started using it before the seminar (between the GET MOTIVATED seminar date and the 2 day class date – 2 weeks) and made the 2k to pay for the seminar.

Second, the 2 day seminar does have heavy “infomercialism” (if that is a word) in it for the coaching options mentioned above. However after reviewing the software and the instructional model they are selling I will proceed with the PHD (23 K).

I believe in paying money to gain the knowledge on how to make money (teach a man to fish), I have made real money in real estate (no pun intended) here in florida, using similar instructional models. and I believe that I will have a 100% return on investment of this product within a year – and that leaves the rest of my life to profit from this education.

However, that being written, this is not a get rich fast product, if you are the type of individual who will NOT put the time to learn financial education (I’m talking at least 1/2 hour a day), you know the ones, join the Gym but never go. Then the coaching is not for you, the seminar is still worth going to.

If on the other hand you are serious about your financial education, then this is the product for you.
Yes you can get similar capabilities and probably free from various other sites, and learn the material on your own from books, but this product will facilitate you becoming a equities investor/trader in an accelerated time. (Again you have to do your part) It gives you the tools (Investool) and the structured knowledge (coaching programs). If I have done it with real estate, I know it can be done with stocks.

My wife and I are currently members of the Investools websitte and I can tell you categorically that it is NOT a scam or MLM type of get rich quick scheme by any means.

The higher “degrees” of educational programs they offer are designed in turn to give you greater returns on your investments. So as you invest more money into their system, you are expected to reap more financial rewards. They also have personal one-on-one coaching, on-line chat, and various other mentoring functions built into this thing.

My personal experience is that your success with this tool depends almost entirely on your dedication to learning how to use it effectively and efficiently.

All that said, the pricing is definitely steep and they do encourage you to upgrade to the higher levels of training during their seminars, so be prepared for that.

One of the benefits of charging these prices is in knowing that by putting some serious $ on the line you will be much more aggressive in your drive to reach your stated goals.

Remember, Phil Town didn’t get mentored by the unnamed investor for no good reason, Phil saved the dude’s life first. Nobody’s gonna just give you something of real value for nothing, it ALWAYS requires some sort of sacrifice…

We too, husband and I, are members of Investools. We became associated with them in 2004 when they were affiliated with CNBC. We have kept the website but have not gone on to the PHD level of education.
We like to trade options and enjoy the ease of their listings, prices and the greeks.

Over the year and a half plus- we have become more educated technically (self educated by reading and having another trader friend as a mentor of sorts) and have used other websites and software. Right now we like Telechart for their amazing charts and technical indicators. The Worden Brother notes included are also interesting. You can try it out for free for 30 days- lots of tutorials and scans available. We like metastock as well. They have a “game” function that allows you to test out your skills on a real stock with play money. You go long, short or neutral- no options in game mode though. We are also exploring tradestation as a trading platform. Very advanced and lots of variables can make it as simple or complex as you want. Professionals use it. If it weren’t for our trader friend, tradestation probably wouldn’t be considered for us.

Our current feeling on Investools is (and we could be wrong) is they utilize one basic trading method for their green and red arrows. Hence, you can miss out on moves and opportunities you may find elsewhere. I agree with what JH said earlier. It’s almost as if you are entering a position after the fact. But it was a good education for getting us started and we do like their website but there are others out there that take it to a different level.

I’ve seen a lot of different prices quoted for materials/education and the right to access the Investools website. The local seminar is 2999 and I was quoted 2195 for an online course. Does anyone have a line on where to get this for less money?


Try Ebay for the DVD’s and printed materials. But you will not get live instruction or access to the website- which is the main part of their deal. You can try to negotiate a lower price but I don’t know how that will turn out for you. Try Pristine.com for an awesome educational site. DVD’s can be had on Ebay for sure.

John, thanks for your comment. I’ve looked at the Ebay stuff and after talking to an Investools rep, it is clear that you cannot extend the subscription that someone else might sell with their books/dvds. So that is out. I really like the site and would gladly pay the fifty bucks a month to use, but the initiation fee is pretty steep, and some people posted lower numbers in this thread. The best number I can find is 2.2K.

I don’t have a comment so much as a question. Recently, I have also come across another data/charting/analysis software called TC2000. Does anyone have any experience with this? How does it compare to Investools? Some chatrooms compare it favorably to Metastock and Tradestation.

I attended a Get Motivated seminar, bought the Investools for $995 and attended a one day Success Magazine seminar last fall. The one day class was 30-35% infomercial for their higher priced products. I just purchased the basis package at the $995. I papertraded for one month or so and then made the cost of the course back on my first trade (130% profit). I haven’t had the courage to place big money trades yet, largest about $1,200. Made one very stupid mistake, got a little cocky but have learned a lot. I have only bought options so far and believe Investools is a very sound product. I have spent a lot of time in self-education, confused the heck out of myself by looking at too much information, but am developing what I think is a good, basic trading strategy. The logic behind Phil Town’s Rule #1 investing is tough to find fault in. There are no gaurantees but if you can stay disciplined and only purchase stocks/options that meet your criteria your exposure to loss is relatively small. One comment on a post by JH on 2/15: When you first purchase a stock you place a stop to prevent a loss. If the stock price goes down your loss is limited. When the price goes up and you get into a profitable position you then move your stop up or set a trailing stop so you will not lose your profits. You don’t leave the original stop in place. It sounds like you quit reading too soon. INvestools is a very sound, legitimate product. I just purchased the Basic Options materials off eBay for $300. I think that by being self-taught you learn better and probably more.

INVESTools (INVS) and InvesTools (IED). Maybe that’s the confusion on prices. I signed up for the 2 day live plus DVD course and 6 mo free deal. Lots of education built into the website, no additional cost. First day, today, of seminar very good. VERY good day. I thought would be just boringly going over where to find what on the site, but it was all about what info and how to use it – not nearly as basic as I had assumed. I did not think they did an over amount of selling, though further training was, of course, mentioned. But that’s ok. They gave out a brochure on further classes, so we don’t have to spend much time on it tomorrow, when they will go over prices. I say that’s reasonable.I was just surfing to find cost of further options training – but guess can wait til tomorrow!

Rosalie, I’d love to know the price you are quoted. I signed up for the two day seminar and quit at the end of the day to get the full refund because, though I found the method and the web site very good, I didn’t want to part with $2995. Since then, I’ve found that I can buy for $2200 including 6 months of the web site. That is still a big up front fee, compared to what Snowshoe got for $995 last year. I would sign up if I could find it for $995.

Where did snowshoe attended the get motivated program and on what date? $995 is a different price than what is being quoted today.


When the initial $2-3000 training and software package is purchased, does that include coaching?
And can purchase of online, no seminar, package be made? I haven’t been able to find online course offering on their website.

I just signed up for the Investools 2 day course for $1999 and the 6 month subscription. I’m getting some good info from this blog.. sort of eases my doubts a little. One thing though that I may have missed is where to get the login access for the site. I was told that would be in the package, but I don’t see where. Can I call them up and get it, or is it somewhere I missed? Anyone know this info?

Better Trades does fraudulent advertising from TV ads which lure people by supposed great “system” and ease, where one does not have to use their actual money at first. . At initial seminar, one is told that they will learn paper trades after 2 day seminar (lie #1), that a kid can do it (unless genius, lie #2), and that $3000 is all one needs to spend (lie#3, you really need $6000 more) and final catchall or “trap” is that they refund the money with no loopholes guarantee that is chock full of loopholes too complex for victim to get money back from them… I NEVER GOT MY MONEY BACK FROM BETTER TRADES……IF YOU ARE AN EXPERIENCED OPTIONS TRADER, this might work for you……However MOST WHAT THEY USE YOU CAN GET FOR FREE with OptionsXpress…….. See Ripoff Report for similiarity with Optionetics scam .

P.S. Buyer Beware……………Most of the students from Better Trades are telling me they felt taken, but alot bit the software bullet and are still trying to figure it out!!!……….Very few have actually MADE MONEY…..even students who have traveled to the constant “education” $99 seminars, included with original package….”Whoopie”…………I would only be somewhat impressed and give rebuttal if they actually paid me back for lying in the first place……………

This is a great site for information on Phil Town and Investtools workshop.
I did attend one of the GetMotivated Seminars in Ft. Lauderdale, and they are promoting the Success Magazine Investor Workshop.
Yes the price being quoted for the 1 day session is 995
which includes.
Workshop – 950
DVD Library – 45
6 months access – Free
Spouse – Free.

Thanks to the folks who have treaded this path earlier and their feedback helped me to look forward as to what the training is going to offer. Also an opportunity to mention that although you might attend a class and get knowledge, end of the day, its practice, patience and determination which gets you to the goal. Just think of like driving a car, you dont become a race car driver, by driving a ferrari or a days training.
Me and my wife are going to the session tomorrow, will provide an update after the session is complete.

thanks to everyone who has posted….

i’m a student a. without $2995 to pay for the investools site and b. with plenty of time to do independent research. for those of you that are doing investools, would it be possible to find similar information and do most of the same stuff using a couple of cheaper (or free) sites and a 1-2 hour chunk of time everyday?

i only ask because i’m not sure if the idea behind investools is just taking a lot of good info and putting in one place OR if investools has some “new idea” that i absolutely have to get in on. thanks in advance for your thoughts.

For those who really wish to learn…

The markets are dynamic, meaning they change by expanding and contracting. No “canned” progrom is going to be consistant! What works onetime may be totally different the next.

You must develop you “own system” and its going to take years to come up with it. There is just no getting around it… period!

You’ll need to learn how the fundemental side works and how the techincal works as well. Only you can decide how the combination will work.

Some suggestions for the technical side of study would be… Elliottwave Theory, Cycle theory… based on time & price squared, W.D. Gann theory and numerous nonredundant ocsillators. Learn to work in nonredundant types of analysis that will give you a clear indication of where the market is going and you will be a winner.

Remember 90% of the traders lose and only 10% win in the long haul. If you want to be one of the 10%… build your own system.

It takes time and total dedication to be the 10%… Most people just think its easy, well don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Good luck on your journey… should you decide to take it.

I just attended the Success Magazine Investools 1 day seminar yesterday here in Parkland (Ft. Lauderdale), FL. It is true that they want you to move on to their Associate (5k) Masters (12k) or PhD (24k) program, however, I decided to just try out the site with the basic subscription. This cost me $995 and includes the 4 dvd set, manual and access to the site for 6 months. The class yesterday was very informative. I learned enought to place an options trade last night. I will let you know how I do in a few days. Investools is not a scam. It may be pricey, but not a scam at all. The extra education will help teach you to make money even if a stock is going down. Bottom line, don’t get hung up on the fact that they are trying to sell you more, you should really be looking at what you can do with the product and then decide if it’s worth the money for you. I only have $500 in the options trade that I just did, so look for another post from me and I will let you know how I do.

Having recently read his book, Rule#1, I can honestly say the guy is truthful, and not out to scam you. I have read zillions of other investment books, and his is truly a decent read. You owe it to yourself to check it out. And by the way, he pushes the use of free sites in his book……
Good luck in your goals

I’m reading the Book, Rule#1, so far i think it’s very good, (not a get rich quick day trade thing, but longer term, which after doing both i know long term makes much more sense for most of us).

I went to the investTools sales seminar but passed on the course. It sounded a little too black box, (green arrows / red arrows).

Also, I’m turned off by Options schemes. I suppose some folks make money doing them, but I’m not that smart. I think you can do the same with stocks. If you think it’s going up why not just own the stock? Or if it’s going sideways why own the stock for a coverd put/call?

If you want leverage use futures, single stock or broad index like Russell 2000 (which have way better tax implications on index trades).

I’d love to hear more about the investTools site, and how it compares to Telechart, and Vectorvest, (both excellent stock search tools).

I use tradestation for my broker. It can do everything you can think of for trading, Including development of black box trading programs. But it isn’t so great for sorting stocks based on fundementals.

(BTW, I like this blog, thanks!!)

I attended Get Motivated seminar this Thursday and came out with nothing. This was all about making money and buying their products. I like Phil’s speaking but I did not buy his program for $995. I think it was too much and he is the one who is making money not the public. I started research on him and found this blog. I am so glad that I did not go to his 995 seminar after reading these comments. I know information is not free, but their price is too high. They are talking about helping people, actualy they are helping themself to become rich.


We just attened the FT Lauderdale workshop 2 weeks ago. We did not purchase the program then, because we wanted to do more research into the whole package. We are particularly interested in the PH.D program,but before dropping 20k+ I called to see exactly what you are getting. Basically 30 1 on 1 telephone classes with an instructor and 2 years membership for the toolbox. There are several classes which intrest me like advance option trading, and some super support. I would love to hear from someone who has graduated from the PHD class and how it helped or didn’t help them. Was itworth 26K or isthe masters for 13k sufficient, or is that too much. I too believe that knowledge is worth a price and once taught, those tools will be with you even after the toolbox has had its run.
Great board by the way

Can anyone explain the red and green arrows??? I got all 3 green arrows for Lowes and the stock price went down….having a hard time understanding that….It seems too easy to just follow the arrows….Anyway, I am going to a free seminar for Investools in July….Do they show you how to use the arrows in the free seminar??? My guess is they don’t…

Great blog – thank you to all. I am going to the free INVESTools seminar next week…..want to learn….don’t want to lose…hate hype and hard sell, so we will see how I do.

There is a not-for-profit group called Investors Alliance. They have very good software for fundamental and technical trading. They also have lots of information on their website to educate you. You have to do the reading yourself, and it does not have green and red arrows, but it does have 13 years of financial statements on every publically traded company, and every significant technical trading tool you can find plus the tick data to use them. It all costs about $200/year and there is no up front training fee. I’ve written about them on my blog, http://www.growyourfunds.com. You can find them at their website, http://powerinvestor.com. Look for their Power Investor (fundamental trading) and Power Tech (technical trading.)

I attended Get Motivated seminar this Monday and thought that it was pretty good. I liked Phil’s speaking and bought his program for $995. I have the one day workshop on Saturday, and I am looking forward to it. I have gone though the book and have started using the tools today. Everything sounds and looks simple enough. After this Saturday I plan on using the virtual option for a couple months and then start using real cash with Scott Trade. If I can’t recoup the $995 invest in the first six months I will just count my losses and move on. I have already used the information to help one of my wealthy friends on an 80,000 investment he made. I will repost and let everyone know how the one day event went and if I feel it is worth your money!

There have been a lot of questions about what is the real price for INVESTools beyond the free event. I went to a free 3-hour event in Kansas City. I had watched the infomercial and it seemed to be solid, but they didn’t mention price, and I knew there had to be one. So I sat through their sales pitch and their samples of how easy it is to pick stocks that go up. At the end they gave us the pitch that ended up at a “get it today only” $2999. This included access to the Investors Toolbox, an on-line course that could be done at your own pace, and a two-day course that you’d have to attend at some place later announced.

I decided I couldn’t afford to attend now, but now I was armed with what it cost. About a week later I was contacted by someone at INVESTools to see if I was still interested in the $2999 option. I explained that I couldn’t afford it. So he offered me an option at $2199. Then he offered me one at $599. The $599 included three months access to the Investor Toolbox, three online coaching sessions, and one month access to their hotline. If at the end of the three months I choose to proceed the $599 will apply toward that. This option, I believe, is to let you “get your feet wet” while not giving away a whole lot.

In case you don’t know this already, the red and green arrows are not the only thing used to select stocks. There are about six other criteria that should be met (according to their instructions) before you pick the stocks that you are going to invest in. And no, after going to free event you aren’t prepared to pick stocks to buy with real money.

Someone asked about when do you sell. When you purchase a stock you are instructed to purchase a stop loss which gives you the possible 3% before it sells the stock for you. If your stock goes up and up, you are supposed to reset your stop loss to protect what you’ve earned. Obviously, if you don’t reset your stop loss you have nothing protected and it could drop until you’ve lost all that you’ve gained.

In my paper trading (which I was instructed to do in the coaching sessions I got for my $599) I purchased four stocks. One stock I bought according to what I knew at the time, and it dropped like a rock. It’s been in the red most of the time I’ve had it although it has popped $10-20 into the green occasionally. Two of them have gains in the range of 2-4%, and the fourth one has gained 52%. Obviously the one with the big drop was one I purchased before I learned about stop loss orders. Since it’s just a paper transaction, I’ve been watching it rather than getting rid of it.

I hope this has been informative for you with the questions. I’m now considering whether to go for more training or to let my $599 be “the experience.”

I find these posts very interesting. After attending this weeks wealth expo with donald trump and many other big guys. I attended this seminar and it seemed interesting. Almost every post here said the classes and training were $1995, but this time he was asking $955 for the entire parkage.

It looked good, but too good to be true? Maybe.

I attended the Get Motivated seminar in Des Moines on May 1st. Signed up for the one day seminar for $995, including 6 months of the Investools website. The seminar was packed with information. I am now viewing the DVDs and they are very similar to the in person seminar, although a little more detailed in places. I will purchase future seminars on ebay and skip the coaching.

I read Phil Town’s book in two days–it’s good. Well written, very readable. By the way, Investools is not Phil Town’s company; it is merely one of the commercial online tool companies that he endorses as being more convenient than the free ones he talks about in his book. Maybe he gets a commission for demonstrating their website when he speaks, but he definitely is not an officer or founder of the company. In fact, the trading styles recommended by Investools, such as options trading, is not at all what Phil Town himself recommends in his book, Rule #1. That book is about investing in stocks only.

I just attended a seminar in Springfield, VA,
and it looks pricey for such a training.
I wouldn’t mind paying $50 per month with decent return but here’s the questions:
If they are so sure that all of us will make money, why don’t they charge a part of $2,999 for training the moment when you make money as a proof you can do it, otherwise they don’t really teach you anything there.
I have to say the criteria they suggest you you should be loking at do look reasonable.


I attended the get motivated seminar in San Antonio Tx in mid May and was intereseted in the program endoresed by Phil Town. For $995 (a special price; normaly costing $4000+) you were given about a 2 week period to view the information CD on PC included video of how to use some of the software but not everything was covered.
The day long workshop was good, but they do “butter you up” for the sale. and holy cow do they try to upsale! depending on the amount of coaching, 1 on 1 time with senior investors, and education that you wanted extra you could spend between , $5K for associate level 12K for master level or $25k for PHD level!
(K = 1000)
No kidding. I saw the invoices laying on the table at the Westin Motel at La cantera Blvd on 6/3/06

I admit that these were some rich folk and could afford it. I had a hard time parting with the $1K and still haven’t. But after speaking with family and friends I feel encouraged to do it. If i had $20,000
I would have spent the $1,000 and invested the rest. but I only have about 1k-3k to work with.

I attended a Get Motivated workshop some time ago in St. Louis and signed up to go to a seminar. The folks were really nice, but I needed to have a credit card (which I understand for business purposes on their end). At that time, I was looking at about $1k. The downfall, I was just recently unemployed and didn’t have the dough and my unemployment hadn’t kicked in. I’ve been trading using http://www.investorsleague.com which uses fake money to help you with your investment strategies (although all stocks are not listed and you don’t get as many tools). However, it’s a great site for the ‘I never invested in stock in my life and am just curious on learning how’ person.

I know I heard one person who invested $1k by the time they had to go to the seminar (between Get Motivated and InvesTools seminar) and that was a really cool idea. I never thought of doing that. I guess the key is to make use of what you’ve got when you’ve got it while you’ve got it.

I attended one of the “Get Motivated” seminars last fall, and was intrigued by Phil’s pitch. It did not seem to be a big hoax, but I’m a big skeptic, so I took it slow.

A friend that went with me signed up for the seminar, and got the three month trial of the website service. Being a skeptic, I didn’t sign up, but I borrowed his website login to tinker with some investments. I was impressed.

One of the recommendations gained over 30% in the few months that I held it. (OSK, bought 23 @ $42 in October, Sold at $61 in April) I made $500, over half of the cost of the seminar.

So I decided that if I could make $400 with a thousand dollar investment, that I could recoup the cost of the class in a hurry. I made the decision to sign up for the initial training and get my 6 months access to the website.

I was dismayed when I went to the website to sign up, and the price had changed. It is now $2995 to go to the training and get on the site. I was floored! On what basis are they tripling the price? Did they raise it across the board, or just for “special” people?

Well, three grand is more than I’m willing to spend on something that was one grand a few months ago… If they decide on what the ACTUAL price is, I’ll sign up immediately. But unless there’s a coupon somewhere, I’ll wait.

I have been a student of Investools since last July. I went to the Get Motivated seminar, split the cost of the “1 day class” with a friend, went to the class knowing it was a pitch, and to my surprise, I signed up for the PhD program.

I made the leap because I saw the potential. I took a second mortgage on my house to pay for it, and haven’t had one regret since then. I have travelled across the country attending advanced seminars, found existing user groups with whom to exchange ideas, started a daily trading room so that those of us who’ve become students can trade together, and have found that I am teaching others in these groups what I have learned.

I closed my own business in October, and have been so successful with the tools I’ve learned from Investools, that my husband will be leaving his job in September.

Now, to be perfectly clear, I did have some money that I inherited, so I’m not doing this with an initial portfolio of 5K, but I don’t have so much money that I could afford to lose my initial investment of 23K.

My “one-on-one” coach has been absolutely terrific, and though we are finished with our coaching, we stay in close contact.

Investools has also changed the one-on-one coaching program, and the change is a really positive one. They offer a weekly talk with one of their best coaches, and quite frankly, the most sought after (This is for “masters” students), and for the advanced classes, instead of a coach, there are 12 classes a week offered, lasting about 1 hour or so. These are by far the best thing that I have found the company to offer… You can attend the same class over and over again until you completely understand the topic (Price Patterns, Credit Spreads, Backtesting, etc.). It is comprehensive, and while I have not attended most of them yet, I’ve been to each of them at least once… I’m just taking my time so that I can become an expert in each of them.

Investools is not for the lazy. I’m lazy and that is why I jumped in for the whole package. I knew that if the investment was a risk (and hurt), that I would work VERY HARD to make that money back. I have done that. While I could have paid my 2nd mortgage off by now (7 months later), I have chosen to keep that money in my brokerage account so that I can leverage it to make enough to pay off my 1st mortgage as well.

I knew very little about investing, nothing about stop losses, and absolutely had never heard of options before. Today I trade options on the S&P 500. Since March 1st, I tripled my money (that which I set aside to invest in this underlying), lost it all, and made 1/2 of those profits back in the last couple of trading days.

Investools is a powerful resource if you are willing to make the committment to learn. The thing I would say that is the most misleading is that they say that you can learn to trade in about 30 minutes a day. i would say that if you focus on learning the software, the techniques and study the stocks you’d like to trade, that after a few months of studying 2-3 hours/day that you can trade and manage your trades in about 1 hour/day. I happen to love watching the market through the day, have the time, and choose to do that… . So, I think, my education has been accelerated. I’m successful because I am treating this like my own business. Working full time, and frankly disappointed that the markets are closed over the weekends.

This has been a great experience, and one that I have enthusiastically recommended to friends. Most never ask how it’s going, but in Sept., when they realize that neither of us is working, they may catch on. I have surrounded myself with other students as eager to learn as I, and also as committed as my husband and I are to leaving the “rat race”. They are the new friends on whom I’ve come to rely. We are all committed to trading full time, and we have Investools to thank for bringing us together. The company has allowed us to change our lives. You just have to be willing to invest in yourself.

I hope LisaMA isn’t part of the investool infomercial. I attended their seminar yesterday and was so hooked so I registered to their $2999 2-day workshops. I am doing my research now and knowing that they have tripled the price raised doubt in my mind if I should go through with this. I haven’t checked the kit yet and I will today. They say we can only bring one family member to this program, I wonder if they will pursue this policy if I, say, bring my friend so we can split the cost. Does anybody know about this? I want to weigh all the pros and cons before deciding to go through with this. But if there is a chance for cheaper ways to go to their training programs I would love to know. Thanks for this blog. I also was interested in James Smith real estate investing pitch but there were some bad reviews on his classes on the net. Does anybody know anything about this guy? He seems like a decent guy from what he said but then you never know with salespeople. I am always skeptical of them.

I appreciate your concern, but no, I’m nothing more than a student of Investools… I’ve never even seen the infomercial. Ha ha… I’ve just made it work for me. Good luck with your decision.

As per the family member thing, I signed up before this was enforced… the problem with signing up with a friend is that only one of you can use the software (website) at a time, so you might find that inconvenient.

You might also just try calling them to see what other options there are. I know they offer an online training instead of the live traingings, but I find the live trainings helpful because they use “live” examples… they are online while the market is open.

Thanks, LisaMA. And unfortunately I won’t have the resources to go on the PHD program you did. Do we still need use a separate software after the training to access the website or just the website? Can we share password with a group of people (on the condition of course we don’t use it at the same time)? Can we use the service using different computers? thanks again

Lisa, I have signed up for the PhD program in the SF Bay area. Since I am just starting am overwhelmed, how do you find a help group at the beginning level to work with?

Tom, I would love too see how you progress though the PHD coarse. I attended their Seminar in Reno yesterday. I had to leave to pick up my kids so I did not sign up to the two day session.


I attended the Get Motivated/Investools 1 day $995 seminar in Mid May in San Antonio and purchased the $12k Masters program. I am interested in anyone in the SA area who would like to work together to learn this new skill set.

LisaMA – can I join your daily trading room?


To all who are interested in finding good local groups… go to the Investools site, support tab, user group search… http://pro.success.investortoolbox.com/smt/support/user_group.asp
enter the state where you are, and you’ll be able to find a group in your area… The Investools site has a good message board going, but you can also do a Yahoo search for some of the other Investools sites that have user groups.

Only people in the general MA, NH, RI area are in our group, but there are a lot of resources online. Good luck, and if you need anymore help, just let me know…


Great blog.
I hope I’m adding some value with this post. I attended the Get Motivated seminar in Denver and signed up for the $995 seminar. I’m a skeptic, and decided to do some research on the investools prior to the seminar but didn’t have enough time to do the research that I wanted to do.
I decided not to attend. I called investools and I sent the package back. My credit card was never charged (that made me feel better about whether or not it was a scam).

A couple of co-workers were able to attend and really really liked it. One of which went for the PhD program.

This is what I’ve found on pricing for the starter packages from talking with customer service a few times and talking with my co-workers.

1. The $995 Get Motivated package is geared towards the lower price point. With this you only get Gold Access to the website. I was told by customer service that with the gold access you aren’t able to see Options. This gives you the 5-step program and 6 months of website access.I was told to upgrade to the platitum access from the gold it was going to be $1995.

2. At $2199 you receive platinum access, online instruction, dvd set and 6 month access. I don’t know about live coaching. This is self-study.

3. At $2999 you attend a 2-day seminar, receive access to Platinum, 5-step, minimal coaching, and 6 months access.

From what I have found out, if you pay less at first, you’ll pay more to catch up if you decide to get more education.

I hope this helps someoneeee out. I think I may call them back and see if I can try out the $599 starter package (that MaryB spoke of) that later applies to the $2199 price. May be a good way to go.

I would love to hear more stories on success and failures with the system.


hi, i went to the InvesTools class yesterday and was given a free book. i had not opened up my package yet. now that i have the free book, why should i pay the $995, i just don’t get it … if the website subscription is $600 per year, who wants to pay $995 for free materials ??? am i missing something, someone Please enlighten me!

thank you!

Everybody is writing about the price of the seminar, and the tools, but nobody is writing about there experience with investools. I really would like to know if there are people who acually make money with investools. bye

good website – lots of info.
question for those who are using this software or who know much about it –
there are six rules for picking the stocks right – what are these six rules? i mean, if we know the rules/guidelines that investools follows, then yes, we will have to hunt for the stocks ourselves (as opposed to the software doing it for us for 3K), but that might be worth a shot – any kind hearted souls out there?

also referring to comment #50 – Al Woods – you mentioned a website http://[email protected] I couldnt get to it for some reason. did any of you get to it or know the right address?

thanks a lot

I just signed up for the $2999. The gal I was working with told me if I did not sign up right away I would be paying 10% more.

I then went to the website after the next day and the price was the same. I am skeptical and I am researching to know if I should cancel.

Anyone in Denver attend the 3 hour infomercial? Let me know your thoughts and if you signed up and found the same.

the people on this board are way to concerned with price…if you are afraid to make an investment in youself, then this is not the right tool for you. You should focus on your own career or job and try and get a raise, b/c that will be free to you…

For others, i believe that you should consider what an education costs these days. Going to college on avg costs almost 20k per yer (for tuition alone). And the cost of college is growing faster than the rate of inflation.

To purchase Investools course is roughly $3k upfront (includes 1st yr subscription) and will last a lifetime. You will only have an additional $600 per yr to continue your subscription. All in all, its more cost affective than attending a pricey college (which will never teach you how to invest in the stock market).

Also, if you buy the tools with the idea that you will get rich in 1 yr or will be able to leave your job in 1 yr, those goals are unrealistic. But you will DEFINITELY be able to augment your current income. THere is no doubt that i have been able to improve my investing (long term) and trading (short term) in the stock market. But it takes some effort on your part and some trust in the tools (like any other system). But you will make money in the market.

Good luck, I personally believe the education is worth every penny and more! I spent the money for the master program and use the system for all my trades. it takes me about 5 hrs per week to do all the research needed on their toolbox website. I highly recommend it if you are the kind of person who will put in at least 5 hrs / wk to learn the ins and outs of the stock market and their system…Also, i do recommend joining the user groups within the toolbox once you sign up, they will help you learn how to use the system…Also, Yahoo Groups has over 150 user groups for us Toolbox users, which will help you immensely.

This is just my opinion…and you are entitled to yours as well…just trying to be helpful for those “on the fence” people who see the value in the system but are doing some research before pulling the trigger….

I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m not concerned with the price… I’m concerned with being ripped off.

I am always excited to have a chance to make an investment in myself. However, I am not excited to pay $3000 when someone else pays $995. Or when you pay $2,000 today and $4,000 tomorrow. That would make me feel like a sucker, and I don’t like feeling like a sucker.

This is not a sign of a big, stable company… This is a sign of a one man show that pays salespeople different commissions. If they can get their act together, I’ll get on board. But if they have a SPECIAL OFFER, TODAY ONLY!!! then they’re in the same category as the car dealership on the corner, or Carlton Sheets on a late night infomercial.

My understanding is that most of the reason that many on this board are quoting different prices is two-fold.

1) Investools continues to raise its prices for the 2 day seminar.

2) Investools does have some price discounts IF you goto the Get Motivated training and sign up for the 1 day Investools training for $995. Be clear that you dont get all the functionality that the higher priced 3k (and two day seminar) will get you….

So different products and different price points and they have been increasing every 6 months from what i can tell.

I dont think you are getting ripped off if it helps you manage you investments wisely over a long period of time.

Hello All,
I just completed a two day seminar for Investools. It was very awesome and very informative. He spent no time telling of the advanced classes other than asking us to go talk with the other reps. to discuss this. He explained what they offered, but took very little time on it. The two day class was jam packed with infomation like crazy. I spoke with my accountant today and although he discouraged me from continuing or trying any of this on my own, he was impressed with my new knowledge. I have come from knowing nothing about trading to having a firm foundation to start from.
For me it was worth every dime. As I move through this first phase, I will continue to educate myself.

I’m going to be attending the 2-day workshop in San Diego this weekend. I haven’t decided yet if I will be taking the early out offered at the end of the first day, i.e. if I don’t like what I hear that day I can depart without paying the 3K. I have been exploring the INVESTools website and find it very impressive but then I’m just a novice. My initial feeling about this service is it may be a way for somebody with just a little knowledge, that would be me, of the stock market to get an education with some continued coaching. I think if you are already a savvy investor all the information that they are offering is already out there and most of it is free. The difference is you have to sift through it and come up with your own green arrows and etc. This program may be just what I need to get more fully involved in my financial future. I will give a follow-up message after the 2-day seminar has concluded.

Thank you all for posting,


Proof is in the pudding. Phil needs to publish his brokerage trade confirmations before I’ll believe anything out of his charismatic presentation. FULL DISCLOSURE is the price of my trust. He hasn’t paid that yet. The successful traders that I know GLADLY publish their accomplishments.

If you buy any subscription without proof, you are a damned fool and you deserve to lose your money. A fool and his money are easily parted.

All I’m reading are people going to the first seminar, finding out the price and bad mouthing the investools system. Whats up with that?? What did you think before you went to the seminar?? There are approx 3 that have used the system on this site and all of them like it. This is out of almost 90 comments. Is there any more using investools system? All I’m reading is negative from people who haven’t experienced using the investools system? This is an investment you can make back if you work hard and gain knowledge from using the system. Charles Schwab is teaming up with investools for a reason. I don’t think CS would ruin their reputation with a company that wasn’t on the up and up. Please if there are people who have used and gone thru the program could you leave a comment, Thank you!!!! And yes, I do think it is expensive but so is college and you don’t have near the up side potential, like freedom to work where you want as long as you have internet access, as you do with investools, if you work hard. There are people who are still paying off their college education after 10 to 15 years?? Think about this for an education bill, $100,000 – $150,000 after 5 years.

I attended the 2-day Stocks workshop and to my surprise I signed up for the PhD program. They convinced me that I could do this and take control of my financial future. As I’ve continued in this PhD program it has definitely reinforced my belief that INVESTools is very worthwhile. I think that even experienced investors could benefit from this program. The 2-day Stocks course probably could have been completed in one day which means that the remaining time was spent selling you on the more advanced programs. It worked on me but more importantly I believe it was the right decision.

Good luck to you all,


Easy to make money in a 5 year bull market until last May/June. Sounds like mostly people caught up in the hype and dreams of making big money. Not a lot of reality here but hey if you have entertainment money why not try another infomercial (to make money) mental-exercise equipment? Yeah all the professional traders and advisors out there who have professional tools and are advising us still seem to have trouble making money the easy way or any way at all. Why is that?

I attended the one day(3 hours) training/sales class in Chicago this month. (August, 2006) The sales/training class was well presented and they mentioned numerous times that the toolbox is no qurantee to make money and they are not stock advisors. Just instructors for the Investools web based toolbox. The cost is $2,000 for a two day training session plus $300 every six months for access to the toolbox. There program sounds too good to be true. I do not know. There money back qurantee is as follows. You pay the $2000 before you leave the one day sales/training session. That will get you a password for the toolbox website for one week prior to the start of the two day class. If at the end of the 1st training session you are not satisfied with the program you return all their training material and your moneyh is surpose to be returned. The problem I have with the gurantee / Toolbox is that one week is not enough time to test it for satisfaction. If they were that sure of the program, I feel they would give a two or three month money back gurantee. If it works, you would be crazy to return it. If it does not work, the time period should be suffcient to determine that too. Oh, by the way they have many other classes after the entry level two class for you to attend in the future.

The Investools website says they have 248,000 graduates and 83,700 subscribers. That’s 164,300 dissatisfied customers (66%). Would you do business with a company like that? Not me.

They have 87 seminars scheduled across the country in Sept and Oct alone. That’s over 500 per year. I suspect a large portion of the current subscribers they brag about were seminar goers in the last 12 months whos subscriptions are inactive but not yet expired. I would like to know how many continue with the program year after year; but they don’t tell you that.


You are not correctly portraying those numbers that you quote. First off, everyone who signs up can be bring a friend or a spouse, as i did, for FREE. The 248,000 graduates include many unpaid free spouses. However, their household (like mine) only has one toolbox subscription, but both me and my wife got a graduation certificate…

Also, secondly, many graduates go on to take higher level courses. Investools is double counting someone who takes the entry level course and graduates from that “degree’ and
then, if they go on to take the Phd, they graduate from that and get counted by Investools again, and they receive a second graduation certificate.

They have an investor presentation from their website http://www.investools.com that explains their sign up and re-sign up rates. SO YOU CAN DRW YOU OWN CONCLUSIONS.

goto investor relations and then click on webcasts and presentations (on the right). You will see a PDF file titled Investor presentation that explains that their resign up rate of toolbox users is 80%. So they DO tell you that number, contrary to what you state. See link below.


Get you facts straight before you pop off with your jibberish!

I use the product and have been extremely satisfied with it!


You are not correctly portraying those numbers that you quote. First off, everyone who signs up can be bring a friend or a spouse, as i did, for FREE. The 248,000 graduates include many unpaid free spouses. However, their household (like mine) only has one toolbox subscription, but both me and my wife got a graduation certificate…

Also, secondly, many graduates go on to take higher level courses. Investools is double counting someone who takes the entry level course and graduates from that “degree’ and
then, if they go on to take the Phd, they graduate from that and get counted by Investools again, and they receive a second graduation certificate.

They have an investor presentation from their website http://www.investools.com that explains their sign up and re-sign up rates. SO YOU CAN DRAW YOU OWN CONCLUSIONS.

goto investor relations and then click on webcasts and presentations (on the right). You will see a PDF file titled Investor presentation that explains that their resign up rate of toolbox users is 80%. So they DO tell you that number, contrary to what you state. See link below.


Get you facts straight before you pop off with your jibberish!

I use the product and have been extremely satisfied with it!

I went to the free seminar, paid the $1900 on credit card for a user id and password. My first workshop day is in 5 days. I have a BBA and MBA in finance. I have been trading stocks for about 15 years. I am deciding to ask for my money back. Why? I think their investors toolbox is great. And if I could just subscribe to that I would. But, paying the $1900 for the workshop is turning me off. I can recreate the tool boxes technical analysis by using clearstation or yahoo finance, but it won’t rate the fundamentals. I have to do additional research to rate them for myself. However, for those people without an investment/finance background. $1900 isn’t too much for what you learn. I just wish I could subscribe to the toolbox without the workshop fee. Many of you may say, what’s $1900 bucks, and you are right. For me it is just the principle of it. I want to subscribe to their $50 monthly toolbox. Why should I have to pay the $1900 workshop fee.

I would like to hear from some of the people that said they would “report back” earlier this year. I went to the one day presentation offered by phil town at the “get motivated” seminar and left thirsty to learn more on my own… also the price they were asking for their classes were tough to swallow.

So…let’s hear those results? numbers please… not just “it’s great”

M. Jones and L. Lewis sent us this question:


I’m just getting into the game of investing.

What sort of advice do you have for using stuff like Yahoo! Finance? (I have
a Yahoo! account and just haven’t used their Finance section yet… I’ve
been using Morningstar so far.)


My advice for a beginning investor is to not lose money. What I mean by that is do not put all your money into one stock. You should build a base portfolio of stocks that you know. Such, as IBM, Coke, Pepsi, etc. Look for dividend payers. The trick is knowing when to buy them. How do you do that. Go to yahoo finance, type in a stock symbol, then click on technicals in left hand margin. Click on 50 moving average, MACD, and Fast Stoch, to bring up those graphs. When the price crosses up the moving average, the MACD crosses up through 0, and stochasic crosses up through the 20%, it is usually a good time to buy. Once you have a base of “safe” stocks, you can then try to look for the more speculative ones. Another way to start. Look at the Dow 30. Try to find the ones that are better performing. How can you buy multiple stocks on a limited budget. Go to buyandhold.com and read about their program. Also, don’t be greedy. When you are showing a profit, take some of the table. What are sell indications. price falls down past the moving average line, MACD falls past the 0 line, Stochastic falls past the 80 line.
But, remember what peter lynch said. Buy what you know. Also, remember what Warren Buffet said, you are buying the company, not the stock.
Another cool site is clearstation.com, enter the stock symbol and click on 3 point view.
I just gave you a bunch of ideas. Your question is a tough one to answer in a couple of paragraphs, and I am sure that other readers may disagree with some of my stuff. That is okay, because everybody has different strategies.
Once last strategy…You want to make more money than your saving account is offering, but you don’t want to risk the money in the market. Go to yahoo finance stock screener, type in search for stocks with dividend yields greater than 5%. Then look at those companies. Try to find ones with stable long term pricing, will probably end up being utility stocks or oil trusts. The high dividend yielders are real estate trusts, but, they are too risky for me. I bought Frontline for the dividend yield.
Hope you got something out of this.

First, nice site, just came across it looking for information about Phil Town.

I completed the 2 day course about 6 Mo. ago and have just renewed my online tool box subscription for another 6 MO. Course was $2999 (there about) and my wife attended also. I really enjoyed the course, learned a lot (knew nothing before about investing in stocks and options and mistakenly relied on others to do it for me with no understanding of what or why they were doing what they did (this is my fault, not theirs). Over the last 6 Mo. I have not used the tools as aggressively as I would have liked to (it does take time to learn the system, time to study, and time to put it to use). Just like everyone else out there I have family commitments, job commitments, community commitments, etc. etc. something always seems to take priority. For the time I have put into the system, I am vary happy with the returns I have received and the information it has provided me to make the changes needed to previously purchased stocks and investments. I no longer have others doing my investing (other then my 401K which through the program I have learned to take better control over also) and I am really going to try over the winter to take full advantage and utilize the tools to their potential. The trading I have done with the tools has more then payed back the price of the course for me, however even if that was not the case the knowledge and information I gained was more then worth the price I payed. From my experience thus far I can honestly say these tools work, BUT you have to make the time to work the tools. I think the instructor I had said it best: If you treat this as a hobby, it will pay like a hobby, if you treat it like a business, it will pay like a business.
I have read through all these posts and the one major concern here seems to be the cost of the training and if it REALLY works. I can attest that it does REALLY work, but you have to put the time into it to make it work for you (something I am still struggling with). Given the correct amount of time investment, I could see people doing this for a living, I did not take the course for that reason, my objective was just to be able to understand the investment decisions being made for me on my behalf, so on that aspect alone the course has more then paid for itself for me.
Good luck to you all, and for those sitting on the fence not knowing if the price you have to pay for this knowledge is worth it or not, I would recommend to look at it a different way. 1st. you need to set a clear objective of what you NEED to get out of a course like this. 2nd. you need to determine if you can make the time commitment needed to accomplish your NEED(s). After you figure that out, the cost of investing in yourself should not be an issue because if you can make the time commitment the information you will receive from the course will give you the knowledge to reap the rewards.

Take care,


Thank you SOOO much for the advice. I am copying and pasting it into a Word document as we speak (type). I also liked what Dennis had to say. It was very insightful from the perspective of a person who doesn’t do this often. I learned alot from your both and I look forward to more comments (I have them sent to me via email so that I can keep up with everyone).

Although I haven’t invested into InvesTools yet, I do plan to keep abreast of everything you guys are saying and eventually be able to take the plunge (although I don’t want to wait too long).

Thank you for all sharing your experiences and advice!


L. Lewis

I decided to cancel from investools before the workshop. All I wanted to do was try out the web site. The rep said I needed to put down the $1999 fee on the credit card and I could call back and cancel after a couple of days if I wanted. The free seminar was Friday, I cancelled monday morning. On tuesday an education counselor called me, on wednesday I received an UPS email saying a package was being sent to me. I contacted the rep I cancelled with on monday, and he said that I needed to speak to a cancellation department, and he transfered me. I was put to customer relations and they said they will send my request to the cancellation department and in 7 to 10 days they should get in touch with me. Today, thursday, I received an email saying that my claim is being reviewed to see if I qualify for a money back refund. I called visa and filed a dispute. I only agreed to the credit disclosure because the rep said it would be no problem getting my money back if I cancelled. I cancelled the next business day. So, I warn all those on the bench, be very carefull about putting down money and expecting an easy out and money back guarantee. Before putting money down, check out the cost of an investment class at your local library. If you are a self studier, go to clearstation.com
Etrade has a section to their website that offers free online education.
Prior to my current experience with investools. I was positive on their program for novice investors. But, now how I see how I am being treated for wanting my money back, I would warn everybody away from the company.

I’m new to the stocks and investing, I saw the Investools TV add and days later the Wizetrade. I’m planning to attend maybe both free seminars. Does anyone know more about Wizetrade?

My wife and I signed up for the PhD program during the 2-day event after attending the Get Motivated Seminar in Sacramento, CA back in February 2006. Yes, the price is daunting. Yes, it takes some effort beyond looking for “3 Green Arrows”. Yes, you have to study and do homework. Yes, you will spend some additional time and money attending seminars in faraway lands (other states).

We’ve been in the program for about 6 months now. Each step of the way, my wife and I feel more confident, informed and better able to guide our own financial future. We’ve joined up with about 150 like-minded investors (Masters and PhD’ers) in our area who get together online (group email and discussion groups), and live (monthly meetings as a whole group, plus in-betweener meetings with sub-groups). Just like losing weight, giving up a bad habit, or creating a new, good one, having a support team is a HUGE help.

With the Investools program, you will have access to live “trading rooms”, where you can learn about all aspects of trading, and ask questions (live) of the instructors.

I would encourage anyone on this list to go to google groups or yahoo groups and search for “investools”. Read what the members of those groups are saying as they learn about the market and how to be excellent traders. You won’t find many (any?) naysayers there, I assure you.

If you don’t like Investools, fine. Tell everyone on the list what your success plan is and how you’re doing with it. Griping is easy. Sharing positive knowledge takes effort. I wish everyone reading this the best of luck in whatever direction you choose to go.

Thanks for the input Dagwood. I did not go through with the workshop and am having a tough time getting my money back. You sound like an informed investor. Can you visit clearstation.com (which I use), and tell me your opinion on how it compares to the investools toolbox. When you go to the site, type in the stock symbol and click 3 point view. You can later type in a couple of stocks into the portfolio then click focus.
I liked the investools toolbox, but they wouldn’t let me use it unless I dropped the $1999 for the 2 day workshop.

Hello all. I’m happy to have found this site. I went to the Get Motivated seminar at the Pond in Anaheim in Oct., and signed up for the 2 day workshop for Sept. I paid $1500; their agreement is you may attend day 1 with a family member and after which you may cancel your credit card order. Day 2 is when I was charged $1500. Yes, it’s true, a good chunk of time was spent selling the Associate, Masters and PhD programs, which cost $4,999, $11,999 and $23,999 respectively. That’s way too much for me, as I’m just starting out in my professional life. If I could readily afford $24,000, I would enroll in the PhD program. Investools isn’t a scam, I know when I’m being scammed and this isn’t it; no one puts a gun to your head either. But it is expensive. Moreover, I’m sure I could enroll in the PhD program at a later date so I didn’t think I needed to so soon as I have no real stock market experience. Since the workshop, I’ve been reading my workbook, visiting the Investools website, and have made several trades with “paper money” just to get a sense of what I’m in for. I am very hopeful of this new opportunity in my life, and will diligently learn their system. Now that I am aware of InvestorGeeks, I will visit regularly and absorb as much as humanly possible. If anyone cares, I’ll be more than happy to give you all updates on my education and trading progress. Perhaps you all can share some of your pearls of wisdom with me, because I went into this with no real skill or knowledge about trading. I have one goal: to be a millionaire by next Saturday…no, but seriously folks…I want to trade full time by Christmas 2006!!! Can I pull it off?!?!?

Hey, it’s me again. The one service that I wanted the most from the PhD program is their mentoring program. I could definitely use a mentor, so if there’s anyone out there in InvestorGeeks land who wants to “pass it on” and be of service to a worthy upstart protege like me, I would greatly appreciate having a mentor. Please let me know! Thanks, Ray

People who aren’t interested in day trading or options should take a look at http://www.betterinvesting.org. It is a non-profit organization that has been around for over 50 years, teaching the individual investor how to identify and purchase GROWTH stocks (not Value) for the long term. Check out their website or come talk to other practitioners at http://community.compuserve.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?nav=start&webtag=ws-naic. I’ve been following the methodology for nearly 12 years. Bob

I attended a Get Motivated seminar yesterday in Dayton, Ohio. Here is the deal I signed up for. I got the manual, DVD’s, 2 day training course and six months on the website for $995. I can go to the training and if I don’t like what I see I can turn the materials in at the end of the first day and my credit card will not be charged. I am willing to do what it takes to make money, can invest at about a $5,000 level and am really interested in doing something like this. I am not willing to pay the extra money for the extra training, however, I just don’t have it. I would like to hear the reports back onhow other people have done. Anyway, that is the deal I was offered very recently, for those of you wondering about the price.

To Mike B.
I went to the investools seminar and asked for my money back. Basically you have to decide how active you want to be in trading. I am a fundamental investor. I started in 1985 with about $3500. Now, 20 years later, I have a portfolio around 1 millions bucks. I did it using the philosophy of “regression to the mean”. Even though I looked at my stocks everyday, I really only traded them on a 2 to 4 year time horizon.
My brother trades short term, he trades options and futures. In the short term he made alot more money than me. But, it seems that he is having a hard time putting all his short terms together and in the long run, I have made more money. I think investools favors the shorter term investor. I realized that I am not a shorter term investor. But, before you comit to investools, go to clearstation.com and see what they offer for free. check out the tag and bag section, and read the education section, (all for free)

Just a happy Investools site user throwing a supportive comment in. I work for a top 10 brokerage firm and am involved in technical support so had an idea of what a web site could offer. When my coworkers and I saw the site (Get Motivated seminar) we were blown away. Now a happy user, I’m very pleased with the searches and the tools built into the site and am profiting from using a combination of Phil Town’s Rule 1 and Investools methods as they fit like hand in glove. In fact, you can do Rule 1 searches and calculations easily with Investools as they’ve built this in.

Something else overlooked is how steadily they’ve added features to the web site. I truly have seen evidence of the company’s commitment to being the best of the educators out there. Their recent merger should bode well with such a highly rated Options trading Web. Lastly, check their stock price! Definitely a nice run!

May your trading strategy lead you to wealth! (you have one, right? documented, right???)

Pretty cool info here. Too many comments… i start at #110 instead of read through it all.

I just went to the 3-hour motivation seminar today 11/11/2006 at Embassy Suite in Brea, CA. I’m pretty impressed with the tool that they showed. Like everyone said, $50 a month is a fairly decent price compare with the amount that you will save.

On of the commenter said he was offer the package (DVD, online, and 2days live training) for only $999. The offer I got at end of that 3rd hour was $1999…. doubled. I wonder that’s caused by the 15Mil lawsuit that INVESTool is facing right now…

I guess I’m still a skeptic about them. Besides, I still need to calculate how much cash flow I can actually put into investing…

Thank for the site suggetion other have pointed out

I would like to supplement 2 more
http://www.optionplanet.com/, CBOE is affiliate to it… so there’s some heavy backing. I signed up for their local seminar… hope it’ll be great!

http://www.888options.com/ is also great. I got this site off from OCC (option clearing corperation). I doubt anything can go wrong here.

By the 2 sites I sugguested, you can see I’m interesed in Options mostly.

BTW… I’m a techie. I work for a company that write software as trading platform. Our client support day trader as well as casul one and of course we have all the back office support, as wel as execution of the order on the market floor. In fact… I’m very familiar with thinkOrSwim… deep down to their clearing stage…. :-p

I went to the Long Island 3-hour seminar on November 3, 2006 and signed up for the $1,999 package. When I got home I did a few things, 1) I read some of the reviews on this site and realized some people had gotten the package for @$1,000; 2) I called Utah to find out what the price would be if I hadn’t attended the seminar and 3) I decided to attend the 2-day workshop I would end up paying for if I didn’t decide to cancel. I was told by the representative in Utah that the $999 deal had expired and was part of a deal with Success Magazine so I’m confused how someone got that price on Nov. 1, 2006.

After reading a good deal of the reviews in this site I could see the program working for me, especially the options courses. What I found out after I signed on to the Investools site was I would be paying for only a very limited education. Most of what I wanted to know would cost more. I learned from calling Utah that each course was an additional $2,200, $2,700 for advanced courses and $7,000 for a 3-day “Boot Camp” in Utah. They try very hard to sell you these expensive “advanced” programs.

I went to the two day workshop in Elizabeth, New Jersey November 9th & 10th with the attitude that this program would have to pay for itself before I go on with additional courses (and additional cost). The first day of the two workshops was 75% learning and 25% selling. Lots of good food and nice people attending. By the end of the first day decisions had to be made whether or not to cancel. There were approximately 103 people there and the next day I would guess that @90 returned. The second day was 25% learning and 75% selling. Most sentences ended with cues to buy the more advanced programs (See above posts for prices).

I was not that impressed with the speakers or their “team”. I was interested in learning more about options and advanced options. I was also disgusted with the physical exercises, dances and head slapping they encourage attendees to do. I realize this is all part of “the hype” but I’m a New Yorker and I just want the information without the pep talk.

When you look at the site more closely you can find a few “free” video demonstrations and the TOS site has some good information as well. Someone suggested to me after the workshop http://www.888options.com and that looks like it could be a good site for information.

It will take some time before I feel confident enough to put actual money in an account and start using what I learn with this program and others I hope to find online. I’m glad I invested in this and very glad for the reviews I found here.

Went to Get Motivated in Charlotte NC on 11/13/06. Price was $1,995 for attending the full two days of Investor Workshop. Sounds like they charge you only if you attend both days. If on the first day you decide it’s not for you, you turn in your stuff and don’t return for day two.

I am really interested in purchasing Phil Town’s book “Rule #1”. I am trying to decide between the eBook and ordering the hardcover book. The price is about the same, but I had originally thought I would like the eBook so I could print the pages into an 8 1/2 x 11 format and stick them into a binder. Not so.. the eBook cannot be printed! or copied to a different computer even… so now I am not so sure.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has purchased the eBook. Are there advantages to the eBook format I haven’t thought of? or should I stick with a hardcover copy?

Wow, it sure doesn’t sound like you’re very skeptical. It actually sounds like Investools is paying you!

I think you need to examine your level of skepticism and heighten it a bit.

Hey Everyone,

Excellent exchange of information, I just attended the Learning Annex Real Estate Wealth Expo here in Boston. INVESTools was one of the many products. I am still undecided, I am wiling to put in the time to study and research.

After reading all the commentary, my question is “Anyone really making any money using INVESTools”. The price is would definately be worth it if people are making money.

I look forward to the feedback.

Thank you,

re: Merq65 and others:

I attended an INVESTools free seminar in our area a few weeks ago. I had attended a similar seminar from INVESTools a few years ago and regetted many times, not having purchased it when I had the chance. This time, I knew what it was going to cost, so I went, money in hand, ready to spend $2000 – $3000CDN.

Neither of the Free Seminars I attended used high-pressure sales techniques. The atmosphere was relaxed, the presenter was professional, and the informaton given was worth the investment of time.

I have not yet attended the 2-day training seminar that comes with the purchase, as I decided I’d like to go through the online training, do some paper trading, learn the tools, and then attend a later training session once I was more familiar with the capabilities of the tools.

I had read about Phil Town’s RULE #1 on this blog. (Phil Town was NOT the presenter… nor was he, or his book even mentioned at either presentaton). The basic INVESTools online training is focused mainly on how to access and use the tools to help make informed investment decisions, but really doesn’t get much into investment strategies. For that, I spent $9 and downloaded RULE #1 in electronic format from the eBookmall.

RULE#1 (combined with the INVESTools tools) is exactly what I need. Phil explains his investment strategy in intricate detail, along with step by step, “what to look for”, “how to start”, the amount of money to start with, etc.

Understand, that so far, for me, this is not about getting rich off the Stock Market. I am doing this for the education. I can’t believe how much discussion there is on this blog about the price of what is being offered. INVESTools is not a scam. They teach sound investment principles, and provide you with the tools and information you need to be able to put those principles to work for you. I spend more on my cable TV subscription than I do on INVESTools. Which do you think is the better investment?

did anyone learn from 2000–2002 market?? just heard Phil today and I guarantee he said so many half truth–untruths and bad advise he would be terminated by SEC –the returns he expects are ludicrous and does not address taxes on some much churning– just another guy who made his million by selling books and websites (2k minimum) to another generation of day traders in an up market– he rips American funds for poor performance from 66 to 82 –well with ICA 76k grew to 352k –16 yrs– BUYER BEWARE

Perhaps Phil talks about different things in his seminar than he does in his book, but I don’t see how you can fault the strategies he outlines in his book. It is definately NOT about day-trading, not even close. He states himself that his investment strategy is nothing new. It was taught by Warren Buffett who was taught by Benjamin Graham at Columbia Business School

It really boils down to pretty sound investment principles. How to recognize a well-run company, good management, and good prices. His book even tells you where to find all the information you need for free. He only mentions INVESTOOLS once, as a method of getting all the required info in one place.

How can you go wrong recommending that the reader minimize risk by investing in solid companies, with proven track records, and high growth estimates? … just be sure to build in a Margin of Safety by buying when the price is 50% of the companies intrinsic value.. Pretty sound advice! The only problem with his strategy, is that the opportunity to buy a great company at a great price doesn’t come along every day. But tools such as those offered by Investools make it easier to recognize those opportunities when they happen. I am delighted with my purchase… if nothing else, I’ve learned a lot.

To Mr. Nadeau, I dont know about anyone speaking half truths. But, You are obviously bashing the program without even doing a thorough investigation. I doubt anyone thinks American Funds does a poor job investing in the market for investors. Their record is certainly impressive. But they make money in a bull market only (as all mutual funds do.) I believe it is simply realistic to think that many business professionals who are retiring, like me, would like to have some control over our finances and the investing of our assets. I certainly dont want to leave it up to stockbroker that is truly just a salesperson, who spend their time pushing the investing public to buy stocks from them. And It does not mean that i wont have a significant piece of my assets in top performing mutual funds, if nothing else for prudent diversification. Also, this is not represented as a get rich scheme. But a long term approach to becoming more educated about the markets in general and what makes a sound investment. It may make sense for only a portion of ones assets, as some diversification is always wise. And, last but certainly not least, many of investools advanced strategies take advantage of options for the more serious student. It is here that I have averaged a high rate of return, while not having exposure to the stock market. IE, using butterflies and iron condors. These are options strategies that an investor can make money on whether the stock goes Up or DOWN. If you go on to the options courses I highly recommend using the Thinkorswim brokerage, as it is an immense help for the options investor. I think investing in your education is always wise and investools has been a very significant tool for me to make money using stocks and options. Good luck to all.

Here is a link to an article on Yahoo which states that many studies show investors who make their own decisions and do their own research do better than having a stock broker or financial advisor. Read for yourself.


The Investools Toolbox gives investors the freedom to think for themselves and gets investors engaged in the process of investing. I agree with some above comments, I would rather maintain some control over my investments than give it all to an advisor, who may not always have my best interest at heart.

oh and one other thing. on the website : ripoffreport.com investools has only 2 complaints when i had checked it out. Not bad for a company that has over 200,000 graduates. The only other competitor I could find, Teach me to trade, which i have seen a few times advertising on TV, has something like 30 – 40 complaints – even though they are much smaller. I think Investools is the smarter way to go. In all my dealings with the staff at the company, they always seemed to care about my success in learning their toolbox. I think that says alot about the company and the product.

WARNING: I attended a Get Motivated Seminar and saw Phil Town. I was impressed with him so I got the InvesTools Kit since their guarantee was that my credit card would NOT be charged unless I attended the 2 day seminar and stayed past the first day. I looked over the materials and realized that they were pushing all their expensive courses (one up to $30k), which may or may not be worth the prices they charge. Their software is great, but the courses are over-priced. I listened to their dvds and read as much as possible before the seminar. I couldn’t afford the more expensive courses, so rather than risk that the first course wasn’t worth the price, I decide “no” to the course. I would have subscribed to their software, but you can’t unless you take the course, which is silly anyway. I decided, after reading all the posts I could find on the internet, to return the kit on the morning of the first day of the 2 day seminar. I returned the kit the morning of the seminar only later to find that my card had a pre-authorization “charge” on it two days prior to the event start date which ran my card up to it’s limit and I could no longer use it. I called the Success Customer Service and told them to take it off since their promise was that my card would NOT be charged. They claimed it was just a “pre-authorization” to make sure the money was there, not a “charge.” I’m like, “well, I can’t use my card because of you guys, so I don’t care what you call it…take it off…I returned your stuff BEFORE the seminar, you dirty rats.” So, suffice it to say, I am glad I did not take the seminar, no matter what success people have had, because they do not keep their promises. The professional thing to do would be take people’s card numbers and charge a dollar or some other small amount, to make sure the card is valid, then charge the rest at the end of the day of the first day of the seminar, which is when they PROMISED they would charge it. This was a dirty trick and left a very bad taste in my mouth.

Alexander Scott; you should be a little more reasonable and understand how a business works. Of course you’re going to get a hold on your credit card for the amount of the class before it’s held. Where else do you think you can attend/buy/use anything for free and then the company is left “hoping” you are a creditworthy person they could actually charge the fee to afterwards. Try telling a retailer you’d like to have them charge you your “dollar” and that you want to take the product home and then if you decide to keep it they can try and charge you the rest. And to be accurate, as you stated yourself, you didn’t actually return the material before the seminar, you returned it the morning of the seminar, again, are you naive enough to think they’ll not charge you when you show up?

It’s also not “silly” that a company makes a determination that you need to understand a tool to use it. If a few more investors were held to that discipline instead of the vendor just being happy to get the $$$, they’d be a lot better of. That’s why Investools has such high reviews and high renewal rates. Those that stick around, can really learn, have the discipline and apply the material are on average reaping solid rewards. Guess you’re just not cut out to be one of them.

In all fairness, pre-authorizing your credit card is exactly what Hotels, Car Rental companies, resorts, and hundreds of other companies do. This is pretty common practice. They don’t actually take your money, (so no interest charges are incurred…) but understandably want to make sure you are good for the charges should there be any)

Secondly…I am surprised you were provided with DVD’s etc. in a package!! . No DVD’s with my signup… all manuals, and material are online. Tools, training, user forums, news, email alerts, graphs, online brokerage, paper trading, live feeds, manuals. I asked them about the DVD’s that others have mentioned, and was told that the DVD’s is what they used to provide, but now it is all online training…

My initial seminar was not a “Getting Motivated” Phil Town seminar, but was hosted by Investools themselves. I wonder if Phil Town is a “reseller” of Investools packages. That may explain the discrepancies in price of the Investools package.

I bought my “package” (6 mo subscription to the tools, online training, 2-day live workshop) for $1999USD directly from an Investools 3-hour free introductory seminar.

I’m also wondering about the $30K price tag you were quoted for their most expensive program. The additional education, coaching, was all explained to me very professionally. I was not given any No pressure to purchase…. and understand that the additional material was all available at any time in the future should I decide I’d like to take my trading strategies, and skills to the next level. IThe most expensive package offered was $23K..

Understand that Investool is an educational and training business. They charge for their training and coaching services. That is perfectly understandable. I haven’t seen anything better. Sure, most of what they offer is available from other sources. What they have done for me is pull it all together and put it into a format that works for me. I am glad to pay them for their services. They have done a great job.. and have provided me with information and training that I have been unable to pull together on my own… even though I am sure it is “out there” somewhere …. had I been able to run across it.

I am a long time investor. I went to the investools free seminar. I liked their investools toolbox, but they would not let me subscribe to that only. They wanted me to pay the $1999 for the 2 day workshop. I didn’t want to pay the money, but from what I observed in the free seminar, I easily used yahoo finance and clearstation (free), to set up the same screens.
Next point. I am a stock investor, not an options or futures trader. My brother is an independent futures trader. In some years he makes huge money, in others he may just get by. For someone who wants to trade futures or options, I can definitely see the value in education, as it is alot easier to lose money.
However, if you want to follow my advice, you just have to do one thing. Systematic monthly investments in quality stocks or funds. You can accomplish this using an online broker called buyandhold. Or buying direct from companies through their dividend re-investment programs.
So, if you are like me, investools would probably be a waste of money. But, if you are like my brother, I would definitely advise some sort of education, or mentor to show you the ropes.

Shelly: Even the most basic elements of the Investools web site that are shown in the 5 Step Formula don’t scratch the surface of what the site offers, very much of which you won’t fiind anywhere else, even at a price. And, I’m certain the little you were shown in the free session wasn’t even enough to appreciate the basic Corporate Snapshot Investools provides let alone build a look alike elsewhere. In a lot of clicks you can track down quite a bit of the information shown in Phase I, but it isn’t scored for you so you’re going to spend time analyzing and determining what these numbers mean. While you can get a nice looking chart anywhere these days, you won’t find anything like Investools Phase I and Phase II scoring for simplicity. Can you do these things manually, sure. Will it take more time to compile these on a laundry list of stocks your interested in, absolutely. Tons more. Here’s two simple tests. 1) build a screening tool that searches 12,000 stocks for acceptable fundamentals and analyst rankings, then sort this list by their technicals for those that just broke through their moving average 1 day ago, dump these into a holding portfolio and display a thumbnail chart of each on 1 screen. Good luck. 2) search for the highest return covered calls where the option expires both this month or next month and show what the percentage return is whether getting called out or not sorted by highest to lowest return getting called out.

Investools offers searches and an *integrated* toolset that you can’t get anywhere else, period.

If you really think you can match the searches and quick ability to score stocks anywhere else nearly as quickly as Investools enables, you weren’t really paying that close attention to what information was on the screen and the instantaneous interpretation of it for you to make a determination regarding further interest.

If you had really paid attention to the Big Chart of sectors (assuming you were even shown this), you should know that you can’t find this anywhere. I work for a top 10 brokerage firm and we don’t even have anything like this for our brokers.

The bottom line is that Investools offers more in one place than anyone right now.

As far as your systematic monthly investment, you can set this up with any brokerage these days or even an online bill pay function of a bank account.

Since I assume Investools monitors this site, my suggestion to Investools is to focus on your web site subscriptions and skip the mandatory training course. I would sign up for the $50/month web site subscription – looks like you have done a good job of consolidating market information. I don’t make significant spending decisions on the spot after a 2 hour seminar. You might want to think about including the home training in the subscription, and offering the two-day training as an option. I expect you would see a significant increase in subscription revenue, and probably would maintain the training revenue as well.

132: Joseph Miller: Annual web site subscription is $600 and includes the opportunity to take a live refresher class which I recently took.

133: More…: If you can get the $995 course I think it’s a steal. I’ve attended professional training for over a decade paid for by my company. Nearly all professional training these days runs $1k a day, whether AMA (American Management Association) or other industry conferences, etc. This is what I paid for my Investools training. I am unaware of any differences in the web site and have compared same with a graduate of their bachelor’s degree / options course. The new web site (the regularly add new features to the web site, no additional cost) that is being rolled out now is a pretty major makeover with quite a few improvements. At the top of the list of enhancements for me was being able to customize the initial chart in a “snapshot” view for any company you pull up so that you can see candlestick charts and add the studies you want to the chart and even display a larger chart by default than in the past. Even with only having taken the stocks course, I have the same options search tools, including things like spreads, straddles, etc. It’s all there, but you need the education to know what to do with it.

134: Paul A.: As a site user I can attest that Investools has BAR NONE the BEST consolidated toolsite of anything I’ve seen out there, and most cost considerably more than theirs yet offer less in features. Consider the $995 a sign up fee if you must to get past it, but you can hardly blame Investools for wanting users of the site to truly have the necessary knowledge to be successful while using their site — their reputation is on the line here. As the largest trainer of investors (300K grads to date, yet only 1% of the investors in the market(!)) on the planet, I personally applaud their practice of not just signing up the world to their web site but trying to really get involved in the success of their students. As they state, this drives the renewal rate on their site up, which is smart. It’s also smart that this practice has yielded a 15% return on average for graduates of just their stocks class. As one of these graduates I can tell you that not everyone that graduates really gets it and can really use the knowledge (I meet with a group of graduates to talk about strategies and individual plays on a regular basis). To paraphrase what someone once said about poker “the stock market is not a game about stocks, it’s a game about people, that just happens to be played with stocks.” In other words, the number one criteria for success is a market discipline, it’s not about whether you have good training or a good strategy. For example, one of our group just can’t pull the trigger to dump Walmart and move onto something with near term potential. He’s “stuck” thinking he has to somehow break even at least in this trade before he can sell and move on. So, my point is, getting 15% overall is pretty awesome, because there are people like this in any survey that aren’t doing squat and they lower the average. If you are one of the persons that can really understand and execute on their methods, you should be able to do much better. Wouldn’t $1K be a pittance to pay to “join that club”? As far as your reluctance to make significant spending decisions after a 2 hour seminar, have you really asked yourself what would it take? In other words, what is reasonable to make such a decision, so that it’s not just some justification or excuse. For example, I’m sure you didn’t buy your last car after anything like a 2 hour seminar on all the features and use of the car from a professional instructor with a textbook about that model of car… yet that was what, a $15K, $20K, or more decision??? Aren’t you being just a little unrealistic about what level of screening is necessary to attend a thousand dollar training class.

Let’s review:
– reputable company? checkmark. Web searches show less complaints about Investools than any other training company
– successful track record? checkmark. 300K graduates, number one in the world. 15% average returns on stocks for grads.
– good training materials, methods? checkmark. pick up a manual on Ebay, just search for Investools. The whole gambit is there. Read before you attend for a fraction of the cost and know what’s going to be covered if you need that comfort level.
– good instructors? checkmark. Arguably the best. If you don’t start hearing that Mike Covall and Stacy Acevedo are as good as it gets I’ll eat my hat (Stacy turned $50K into $5M in 5 years).
– reputation for doing all they can for students success? checkmark. talk to those that have used their coaching sessions to run trades past an expert and get feedback prior to any entry and you’ll hear nothing but good. I’ve never met a group as committed to helping people succeed.

What more could you ask for in a training company?

B. Reasonable: Thanks for your input. It is nice to read something from someone who has first hand experience with the company. They sad thing is that when someone writes such a positive testimonial about their first hand experience … people tend to not believe it… you must be an owner, have a vested interest in the company, a member of the sales team, etc. etc.

Well… let people say what they want.. I paid my money, and I agree with you. This is a great program. The best I’ve seen… and I have no complaints about their prices, their sales methods, or their products.

Leigh, totally agree. I only have the numbers due to just having taken the Stocks class refresher here in Tamp on Dec. 11-12. I realize that when anyone quotes stats and is bullish that it’s human nature to question. I do it myself. I actually held back one number because I thought it would surely push more over the edge of questioning and that is that I heard the Investools Options instructors as a pool are tracking their performance and competing against one another (good natured). Anyway, as a group and as of this Dec. 11 meeting, they were doing 60% annually. Best month currently was one had an 8% month for November.

As far as people deciding whether there’s truly potential for outstanding money it boils down to their character that they bring to the table more than anything. That is, as often said, whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re probably right. Some people also just don’t have the necessary discipline to steer their investing course. These people should likely use mutual funds and watch them closely, moving their money as indicated by trends that appear.

The mind is generally in one of two modes: it is inquisitive or it is judgmental. Learning to get your mind into inquisitive mode can be a good thing as it opens it to new things. It’s trite but, like a parachute, the mind works best when it’s open. Individuals have to look back at the attitudes that they were raised under and determine whether those are limiting their ability to widen their context (what we believe is possible). The Rich Dad books do a good job of exposing this reality. I certainly was raised in a middle class background where no one I knew knew anything about investing in stocks or the stock market so like others I had an ingrained skepticism that I had to overcome.

What really cemented it for me was when I started looking at the price charts for options! When I saw the leverage there and the potential for price appreciation it was an instant attraction to try and learn how to develop enough skills to have a majority of trades be winners. I have a printout somewhere that I want to someday frame where I simply printed a stock chart on the top half and an option chart for this same company on the lower half of the page. It chronicles no spectacular event in the market but rather was typical of hundreds of moves you would find scattered across any significant number of charts you would look at. It simply showed that when the stock made a 10% upward move, the option increased in value over 50%. I used to stare at this and think OMIGOD I gotta get me some of this!!! When you start looking at stock charts and see 5-10% moves all over the place I can’t stop thinking about those 25-50% or more moves in the options behind these stocks!

For anyone willing to commit to the journey there are lots of avenues to pursue the knowledge. Investools is not the only way to get there and I recommend that anyone that truly wants to make this a business seek out any and all learning opportunities IF they can realize that it’s easy to have information overload. There are a million ways to play the market. So you have to find the few that make sense for you, fit your risk tolerance, fit your portfolio valuation, fit your goals, fit your lifestyle and available free time, etc. etc. etc.

For example, Stacy Acavedo just plays options on the .SPX and in so doing turned $50K into $5M. As she says, you can spend your time hunting up good stocks, researching them and then calculating your plays and exit points, or, you can get good at just one thing, one investment, the .SPX options. By focusing on one thing, you can get to know it like the back of your hand and seek to master a trading strategy like she has. Now, that said, this is not a fit for everyone and as she says not a place to start as a beginner since they’re more volatile than the Q’s.

I met someone once who said that he knew enough about himself that if someone out there could learn what it took to be successful in the market then he KNEW he could learn it. You’d have had to have heard him yourself to hear the conviction in his voice. He knew he might never be able to explain the theory of relativity mathematically, but he knew that with time and effort this was something he could learn. So I say, honor and celebrate that if you can cultivate that sort of mindframe. It will be what will separate you from the pack.

One avenue I recommend is watching Ebay for low cost investing videos after doing some research on ones of interest. I personally found it valuable to go to the “well” and hear Steve Nison’s training on Candlesticks from the master himself, since he introduced them to the west. You can pick up his 3 videos and print their attendant overhead slides from his web site for under $100 which is totally a deal. Yup, Investools covers Candlesticks in their advanced technicals course, but you’ll get tons more practical experience actually reading the charts by going through Nison’s material (300-400 slides!). IMHO technical reading is what will determine the level of success an investor can achieve. Fundamentals are a much more cut and dried interpretation and even Investools pretty much trains you to just check that they qualify, then move onto reading the chart to determine plays.

There’s a really good new book out for beginners called something like “Sticky Stock Charts” (I’d give the exact name but it’s on loan to a brother right now in another state). Anyway, it’s a good basic introduction to the power of chart reading and as it states, technical traders have a pretty good argument that all the fundamentals are embedded in the charts anyway, so why not just read them? In other words, as Investools instructors say, it’s not the market news that matters about an individual company, it’s how everyone interprets the news and reacts to it — that’s what gets shown in a chart, not in any fundamentals measurement… so I believe that mastering technical reading to the highest extent possible and using it within a sound and disciplined strategy holds incredible potential. That’s the journey that I’ve set for myself.

OK, sorry all for rambling. Just to clear one thing up, I am in no way affiliated, own stock or options of, work for, am compensated by, have a relative who is or am even close friends with anyone working for or that even knows anyone who works for Investools. So, I’m not a hawk for the company. Besides, they (IEDU) don’t even have three green arrows and high enough fundamentals now to buy the stock! 😉

Amazing site, my commendations to the key contributors on this page. I am a 22 years old and work with a real estate development company in queens, Ny for the last short while. After attending the Real Estate Wealth Expo in Nov. I have been considerably intrigued by Investools and after having found this site, I have made notes, bookmarked pages, set aside material to review in text while reading each post here today. now that I am only a very short time (weeks) away from closing on several deals I have made it priority to decide exactly how my money will be invested. It will certainly not sit in a bank, and after today I will continue my research but with a more educated view of Investools. I would like most to know which way to go about signing up for this. ( I have no quams about spending the initial investment, as I value education as a means to make better decisions) Should I take an online course? I would much rather not attend a seminar for 1 or 2 days, even on a weekend. Time is money, and I have plenty to dedicate, but after trading hours. Any advice?

Rengifo11: Actually, the 3 hour free seminar is worth the time, just to see a demonstration of Investools in action, but is not a requirement to sign up. You can sign up right on the Investools site.[www.investools.com. Though I purchased Investools at the free seminar, and received the 2-day course as part of that, I wasn’t able to attend at the specified date. In lieu of that, I can attend anytime within the next year at any location. I actually think that will work out very well, as I will be able to attend at a location and date that suits me, and will be able to make it part of a vacation. I also think I will be able to get a lot more out of those two days now that I have studied and applied the principles taught in the online course.

PS. I wish I’d known this stuff when I was 22.

Rengifo11: At 22, I’d hope to think that 2 days out of “the rest of your life” wouldn’t impact your financial future that much regardless of whatever aggressive goals you have for yourself! As Leigh expressed, a lot of us wish we’d run across such opportunity and knowledge at age 22.

I’d suggest you consider the live session for a few reasons:
1. No one grasps something near this complex with all its subtleties in one sitting; you’ll need the seminar, the videos, the online material, the coaches and maybe even a refresher to grasp it all and I mean really GET IT. It’s not just three green arrows, etc. As they say about poker, a few minutes to learn, a lifetime to master. Is it not possible that that one additional idea or explanation you hear could make a huge difference for you?
2. You’ll benefit from questions you can raise and conversations you can strike up immensely if you’re not a wall-flower. They’ll expose you to new topics and new opportunities. Make a point to chat up the PHD students that will be there. One of them sent me the trading strategies for options that they got from an Investools Trading Room — something you don’t get normally unless attend them by siging up for a degree program that includes these.
3. Make a point to swap email addresses with everyone you can meet (especially if you can see that they are really “getting it”). Print some cards with your name and email address (even if just a sheet full of your name and email address that you can cut up to hand out). You can target putting together a group that can meet at the local free Wi-FI hotspot to talk shop. Cultivate this group; remember that the 5 persons you spend the most of your time in your life with is WHO you are BECOMING. Watch the video “The Seven Decisions” by Andy Andrews (try Ebay).
4. At a live presentation you’ll hear material that’s beyond the coverage of the books. For example, at my refresher, additional topics were touched on lightly and numerous examples were shown of trade confirms that the instructor had. Listen closely, you’ll pick up tips that others are missing such as “The S&P 500 (what it’s doing) is more important than the VIX”, “the stock market has been up 93% of the time when the president is in his 3rd year of office.” Be a sponge.

The bottom line is that 2 days of training and networking will pay better returns than 2 extra days of trading experience. As Stephen Covey says, make time to “sharpen the saw.”

Good Luck, remember, the person that will likely be worth more than Bill Gates one day is likely alive somewhere today. The only thing you have to combat is that a research paper on the subject says they’re probably living in India or China! 😉

Thanks to both of you. Attending the seminar was my initial feeling, but as I have read and experienced in other seminars, I am a New Yorker and prefer to be presented with facts rather than lead through playful story to the same conclusion. It will be only 2 or three weeks before I have the opportunity to move forward, but I’d like to get the ball rolling. Is everyone in general agreement that the best way to engage this program is through the 2 day seminar, books, dvds, and 6 mos subscription tot he site for around $2000? Where can I find the best coupon?

WTF! I read the comments for some pro and cons feedback, but it looks like one long running ad with “testimonies” from folks who are “thinking about it” or “wondering if they have the cash flow” for investment. The ones that have made the leap hardly sound unbiased and read more like shills. I suspect these comments are edited to the point of being unmeaningful for someone looking for an honest review. So lets see if this gets posted.

Well, everyone’s biased in one way or another. It’s a matter of whether that bias is informed (bought into the program and had a good or bad experience with it, or haven’t bought into the program and can only speculate whether it would be a good or bad experience). I think what you’re primarily seeing here is:

1. People who “drank the cool aid” (I’d be one of those people, by the way), bought into the program, and are doing well, or at least feel they got at least a reasonable educational value for their money).
2. People who have not bought into the program and therefore can’t speak to the value of investools (but are trying, anyway).
3. People who have found other methods of educating themselves about the market which they’re happy with (which may beg the question, why are they still searching/investigating/googling other methods?).

What I do NOT see here (amazingly even to me) are many (any?) people who bought the higher level Masters or PHD level educations from investools, attended the seminars (which are actual classes, not rah-rah sessions, for anyone who is wondering), studied the materials, AND applied that knowledge to actual trades (real or paper) and then hated the results.

I’m not trying to say that everyone who invests in an education through investools (or any other market education program) has or will make money.

All I can say for myself is, I feel VERY educated about the market compared to when I started (when I knew absolutely nothing about it). I switched from paper trading to real money trading around August. I’ve had good days and bad days. I initially lost money in the market, mostly from “playing hunches” and not following my trading rules or placing/monitoring stopping points. I’m within 1% of regaining all of my losses and am thrilled at the prospect of the gains I expect to see in 2007. Every dollar I gain going forward offsets the cost of the education I received (just as income from my job offsets the cost of my college education).

Good points Dagwood. In my case, it isn’t so much how much my investment in Investools has made me, (yet) as much as how much it has saved me, by recognizing bad trades, and getting me out of them before I lost too much to recover. The $2000 for the training and access to the tools, is peanuts to what I almost lost.

I have recently signed up for Gorilla Trdes 30day free trial, to see how it compares to what I hear about investools. In their portfolio, which they encourage subscribers to buy, they analyze stocks based on various methods (which are never made quite clear), set a trigger price, and a confirmation based on another set of rules which is supposed to mark the validation of their prospect as buy-worthy. They only show you one chart about the stock which is a longview of the months before the stock was triggered or confirmed. In nearly all the stocks in their portfolio, it is very obvious that there would have been better times to buy into the stock (as it seems they choose to select stocks which were already on some incline over months perhaps). In general, they pick some decent stocks, and make note of the volume and with their “banana barometer” keep a very broad notation of the 3 major indices, such as “neutral market”. My question is, if any of these stocks had been picked up by investools much earlier in the game, when perhpas they had high rating on phases one and two, and a high sell-off rate- If one would have been using investools and picked up on this opportunity, wouldnt they have done significantly better. My point is that this other programs works on similar fundamental in picking stocks, but really would do much better as a mutual fund. A high numbe rof their stocks fell (which was not surprising after seeing them just recently make the climb before getting picked up by the sites radars), and they were offset by many small winners (8% or so) in unrealized gains over months. They provide no charts or graphs to view anything other than the stocks previous few months, no balance sheets, moderate company description, doesnt show whos trading in company, or any sort of options. I dont know why I’m rambling, but after looking into this programs for the pat few days I have renewed my interest in a program like investools.

I have glaced through the postings and find this site to be the best for Investools information. Well, I am one of the people who put up the cash for the Investools PHD program. I started out skeptical, went to the two day training, signed up for the masters and then moved up to the PHD level. I signed up in October 2006 after a Learning Annex seminar in Chicago. I do agree the high fives and got a little old and the sales pitches were frequent. I do not expect it to continue since I purchased the program.

My knowledge in the stock market was limited and my wife’s was non-existant. We have now had 3 solid months of training and have learned more than I ever thought possible. I am on an aggressive learning schedule with live triainings scheduled at the end of each month through the end of April, adding web based training in between. The instructors have been fantastic. On my first live trade, I researched a stock and watched it for a few weeks. Then on a strong buy signal I called an instructor to run my trade by him. He grilled me on my reasoning, exit point, percentage of my investment capital, etc. At the end of the conversation, he blessed my trade. So I purchased 10 call options on COH and then seven days later sold it at a 27% gain. In my excitement I lost out on another 23% because I did not follow the trading rules that Investools instills in you. But no matter, I was content. I also had a losing trade but that was my own fault for not following the rules (I learned even more from this trade).

In my opinion, the reason Investools does not allow anyone off the street to subscibe to the Toolbox is the fact that if untrained users tried and failed, you would see a lot more negative feedback on sites like this.

My wife and I are sold on the Investools system and expect to be full time traders by the spring of 2008. We have also had the oportunity to personally speak with other PHD graduates that are well on their way to making their dreams come true.

I noticed one post that mentioned attitude is everything. IT IS!!!! I don’t speak to friends or family about Investools anymore because I am tired of the negative comments and the fear their own of the unknown. I have recently lived by the following quote from a book I recently read, “Once you take care of yourself, your abiltiy to help others will follow”.

In a perverse way, my wife and I are excited for the next bear market while others fear it. From what we have learned so far, we know we will be prepared and prosper.

Good luck to all and I will follow up from time to time with my progress.

Al, Thank you for your comments. It is nice to hear from someone who has paid the price for the full-meal deal, and can verify with first-hand experience that the program works. I for one would love to read your follow-up comments.

For the record, I have purchased the Investools basic stocks course, and am loving it… and NO.. .I don’t work for, nor am I connected with Investools in any way…

I have attended another live Investools training seminar and have a couple updates. First, since my last posting, my wife is kicking my butt in trading (paper trading anyway). She is so excited and at a lack of words for what it is she is accomplishing in such a short period of time.

We attended a basic stocks class in Kansas City at the end of January. Three weeks later, my wife has placed 8 option trades (paper) and 4 of them gained between 25-28%, with two losers which she cut off at a minimal loss and is still holding onto two. In the last two weeks, she has made over $3,000 (paper). I am just as skeptical as the next person who sees somthing “too good to be true” on the internet, but this is for real. We will be trading live more and more within the next few weeks as our skills improve.

There were over 200 people at the seminar and we had the opportunity to speak with a lot of them over two days.

I put them into two categories:
1. They have put the time into their training and are making the system work for them and are in awe of the potential.
2. Or, have put up some money and are still thinking this could not be real or think they can not do it. (Attitude is everything!)

On a negative note, Investools continued to upsell at the seminar. My wife and I ignored it because we have put up our money and are waiting for our returns to pay us back for our investment. We wanted to learn the basic options course, which we did get for the most part. But the instuctor sugar coated showing the class “more bang for the buck” by teaching us advanced technical analysis in order to upsell those who were not PHD. This would have been fine if the basic options portion was completed and then give us a bonus. My wife and I left 1 1/2 hours early because we knew the instructor was not going to be able to get through the rest of the basic options workbook. We are now uncertain if we are going to any more live trainings.

On the positive side, we can still get all we need through our live coaches and on-line training without the sales pitch to move up to the next level or attend some other class. Not to mention saving on driving/flying/hotel expenses.

When, not if, we make our education investment back, we will definately attend other courses. It would just be nice to be allowed to digest what we are learning and be profitable before being sold somthing else that costs thousands of dollars.

Overall, do not let the selling stop you from doing this. Go into it knowing what you can or can not afford and stick to it. Personally, the basic stocks course is a nice starting point but our education soared once we learned options. We could have stayed with the Masters program, purchased some technical books (candle stick charting for one) that are out there and would have been just fine.

If you read my terrible grammer and think I am somehow involved with Investools and still think it is a scam, you need to think twice. Look up the ticker IEDU and do some research.

Knowledge is power!…..or profit.

Just an update to Al Smith’s posting: Investools merger with ThinkorSwim became official today,(Feb 21, 2007) along with a change in their ticker symbol. IEDU is now SWIM. Investools HQ will be moving from the Salt Lake City area, to New York City as a result of the merger.

To give you an idea of the strength of this company, using its own tools, a buy signal of three green arrows and a volume surge on SWIM (IEDU at the time) was given in mid 2003. At the time, shares were trading at about 75 cents per share. Investools shares have risen on a near perfect upward trend for over 42 months to $16.80 today!! A $7500 investment in Investools only three and one-half years ago is worth $168,000 today…

Sorry, what is 123? Do you have a company name, Ticker Symbol?

BTW. While we are talking about charting, and prices, etc. Some of those who want to get access to Investools tools, but not the educational side of it, could do well to check http://www.prophet.net. This is the Propher chart website… Prophet Charts is owned by Investools, and the developer of Prophet Charts is on the board of Investools. Investools uses the realtime feeds from Prophet, as well as their charting. I believe Prophet offers the same access to to the indicators used on the Investools website, red & green arrows, etct. But, you can sign up for access to Prophet on a monthly basis. Bronze: $19.95, Silver:$29.95, Gold $49.95. That doesn’t include the training you get with Investools, but from some of the earlier posts, that offering may be more what you are looking for.

Sorry Kathleen, I just realized that “Trending 123” is the name of the company, and not just “123”. From what I can see from the Trending 123 website, the service they offer is quite different from Investools. Trending 123 has stock tips, alerts, etc, that you pay for monthly. It looks to me like they do the analysis and make recommendation for you to buy or sell. I may be wrong, but that is what it looks like.

Investools on the other hand does NOT offer investment advice. Its focus is on giving their clients the education and tools needed to make informed investment decisions on their own. Investools is a publicly traded company, so you can see their financial statements, etc. Trending 123 is privately held.

I completed the three day Investools “class” instruction back in August, 2006. The class was a combination of instructions, infomercials, and anecdotes. All the classroom information was already in the texts provided, so there’s nothing extra offered in person other than personal experiences of instructors and hype for taking additional classes.

I recommend NOT signing up for additional classes at the 3 day class. You WILL be called repeatedly to sign up for the same classes at prices sometimes below those offered at the class. Ask if they have a scholarship program when they call.

The Investools Investor Toolbox, the software used on the web to analyze stock, is about the best thing going. You get if included in the program for the first six months with additional years for $600. Totally worth it. If you don’t pay yourself for owning this web-based engine within the first week, you shouldn’t be day-trading.

I’ll been with investoools for 2.5 yrs.It required more work/time in the beginning compare to present.When I make back the $,I buy into a higher level course. I’am almost done with the courses ,but will always use the trading rooms. Best part time job,soon to be full time,5 more years.To be successful one must a solid foundation.With the proper $ mangemant, I plan to do this as long as my fingers can type. Give it shot,you have nothing to lose,and what you can gain.

The $2,000 2 day seminar started out fantastic, and our learning experience on day one was totally profitable.

However, day 2 did teach some teaser information on options, it mostly turned into a total sales day to convert us into the $5,000.00 to $24,000.00 programs, which we did not do.

The training we did receive, coupled with the continous online training under the education/courses tabs on the website, plus the 2 extensive training manuals and notes in same from the 2 day seminar, have put us light years ahead of where we were as novice investors.

We can now correctly evaluate a stocks f/e and price pattern, identify which sectors money is moving into, chart a 30 day moving average, identify when the stock breaks resistance, combine that with a 150% positive volume trading session, identify the upward turn in the stocatics (sp??) and same in the MACDH, and see what insiders are doing in the last 2 days, and utilize this information to make a strong buy with appropriate stop loss, continue with same info to continously move the stop loss up and use the same info above to get out with either a minimized loss or a locked in gain.

On 9 out of 11 we have either sold out or stopped out with substantial double digit under 30 day gains, and, on other 2, minimized losses to under 5%.

All in all, we’re happy campers that are just about ready to move on to the options courses and follow the steps to intense specialization into one field/method of option trading.

When I go to a doctor, I pay a good enough fee to see a general practitioner to keep him making good money, but when I need to see a specialist, like a heart surgeon, I pay more for one hour of the specialist time then I will pay the general practioner in several years, thus illustrating the power of specialization.

Last thought is, don’t buy Investools if you intend to treat it as a health club membership and just mess with it every now and then.

Only buy investools if you intend to give it at least one hour per day, everyday, without fail.

Like the health club membership, investools will only work when you use it.

hello, i was just wondering how Investools people have been doing with the downturn of the mkt — were the tools helpful to avoid any huge losses for individuals?

thank you,
celia in NY

In answer to the question about the recent market train wreck, utilizing the investools training and toolbox, we were only in 2 stocks.

First, 9700 shares of GPIC (Gaming Partners International Corporation) @ $19.31, which did not quite drop enough to hit our stop loss, which was entirely fortunate, because, as of this typing, it is trading @ $19.87. It still is consistently closing above the 30 day moving average with positive volume of +26%, but is meeting resistance between $19.50 and $20. As soon as it breaks thru, we will be moving our stop up to lock in a modest 30 day gain, and, hopefully will be looking at having to do that quite a few more times till we get out with a profit.

Second, was 200 shares of JOYG (Joy Global Inc.) @ $54.83, which we did get stopped out of @ $53.20, and minimized our loss to 2.9%.

So we didn’t come near the disasters I heard from many other friends, and are quite happy to have lived thru this learning experience with our newly acquired skills and tools holding us at almost dead even and poised for immediate profit, which makes me STILL a happy investools 1st step grad, and looking forward 2 turning profit into the options courses to come.

I was prepared and profitted from the downturn! I have been paper trading options for the last two months and when the time came, I recoginized the signals and took a position on the qqqq’s.

Let me clairify. One of the tools on the Investools web site is called the “market forcast”. It is comprised of three market trading indicators. During my research, 4-6 times a year, these lines “cluster” in the upper or lower reversal zones, this means either over bought or over sold.

Just before the market dropped, the 3 indicator lines “clustered” in the upper reversal zone indicating there was a high likelyhood of a selloff in the short term. Due to my previous research, I knew I had to get in with real money this time. I purchased 20 put options on the q’s (nasdaq). In less than 48 hours, I had sold out at a 198% profit! But due to my lack of experience in this type of sell-off, I missed out on 3-4 other significant moves.

Knowing that I can make a lot of money in a down turning market has given me the ability to sleep eaiser at night knowing I do not have to stand on shore and watch my investment ship slowly sink because my investor says in a nut shell “ride it out”. My investor never made me 1% in a down market much less 198%.

I am just trying to avoid over trading at this time. I am now on the sidelines and am waiting for the new trend to be established, which is now happening.

Good luck!

As Leigh Sheppard mentioned, prophet.net is owned by Investools and has a great set of tools for technical analysis. But it doesn’t have the red and green arrows on stochastics and MACD indicators. And it is missing all the fundamental data that Investools has.

I have a very good friend who has been an Investools student and user for about 5 years, and he has averaged returns of 5 to 7% (yes, per month!).

His experience has sold me on the program – I’m going to a seminar this Friday.

Any chance Larry’s friend would consider posting some of his thoughts to this bog? Larry, please keep tell us about your experience as you progress.

First off, let me set the context

I have some education in financial accounting and understand the very basics of equity markets and option trading. I will be attending one of the 3 hour “sell it to me” sessions in a few days.

I want to go to the sale pitch seminar prepared so I have a few questions that do not seem to be covered in this blog.

1) Purchasing options
If I understand the purchase options correctly I will be given the option to buy just the DVD and manual or to buy 2 days of training in addition to the dvd and manual. There are also additional advanced training and services available. Do I have this correct?

2) Buy the material and teach yourself?
Is the DVD/book “package” just the software and how to use it or is it also a “self-taught” course on trading as well as the software?

3) Take the lessons
This then leads to my third question. What is the expected syllabus for each day of training if I purchase a package? In other words what can I expect to be trainned on at each session if I purchased the classes?

4) Trend analysis vs fundamentals?
Is the Investtools system based on trend analysis or does it also teach techniques based on stock trading fundamentals, ie. financials, p/e, etc.

Thanks to all and Great Blog!!

I will answer each of your question based on my own experience…. (from other posts on thie blog, prices and purchase options seem to vary depending upon the presentation and/or time frame… ie. things may have changed since some of the earlier posts)

Question 1:
I attended a three-hour free introductory seminar in late October of 2006 in Victoria BC, Canada. We were offered a 2-day live training session (about a week from our sign-up date, but in Vancouver), along with a subscription to the Investools online Stocks course and material for a period of 6 months for $2000 US.

Question 2:
A DVD was never mentioned. I have been told that the DVD material is being phased-out in favour of online training. The online training material and resources are excellent. I have never had the feeling of being left on my own. The staff is very helpful and have gone out of their way to make sure my questions or concerns are resolved. Staff can be contacted by phone, online chat, or email.

Question 3:
Other than the two-day training session, you are pretty much able to control the speed and workflow of your training. To get a better idea of their offerings check out the Investools website at http://www.investools.com

Question 4:
The Basic Stocks course teaches both fundamental analysis, and technical analysis… and allows you to develop your own techniques according to your tolerance for risk, investment capital, etc.

Question 5: (Not asked but answered anyway!)
I bought the Basic Stocks course. In addition, Investools offers courses on Basic Options, Advanced Options, Advanced Technical Analysis, Currency Trader and Advanced Currency Trader. They also offer personal coaching services (at a fee).
I feel that the $2000 I spent on the program so far has been money well spent. I have learned things I would never have learned on my own, and as my investments begin to pay off, I plan on taking some of the additional courses.

I just attended the 3 day workshop in Draper, UT and have once again been blown away. I will keep this short. I paid the $2K for the Basic stock and the $24K for the PHD program and could not be more satisfied. All 16 people in the class were amazed. I thought I had learned a lot over the past five months, but it all came together with the help of the 3 coaches dedicated to our class. If you can afford it and dedicate 1-2 hours a night trianing, do it.

My previous posts showed concern over the sales pitches I received in the past classes I attended. Not this one! It was learning the system, money management, trading mindset, how to watch for a specific stock to your liking and finally the specific entrance/exit point.

Don’t know what else to say.

I attended the Get Motivated Seminar and signed up for the Investools class offered by Phil Town. I attended day 1 of the class and ended up returning the material at the end of the day. I did not feel any pressure to sign up for other packages, or continue in the intro class. The instructor was very good and I left feeling like there was a lot more I needed to learn about stocks in general. I did not continue the class because of personal issues at the moment. I learned a few things I was not aware of about stocks and the other opportunities out there. I felt the staff was professional and that this is a top notch company that appears to take its product seriously. The representatives make it clear about the education and like anything out there, you will get out of it what you put into it. This is not a get rich quick deal. You have to take the time to learn and apply what concepts are being taught. I was impressed. In the future this is definitely a product I would like to learn more about and be able to participate at the PHD level.

For those of you interested in Phil Town’s system but who are having difficulty finding qualified companies priced at $0.50 for a dollar’s worth of value, I may be able to help……I found a list of 50+ qualified Rule #1 companies for sale on Ebay for just $25 and have had a great degree of success since I bought and started using it………I just checked, it’s still for sale, check it out if interested……I hope it helps:


I am interested in the Investools Associates degree in Basic Options Trading.From what I read it seams to be mixed emotions. Looking for someone who has used this program successfully, and not associated with Investools.

I just want to know if any of you who have paid for the investools program have actually made any money? $2000 is a lot of money in my book. That is great if you feel it was worth the money, but has the program helped you financially.

I have not read a lot of people saying they made money since using the system (Except for the info-commercials on TV, which I am skeptical of)

If 2k is a lot of money to you, than i would suggest not even attempting the program. It takes money to make money. It took my wife a year and a half to make back the 20k for the phd program.. now she makes 20k a month. it will only work if you can visualize your sucess and follow thru with it!!

[email protected]

Well put, Double K! I have just returned home from my two day basic stocks course, and was blown away. We had two different presenters, and both were terrific! I am amazed at the caliber of people that Investools has. This was a first class presentation, and we worked hard. There was no attempt to try to sell me things I didn’t want, or couldn’t afford. They presented the basic stocks material as promised, and then showed the advantages, risks, and a few advanced strategies using options, covered calls etc. This was not presented as a sales pitch, but rather to make us aware of investment strategies that can be used in a variety of market conditions. There was no hard sell, or any attempt to make me feel like I was missing out on something if I didn’t sign up right now…

This experience has been well worth every cent I have paid. I believe I have realistic expectations about my abilities in the market, and the amount of time it is going to take to recoup my investment. In the meantime, I am loving the education.

Thanks Leigh! A key point, education. If you don’t learn it you are not going to be successful. I see you and Al Smith seem to be very motivated! That is a good thing, because thats about the only way you are going to reach your goals.

While my wife was spending 20 hours a week on investools, i was doing the same finishing my college degree. Our educations cost us both about 20-30k. Now i wish i would have not wasted my time writing term papers and taking tests, jumping thru corporate hoops to no avail. When you learn how to make money the way investools does, you don’t need any other education!!

Time is so important. Having the freedom to choose what you want to do everyday is the greatest feeling. I hope your educations serve you well!

[email protected]

Thanks Leigh! A key point, education. If you don’t learn it you are not going to be successful. I see you and Al Smith seem to be very motivated! That is a good thing, because thats about the only way you are going to reach your goals.

While my wife was spending 20 hours a week on investools, i was doing the same finishing my college degree. Our educations cost us both about 20-30k. Now i wish i wouldn’t have wasted my time writing term papers and taking tests, jumping thru corporate hoops to no avail. When you learn how to make money the way investools does, you don’t need any other education!!

Time is so important. Having the freedom to choose what you want to do everyday is the greatest feeling. I hope your educations serve you well!

[email protected]

I am scheduled to attend the free seminar on the 12th—-I desire to purchase the program—I still am not clear as to the cost—I also would like the currency program and become a day trader—This will be my full time job—-Does anyone know the current cost of the program and how much is needed to open a brokerage account to make money in the first 30 days?


Just the facts:
My husband and I attended the real estate wealth expo in Toronto on March 24. That day, we purchased the investools basic stock course for 1999 cdn.
We attended the basic stock course in Toronto the following weekend. While we were there, we purchased the Masters Program (basic options + advanced technical analysis) for 11,000 cdn.
We opened a paper trading account as soon as we got home. I bought 5 stocks, 100 shares of each stock, initial value of 35,500.
Since that day, March 31, 07, I’m up 9.3% or $3300.
I’ll continue paper trading for another month.
Our basic option course is in August in Toronto.
I commit to posting a monthly blog.

While I have no back ground in investing, the Investools website seems to be a great place to learn. We are in the process of ‘paper trading’. While the stocks course ($1500) was just a sells pitch for the PHD program, it has still gave us a tool that we hope to make our money work better for us. I thought after all the sales pitch the first day they were actually going to teach the serious ones the second day. Because after the first day you could opt out and not loss your $1500 you had put up to secure your place in the class. By the way not everyone that had signed up for the class was able to get in. (And for those that had given their credit card to secure their spot, now had the responsible to call and have the charge removed.)We almost did not get in!
There were teaching moments but by the second day and the second presenter, we went to lunch an hour early because everything he had taught was basically the same talk from the day before. In the afternoon there was one section where we actually learn to do a trade that was helpful and then we left 11/2 early also because we could see that was our teaching moment for the day. The good news we still like the program.
While Investools education teaches that you can not go on your feelings about the stocks (only the rules) the workshop presenters spend most of their time training you on their emotional buy, “the PHD Program”. Good news we are self taught and believe in education and we will proceed with our eyes and mind open. I just think that Investools is doing themselves a disservice by the way this great program is being presented. Go figure! But then again its their business, their morals and there is MONEY to be made.

While I have no background in investing, the Investools website seems to be a great place to learn. We are in the process of ‘paper trading’. While the stocks course ($1500) was just a sells pitch for the PHD program, it has still gave us a tool that we hope to make our money work better for us. I thought after all the sales pitch the first day they were actually going to teach the serious ones the second day. Because after the first day you could opt out and not loss your $1500 you had put up to secure your place in the class. By the way not everyone that had signed up for the class was able to get in. (And for those that had given their credit card to secure their spot, now had the responsible to call and have the charge removed.) We almost did not get in!
There were teaching moments but by the second day and the second presenter, we went to lunch an hour early because everything he had taught was basically the same talk from the day before. They presented what they called a “bonus” during lunch, teaching about things that you would have expected in class. In the afternoon there was one section where we actually learn to do a trade that was helpful and then we left 11/2 early also because we could see that was our teaching moment for the day. The good news we still like the program.
While Investools education teaches that you can not go on your feelings about the stocks (only the rules) the workshop presenters spend most of their time training you on their emotional buy, “the PHD Program”. Good news we are self taught and believe in education and we will proceed with our eyes and mind open. I just think that Investools is doing themselves a disservice by the way this great program is being presented. Go figure! But then again its their business, their morals and there is MONEY to be made.

I went to the free Investools 3-hour presentation and am seriously considering attending the 2-day class next week. Inferring from the blogs here (which are incredibly helpful by the way!), I am under the impression that after the 2-day class, there’s “continuing education” (ie Associate’s/Master’s/PhD), which is understandable as noone can possibly master something in just 2 days. However, I am concerned because while I have the $2K to attend the 2-day class, I’m afraid I cannot shell out the $5K to move onto the Associate’s Program at this time. So my question is, will I learn from those 2 days at least the BASICS to begin trading, have access to the tools, and hopefully profit to later on join the more advanced classes? Will I be able to do anything by just attending the 2-day class? OR Would it be more prudent to defer joining Investools until I have enough money to join the advanced classes?

I wanted to clarify, is that 2-day class the Basic Stocks class, or that’s additional class I would have to pay for?

I’m a beginner at investing – for anyone else who was also a beginner when they first used Investools, how long did it take for you to “get it”? How much time each day did it take? How long before you switched from paper trading to actual trading?

Thanks in advance for any advice.


Yes, the 2 day class is the Basic Stock Class, you will learn some basics to begin trading. My husband paid $1500 to be able to have access on the investools website for 6 mos and a 2 day class on basic stocks course. There is a a lot of info and study courses on the investools program on the website that needs to be looked at before going to the two day workshop. It took me several days to a week to research what is available on that website. To understand what the instructor is talking about in the 2 day class it is important to study. The reason is that they go over a lot of material (fast talkers)in a short time and also spend MUCH of the time talking about advancing your education and learning “options trading”. My husband and I plan to study and practice trading with ” paper money” for several months because we are beginners in buying and selling stocks. We do not plan to go into advance education: options and other advancement until we have made our money back, the $1500 in the stock market and feel comfortable with trading basic stocks. There are some teaching moments in the workshop BUT only if you do your homework (study the courses and etc available on the website before going to the 2 day class. Otherwise, you may be lost and caught up in the emotional sell that they are trying to make for advanced education. We did get some valuable education from the 2 day class but being prepared is the key to sorting out the sell from the part you came to learn about in the first place. Going to the 2 day class can give you clarity on some of the things you studied before going to class. They will not go page by page in the manuals, so there will be a lot more information to study on your own. Happy lucrative trading!

Reply to Maan.

Like anything worth while, this takes time. I typically spend 1 hour a night going through training modules on the web site and another 1/2 hour reviewing my stock watch list. I am a PHD so I have a lot of info to go over. If I could go back and do it over again, I would sign up for the PHD. However, I would have traded ONLY paper money for at least the first six months. I am doing well with my trades but I tend to take most of my losses from jumping into a new trading style too quickly. You learn so much so fast that it is tempting to throw real money into the game sooner than you should. I have learned the hard way on some trades that I need to paper trade until I have established a consistant strategy.

Keep in mind that people go to college for 4-5 years and then more training after that to learn this stuff. The more patient you can be, the better off you will be.

You should have enough training from the live stocks class and the web site to get you started. Keep in mind that the instructors have a job to encourage people to move up to the higher programs. Don’t feel pressured. Buy what you can afford. After the instructor shows you options, buying stocks will seem really slow. Stick to your plan, be patient, be consistant and it will pay off for you.

Re Maan,

I forgot to mention I purchased the Rule #1 list off of Ebay for $17 as well. I am doing my research on the stocks and will post my findings later. If you have not read Rule #1 yet, I highly encourage you to do so. Phil’s book and Investools go hand in hand. Not to mention that you could potentially make money to pay for Investools before you even sign up for the class if you follow Phil’s steps.

Good luck.

Chris: I’ve read some of your blog, particularly the Investools info. I am a member of Investools and would love to talk with you to give you more cost info and what I’ve found over the past few months.


I tried out the investools software during the trial period and completely went through the online tutorial and the first day of classes, but by the end of the day handed everything back and said, “No Thank You.” The educational tool that investools is offerring is a great tool, but what they are selling is available, and most important, free to anyone with an internet connection. The only thing that appears to be an exclusive feature of the investools is the 3 green arrow system…which is explained in the tutorial. You can draw in your own green arrows on the Stochastic, Volume, and performance charts if you know what you are looking for. That information which is obviously key to the whole system was provided in the online tutorial. That was probably the most valuable bit of information that investools had to offer, along w/ the initial confidence Phil Town’s instills in you; that we as the little people can do it. I would only suggest investools if you already have a large sum of money just sitting in your bank and you honestly can’t spare 20 minutes a day looking at the information on the net pertaining to your 5 core stocks. Because remember, even after you pay them the start up fee for all your classes, they want you to pay semi-annually for their *wonderful* 3 arrow system. They know the information is free for all, but they are trying to make people dependent on them, dependent on a green light instead of thinking for themselves. Also, I am a little cynical but Phil Town is being paid by investools to talk about them, don’t think he isn’t getting anything out of it and that he is just a good quality guy backing up this great software package. HIs philosophy is true with or without the software and the charts can be found either free or at a significantly reduced price (Big Charts, Stockcharts.com, Yahoo Finance, MSN Stock, etc.). People have already been so dependent on Mutual funds, and the opinions of brokers, don’t become dependent on Investools..you have the information available to do it on your own (minus the fees to buy and sell of course).

John Quinn:

As an investor now having used Investools for over a year and having purchased every one of their courses (thanks Ebay) and had quite a bit of experience with the website and all its MANY MANY offerings, I think I’m pretty qualified to respond to Mr. Quinn’s comments in counterpoint. I’ll also add I am in no way affiliaited nor compensated in any shape or form by Investools, it’s subsidiaries, relatives of, drinking buddies, with, etc. you get the idea. In fact, I work for a top 10 brokerage firm and face further complexities due to that since I am unable to trade anywhere but through my firm, and believe me, I pay a LOT more to trade than you could with any of the online brokers.

First of all, in his, in mine last year, and I would venture to say, anyone’s trial period with Investools you will not even scratch the surface nor really grasp all that their site offers. You can’t, largely because as a newcomer up to moderately knowledgeable invester you are not ready to understand nor use many of the features and benefits. If you’re a beginner you’re going to have your hands full just trying to grasp how the three green arrows work and what they’re telling you and why and how to use some of the rest of the scoring system that’s offered. The portrayal that “all they offer is 3 green arrows” is the typical uninformed response and is ludicrous. See my other prior postings for some of the things you can’t get elsewhere or that save you time, or, consolidate information that you would bounce between half a dozen sites tryng to compile in order to make informed decisions and still not equal what you get all in one place with Investools. I’ll cover a few new thoughts here though also.

First, there are almost more free educational materials presented on a continuous basis than one can keep up with. Don’t worry, you don’t need to. If you’re going to be successful you will learn that you will need to specialize in a particular area or limited number of areas of interest. By that I mean, are you a long term, swing trader or day trader? Will you trade stocks, and if so, just going long or also short selling? If options, are you just going long, doing covered calls, going short, doing straddles, strangles, iron condor’s and another 3 dozen option strategies that are all viable and may fit certain individuals risk, time horizon and portfolio’s worth. Then there’re ETF’s and trading the indices to further complicate the selection of investment alternaitives. At Investools you can learn about all of these over time and make an informed decision about where your interest lies. Just to give you a taste, here is the list of subjects from the last 6 months of portfolio strategy articles that were available free to all members:

Simple Diversification
Flexible Risk Management
Hedging Stock with Options
How Much Profit is Enough to Justify a Trade?
An Introduction to Hedging
Guaranteed Option Gains
Red, Blue and Green Opportunities
Using the Commodity Channel Index
Portfolios Governed by Rules
Correlations between Multiple Asset Classes
Monthly Income without Owning Stock
Include Longer Term Holdings in Retirement Accounts
Closing an Option Spread Trade
Using Divergences for Stock & Option Trades
Monitoring a Spread Trade
Lock in a Price for Your Long Stock Positions
Identifying Entry Points with Short Term Charts
Trading Options Using Price Patterns
Portfolio Strategy – Trading Your Market Posture
Portfolio Strategy – Synthetic Long Stock (Bullish)
Earnings Strategies
Portfolio Strategy – Old Reliable Pays Off Again
Portfolio Strategy – Time is your Friend
Portfolio Strategy – Bear Flag Breakouts with Dave Johnson
Portfolio Strategy – Bull Flag Breakouts with Dave Johnson
Portfolio Strategy – An interview with Dave Johnson
Expanding Your Time Horizon

And those are just the ones from the Portfolio Strategy section, there are a dozen other types of weekly information posted, here’s another category example:

Current Screening: an example of analyzing a specific stock each week both fundamentals and technicals to build the knowledge of how to go about this.

OK, check, Investools can give you a superior, “all you can eat” lifetime of learning.

How about finding something to invest in? Investools has over 40 backtested searches and a steady stream of new unique searches along with the attendant strategy to ensure you can find a search or searches that matches your investment strategy.

Here’s just one example:

“Dividend Paying Stocks With Below Average Volatility”

“Dividend Paying Stocks With Below Average Volatility is a search strategy that looks for so-called “safe havens” within the equity markets. These are stocks that possess a combination of rising dividend yields, low volatility, and a long-term trend of earnings growth. Turbulent economic conditions or volatile financial markets often give these stocks their day in the sun as investors seek safer grown, though value-oriented investors with long-term investment horizons also favor looking for safe…”

Investools has more searches and the info of how to use them than anyone and I’ve seen what a lot of the other sites offer.

You also have to find a workflow that works for you as far as making a determination on whether you’ll trade something a search turns up. The three green arrows do make it easy to spot acceptable entry and exit points IF YOU ARE A STOCK TRADER, but you need more than that to make a determination. It’s the combination of their scoring method and other tools and information that makes it fast to analyze a particular stock. That is, with their scoring system for what they call “Phase I” (P/E, EPS and cash flow growth, etc. etc. — 13 criteria in all that are measured, scored and SUMMED UP for decision making at a GLANCE) as well as what they call their “Phase II” scoring system which again AT A GLANCE gives you a way to measure things like Earnings Estimates and Volatility — you have BAR NONE the BEST and FASTEST way combined of evaluating a particular stock, and you can do this with a couple quick glances at the score totals.

Folks, time is money and if you are going to trade stocks or options on stocks (as opposed to on indices like the S&P 500), then the REALITY IS THAT YOU ARE GOING TO SPEND A FAIR AMOUNT OF TIME SEARCHING FOR AND REVIEWING STOCKS THAT MEET YOUR CRITERIA. Having developed my trading plan over the last year (the steps i take to review any trade for meeting my criteria) I can assure you that I get more information in one place, information you can’t get elsewhere in nearly as friendly a form, or not even at all and can make an informed decision faster than you’ll be able to elsewhere.

Now, you may recall that I mentioned the three green arrows are good for STOCKS. That’s important, because if you’re going to invest in options, they’re little help at all. For that you need to understand advanced technical analysis since there’s much more to entry and exit points with options versus stocks. Investools teaches that and, again, provides ongoing learning content to help you advance.

The investools MarketCast offers a daily market wrap, Q&As, and weekly stock pick that is incomparable anywhere else. Yes, it’s a free part of the web and is a downloadable MP3 file if you want to take it with you on your commute.

OK, I hope I’ve given some sense of how much more there is than the three green arrows. Again, see my other posts (do a find for B.Reasonable on the page), but to recap some of the things you don’t get elsewhere:

1. Yes, 3 green arrows saves time
2. Industry groups, displayed right with the stock chart, showing the flow of institutional money in/out of that group AND the “Big Chart’ master listing of all industry groups and how each has ranked for the current and last 12 weeks AND what companies are in these industry groups AND how the companies are doing the best to worst in that group
3. Phase I and Phase II scoring AT A GLANCE
4. Educational materials beyond compare
5. Coaching as an option where you run your trade past an expert beforehand and they help you understand what you’re not seeing
6. The best searches bar none
7. Insider Trading listed right on your charts

Friends, some sites have one or two of these things, some might even have 4 or 5, but try as you might, you will NOT find one site that puts all this and more together on ONE SINGLE SITE all UNIFIED so that everything is INTEGRATED. By that I mean:

a. run a search,
b. with a click add those companies into a watchlist or portfolio for future reference
c. view thumbnail charts for all those companies ON ONE PAGE with Phase I and Phase II scores shown above every chart AND earnings releases. stock splits and dividend dates all shown right on these thumbnail charts AND along with MACD, Stochastics and Volume on every one of these thumbnails (!)
d. with one click, view these same stocks as a table of technical information including (among others) how many days since a positive or negative Stochastics, OR MACD, OR moving average breakout AND be able to sort on any of these criteria.
e. In one click switch over to Prophet charts (www.prophet.net), owned by Investools and integrated into the Investools web site for what many say is the best charting tool available. Applly any of ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY SIX STUDIES TO THE CHART. Then, one by one, step through all the stocks in this saved portfolio or watch list (created from searches above, or, a basket of your holdings) and see these studies applied, OR, step through the days CHART TOPPERS or watch streaming delayed 1 minute updates INCLUDING showing both an OPTION and its price on the SAME CHART with the UNDERLYING STOCK, both streaming delayed as granular as one minute ticks on the chart
f. run integrated Probability Analysis, Black-Scholes or Rule #1 analysis on any company you’re looking at
g. directly jump to enter a trade with ThinkOrSwim, Investools highly rated online brokerage.

WHEW, good luck even finding a fraction of that all in one place, all integrated together. And, if you don’t understand what that all is, or even more important why it all matters in designing and executing a successful trading plan then I would suggest you continue studying and paper trading until you do, because you just aren’t ready yet.

Good luck and happy trading.

Oh, and just to show that Investools isn’t the be-all, end-all, I highly recommend that anyone serious about the journey subscribe to http://www.traderslibrary.com‘s newsletter with sale prices on their investing DVD’s and spend $1K when one of their warehouse sales comes up. If you do, you’ll end up with 30-40 or so DVD’s, likely 60-100 hours of instruction or more on many many topics and after consuming this you’ll be much better prepared to formulate your strategy. It’s a better spend of $1K than even Investools since many have PDFs available that provide you with the handouts just as if you had attended the class. At least definitely look for Steve Nison’s videos on Candlesticks as understanding them is virtually a must today.

Finally, I’ll close with a statement that my current option holdings include TDW (up 36%) and GLBL (up 46%) and a year ago I was dumb money in the market like most of the rest of you. I thought an option was the wildest, craziest investment a gambler could make. Now, a year later through spending less money than a single year at a top college would cost, I’ve gotten an invaluable education in stock selection, option greeks, technical analysis, fundamental analysis, risk management and portfolio management to where I will never, ever, consider having a stockbroker manage my money, and remember, i work for a brokerage firm, and a pretty awesome one at that.

Thanks Investools. If I hadn’t gone to the 2 day stocks seminar I would likely have never realized this was all even possible.

Make informed choices everyone. As Ben Franklkin said (paraphrased), a man can do little better than empty his wallet into his head through education. Spend an honest year with Investools and I’m quite sure that if you put in the time in earnest pursuit of the knowledge to control your financial destiny that you will get there.

Thanks for listening.

Thanks B. Reasonable for this in-depth review. Your message obviously took a lot of thought, and a long time to put together. I couldn’t be bothered. I read John Quinn’s comments and thought to myself, “Oh no, not another ‘Everything Investools offers is available free elsewhere’ review from someone who hasn’t invested a dime in the process”… .

There are very few open forums (like this one) that will have so many rave reviews written about a product. If a product turns out to be a rip-off, or in any way leaves subscribers less-than-satisfied with the product they have purchased… you’ll see complaints outnumber messages of praise by 50 to 1 (Just to a search for ‘Teach Me Trade” and notice the ratio of bad reviews)… generally, those who are angry are far more likely to post reviews than those who are happy…. and yet on this site..the cudos far outnumber the naysayers. …

The fact that you, and I, and dozens of other people have taken considerable time to post favorable comments of our experiences with Investools, on this site, with absolutely no financial reward for our efforts, (Investools doesn’t even offer a referral program) … says a lot about our level of satisfaction.

Just to change the subject slightly, I think it might be important to note that Phil Town does not work for Investools. He is not listed as a presenter, staff member, consultant or any other affiliation. I suspect that he is a reseller, arranging his own presentations, where he is free to present his own trading techniques and philosophies. Since the tools & techniques available from Investools are closely aligned with Phil’s, he seems quite comfortable offering them as part of his “package”. In my industry, this is what we would call a Value Added Reseller (VAR). This may well explain some of the differences in pricing, and offererings referred to throughout this thread.

a men to that leigh.. i fell out laughing when i read quinns comment. i told my wife about it a couple of days later and she was laughing 2. you dont know what you dont try..

i invisioned myself making that comment about many things in my life… its kind of like reading the back of a book and looking at the picture on the cover and saying.. what a stupid book, i already know the whole story. but do you really think its that shallow?

anyone in so cal want to play a game of chess or golf or some other type of activity email me?? investools has helpped to free up a little bit of my time and i get bored easy. looking to be more active.


[email protected]

KK, what is it that you were laughing about. If what I said did not pertain to you why concern yourself with it. The point of me writing what i did was purely for people who have more time and less money to invest. Investools is not for everybody as even B. Reasonable pointed out. I am not insulting investools because they are a great software tool, but for me I can spend the extra 16 more minutes a day sifting through different websites I have in my favorities to monitor my 5 core companies, because it is not worth while for me to go in debt trying to purchase investools training and then invest. Even to just have purcha3sed the startup and a years worth of support it would have taken me 3 years just to recoop my losses from the first year (not including broker fees and the next 2 years support costs) My whole point was that you can do the same thing on your own if you invest more time.

Don’t be some obtuse to think there is only 1 way to skin a cat.

ok John,

lets disect your first comment –

1.”The educational tool that investools is offerring is a great tool, but what they are selling is available, and most important, free to anyone with an internet connection.”

—– most of what investools teaches can be learned on your own, but how many people become proffesional advanced traders making 6 figures withing 2 years by reading a book? my friend you have only scratched the surface of what type of education investools really has to offer. you are correct that a lot of things are available for free on the internet, but some people learn better with a little help and some good coaching from successful investors. i doubt you can find anyone for free on the internet that is going to spend 30 minutes once a week to go over stocks, options, technicals and all that other nice stuff for free… as little as it is to ask someone to do.. you tell me when you find a qualified trader that is willing to give you 30 minutes a week to give guidence and direction. ill give that person a big pat on the back for giving up their precious time to help others prosper.

2.”The only thing that appears to be an exclusive feature of the investools is the 3 green arrow system…”

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX wrong. if you think the three green arrows are really the “exclusive feature” that investools offers.. well, to clue you in they are kind of like training wheels… and investools offers so much more.. i guess if all you are doing is trading stock they might help more? i dont know.


3.”That was probably the most valuable bit of information that investools had to offer, along w/ the initial confidence Phil Town’s instills in you; that we as the little people can do it. I would only suggest investools if you already have a large sum of money just sitting in your bank and you honestly can’t spare 20 minutes a day looking at the information on the net pertaining to your 5 core stocks. Because remember, even after you pay them the start up fee for all your classes, they want you to pay semi-annually for their *wonderful* 3 arrow system. They know the information is free for all, but they are trying to make people dependent on them, dependent on a green light instead of thinking for themselves.”

ok.. once again i think you spoke your piece too early.. the investools website offers a lot more than just the 3 arrows.. and for only 600 a year – 50 bucks a month.. i think thats worth the convenience of only having to find your indepth information from one source, but i guess thats a personal choice.


at the end of your first comment you talked about how investools pays phil to do blah blah blah blah.. well this blog is a pretty honest blog as far as i can tell.. ive read most of the posts and i dont think any of them sound like they were paid to do it or were making things up… ivestools is a way to gain knowledge.. and being taught somthing this important is not going to come for free.. sorry.


Lets break down the second post now-

1.”KK, what is it that you were laughing about. If what I said did not pertain to you why concern yourself with it.”

I laughed because it tottaly does pertain to me. I am only 30 years old and i’ve been through a lot of things in my life. i was a negetive person, self destructing often and totally out of control alcoholic for many years. I made the same types of accusations, assumptions and comments that you made about investools about everything in life. i never wanted to spend any lengthy amount of time trying to figure out if something really worked or was legit and all that stuff.. i understand capital is standing you way, but i was just making reference because it did pertain to me! it doesnt matter what you are trying to accomplish in life, if you are quick to judge and think you have it all figured at without really doing your research, then you are at a loss. I personally felt very similar after attending the first 2 day seminar for investools.. i know that that information is easy to come by and can all be done on your own… but thats only the tip of the ice berg when it comes to learning about trading….

Investools is a lot of money, but its like paying for any good education. while my wife was busy learning the market with investools, i was busy going to college, finishing my degree. i spent the same amount of money she did and now she makes lots of money and i dont use my education at all… so i guess it all boils down to what your goals are.. and i find that with most people their expectations are all different, because we all have different goals we are going to look at it from a different perspective, and i respect that.

“Don’t be some obtuse to think there is only 1 way to skin a cat. ”

lol.. ive never heard that one before.. but i like it, and totally agree. hope you reach your goals quinn..!!

I am a member of Investools, but I have only completed the 1st workshop on stocks. I was very pleased and I have made my money back. Yes I agree the education is very expensive. I would like to ask other Investool members at the higher levels, masters, phd a few questions. I see the manuals and DVD’s on ebay for sale. Investools does not provide the DVD’s now. I was told that they do not provide DVD because the class is online now. However, the online in just a copy of the manual. Can anyone tell me what the DVD are. Are they actual copies of the workshop with the instructor explaining or are they like the online version of the manual. For the basic options and the advanced technical analysis how many manuals are there. I see the workshop manual and sometimes a one on one coaching manual. I would appreciate the manual names for each workshop. I am considering more education with Investools, but want to explore buting the manuals on ebay first. If I can review the manuals and do some study, then I will consider getting the coaching and other things. Thank you in advance for your help. I really enjoy all the comments people are making. Thanks

I read Phil Towns Book and though it sounded good. If you trully follow his advise to the letter you could possibly wind uup staying out off stocks to the next bear market in order to find the value and discount he rquires. He qoutes Buffet a loot but he does not qoute buffet most famoud saying that it is foolish for the average investor to think they can successfully chose individual stocks. Phil Town discourages diversification and even promotes putting large poirtions of your money in only five or six stocks. I have been a successfull investor for over 25 years and have founf that in every Bull market authors withtheir systems and books appear. they go away in the bear markets and their systems do not sustain in time. Phil Town is one of these. He is well spoken. I have heard him speak . He has gotten it down right down to the smile and energy. HE IS A SALESMAN … Get it Unfortunatly become financially successfull combines many other ingredents othe the a book or special trading system especially in a bull market when your momentum trading. If you wish to spend your time and money on Phil Town and his book and investools please fill free to miss the boat understand that their is one bornevery minute YOU!!

So Sam, are you suggesting we are suckers because we bought Phil Town’s book? or because some of us bought into Investools? or both?

I own, and have read Rule #1, and agree that finding stocks that fit his criteria can be a daunting task. He is really promoting a long-term investment style. I have pretty much decided that his “rules” are much too restrictive for my trading style.. BUT, I don’t fault Phil Town for that… I am sure that his strategies work for him, and probably hundreds of other investors who are happy with 15% annual returns, but one thing to get straight… Phil Town is not Investools! Investools has dozens of presenters, all of whom are listed on their website, along with contact info and bios. Not so with Phil Town. He does not work for Investools. He is not listed as an employee, or a contractor or anything else. The coaches barely acknowledge him. He is a freelancer.

Investools does teach how to make money in both bull and bear markets. They preach diversification. They provide the tools so that those who want to implement Phil Town’s strategies can do so. They provide the education and the tools to allow someone such as myself who would otherwise know nothing about the stock market, to be able to develop, test and implement trading rules and strategies that I am comfortable with.

Investools is one of the best things I have ever been involved in. I am getting an education, having fun, and making money…can’t knock that.

Thanks for some counterpoint Leigh.

For a guy that’s invested successfully for over 25 years, Sam Swanson is remarkably short on alternatives that everyone should be checking out.

While he is quick to group Rule #1 and Investools together (which Leigh addressed how they are not) and tell us we’ll “miss the boat” with them, he gives no reasons “why” other than it must be some snake oil sales pitch related to the upward market trend.

I personally have a hard time giving any credibility to someone that lobs some unspecific and uninformed shots at something that’s obviously working for so many and simultaneously claims he’s an investing wiz for 2+ decades, but offers no alternatives to consider…

Investools continues to rock for me. I’m solidifying my approach to options largely due to listening to the Marketcast every day and continuing my study of technicals. You can get the Marketcast here on Zencast which appears open to the public or just Google for it (Investools Marketcast):


So far, sold my TDW option for a 67% return, my GLBL option is at 63% today. DE is uptrending and my option is profitable and looks to continue making higher highs and higher lows (that’s called an upward trend folks…) and I’m happy to have my position in BWLD even though it’s bouncing a bit after the stock split this week. However, the trend is clearly in place. All are finds via Investools and my strategy and entry/exit points would make Jeff and Eric proud I believe.

I’ll also take exception to Sam’s comment about Phil’s lack of diversification and holding “5 or 6 stocks”. The adage properly should be: “don’t place all you eggs in one basket – UNLESS you watch it very carefully.”

What this means is that one of the strongest teachings of Investools (listen to the Marketcast beat it into email-ers heads…) is position sizing and risk management.

That is, if you want to trade stocks and not options like me and you want to put your money into any small number of holdings, then fine, BUT NEVER, I mean NEVER hold a position without a STOP LOSS ORDER IN PLACE.

This is one of the reasons I’ll never own a mutual fund again in my life (other than in 401K where there’s no choice).

YOU CANNOT PLACE A STOP LOSS ORDER ON A MUTUAL FUND. That means, if the market takes a dive, you had NO SAFETY NET in place to move you into cash when a critical support level is broken. How’s that for peace of mind while you’re on vacation???

Stocks, Options, ETFs, all of these enable you to use STOP LOSS ORDERs and are a major benefit of trading these.

Again, without further comment, we have no idea what Sam would recommend instead of the alternative of 5 or 6 strongly uptrending, stop loss protected positions. So I would ask:

– How many positions do you want to watch (is 50 enough for Sam?), why can’t 5 or 6 stocks in 5 or 6 completely different industries qualify as diversification??? Sure, sure, have some ready cash for emergencies in some stable easily at hand vehicle, but we’re not talking about that right?
– or does he trade ETF’s so you’re buying a whole basket of stocks, but then, hey, the Oil and Gas ETF is centered in one segment – surprise – Oil and Gas! so if this sector turns the ETF goes down just like most stocks in it would.

So, consider this investing strategy:
1. Find 5-6 companies that fit as close as possible to the Rule #1 screening, most of all learn to tell a great stock from a great company. Beat The Street talks about investing in companies that you love but clarifies that they should be carving out unique or strong territory (Rule #1 moat) and not just be some place you like to shop. In my case, I don’t even know where to find a Buffalo Wild Wings but I know they are rated highly by analysts overall, have solid fundamentals that show strong potential for future earnings growth, have plenty of room to grow their chain and the stock is trending upward VERY nicely and I made an entry at a proper risk/reward point. I’m *IN* –without ever having tasted the food.
2. that also are in a clear uptrend (higher highs, lower lows)
3. Learn to read some obvious chart patterns (look at the ascending triangle that Ford (F) is outlining currently and why that’s an important entry signal) and use these technical patterns to time your purchase, monitor your positions health and determine your exit point. For example, my July TDW option needed to be sold on this upward swing — the next one would be deep in Theta cost (melting ice cube – option time value) near option expiration since the swings were taking 2-3 weeks.
4. Look at how your company correlates to the market price, if it strongly correlates to say the Dow, buy in on a down day as opposed to an up day so that you’ll likely get a slightly lower entry price
5. Learn how to apply position sizing, risk reward and stop loss orders. Essentially, position sizing limits your investment in a single instrument to what you can manage: 10-20% in a stock depending on how agressive you are and your tolerance for a worst case scenario of being stopped out of the sale, 2-5% in an option depending on again the same parameters. Risk/reward says look at where support and resistance are, if it’s not blue sky above (making new all time highs), then somewhere back in time is a resistance level that the bulls will have to face and make a decision whether to cross to the upside or not. Same thing to the downside. Determine what your acceptable risk/reward ratio is, perhaps 2:1 or 3:1. That means twice the room for an upward move before encountering resistance as opposed to downward room to fall before encountering support. The stop loss order obviously goes at this maximum pain point where you want to exit. If you’re trading stocks, absolutely have a standing stop loss order with your broker to take you out, but watch for the common stop loss points such as obvious resistance that’s being touched on swings or the nice even round numbers (20, 60, 80, etc.) and position just below it since the market makers like to play games and drive the price down enough to clean out these players before a stock starts a new run upward (yes, this really happens folks). If you’re trading options your stop loss should be a mental one since the market makers can very easily bounce you out if they see a lot of stop loss orders at a specific price. At least one online brokerage will let you set a stop loss on an option based on a certain stock price which is better.
6. Paper trade, paper trade, paper trade until you think you’re really getting it and have established a track record. Most any online site offers these and you’ll also be getting comfortable with their order entry tools.
7. Get some skin in the game: start with VERY SMALL trades. Why??? because it’s completely DIFFERENT EMOTIONALLY than paper trading. When it’s YOUR MONEY ON THE LINE, will you have the discipline to sell at a LOSS? Somewhere I read that around 50% that start trading don’t have this discipline and will hold onto a stock all the way down just not to have to sell at a loss. Read “Enhancing Trader Performance” to understand the psychology of trading. In execution you need to be rigidly guided by your analysis of the stock’s health, the health of the trend and NOT BY EMOTION.
8. Document your trades. Every one. Everything about them. Get a small notebook and log all the info, one trade per page. Read “Entries and Exits” by Dr. Elder to see real traders in action, real analysis of trades and see how documenting and LEARNING FROM EVERY TRADE made them a success. Along with the obvious price and trend info that I record on every trade I spell out why I’m in, what my targets are, a prediction for the market forecast for the near term (market mood such as the recent interest rate hikes and subsequent concern over $TNX). This way I can critique myself later and say, wow, sure underrated the impact of… or whatever so that I can LEARN AND NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE TWICE.
9. Treat it like a business that not only your livelihood depends on, but also your children’s future also. That means, continue to seek to learn, manage your risk, refine your methods. My 6 year old is about to start reading candlestick charts and learning how to play this fun “game” of the bulls versus the bears — “how many white candlesticks in a row here?”, “4 daddy”, “that’s right, who’s in control?”, “the bulls daddy”… When she’s older she’ll have a small online account to trade and will document every trade and what she learns from it.

I’m continuously learning of more and more full time successful traders that are out there, they just don’t hang up billboards to advertise it, they just quietly go about taking a solid return out of the market, day by day, week by week or month by month depending on their approach. There are a million ways to successfully trade, new ones are being created daily due to the ever growing wealth of information that the Internet is making available (check out Market Carpets for a peak at the future http://stockcharts.com/charts/Carpet.html ).

You DON”T have to learn every technical indicator, you don’t have to learn every setup that works, you don’t have to understand every investment instrument (stocks, options, ETF’s) but what you should be seeking to know is:

A. One or more trading methods that WORK CONSISTENTLY ENOUGH TO PRODUCE A RETURN. Rule #1 is sound and can produce a solid return, it just happens that I see more potential for me personally from options since they make sense to me and fascinate me. However, take something from everything you read. For me, I focus my options plays around undervalued companies like Rule #2-ers. I figure that were the market to suddenly wake up to their value my option will POP LIKE A CORK in the Ocean! And, I believe they offer more reliable SUPPORT prices. My best example of this is FAST. An awesome Rule #1 company that is weathering out being associated with the housing bust with their CEO being named CEO OF THE YEAR by Morningstar. I’m happy to hold them over the upcoming earnings release as I see them solid as a rock.
B. Methods that give you a way to make money in every market direction (check out http://www.crestmontresearch.com/content/market.htm to review the Secular Trend chart to learn how frequent and long Bull vs. Bear markets have lasted historically and ask yourself how you’ll make money in both).
C. and the discipline to STICK TO YOUR TRADING PLAN and RISK MANAGEMENT to make it work for you.

When I started this journey to learn trading I realized that I may never be able to explain the mathematics of quantum theory or invent a cure for cancer but I KNOW without QUESTION I can learn what others have learned in order to make CONSISTENT and SUBSTANTIAL money in the market and I won’t rest until I’m there.

I hope you won’t either, nor will you be put off by the dozens of naysayers you’ll run into that say it can’t be done (including the manager of the actual options department at the brokerage I work at who, quote, said “no one can consistently make money with options, it’s just a run of luck”. I’ve met many already that prove him wrong, read about more that have in Entries and Exits and am well on my way to knowing how it’s possible and developing my strategy that produces that kind of track record for me.

Happy trading all.

Saw this the other day and thought it might interest some. How about FREE trading??? It appears we’ve arrived there for at least one new online brokerage.

Read about it at http://www.zecco.com

I couldn’t find a catch anywhere. My best guess is that when you’re in cash between trades, they pay nothing on it and therefore make money off of that float. Which, hey, I’ve got quite a bit in cash at my brokerage so ostensibly they could make enough off that if they have a really automated and low cost of trade execution.

Anyone have experience with these guys and can let everyone know? I’m personally not interested since as mentioned previously I’m locked in at having to trade where I work.


Having bought all the Investools courses beyond the Stocks course from Ebay I can answer your question. The stocks course is the only one that is in a classroom environment. The others are just the speaker in front of a tasteful stage speaking on the topic. There is a single manual per course (you can buy coaching separately on any topic should you want it). I would expect that most any you buy would likely not show the web site in it’s latest incarnation with the layout as you see it now, however, that shouldn’t cause any grief as you should be able to easily find the functionality within the new web layout if you’ve spent much time exploring. I think all the DVDs are excellent with the exception of the Advanced Technicals. In this case, the manual is excellent but the DVD is just a dry reading of these indicators.

Be aware that were you intent on reselling the materials after reviewing them that I have heard that some sellers are selling cloned DVDs and manuals that look pretty good from overseas production (color and all in the manuals) but that some have said they can tell the difference. If you were to get one of these, I would warn against attempting to resell it as you would be stepping on a side of the law you might not want to be on.

As always, buy from sellers with outstanding scores and a longer term with Ebay for greatest safety.

Also, I highly recommend other materials to enhance your study, here’s some thoughts that may or may not fit the strategies of interest to you:

1. Entries and Exits by Dr. A. Elder
2. Swing Trading – Jon Markman
3. Options Made Easy – Cohen
4. Chart Your Way to Profits – Tim Knight
5. Option Volatility & Pricing – Natenberg
6. The Candlestick Course – Nison
7. Enhancing Trader Performance – Steenbarger
8. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

1. Strategies for Profiting with Japanese Candlestick Charts – Nison
2. Swing Trading Essentials – Jon Markman
I have too many DVD’s to list as I’m approaching 40 now, check out the warehouse sale at Traderslibrary going on now for some great prices. I built my libary over a few purchases when they run these deep discount sale prices. They do this regularly it appears and I just sort them by sale price and start at the cheapest and buy anything up to around $20 for a DVD on a subject that interests me without much concern. It’s way the cheapest education you can get and they’re surely legit copies you could resell on Ebay if desired and get much of your cost back. Even a couple hundred bucks spent on these would give you many many hours of other speakers presenting a slightly different angle than Investools. Even if the material is somewhat redundant it rarely fails to increase my understanding to hear someone explain something using an entirely different approach and examples.

I liken it to something I say often when I didn’t quite get what someone was trying to say to me:

“Could you say that again, but use entirely different words???”

It always gets a laugh, but it makes the point that each of us learns from certain approaches better than others and since you hopefully want the fullest and deepest understanding of these topics possible, hearing these different perspectives may help you as it has me.

Good luck!

This is a scam. They are just trying to sell you additional courses for tens of thousands of dollars. I signed up for the course and they told me I would only be billed if I showed up the second day. I went to the first day and left at lunch. The next day they told me I still had to pay because I did not “sign out” at the seminar. They refuse to refund me the money. Do internet searches on them. You will see others have been burned. They are very dishonest.

Same thing happened to me Richard. I was unable to attend my seminar, and attempted to cancel over the phone to no avail. I eventually got them to “cancel” the deal and give me the cancellation number on Monday at 8 AM (first work day after the seminar)….3 weeks later I still hadn’t received the money back…I call to inquire. Then I was instructed to send an email/letter to such and such in order to expedite the process. 2 days after sending an email I get a phone call saying that my refund request has been rejected. I called to find out why.

The lady proceeds to tell me that I used the account X amount of times, I signed in at the meeting (I never attended the meeting I wasn’t in town), and I used the account just the week prior to her receiving my message (another blatant lie). I tell her that I never attended the meeting and to show me this signature. She then “looks it up” and tells me that she apologizes for the “misscommunication” and that she couldn’t find the records for that seminar. She then proceeds to tell me that she needs to speak with others to discuss my case again.

1 week later she tells me they are still rejecting my refund. This time she claims I never even canceled the account, saying that my account is still active. OH MY GOD, I was given a cancellation confirmation number. So of course I have to explain this all over again, because they conveniently have no records. She asks me do I have phone records proving that I made the appropriate calls to cancel. They probably didn’t think I would have them. I faxed her the proof from my phone bill and informed them that I had already begun a formal dispute using my credit card company. Go figure the next day I get a call, with another cancellation number saying that my money is to be refunded. 1 day after that the money was recredited to my account (6 weeks later, with 30+ aggravated calls, and countless hours wasted). Investools might be a good tool, but Success was a pain in my a** I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone.

Richard it might help, I don’t know your situation, if you called and asked for Karen Smith in Accounts Receivables. Use the success number her extension is: 2203. Her fax is 813-864-3037. I don’t remember the number off hand because I am at work, but I have the extension written here in my work notebook.

B. Reasonable,

Thank you so much for your reply. Your suggestions will help a me a great deal. I am considering purchasing the books on ebay.
Again, thanks

B. Reasonable,

You hit the nail on the head (even though it was a long nail). Before October I would have read your post and thought you were speaking a foreign language. But 8 short months later, I understood every word in your posting and more about the market than I thought I ever would. I still have a lot more to learn too.

To keep up my optimism, I have stopped watching the talking heads on TV, stopped speaking with friends and family about stocks and just focused on my trading and keep in touch with my trading group through emails. Everyone has their opinions and I know deep down that the path I am on WILL work. It has already begun as long as I stick to my rules and keep my emotions in check.

I have a list of 75 stocks/ETFs that I watch every day and it only takes me about 10 minutes to look at all the stocks for an entry/exit signal using the Prophet Charts.

Unfortunately, most of the negative postings on Investools come from people who have not made it past the Basic Stocks class. I do not blame them as I was very skeptical as well. Cancellation horror stories happen with all companies, it’s just a fact of life now a days. But if this were a scam, you would see many, many more negative comments than what you do. I researched other trading platforms and the negative/positive ratio is nowhere near as good as it is with Investools.

I have also noticed people mentioning the Investools products for sale on Ebay. I have check it out myself. My feeling on it is that without the personal training to go along with the books, I would not be as far along as I currently am today. I know that $2,000 is not chump change for a lot of people but if you are serious, it is really a small price to pay for the knowledge you will carry for the rest of your life. Like other postings that I agree with, start with the basic stocks, be patient and let the program pay for itself as you learn and grow. I jumped right into the PHD because that’s my personality and I am glad I did.

Buffalo Wild Wings started in my back yard here in MN. They basically serve chicken wings, beer and big screen TV’s for watching sports. I was just in Atlanta and there was one there to. Good choice.

FYI – this is my expierence.

Location is Minneapolis, MN. On 20 Jun 07 Success offered a 1 day Get Motivated Seminar for $49.95. At the Get Motivated Seminar Phil Town spoke for 50 minutes about Investools and offered the 2 day workshop for $995.

The day workshop in Minneapolis is on 28 Jun 07 and 29 Jun 07 and held at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott.

The warranty information for the workshop is not clear. On the signup at the SUCCESS’s Get Motivated Workshop, it states on the bottom of the form – “Attend the workshop at no risk. If you are not fully conviced that SUCCESS Magazine’s Investor Education can help you to achieve your financial goals, simply return your materials at the conclusion of the first day of the workshop, and your credit card will never be charged.”

It appears to me that the warranty statement is contradictory by saying you can attend the workshop at no risk ( implying you should get both days – ie the workshop ) and then contradicts that by saying you must turn in material at end of first day ( only getting half the workshop).

The 2 day workshop is called the STOCKS course and appears to be what you get for the orginal $995.

At the 2 day workshop – they offer the following continuing education tracks –
Associate – reg $6676, workshop price of $4999
Master – reg $16704, workshop price of $11999
PHD – reg $35362, workshop price of $23999

There was about 242 attendees on the first day of the workshop ( @ $995.00 ). Not sure how many were couples or paired up. Two people could attend for the $995.

I feel a lot of time of the first day of the workshop was wasted by having so many people stand up on the stage and “tell their story” as opposed to providing actual training.

There was a lot of technical difficulties with the internet connection going down which greatly interfered with the presentation.

All attendees were crowded together and sat in a chair without a table. It was very difficult to take notes. You had to mostly remember what was said. There was NOT any hands on training. I felt the attendees were just crammed in the room. It was NOT a good learning enviroment.

At the 2 day workshop, a rep from thinkorswim.com was there promoting their online brokerage service, which seems like a good service – no monthly fee, interest on account.

I was told at the workshop that the workshok was a SUCCESS workshop, not an Investools workshop.

I do technical training on Microsoft products where the average cost to the attendee is $500 per day and depending on the course runs from 2 days to 5 days. Classes run from 8 to 5 with breaks at 10 and 3 and 1 hour for lunch. The classroom is designed for student learning with ample room for each student, a detailed manual or book, scheduled labs, and systems to practice with.

At this seminar, I would say that maybe 3 hours of the first day of the workshop provided actual training.

I do not mind paying for education, however, I expect my money’s worth and in my opinon this seminar did not do that.

My thoughts on it, your expierence may vary.

I read Rule #1 last week and it seems to make sense. It seems Investools will provide the data quicker than anywhere else. But, when I go to their site, the pricing is nothing like that being discussed here. It is a six months subscription for $199 per month.

Is this something new?



B. Reasonble:
I am still trying to buy the Investools manuals on ebay, was overbid a couple of times. You have been so helpful, I wanted to ask you another question. Some of the packages have a one-on-one coaching manual in addition to the course manual. I understand you receive this manual when you purchase the personal coaching. Have you seen this manual? Is it helpful? I am trying to decide if it is something I need to be sure is in the package I am bidding on. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Also, I am currently reading Chart Your Way to Profits – Tim Knight, a wonderful book if you are using Investools web site and prophet charts. Highly recommend. Thank you so much for your help.

No, I’ve not seen the one on one coaching manual. I think that coaching would be good for likely the majority of people just getting into investing. Like therapy, they can help you identify issues that you’ll need to face and overcome as well as tune your ability to analyze opportunities, risk/reward and entry/exit points.

I’ve talked to a few Investools users that have/are using coaching and have heard excellent comments about how they pointed out important elements that were overlooked in their analsis of an opportunity and helped them develop a lot of confidence.

I have the book you mention on order and am looking forward to getting it since I’m using Investools Prophet Charts and have come to pretty comfortable with it and satisfied with its capabilities.

Good luck with the manuals and again stay with trustworthy sellers.

There’s one fundamental question that I find most puzzling. If INVESTool toolbox is as good as they claim, why is INVESTool still in the “education” business? Wouldn’t they make more money using their own tools to trade/manage money?

One certainly doesn’t see any of the Wall Street firms peddling their trading software…

Investools continues to offer their education for the same reason Harvard doesn’t close it’s doors and give it’s endowment to the business school students….

Investools is an education company…. They don’t sell trading software, they sell education. They have a website that people use to learn to trade, however, if Investools stopped teaching, or offering their classes, I’d still know how to trade because they TAUGHT me how to do it myself.

B. Reasonable, Leigh Sheppard, Al Smith and I are making money in the market because we got ourselves an education to learn how to do that… maybe you went to school to learn how to be a doctor or a lawyer, or a teacher… it’s exactly the same thing… It really is very simple.

For instance, the market is moving down today… fast and hard. I’m making money while it falls. As a matter of fact, GOOG fell overnight by 40 points! How much did you make on that? I made a 75% return on one position and 100% return on two other positions in 6 days BECAUSE it fell so far so fast.

It didn’t take long at all to make my initial investment back in INVESTools at all. Now both my husband and I are retired before we’re 50. I’ve been a student for 2 years.

Good for you Monica Harlow to take advantage of the opportunities in the market. But the question to wonder is what percentage of people, who learned trading through INVESTool, do as well as you do? If making money were as easy as spending a few thousand dollars and taking INVESTool courses, wouldn’t Wall Street firms all flock to INVESTool?

Harvard manages its sizable endowment just as any other big funds would, maybe they are using INVESTool? So I don’t see the connection here. If Harvard were a publicly traded company, would it still be in the education business? I don’t know, but obviously it depends on how much return it could generate for its shareholders, and if it could generate more profit trading than teaching, why would it prefer teaching?

This logic is obviously superficial and simplistic, but I think the question is a valid one, if INVESTool could make more money trading using its software/web portal/whatever, why not? I suspect the fact INVESTool is a successful company implies that it’s much harder to make money trading than “teaching” people how to trade.

Touche on the Harvard analogy… You’re right it’s not publicly traded. My bad.
Let me try a more philosophical approach. Re: Wall Street… Why do some Fund Managers make 20% return per year and others lose 20%/year in the same year? Because they use different criteria to determine their trades in the market.
I am a technical trader. I use technical indicators and stock charts to make my decisions. I don’t care what the company does, i don’t care about P/E ratios. Sales? who cares? A technical trader doesn’t. However, a trader who trades (invests) solely using Fundamental Analysis will care very much. They are going to be less interested in what the chart says, and more interested in year over year sales, EPS Growth Rates, Acct.Dist Ratio, price ranks, quarterly earnings, ad infinitum. Others still just trade probabilities. Never looking at charts at all. Not glancing at fundamentals. They trade options, and rely on Greeks to guide their decisions.
Just as there are different styles of cooking, there are different styles of

I just had a great response written and the site didn’t get it posted… now I have to rewrite it.

Basically it said you’re right about the analogy… My bad. Harvard isn’t publicly traded. However, it also said that this is my chosen career, and I paid to be educated so that I could do it. How many professionals pay back their educational expenses in 8 months?

The company teaches students to trade a variety of ways. Using fundamentals, using technical analysis, using probablities… And plenty of people simply use it to manage their current portfolios and continue to work in their chosen careers. You don’t have to trade full time to be successful.

Wall St. has a variety of styles of trading as well. Mutual fund managers use their own “reasons” for picking the stocks they trade. Some make money, some lose money. And their clients don’t know any better. The average person, just “trusts” their financial advisors to invest for them… How many advisors advised to get OUT of the market in 2000? It’s taken until now to get back to break even since that free fall… that’s 7 years to get back to breakeven… Now I know to get out, and so do thousands of Investools students. They don’t need to trade fulltime to not lose money in a year like that.
They do an excellent job, and many of their employees are ‘students’ as well. I’m grateful they do what they do. It’s okay that it’s not for you. It’s not for a lot of people. but it was perfect for me!

Thank you Monica Harlow for your comments. Yes indeed I agree with what you say. In fact I don’t know whether INVESTool is for me or not, I’d like to give it a try, but I need more information than what INVESTool tells me.

So it’s good to know that there are more than a few people here on this board who are doing successfully with INVESTool…



You’re likely not aware that every Investools instructor is an active trader. They do NOT employ academics to teach, these are living breathing traders with real serious amounts of money in the market, and, have such a love for the game/business, and happen to love to see others “get it” that they choose to get involved with Investools and teach. Chatting up even the staff assisting at the seminars you will find they are ALL TRADING and learning along with the rest of us.

This is absolutely NOT a company populated by “those who can’t, -TEACH.” At my last seminar they announced that the instructors had started keeping score and AS A GROUP were returning 60% annualized!!!

I can personally relate to the mindset of being willing to share time freely to advance others knowledge, and I’m not even affiliated with Investools. You may have noted some of my long posts here. As Joseph Campbell once said, I don’t believe in studying something because someone tells you it’s important, instead, you should find yourself captured — captivated by something and follow that passion. That’s where I am, this is a PASSION for me, something I will pursue continuously learning about all my life on and fully intend to be successful enough to at least greatly impact my retirement, and above that, hopefully enable me to retire sooner. I would be thrilled to be an Investools instructor one day, but wouldn’t dare step in front of any class unless I had the level of mastery and track record that would put me on a par with the other instructors they have.

Is it that unreasonable to imagine that out of the huge number of persons that have learned successful methods of trading in the stock market, that at least some subset of them would also have a proclivity to teach, and that one of them might even have the idea to run a company that is very focused on delivering that training on a large scale? Have you not run into mentors throughout your life that offered you knowledge with perhaps little expectation of reward? Have you never felt the joy or satisfaction yourself from having seen someone you were trying to teach something, actually *get it*??? I’ve personally seen the pride in the Investools instructors faces that I’ve met when they talk about helping someone be successful in this business.

I believe that’s a key reason that Investools offers Coaching to their students. Wow, what more could you ask for to help you develop your methodology and confidence than having an accomplished trader review your trades before making them! In hindsight, I KNOW it would have saved me money on some of my trades!

When you spend enough time researching the business of trading you also realize that no one can “corner the market” on the best trading methods and make all the profitable trades there are to make. It’s simply impossible.

I’m currently reading Market Wizards and have mentioned other books like Entries & Exits in my posts. Read some of these and you’ll quickly understand from the profiles that each of these traders has his own unique methodology and that it’s not too hard to find two diametrically opposed methods being used by two different traders — one who thinks Technicals are hooey, and another who wouldn’t look at Fundamentals with a gun pointed at his head.

When you understand that no two of these traders is using the same system to trade successfully, then it will make more sense to you that everyone brings certain attitudes (right and wrong) to the trading “table” and has a unique tolerance for risk, a unique view on the value of money, a unique amount of drive and definition of what success would be like, etc., etc.,

That to me reveals part of the great success of Investools. Yes, they will start you out giving you a simple method of trading STOCKS for neophytes, that, given the appropriate DISCIPLINE (top two elements: a) don’t bend their trading rules until you understand how and why to do so, b) manage risk and get out when the trade goes against you), most any crustacean can make money with. And, despite the bad rap that their frequent sales pitch gets interpreted as, there truly is endless opportunity to enhance, tweak, or use many many more sophisticated strategies than that.

So, they wind up offering a web site that can meet a vast majority of these different scenarios, and, teach courses that will start you out with some successful approaches to these different types of trading and make available continuous learning opportunities to enable YOU TO TAKE IT WHERE YOU WILL and develop your OWN TRADING METHODOLOGY that FITS for YOU.

As for your question about “what percentage of Investools students do as well as you do…”?

While not knowing what Monica’s return is, nor really caring, an independent survey found that Investools graduates were averaging 18% annual return in the market. Which, based on those I’ve met at the seminars, I feel I can vouch for that statistic. That is, I’ve met some that likely will do little with the methodology since they don’t seem to be getting it (you can read some of their posts here, the ones that think it’s somehow all smoke and mirrors or a marketing scam to upsell the more expensive classes), and others who are completely getting it, are well on their way to developing a sound and consistent trading plan, and are beating the pants off that return.

I meet with a group of Investools grads at my workplace regularly and we’re probably aggregating to that 18% return ourselves!

You also better look at the chart on the Investools stock (ticker SWIM) if you think the instructors are making a fat living off of the phenomenal success and profitability of the company. Trust me, every one of the Investools instructors would say it’s easier to make big money in the stock market than it is to make big money by running a wildly successful company anywhere near the scale that Investools is.

Minotaur, and anyone else on the fence about Investools:

My recommendation is that you spend time using low cost or free alternatives to learn more about the stock market which will better enable you to grasp the true benefits that Investools offers. I would wager that most fence sitters are closer to being neophytes than experienced traders. OK, so what are you going to DO about that?

Well, if you’re really serious about investigating trading as a possibility for you, DO THE WORK. Go to the library, or a bookstore and get the books and read anything you find that will round out your knowledge in your area of interest (stocks, options, ETFs, etc. – learn enough to understand how each one works, what it’s risk/reward is like and then zero in on the ones that interest you).

You might even find that you are able to assimilate enough from enough of these books that you DON’T NEED INVESTOOLS. Remember, Investools aren’t the only ones that have been able to successfully teach trading. Jesse Livemore made and lost 3 fortunes in the market probably before the founders of Investools were born. Besides the books, you can easily find a lot of other web sites that offer trading tools and training. Investools just happens to be #1 in the business.

Become a SPONGE, soak it all up. Don’t worry that you have to just read the RIGHT books (instead of the WRONG books..). — read enough and you’ll start developing your own sense of which are Right and which are Wrong. Don’t forget that what’s Right for you may be Wrong for someone else and vice versa.

Now, armed with more knowledge than the typical neophyte that happens to plunk their money down and “see what this Investools thing is all about”, you’ll be able to better understand what their training will do for you, be better able to grasp the training and even go beyond it right there in the class through asking some pointed questions, and understand what their web site tools can do for you, and whether you think you would benefit from coaching and attending their seminars.

Then, you can get off the fence and make a decision! Trading isn’t for everyone, especially options trading. Remember, everyone that owns a stock can make money with it, it simply has to go up, but in every option trade there’s a winner and a loser, – it’s a zero sum game. You have to consistently beat the other guy to make money at options. I know that my competitive nature is part of what attracts me to options trading. I’ve played competitive tennis, windsurfed the north shore of Maui and placed 16th in the Indiana state chess championships in high school. I like to WIN, but am also not a sore loser, I simply enjoy the challenge of applying what I know, continuously learning, and doing the best that I can and excelling at things that interest/fascinate me. So, maybe you have personality qualities that will make you a fit for some form of trading, who knows. I sure think it is a shame that anyone who does have the “right stuff” never happens to learn that they do and could find something new to love and be able to make money at. But, there are no guarantees that you will be one of them. The bottom line is that the majority of people aren’t a fit. Go to any card room and watch people play poker to understand why. The average person has nowhere near the self discipline to be successful. You MUST cut your losers to make it. There’s simply no other way. And that’s hard to do.

Read and talk to others until you have enough knowledge on the topic and get all your questions answered and you can develop a conviction of YES or NO about pursuing trading or Investools is the only way to go.

And, in closing, that’s the secret to why everyone can’t simply use someone else’s proven to be successful formula for investing. — If you don’t have the conviction behind the trade that comes with it being YOUR DECISION, based on a TRADING METHODOLOGY and PLAN that is a FIT FOR YOU, then you will never be able to really execute on the methodology and will make enough mistakes trying to use someone else’s methodology that you will fail miserably.

Good luck in your journey! I’ll also be at the Chicago Investools conference next month and would enjoy meeting anyone who would like to ask me any questions or discuss my posts there. Who knows, I might even share a couple of things that I’ve learned so far that worked for me, and, might be a fit for you and make or save you money!


B. Reasonable… I too will be in Chicago… I’m curious, do you read JKs OA blog?

I liked your commentary very much, and you’re spot on! You said what I wanted to say, but much better. I too belong to a user group in my area, and in addition to that, we meet in an online “trading room” so that those of us who started with Investools and are now trading full time can continue to support each other and chat over the course of the day.

I am also honored to say that as a student I have been asked to be at some of the workshops to help answer questions of new students. I’ve very much enjoyed doing it, and it gets me out of the house every once in a while! Part of the joy of doing this occassionally is the work environment. I have never worked with happier people. These are people who understand that they don’t have to work… They work because they want to. And you’re absolutely right about those “light bulb” moments of seeing when new students “get it”… what a joy.

I met a new student in NY last month. He’d just graduated from college, and decided that he was going to learn to trade instead of looking for a full time job. He’s going to continue to work part time, but is spending his days in our trading room and has already started trading options successfully. He didn’t have enough to go for the most expensive program, but instead made an investment in coaching and basic options training. He immediately joined the user group, started calling the coaches multiple times per day, and went through all the curriculum he had access to. In addition he bought books to read to add to his learning, and he’s doing great.

He’s an example of what you can do if you simply make a decision to do it. It doesn’t matter the obstacles that stand in your way. He has a PASSION for this now. He “got it.” It’s been wonderful to help him move forward in his education.

I like to give back, so when asked, I offer my time at the workshops… It’s so rewarding to be around people who are like-minded. And I see plenty of people as well, who aren’t interested in pursuing more education… I’ve never seen anyone on the team use hard sales tactics, and there is definately no “push” to “sell” everyone the most expensive package. It’s about what’s appropriate for the individual… It’s what attracted me to the company in the first place. They had a genuine interest in my continued success. They still do.

Monica, how great you can trade full time.

I’ve just started trying to frequent the OptionAddict site and am definitely a JK fan, but no OA shirt yet! I rarely miss a Marketcast these days.

My current goal, besides making money in the market, is to get an email read on the Marketcast with a pick of mine. I just emailed them about WDCs breakout, so will see what the dynamic duo think about that. The industry group is “En Fuego” of late. I took a small anticipatory position before the break on the overall picture looking good to me so will be watching to see if the new support level holds.

I’m glad you’re staying involved with the seminars, it’s good to keep the juices flowing and talk with others. Maybe we’ll run into each other in Chicago.

I really enjoy everyone comments. I am an investools member, I have taken the stock course and was very happy. I felt I learned quite a lot that has helped me make good decisions. But, I have done much more learning. I am always reading a book to gain more knowledge. That is really why I am writing today. I was wondering if anyone has read ‘Simple Steps to option trading success’ by Jim Grahm and Steve Lentz. It is on sale but can not find any reviews on it. Any information on this book or any other good books you have read on options or investing would be appreciated. Thanks

Folks – I am in the Dallas area and have signed up for the basic Stocks course. It seems pretty useful and intriguing. I am contemplating signing up for the Masters/PhD course.

Investools allows a guest person/account with every subscription. Currently my guest account is unused. I was wondering if there is anyone in the Dallas area (or outside) who would like to share the cost of this education with me. One of us can use the complimentary guest access account. If interested, you may email me at bakwas0 at gmail dot com.

Hey I have taken the entry level stocks course on a family member’s account online. I do not want to pay to go thru the whole ordeal again, so i was wondering if there was anyone willing to sell their investools toolbox account to me, maybe someone looking to cut losses for a program they are no longer using, or someone willing to share an account with me and perhaps benefit from the research i leave bookmarked.

I just took their free class and now they are offering the two day course for $1194 with an extra 3 months of toolbox (9 months total), and if you pay all of it up front it’s only $999. My how times have changed.

I also read that you don’t need to take all of the upgrade classes and that the forum is a better way to get information because on the hotlines, they can’t tell you what stocks are a good buy.

This is mainly to #222. Read your contract concerning guest accounts. I believe the guest can only be certain family members. I recommend that you go for the phd program. I did and I am glad.

Hi All,

I am currently only working w/ $5000 that I can invest. Do you all have any recommendations for me in terms of investing companies that allow you to purchase and sell stocks at extremely low prices? Also how are you all making out right now with the current downward trends in the market. I know some stocks are still rising, it just seems like a lot have been on a decline, (i.e. the housing market).

Got to love it!

The market volitility has been unbelievable over the past month and I have been taking full advantage. I did not want to become a day trader initially but with the way the market has been swinging intraday lately, how can you not!

This will more than likely be my last post with how busy I have been lately but I have enjoyed reading the posts over the past several months.

If you do not have the $$$ to jump into an Investools program right away and you are interested in starting somewhere, I suggest buying Steve Nison’s book on Candlestick Charting. It is a $100 book but you may be able to find a cheaper one on ebay or somewhere similar. You can also open a free paper trading account on Thinkorswim and at least get your feet wet trading in a virtual environment.

I am using Prophet Charts with the 2 day 5 minute chart, MACD with the 2 line histogram and volume as my indicators. I am using the technical training I received througth the Investools classes and have been sucessful.

The trick now is not to try and outsmart the market but continue letting it come to me and react when the signals are there. Controlling emotion has been the biggest break through for me and it was difficult and still is. I have made back my PHD investment and am now working on quitting my job by mid 2009 or before.

There are so many people that I speak with that have no idea you can make money when the market is going down and sideways. I am coming up on one year with Investools and still have a hard time believing how much I have learned. I have also learned, I have a long way to go.

If you are holding yourself back with excuses, whatever they may be, you only have yourself to blame. Where there is a will, there is a way, you just need to open the door no matter how much that may be.

My family and I have overcome a lot in the past year but we continued down the path, no matter how small the step. We have had to turn the other cheek to the ney-sayers, ignore the talking heads on T.V. and from time to time when a trade went againt me, ignore my self doubt.

I sincerely hope all on this board do well and prosper!

Good luck,

AL Smith

Hi everyone!

Well put Al! My wife has been doing the same. Still taking advantage of the downward and sidewayz movement of a lot of companies, but making a lot of short term trades with these big swings. TRADE options if you want to weather the up and down of the markets folks.. thats where the $$$ are at.


started trading 2 months ago using the Investools, almost have the $1500 class paid off with a $5k portfolio, even with the crazy market.
it’s more about the tools they have, not their methods. They do tell you to develop your own way of trading.
Being a nerd helps.
I did learn a lot about about money in general, some of instructors are great some are cheerleaders.

my 2 cents

Hi all,

Appreciate reading the comments. I just completed the two-day Basic Stocks class this weekend in Dallas, and wanted to use the opportunity to reach out to other people who also attended the sessions.

It’s interesting really, how hot the opinions are about the pros and cons of Investools. While I did not purchase one of the advanced study programs, I do intend to continue my self-study and mastery of the information available for using Investools. If nothing else, my understanding of the market and how I can interact with it has already increased appreciably. I have far to go, but I’m excited about where it all could go.

Any other Dallasites in the house?

Update: Back in Apr 07 we went to the Investools Basic trading seminar, my comments are posted above, May 8th. WE did “paper trading” for several weeks, then moved on to regular trading. We have had sales people from investools call us and chat us up about further education and extending our web subscription. My husband decided to do the associate degree, but has found it to have been a waste of his money $ 5000. He has not completed his Basic Options course material but has found that he could have read books on option trading for a lot less. Other reasons are that in the trading rooms the talk remains very basic and they continue to say the same thing over and over again. We have advanced beyond that. The other thing left is the coaching which my husband being an easily self-taught person finds their comments useless. So the basic workshop got us interested in trading stocks, explained to us about how to judge the strength and value of a stock, taught us about technical indicators as to when to buy and sell a stock and showed us how to build a portfolio to track the stocks we own. We have found that we use the website mostly for the prophet chart because we can interact with it by drawing lines and doing studies. We use the IBD 100 for our stock search. By placing the top 40 in a watch list we can then import them into prophet charts and do studies for possible “break outs.” While we feel fundamentals are still important, we lean more toward technical analysis and have become short term traders, trading days and weeks rather than long term. While Investools is a good place to start and helps the newbie to become more advanced through structure and organized info, I think there are a lot of good books out there for a lot less money. I am reading Toni Turner’s book, ” A Beginner Guide To Short Term Trading.” I plan to read Steve Nison books on candlestick charts next and then on to ‘The Disciplined Trader: Developing Winning Attitudes” by Mark Douglas. Its one thing to learn strategies and form a knowledge based trading plan and another to be disciplined to carry it out. I’ll give you another update once we get through the options course. Happy trading!

Just attended a Power Within Seminar in Calgary, Alberta. Signed up for the 2 day seminar for $995.00 (same money back after first day policy). Just researching the company/ product. Did anyone else read an article about Success Magazine shutting down and laying off staff in New York? Same company? does that affect Investools?
I just finished a 2 yr business program, Phil Towns presentation made sense to me. It’s helpful to hear how others are making out with the program, thank you.

Yes, SUCCESS magazine shut down in July. Here is the article:

“Success magazine shut down its New York office on Friday and let go its entire staff except for publisher Joseph Guerriero.

On its second relaunch since its founding, the small-business title had built a subscriber base of 650,000, according to its Web site. However, after a yearlong legal battle with Dallas, TX-based direct marketer VideoPlus — which also publishes a magazine called Success — the owners sold the marks and logos to the Texas company.

According to Guerriero, Success had started making money in the mobile market and was on the verge of closing a book deal when the staff was informed of the closing.

“At the end of the day, the owners just didn’t want to continue to invest in a print property the size and scope of Success,” Guerriero wrote in an online statement.

He added that, as far as he knew, the owners had transferred the Success marks and logos, but had retained all other assets and debt. Guerriero has been retained as an employee, but is unsure whether the owners will restart the magazine with him as publisher, or keep Success closed and offer him another position.”

As an Investools subscriber, this had no noticeable effect on Investools. The magazine came and went without a ripple.

I followed the hoards when Phil Town finished speaking at a Phoenix Get Motivated Seminar and purchased the $995 2-day
“Success Magazine Investor Workshop” with 6 months access to the Investor Toolbox WEBSITE. No charge if I leave before the second day workshop. It seems like a typical pattern from the previous posts.

The previous posts, however, do not seem concerned that everyone expressly claims not to be licensed security dealers, nor are there many posts that provide detailed long-term results from using the website tools. Is there any consensus concerning whether this is a legitimate operation? Has anyone verified that the website produces accurate current information or knows where it obtains the basic data from and how it does?

I have been an Investools subscriber for a little over a year now. The disclaimer about not being licensed security dealers is there because no one at Investools will give you Investment advice. They are an investor education company. Their goal is to teach you how to decide what to invest in, and when. Even the coaches do not tell you what to trade. They will help you develop your own trading rules.

Since you signed up for the two-day workshop, you are able to use the website all you want right now! Why not go in and judge for yourself the value of their material.

Make sure you take a look at the EDUCATION tab and read through the online manual. Also make sure you take a look at ProphetCharts…. and plan on spending an hour or two learning how to use it! It alone is worth the price of the subscription. Try a few searches and do some papertrading. Make sure to allocate a few hours to listen to some of the Toolbox Spotlight sessions on ProphetCharts, Searching, Buy & Sell techniques, technical trading… you pick. Also take a few hours and listen to the Marketcast… and some of the archived recordings as well… it is interesting to see how accurately these guys pick trading opportunities. Had I bought GLD when they suggested we get into gold (back in September)… I would already have made 30% on that one investment alone. (Now, you can say that buying gold is a no-brainer in these market conditions… but these guys were telling us to be buying gold (the commodity) since early spring…. and even predicted it would be hitting $800 an ounce by the end of the year…. worth the price of admission? Definately. Go ahead… risk a $1000 on the opportunity. This is a totally legitimate operation. Just take a look at their own shares… (NASDAQ:SWIM) and the dozens of usolicitated posts in this forum (from those who have actually participated… You can ignore those who haven’t actualy PAID the price of admission and are now out to prove how smart they are for not having been “duped”. There are few (if any) negative posts from anyone who has actually participated for any length of time.

One more suggestion: during your trial week, you should go into the online discussion forum (from withing the Investools site) and there, you will have the opportunity to chat with hundreds of Investools subscribers many of whom are using the tools to make a living from their investments.

I found it to be quite frustrating finding Rule #1 stocks. Therefore I wrote a program to run on my servers.

Every day my server analyzes over 9000 stocks searching for companies that meet the following Rule #1 growth requirements:

Approximately 1% of the publicly traded stocks meet the criteria above.

This report is generated before the market opens each trading day and lists stocks that meet the above requirements.

It also includes technical arrows and MOS.

I also offer a monthly subscription at the following location:

I am always looking for feedback to improve the information and the format that it is displayed for my visitors and subscribers.



Jonathan, not to knock your service, which may be fine for many, however, it may be helpful for many to consider that Investools web site, at $50 a month, is less than your $75 subscription and yet not only can provide Rule #1 searches, but also has a Rule #1 calculator plus seemingly a million other functions and educational opportunities, including daily market commentary, graphing functionality, company financials, watchlists, portfolios, etc. etc. etc. included for that price.

Hi B Reasonable,

How much was your “Initiation/training” fee that you had to pay Invest tools before being allowed to subscribe @ $50 per month?

I don’t charge several thousand dollars for the first list that you get.

Taking the upfront cost and excluding any profit from any investment using the upfront cost, you could subscribe to the Rule #1 Report for several years.

I’m sure a lot of people would pony up the $50 / month for the Invest Tools subscription “IF” they didn’t have to shell out several thousand dollars for their “Basic” program.

Are you an Invest Tools subscriber?



Yes… I believe from prior posts that he has left, that B. Reasonable is a subscriber to Investools, as am I. The price for Investools is currently $1000 which includes the 2 day workshop, 6 months subscription to the Investor Toolbox, etc. Thereafter, the fee is $50 per month. So… the first two years at Investools will cost a total of $1900. ($1000 + (18*50)). Two years of the service you are offering…. $1800 ($75*24). Pretty comparable pricing actually, BUT after the second year, your fees continue on at 50% higher than investools.

You asked for feedback… and I have to say that my first reaction was similar to B. Reasonable’s… I took a look at your website. Checked out the Demo, and determined that your price seems too high for the service offered… He just beat me to the punch.

I really appreciate the feedback from B Reasonable and Leigh. Especially since you are Invest Tools subscribers.

I have lowered the price to $50 /month for current and new subscribers to be more inline with the Invest Tools price without the $1000 upfront cost for training.

I have lots of enhancement on the road map for my website (Time is the major limiting factor for me since I am currently employed by a Fortune 500 company). I am always open to suggestions from visitors and subscribers about the content that they would like to see on the website.




Yes, Leigh is correct, I’ve recently renewed my Investools subscription for a 3rd year. While many may be glad to hear you’ve reduced your price, in my opinion, $50 is still a lot to charge for an automated search that runs and gets emailed out to a distribution list.

Personally, having a solid understanding of what both Investools and a list of Rule #1 companies could offer, I would have to place the value of your service at around $10-20 a month, again, largely based on the wide-ranging value that Invstools offers as a comparison. It would be interesting to know the turnover rate of companies appearing on your list as companies don’t easily fall into the Rule #1 criteria.

Assuming your list averages 90+/- stocks per month, that is still a lot of companies to review to make a final selection. Perhaps you might find a market for publishing a ranked top 20 list of these companies, with some additional commentary and analysis to add value and support your ranking, and tracking the returns on these “picks”.

Ultimately it comes down to a question of investing philosophy and strategy, which is something that everyone has to find their own fit for. That is, it’s somewhat unrealistic to compare your offering with Investools. Your offering is focused on a niche market of longer term stock investors that are interested in the Rule #1 strategy. However, Investools covers a wide array of strategies covering multiple investment instruments. So, you have short and long term stock strategies, short and long term options strategies, and probabilities plays such as Think or Swim is adding to Investools tool belt, to say nothing of Forex.

Ultimately, those interested in a Rule #1 strategy may find value in your service, only time will tell. Good luck.

I bought the $13,000 “Masters” program package. This was a serious rip off. The training is poor. I attended my options course in an auditorium with 600 other people. No time to ask questions. The online courses are no better than what you can buy in a book for a fraction of the cost.

I highly recommend you steer clear of this scam and tell others the same.


This is in response to the 11/19/2007 comments left by Dave Roberts. He makes no mention of the trading rooms, investor talk sessions, and coaching that are included with the Masters program. Therefore, he left out several parts of the program which offer plenty of time for questions. Investools is definitely NOT a scam. It is a very well organized educational organization that has been very valuable to me and many others.

I highly recommend you make your own evaluation and tell others to do the same.


To Dave Roberts:

I am truly interested in the things you have to say about the Master’s program. I have seriously considered upgrading my current program (because so far, it has been a very positive learning experience.)… but you have laid you money down and obviously feel that you haven’t received value for you money. Please be certain that I am not questioning your opinion, but I would like to know more about some of the things that you as a Master’s Program subscriber have access to that I don’t have (I am just a Basic Stocks subscriber)….

Specifically… I believe that with the Master’s Program, you have access to one-on-one coaching…. and I understand you can call the coaches as often as you want, and talk as long as you want about any of your education related questions. That sounds like a pretty decent service. Did you use the coaching service? Is it not what it would seem to be?

Another service I don’t have access to is the trading rooms. I have never had access to these, so don’t know if they are any good or not. Most of the threads in the community forums seem to find them quite valuable, especially when coupled with the forums.

I am thinking of upgrading primarily for the options training. I have tried to find books, other websites and resources so I could learn options trading, but so far I have found nothing that has been able to give me the depth of training that Investools seems to be offering. Do you have any recommendations?


Leigh, I left you a message on the Friends tab of the Investools Community link concerning your questions to Dave Roberts. Please check it out. Thanks.

I attended two day seminiar and was going to sign up for Associates and maybe Master’s program. But I couldn’t since my husband wasn’t ready for it. I am still thinking of enrolling myself, but would like to get a better information on those additional educational program that the investools offer.

I’d like to ask the ones who are enrolled in the education programs (Associate, Master, PHD.) or are not enrolled in any of those additional programs but using the investools after two day seminar.

1. If you are not enrolled in any programs, do you still do Option trades? Do you do both Call and Put options or just one of them? How did you educate yourself for Options? Do you find those are hard to do without extra education and mentors?

2. Similarily, if you are enrolled in Associates, do you feel much more competant with extra education in your trades including options and feel the extra education was worth it? Anyone who received the Associates education but not actively trading? If so, why?

3. If you are enrolled in Masters, what do you think the difference is between the ones who are just receiving Assoc. & Masters? Anyone who received the Master’s education but not actively trading? If so, why?

4. For PhD students, do you truly think it’s worth the education or do you feel you could’ve achieved the something very similiar without the extra education? What’s your rate of return from your investment?

I appreciate all of your responses in advance. Thanks!


A few thoughts on your questions. I am a graduate only of the stocks class, however, have acquired the balance of the classes through Ebay purchases. I’ve always been a competent learner through self-study and wanted to see what I could learn without the coaching or other benefits such as trading rooms. I have heard only compliments on those other avenues though and in all likelihood would have done better with them, but opted to preserve funds and use them instead to invest with.

I also invested significantly in educational DVDs during the frequent sale events that traderslibrary dot com holds (one on now with 934 items on sale, no I’m not affiliated with them in any way). Finally, I purchased a library of books including:

1. Entries & Exits (Elder)
2. Trend Following (Covel)
3. Technical Analysis (Appel)
4. The Candlestick Course (Nison)
5. Bollinger on Bollinger Bands (Bollinger)
6. Options Volatility & Pricing (Natenberg)
7. It’s Earnings That Count (Heiserman)
8. Swing Trading (Markman)
9. Options Made Easy (Cohen) – highly recommended
10. Market Wizards (Schwager) – highly recommended

I used these to round out coverage on any topics of interest.

After studying enough of these materials to develop my understanding to a competent level and paper trading for 3 months (I also credit to listening to the Marketcast at Investools), I started trading options this Spring before the market break. I’ve bought both calls and puts (the latter more as the market turned). However, you’ll learn that when volatility is up you won’t want to be a purchaser of options, but rather a seller. Make sure you understand the concepts around a “Vega-squeeze” before being long any options in a volatile market. With many professional traders losing big in this market, I’m pleased with my performance, although I have made many of the newbie errors, largest among them was holding onto losers that were going against me.

I also heartily recommend keeping a journal. Make sure not only to document your trades but also what you learned afterwards from each trade.

Hope this helps and best of luck.

More confused. Should I go to investools or not? Who out there is making money. Where can I get proof? Where’s the BEEF?

Tom, I am making money and I am confident that others are also. In this volatile market I have more than recovered the dollars I paid to Investools by just learning how to preserve capital. I am very pleased with Investools. The BEEF is only there for you if YOU take advantage of the opportunity. If you are looking for guarantees then stick with “sure things” like bank C.D.’s. No tool can benefit YOU unless YOU first learn how to use it. With all due respect, Tom, even if you were provided “proof” of someone else’s “success”, that would be no guarantee that you could do the same. Every trader is different because everyone has different comfort levels and strategies. You could possibly become one of the best. Best wishes & Happy Holidays.
James Blanchard


Well said James. I never even considered managing my own investments (beyond some mutual fund picks like everyone else from some ratings table in a magazine years ago) before learning of Investools and attending their Stocks class. However, I’ll never look back just based on what I know already, and the potential I now understand to continue learning and improving my methods. I started trading in March ’07, perfect timing to face the challenge of some lessons from the market! But I’m happy to report that because of what I learned about adjusting strategies to meet what the market offers you, I’m currently up 49% in my Roth IRA *THIS YEAR* where I traded the most conservatively, and up 2% this year in my retail account where I traded aggressively with agressive strategies in pursuit of learning — and, made ALL the newbie mistakes of holding too long, etc. in a tough market. Also, I am under a unique disadvantage that you would not face – I have to pay nearly full retail commissions since that is a tenant of working at the brokerage firm I’m employed with. To put that in perspective, my commissions so far this year equalled 4% of my account value (think about that for a minute!), so were I have been able to pay the low commissions available to you my real return this year would have been 4% or better in my retail account. While that may not sound like much, there are a few ex-Bear Sterns traders that would still be employed if their hedge fund had even done just 10 times worse than that instead of going bust.

More important than my returns is what I’ve learned and can apply to greater advantage in more favorable markets! Give me an extended bull market as we’ve had prior to this summer and I know I will make some serious money with what I now know. Give me 2+ years running like ’05 and ’06 of the VIX being around 13 and I will be able to paint the town! As I’ve paraphrased Ben Franklin before and Investools smartly quotes, “a man can do no better than to pour his purse into his head (through education).” Knowledge is power in one of the purest and most effective forms when it comes to the markets. Where else with the click of a single button based on what you know and see in a market can you make double your money or better in literally hours, days or weeks?

As James implies, you’ll never know what you can achieve until you try. You may make a fortune or go bust if you don’t have the smarts and discipline and invest the time and effort to learn successful methods and execute with the emotional detachment of a computer.

No, you won’t find the Web filled with thousands of success stories bragging about their market success. But every day, literally 10’s of thousands or people make a living in the market day in and day out, many based upon the principles and methods that Investools teaches. They just don’t run around bragging about it, but instead quietly make a living or, for some, a fortune in the market and no has even ever heard of them because they don’t care about public fame. For proof, read books like Entries and Exits by Elder and the Market Wizards books by Schwager and you’ll be exposed to the range of succesful traders big and small and I’m sure you’ll leave with a sense like I did that there are a LOT more traders out there making a living than you could have ever conceived of. Go to an Investools conference as I did this summer in Chicago and you’ll meet boatloads of motivated, successful investors, who all have benefitted from their Investools education. I’m unaware of any other trading education company that can host anywhere the scale of event that I attended with several thousand happy graduates in attendance and most all happy to tell their “Investools story” and network with you. It was truly inspiring to me to attend.

I’m not a shill for Investools, and I believe there are other ways to learn — no one has the market cornered on investing education and strategy, however, if you put in the time to do the research you’ll see the positive comments on Investools heavily outweigh the negative ones, AND, if you look deeper into the negative ones — what are they really saying? – did they REALLY give it a go, in other words, attend the classes, listen to their coaches, invest a year to learn through experience??? I think you’ll have to look long and hard to find negative comments from someone that made that serious of a commitment, stuck with it and really LEARNED what Investools and driving your own investments means instead of some guy that attended the free preview and convinced himself that it was all bogus. Don’t overlook the fact that those that don’t have the brainpower or discipline to execute will be the first to be naysayers when they bow out. The first warning sign is anyone that focuses their comments on the “3 green arrows” and how anyone can do that on their own. As said on here previously, the arrows should be thought of as training wheels or as a timesaver to make turning points easy to spot. God help us if we hadn’t all started with training wheels when we were kids! But just as you eventually did back then, Investools takes them off as you continue to learn and you see how to really understand and interpret charts in order to determine entry and exit points.

So, it’s now up to you, do some serious self-assessment; do you have the intelligence, perseverence and discipline to learn something like this? If so, you’ll never know what success you can achieve until you finish that first year of having studied, really learned, made mistakes, learned from them, and ultimately determined whether self-directing your investments is for you. The first year changed my understanding and attitude about investing to the extent that I can hardly believe how naive I was about the markets and what self-directed investing is really about.

Good speed if you decide to take the step. If you are sincere and open to learning from everyone and every situation, you will likely find many you can learn from and that will help you on the journey!

Best wishes and happy holidays!

Dear B. Reasonable,

Your commentary makes it clear that you really are REASONABLE. It sounds like we are two of the many who have benefited from what Investools teaches. Congratulations on your IRA returns. Wow!!! Also, I enjoyed your commentary very much.
Good trading and Merry Christmas.


James Blanchard
Investools PHD Student

James and B. Reasonable

Well put, both of you. I can’t say it any better so I won’t even try… essentially all I can say is… ditto!


I have heard quite a bit about investools, although I do my own research and technical analysis, I try to keep myself sharp. There is no doubt in my mind that more people should be handling their own investments. Besides doing my own fundamental analysis I am a strong believer in mastering Japanese Candlesticks.

Do I research the “high risk” penny stocks? Yes I do! If you do the proper research and have some money to play with, it is fantastic! The pennies is for those that can afford to lose their coin, but if you win, it is sweet! Well, there is my two cents. Stop by and see me at http://pennystockspinksheets.blogspot.com/

PS: I agree with Chris (Investor Geeks) that you need to be careful of buying into the newest software that promises you riches beyond your dreams. Keep up the good work with the blog Chris!

I listened to a live webinar today, 12/15 @ 6:00 AM California time….still yawning….

Today they’d offered the entire course (2-day bootcamp for two), online course and 7 months of access for $999

Good Investing!


i am an investools subscriber. it’s worth every penny. get the training, access, quit your job, invest. BUT, DO get ALL of the traiing. Some will only make you lose money, in the long run, in my mind. The full training is expensive, but there are alternatives to that once you have gained access- for those intelligent, resourceful few out there. The full training is gold, no bs. 20% gains each month ? sure. quad your money annually ? sure. you do have to spend it to get it and NOTHING worth anything is free in this world. good luck

Question for B. Reasonable (and anyone else who has successfully purchased Investool materials from Ebay.)

As I was looking for materials there, I ran across some articles that said that 80% of the items being sold on Ebay as Investools Materials are actually fakes. How did you know for sure that what you were purchasing were the real things? Is it better to purchase items individually, do you think, or as a complete package? Thanks in advance for your suggestions and information.

I read Phil Town’s book. It made very good sense and I am just starting to take control of my own investments. I think this blog has provided me with some great insight. Thanks to you all.


I don’t think you’ll find a “fake” on Ebay per se. Rather, you might find a copyright infringing copy of actual Investools materials. A fake to me would imply someone wrote their own book or made their own DVD with their own content and is trying to pass it off as an Investools course when the content is different.

As with all things Ebay, look for sellers with high scores to buy from. You might browse their past sales, if they’ve sold 5 of the same course then I’d be suspicious. Since I had no itention to resell the items I was a little less suspicious than some may be. I’m in no way supporting or advocating copyright infringement, but, if your goal is learning, do you think you would learn less from a copy if you do get “stuck” with one?

On the question of buying any package deal, I think that would depend on what courses you want and what if any bundles there might be being sold that contain them.

Happy hunting.

B. Reasonable–Thank you. This was just what I needed to hear. Like you, I am interested in the info–and have no desire to resell the programs once I purchase them. This makes me feel much more comfortable now with that process. (As you can probably tell, I am new to the Ebay world!)

Other than violating copywrite laws, you guys should consider that you will not have access to the Investool trading rooms. I find them very valuable in and of themselves. Why not just do the right thing and obey the law by purchasing all materials from Investools? Happy New Year. James


I understand what you are saying, and I actually agree with much of what you said. And, for the record, I am an Investools subscriber of the Basic Stocks course. My husband and I are trying to determine if we are ready to jump into the PHD program, sot I am interested in seeing what my $26,000 is buying, before I actually spend that kind of money.

I usually check out a book from a library before I purchase it at a bookstore, just to be sure the information I am receiving is worth the money I am spending. And then, if I like what I see, I usually attempt to buy a used copy from a seller on Amazon.

This, then, is the philosophy I am using to approach this purchase. I would like the opportunity to review the books and DVDs before spending the $26,000. If I could find another way to do this without purchasing the materials on Ebay, believe me, I would.

This fact, and the fact that I have no desire to support those folks who are making a business of “ripping off Investools” by creating copies of their materials and selling them as the real thing, are the reason I asked my questions in the first place.

But, as far as folks selling and reselling their reading and viewing materials once they are finished with them, I don’t see a problem with this, at all. That is the purpose of used bookstores and auction houses and second-hand consignment stores, after all. To my way of thinking, this is the most effective form of recycling that we have in this world. And I will continue to use them whenever possible, and hope others would do the same.

Let me save you $26,000. I paid for the Master Program $10,000. It was definitely not worth it. I am in the professional training business and their material and delivery was not worth that kind of money. I was expecting one on one training for that price. What we got was a auditorium filled with 600 people watching one person make some trades and explain surface infomation about options.

Save your money – or invest it in a good stock, but not in Investools training.

Hi HuskerTrader,

I am currently not an Investools member, but I have attended the introductory seminar.

The End User License Agreement on the back of the Stocks Registration form clearly states: “All Investools course manuals, video presentations, audio presentations, slide shows, software, products, services, data or information provided by Investools or obtained through Investools (Investools Materials) are licensed, not sold. Investools hereby grants me a limited, non-exclusive, revocable personal, non-assignable and non-transferable license to use the Investools Materials until terminated. I am not authorized to sell, transfer, sublicense, reproduce, distribute, display, modify, perform, or prepare derivative works based on the Investools Materials.

Looks like they have outstanding Intellectual property lawyers. When you get a manual from them you get a license to use the manual. However, you do not have the right to sell any of their materials if you no longer need them. Please note I am not an attorney. I am just presenting my own personal opinion.

Not sure how long they have been using the above verbage. I would be hesitant to purchase or sell “legitimate” copies of the Investools products on Ebay or anywhere else.

I’m hesitant to become an Investools subscriber because it would require me to give up more rights than I would be willing to surrender.

From what I seen on their presentation, they have invested a lot to develop their systems. Can’t really blame them for protecting their work product.



This is in reply to Paul’s comments. He makes no mention of the Basic Options Online Course, Basic Options Workshop, Advanced Technical Analysis Online Course, one year of Masters Talk sessions, one year of Stocks Trading Rooms, one year of Basic Options Trading Rooms, or other things that are included with the cost of the Masters Program. Even more things are included with the PHD Program. He, also, does not mention Investools money back guarantee. But, he, of course, is entitled to his opinion, and so am I.

For me, the PHD program has already (since March) been worth more than its cost. It sounds as though he paid $10,000 and only attended a live workshop. By the way, the Masters Program does provide for “one on one training”. It is called “coaching” and lasts for 18 months. He should limit his commentary to subjects about which he is personally familiar. It is obvious that he knows very little about Investools educational programs.

Make your own decision after learning as many facts as you can. I suggest beginning your research at investools.com .

Happy New Year & Good Trading!!!


Hello, HuskerTrader & Jonathan,

I agree with Jonathan EXCEPT as to one thing. Jonathan, I don’t understand why you are hesitant to give Investools a try. The only right you MAY give up would be to the money you paid to Investools, but that would only occur AFTER their guarnatee period. I think they now offer a 30 day money back guarantee when you sign up online for the stocks course.

Good luck & Happy New Year to both of you.


Jonathan and James,

Thank you for your information and insights. You have given me a lot to think about–I appreciate it. I will consider it carefully before proceeding with any purchases. But I do wonder–if it is illegal to resell Investool books and DVDs, why Ebay allows the posting of them on their site. Like I said previously, I am new to Ebay, but I guess I was naive enough to assume that they would not allow illegal materials to to knowingly be sold on their site.

Re: HuskerTrader — eBay and copyright protection.

1. You are right, eBay will not “knowingly” allow materials to be sold that are in violation of copyright…. however, until someone complains, they have no way of knowing and so it continues. I have unknowingly purchased software through eBay that turned out to be in violation of copyright. Once eBay is made aware of that, the seller is quickly shutdown.

2. Most software has copyright notices similar to the wording of the Investools DVD’s. You do not become the owner of the intellectual property… you have simply purchased the right to use it.

3. The Investools DVD’s and other materials that are available on eBay (or elsewhere) are out-of-date. The Investools courses and tools are now available on-line only, (with the exception of some printed manuals that you’ll receive at the 2-day workshop) so that any additions, modifications, etc are immediately available to all subscribers. Buy the real thing. The price of the Basic Stocks course is now $999… half what I paid for it… and yet I still feel I got my money’s worth. One good trade will more than pay for the course.

Dear anyone trying to learn about Investools from reading such comments as Paul’s:

Reader’s —last time I’ll say this: form your valued impressions from those that actually spent SIGNIFICANT TIME going through the courses before valuing anyone’s opinion!!!

“Drive by shootings” like this are bound to appear with the thousands that Investools signs up for training , but do they really contain enough background, depth of experience and surrounding facts to form an opinion you should rely upon???

In other words, how many postings can you find on the Internet that are by GRADUATES of advanced Investools degree programs that say that the training is crap? well the answer is likely ZERO, despite HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF GRADUATES. What does that tell you? How many postings can you find by GRADUATES that say they lost all their MONEY investing the INVESTOOLS WAY — likely near ZERO also (even though we should all know that not everyone is cut out for DISCIPLINED investing and that by poor execution certainly many have lost everything despite all efforts by Investools or any other training company).

Imagine how many subscribers Consumer Reports magazine would have if each of their reviews was based on someone barely taking a look at any of the products they review?

Learn to “read” the reviewer -who they are and what facts and depth of experience they are basing their opinion on and then you’ll have your “grain of salt” to use with what they say…

So, I’ll walk you through this once but it’s up to you to do it yourself in the future:

“I am in the professional training business and their material and delivery was not worth that kind of money. I was expecting one on one training…”

Now who with real experience in the training industry would really expect one-on-one training that covers anywhere near the number of hours involved with an Investools Masters Program for $10K, including all the materials, coaching and Web access? Equate this to any other discipline and you’ll see the truth. Try and get one-on-one training for an MCSE or other technical discipline and you’ll see that per hour involved, it’s just not anywhere near reasonable to expect. You can easily Google up an MCSE course, 14 days, for $6,400 and it’s DEFINITELY NOT one on one, doesn’t include a year of Web access or course DVDs.

“What we got was a auditorium filled with 600 people watching one person make some trades and explain surface infomation about options”

So here’s the punchline – supposedly this tells anyone all they need to know to steer away. If you believe any part of this statement, why not check it out by calling Investools and asking what their class size is and what the content is? Doesn’t 600 sound a tiny bit like an exaggeration? At $10K a head, that’s $6M for one group of students in a company that only generated gross revenue of $160M last year when admittedly they generate more from Web access than new students. Was every Masters student in the country at this one sesssion? When things don’t add up, write down your questions and CALL INVESTOOLS AND ASK. It’s that simple.

Equip yourself with common sense, a big grain of salt and the willingness to write down any questions that come up from reading ANYTHING about ANYTHING on the Internet and call that company and find out for yourself!

Whose opinion should you value more than your own informed opinion???

Peace, Out.


I took a look at “valueinvestorsresource.com” but was unable to figure out what it is telling me. I am not really sure just what to enter into the “search” field. If I enter a partial name, it seems to bring up a listing of stocks that contain that partial name…I don’t see the value of that. What am I missing? Can you explain why you feel this is a great site?

It is best to enter a sector or industry. If you enter “technology” in the search box it will return results based on the top performing companies in the technology industry. If you click on the symbol of the top company in the results you can check out the growth rates and PE History. Once you get to the bottom of the list the companies’ financial data is not very stable.

Thanks for the feedback.

The site is under construction so you might see some bugs in the next couple weeks.

The idea is that you can quickly find lots of companies that satisfy the big-5 then you can do the rest of your analysis on your own.

It is best to enter a sector or industry. If you enter “technology” in the search box it will return results based on the top performing companies in the technology industry. If you click on the symbol of the top company in the results you can check out the growth rates and PE History. Once you get to the bottom of the list the companies’ financial data is not very stable.

The site is under construction so you might see some bugs in the next couple weeks.

The idea is that you can quickly find lots of companies that satisfy the big-5 then you can do the rest of your analysis on your own.

Hello all,
First allow me to say to say a sincere thanks to the blog host and all who have contributed – I have spent most of the morning going through 276 posts re: Phil Town and Investools. I am also impressed by the openness and consideration given to differing (and occasionally hostile!) comments from the scorned – bravo.

I am a doctoral student in health science at the University of Ottawa, and I will preface my comments below with the following admission: I have no idea what an option is, why candlesticks serve any purpose beyond mood lighting, or if I require an extra USB device to do paper trading on my laptop (ok, the last one I can guess at…). The truth is that I have a vague idea what a stock is, but seriously lack any financial experience whatsoever and do not own any stock. My partner graduated with a degree in commerce ten years ago, but she is not employed in any sort of finance-related field. I anticipate that we would probably enter the market with $5000 CAD if everything goes well. Cool.

Yesterday (March 3rd, 2008) I attended “The Power Within” conference in Ottawa (http://www.powerwithin.com/4105/event_calendar_details.asp?event_id=46) with my partner, who won tickets to the event. Having *no* idea who any of the presenters were (save for Hillary Swank), I heard Phil Town speak and was impressed with his clarity and vision for the ‘average person to harness the Internet’ (corny perhaps, but true). Phil spoke for about 45 minutes, with a combination of slides that displayed market trends and (apparently, though I’m not 100% certain) screenshots of Investools (green arrows and all). We were then offered the “Success Magazine Investor Education Inc (copyright 2008 Investools Inc) two-day course (March 7-8 or March 12-13, 2008) at the price of $995 CAD. This was offered at a discount from a price that numbered in the thousands; I do not have the paper at hand but will post the original price as soon as I can. My partner and I discussed the opportunity, and agreed to put a credit card number on hold with the stipulation that no charge will be incurred if we decide to withdraw at the end of the first day. With our signing, we received a slick-looking tri-fold binder (mostly, if not all photos of happy folk, testimonials of success and a few bullet points on the workshop content – nothing substantial) and a DVD with Phil Town’s face on the label, titled ‘Building Wealth with Phil Town” (not yet viewed). We headed home and since last night I have been trying to find out everything I can about Phil Town, Investools, and the general level of guard with which we should enter this workshop. At this point let me also classify myself as an optimistic skeptic with regards to the above – I have a pretty good BS meter that has so far trembled, but not yet spiked. I hope that’s fair to Mr. Town and his company.

My goal is to detail the month ahead as I explore the Investools suite, take the two-day course on March 12-13 in Ottawa (unless some serious bells go off on the first day) and resist *any* opportunity to sign up for additional courses (student, remember). I hope I can provide an honest A to B to C assessment of my experience, and perhaps address a few specific questions for any Canadian folks out there (in my naiveté, I am wondering if the ‘fundamentals’ as they seem to be called, work identically for Canadian stocks, traders, etc). In reading the above contributions, I can see that the amount of time dedicated to ‘upselling’ versus ‘training’ is a particular concern; I have decided to record the time spent in each activity over the two-day span, and will post my highly unscientific assessment after the course. =)

Thanks for all you suggestions on links, books and alternate websites – it has greatly helped my decision to follow through on the Investools workshop. I will post again as soon as I know more. Cheers, Robert

I went to the investools seminar in Mobile, Al. It was a two day sales pitch. I hate to say that but it is true. They did everything but show you the program. All of the helpers in the seminar were PHD students who have made a lot but some some reason they take out of their schedule to help others learn. Unlke some who were mad and di not return I did for the 2nd day and I got a lot of almost information about trading options. In the end I did spend more money but it was at books a million buying investment books and a new library card. The Investools software is TOP NOTCH and when I get ready to take the first step I will use them and thinkorswim.
They were wanting to sell more seminars but a group of yankees in a southern town is a harder sell than usual but about 5 of the 200 signed up and that is $100,000. I am going to view all of the free educational software and free tutorials over the next three month. If I had bought my first four stocks I would have made 5% the first week and 200% a year if I could keep that pace. I just need to learn more. Phil did mention that even he said I don’t need the class just let me have the tools. They made him go to a class and must give him a cut, but the tools are top notch.

I’ve been using Investools for a little over a year and I’ve attended the weekend stock trading seminar, but I have not gone beyond that in their training regimen. Recently when my Investools subscription came up for renewal I decided to investigate all the other stock analysis tools out there, both free and paid, hoping to find something better or less expensive. Bottom line, nothing comes close to Investools for bringing all the information together on one page, or for stock screening. I did renew, and I continue to use it every day. It’s easy and fast to use.
However, I think the training is misguided. The weekend seminar gives a decent beginning background in technical analysis and fundamentals analysis. They teach the Investools strategy with no mention of other strategies, make no mention of the traders edge, and no mention of chart pattern recognition. It’s clear from the hype for upcoming seminars that they are going to push you into options trading very quickly, long before you have a good grounding in simple long trading. I received far more education about basic stock trading by reading a half dozen books and magazines, at a total cost of about $200.
If you do not buy the extra training, there is no access to help or coaching regarding the use of Investools, and the online help files are inadequate. Investools website is very powerful but poorly documented. If you are the type who is willing to poke around and figure out things on your own, as I am, it’s potentially more useful than many other investment stock analysis websites.
For education, I highly recommend http://www.aaii.com, http://www.investors.com, and http://www.investopedia.com. Also, your online stock broker is likely to have some basic training help files that are very useful.

The SEC Investigates everybody that’s anybody! It doesn’t mean a thing. They investigated Microsoft (& found them guilty!) and Intel and IBM and hundreds of others…. that’s what the SEC does.

BTW. Investools now has drastically reduced their prices. You can now get 6 months access to their site, Basic Stocks course material, 2-day workshop, ProphetCharts, online training, etc.. by signing up from their homepage at http://www.investools.com for $299.00. If you attend one of their free 3 hour introductory workshops I understand they’ve been offering the same thing for $99.00

Secondly, as has been mentioned several times previously, of course they try to move you to the additional courses that they offer during the 2-day workshop. They would be remis if they didn’t at least demonstrate the power of option trading, the advantage you gain with advanced technicals, etc.

God, will some of you please just read “A Random Walk Down Wallstreet” and stop giving these obscene fees to scammers like Phil Town and his seminars. These guys are essentially con-artists that tout contradictory investment philosophies and prey on the greed associated with human nature. Phil Town knows nothing more than any average Joe who reads the WSJ and watches CNBC everyday.

My favorite was his 3 stock picks he gave on a CNBC roundtable presentation about a year ago. He confidently stated these were all trading at 50% their value: WAG, UNH, HWAY. Check out the tickers 🙂


A confidence trick or confidence game, also known as a bunko, con, flim flam, gaffle, grift, manipulation, ploy, power play, scam, scheme, stratagem or swindle is an attempt to swindle a person or people (known as the “mark” or sometimes “griftee”) which involves gaining his or her confidence.

Scammer’s don’t use their real names. They hide behind pseudonames (like ‘actuary’ perhaps) … I am using my real name… as I have done for the past year or so that I have been commenting in this blog and I will go on record stating that my Investools education is as good as or better than any education I have ever received anywhere on any subject. Between one on on coaching, virtual coaching, chat rooms, course material, trading rooms, webinars, community blogs, tutorials, workshops, spotlights, open houses… my ONLY problem is how to take it all in.

Let me see. Prior to my decision to subscribe to investools, I new absolutely nothing about the stock market. I had only ever invested in Mutual Funds.. and they weren’t doing so well… (still aren’t). Today I made $1600 and all I did was work in the garden. The Dow Jones is down 242 points… but I made money… and the BEST part is that I wasn’t acting on a “hot tip”. No one told me what to buy, or what strategy to use. I found it myself, I picked my entry point, I picked my exit point. I decided how much to invest. It wasn’t Phil Town, or CNBC or even Investools that told me what to buy. Investools TAUGHT me how to figure it out for myself. Whether Phil Town is right or wrong in his picks is irrelevant. No one is right 100% of the time. The trick is to figure out how to be wrong 60% of the time and still make money. Investools taugh me that.

My name is Leigh Sheppard an I AM an Investools student!!

>>No one is right 100% of the time. The trick is to figure out how to be wrong 60% of the time and still make money. Investools taugh me that.>>

How much money did you shell out to Investools? You realize everything they told you could have been learned for

About Investools, I really like investools. I saw Phil Town speak, and bought it, and it came as a 2-day seminar for $1000.

Lots of really good trading information – and some selling, but mostly really good info.

The Investools resource site is awesome. A little weak on Canadian company data, however.

I took the Investools basic stocks seminar almost 2 years ago in Portland. The first day was very heavy on ETFs, and was apparently geared toward convincing mutual fund investors to dip their toes into relatively conservative, long-term, long trading on exchange traded funds. It all looked so easy, I came back for the second day. That’s when the speaker overwhelmed all us newbies with options trading strategies. On top of that, we were bombarded with lots and lots of upselling to get us to purchase the Ph.D. program. Well, I drank the Kool-Aid anyway and signed up for the Master Investor Program, maxing out my credit cards and really putting my family’s financial security on the line. How hard could it be? All I had to do was follow the little red and green arrows, right? Besides, the sales folks at the back of the room kept assuring everybody that they would make their tuition back in no time.

My background is in advanced applied mathematics, and I consider myself reasonably bright. However, I quickly found out that the investor education program doled out just enough bread crumbs to make me dangerous to myself *unless* I purchased the next step up in the program hierarchy (then the next step, and the next step…). In short, I dug myself into a hole financially from which I never recovered. I’m sure I’m not the only one who experienced this.

In retrospect, It’s not that the program itself was bad. It was just insanely overpriced, and rather misleading in some of its claims. I still use the investor toolbox. But I’ve taken to searching for my trading education elsewhere. I’ve come across lots of great books already mentioned in other comments, so I won’t list them here. Among the better products I found are a set of Investors Resource Toolkits made by a company called TopInvestingTools. The kits are downloadable software that give you access to all kinds of online courses, tutorials, quizzes, research and charting tools, toolboxes, and even a free helpdesk — all without any additional fees, subscriptions, or sales pitches. Really well done and concise coverage of everything offered by the Investools program and more. I think I paid like 97 bucks for the Ph.D. toolkit. I only wish I had found this two years ago, before I shelled out thousands of bucks to Investools for the same education. Oh well.

If you’re interested, there’s a pretty good Investools Review
covering the Ph.D. program, and the corresponding TopInvestingTools PhD resource toolkit. And there is another review about Investools Advanced Options, too.

Hope you found this hopeful.

Below is a good example of the problem with the “Free” sites. You can never be sure what to believe, how old the information is, how accurate or well tested the information is.

These are excerpts from an article I ran across on Yahoo! finance… “SIX DEADLY INVESTING MISTAKES” dated September 10, 2008

the title sounded like something I should pay attention to, so I clicked the link and was presented with the following advice.

Mistake No. 1: Panicking Over Market Fluctuations

“When the market is in a downturn, it may seem logical to cash out and go home, but before you do that you may want to think about your long-term goals for that money…”

“…Many people sell low and buy high because emotion drives their investment decisions,” says Lisa Featherngill, CPA/PFS, member American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. “Remember, you haven’t lost money until you actually sell the security.”

Unbelievable! Remember this is Yahoo! finance… probably one of the better free sites out there.. I had never actually seen that statement in print before …I couldn’t believe I had found this rubbish in print! [continued…]

continued from Part I above…

Mistake No. 2: Reacting to Daily Economic Reports

“… No investment strategy is better than identifying superior companies and holding them while letting your money compound over time.”

“Buy and Hold” is the recommended strategy in today’s market!!! Tell that to the guy who bought Bear Stearns or Lehman Bros last year at this time.

Mistake No. 3: Turning Off Your Buying During a Downturn

“… but there is a system that enables almost anyone to take advantage of those tempting buying opportunities. It’s called dollar-cost averaging

“Dollar-cost averaging is a time-proven and effective way to minimize the effects of emotion in financial management,” says Kimmel.

WHAT!! They are actually suggesting… recommending! that I dump more money into my losing trades!! No wonder this stuff is free!!

Mistake No. 4: Trying to Time the Market

“It’s better to invest regularly, without regard for the general condition of the economy or the direction of the stock market,” says Darrell J. Canby, CPA/CFP and president of Canby Financial Advisors, in Natick, Mass.


I don’t need to go any further!! They wrap up by re-emphasizing their primary strategy… “Creating a plan such as dollar-cost averaging and sticking with it under all market conditions is the way to maximize your returns,”

I am going to wrap up by emphasizing that you get what you pay for. The advice on Yahoo! is free! If you follow the advice in the article above, you won’t need Investools. You’ll have no money left to invest! But it was free….


I think including the link in my post was preventing it from “publishing” to the blog. Just be aware that the full article is available at:


How are the PhD Investool/ThinkorSwim investors doing in this market environment?

Leigh ~ still making $$$?

Ottawa Rob ~ any follow up on your involvement?

Virginia Collector,
I am a PHD student since 2005. I”m up 10% in the last 30 days alone. Thanks for asking. I want to let you know that because of my education, I saw the writing on the wall, and exited the majority of my positions in March. I am 70% in cash right now, so 30% of my account is working for me, and by leveraging that small amount of money, I’ve increased the value of my TOTAL account by 10% in 30 days.
Thank you Investools!


Thanks for your comments Monica!

I am happy to hear that you’re doing well!

I am still “on the fence” regarding Investools, although after reading here, I am convinced that the PhD program must be a good program.

My original contact actually has higher results than yours for 2008 and made a whopping $75K alone on the -778 Dow day earlier this month….she seems to be well adept at trading in a down market!!

Being a “buy and hold” investor has not provided anything but heartache in this market…and I am sad to say that I am in that fold :o(

I hope to hear from others here! Thanks again for your comments!


I’m sitting in cash right now… waiting… the market is a little too volatile right now for my tastes, and when the government intervenes it is tough to predict direction. But I wait…. patiently.

My husband and I are planning on attending an Investools 2 day event. We were able to get this for $99 and 3 mo free. Ottawa Rob, I am interested to see how you are doing. The market make me nervous. I too am am Ottawa alumn, however in education. The teacher in me just wants to learn more!

I too recently went to the seminar for investools. Having a degree in accounting and finance my interest was more then peaked. i could not “pull the trigger” on the extra education at the time. I do believe, like anything, if you have more then desire . (You should have a burning desire) you can use their tools to succeed to your expectations. I just didn’t want it enough now, but I will. Those that have put the time, effort, and commitment in learning and APPLYING this system will fail some, but succeed more.


Markets like this make it even more important to have the education and coaching avaiilable to help you navigate through the choppy waters. My account is up 25% since Aug 20th thanks to what I have been and am being taught by Investools.

Because of the volatility, I have been very conservative, have made a few costly mistakes, and have spent considerable time in cash… and yet I have managed to increase my portfolio by 25% while the market is down dramatically from what it was in August. So many of my friends and extended family are suffering huge losses because they have let their broker or financial advisor handle their investments. It is truly a sad situation and I am not making light of it… this crisis is devastating for those who are buy and hold investors.

And as a sidenote.. to all those naysayers who feel that Investools is a scam… Investools has just been purchased by TD Ameritrade for $606,000,000.00!. They obviously have something worth buying! Personally, I am not thrilled about being taken over by the big guns, but it does give the little guy some validity


We signed up for the same $99 offer to attend a 2 day workshop in April. How did you like the 2 day workshop? Is it worth the $99?


I’ve got to say that you people who read these”blogs” should be careful. For example, do you know if these “bloggers” are not just employees of Investools? Also, have you noticed that most of these blogs are about how much the Investools seminars and info costs. There are very, very few people writing about how the system actually works for them and that they are making real money.

One final thing. Have you done the math about this myth that Phil turned $1,000 into $1 million in FIVE YEARS??? That is 300% return per year! That is unbelievable wizardry. And do you think he did that by following the principles in his book, which he gives to you for just $14.95???

Be careful


For the record… I am not an Investools employee, and I can say that there are several other contributors to this blog that show up regularly in the Investools online workshops, forums, and student lists… AS STUDENTS… I think the actual coaches have better things to do than to pretend to be students!!

As for performance of my portfolio from the training that I have received from Investools… Frankly that’s personal information that I am not comfortable revealing in a public forum… and I suspect that others who have done well with Investools are similarly cautious (as they should be).

But… I will give you the results of a recent trade:

On APRIL 8, 2009 I bought +12 MAY 55 CALL option contracts on SHLD for 1.75 per share (the underlying closed that day at $50 per share). My target price was $65.00 per share… that is to say that I expected SHLD to bounce off support and rise to about a $65 resistance level before pulling back. That purchase cost me $2100.

On APRIL 16, 2009 (5 trading days later – Easter holiday on Friday)I closed out half my position to lock-in profits for $3.20 per share.

6 contracts x $3.20 = $1920.

The most I could lose on the position was now only $80. (That’s good RISK MANAGEMENT! Investools taught me that!)

On APRIL 20, 2009 (2 trading days later!)the stock began pulling back from a high of 63.57 reached the previous day. I closed my position by selling the remaining 6 contracts at $7.50 per share.

6 x 7.50 = $4500

So.. I invested $2100 and just over a week later, I had made a $4420 profit. That’s 210%! The best part is, that’s not the only profitable trade I have made. It wasn’t a “lucky strike”. It was planned for, and although it wasn’t a perfect trade (I could have made more if I hadn’t sold 50% of my position) it was still a very profitable trade with a reasonable level of risk.

How did your portfolio do last week, Andy?

Do you really think Phil Town would have any problem making 300% in a year?

Let’s just say, that I am now in the process of shutting down my business of 20 years, and my investments will be my sole source of income come June 1. Two years ago I didn’t have a clue what a PUT option was, let alone how to effectively make money from Option trading. If Investools is rip-off, how come it has brought me this far!

Oops… slight mistake in Arithmetic in my prior post (problem when I don’t take the time to proofread):

$2100 invested. Closed 50% of position for $1920 leaving $180 at risk)
Closed remainder of position for $4500. Total profit $4320 (205%)

@Andy: I agree, don’t instantly believe everything you hear – but also don’t dismiss it either. Phenomenal returns are possible in the market – even this one (one of my option trades returned 300% this year).

Every serious trader should read the Market Wizards books for great inspiration. You’ll also see that track records that DWARF Phil Town are and have been done by MANY.

I’ve also learned another reason that any trader should learn options. There will sooner or later appear an opportunity so phenomenal that you should be able to apply the maximum leverage to it in order to get the maximum gain. That’s achieved with options and it’s how I realized a 300% return on a VERY sound company that had been oversold below TANGIBLE BOOK VALUE.

Hope everyone’s well and picking their trades carefully in this market. Remember, if you don’t understand why a market is behaving a certain way, then it’s best to stay out of it and look for opportunities that do make sense.

Best wishes to Leigh and James and others I’ve swapped comments with in the past.

Personally, I found option selling to much like gambling, for that matter trading as a whole these days. What ever happened to finding a good company and staying at it for the long run without all the emotional swings along the way prompted by every wind of news?

Unfortunately, the current markets, world masses and finances are being led by instant media, emotions and higher goverment influences.

I do believe for those interested that the next big bubble will the the energy revolution, so put money into green energy companies for a couple of years if you prefer as the world goes that direction. The green energy bubble should last at least 3 years before all breaks loose. we had the housing bubble, the technology bubble and now the enrgy revolution.

I pulled my money from the stock market long ago. Stay with property is my recommendation, at least land will always be worth something as long as you can keep it…

On the other hand for the Christian out there ..Jesus will soon return and what you lay up in Heaven is what you should focus on now more than ever. We each have a unique talent and calling, find it and abide in it. If you are not a believer in Christ, Jesus made an enormous investment in you on the cross of calvary to pay for the sins of the World and He loves you more deeply than words can express. Read John 3:16 in the Bible and seek a good Bible teaching church, the Lord will lead you the rest of the way..

As for trading and how it relates to those comments, I have been a “Christian for years, but it was not until 3 years ago when I became deluded with the lies and delusions of the markets that I found what it means to walk with Him and have joy when He opened my eyes to His Word and the Testimonies all around us after seeking Truth desparately….That joy and wisdom of Truth is worth billions and it cannot be bought or sold only given freely by the Spirit of Truth of God. So to follow up on my last post in 2005 these days I no longer spend hours reading about all the stocks, and listening to the lies and delusions of this world but rather I seek Him in private and there I find eternal priceless rewards, sweet wisdom and joy that fills the void most try to fill with monetary fufillment. Okay, I am stepping off the soap box now… Happy investing in your eternity.


Over and out.


True peace as Dave Ramsey has said comes in walking with the Prince of Peace, and not walking only but talking to Him in Psalms and Praises, reading His Living Majestic True Word full of infinite wisdom, listening in meditation and walking in His Spirit daily.

Buyer beware!!! I joined Investools years ago when it was part of CNBC and then spun off onto its own. The trick is that that have several courses for you to take to go up the ladder and make even more money, faster, easier (implied) and ever increasing fees. They also charge a subscription to use their site. Several of their past instructors, which I will not name as they have become friends, have just told people to be cautious (my hair stands up when former employees use that word). Investools always seems to have some new young guru popping up making untold gobs of money with options, etc., then they disappear.

For a while you could find “used” tool boxes on sites like EBay and craigslist.

@Larry: Buyer beware!!! I joined this thing several years ago and the trick is that they have almost endless courses to take to go up the ladder and make even more money, faster & easier — do you know what it’s called??? COLLEGE.

Yes, Investools has a number of more advanced courses. Would you prefer a company that only offered a BASIC Investing strategy, and nothing more? Would that REALLY indicate that it was a great training company??? Do you REALLY think it would be possible to learn everything about trading the market in one SIMPLE LITTLE COURSE? Have you even browsed a bookstore’s books on the subject to see how many different ways there are to play the market?

In this market place I’m sure both a lot of past and current instructors would be suggesting caution. Larry makes no mention of “what” to be cautious of…

The reason that you don’t find the used materials on Ebay any longer is that they’ve gone to an online model for much of their materials. And, as others have stated, resale rights are prohibited in the books now (although I haven’t see them, and haven’t taken my free refresher course for the last two years to run across them since I now trade options primarily).

I’m an Investools graduate (I feel like that’s saying something like “I’m a PC”…), and it took me from ignorance about the market to making over 100% return in the market this year. Yes, 100%. Anyone who doubts that or thinks I’m a shill for Investools can fly down to Tampa, FL and I’ll show you my brokerage statements and my pay stub so you see who I work for.

I’ve been away from this board for some time, but it chaps my a$$ when some fear mongerer makes uninformed comments like Larry’s. Yes, Investools charges for their site, don’t most Internet sites that offer some serious value?

Folks, always look for real MEAT in someone’s comments before taking them to heart: Has Larry said ANYTHING that can be a REAL concern?

Let’s review:
1) the trick is they have several courses, that cost more
2) they charge a subscription fee to their site
3) “several” of their past instructors have told people to be “Cautious”
4) new young gurus pop up and then disappear

Hmmm, sounds like #1 and #2 are pretty safe, so possibly you should try and investigate #3 or #4. But does Larry give us anything SPECIFIC about what they are supposedly saying? NO. Does he mention the list of “young gurus” that have come and gone? NO.

When you read these posts learn to look for real facts. Nuff said.

I am endlessly grateful for the education I got from Investools; even though I only took the basic stock course from them, it gave me a conviction that the markets are understandable and that *I* can make serious money in the markets and set me on a path of learning about the markets that has and will change my life forever.

Greetings to my fellow traders out there like Leigh and the rest of you that are on the path to learn how to trade the markets. Hope you’re all weathering this market well.

–Just bein’ reasonable in Tampa, FL

I’ve been an Investools student for 3 years. As I’ve stated previously, I knew nothing about the market when I started. Since then, I’ve shut down my business, sold our home and we’ve been travelling across North America for the past 6 months.

Tomorrow, my wife and I are flying off to spend the next two years on a small island in the South Pacific. We couldn’t have done it without the training I received at Investools. Are we rich? Nope… but we are living the life of our dreams and confident in the fact that we can support ourselves from pretty much anywhere in the world… including the Island of Yap! (Better look that one up on Wikipedia!) Snorkeling anyone?

@ Leigh: Enjoy your time in Yap! I spent 5 years working on Kwajalein in the M.I. (90-95′), perhap you’ll land there on the Island Hopper on your way to Yap. If you get a chance definitely make the trip to Pohnpei to see the ruins of Nan Madol (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pohnpei) there, pretty interesting. You should have a great time snorkeling, but I highly recommend getting dive certified, you’ll enjoy the greater freedom that it offers and might find that you get into spearfishing (Parrot fish, etc.) or just diving some of the wrecks from WWII. Kwajalein had incredible diving in the lagoon, including around the Prinz Eugen, the Bismarck’s sister ship that was taken there after it’s back was broken during nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll (http://www.kbismarck.com/prinzeugen.html). Best wishes!
Brian / aka B. Reasonable

I’m considering buying the Investools Advanced Tech Analysis on-line course. It includes coaching and the trading rooms for 13-months. I’ve been a subscriber and using the PaperMoney. Seems to be legitimate. Any comments pro or con out there?


I found the ATA course, and the live ATA workshop to be the most beneficial aspect of the Investools training. I didn’t use the coaching all that much, but when I did, it was beneficial. The Trading Rooms were very helpful, but they took up a lot of time … usually 1.5 to 2 hours long each one. I discovered a few favorites and stuck with them following along with their analysis, trades, procedures, etc. In the end I learned what I needed to know primarily through the Trading Rooms. It was awesome as I watched one trainer turn a $5000 investment in BDK into $47000 in 4 months. I got in when he did… but… though I closed my position profitably, I got out much earlier than he recommended. I didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to watch the unrealized gains rise and fall as the stock worked its way to its target price. Next time — I’ll trust the coach!

Thanks to the Advanced Technical Analysis they taught me, I am a much better trader… though sometimes, I still don’t trust my own analysis.

If I had to do it again, I could live without the coaching… but certainly wouldn’t pass up the Trading Rooms. The coaching is great if you use it. You can call them anytime using a toll-free number, and talk for hours if you want to.. but the reality is, I rarely used it.

Actually, because I am now living on a small island in the South Pacific, I no longer have High Speed Internet access… so I can’t access coaching or trading rooms… so I signed up with another “advisor” (unrelated to Investools — but he trades similarly to what they teach).. and his site works well on dial-up. He has great credentials in the trading world, is on CNBC frequently, etc… but thanks to the skills the ATA course and the coaches taught me… I have been able to recognize and stay away from some of the “bad” trades he has recommended… and he is more expensive than Investools!

Go for it.

Several of my employees learned about investools by attending a locally held Get Motivated seminar. A few decided to attend the follow on 2 day seminar. As a curious investor, I decided to check this out.

The feedback is NOT good, folks. BUYER BEWARE. Read the telling stories of others all over the web. Investools is simply options day trading. Complex stuff, even for the experts. A lifetime friend of mine who works on Wall St. says that his options traders bust their butts to squeeze out a living — and these are guys with 20+ years in the business and they have all the “tools”.

But wait folks, for only $10-25k and a few months of your time plus 15-60 minutes a day, Investools will give you that players edge on Wall St. Big house, own an island, 6 month world trips. Be your own boss and give your family those things you’ve dreamed of. Come-on people, wake up. There’s no easy buck in this world.

Phil Town and his cronies are slick, slick enough to devote time to monitoring sites such as this to protect their’s. Note the span of time that a few of these “posters” have contributed.

Leigh Sheppard since 25 Nov 06 — 3+ years!
B. Reasonable since 9 Dec 06 — 3+ years!

Lucky Leigh is going to an island in the Pacific for 2 years per his last post. Ain’t that sweet? Yeah right.

Leigh and B. Reasonable are Phil Town cronies monitoring web sites such as these. The internet is a powerful tool and they know it. I’ll bet they are the same person, a person who joined 3 years ago to create phoney dialogue to combat all of this nonsense about Investools, or invest-stool as I call it.

Watch for B. Reasonable to come back swinging at this post of mine. Watch for a bunch of others to come back at me as well. Just consider their intentions. If you were really making money at this would you really waste time blogging about your life’s plans? No, off course not! You’d be off making money. And if these plants were truly not plants, folks like Leigh Sheppard and B. Reasonable would be communicating by phone, email verses blog space. All a scam folks. BUYER BEWARE!!

Note that my employees decided for themselves to disengage from the nonsense after the sales rich 2 day seminar. They made those conclusions without my input. They told me some interesting stories.

For real investing, consider outfits such as Better Investing at http://www.betterinvesting.org/public/default.htm. BI is a national non-profit organization dedicated to investment education. It’s not a get rich scheme. This is just my recommendation, there are plenty of other good, honest organizations that can help teach you to grow your money in a responsible way. And you won’t get religious indoctrination or have to shell out thousands of dollars. I’ve used BI principles for years and I’ve made money. Not enough to buy an island or 6 month vacations, but enough to build a nest egg that will secure my future and afford a nice retirement. To me, that’s ‘B’ing reasonable. Again, BI is just one of many reputable outfits. Explore for yourself. Use critical thinking and due dilligence.

Best of luck and again, watch for B. Reasonable and the other invest stool cronies to attempt to refute my position. Please use common sense and good luck to all.

Oh boy, this again…

I’m not going to waste a lot of time on this… Just read through my prior posts… Somehow the fact that I am a satisfied customer and am willing to say so makes me a liar, a fraud. Somehow I MUST be getting paid to give a favorable review! So in other words … If I don’t say something bad about a product, I must be lying! Hmmmm…

The reality is you can Google almost anything and find unfavorable reviews about it.

Well, I paid for my Investools training the same as anyone else is asked to pay. I’m a happy customer, nothing more. I still subscribe to Investools and will likely continue to do so for years to come, because what they teach me makes me money… As long as I can make money from what I am learning, I am happy to continue to learn and to pay for that training. My wife and I really have moved to Yap, and I really do live off what I make off the trading floor… and I’ve learned how to do that primarily from the things I learned at Investools. What more can I say?

No point in defending yourself. I’m with you. A satisfied customer, and a fan of Investools. Changed my life. I take my gains and invest again. This winter, my husband and I are spending 4 months on the road in warmer climes. Takes us about 2 hours a week to trade our long term investments and about 1 hour per day to day trade the futures we do for weekly income.
We have spent the last 5 years learning how to generate a daily income. It took us that long to make our mistakes, lose money, make it back, make profits and feel comfortable with the style of trading we finally settled on. Yes, I trade very complicated options… broken-wing butterflies. I’ve mastered them. I love them, and I love that I have no risk on the table after the first 2 days or so. I rock them. My “risk” comes with my day trading. I risk $50 to make $200. I’ll do that everyday for the rest of my life, because I’ve learned that there are ways to risk less to make more… not risk more to make a few pennies.
With all our extra time in the day, we are building other sources of income. I now have a successful network marketing business that I can work “long hours” now for residual income later. We also have real estate that brings in additional income. We are building more legs to our financial table because we learned that we SHOULD do that from Investools. We haven’t put all our eggs in one basket with a job. We have multiple streams of income. It isn’t all about trading. It’s a FINANCIAL Education, and we’ve benefitted from it, and the friendships and associations we’ve made have made us richer still.
For you doubters, DON’T INVEST YOUR MONEY IN INVESTOOLS. DON’T LISTEN TO ME OR OTHERS WHO ARE FANS. How has sticking your head in the sand been working for you for the last 10 years? I took on my financial education, invested in it, and have received many rewards, gifts and gains because of it. Make the choice that is best for YOU. I did. And I’m happy with it. I can sleep at night.

@ Save Yer Money; Who could resist a calling out like that? As I’ve stated before, I am neither Leigh S.(OK, I never stated that before! –hopefully Leigh has more hair left than I have…) nor a shill or employee of Investools as I can readily prove through my paystubs and brokerage statements.

Just a couple of quick things to set the record straight on Save yer’s email:

1) Investools is not “simply options day trading”. None of their courses I either took or own even cover day trading. That’s not to say that the Technical Analysis class doesn’t teach principles that could apply. In particular Investool’s money management principles (80% of your portfolio in safer growth investments, no more than 20% in riskier high growth like short term options) make it clear they don’t pitch day trading. “Save”‘s statement here can easily be refuted, not by me, but by a simple review of the courses available on Investools site… Having attended my last Investools conference two years ago I can also state that most of the people attending there were trading stocks and not options and none that I met were day trading. In fact, if you are interested in day trading I’d suggest you get your education elsewhere. Anyone considering trading options should first have a successful track record with stocks before even considering it.

I don’t claim to make a living at options, but I have grown my account nicely even during the market turbulence of the past year. Did I invest “Save yer…”‘s $10-25K to learn, no way, I’m a graduate of the Basic stocks class –$1,000, it’s even less now (title has changed since then) and used self-study for the rest of what I know, combined with experience.

To be honest, I write for two reasons:

1) Having found something that works I’m happy to “Pay it Forward” and pass on my experience so others will at least investigate it knowing that at least some reasonable talking reader has indicated the organization is on the up and up.

2) Because it chaps my butt when posters like “Save yer…” write posts like this that:

a) Are not based on first person experience. Folks, use common sense, listen to people with first person experience.

b) Mis-state obviously verifiable facts like what Investools teaches. C’mon Save yer you can do better than outright lying about what they teach when anyone can review their courses online…

I just happily renewed my Investools subscription today. At $20 a month for 15 months Web access and an opportunity to retake the two day Investing Foundation any time during the year for free, it is still the best deal going.

So, here it is, I’ve now got some industrial strength spam filtering on my email address, so sure, here’s my email address for anyone that would like to ask a question about Investools or my journey. It’s not my primary email address so don’t expect an immediate response.

[email protected]

Save yer Money –your move. Everyone else, Happy Holidays!

A great resource for finding rule #1 stocks is stock2own.com:


It took me a long time and a lot of reading to find this site. Saves lots of time and the data is accurate and up to date. I don’t mind doing the digging and calculations on my own, in fact I recommend that you learn how to do it without the help of this site, but once you understand how to do them on paper, why spend the further time analyzing when it’s all here.

This site is a big fan of Phil Town’s work and reports everything as per the indicators in Phil’s book.

Happy Trading!


I am glad at the honesty in this critique though several years old. As an Investools customer when any one asks-had this happen in a finance class when learning about investments I ended up telling the class to stay far away from this as their only purpose was to get your money and that is it. When asked who I reccomend I told the class go buy the dummy books on investing-several out there and basically plugged Investor Business Daily website and books which my professor was thankful for as he relayed to me otherwise in previous classes he would have someone ask about Investools and other then what he could find online did not have much to say-how can you trust one persons opinion over aother?

My big turnoffs was not the actual service. It is fairly decent on their website. When I went to a class in Philly during a lunch break several complained they would take no questions during the class time that we were paying big bucks for just to hear these hobos brag about how much money they make and what I am about to tell you will show this is not just a baseless opinion.

When we came back from chow and they stared again I raised my hand to ask a question. They told me to wait after class but before this time in my life I was not accustomed to this as often if I had to beg, borrow, or steal to take care of my unit-there is no such things as excuses.

I was a supply Sgt in a combat unit in one of the new Stryker Bigrades and never dared going back to my unit and tell them I failed to procure someting i.e. beg borrow and steal for real. After 10 yrs in two different combat armsservices(Marines and Army) as an NCO in both services you learn really quick how to take charge and if need be take over. So when these chuckle heads told me to sit down I told them I am doing nothing of the sort and shared after getting wounded several times-the last one a puncturing head wound that killed me twice in a few hours-I asked them if they think they could really intimidate me?

They eventually got security in there and I worked security before and know what I can get away with. When they came in I told them first if you laid a hand on me I am going to kill you and if you survive this disabled Vet from the Iraq war will sue your asses besides goin to connections I made along the way in national media when at Walter Reed for two years. They left and got some half assed answer. When we were all leaving they asked me to not come back and will put me in a different class next time they were coming through. Several hundred were there that day and the next day they had all of twenty poeople show up.

It all comes down to this: do not bullshit a bullshitter and when people pay good money we expect to be treated right. In all my experiances it comes down to this-leadership is always by example and whoever runs that company sets the tone and it does filter down.

Besides dressing down Colenols at Walter Reed for BS being pulled and then having Generals thank me for not giving in to some of those people as he said truely you guys(the wounded) should always come first and if you wold have said nothing he said he would. It is fairly easy for me to first do the right thing and let people know when they are piss poor-not that I go around half cocked ready to explode but mainly many times people are afraid to stand up for themselves especially with how much money was changing hands.

On another incident they had added this pattern recognition service to our package but when I called they wanted 400 dollars for personal training when all I needed would ba about 5 minutes all together.
That is about the time I decided it does not matter how good your service is-if you treat people badly then people do not want to do business with you.

Yes, Investools has some great stuff and even do not mind paying good money but I do not pay good money to be treated like that. Thanks for this blog as I saw you were really trying to be objective in not singing all the praises nor trying to put down their services. Honesty is always best and has worked for me in 37 years and never regretted being honest with people. Will be looking at your other posts/blogs I respect those who want to give the straight skinny and that is what I see from you and hopefully Investools does change thier practices on how they treat people. I am not saying I am always right but definetley enjoyed that moment as many times people do not know to defecate or go blind when you stand up for yourself and others.

God bless
Dave Emme

I have been an investools student PHD course purchased, I am currently working program and am happy with what I have seen with the program I am looking for others in the virginia area for discussion possibly meetings locally for like minded investors. Are there any people near by me, I live in Suffolk Va. You can email me. Mark Sprague

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[…] Originally a rebellious, white water river guide, Town became a success investor and public speaker after being mentored by a financially astute client who he had rescued from a particularly dangerous run down the Colorado River. (find out more about Phil Town’s background). Within five years he turned his first $1,000 of borrowed money into $1,000,000. He is a sought after public speaker and currently works with the Get Motivated tour appearing on stage with Robert Kiyosaki, Rudy Giuliani, Bill Clinton and others. Town’s generating a good amount of buzz in the publishing world as the next big thing, and apparently received one of the largest book advances in history. […]

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[…] Re: More InvesTools Questions I’m thinking of signing up for Investools if I can get access for $995 (including 6 months access to the toolbox). One not-so-good thing I’ve seen in a couple of discussions on other sites (see below) is that I may get stuck with only a subset of the toolbox. True? ————— Phil Town & INVESTools on InvestorGeeks "…The $995 Get Motivated package is geared towards the lower price point. With this you only get Gold Access to the website. I was told by customer service that with the gold access you aren