The SEC Staff found that about half of the firms reviewed offered formal training programs to their day traders.78 Some of these programs were offered "in-house" and some were conducted by independent, unregistered entities.
Organized training programs
The SEC Staff found that the firms that did not offer formal, organized training programs generally offered some sort of informal instruction or allowed traders to gain "hands-on" experience with strategies recommended by fellow traders who were often associated with the firm. Some of these firms also maintained very structured trading environments and traders had to execute mock transactions according to specific trading systems or strategies.
Unregistered entities & day trading training
Many of the training programs are conducted by unregistered entities, over which the SEC has no examination authority, it was difficult for the Staff to obtain training materials to ascertain what type of instruction was given to the day-traders in these training sessions. The Staff is particularly concerned that these training entities may be touting the benefits of day trading without discussing the risks and costs associated with day trading.