In an era of dynamic, volatile capital markets, as well as an upsurge of self-directed trading, Ascend Financial Education was created to fill a specific market need. We are a dedicated and knowledgeable group of instructors who teach individuals -- both self-directed and those working with financial advisors -- to better understand the fundamental and technical mechanics of the capital markets and become successful traders and investors.
Our mission is to instruct and empower a broad range of market participants: from the novice investor who wants to get a head start on the competition to the experienced trader looking to sharpen their skills. By learning the fundamental and technical principles which lie at the root of much of the market's activity, many of these individuals can master the skills to trade strategically and professionally, maximizing long-term return while protecting against downside risk.
We are committed to simplicity through a focus on the essentials. In an era of the Internet, financial self-help websites, and "Big Data," information has become all too cheap, while true understanding (or mastery) is becoming ever more expensive. It is our goal to teach market participants how to pay attention to and apply the essential data points, statistics, and company & market information to help them make informed market decisions.
We have observed hundreds of traders and trading patterns in the U.S. and internationally while working at some of Wall Street's most prestigious institutions. As a result, we have developed a set of practical and efficient courses, with the following key characteristics:
Highest Levels of Professionalism. As a program founded by experienced Wall Street trader / analysts, our courses were developed -- and are taught -- with the highest levels of professionalism. Absent are any sales pitches, "spin," or untested and simplistic pronouncements. We've developed our materials with thorough attention to detail, based on decades of experience, observation, and analysis.
Courses Taught by Experienced Investment & Trading Professionals. Similar institutions often teach textbook or academic concepts which may be challenging for an individual to apply in a particular market situation. We emphatically believe in combining theory with practice. Our courses are taught by seasoned but active trading professionals. Our instructors understand that in order to profit, the market participant needs to consistently apply principles to specific market situations, often under the financial duress of the market.
Objective and Unbiased Instruction. Unlike courses and seminars which attempt to promote a particular product or service (either explicitly or implicitly), we are a 100% transparent and independent institution without an interest in any third party financial or investment product or service. We can thus teach participants in an objective manner, free of any conflicts of interest.
Intimate Classes With Personalized Attention. Our courses and seminar settings are typically small and intimate, with a maximum of 10 to 12 people. Rather than instruct "at" course participants, we are able to engage them in a back-and-forth dialogue for a more effective learning experience. Most importantly, our courses allow for one-on-one time with the instructor to address each participant's unique market situation and answer his or her questions.
We developed the Ascend Financial Education courses directly from years of hands-on trading and investing at several institutions, including Morgan Stanley, UBS, D.F. King, and ActForex.
The material was largely an outgrowth of experience on a Number 1 Ranked Institutional Investor and Greenwich Poll / Consumer Staples Team within the Institutional Equity Division at Morgan Stanley's Global Headquarters. Working with institutional portfolio managers buying/selling large blocks of stock, our team was responsible for fundamental analysis upon which some of the most savvy portfolio managers relied.
One of our instructors (David Kaplan) was also directly mentored by an expert in computerized algorithmic "news" trading who was in the top 5% of news traders for the past several years (based on return on investment).
With knowledge of the fundamental and technical principles underlying key trading and investment, we were keen observers of the general lack of knowledge of these principles among both beginner and experienced self-directed market participants. While teaching at another academy and receiving a great number of positive and enthusiastic reviews, we combined a passion and dedication to principled investing with a desire to impart this knowledge and empower everyday investor / traders.