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Investools Stocks Course


Thought you might like to hear my experience with the Investools Stocks Course that wasn't. I have filed complaints with the Ohio Attorney General's office and the Better Business Bureau.

On January 2008, I attended what Investools advertised as a two-day seminar on investing in stocks at a cost of $999.00. The seminar was held at the Cleveland Marriott Airport Inn on West 150th Street.

I enrolled in this seminar based on a no-charge presentation made on January 19, also held at the Cleveland Airport Marriott, at which Investools presented an overview of its approach to informed investing (both stocks and options) and its exclusive, subscription-based investment information technology platform.

At the January19 preview presentation, Investools offered participants its two-day stocks workshop at a special price of $999.00. This included not only the two-day stocks workshop, but also a six-month membership/subscription to its investment database and access to its online stocks course. Investools also emphasized that participants in this workshop would be provided dedicated, ongoing technical support and personalized coaching from Investools personnel, as a component of the $999.00 package.

Throughout the January 19 presentation, it was made clear that the January workshop would be devoted to the topic of trading stocks. Investools also offers courses (both live and online) in option trading, international trading (Forex), and fundamental analysis, at additional (and much greater) cost than the $999.00 stock workshop.

For the January 25-26 stocks workshop, Investools said that participants could attend the first day of the seminar, and, if they were not satisfied that it was something they found valuable by the end of the first day of the seminar, it would refund the entire $999.00 cost to the participant. Payment was required in advance, but would be held until the end of the first day, in the event the participant elected not to come back for the second day.

On the first day of the seminar, we were given notebooks containing content for a two-day workshop on the subject of stocks. The presenter on the first day adhered to the content of the stocks workshop, with a brief digression into option trading in the form of covered calls.

I was entirely satisfied with the first day of the workshop, so I elected to return for the second day - meaning that my credit card payment for $999.00 would be processed and I would be charged for the entire two-day workshop, plus the subscription and access to the online stocks course (but not any other Investools course offerings).

On the second day of the seminar, the instructor (an option trader, not the same instructor as the first day) totally disregarded the remaining content of the stocks course and spent the entire day on option trading - content that was not covered under the stocks package that we purchased but that - conveniently! - we could purchase at a cost of $4,999.00 (discounted from $6,663.00).

It was obvious that the Investools sales team present at the seminar used the entire second day of its so-called stocks workshop to market and aggressively recruit participants in its other products. Not only did the presenter not adhere to the second day of the topic of stocks (as presented in Investools' course literature), as it advertised it would do, sales pitches for extended subscriptions, additional Investools courses, and registration with the Investools-owned Think or Swim online trading platform became more frequent and more insistent, breaks between segments became longer so that Investools representatives could prospect for more sales for its other offerings, and those of us who were not interested or could not afford $4,999.00, $11,999.00 (discounted from $17,893.00), and $23,999.00 (discounted from $35,549.00) for the Investools "Associates," "Masters," and "PhD" programs, respectively, were left to sit through extended breaks with no interaction with the Investools staff on board. The last fternoon "break" of the day lasted more than an hour while the Investools staff worked the room.

Some second-day participants expressed their displeasure with Investools' sales practices, both to one another and to the Investools staff, and some participants simply left.

Following the seminar, I received e-mail communication that I would be contacted by my personalized coach, who would help me to understand, navigate, and effectively use the Investools online technology. When I wasn't contacted by the end of the first week following the seminar, I contacted Investools, who gave me a contact name and phone number. I called this person twice and left voicemail messages before he returned my call, also leaving a voicemail message. Not at all lost on me was the fact that calling my "coach" was not toll-free.

I am requesting that my purchase price of $999.00 be fully refunded by Investools. I have not used the database or online technology since my attempts to connect with my investment coach in early February. I believe that the approach that Investools used to market its programs was deceptive in that it did not deliver the product promised and instead structured the format of the two-day stocks workshop to induce participants to attend what amounted to a one-day, "captive" selling session, instead of the second day of a workshop dedicated to learning about stock trading.

I would appreciate your timely attention to this dispute and am more than willing to provide additional information, as requested.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

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