Answering the tough questions

Large parts of the trading industry rely on smoke and mirrors to project a certain image, while covering up the truth. We don't believe in avoiding the tough questions, so we decided to put all our cards on the table for you. Here are our answers to the tough questions the rest of the industry chooses to ignore.

Do you make your money from selling courses?

The short answer is no. The company makes some revenue from selling courses, but I do not receive any salary or other earnings from this, and often have to pay some of the costs from my own pocket. Overall, Duomo has directly cost me more money than I've ever received from it, and indirectly there has been a huge opportunity cost.

In the industry, many people make their money from selling courses rather than trading. So this is a very valid question. The reason we have not made as much revenue as we could is because we are not willing to go through many of the marketing tactics that other companies and individuals use. For example, we choose not to show off an extravagant lifestyle, we talk about realistic returns, we focus on the skill development rather than money and lifestyle aspects, and we are not aggressive or pushy in our sales process.

Since there are so many people in our industry who are willing to say and do anything to get sales, I often say our approach is like bringing a knife to a nuclear war. But we still prefer to stick to our values and ethos.

For full transparency, I will share details from the financial accounts for The Duomo Initiative Ltd. These are the exact figures that are submitted to HMRC each year, and these are the only accounts used for Duomo. This includes any training program sales, YouTube ad revenue, and affiliate payments (the only revenue sources for Duomo).

2023 Tax Year - not filed yet.

2022 Tax Year
Revenue: £63,498
Profit: £652
Nicholas's salary or other earnings from Duomo: £0 (negative if you count costs paid)

2021 Tax Year
Revenue: £59,694
Profit: £4,898 (this was not distributed to Nicholas)
Nicholas's salary or other earnings from Duomo: £0 (negative if you count costs paid)

2020 Tax Year
Revenue: £88,591
Profit: £2,654 (this was not distributed to Nicholas)
Nicholas's salary or other earnings from Duomo: £0 (negative if you count costs paid)

Before 2020, the company operated as a subsidiary of PuriCassar AG in Switzerland. At the end of 2012, it became The Duomo Initiative Ltd in the UK (formerly called PuriCassar UK Ltd.) The financial accounts for Duomo as part of PuriCassar AG were similar to what's shown above.

To reiterate, I am not receiving a salary or any form of payment from the company. As you would expect from our revenue, our team is also paid below what they deserve. They are willing to make that sacrifice because they're passionate about trading, and believe in the values and vision of Duomo.

Of course, we do hope Duomo will grow and make more money in future. But we will not deviate from our principles or values to achieve that.

How do you make your money?

Following my answer to the previous question, it should be clear that I am not earning money from Duomo. So the next logical question is, "how do you make your money then?"

My income comes from two things: trading and consulting.

Trading first became the source of my full-time income in 2012, when I left my career in banking. Before that, trading provided part-time income alongside my banking salary.

I also accept consulting offers occasionally when it's something that interests me. These will usually take no more than one day per week, and I have not taken on more than one or two projects per year. These are not on an on-going basis; I am usually only spending my time on trading and Duomo.

Consulting work has included:
- One of the top 10 biggest investment banks in Europe.
- A publicly-listed UK hedge fund.
- Launching a global impact investing firm.
- Successful 7-figure capital raise for an AI start-up
- Strategy team for a political campaign (candidate successfully elected MP).
- Development of a new trading platform for wealth management clients.
- Business development for an established bank in the Middle East.
- Other financial services firms.

These consulting projects are not related to Duomo. They are as a result of my career in the financial industry.

I should also mention, an article incorrectly stated that I worked for Your Success Academy selling books and courses. YSA was actually just a YouTube channel we set up as part of Duomo, as we thought it may be better to have a dedicated channel for psychology-related topics. There were never any books, courses, or anything else for sale, and it was not a separate business. In the end, we decided to keep everything on the main Duomo channel and closed YSA.

Something I've learned over the years is that people will twist narratives in their content to make things more interesting, and achieve more views or engagement. This also happened to me with one of the biggest magazines in Europe. I still have a video recording of the interview I gave them, but the article they published doesn't reflect the truth. They claimed I told them I was a recovering trading addict and now only trade small amounts to avoid relapsing - this is not true and was not something I said in their interview (I have the video!) I find these things both hilarious and deeply concerning!

Why do you teach trading?

This is a complex question, as there are a number of reasons for doing this. I'll try to summarise some of the main points.

I first started doing this as a way of sharing the discoveries my team and I had made over the years. Stefan and I had developed a new market model and theory of price movements, and I truly see it as ground-breaking.

I've always enjoyed sharing new things I've discovered or learned. Whenever I learn something from a book or study, I end up telling everyone around me (in fact, people get sick of it!) When I first started seeing profitable returns consistently over a prolonged period, the first thing I wanted to do was to trade for other people - even without taking any payment in return. I just enjoy the fulfilment and validation from it.

But Duomo has gone beyond that stage. I spend so many hours on Duomo every week, and I don't get paid for that time. At this point, it doesn't make financial or logical sense to continue. But I feel like I'm on a mission.

Firstly, I am committed to the people who have trusted in me and enrolled as members. I feel personally responsible for helping them succeed.

Secondly, I hate how the trading industry has evolved over the past decade. There are too many people sharing unfounded opinions, outdated methods, and disproven information. It's an industry full of scammers and facades. When I left my job in banking, people were impressed that I was going to be trading full-time. These days, telling people you're a trader feels embarrassing.

Quick story... I was at a wedding last year and someone asked me what I do for a living, so I told them I was a trader. They replied, "oh, is that the thing all the people from Love Island talk about on Instagram." That's not something I enjoy being associated with.

Realistically, I don't think Duomo will have the influence to change the industry as a whole. But I do believe there can be a ripple effect that can eventually cause that change, and Duomo can be part of that. I would hate to give up now and accept that people are falling prey to companies and individuals who just want to make money at other people's expense.

Thirdly, teaching people how I trade and about the discoveries I've made has also helped me clarify my thinking and improve my own performance. I've uncovered a lot of my implicit knowledge and made it more explicit. So I've also gained from this process.

Finally, Duomo is a stepping stone for much bigger things. We are currently working on two projects that have huge potential. One of these projects is a fintech platform that I truly believe can change the industry for retail traders, leading to a much higher percentage of them being profitable than the ~90% failure rate that's currently reported. My biggest goal and dream is to bring that platform to the world, and the work I do at Duomo will help me make that a reality.

Many trading educators will claim they're teaching people because they want to "give back". Although it's satisfying to help other traders achieve success, I don't believe that's the main motivation for anyone doing this. For most educators, the main motivation is making money from teaching other people, regardless of whether they end up succeeding or not.

Money is not my motivation. In fact, I would make far more money if I wasn't working on Duomo. In fact, I did make more money each year before I started Duomo, and I turn down big financial opportunities these days because Duomo is my focus. My goals are much bigger than just making more money.

How do you have the time to teach?

There are occasionally negative comments suggesting that if I was actually successful at trading I wouldn't have any time to teach. This is completely false.

A trading day involves a lot of waiting around. Some of this time is filled with analysis and following the financial news, but there is still a lot of spare time in between trades or trading-related actions.

When I worked in banking and was trading part-time, I loved the social aspects of my job. Once I became a full-time trader, the social side was completely missing. If I wasn't working on Duomo, I would be working on other things alongside my trading (in fact, I already do!)

Additionally, I love working and this is how I spend most of my time. I usually work 7 days a week, and will typically work in the evenings too. This means, there's a lot of time to get things done. At the moment, I don't dedicate much time to my social life or other activities, as work provides me a lot of fulfilment - but maybe that will change at some point in the future.

What is PuriCassar AG?

PuriCassar AG is a company based in Switzerland that I co-founded with Dr. Alexander Cassar in 2012. As of 2019, I am no longer a shareholder in the business.

We set up PuriCassar to launch an investment fund that would offer services to people outside the upper wealth bracket who were underserved when it comes to investment services. Unfortunately, the regulation costs involved in the type of fund we wanted to launch meant it wasn't feasible. We would have needed an unrealistic level of AuM for the management fee to cover the regulation costs.

As a result, the company ran as an asset management firm, mainly investing our own money and people involved in the business. It was during this time that we developed an algorithmic trading system and refined our Duomo Market Theory.

In 2015 we launched The Duomo Initiative as a division of PuriCassar. Our intentions were originally to launch a series of free videos on LinkedIn to share our unique discoveries and approach in the markets. But after seeing it gain more interest, we decided to make it a more serious venture.

An article was written about Duomo a number of years ago that continues to gain interest. In that article, they make a lot of false accusations about our background (as individuals and as a company). One of their claims was that they contacted the Swiss regulators to see if PuriCassar was authorised as an asset manager, and they were told we weren't and that authorisation was required. This was misleading information; it's true that we were not registered with the Swiss regulators, but we have confirmation from our financial lawyers back in 2012 that confirm under certain conditions you can be self-regulated as an asset manager, and that it is not a protected title.

In 2019, The Duomo Initiative was spun-off from PuriCassar. I became the sole owner of Duomo, and gave up my shares in PuriCassar. PuriCassar still exists and offers services in the financial industry. I am not directly connected with the business anymore, but I still work closely with Alexander, and may be involved in PuriCassar again in the future.

Why don't you show your trading performance?

In the past I have publicly shared my performance, and still do in many ways.

For example, we had a public trading account linked to our YouTube channel that our viewers could follow along with in real-time. It ran for just over 6 months until the end of the year around a 70% return with maximum drawdowns of around 4%.

The problem with doing this was that I felt a lot of pressure and I knew it was affecting my decision-making. Although the performance was still good, I knew in a different scenario it could have had a negative effect on my performance. It also wasn't an enjoyable experience.

In particular, it was during a series of losses that I felt it affecting my decision-making the most. Usually, I accept losses as a normal part of trading, but when I knew people would be scrutinising my performance, I felt an sense of urgency to make sure the next trade was profitable - this doesn't lead to the best trading decisions.

Overall, since I don't personally make any money from Duomo, I feel like there is no personal gain in showing my performance. But if it affects my decision-making, it means my own trading performance can suffer, which is more financially meaningful to me. Therefore, the cost-benefit didn't make sense.

However, I still show my trading performance in other ways. For example:

- I do live stream trading sessions with our members. This used to be for one whole trading session each week, explaining all analysis and decisions, including when I open trades. We generated returns of 8% during these sessions, while risking much less than 1% per trade.

- I have done challenges on our YouTube channel, such as trading a small live account publicly for a month to see which member of my team could generate the biggest returns while sticking to strict risk parameters. I finished with a return of around 10%.

- I publicly announced I would do the FTMO funding challenge. Just over a month later, I had passed both stages and achieved funding of £140,000.

During any time that I've made my trading public, I have always shown good performance and profitable returns. These have always been situations where I couldn't possibly cover up poor performance or selectively show the positive periods. It has always been fully transparent.

I understand that these examples are not the best substitute for me making my overall verified trading performance public. I also know this will open me up to criticism, doubts, and reduce the number of people who join our program - I would also feel a similar way in your shoes. But I'm willing to accept that, as I still encountered those drawbacks even when I did show my performance publicly.

Having said that, I am figuring out a compromise to show my trading publicly again this year, in a way that won't affect my performance.

As a side note, be cautious about how legitimate the 'verified' returns are that you're shown by others in the industry. Here are some things to be wary of:

- Myfxbook accounts linked to MT4: There are ways to manipulate these returns. As far as I know, the same loopholes don't apply to MT5.
- Myfxbook accounts or broker statements from minor, relatively unknown brokers. They will sometimes offer deals to influencers to manipulate the account in exchange for being promoted.
- A sequence of accounts showing a short period of time. E.g. A different account for each month, showing good performance for a year. They can run two accounts with a small balance each month taking opposite trades, and only make the profitable one public. This is much more difficult to do over a longer period of time.
- Hidden drawdowns. If the account is linked to Myfxbook, don't look at the main drawdown figure, look at the MAE/MFE figures. These show whether the trader is holding onto deep losses until the eventually become profitable. Over a long enough period of time, this will blow up their account.

Won't teaching your method mean you lose your edge?

No, teaching the Duomo Method won't have a negative impact on my own trading opportunities or performance. There are three main reasons for this:

1. We are not teaching this to enough people to have a major impact in the market.
2. We rely on major markets that have the most liquidity. It would take a huge amount of volume to change the opportunities we identify - it's just not a realistic possibility.
3. There isn't one set strategy that everyone using the Duomo Method follows. We focus on developing custom trading systems and approaches for each individual, relying on their unique strengths. Therefore, although we will take the same opportunities sometimes, there will be many different trades taking place across different markets and time horizons.

With that being said, if sharing the Duomo Method meant taking a hit on my own performance, I would still do it. I get much more fulfilment from sharing the amazing discoveries we made with other passionate traders than I do from just making money in the markets.

Are your online reviews and comments genuine?

Our reviews and comments are all genuine. We have never faked or paid for any comments or reviews, and we never would!

We also don't ask for reviews or testimonials until someone has finished the program. This is not done in a pushy way or asking anyone to give us a 5-star review. Instead, we just include a page within the last section of our program asking people to give their honest opinions on their experience via TrustPilot or our testimonial form. In future, we may also send an email to these members asking for them to leave a review.

Unfortunately, taking this 'hands off' approach to asking for reviews also means we don't get as many reviews as you may see from other companies. You'll often see companies asking for positive reviews shortly after someone has joined, while they are still in the positive 'honeymood period' after signing up. However, we believe it's much more important to show genuine feedback from people who have experienced the full program.

The other downside to this approach is that any negative reviews are more prominent. To date, we have only had a few negative reviews, some of which were from people who had never joined the program. We have only a couple of negative reviews from genuine customers, and it's clear from their feedback that they did not go through the program in the way it was intended. We don't advise our members to rush through the content and immediately start applying it to the markets; it's a skill that needs to be developed properly.

As for our comments, they are also all genuine. In fact, we get far fewer comments than we would like and we are currently working to increase the level of engagement that we see. If the comments are overwhelmingly positive, it's because we consistently try to overdeliver with our content. However, we do occasionally delete comments and block people from our channels, when people are being unnecessarily hostile, disrupting other viewers, or using ad hominem attacks. We want to maintain a positive and supporting environment.

Are you affiliated with any brokers or have any conflicts of interest?

We are not affiliated with any brokers. We have received many offers over the years, including some that wanted to provide a payment that far exceeds our current annual revenue. However, we prefer to stay independent and impartial, so we have declined all offers.

We don't have any conflicts of interest, and we are not receiving any payments to influence traders one way or another. Any views and opinions we give are 100% our own and represent what we believe to be true at the time.

What sponsorships have you had?

We don't have any sponsorships, but we do have one affiliate partnership with Forex Tester. We entered this agreement because we believe in their product and would be recommending it to our audience anyway. However, it has always been our policy to only take on projects if the net benefit is to our audience or members, rather than ourselves. With this particular partnership, we are able to make suggestions about new features that will ultimately help the people learning to trade with us. If the partnership was only a way for us to make money, we would not accept it.

Do you really teach everything about your trading approach?

Yes, I've not intentionally left anything out of the Duomo Trader Development Program. It took me 18 months to produce and the lesson scripts were over 400,000 words. I wanted the program to have everything someone could possibly need to replicate what I do in the markets and achieve success as a trader.

Of course, there are some things that can't be included in the main lessons.

Firstly, there is a lot of implicit knowledge that comes through experience, which is not possible to teach. Instead, traders will gain this for themselves by following the live markets and gaining experience over time.

Secondly, the markets are dynamic and there's always nuanced aspects to each scenario. It wouldn't be possible to teach all of this in a curriculum. Instead, we give our members access to our community and live streams with me, so we can follow the live markets together and I can explain the nuances of each situation.

Over time, if there are things we believe need to be added, or improved ways of explaining things, we'll update the program and give members access to the enhancements at no extra cost. My aim is to ensure this is the only training program an aspiring trader ever needs.

Are your methods really unique?

There are some elements of our method that are not unique, and many aspects that are. For example, we make use of common order flow trading techniques, auction market theory, market microstructure, and some other carefully selected trading information that is not unique to Duomo.

For trading psychology and other performance-related areas, we rely on scientific information and studies which are available to the public. The thing that makes these unique at Duomo is that we're applying them to a trading context and making connections that other traders seem to have missed. Most trading psychology courses use pseudoscience, received wisdom, and unproven tactics. We always refer to the science and rely on evidence-based information.

However, the Duomo Market Theory is completely unique to us. This is based on the discoveries we made about emergent behaviours in the markets that inform us about where price moves will occur. This theory disproves some of the other theories about the markets that have influenced the financial world, and I genuinely stand behind our theory as being a ground-breaking discovery in the markets.

The Duomo Method is based on this theory and the way we use the tools and techniques are unique to us. We do make use of some common tools such as trend lines, swing high/lows, and Fibonacci. But the way we use them is very specific and related back to our market theory. Some traders see we use these tools and are influenced by their pre-conceptions, assuming we use them in the typical basic way. In reality, the way we use them is much more nuanced with very specific confirmation criteria and parameters. The significance of these tools can be shown through activity changes in order flow.

The way we structure the overall trading approach is also unique. This includes, how we assess opportunities, structure a trading system, and optimise our performance. But since these are logical approaches and can be applied to other trading methods, I assume they will be more widely adopted eventually.

Can you just learn the same things for free online?

You can certainly learn to trade on your own. After all, that's what I did. But, it takes a lot more time and difficulty to do that.

There are many great things being taught for free online, but those are completely overshadowed by how much misleading and useless information there is. There's no barrier to entry for sharing trading information online, so it's crowded by traders who have not achieved long-term success and have not appropriately tested the things they're teaching. If you're still in the process of learning, it'll be impossible to decipher which things are worth your time and which things will waste it.

The unique aspects of the Duomo Method and Duomo Market Theory are not available for free online at the moment. Of course, I expect other people will share our information eventually, but I trust that most people learning with us are respectful enough not to do that.

I believe the best way to learn is with the right structure and being guided to learn the right things by someone who has not only been there and done it themselves, but also helped other traders to do the same. That's the best way to avoid mistakes, avoid wasting time, and ensure you have a path to success.

Is technical analysis just for retail traders?

No, this is a myth that's used to discredit certain methods of trading. This is usually encouraged by traders who use order flow techniques or trading approaches that claim to be 'institutional' styles. They claim candlestick charts are for retail, while footprint charts and the DoM are for professionals.

We also teach order flow and so-called 'institutional' approaches within our program, but in truth, they are no more institutional than technical analysis.

I have worked with banks and hedge funds, collaborated with some of the top names in the industry, and know many people working on trading floors. I can tell you, as a 100% fact, technical analysis is and has been used at top institutions. It isn't just for retail traders.

In fact, even George Soros, who many believe to be the greatest trader of all time, considered himself to be the master of technical analysis. I've been reliably informed by someone who was extremely senior in his fund that Soros would carry around a chartbook with technical analysis in it, which he would refer to when someone asked for his view on a markets.

The most important aspect of technical analysis is using the right techniques. Most approaches are meaningless and have no predictive power; they're just picking up on market noise which seems useful due to our cognitive biases. Instead, you need to know the right tools to use, in the right way, at the right time.

Have any of your members achieved long-term success?

'Long-term' is a bit subjective. We have only had a structured course online since 2016/17, so if you consider how long it takes to develop the skill, it's debatable whether it's even possible for someone's success to be considered long-term.

However, if we define long-term as being longer than a year, then the answer is yes. We have members who have been making good money from their trading in multiple years.

It's only in the last few years that we've had our biggest influx of members. Those traders have now had a good amount of time to develop the skill, and in the past year we have seen more members than ever becoming profitable. The typical route they take these days is to acquire prop funding and make money by trading third-party capital. We have many funded members.

All the testimonials and cases studies you see on our website, program information page, or emails, are 100% genuine.

What is the likelihood of a member becoming profitable?

I truly believe that if someone follows our Trader Development Program in the right order, dedicates time to studying and revisiting each module, and is committed to repeatedly practising the various aspects of the skill, they will succeed in the markets. I am more convinced about this than ever, given how many members are now finding precise trade opportunities and profiting from their trading, having only learned about trading with Duomo.

But unfortunately, the truth is that the majority of people who go through our program will fail in the markets. These are for reasons that are out of our control. Here are some of the main reasons:

- They don't complete the program (most people join training programs and only complete a small percentage of it)

- They rush through the program without learning properly due to over-eagerness to make profits as soon as possible

- They only focus on technical analysis techniques, and ignore the rest of the information which is just as important

- They don't have a passion for trading and move onto the next thing that catches their interest

- They don't get feedback on their analysis or decisions through the community, so don't realise their mistakes

- They don't bother to learn the theory behind how and why we do things, so they apply the method incorrectly

- They don't dedicate enough time to learning

- They learn sporadically and don't dedicate consistent time to developing (each time you stop developing for a long period, you experience skill decay)

How many members ask for a refund?

We offer a 14-day money-back guarantee on the Duomo Trader Development Program. We don't receive many refund requests, but the few we do are usually because the person cannot complete their payments or realise they don't have enough time. The number of refunds we've had due to people not being happy with the program (or previous versions of our main training course) is in single digits.