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Giving Back (Part 2)

The current topic under debate is whether I should give back by trying to teach those without the resources to pay or those who have demonstrated achievement.

I think a significant discount qualifies as “giving back” even if it is not free. I thought about charging per meeting as motivation to stick with the program (it’s harder to abort once we have begun to commit). $20 per monthly meeting would be $240 for a year, which is far less than programs costing thousands of dollars. I would also encourage people in the group to study and practice (paper trade) together. Anytime they have questions I would be happy to answer. This would be a dynamite training package for a steal of a deal.

I am quite convinced that no matter how small, participants must have some skin in the game. I can’t force them to trade and I don’t want to do anything that might put me in an “investment advisor” role because I am not a registered investment advisor. A per-meeting fee helps them—by providing motivation to get through—and it helps me by lowering the probability of dropout. I would be extremely disappointed if I were to compose presentations only to later be deserted by my audience.

People who cannot afford a nominal fee face an additional problem. One must have savings in order to trade. I would probably suggest opening at least a $10,000 account to learn. I would expect interest to wane for someone unable to open a real account. Discouragement would build when trader education could not be converted into actual profits.

This is strike two against giving back to those without means. First, no fee means no front-loaded motivation to get through the course. Second, no savings means no application for the education itself.

I recently messaged people from Meetup asking if they would be interested in a trader education group. I suggested monthly meetings with a charge of up to $20 per meeting to cover expenses and to establish some accountability. From 54 messages sent, two said they would be interested, one person was a definite maybe, and eight declined.

Of the eight who declined, two said they wouldn’t pay $20 per meeting. This could also be a reason more people did not respond. While it may be healthy skepticism toward a stranger, I doubt anybody could find a complete curriculum delivered by a full-time trader for less. And what they don’t know they don’t know is that offering this for free would be doing them a greater disservice.

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