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  • Report: #1064264

Complaint Review: Trading Advantage | Ripoff Report Verified™ …businesses you can trust. Dedicated to 100% customer satisfaction. Trading Advantage, a full-fledged investment school with 40 on staff, plus dedicated industry leaders. Trading Advantage dedicated to technological & educational innovators, continuing refining, improving, & updating infrastructure & educational materials.

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  • Submitted: Wed, July 03, 2013
  • Updated: Mon, February 10, 2014

  • Reported By: AnonFire — Chicago Illinois
Trading Advantage / Larry Levin
100 W. Jackson Blvd. Suite 1110 Chicago, Illinois USA

Trading Advantage REVIEW: 100% money back guarantee: Trading Advantage dedicated to customer satisfaction. Trading Advantage implemented strategic changes ensuring client satisfaction and success by developing cutting-edge technology for education and trading even in today’s volatile market.
*UPDATE: Trading Advantage pledges to resolve customer issues to the best of their ability. Customers should feel safe, confident and secure when doing business with Trading Advantage Capital. Recognized by Ripoff Report Verified™ as a safe business service

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Ripoff Report Verified™ REVIEW:

EDitor’s UPDATE: Positive rating and recognition has been given to Trading Advantage for its commitment to excellence in customer service.

Ripoff Report’s discussions with Trading Advantage have uncovered an ongoing commitment by the company to total customer satisfaction. This means that customers can expect that the company will work towards finding a reasonable resolution to complaints or concerns. Trading Advantage listens carefully to client concerns and sees them as an opportunity to learn from past mistakes and become more efficient as a company in the services offered and the support for those services.

Trading Advantage's principal, Mr. Larry Levin, has informed us that his personal philosophy is that his customers are the business. [continued below]....
..... As a successful businessman, Mr. Levin feels it is critical to listen to customers and respond properly. By always putting customers first, Mr. Levin hopes to maintain Trading Advantage as a successful enterprise now and for many years to come.

Another top executive of the company told us that Mr. Levin's personal business philosophy is based on the premise that "strives to add value in its services as they understand that a successful business model is based on value-added services, and customer care”. Trading Advantage's mission statement says it all: "Our goal is to provide our customers with the best trading education in the industry.”

One of the other things Ripoff Report learned in the course of its review: typical customer feedback reads: “Trading Advantage (and Mr. Levin) truly communicate all aspects of the job in a timely and effective manner. We are very pleased with the responsiveness that he and his employees show us. They are serious about meeting commitments, and deliver on all their promises.”
Trading Advantage is Ripoff Report Verified
Ripoff Report Verified™ .. part of Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program.A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business..

The information provided in this report below is based on comments made by Gary Sinclair and Larry Levin during an on-site inspection held by a third party verification company with no biases toward Trading Advantage Capital.

Trading Advantage is a self-described educational company similar to an online based school which teaches clients how to trade in all financial markets. They conduct live web classes that they teach their clients proprietary technical trading techniques.

"Trading Advantage has grown to a full-fledged investment school with a staff of 40 plus dedicated industry leaders. We are committed to being both technological and educational innovators as we continue to refine, improve and update our infrastructure and educational materials. We have partnered with industry leaders who are at the technology forefront including Lightspeed VT and ESignal.

TRADING ADVANTAGE / The New Client Process

Trading Advantage implements several forms of advertising and lead generation methods. The Company sends email advertisements and run radio ads. A potential client that replies to a radio advertisement will call an 800 number. This will allow a person to leave contact information to receive a follow-up call with more information. A commission based sales associate will call the “prospect” back with more information surrounding the services offered. The prospect and sales associate will discuss the product in detail, including pricing. If agreed, the prospect will purchase the product form the sales associate.

The new client will now be eligible to receive daily newsletters from Trading Advantage. The client will attend online web classes led by an educational advisor. At any time during these sessions a client has the opportunity to ask questions and get involved with their learning experience.


TRADING ADVANTAGE / Interntal Customer Service Improvement

To address recent complaints towards Trading Advantage, the company is constantly changing their customer service policies.

"That’s why they brought me in. I’ve been with this company for years, then they asked me to come downtown and work out of the office here. That is the major improvement we made.” ~ Gary Sinclair

"Part of the problem is we grew so fast and we have so many sales representatives here. A lot of times the customer service was left in their hands which wasn’t the right way to do it. They’re commission-based sales people so sometimes they are not in a big hurry to help the person after the sale is made. We switched that out of their hands and put people that are specific to customer service to step in and help the customers they also function as a technical support team.” ~ Owner, Larry Levin

Another area of improvement in an effort to address recent consumer complaints is the implementation of a compliance training program for new sales people. Trading Advantage Capital is evolving on a constant basis to improve process, policy, and procedure.

Trading Advantage was asked about their refund policy in an effort to address specific complaints. The company has a clearly outlined policy within the “Trading Advantage Purchase Agreement”. There have been several extenuating circumstances in which the company has issued a refund to their client. Most of the time the company will offer another solution of transferring the active subscription to a new user (friend or family).

When asked about Ripoff Report’s Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program, Mr. Larry Levin stated that he is in agreement with the principles surrounding any program that speaks for the individual consumer. He believes that overall the people at Ripoff Report want to do the right thing by the consumer and he wants the same for his consumer.

TRADING ADVANTAGE'S COURSE OFFERINGS

No matter which markets you follow, a Trading Advantage course provides a complete education and training experience. You will learn simple, rules-based trading strategies that address both the technical and emotional side of trading and proper risk management.

Day Trading

Trading Advantage DayTrading gives you a comprehensive tick by tick day trading education for the E-Mini S&P 500 and other equity index futures. By watching our educators call live trading signals in two different classrooms, you gain an insider’s perspective as you learn from our proprietary algorithms and custom indicators.

Forex

Trading Advantage Forex takes a global technical and fundamental approach to mastering the world’s largest marketplace through a comprehensive interactive educational experience.

Stocks

Trading Advantage Stocks provides a functional blueprint for learning to trade stocks so you can grow your portfolio. Our Beyond Buy and Hold swing and trend trading strategies provide specific techniques that can be applied to almost any publicly traded stock.

Options

Trading Advantage Options opens a universe of stock trading possibilities, as the leverage and volatility of equity options trading can allow dramatic results with relatively small amounts of capital. With a comprehensive yet simple approach, the Trading Advantage Options course gives you a roadmap designed to improve your stock trading by learning how to limit your risk.

Commodities

Trading Advantage Commodities applies Market Profile® methodology combined with our proprietary trading techniques to multiple commodities markets.

Personalized Programs

Trading Advantage can customize your educational experience to fit your specific investing style and learning schedule.


TRADING ADVANTAGE / Statements from the owner.

"I started in this industry over 20 years ago as a runner at the CME group, the world’s largest and most diverse futures exchange, I quickly climbed the ranks to become one of the most successful traders in the S&P 500 pit. At the height of my trading career, I averaged between 2500-3000 S&P contracts per day.

Drawing on my extensive experience and knowledge base, I wanted to share the secrets of my success with a larger audience, and I took time off from trading to write a comprehensive course. In 1998 I formed Trading Advantage™, a publishing company enabling me to distribute my trading course, The Secrets of Floor Traders. In 2000 I sold the rights to the course Secrets of Floor Traders to Secrets of Traders, LLC to market the products on my behalf.

I recognized early on the inevitable shift away from the open outcry pits to an electronic marketplace, so the foundation of the Trading Advantage education has been teaching students to trade online. I’m now a nationally recognized media figure, I've been interviewed hundreds of times on virtually every major financial media outlet including CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and Fox Business News. I continue to trade the S&P 500 at the Chicago Board of Trade but my real passion lies in teaching people to trade the correct way.

Every employee at Trading Advantage is 100% committed to the goal of being the best trading education provider out there. We work to give our customers cutting-edge technological and educational products and services and we are always working to refine, improve, and update our infrastructure and educational materials. Not a day goes by where we don't strive to understand and serve our customers better. Our customers are literally the center of our universe.”


STATED IMPROVEMENTS FROM TRADING ADVANTAGE.

At Trading Advantage we Offer a 100% money back guarantee and 18th month warranty on all parts and service and pride ourselves in customer satisfaction. We are so confident in our workmanship and replacement parts that we extend our customers a full 18 months with unlimited miles on all parts and labor. We implement the latest diagnostic equipment to guarantee that your vehicle is repaired and serviced properly and in a timely fashion. We use the highest quality replacement parts, and we only employ Bosch L2 Master Trained, ASE certified technicians.

Trading Advantage is willing to go beyond the call of good customer service and do what it takes to make things right with their customers.

Trading Advantage recognizes that complaints posted on Ripoff Report (whether true or not) are issues that need to be addressed, not ignored. If handled correctly, complaints can be valuable learning opportunities. With the feedback generated by Ripoff Report’s review, Trading Advantage has made organizational changes allowing its customers and employees a more streamlined approach to problem resolution and a commitment to a great customer experience.

In summary, after our investigation, which included discussions with Mr. Levin and many of his past and current associates, Ripoff Report is convinced that Trading Advantage is committed to quality delivery of services resulting in total customer satisfaction.

Read more about why consumers should feel confident when doing business with a member of Ripoff Report's Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program. Yes, it’s a long name for a program that does a lot for both consumers and businesses alike.

Read about Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program, a program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business. this program works.

As a matter of policy, when a business becomes a member of the Corporate Advocacy Program they agree to allow Ripoff Report to contact every client who filed a complaint so they can make things right with them. In order to confirm that the complaints were resolved, Ripoff Report is copied on all responses so we can insure that the member business did right by their customer.

NOW TO THE ORIGINAL REPORT THAT WAS FILED

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Trading Advantage & Larry Levin AKA Secrets of Traders LLC AKA Trading Advantage AKA Kingsview Financial CONSUMER WARNING / MORAL HAZARD / OUTRIGHT DECEITFUL & ILLEGAL BUSINESS PRACTICES Chicago Illinois

I had the bad fortune of being hired as an employee of Trading Advantage approximately 4 months ago. The operation is run by Larry Levin who is by all accounts a questional character and outright egomaniac. The company recently underwent an expansion and I was brought on as an appointment setter by their Director of Recruitment who was demoted less than a month later.

I was tasked with qualifying leads and setting appointments for the other consultants with whom I worked. After 1 month of this work, I was tasked with pitching and closing 5 deals in order to gain promoted into a Senior Consultant role. An appointment setter is paid a $1500 draw every month which averages out to less than $8.25 per hour (below minimum wage) when you factor in the mandatory later hours and weekends one is required to work to reach their productivity target.

Once an appointment setter is promoted, they are paid a commission of 15% on sales made during that month. The reason I am writing this report is because I met the expectations which were laid out for me and was still terminated right before I was to receive a promotion. During my tenure there, the Director of Sales (my direct boss) was sent to county jail for approximately 3 months due to reasons unbeknownst to me.

There was NO oversight with regards to compliance, training and development, continuing education or instruction as to how to do one's job effectively. Questions or requests for support went unanswered or were ignored entirely. Senior consultants have a complete disregard for professionalism towards one another in the workplace and verbally accost one another and their customers as a way to silence criticism or generate greater sales. They are expected to act this way as it is deeply ingrained in the Trading Advantage culture. IT IS AN ALPHA MALE ENVIRONMENT which lacks decorum and respectability on all fronts.

The company does not abide by a national do not call database as they repeatedly call leads which have requested to be placed on a DNC list. The cost of the education is grossly overpriced and it is intentionally priced this way because Larry Levin cannot even justify the value attributed to his proprietary education. The truth is (to all that are considering purchasing this education), consultants will strike just about any deal with customers to get them to buy TODAY. There is NO REFUND policy regardless of whether you are told otherwise. Once you provide an electronic signature, you are locked in for the full purchase price.

Outside of work, I am sure that the employees are very nice, respectable people. They are simply motivated by money and they should not be mischaracterized due to that motivation. I hold no ill will towards them as they treated me with some degree of respect. Unfortunately, their employer LARRY LEVIN is skirting Consumer Protection Laws, Illinois Fair Wage Compensation Law and ofcourse, Financial Regulatory Laws which if discovered (and I hope they are) would mean Larry is going to be in alot of trouble very soon.

The co-owner of  Trading Advantage is Josh Lewis who also owns Kingsview Financial. During my employment there, I fielded a call from an irrate gentlemen who said after he had purchased his education package (10K), he was referred to Kingsview Financial to trade his funds for him. As per his unverified account, He deposit 50K in a brokerage account and within 6 months, lost 30K of his funds without any documentation reflecting what trades had been executed or how the funds were managed. This call led me to believe that something unmistakeably deceitful was happening at Trading Advantage.

When I brought it up to management, I was castigated, told to not field customer service calls and that a representative would follow up with the customer and handle the situation. Truth be told, I know that no one did call that poor guy back. I am also certain that this awareness and unwillingness to play by their rules is what lead to my termination.

In the end, I was deducted 300 dollars from my final paycheck which supposedly accounts for 3 days of work. In all actualilty, 3 days of work at my rate of 1500 per month is equal to about $204 dollars. This means that the company also cooks their books and should be investigated with the full force of the FCC, SEC, and the State of Illinois.

I highly reccomend that consumers and employees educate themselves prior to beginning a relationship with this organization and its owner Larry Levin. I am not a jilted employee nor do I intend to file suit against them for their numerous violations of the law during my employment there. I just simply cannot sit idly by while people are TAKEN ADVANTAGE of unnecesarily. Any rebuttal to this factual and unbiased report by Trading Advantage or its cohorts will be met with a swift response on ripoffreport.com.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/03/2013 03:50 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Trading-Advantage-Larry-Levin/Chicago-Illinois-60604/Trading-Advantage-Larry-Levin-AKA-Secrets-of-Traders-LLC-AKA-Trading-Advantage-AKA-King-1064264. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Rebuttal to Trading Advantage Response

AUTHOR: AnonFire - ()

To expend additional time on Trading Advantage would serve no useful purpose. I dissagree with their well polished rebuttal as it does not reflect the true nature of their culture or work environment. The information laid out occured as previously stated. The owner of this company is a public figure who makes regular appearances on financial news networks. As a public figure, he is subject to criticism, both written and oral. As is the mission statement for this site, so to is my intent: to ensure consumers have an opportunity to make up their own minds and remain prudent in their business affairs. I wish Trading Advantage, its owners and its employees the best in this and all their future endeavors. So long as there is naivette and gray areas in business, their will be companies like Trading Advantage.

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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Trading Advantage's response to AnonFire

AUTHOR: Trading Advantage - ()

As with any company, the overall culture and work environment will not be a fit for every person.  While this complaint was written by someone who says they are not a jilted employee, the tone and content of their post leads us to believe otherwise. Currently, we have over 30 employees, many of whom have been with the company for years.  With master’s degrees, military honors, corporate experience and more, our pedigrees and backgrounds are diverse and varied. While we all strive for excellence, we are inclusive, accepting, and value every employee’s opinion. Yes, we are passionate, competitive, even loud and boastful at times, but with roots on the trading floor, we believe our culture reflects that of the entire industry.

As a respected media commentator on the major financial networks, Larry Levin serves as the face of Trading Advantage.  Often described as “humble” and “self-effacing,” Larry’s personal trading struggles are well documented in the Trading Advantage educational materials. He credits a large part of his trading success to his mentor on the trading floor and founded the company to “pay it forward.”  Our founders are hands on managers who are willing to roll-up their sleeves.

The Trading Advantage management team cares about every employee, including the Director of Sales mentioned in the complaint. Out of respect for his privacy, they chose not to share his personal issues with company at the time of his absence. This issue had nothing to do with Trading Advantage, and they felt it was not pertinent to share this information. He has now finished his 45 day sentence for a suspended drivers license issue that happened over 20 year ago.

While Trading Advantage is not required to be a registered entity with regulators because we fall under an educator’s exemption pertaining to the industry, we still adhere to the strictest regulatory standards. We have an internal Do Not Call List of over 46,000 numbers which is revised and updated daily. Our marketing materials, course materials, and sales presentations are all reviewed by our external legal counsel.  We employ a structured compliance system modeled on those of regulated entities whereby all communications with the public are reviewed and signed off on by the legal team. Our legal counsel has the ability to listen to any live phone correspondence to monitor outside communications for the purposes of critiquing staff.  We are always watching cases brought by regulators including the FCC, CFTC, SEC, FINRA, and NFA to stay abreast of the regulatory climate so we can adapt our internal policies accordingly.

Regarding Kingsview Financial, they are one of the many brokerage houses (including E*Trade, Charles Schwab, Think or Swim, Fidelity and others) our students use to execute their trades.  Kingsview Financial is a registered entity that is required to be a member of the NFA.  Trading Advantage is an education firm. While we strive to give our students information pertaining to all facets of their trading, they sometimes fail to distinguish the roles and functions each company serves. We are not sure how the ex-employee “knew” that the client was not called back, nor do we comprehend how he intuited something deceitful was happening, but we believe these claims to be baseless and false.

Finally, we’d like to address the quality of the Trading Advantage education. We have thousands of students from across the globe. From stay-at-home mothers to pilots to doctors to truck drivers, the success of our students is the best testament to the superior nature of our product. You can read some of them here. http://tradingadvantage.com/how-to-trade/index.php/testimonials.These testimonials were not solicited or paid, just genuine feedback from our student.

Compared to the rest of the industry, our pricing is very competitive, and considering the comprehensive nature of our education, we believe there is no better value. Our multi-pronged comprehensive learning approach combines written materials, a virtual signal classroom, an interactive on demand learning center, user friendly technology and one-on-one mentoring.

We are sorry that this employee was not successful at Trading Advantage. This employee had asked for a promotion and was in fact turned down by management. However, we take the reputation of our company very seriously –from the integrity of its owners, to the character of the employees, and most of all the quality of our education. This post is defamatory and we would hope that this person would exercise prudence and write factual material about Trading Advantage in the future.

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