The paid group. One of the most highly contentious and controversial discussions in Crypto.
If there is one subject that is absolutely guaranteed to divide and cause conflict then it is the concept of the paid group. Steeped in controversy and widely criticised, many public arguments have occurred around this topic. Wild debate rages across social media in a cacophony of anger, insults and outrage as a paid group’s monthly fee gets leaked.
The technical analysts providing daily free content across social media are left stunned by some of these seemingly staggering monthly fees and can’t help but vent their frustrations. Insults such as “This guy is a charlatan, all he provides is basic support/resistance charts” or “how can you warrant paying that for such a poor service” ring out and tempers flare.
But before we delve into the possible reasons for these types of reactions let’s start with the basics.
How does it work?
There are a variety of paid groups available, although it’s not always obvious where to look and sometimes these can be hard to find. They are mostly run by successful traders who frequently post winning trades over social platforms such as Twitter. However, they are also advertised on YouTube by some popular Crypto personalities.
Another type of example, although not a “group” as such, are the paid courses that you can find on Udemy which is primarily a website for learning how to code. These often feature clickbait headlines which give the psychological impression of gaining a huge amount of riches to the user, however the reality is that many of these courses lack substance and provide very basic content which is easily found via a simple Google search.
Most commonly the paid group is a Discord channel which you can gain access to buy paying a monthly, yearly, or lifetime fee. These groups are often open to the public however the “premium” content and channels are only accessible if you’ve paid the fee to the group leader.
One of the ways that they are advertised is by traders posting charts with a timestamp from their discord channel after a big move has happened. These often come with headlines such as“we called this move in our paid group, DM for more info”.
What’s on offer?
So now we’ve explored how these groups work let’s look into what exactly is offered in a paid group and what the benefit are compared to a Discord/Telegram channel that is free to join.
A variety of educational videos will be available taking you through everything from basic support and resistance to Fibonacci and ultimately more advanced techniques such as elliot waves.
1:1 Private Tuition
The group leader will set aside some time to have 1:1 sessions for anything from coaching, through to the art of trading, controlling your emotions or just to answer any questions you may have.
Dedicated members of the leadership team will be constantly scouring channels every day in order to find potential opportunities. When they have found one they will alert the group with a detailed chart outlining the entry zone and stop loss.
There are often rooms dedicated to sophisticated bots that send alerts for events such as a sudden increase in volume on a coin or a percentage increase.
The group leader may have access to over the counter coins which means they can buy a coin in bulk on the exchange at a reduced price. This usually solves any issues with liquidity.
Some ICO’s require a minimum amount to invest. The group leader will often pool enough money together from its members in order to meet the minimum threshold to invest, then distribute the coins accordingly. Additionally, they may also have connections to be able to invest at a pre-sale level.
Some 1:1 time is allocated to you in order to have your portfolio analysed discussing for example, the percentage split of your holdings and the fundamentals of the coins you hold.
Now that we’ve explored the basics and the types of services that are on offer in a paid group, I took to Twitter to ask the general Crypto public whether they have ever paid to join one. Here are the results:
Interestingly with a total of 372 votes, around a quarter of people have paid to be in a group.
I find this quite surprising and I feel that because of the questionable reputation paid groups can have, the anonymity of this poll has perhaps allowed people to be more open and voice this publicly.
To dive further into this subject I wanted to speak to some people who have been in paid groups and had experience of running them:
I first spoke with BitQueenBR (@BitQueenBR) who herself runs a paid group. To gain entry to the group there is only a $50 fee and this makes you a lifetime member. She tells me that they “do hear a lot that we are too cheap.”
She breaks down for me what can be expected for this group “We offer trading setups with entries, stops, targets and educational details. Custom indicators as well as project research, Whitepaper research and charting on request. The most important thing which personally I am the most proud of is the helpful community with many skilled traders ready to help others out.” She also adds that the community is kept engaged because they “have 4 trading experts from 4 different time zones in the group to make sure there is always one who can give support and updated our content”.
I asked her why she thinks that paid groups seem to get such a negative press in Crypto and she states that “I can only imagine that during last years ICO boom many people got scammed by individuals and this paid group leader stuff became a meme. I personally know many trustworthy people that run successful groups but at the end, it is not on me to decide for others what to join.”
She then adds “I can only advise people to gather feedback from other members before joining any paid service group”
I then spoke with League Crypto France (@LeagueCryptoFr1) who paid $50 a month and was offered an “all inclusive” service which provided “Signals buy and stop loss. Weekly market updates and one to one coaching to learn how to use their signals.” and also the group “studied our portfolios and helped us with risk management.”
He also admitted that they “are kind manipulative. They call you on phone, send you messages to know if you are ok” and that he “found this weird little afterwards”. He left this group because he felt that he could learn the skills provided in the group on his own.
I also spoke with another person who paid for a group but wishes to remain anonymous and I will respect their privacy. He has been part of two groups - one focusing on just calls and the other TA. He says in the calls group there were five a day however “there was no explanation on why the calls were made, no instructions on how to trade, TA, risk management. It was basically implied that you knew how to trade and you just need to follow his calls.” he also alludes to the fact that this wasn’t really communicated before hand.
The second group he says was “focused more on day trading, trades were usually closed at the end of the day, that’s when I finally got a sense of protecting my investment and use stop losses” and that “the group was well structured, you would get TA charts and analyses on several coins, he would also take requests” as well as “documentation shared and even group video conference with lectures”. The calls group was $75 a month and the TA group was $200 a month.
His explains his view on the subject to me “I know there is a lot of hate for paid groups and I understand why. But if you have no background in finance, no experience in trading and you fall down the crypto rabbit hole, it’s a lot easier to learn trading from someone who can guide you and can answer all your questions.”
Crypto Libero (@cryptolibero) is any interesting case in that he actually won a free month’s trial to a paid group but then actually decided against paying for it when his trial had expired.
He tells me that the group charged 0.025 BTC before the drop from 6k and goes on to explain that it was “basically was a private discord with automated channels that pushed out buy or sell signals on a specific set of binance alts (10-15 I believe, more available by purchasing a “higher tier”)
These were also emailed to you individually (the emails were honestly the worst part, inbox flooded with signals that weren’t helpful and often not profitable when I looked into them).”
He states that he “spent a bit trying to see how I could use the group to maybe help my trading, but it just wasn’t helpful to me in any way” and “If I had paid I would’ve been very disappointed”.
He believes that there may be some bad press surrounding paid groups because “there are many that have “exit scammed” in the past” but also feels that “People often don’t truly know what they’re truly paying for, and will often have unrealistic expectations (aka instant profits)”
He finishes with “I’m of the opinion that if you’re being paid to do something (especially some of the amounts for crypto groups) you are/should be a professional. This means having an actual education, a track record, and transparency that many paid groups and leaders aren’t willing to show in any way.”
As we discovered earlier, over a quarter of people surveyed have been in a paid group. So why is it that they have such a bad reputation? And what is it exactly that creates this maelstrom of negative emotions when they are mentioned?
Is it anger that there have been some instances of paid groups being scams or the unsuspecting public being conned? Is it envy that the group is succeeding and the paying members are content? Countless times I’ve borne witness to a paid group leader publicly called out only for the group’s members to immediately rally together to defend their leader’s honour.
Maybe it’s jealousy. Jealousy that their charts or techniques may not be as good as some of the free ones that you can get on social media, but with a solid marketing plan and business brain they have managed to convert potential ‘customers’ into buying their product.
Whatever the issue is it’s clear that there will always be an ominous cloud of cynicism hanging over this subject which is guaranteed to leave a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths.
So what’s my view? In all of my summaries sections I feel it’s essential for me to give my personal opinion on any subject matter that I tackle in order to be completely transparent and honest.
In the past I myself have paid to be a part of a group. I was one of the first 10 members of that group and I paid around $70 a month. After the initial core members received a reduced monthly fee, I believe the fee went up to around $200 a month, however mine stayed the same. The education provided was invaluable and the group was very professional with it’s own custom built system and around five full time members to provide assistance at all times. The members of the community were also incredibly close and supportive.
As time progressed however, I felt that what I was learning was beginning to slow down and the only service I was paying for was the signals. This was because I didn’t have time to go through every coin and couldn’t find entries myself as I was very busy at that time. It was for this reason that I could no longer justify $70 a month for the service and I terminated my payment.
Ultimately a paid group is a business. A service is offered with a fixed fee that is required in order to attain that service. As with any service the support and quality provided can range from business to business .
If you have a team of people working 12+ hours a day to provide resources, education and good entries to trade then they have every right to monetise this. Remember the paid groups succeed because they manage to get members - if they didn’t, they wouldn’t survive. So it is clear that there is demand and that people are willing to pay for it.
It does appear, however, that everyone’s experience can differ drastically. We’ve already seen in this article a good paid group can leave people feeling happy, satisfied and most importantly profitable whereas a poorly run one can leave people dejected and out of pocket, most likely never to pay for one again.
So you may be thinking by now, “Well how does this affect me?”. The chances are if you are reading this then you have already been exposed to the idea of paying for this sort of service, or know some that has or currently is.
As a potential customer you have a number of factors to consider before you decide to take the plunge and pay for one of these groups. Below I highlight some of the key factors you should take into consideration before doing so:
- Are you completely satisfied that you have learnt everything that you can find on YouTube or through trading books?
- Do you have the funds to pay a (sometimes) expensive monthly fee?
- Do you have the time/knowledge to scan through multiple coin pairings to find good entries?
- Are you unable to participate in ICO’s as you can’t meet the minimum funds required?
As with anything in life this all depends on your own personal position. If you have decided that you don’t have the hours required to learn all the intricacies of trading and you also happen to be in a position where you can afford one of these groups, then that’s fine, you should go for it.
If you are struggling for money and see a paid group as your solution to improving your financial situation but it requires a large percentage of the money you currently generate then perhaps this is not for you.
Like BitQueen touched on earlier - if you are thinking of joining one then make sure you speak with the current members first to hear their testimonials and experience.
Like life, it is all circumstantial and is always your own personal choice.
As with all my articles I hope this has been informative in some way.
Stay safe and thank you for reading
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