• Report: #207994

Complaint Review: INVESTools Inc

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  • Submitted: Sat, August 26, 2006
  • Updated: Wed, February 08, 2012

  • Reported By:New York New York
INVESTools Inc
13947 South Minuteman Dr. Draper, Utah U.S.A.

INVESTools Inc ripoff INVESTools Misleading Sales & Billing Practices Consumers Beware! Draper Utah

*Consumer Comment: case to rest.

*UPDATE Employee: Missing details are not coincidental

*Consumer Comment: He's not a fool

*Consumer Suggestion: UR A FOOL!

*Consumer Suggestion: I got my refund / contacts for others

*Consumer Comment: insight on investools

*Author of original report: Investools is ALL ABOUT THE MONEY

*Consumer Suggestion: Possible action for others in the same situation

*Author of original report: Comments on Investools

*Consumer Comment: Again

*Author of original report: Answers and Comments about your Post

*Consumer Suggestion: A rebuttal on Investools

*Consumer Suggestion: How to strike back

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I wasn't going to say anything about my INVESTools experience at first out of respect for their coaches, but now I am so frustrated with their customer service and cancellation department, that I felt it very important to post a complaint on this site. I hope that this message will reach other students that have experienced similar problems with the company as I have, and that they also post their experience with the company. Consumers need to be informed about INVESTools before they invest thousands of dollars into their education like I did. I have had so many problems with INVESTools that it is hard to know where to start.

All consumers beware because INVESTools has two faces. When you attend the free seminar, you will meet their smiley-faced saleman with such a good sense of humor that you might actually believe all he says. He will share photos of his family and tell stories about dear ones, etc. He'll tell you how he started with $5,000 and turned it into millions trading with INVESTools. These guys are some of the best salesmen in the world, and you won't even realize it until you have already dumped $20,000 into their program and 2 years later have lost half of your retirement trying to trade options using your new investor education. How do I know this? You see, I am a consumer, just like you, seeking that financial security and well-being, and I am a gullible consumer that fell for their sale's pitch.

Here's what I was told. I was told that I could never learn to trade options from a book, just as a doctor would never learn to operate from reading a book either. I was told that I would make my tuition back within 6 months, and I was encouraged to charge the $20,000 on my credit card.(I even explained to the saleman that I was already in debt financially, and he insisted that this would change my life for the better.) I was told at the seminar that if I was not making money by the end of the program that he would personally work with me until I was successful. I was told by my sales rep that I would be given a very special deal if I agreed to be another success story for the company. (This was an especially good sales tactic making me believe even more in their program.) I was also told that the average PHD student was making 30% a month trading options. I was basically told everything I really wanted to hear, especially since I was having financial problems at the time.

Well, it's now been 2 years, and guess what, I am not the next INVESTools success story. Actually, I have lost nearly half of my savings trading the INVESTools method. I certainly never made my tuition back. I am now farther in debt than ever and my credit cards now exceed $50,000. The interest rates are so high that I can't keep up, and debt collecting agencies are calling me, harrassing me, and I am really in a serious financial state now. I can't say I owe it all to INVESTools, but I can honestly say about $30,000 of it has been lost going after the dreams that they sold me.

What has really pushed me over the edge recently was that I tried to communicate to the company that the education was not working out for me, and I wanted some of my tuition refunded because I felt they lied to me, and I also wanted my yearly subscription of $600 to their website back because I had no intention of using it anymore. I requested the website cancellation before my yearly subscription even started. But what they did was very sneaky. They renewed my website access 3 months before the subscription fee was actually due. So now my payment date on my credit card bill does not match my subscription renewal date. I had to file a dispute with my credit card company because they never responded to my requests, but now it looks like I had access for 3 months already, but the truth is that I had not even started my next year's subscription yet. I now know the reason INVESTools bills early. They do this is because when you file a dispute as I did, they say you have already used the site for 3 months and you do not qualify for a refund. The credit card company does not know all the facts, so they side with INVESTools on the dispute. So now that the credit card company has awarded INVESTools the $600, here's what INVESTools replied to me by email:

"You are not eligible for a full refund. You disputed this charge and the outcome of the dispute was in INVESTools favor. You can either accept a prorated refund or you can accept no refund at all. Those are your options."

Pretty nice hah? I couldn't believe that INVESTools actually threatened to rip me off $600 more! They closed my online access to the website and also kept the $600! They did not even offer me a partial refund until I contacted them. If I didn't say anything, they would have closed my account and kept all the money too. And I am a PHD student. I have already paid them over $20,000. To this day I still have not received any refund. I am checking my statement each day, but no credits show. I know this is totally illegal but not sure what I can do. If anyone reading this knows who I should contact, please post. I think I will start with the Attorney General, but INVESTools is in Utah, so I don't think they will do anything.

So that is some of my bad experience with INVESTools. I would also like to add that their hotline is very mixed. Sometimes you will get a good coach, sometimes you'll get a newbie who knows less than you, and sometimes you'll get a condescending a-hole. They know nothing about double diagonals, condors or calendars, so if you want to trade methods that actually work, don't bother with the hotline or INVESTools at all.

Before I leave, I would like to say a few good things about INVESTools. The good side is that they have many coaches that are pretty decent people. The only problem is that their website is really not for trading options. It's a pretty good site for trading stocks only. I have since been furthering my education in Options and finding some success finally. My advice is check out some free videos on CBOE.com. I wish I found that site before I found INVESTools. I really do regret ever paying INVESTools so much money now that I see what kind of people they really are.

So let's here it. What other students have been ripped off? I have met a lot of alumni, and I have still not found one INVESTools student who makes money month after month, year after year. Their option strategies do not work, and their site is not near as good as using software created specifically for options. Well enough said. Good luck on your trades and be sure to research INVESTools before you invest your hard-earned money into them. I for one am not happy with my investment.

Scott
New York, New York
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/26/2006 02:02 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/INVESTools-Inc/Draper-Utah-84020/INVESTools-Inc-ripoff-INVESTools-Misleading-Sales-Billing-Practices-Consumers-Beware-Dr-207994. 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.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

case to rest.

AUTHOR: junsh - (United States of America)

Spoken like a true car salesman. No one is disputing your company's prowess to exemplify such jargon or that there are a lot of such salesmen in your company. We get it. You can sell a crappy car to a lot of unsuspecting people. Many may even agree what you do is within the law. But just like a car salesman operating within the law, it doesn't mean we have to like it, respect it, or not make our voice heard so others may not fall victim.

You see every one of us at some point has been on the receiving end of not so sincere practices. All of us have family members, friends, and colleagues that have horror stories of trust gone bad. Sure it is our fault too. And sure we should be more aware and not always give people the benefit of the doubt. And hence why such reports like this are so valuable in exposing what is a very true reality about insincere approaches that Investools not only adopts, but systematically creates.

While you can argue all companies have bad experiences, they all don't have passionate people posting on the ripoff report. That my friend is reserved for a small percentage of companies like yours. 
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Missing details are not coincidental

AUTHOR: Josh - (U.S.A.)

I'm an employee of Investools. Let me preface my comments by saying I have no involvement with Student Services, Cancellations, Workshops or Coaching. I say that so no one takes my comments as those from a subject matter expert. I'm merely making observations of this customer's comments and my own experience working for Investools.

Investools sells and provides investor education. The best out there for the price. As with any educational pursuit, you get out of it what you put into it. You all but blame your $20,000 purchase on "some of the best salesmen in the world", as if that absolves you of responsibility.

The Investools workshop team encourages (strongly, at times) students to buy into higher levels of education. Of course they do. Investools is a for-profit company. We make money when people buy our educational products. But we make even more money when students are successful. We make money because those students have a proven product that has allowed them to be successful in the markets, and they continue to subscribe to our website, renew education products and stay on top of their game. Bottom line is, you were in a tight financial spot and bought in with the idea that you'd be rich in a couple years.

What you failed to do is ask the questions that might have kept you from dropping so much money down until you were actually ready to. You never buy a car without test driving it, sight unseen. You never buy a house without taking the tour and getting it inspected. Why would you buy $20k of education without having tried the product at the entry level to confirm this would work out for you? Trading the markets takes a long time to master and requires a lot of research, practice and diligence. I mean no offense by saying this but you seemed to exhibit none of those in your experience with us.

I say that because your report leaves out a lot of details that someone unacquianted or only slightly acquainted with Investools might overlook. To that end, I pose some questions. I don't expect a response but what I do expect is for everyone reading this report to realize there's two sides to the story. In our case, when a student completes a program with us and is still unsuccessful (not making money), often it is because the student cut corners, broke trading rules, skipped research steps and otherwise tried to cheat their way through.

1. Did you complete all the online courses in recommended order?
2. Did you participate in and/or review the accompanying trading room sessions?
3. Did you attend your workshops?
4. Did you work with your coaches to develop and test your trading plan?
5. If you established your trading rules, as they would have urged, encouraged and all but required, did you test them to see that they work?
6. If they did, did you follow them faithfully?
7. If they didn't, did you take the time to revise and retest them, all with the help of the coaching team?
8. Did you practice by placing lots and lots of trades in our papertrade/papermoney accounts to both prove your trading system was profitable and to prove you could be systematic and remove emotion from your trades?

If you're going to label Investools as a rip-off or scam, at least be completely forthright in ALL the details of your experience.

I am sorry you had a bad experience with us and that you're now worse off financially than you were before. Certainly Investools wants its students to be successful, it proves our product is a good one. But that only happens when people use the product correctly.

I think you're painting pretty broad strokes to blame Investools for your failure to succeed. We have had over 250,000 students who have taken a variety of our programs, some only the basics and others buy everything we offer. There are many who have been and continue to be successful or at least persistent in their pursuit of becoming a better trader.

Investools isn't a get-rich-quick scheme and anyone who says it is doesn't know what we do. You need to look at us as a college degree program for private traders. If you skipped classes, missed tests, didn't do your homework or heed the guidance and instruction of your teachers, would you really expect to the school to graduate you, give you a degree and a good job and show you how to be successful at it? That is ridiculous and so is expecting the same from Investools.

We provide the tools, courses, concepts and guidance. We can't force you to learn and grasp the material any more than we can we could make the financial markets do what we want. If Investools failed you, didn't fulfill on the product you purchased or treated you unfairly or outside the bounds of legality, then you owe it to yourself to take action. Do something about it or stop whining.

I've worked for Investools for over 4 years now and in that time, there's been plenty of legal action, refund disputes and the like... something most any company goes through. In every case we operate within the confines of the law, cooperate with SEC or judicial inquiries, fire individuals who are found to represent Investools or themselves falsely or who otherwise conduct themselves unethically. That is one trait of our company that we stress and make clear, that we operate ethically and always within the bounds of the law. That does not mean we should bend over and hand money back to everyone who's suffering from buyer's remorse or was otherwise unable to make something of their purchase. We don't stay in business by giving money away to everyone who asks for it. There are rules, policies and guidelines. If an adult signs their name to a contract/order and legally binds themselves to those conditions without reading and understanding them, that is your own fault and shame on you for trying to blame Investools for your folly.
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#3 Consumer Comment

He's not a fool

AUTHOR: William - (U.S.A.)

He may be a fool for investing so much, but he's not a fool for warning everyone about this crappy INVESTOOLS company. They are the same as WIZETRADE. Wizetrade was the same crap. When all arrows are green, then invest. What crap.

Let's compare your ONE positive outcome to FIFTEEN not positive outcome. With these odds, that tells me to stay away from investing and working with Investools.

It only takes one bad report from an unsatisfied customer.

Of course, there will always be the one and only one person who is lucky and only lucky with their success. That might be you.

Let's not ignore his report and take it that this company sucks.

We all know you were paid to post your positive crap, so now who is the smarter one.

They're not as dumb as you think. So go back to your $2 profit INVESTOOLS

P.S. Thanks for the warning. INVESTOOLS is having a big seminar in LA and Long Beach, Ca. at the end of MAY. I will be printing all this out from Ripoffreport and handing it out and putting on the cars windshields to warn all the gullible people.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

UR A FOOL!

AUTHOR: Unfairprices - (U.S.A.)

U are a fool, next time you have 20,000 please give me a call so I can take it from you in exchange for a pipe dream.

On a more serious note, I use Investools --- and you don't have to invest a dime before testing out the system. YOU CAN DO RESEARCH AND SEE THAT THE SYSTEM WORKS! The charts dont lie! Would I throw 20,000 on my first trade? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I wouldnt give warren buffet 20,000 dollars without testing him out.

What makes you a fool is not that you want to make 1,000,000, who doesn't, what makes you a fool is that you will throw 20,000 away just because someone sweetalked you, WITHOUT EVEN LEARNING THE SYSTEM?

Wherever you are, 20,000 is A LOT of money. You dont just send that money off to anyone no matter how persistent they are, just a few closing comments since it's such a waste of time to correspond with such a fool:

1) I have a feeling you would have given that money to a snakeoil salesman had he told you that you would be able to sell the oil for a million in a year.

2) I bet you're a regular on this site, and I wouldnt be surprised if I see your next post is about you handing over 100,000 to someone because they promised to make you a billionaire.


STOP WINNING! Investools is a superb system especialy for rookies like myself with just a few years in the business, I have made $$$.

For all of you reading the post about this little baby that can't understand that nothing in life is guaranteed, please ignore him. Investools is a great service, easy to understand and great for rookies especially. OF COURSE they will try to sell you their other services, that's life, but if you dont have the discipline to say NO, and take your emotions out of the deal, you have no business in the stock market.

I recommend all beginners take this course, advanced traders are pissed at it because they kno most of it already, but its an investment towards your education. You will lose 3,000 in the market easily if you dont learn at least the basics.

I dont work for investools, Im not paid by them, I odnt know anyone in investools, I just dont think it's fair for people to post negative information for the purpose of winning, when you are a loser you will lose at anything no matter what.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

I got my refund / contacts for others

AUTHOR: Diane - (U.S.A.)

It's time I updated this to show the resolution of my issue with Investools.

After sending a certified letter to the CEO of Investools, Lee Barba, that received no reply, I wound up sending certified letters to all the members of Investools Board of Directors, trying to send them to addresses other than Investools offices, so I knew the letter would actually be delivered to the Director. Since I was already mad, I also sent them to all the officers (control employees) of Investools also so they couldn't defend themselves in court later by saying they didn't know about the problems. I should have sent the letter to my salesman, Michael Drew, but I didn't I was __really__ mad at him, and didn't think I could stay dispassionate! While I don't know this for a fact, I strongly feel that the certified letters I wrote to the new Directors from thinkorswim, Tom Sosnoff and Scott Sheridan, and/or the Director from Harvard Business School, F. Warren McFarlan, resulted in my issue actually being addressed by Investools, as they were sent prior to the ones to other Directors, and I started receiving communications from Investools soon after they were sent.

To make a long story short, I was contacted by Kaylee Adair, Compliance Administrator of Investools, Inc. We discussed my issues both by e-mail (because I was so mad I didn't trust myself to talk to anyone from Investools calmly), then by phone. Ultimately, she did authorize a refund of my entire tuition in June 2007.

As a result of our e-mail correspondence, Ms. Adair determined that I was not the type of student Investools is seeking and can expect to be successful in teaching. I am very analytical, and thought that I should be able to quantify all the available information and make a decision based on the data. Apparently, investing in individual stocks is an art, not a science, and Investools is not looking for students who want to base all decisions on data. Other information also entered into her decision to authorize a refund.

In our conversation, I asked Ms. Adair if I could post her name and contact information on the Internet, so others with issues with Investools could contact her to work out the issues. She agreed to this, although she did state that not everyone would receive a refund. There are some situations in which a refund will not be appropriate in Investools eyes. I am not going to detail those situations, so this post doesn't give unhappy Investools students a blueprint for successfully requesting a refund; your result will depend on your own situation. My advice is: don't be embarrassed to say anything about how you felt about the training (but don't be obscene!); be totally honest about what you did or did not do and why you did or did not do it; discuss your preferred method of learning and what you liked and didn't like about Investools instructional methods; don't be rude, hostile or obscene; stay calm. If, like me, you don't trust yourself to speak calmly with anyone employed by Investools, Ms. Adair will probably correspond with you by e-mail to let you get your thoughts together calmly. She did require that we have a phone conversation before she agreed to the refund, however, we did not really discuss the things that had made me so angry, as they had already been addressed in our e-mail exchange (much more calmly than I would have done over the phone!). Our phone call was on Investools' dime.

In our phone conversation, I asked Ms. Adair why I did not receive a reply to the certified letter I had written to Lee Barba, CEO/Chairman of the Board of Investools, as well as why I played phone tag with the Cancellations department for so long starting in November 2006. Her reply was that the Cancellations Department was short an employee during the time, and the letter I sent to Mr. Barba in April 2007 was sent directly to the department it complained about as the appropriate department to address the issue. She stated that this is no longer the process for such letters.

Ms. Adair also copied Susan McDonald in our exchanges of e-mails. I asked Ms. Adair to explain hers and Ms. McDonald's positions, and this was her reply:

As the Compliance Administrator, I oversee the company policies and processes we have in place to make sure we fairly represent our products and services and to fulfill on those representations. Investools is deeply concerned with the integrity of the company and with the integrity of the individuals who represent the company, so if ever we hear that we may be failing our students in these efforts to any degree, it is my goal to make things right with the student and to make any needed adjustments to our policies and processes.

Ms. McDonald is the Director of Student Services and oversees our company efforts to meet the educational and support needs of our students. Because she is also a former PHD student who, after becoming a successful investor, joined our team to help other students, she has a special sensitivity to the wide variety of needs of students. We have been working together to address your situation, so I hope you don't mind if I continue to include her in our communication.

Ms. Adair suggested I include both her and Ms. McDonald's contact information, as Ms. McDonald is responsible for student satisfaction, and Ms. McDonald would normally be the first contact, so here it is:

Kaylee Adair, Compliance Administrator, Investools, Inc, tel. 801-816-6677, fax 801-816-6014, kaylee.adair-NOSPAM-@investools.com.

Susan McDonald, Director of Student Services, susan.mcdonald-NOSPAM-@investools.com (sorry, I can't find a phone number, but you should be able to call Investools and ask for the Director of Student Services).

(Take out the "-NO SPAM-" in the e-mail addresses - it won't do any good to let them start getting loads of spam, because then they won't have time to answer dissatisfied students!)

If either individual no longer works for Investools, you should be able to ask to talk to the person currently in the position and get the appropriate consideration.

I hope RipoffReport.com will leave the contact information in this update, as I have documentation of Ms. Adair's authorization to post the information on the Internet, and this is the best place I can find to put it. RipoffReport.com may contact me at my registered e-mail for confirmation.

Finally, one more comment about Investools. You can buy the materials on E-bay. Whatever you pay on E-bay is about what they are worth, or maybe a little too much. The training is NOT the equivalent of a college education; it is the equivalent of one or two books that you could purchase for under $100. The coaching is really not much more than you could get just from watching some of the shows on MSNBC certainly not worth what they ask you to pay.

My money is now all in mutual funds. I spent about 6 months (and about $200) reading books, including John Bogle's Common Sense on Mutual Funds, several other books on mutual funds, and a couple of books on asset allocation, before I finally invested my small IRA. I feel confident with my investments, and I don't have to be constantly looking at them.
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#6 Consumer Comment

insight on investools

AUTHOR: Daniel - (Puerto Rico)

Thank you for the insight.I just attended the first day of the live seminar and decided to not continue with investools.I guess because it was the first day I did not get any resistence from them for the money back.I recieved a signed paper from them stating the money back guarantee.Now it is a matter of time to see if it is honored.

I checked up on the suggestion of the cboe and it was very insightful.The cboe gives a precise and simple way for one to understand options trading.Can you send me more information on options my e-mail is (((ROR REDACTED)))

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#7 Author of original report

Investools is ALL ABOUT THE MONEY

AUTHOR: Scott - (U.S.A.)

Thanks for your post

Well, I would like to say where I am now learning to make money on options, but this is not the place for that. I also do not want people to think I am just promoting a competitor. Just be aware that there are other places to learn options that are much cheaper and much better than Investools. Investools is ALL ABOUT THE MONEY. They are a huge business, that's what they are. Over 250,000 graduated, average cost of probably $10,000. That's $250,000,000 taken from many gullible people who are trying to find a way to a better life, and most of these people are now farther in debt, and still do not know how to make money on the market. I encourage you to make time to post your own complaint and experience with Investools. Thank you for responding to mine.
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

Possible action for others in the same situation

AUTHOR: Diane - (U.S.A.)

I also fell victim to Investool's hard sell sales tactics, through Success Magazine Investor Education, and will file another report on my experiences. However, I want to add some comments here until I can spend the large amount of time needed to compose my complaint.

Scott: I actually tried to post a complaint to programcritique (Investment Opportunities), which never took it (so beware of the lack of bad reviews on sites like Program Critique, that appear to be selling their own questionable programs).

And, I agree with you on the trading room polls on who is making money. Before the instructors quit letting us see those poll results, I saw very few who said they were making money. And many, like me, said they were only paper trading.

Ed: I was told in the trading rooms that when you start with a small amount ($5,000) you shouldn't invest more than 10% of it in one trade much more than your 3-5%. The Success Magazine Investor Education / Investools instructors tell you all day at the seminars, in the trading rooms, and on the hotline that you can start with a small amount as little as $1,000! That is much less than you are recommending. I will agree that they teach you how to reduce your losses by taking the loss early, but reducing losses is not the same as increasing your net worth.

Scott: can you share who you finally learned how to trade options with?


To anyone out there who has taken the one-day class from Success Magazine Investor Education, signed up for the more expensive classes, and now wants out you have a three-day right of recision that they do not include on your form. They are required to tell you about the right of recision verbally, and in writing, just above the line you sign on the contract, by the federal Consumer Protection Laws (16 CFR Ch. 1, Pt 429). See http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buying/cooling.htm for the official non-legal information. The full law is here: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_06/16cfr429_06.html.


Some states have more stringent requirements I found this for Tennessee: http://www.tba.org/LawBytes/T5_1408.html, which says that if they don't notify you of your right of recision, you can rescind AT ANY TIME until they do! (What a great law!) Here is California's requirements: http://www.bbbsilicon.org/topic043.html. Sorry, Scott, it looks like New York, like Oklahoma, does not have better laws than the federal law: http://www.consumer.state.ny.us/clahm/clahm-contracts.htm#16.


Investools DOES include the disclaimer language on their forms, but Success Magazine Investor Education DID NOT as of July 1, 2006, and probably still does not. Send a cancellation notice immediately to:

Success Magazine Investor Education / Investools
13947 South Minuteman Drive
Draper, Utah 84020

Fax: 801-816-6014

Send the notice by some method that requires a signature at the receiving end certified mail, return receipt requested generally. Be sure to keep a copy of it, and keep the proof of receipt with the copy of the letter. I sent my letter by FedEx, and also faxed the letter.

I can't find it now, but I read somewhere on the Internet that if they don't give you the correct cancellation notice, you can cancel up to 90 days later and still get your money back. I think it may depend on what you can convince a judge to do - you may be able to cancel later and still get your money back. I certainly intend to try!


I have been thinking of creative, Rip-Off Revenge type ways to get my money back. While I can't picket in Draper, Utah, Investools does come back with classes every few months, so I could picket at those hotels (and send letters to the hotels at which the free courses are held).

But my best idea so far is to post my materials for sale on e-Bay, with a full, factual disclosure of my experiences with Success Magazine Investor Education / Investools. The price will be the original cost of the materials, plus the e-Bay commission, plus the PayPal commission, plus all the money I've spent on communications to try to get my money back and perhaps a charge for the time I've spent composing letters, etc. about the issue! It might not sell itself back to Investools or Success Magazine, but it would at least get me Rip-Off Revenge! Anybody else who wants to use this idea, feel free!
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#9 Author of original report

Comments on Investools

AUTHOR: Scott - (U.S.A.)

I guess you didn't read to the end of my post. I am now making money trading options, but it's not from what I learned at Investools. I furthered my education with a much better company, and after only 4 months with my new mentor, I started making about 5% to 10% each month. To me this just further supports that Investools is not only WAY OVERPRICED, but they do not know how to teach options.

I really have no interest in talking to other Investools students anymore because they are way behind as far as options go. I have nothing to learn from them. What I do now is much better, works just about every single month, and cost me only $6K to learn, not $20K like Investools charges. I also have a lifetime membership and do not receive calls each month from the high pressure salesmen from Investools.

So I am a happy trader now, and not thanks to Investools. If you study with Investools, good luck because you are competing against traders with a much better education than they are giving you.

Ps, not only did the phone rep tell me I would make 30% a MONTH on options, but at the live seminars they also said the AVG student makes 30% a year. However, they never asked me how much I made or lost, so where do they get those figures??? It's all a lie. Did they ever ask you how much you made? How long have you been trading Investools methods?
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#10 Consumer Comment

Again

AUTHOR: Ed - (U.S.A.)

Once again, Sorry for your losses.

Where I fully agree with you is that the particular sales rep who told you to charge the full amount was wrong and should be (hopefully has been) fired.

I didn't have that experience at all, nor did two or three people I know who also signed up.

I understand where you are coming from and all I can say is that maybe investing isn't your bag. You sound like a knowledgable investor yet something hasn't worked for you.

You may not have the tolerance for the risk or you let emotions get in the way.
Just by the comment that you were in debt before plunking down 20K on the program and toolbox tells me you were emotional-- like a gambler in Vegas who is down and thinks if he lets it all ride on one spin of the roulette wheel... if he can just win back to even, THEN, then he'll be in good shape.
In that state, you are susceptible to an easy sales pitch BUT you are also so hungry for the big score that you start warping things because you want to believe an easy solution does exist.

I know some poker players who are incredible mathmeticians and understand every facet of the game but cannot do well playing because they let emotions cloud their judgement.

I'm curious as to how many options trades you placed before getting essentially wiped out. And your seed investing amount is important as well.
If you trade options with 10K as a starting investment, you would be taking huge risk making any one trade position more than $300-$500.
With an acceptable loss of 50% of your trade (and that can be agressive)
You must really have hit some bad luck.

I may be wrong, but you may have found a really attractive company, with all the signals, charts and fundamentals looking great and made a big bet which went bad-- which can happen to ANY stock price in the short term.

Look, it was an expensive lesson and it hurts. I learned the hard way in oil futures ten years ago. My problem was very much like yours-- a system I thought was fool proof, small bankroll (compared to margins) and emotions and an unwillingness to follow sound exit strategies with a loss.

NO SYSTEM IS 100% guaranteed. And Investols tells you that.

All I can say is I never once had anyone from Investools tell me I could expect to make 30% a year--EVER. I believe they may have said that some students do. Which is reasonable and believable.

Here is a discussion over at investor geeks:
investorgeeks.com/articles/2005/12/29/phil-town-investools/
(add the www)

There are many pro and con comments. Although most of the con comments seems to be from people who are just irritated at the price before they've even signed up and seen what Investools can do.

Maybe share your experience over there and see what some of the PHD students can tell you.

Best wishes
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#11 Author of original report

Answers and Comments about your Post

AUTHOR: Scott - (U.S.A.)

First of all I would like to comment on the previous poster who accused me of not applying the Investools education or even trying to learn what they were teaching.

He said "It's similar to joining an expensive gym-- some may get in the best shape of their life with HARD work and aplication of the principles they teach you on fitness. Then again, some may think that because they spent big money on membership and personal training, they will snap their fingers and be a body builder with 4% body fat.

You sound like the latter."


I appreciate the comment, but you are way off. I have been trading stocks since 1999 and have watched the market daily since that time. When I joined INvestools, I studied there videos, webinars and used their website for about 2 hours a day for the first year. How much time did you put into this? Their site, by the way people, seems really good at first, but then you'll realize later that it's a big waste of time. I'll explain why later. So to answer you, "NO, I DID NOT JUST SNAP MY FINGERS AND EXPECT TO MAKE A MILLION. I ACTUALLY TRIED THEIR METHODS AND STUDIED THEM FOR SEVERAL HOURS EACH WEEK for over a year, until I lost most of my investing money."


Also from reading your post, it sounds like you no nothing about options. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but the Investools site is pretty good for stocks, but for stocks only. The problem with Investools is that they are pushing options, and they do not know what they are doing and their website lacks the basic tools to trade options. I know they recently bought Think Or Swim, so maybe soon they will have risk graphs, but when I studied with them, they did not. Anyone who knows anything about trading Options, knows you can't do it without risk graphs.


Another thing I would like to comment on is that yes, I was in debt and I told this to the Investools' sales rep. And this is one reason I made this post (because of their lies and misleading sales practices). The guy told me that he would really like to see me charge all this on my card because I would make 30% a month and have it all paid off in just a few months. What kind of BS is that? At the time, I did not know much about Options and the INvestool's sales rep took advantage and misled me bigtime. You are right when you said "It doesn't sound like you had any business doing what you did or the way you did it." I should not have charged all that money for my Investools education. I even told them. But they insisted that I would soon be out of debt and charging the money on my credit card was the best thing to do. The rep even had this great sales pitch: "I can only give you this special offer if you agree to be our next Success Story and we can use you in our seminars and for advertising." What a great line that was. I thought I was getting a good deal, and I also thought I was going to be a success. Don't be fooled like I was.

Investools is taking advantage of many people who are in debt and looking for a way out. Maybe you have a lot of money, but many of us don't. You also sound like someone who just began with them and had a few good trades because the market has been trending lately. Wait and see how much you have lost by the end of the year. I know where you are now, been there, done that.

The last thing I want to say is the reason there are few complaints about Investools is because they have a large department that threatens people online for posting complaints. Investools is very crooked. They are almost like a mafia. There are actually many sites with complaints and reviews on them, but hard to find because they keep getting deleted each day when they receive threatening letters from INvestools lawyers. Just type in Investools in Google and you'll find many.

Here are a few comments I just found :

Title: Not Happy With Investools

Customer Review:
Investools is hard to understand and at times very confusing. Plus when I first started they changed from the old tool box to the new toolbox and that just added to my frustration. I felt they mislead us at the initial seminar. Overall I am dissatisfied and out a good chunk of change. I'll chalk it up as a loss but will definaltey be more careful about who I do business with next time and what documents I sign.

Review By:
Joseph XXX from Walnut Creek, CA USA

Rating:
1 star or Unacceptable

Date:
11/25/06

---------next review----------

Title: Investools Review

Customer Review:
Investools will have you thinking that all it takes is thier seminar for 3 thousand to make money. Thats not true. Its only on the second day that you find out you're gona have to come up with another 20k for more tutoring and investing. And if you don't ask for a refund on the first day you won't get back your the 3k that you originally paid. They are very unethical I lost money since i didnt have the extra money for more training. Unless you have that much money don't go for it.

Review By:
David xxx from New York, USA

Rating:
1 star or Unacceptable

Date:
11/19/06

---------next review----------

Title: Investools???

Customer Review:
Investools was my first introduction to any form of trading. After enrolling in the first workshop, I recieved basic information but at a price ($3000). I think that it was misleading because they spent most of the day reviewing the information I already had and most of the time selling the other courses.

I do think the inforation is ok, but in retrospect you can find books and info online the same a lot cheaper. I am now using the better trades website for further education at a fraction of the price, and trading using options express (free!). Just do your research before you spend money like I did....

Review By:
Ian from Florida, USA

Rating:
1 star or Unacceptable

Date:
12/16/06

---------next review----------


Title: Bad experience with Investools

Customer Review:
I had a very bad experience with Investools. First of all, they lie about how much the average student makes. I lost almost half my money trying to trade options with their education. They told me the avg student makes 30% a year. This is total BS. I went to about 5 different seminars and never met any other students who were making money.

They also keep calling me to upsale me more classes, seminars, etc. Investools is full of high pressure salesman, not real traders. The Hotline crew is a bunch of amateurs who know nothing about advanced strategies, and when you do get someone, they are very rude and condescending. They also have a billing scam going on and won't refund me. I would never recommend them to anyone.

Review By: Unhappy Customer from San Jose, CA

Rating:
1 star or Unacceptable

Date:
12/30/06

---------next review----------

Title:
My Experience with Investools

Customer Review:
Although i have about 10 years of moderately successful trading experience i took this course/seminar to gain more knowledge. Being as objective as possible i can honestly say that this course is "ONLY" a good, helpful a tool...and should not be relied upon. I went to 3 different seminars and every single instructor is there to SELL YOU more expensive programs. They all "HIGHLY STRETCH" the truth and most rely on plain and obvious lies. Most traders claim they have "Made their millions" by 33yrs old. THEY will show you photos of their expensive Toys and Vacations. If the course was less hype/ B.S./ frills and more Practical, serious study then i would enroll a couple times a year for new courses. Something to think about ... Warren Buffet "GAVE AWAY" more money then all Investools Instructors COMBINED will likely ever make in their life time!

Review By:
Jon Spievak from Honolulu, HI

Rating:
1 Star or Unacceptable

Date:
1/16/07

---------next review----------


Title: Investools, Rude, Negative conversation in trying to cancel

Customer Review:
Having only dial-up, I had to change over to a faster service. I had problems previously with other services, as this country area. When I finally connected to a faster service, I had problems connecting. I decided to just cancel as I feared future problems. "I DID NOT and was NOT ABLE to sign in."
I called to cancel and asked for a refund. I was referred to Amy Luster.
Denied, denied, denied. She WILL NOT hear you out but overtalks you and hung up on me. I have filed a complaint with the Dept. of Commerce & Consumer Protection, Securities Compliance and with my credit card company.
BE CAREFUL OF THIS HARD SELL COMPANY.

Review By:
Harold Ching from KEAAU, HI

Rating:
1 Star or Unacceptable

Date:
1/22/07

---------next review----------



Title: Investools, the ultimate infomercial

Customer Review:
Investools has figured out how to get people to spend 5-25k up front and then only give them 3 days to get a refund. Thats right after your third day you wont be able to get any money back out of the 25k you spent just three days ago. If your house burns down or you become very sick you cant get a dime back from them. They are like a used car dealership. They will encourage you to open up credit cards or borrow money from people whatever it takes to pay for the course. But as soon as the three days is up you are all in and if you find out its not working out you are out of luck. They have a great websight and alot of tools on it but they are a bunch of crooks when it comes to refunds.

Review By:
Scott G from New Jersey

Rating:
1 Star or Unacceptable

Date:
1/26/07


---------next review----------


Title:
Investools Fooled Me

Customer Review:
I am one of the fools who paid the $21K. I have to agree that the web site is very handy and it is easy to use. The information is good. The hotline is run by very rude and uninformed people. You will receive answers like, "Gee, that sounds good." or "Hey, I never tried that, it could work." I have even had them tell me, "Sorry, I have to go now, goodbye." Click.

This was my first attempt at investing in the market also. I was a fool. Most of the training they offer is available either free or at a fraction (1/10) of the price they charge.

Their trend system only works well with large account balances and longer term time frames which allow you to lose, lose, lose and lose again until you hit a home run and make up the difference. If you don't have the stomach or heart or cash for that then you are better off with buy and hold. I lost half my initial investment using trend analysis on short time frame option plays. Good tools, wrong time frame.

They do use funky sales schemes that hook idiots like me. They also are not terribly helpful. The coaching I paid for NEVER materialized. I waited six months and finally they just put me into an automated trading room. Good information if historical charts are any good for dynamic real time conditions.

Review By:
Bob from Idaho

Rating:
1 Star or Unacceptable

Date:
1/27/07


Lastly, I just want to say that I am not the only one who has been failed by Investools. When I was watching the live webex classes, most days Investools would take a poll to see who was having success, and in each class of about 20-30 students, there were only 1 or 2 who raised their hand. Most students were breaking even or losing money.

The people who seem to be having success are people with $500,000 accounts. Their systems only works when the market trends, like at the end of 06. But the people with smaller accounts will never make back the tuition paid to these high pressure salesmen. Never, ever.

By the way, if you are interested in Options, don't give up hope. I actually found a mentor who taught me how to make money finally trading options. I learned in just a few months after failing horribly with Investools. Investools is way behind some of these smaller companies in education and trading techniques, but they are far ahead in their own pocketbooks.
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#12 Consumer Suggestion

A rebuttal on Investools

AUTHOR: Ed - (U.S.A.)

I am an Investools user (over a year now) and I have had success using the program. First, I am sorry for your losses. Trading, whether it be long term or day trading is a difficult and risky business.

The company does sell hard, expecially at the seminars but there is a certain level of caveat emptor that should be followed.

There is no quick and easy way to make a million. Period.

At no time did Investools promise me that I would only make good trades or become a millionaire.

What they did promise is an excellent education in stocks and options and the best tools to perform seraches on potential targets for buys and sells.

Of COURSE they make it seem easy. But they offer plenty of disclaimers along the way.

It's similar to joining an expensive gym-- some may get in the best shape of their life with HARD work and aplication of the principles they teach you on fitness. Then again, some may think that because they spent big money on membership and personal training, they will snap their fingers and be a body builder with 4% body fat.

You sound like the latter.

Any investing system can get you in big trouble-- especially options-- if you don't understand the fundamentals behind them.
I am a knowlegbale stock trader and I can tell you, options can be brutal if things turn south (and they sometimes do).

From your complaint, it doesn't sound like you had any business jumping in to the market Yyou have high CC debt? Even if most of it was spent on Investools membership, basic knowledge would tell you that you would need to clear at least 30% on your trades each month just to make a small profit.
Warren Buffet can't even do that!

You could have started Investools with just under 3K to see if the program was for you and fit your investing needs and profile. It sounds like you decided to blow money you didn't have and sign up for all their courses at once (basic, options, MBA and PHD programs)

What was your investment balance (after your 20K credit card bill)? If you had 200K to invest, (assuming a 15% per YEAR return) you would barely have paid off your CC. And if you had that kind of cash, you would never have charged your education and membership in the first place.
It doesn't sound like you had any business doing what you did or the way you did it.

Again, sorry you are in the position you are in but you need to take some personal responsibility here.

Investools has hundreds of thousands of grads (myself included) who have been satisfied with the program. Yet only one ripoff report filed.

Interesting.

I am not affiliated with Investools in any way. I am just a satisfied user.

Have I outperformed Warren Buffet? No.
I've done pretty well on some trades, and lost on others.

To me, the biggest pro to Investools has been helping me NOT make trades I otherwise might have made, thus keeping me from losing money. That is pretty darn valuable if you ask me.

For those who don't have the kind of money to join investools-- Don't.

You can find many websites that are free to find much of the information on researching stocks that Investools offers. So why join? Because their toolbox research and seaches allow me to do in minutes what would take me 5-10 hours a night to do on my own. That's worth it to me.
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#13 Consumer Suggestion

How to strike back

AUTHOR: Mickey - (U.S.A.)

I'm also a victim. thankfully a lot less loss than you $3,000. Whether you'd ever get your money back remains to be seen, but go to www.ftc.gov. There's a bluish grey bar near the top with a link to "file a complaint". File it. They will investigate and possibly file a suit. Their objective is to stop the unlawful business practices, and get the money back for those defrauded. Unfortunately, most of the time there's no money to be found. Bastards like these are very good at hiding what they've swindled people out of. File the report anyway. you never know.
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