This week we want to give you some background on Trading College. We spoke to Lee Sandford about what inspired him to set the company up and what his goals are for the future.

 

Kick-Off

As a qualified football coach with a degree in Sports Science and Coaching, when Lee retired from playing professional football he knew he wanted a break from sport but not from teaching. “Teaching is in my blood,” he says. “I love educating people and as I was already trading myself, it was the natural thing to teach.”

 

First Half

Lee’s first move was to become a partner in another training company. He soon found he wanted more autonomy in the way he taught people so he left and started Trading College. He took on his first few students and things snowballed from there. “A lot of people had heard about me through friends I was already teaching so I quickly went from having one or two clients to having over a hundred potential students signed up as members!” Lee remembers how daunting it was teaching his first course of 35 people. “Managing that number of people was a real challenge, but I succeeded and loved the experience.” Since then membership has grown exponentially every year.

 

Half Time

When Lee reflects on what made Trading College so popular, he feels it’s because ordinary people relate to him. “I wasn’t a typical banker in a suit. People connected to me because I was like them. They felt they could ask me anything. They didn’t feel intimidated. They knew they could trust me to tell it as it is.”

 

Second Half

Eventually, Trading College got so busy that Lee brought in one of his students to help run the company. Four years ago, the company moved into its current offices in Teddington and has continued to grow ever since. “We’ve now got 15 full-time members of staff, from our customer service and member relations teams to our coaches and finance director, and the team is still growing,” Lee tells us.

 

A Winning Team

Lee believes the secret to Trading College’s success is the ability to tailor the education to the client. “People learn in different ways,” Lee explains. “Some people need more visual aids, others more audio, and some people learn more kinaesthetically, which means by doing practical tasks rather than listening and watching.” He believes this is what makes the Mentorship programmes that Trading College offers so popular. “I love being a mentor. I love watching someone with little or no experience absorb new information and keep growing and progressing. And these days I can mentor anyone anywhere in the world over the Internet. There are no geographical barriers. I have clients as far away as Dubai and Australia.”

 

Growing The Team

Being a successful trader is not the only goal for some students; some want to train to become Trading College coaches themselves. “Former students make excellent coaches,” says Lee. “It makes sense to learn trading from someone who was once in exactly the same position as you, and someone who trades their own account. Why would you want to learn from a city trader who trades his client’s account when you can learn from a retail trader who’s been on a similar journey? Everyone here can relate to each other. That’s what makes the relationships at Trading College so strong and transparent. You know you’re going to get the truth; no one has anything to hide. With our live trading webinars you can see everything that’s happening. Plus, trading is traditionally such a lonely existence. By making it a community experience at Trading College, and by being so accessible to our students and members, we’ve changed that experience for retail traders.”

 

Next Season’s Goals

As we move into 2017, what are Lee’s goals for Trading College? “To continue to grow and expand internationally. I’d like to see Trading College become the best trading education company in the UK and then the best in Europe. We’ve got some exciting announcements to make in the spring, which we’ll update you on nearer the time.” We can’t wait to hear, Lee!

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