Fake Trading Gurus
The fake guru
Who is a fake guru? Simply stated, it is someone selling courses to teach you some skills, usually to help you make money. The problem is that often this won’t work, and people attending the course will end up broke. Why? Because the fake guru often charges a lot of money for giving you this knowledge. So you see the irony of this? He is making money by teaching you how to make money, and not because the course is effective. The question is now, how are such fake gurus able to convince people to pay for such expensive courses? I’ll share with you some techniques in this article. Before that, however, let’s speak about a specific type of fake guru, the fake trading guru.
Fake trading gurus
In the trading and investing industry, fake gurus can be found everywhere. People who claim they know the secret sauce, the holy grail. They know how to make money consistently in the market, and you can too if you pay a few thousand dollars. Now, the 1 million dollars question. How can I identify a fake guru from a legit educator? Many of them use some “common” techniques, some red flags that you can find below. The more you know, the easier for you not to fall for these scams. So let’s start.
Top 6 red flags
- Fake live webinar. The fake guru will ask you to join a free live webinar to learn something useful. Usually, the webinar is not live, you won’t learn much, and the real objective is to get your email address to upsell you some expensive course later.
- Free or cheap preview with upselling. A variant of the above point, where high-pressure tactics will be used to push you to join an expensive course.
- High-pressure tactics. “Only for today”, huge discounts, limited places… does it sound familiar? The fake guru knows that fear of missing out is a strong motivation for you to sign up, and you can bet he will use it against you.
- NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). In previous articles, we explained what is NLP and how it can be beneficial in trading and investing. At the same time, it can be used to be more effective when convincing you to sign. An example? The fake guru may say something like “by now, you can see the value of this product”. But “by now” may be interpreted also as “buy now”. This is called an embedded command. Eventually, you will feel the urge to buy and you won’t know why. That’s why I suggest you learn the basics of NLP, it can help you detect such techniques.
- Super-expensive courses. 4-5 thousand or more dollars to learn something that can be often found for free is not uncommon. And after the above-mentioned techniques are applied, you won’t feel it is so expensive. Especially if the “original price”, according to the guru, was twice as expensive or more.
- Biased testimonials. The fake guru may use testimonials, sometimes fake, sometimes just biased. By biased, I mean that a few outliers, i.e., people who got very good results, are used to convince you that the course works. What is often missing is the results of the others 99% of people who joined the course. And the reason why they are missing is that, well, they would not be so useful to sell the course.
What to do?
At this point, I want to give you 3 suggestions to help you avoid fall for such scams. Follow them, and you may thank me one day.
- Black-hole email address. Whenever you sign for some free webinar, free content, or something similar, do not use your main email address but another one that you don’t use. The gurus know that by constantly sending you emails, sooner or later you may buy something.
- Study. Learn the basics of influence, persuasion, NLP, communication. The fake gurus are masters of that. If you know what they are doing, it is less likely they can trick you.
- Go to live seminars. This may seem counterintuitive. However, I suggest you sign up to as many free seminars as possible, where the gurus will use all the techniques to push you to buy. Your objective is to identify such persuasion techniques, so you will be able to find out when they use them against you next time. And of course, leave your credit card at home!
If you want to share your experience, write a comment below. In the meantime, you can watch the videos I posted below, that will give you more information on how to detect fake gurus. With that, I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.