Frequently Asked Questions

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Our School and Trading Community

The idea of an elite trading school began over a decade ago when the founders of IOTAF were trading futures at the Montreal branch of RTS (Refco). RTS had an uncharacteristically high proportion of very successful traders and the atmosphere on the trading floor was excellent. So when the parent firm closed down, the idea of re-creating and improving upon that success was on the minds of IOTAF’s founders. One day, while discussing the idea of what made a great trader, and whether it was primarily an innate or learned ability, they realized they had a worthy challenge. They shared a tremendous passion for teaching so the idea of taking anyone with a true dedication to learning the business of trading and turning them into a master trader became their new challenge. Thus, in the Spring of 2014, they opened their trading academy in the Old Port of Montreal. IOTAF continues to develop its reputation as an elite trading school combining a state of art trading floor with an innovative curriculum, live trading practice and one-on-one mentoring.

There are several things which distinguish IOTAF:

  • A significant investment in market intelligence and communications infrastructure gives students everything they need to succeed. To our knowledge, nobody invests this much in their teaching/trading infrastructure.
  • Internship and Apprenticeship programs which give students complete preparation for careers in trading and financial research.
  • A course structure which allows for absorption of knowledge. The learning never stops as graduates become part of an elaborate support community that continues after graduation.
  • Innovative training and mentoring methods; We will challenge you to go beyond anything you have ever learned about the markets and learn how to master the mental element of trading.
  • Small classes which ensure personal attention and one-on-one mentoring with instructors who feel responsible for your success.
  • Instruction at your current level of knowledge. We interview students and prepare them before classes commence to ensure a high standard of learning.
  • We help you find a trading product which suits your unique trading personality because no two traders are alike. Success is often a matter of finding your own trading style.
  • We do not make money by charging trading commissions. We encourage our traders to wait for truly compelling trade set-ups and to trade less, not more.
The ultimate reason for taking the IOTAF Masters In Trading program is to achieve complete career and financial independence. The skills you learn will enable you to work when you want, where you want, and how long you want. Most importantly, it is one of the few careers where you have the opportunity to make as much money as a professional athlete. As well, we have partnerships with hedge funds and proprietary trading firms both locally and abroad who actively recruit our graduates. We have access to capital and will back successful traders. In brief, the opportunities open to our graduates are unlimited.

You can trade wherever you want! Our graduates have exclusive access to our private student portal where traders and research staff exchange valuable trade ideas on a daily basis.

We also have established partnerships in the USA, Europe and the Mid-east with several proprietary trading firms and can arrange a place for you to trade either on a permanent or monthly basis.

Yes. We only accept students that we truly feel have the ability to succeed. To be a successful trader requires a certain level of intelligence, motivation, and discipline. We can give students all our knowledge and expertise but if they don’t have their mental house in order, they will not succeed. Maintaining a harmonious corporate culture is critical to us because we trade alongside our students. In some ways our students are like an extended family. Even after graduation our students become part of an extended community of traders, often sharing ideas and collaborating on research projects.

No. Sometimes it is better to start with a clean slate. Many people have erroneous ideas about how to succeed as a trader and this affects their learning.

Our students come from a variety of backgrounds and levels of experience. To ensure that they are at an approximately equal level of trading knowledge before they begin the course, we provide preparatory course material. This includes access to our library and a variety of online materials. This ensures that everyone is at a similar level of knowledge before the course begins.

To a large degree it is just a feeling we get about someone, but some of our best traders have achieved success in another discipline, such as sports, gaming, or poker. They also tend to have an entrepreneurial side to them. Success in trading requires a competitive instinct, an independent spirit, the ability to manage probabilities and the discipline to focus on your strengths and capitalize on them.

We offer the MIT course program three times a year: in the Autumn, Winter and Summer. The formal training program lasts three months. Classes are held in the evenings twice a week, as well as some weekends according to student demand. Make-up classes are also offered for students. As well, we welcome students to retake classes in another session as a way to review the material.

Prospective students should email their resume and a cover letter to or call us directly at 514-439-8644. Each candidate will then be contacted for an interview. It is important for us to know our students personally to give them what they need to succeed.

Yes, we do. We also develop fully customized training programs for financial institutions and cover a range of topics, including: personal financial management, algorithm development, Central Bank analysis and more. For more details, please contact us.

No, we do not charge desk fees to students. Even after our 3 month program our students are offered free desk space for an additional 2 months following the course program. We recognize that the cost of desk fees can be overwhelming for new trading talent such that it can interfere psychologically with any trading strategy. For that reason we make every attempt to limit the costs associated with trading and act as partners in helping our graduates succeed.

Additionally, the desk fees paid by our professional trading staff are among the lowest in the business. When you consider the significant trading infrastructure installed at IOTAF, including research and news services, our desk fees are by far the best value in the trading community.

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